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Thu, Dec 15th - 1:07AM

How Minecraft Has Evolved, and the Community With It

My first Minecraft experience was in 2010 on a friend’s crappy laptop. I’d seen a few people talk about it - one of my Facebook friends kept sharing YouTube videos about this bizarre, blocky game, and while my curiosity had been sparked, I had no idea what the appeal was. Nor could I ever have guessed how much it would grow and evolve, and the community with it.

That year I played it a couple of times, struggling to build a crappy shelter for the night with vague instructions from another new player. I built a basic wood block house in the only game mode available at the time - Survival Mode. It was also pretty surprising to me that even in that time, a few updates had been added. It was oddly exciting to boot it up and not know what change I might get, and to discuss those changes with the few other people I knew who played it.

 

A Tour of Minecon 2015 in Just Over 60 Seconds
 

 

Only a year after the game had become playable, the first MineCon was held in 2010. This indie game that, to me, seemed small, had its own dedicated convention. Its immediate success has a lot to do with YouTube - there are Minecraft YouTubers and streamers who have gone from making videos in their spare time, to working full-time as content creators. And as Minecraft creator Notch has said, it’s unlikely Minecraft will die so long as those creators keep making content. With each update new content came from the game and the community alike, and that appealing sense of discovery I’ve always really loved Minecraft for seemed like it was constantly being stoked. It’s an awesome feeling to discover or craft something I didn’t even know existed, or had only briefly seen in groups or videos

Around the launch of Beta 1.8, servers and factions became another way I connected with Minecraft. There were people I hung out with in Minecraft servers whose usernames I still remember to this day, even if I have absolutely no contact with them anymore. I learned the ins and outs of PVP modes, and Hunger Games maps and mods - all things that the community had created, using the expansive game world that is Minecraft. Even the people who weren’t creating the video content I was consuming were so creatively inspired by the game that they were making actual game modes, with rules and restrictions, just to share with other players.

 

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1.8 bled into the official release of Minecraft unblocked game (or Minecraft 1.0) and Minecraft: Pocket Edition, the mobile version, in 2011. Both angered some players, and added new ones. The introduction of the hunger meter in 1.8 was divisive - some members of the community felt like it took the simple appeal of a crafting game and turned it into more of a survival-adventure, and some players still stick to older versions for that reason. But Minecraft 1.0 also added The End, which created hype and drew a lot of people in. This alluring idea that you could ‘finish’ Minecraft went against what I played the game for, but at launch, it was so mysterious that I couldn’t help but try with my dedicated group of online friends.

Though update after update added new textures, items, sounds, particle effects and combat variety, The Redstone Update is notable for adding a bigger sense of actual engineering to Minecraft, and some of the most unimaginable inventions as a result. Forget my attempt at fancy train stations - people have built actual, functioning computers inside the game. They have calculators, and accurate clocks. It’s crazy. This spawned a separate part of the community, too, with Redstone-heavy builds, differentiating the engineering-style content creation to that of interior design, or more entertainment-based PVP.

 

 
5 Jaw-Dropping Interactive Minecraft Creations

 

PC has had 5 more major updates since then too, even after Microsoft bought Minecraft and Mojang in 2014. The Update That Changed The World (that’s the actual title) added several new biomes and variations, expanding the already massive list of visual upgrades we’ve seen since launch. The Combat Update overhauled the combat system, and  was discovered by the community itself - users on Reddit found a QR code hidden in the falling snow pattern in the April Fools update which, when scanned, said “Minecraft 1.9: The Combat Update.” Minecraft retained its indie spirit.

In 2012 Minecraft launched on consoles. The game is now playable on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PSVita and Wii U, with a simpler crafting system, tutorials, and split-screen multiplayer, making the game dramatically more kid-friendly. All combined, the game has sold over 100 million copies, with 40 million unique players per month. Minecraft is owned in every territory and country on the planet - even Antarctica - and if everyone who owned Minecraft formed a nation, it would be the 12th most populated on Earth.

 

Minecraft-Momentum

 

Minecraft owes a lot of its success to the passionate, dedicated community who have their hands on some of the best creative tools we’ve ever seen in games, and Mojang’s commitment to continue surprising that community. It’s the ultimate sandbox, with no rules or restrictions, meaning there’s no limit and reason to stop playing. Through every Minecraft update, that core freedom has never been taken away.


