05 March, 2012

What, more mining?

Minecraft moves up

In my last post, I wrote about a quiet little gem. They've since had a wildly popular convention, made the official release of their popular game, and even managed to update the game further. In the process, they've cracked five million sales, and that's not including the Pocket Minecraft version—that's already recorded more than a million sales in its own right. They've also received awards for being the most popular indie game to date. In fact, it's become so popular that LEGO are going to make a Minecraft set of pieces to go with all their other LEGO boxed sets.

In the process of updating, the Minecraft programmers also teamed up with the most popular provider of server mods (bukkit.org), added several new blocks, and even more cute and not so cute characters. And even more fixes. Oh yes—and recently, Notch gave three million dollars of earned dividends away to his employees, gaining several really grateful responses.

But is the sky really the limit?

No, not yet. But since Minecraft programmers doubled the allowable build height, the ability to build up to level 256 can ensure some pretty tall buildings. After all, how many real buildings can claim to be more than 200m tall? As of today's quick reading of the wikipedia, Dubai has 63, Wuhan has 6, Britian seems to have 4, and in comparison, the United States has more than a hundred. Still, plenty of buildings can be built, and in any shape you could make blocks fit.

Pah! Building is for Pansies! I like my Adventure!

Fine, then I'll send a zombie horde your way. And in hard mode, they'll even kick down doors between them and you—or any other poor soul they happen to want to eat. It rather reminds me of what happens in Terraria under a blood moon. Brainssss, anyone?

The monsters have got a lot better at finding their way to you, making the game that bit harder in survival mode. Now, it's not just a case of building your own impregnable castle, your adventure mode can even include weapon and armour upgrades so you have a little more help on your side. But first you have to go kill a lot of monsters. The more monsters you kill, the better you can make your weapons. In addition, the monsters very occasionally drop other nice little things in addition to the usual bones, rotting meat, string, gunpowder and arrows. Jusssst don't turn your back. You'll never know when the other enemy mobs gain the ability to open doors, smash glass or even smash their way through other blocks.

But I gave up my computer! How can I play Minecraft now?

If you have an Android-powered device, it's likely that Pocket Minecraft will work on it. The Pocket version is still well behind its PC brother, but it is catching up, having recently gained survival mode. The XBox 360 version is expected to come out soon, so all you XBox 360 console owners can look forward to a different way of mining on the controller.

Anyhow, I'm off to go see how long I can survive in a super-flat world with nothing but my wits, a stray village or a lot of dirt blocks stacked up in a tower.