Keeping a game like Minecraft feeling fresh and interesting is no mean feat. With the Exploration Update now out in the wild, what will Mojang turn their expertise to next? To answer that question, we spoke to lead designer Jens Bergensten – here’s what he had to say:
For an in-depth look at the 1.11 Exploration Update, check out our comprehensive rundown.
“We always want to provide interesting content for the community, and we’ll look more into the building aspect of the game for the next update. 1.10 and 1.11 were heavily focused on survival and adventure, and we’re trying to build Minecraft in many different directions so that there is new content for the different ways people like to play.”
With a combat overhaul in 1.09, an emphasis on climates in 1.10 and expeditionary antics in 1.11, it’s fair to say the creative side of the game has been undernourished in the past year of Minecraft’s ongoing development. “Although I’ve always seen Minecraft as a creative game, Survival Mode makes everything feel much more important,” says Bergensten. “Many of the new features in 1.11 can be considered relatively endgame and designed for more seasoned survival players, rather than brand new ones.”
It’s quite the predicament Mojang have found themselves in, trying to maintain an audience of people of vastly different ages, and who all want something different from the game. In part, that’s where the modding community come in, and Bergensten expects they’ll proffer plenty of ideas where 1.11’s Illagers are concerned. “While there isn’t really a story in Minecraft, the team tries to find features that make everything feel more connected and accessible. We feel like we accomplished this with the Woodland Mansions, and we’re interested to see what the community will do with the Illagers.”
Exactly how Mojang plan to expand the game’s creative tools without cannibalising the efforts of the modding community is a tougher question still. However, Mojang’s authorship carries enough weight within the community to make every minor update a monumental moment in the eyes of fans.