Notch certainly had a few things to say after E3 2011, most of which had to do with the PC version of Minecraft. After the revelation that Minecraft will be coming to Kinect, fans were swarming the developer with questions on all fronts.
Now that he’s had some rest, Notch answered quite a few of the questions he was frequently asked, and also took a moment to reveal a completely new lighting system for the game.
While Minecraft on the Xbox was certainly a shocking announcement, many fans were concerned that you would only be able to use it with Kinect. Notch downplayed the dependence of motion control, confirming the game will have controller support as well. This is a move which was predicted, as dual analog controls simply make perfect sense for a game – where the ability to create with ease is most of the fun. Notch also warned that he’s going to be secretive about both the Kinect version and Xperia version of the game, so as not to ruin the plans of the PR people he now has to work with – to release Minecraft on the respective systems. While Notch will be in charge of both console and mobile phone versions of the game, he will still only be programming the PC version.
On the computer-front, Mojang is still hard at work with the “1.7 Adventure Update” – implementing new features that will “reward exploration and combat more.” He finally confirmed that pistons would be a new feature in 1.7, provided that he and the other play-testers liked how they worked in the otherwise relatively static world of Minecraft. The long-awaited (and much-modded) addition of pistons would add a new level of creativity – as crafters could create machines and lifts. It’d be a great addition to the universe, and one that will likely be included in the next update.
Smooth Lighting has also received some improvements, of which Notch tweeted about this morning. The idea behind it is to make lighting even less blocky and more dynamic – depending on the environment. Notch posted a photo highlighting the new feature, and it looks like fire in caves may receive a pretty flaring facelift. It’s pretty dark, but click on the photo below to enlarge – and check it out for yourself.
While the game continues to visually mold into the final product and new features are added by Mojang, Notch had something to say to all the unofficial mod developers: Modding Support is in its early stages. Mojang gave the source code out to a small number of developers to see how they could work with it, opening the door to a world where it’s easier than ever to incorporate unofficial modifications and changes to gameplay. It’s a step forward we’re definitely glad to see -and one that isn’t at all surprising for an indie developer. Provided things go well, the Modding API will be released around the same time as the 1.7 update itself.
Lastly, The official release date for the full version on Minecraft is still undecided. Notch was previously looking at November 11th, but that window meant getting a venue for the upcoming MinecraftCon would be nearly impossible. While an inconvenience, he’s looking at setting the release back a mere one week to secure a good location for the crafty exhibit.
What do you think about all this Minecraft news? Are you excited for any of the upcoming new features?