For residents of Minecraftia, we have good news and bad news. The Minecraft 1.5 update came out last week and you’ll likely need to learn to have fun with that for a long while.
Minecraft, Mojang and Notch hit a major milestone in the last few days, surpassing the 2 million sales mark. That and word of the beginning of development on Minecraft mini-maps are the good news. The bad news for you: more delays.
Delays are nothing new for Minecraft. It’s an indie game in Beta, updates hit unexpected snags and there are only so many people who are working on it, namely Notch and sidekick Jens Bergensten. Well, even with all that financial success, it’s now down to just Notch by himself working on Minecraft.
In his latest blog update, Notch revealed that Jens has been temporarily reassigned to work on another project. Whether that’s Mojang’s other game, Scrolls, or something else we do not know. For Minecraft fans this is surely a dissapointment since Jens has been an important community presence, answering gamers’ questions hourly and for the game itself, working on key updates, like the Pistons Mod which will now be delayed. Notch says they need to work out some corner conditions of placing pistons and they want to make it more “fantasy” to fall in line with the game’s theme, much like the music discs… wait, what?
In other bad news, the eagerly anticipated Modding API seems to have hit a major obstacle as well as they can’t seem to figure out how to make it work well enough to support everyone’s mods and how to not break mods when further Minecraft updates come out. They also want to ensure no one makes money of mods.
On the positive side of things, Notch and a fellow from Oxeye Games have begun working on mini-maps and turned it into an actual mapping tool:
“Last week, I started playing around with minimaps, and Vraket from Oxeye games took some interest in it. We played around with it for a while, and it kinda got more and more ambitious as we went. Now it’s a proper mapping tool! You make a map, and it starts out empty. As you move around, you fill in parts of the map automatically (as long as the map is being held). You can give the map to other people and they will see what you’ve explored on there, and it’s quite possible you will even be able to magically “link” two maps so they’re the same map. That means you will be able to see where other people who carry the same map are.”
Mini-maps in Minecraft would be a superb and very welcome addition to the game, especially with its limitless sandbox nature. There’s one other exciting update Notch can’t talk about yet so let’s stay tuned. Could it involve them hiring more programmers to work on the game?
Depressed by any of this news? Here’s s Minecraft “Mad World” music video that won’t cheer you up:
Minecraft hits “full” retail on November 11, 2011 but the 90-minute Minecraft demo is available now.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.