Understandably, Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode grabbed the headlines yesterday – an episodic adventure series nobody can quite yet get their heads around. But we would be remiss not to spend a minute looking at the game Mojang themselves made for the occasion – a novelty text adventure called Info Quest II.
“Mojang will remember that.”
This lovingly glorified press release was written, coded and drawn by Mojang’s Owen Hill, Aron Nieminen and Junkboy respectively. But it played with some of Telltale’s favourite conceits – most recognisably the conversation clock that hurries dialogue decisions along (“L2P, noob!”, sighs the Mojangsta if you let it run down).
Mojang have mimicked Telltale’s penchant for choice and consequence, too. Repeatedly insist that you ‘just want to reset your Mojang password’ and you will, indeed, be taken to the relevant account page without learning the news.
It’s not just an affectionate joke shared between developers, though: it’s also a shrewd way of addressing the reservations that pop into any Minecraft player’s head at the thought of a spin-off. Who’s going to write it? Hasn’t Telltale’s recent output been a bit vicious in tone? Is Minecraft going to be senselessly bogged down by an extended universe?
Some of those worries are going to hang around until the game is finished, of course. But it’s a brave project – an attempt to capture the spirit of a phenomenon, rather than write new fiction in a world that already has plenty. So it’s fitting that Mojang have taken a brave tack in announcing it too.
The Minecraft community will remember that.