As promised last week, the name-changing patch is here. Minecraft 1.7.6 has been released, and it was swiftly followed by Minecraft 1.7.7 to fix some bugs. The aim of the patch is to prepare the world for the forthcoming ability for Minecraft users to change their names - a much-requested feature.
Not for the first time in Minecraft, a player stands on the roof of a custom-built building and surveys his surroundings. But everything else has changed: his view is filled with double-jumping opponents, and his ears with a cacophony of cannon fire.
The player checks his UI. The time has come to call down a golem. As he gives the command, an iron man tumbles from the sky, smashing through a nearby skylight. It sits patiently in the ruined house, awaiting his command.
This in Ironfall: an ambitious, evidently Titanfall-inspired mod for Minecraft.
After Craig Ferguson reserved Notch a seat on his set settee, there was only one couch-related pop culture honour left for Minecraft to claim. And here it is: the rendering of Springfield in regular quadrilaterals.
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We've got no snapshot this week, but we do have a 1.7.4 pre-release to get excited about. Following a couple of weeks of radio silence due to GDC, the Minecraft team has birthed a patch that enables one of the most requested features since the game's inception: name changing.
Mojang have reported that one of Minecraft’s best-loved mobs has attained sentience, and is running amok.
It’s no April Fools, though, but rather a colourful way to describe a bug. Minecraft players, ordinarily able to change every pixel on their body at whim, are currently stuck with whatever their last skin happened to be.
We've got another snapshotless week. My spellcheck says that's not a word, but we all know that it is. The Mojang team are all working hard following GDC, but normal service should resume pretty soon - just be aware of any announcements coming out of Mojang in the next few days, as it's April Fool's season.
Amid currently unfounded concerns that Facebook mean to turn Oculus inside out or stockpile all future Rifts for Zuckerberg’s personal use, one clear, tangible downside to the acquisition is beginning to emerge: we’re not getting a free, officially supported version of Minecraft to forward the cause of magic goggles. And that’s a bit sad.
The immediate reaction to Facebook’s plans to buy Oculus VR have been hostile to say the least. Hilariously, my Facebook feed is filled with venom: Facebook users condemning Facebook, claiming that it’s ruined yet another thing they liked. And it was as I was chuckling at those comments that I noted Notch weighing in on the matter. I’m not laughing as much now.
A big deal like this was bound to rub some developers the wrong way, and the first victim is an Oculus Rift version of Minecraft. Mojang and Oculus VR were in talks, and now they are not.
No snapshot this week, because most of the people in the Minecraft team are at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. As such, there's not anything much going on in terms of official news, but that definitely doesn't mean there's nothing to talk about.
Mojang made 816 million ($128 million) Swedish kronor in 2013. That’s up from 326 million kronor the previous year.
It doesn’t quite match the figures of Candy Crush monarchs and former Notch employers King, who raked in $1.88 billion last year. But it’s worth remembering that King now employ 665 people, while Mojang is still a studio of 34 - promoting and updating a game now over five years old.
Now that's what I call a snapshot! After weeks of bugfixes and mapmaking tweaks, Mojang has finally released something a little more fun. Snapshots 14w11a and b make big changes to the way that minecart physics works.
For starters, carts go much further and faster. Furnace minecarts now also give a huge boost to carts they hit and there's a much greater chance of minecarts derailing at high speeds, so watch what you're doing there. Improved collision and position handling is welcomed immensely too, though I'd love it if they bounced on slime blocks.
Groan. Snapshot 14w10a is another pile of bug fixes and mapmaking tweaks without anything exciting for survival players. "Don’t worry, we have some cool survival plans soon!" promises Dinnerbone. Among the fixes are an inconsistent door texture and an improper cake texture, phantom floating mobs and a problem that caused baby cows to suffocate. Aww.
Work at Mojang continues apace on rewrites of Minecraft’s inventory, block state concepting and block model formatting systems, all in the name of a robust plugin API. The fruits of that haven’t emerged yet, but the dev team have found time to squeeze off a few bugfixes - chiefly for the new spectator mode - and to get the game shipshape for player name changes.
“Don’t worry, we have some cool survival plans soon!", wrote Dinnerbone.
No snapshot this week, instead we get a full patch! Minecraft 1.7.5 has been released. It's a pretty small change, mainly focused around Minecraft Realms which those outside Sweden or who haven't attended Minecon haven't previously had access to. Those who do will now get a selection of minigames, described in the following YouTube clip.
I was in Tesco the other day. There, opposite the cookbooks, not so far from the grapes, hemmed in by sticker books, was the Minecraft Beginner’s Handbook. And it’s far too late to be surprised.
Minecraft is a cross-medium phenomenon, like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Lego. Those aren’t simply names pulled out of the pop cultural rift - they’ll be Minecraft’s stablemates if Mojang’s talks with Warner Bros yield fruit.
The snapshots over the last weeks have been a little dull, and today's is no exception. 14w08a has no survival features at all, beyond a slight tweak of the way health is displayed in the player list - it now displays as a row of hearts, and will only fall back to the textual display if there isn't enough room.
Mojang’s dedicated Minecraft squad continue to work away on overhauls to the game’s block models, menus and inventory system in line with a new API. But if Obama has time to swat bugs, so do they, and so here’s Minecraft snapshot 14w08a - the catchiest monikered Mojang project since 0x10c.