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Thu, Dec 15th - 1:04AM

Peria Chronicles Compared to Minecraft by Dev Team
Peria Chronicles Compared to Minecraft by Dev Team

2P.com has a translation of an interview with the Peria Chronicles team conducted by Korean site minecraftgamesplay.org. The interview centers around the less-than-stellar reception of the game during the recently held G-Star 2016 convention where players hoping to find Mabinogi 2 were disappointed. In the most startling portion of the interview, developers said that Peria Chronicles is more favorably compared to Minecraft than it is to Mabinogi 2.

Other snippets of information include:

  • the team loved both negative and positive comments about the presented demo
  • devs admit that the demo was poorly optimized
  • those looking for Mabinogi-style game play were disappointed
  • UI elements are created by players and can be traded among them. This includes buttons, windows, etc. Mobs can also drop UI "props" that can be collected
  • players are encouraged to create content including molding terrain
  • the game is not focused on combat, but on creation
  • instances are built by players

Read the full interview at the link above.

What do you think of the comparison to Minecraft demo? Is this what you were expecting?


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Thu, Dec 15th - 12:58AM

Minecraft News: Pac-Man Now Runs On Atari 2600 Within The Block-Building Game

Someone built an old game console in Minecraft. A super-hacker created a slow Atari 2600 emulator inside the massively popular block-building game. It is the very first working game console emulator running in Minecraft. The hacker who developed the emulator is a YouTuber named SethBling.

He is known for his outrageous hacks of popular games. SethBling once built functioning BASIC programming within Minecraft. What he created is a virtual world within another virtual world. It must be noted that the emulator SethBling built is essentially unplayable.

The emulator is so slow that the only way to see games running is to capture the display using a time-lapse camera. The Atari 2600 emulator runs at 60 frames every 4 hours whereas the actual Atari 2600 ran at about 60 frames per secound.

According to technology website Ars Technica, SethBling estimates that the emulator can execute about 20 processor instructions per second. This is much less than the 510,000 per second (0.51 MIPS) that an actual Atari 2600 can handle. It is incredibly slow but since there is no controller, there is no way to play with it. The emulator does not have any practical use then.

SethBling's creation was only built to prove that it could be done. It is simply a creative feat, essentially, a work for art. Technology magazine WIRED reported that Minecraft has an item called a Command Block. This block enables players to enter and execute simple code instructions.

SethBling put together enough of these blocks to create a program that emulates the Atari 2600 game console from 1977. The command blocks read the data by scanning down each row of bricks and then executes the code. According to online magazine Motherboard, the emulated Atari 2600 is basically a field of soil with a huge screen hovering on one side and large walls of stone and soil at the other. The field stores the memory used by a 6502 processor of the Atari 2600.

The 4 kilobyte ROM cartridges that contains the game data are the gravelly walls. SethBling recreated the binary data of the ROM files of three Atari games, namely, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong, using standard inert Minecraft blocks. The dirt blocks are 0s and the stone blocks are 1s. The system is booted after a cartridge is loaded. The emulator sends the processor's screen-drawing functions to an automated builder on a giant vertical wall which represents the game screen.


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Thu, Dec 15th - 12:51AM

Minecraft Python Temple Online Coding Course Launched by BrainStorm STEM Education

BrainStorm STEM Education, a tech-based academy for children in Irvine, is making programming available to all via their newly launched online course.

Combining a Minecraft Adventure game with educational programming lessons, students take on the role of a codeologist and must use Python code to help solve the challenges faced by our hero. With over 100 million registered users, Minecraft is one of the most widely played games of this generation, making it the perfect platform to engage the coders of the future.

Students will use Minecraft along with coding software to make their way through an awe-inspiring adventure map.

Each challenge will teach your student a new program, introducing essential concepts like sequential programming, variables and conditional statements. The result is an engaging coding adventure that truly gamifies learning.

"Our goal with Python Temple was to create a course where coding became an integral part of the gameplay experience," says Darren Jones, CEO of BrainStorm. "The result is the most captivating and educational coding experience possible."

BrainStorm STEM Education

Designed with the newcomer in mind, Python reads like Kindergarten math and is easy on the layman's eye. Python requires less code to complete basic tasks, being up to 5 times shorter than Java and up to 10 times shorter than C++. After downloading and installing the program, students are able to embark on an epic adventure where coding is the key to survival. The necessary code for each challenge is thoughtfully presented in each online video ensuring that students are able to work at their own pace and learn the tools needed for every step of their journey.

Like any language, programming is best learned through repetition. While each challenge is new and different, similar codes are incorporated in each so the student can start to recognize patterns and dissimilarities between codes. With a special introductory price of $199, users will receive the Python Temple software and access for one year to the online instructional videos for the course.


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