The rhythm of Minecraft patch development is reassuring. After a major patch is released, the Mojang team tends to go quiet while the community goes crazy. As the community starts to quieten down, the first few glimpses of the next patch are seen, and snapshots start arriving packed with exciting new features.
Then you hit the best bit of the cycle where snapshots are coming thick and fast every week, loaded with new goodies to play with. We’re in that point now. Soon enough, the snapshots will become more and more about bugfixes, until the next patch is ready and is unleashed on the world – then the whole cycle begins again.
This week, we’ve got snapshot 13w39a. Yet again, the changelist is secret, but so far the eagle-eyed denizens of r/Minecraft have spotted the addition of red sand in the new mesa biomes, as well as what appears to be some sort of black egg – not sure what that’s about yet. Boats have been made more resilient (yay!) and thunderstorms are also now darker than before.
On the community side, there’s a few things to highlight. Skydoesminecraft’s Western-themed adventure map Desperado is brilliant – it has custom mobs, a custom resource pack, an honour system and a boss fight. The usual rules apply – normal difficulty, and don’t place or destroy any blocks.
We’re pretty impressed by Pumpkin Blossoms too. It’s a survival map that asks you to bring one of every kind of flower to a fully-interactive snowman NPC. Despite being something of a proof-of-concept, it’s pretty fun. The random map generation means that it’s different every time you play. Very neat.
Finally, Britain’s mapping authority, the Ordnance Survey, has recreated the landscape of Britain in Minecraft. You’ve probably read about this already, including Steve Hogarty’s ace tour of the country starting in Hull. Personally I’m a little disappointed in how Ordnance Survey has released this – it’s not pretty, just a network of grids with different colours that mean towns and roads. With a little more care, this could have been incredible, but it’s only okay. Ah well – it’s still good to see Minecraft being used in this way.
That’s all for this week. If you’ve seen anything in the Minecraft community that you think I should be highlighting, tell me about it by dropping me an email. I’ll be back with another roundup this time next week.