1. As of Minecraft 1.2.5
2. To be available to developers who have agreed to a mod developer agreement.
From its creation, Minecraft was developed almost exclusively by Notch until Jens "Jeb" Bergensten started working with him, and has since become head of its development. It features music by Daniel "C418" Rosenfeld and paintings by Kristoffer Zetterstrand. Initially released as what is now known as Minecraft Classic on May 17, 2009, the full PC game was released as Minecraft 1.0 on November 18th, 2011. Since it's release, Minecraft has expanded to mobile devices and a version for Xbox 360; currently under development.
Minecraft focuses on allowing the player to explore, interact with, and modify a dynamically-generated map made of one-cubic-meter-sized blocks. In addition to blocks, the environment features plants, mobs, and items. Some activities in the game include mining for ore, fighting hostile mobs, and crafting new blocks and tools by gathering various resources found in the game. The game's open-ended model allows players to create structures, creations and artwork on various multiplayer servers or their own single player maps. Other features include redstone circuits for logic computations and remote actions, minecarts and tracks, and a mysterious underworld called "The Nether". The ultimate goal of the game is to travel to an alternate dimension called the End, and defeat the Ender Dragon.
Purchase and Availability
Minecraft can be purchased for €20 (or US $26.95). Once purchased, the game can be played in a web browser or a downloadable client (the Minecraft launcher). It is also possible to buy Minecraft gift codes for others, for the same price as buying the game for oneself. Minecraft Classic is available to anyone to play for free on Minecraft.net, but must be played in-browser.
Previous versions of Minecraft (Indev, Infdev, Alpha, and Beta) were once available on the site for paid users, while Survival Test, a version of Classic, was free to all. All older versions of Minecraft, besides Classic, are no longer available.
Pocket Edition can be purchased at the Android Market and iTunes App Store for Android and iOS respectively.
- Requirements Recomended by Mojang.
- RAM : 1GB
- GPU : Dedicated Video Card
- Java : Latest Version of 64-bit Sun Java
- Recommended Minimum Requirements by #MinecraftHelp:
- CPU : 1.8GHz
- RAM : 1.5GB
- GPU : nVidia GeForce 6xxx Series or ATI Radeon 9xxx Series Dedicated Video Cards
- Java : Sun Java 6. Java 7 is known to cause issues for some players. OpenJDK is also known to have problems for some players.
- Main article: Gameplay
- Main article: The Player
The player is the person that the user controls in the world. When the user starts a game, the player is put in a world, generated by a random or specified Seed, with an empty inventory. The player has a health bar with 10 hearts, and can be damaged by falls, suffocation, drowning, fire, lava, lightning, cacti, falling into the Void, and being hit by hostile mobs. Damage to health can be mitigated by armor, and health can be restored by eating food, or if difficulty is set to Peaceful, health will regenerate on its own. Hunger is also a factor if the game is not in Peaceful Mode, depleting over time and even faster while sprinting. Food will replenish health, however eating Rotten Flesh and Raw Chicken has a chance of poisoning the player. Depending on the difficulty level, a low hunger level will deplete a players health.
A player's skin can be changed on the profile page of Minecraft.net.
- Main article: Blocks
Blocks are the objects that make up the Overworld, and were borrowed from Minecraft's original influence, Infiniminer. There are different types of blocks; natural blocks such as grass, stone, and various ores are randomly generated to the world. There are also blocks that players can craft, such as a crafting table and a furnace. Resources can be extracted from blocks by hand or by using tools. Some of these resources are simply blocks in the player's inventory that can be placed elsewhere, while others are used as material to create other blocks or tools. Others yield no practical use whatsoever. Bedrock is the only unbreakable block.
- Main article: Mining
As the game's name would suggest, mining is one of the main aspects of Minecraft. Mining is done to extract Ore and other materials from below the surface of the map. These ores include coal, iron, Gold, redstone, diamond, and lapis lazuli. These are crucial in making several useful items. Mining can involve digging a hole from the surface or going down through a cave. In Beta 1.8, Abandoned Mine Shafts were added, creating extra areas to look for resources.
Crafting and smelting
Crafting allows a player to create new tools and blocks using items from their inventory. Crafting was first implemented in Indev, and Notch has expanded the crafting recipes with new versions, blocks, and items. To craft, a player can use the 2×2 grid in the Inventory or the 3×3 grid provided by a Crafting Table. Smelting requires a Furnace in addition to fuel, and processes blocks such as Iron Ore into a more useful form (e.g. Iron Ingot).
Brewing and Enchanting
Brewing and Enchanting were game elements added in Minecraft 1.0. Brewing creates Potions from various ingredients and water using a Brewing Stand. They are stored in a Glass Bottle and then consumed by the player or thrown at other mobs to generate a certain effect based on the ingredients used to create the potion. Enchanting is also used to upgrade armor, tools, or weapons with a Enchanting Table. More powerful enchantments can be accessed by gaining Experience and placing Bookshelves around the Enchanting Table.
- Main article: Mobs
Mobs (Short for Mobiles) are the animals and other creatures that inhabit the map. These include zombies, which attack by melee, skeletons; which have a bow and arrows, spiders; which jump large distances and can climb walls, and creepers, which explode when near the player. Rare mobs include Spider Jockeys, which are skeletons riding spiders, Endermen, that are tall, black creatures with purple eyes which turn agressive upon looking at them, and slimes, which spawn deep within the map. The Nether features ghasts; flying mobs that spit exploding fire balls and attack without provocation, and Zombie Pigmen; modified Pigmen with a Golden Sword which are neutral. In 1.0.0, Blaze were added in the Nether (which shoot fireballs and fly) and Magma Cubes (similar to Slimes but they jump a bit higher). In the End, Enderdragon exist; they are the first and only boss in Minecraft.
To aid the player there are passive mobs: pigs, cows, chickens, sheep, squid, and two tamable mob types, wolves and cats. Wolves will attack enemy mobs if the player engages them.Cats will keep creepers at bay and can't take falling damage. Passive mobs other than wolves yield resources when killed, such as beef, porkchops, chicken, wool, leather, and ink sacs. If killed when on fire, the meat drops are changed to steaks, cooked porkchops and cooked chickens.
- Main article: The Nether
The Nether is an alternate dimension in Minecraft, accessible from the Overworld by a Nether Portal. It was added in the Halloween Update on October 30th, 2010. It was described by Notch as "a brand new hell world". It consists mainly of Netherrack and generates lakes of lava, and is populated by Zombie Pigman and Ghast.
- Main article: The End
The End is the dimension of the game where the player battles the Ender Dragon. The End is accessible by entering a End Portal in a Stronghold. The End is composed of End Stone and is inhabited by Endermen.
The multiplayer feature was introduced on June 8, 2009 for Classic, and later as SMP (Survival Multiplayer) on August 4, 2010, and has been a popular part of the game ever since. Minecraft multiplayer servers have developed to include their own rules and customs, guided by their administrators and moderators. The term griefer, meaning a player who causes grief, is a typical term on the internet, but has taken up its own definition on Minecraft servers: a person who destroys or defiles other users' creations on servers.
Griefers are the reason many server administrators make rules, but this has been taken a step further with modifications to the Mojang server and even plugin-based replacement servers such as Bukkit. Because of these plugin-based servers, new user-created features have shown up in Minecraft. This includes features like money, vehicles, protection, RPG elements and more. These features normally do not require modification to a user's client and can be accessed by using chat commands. The chat screen is brought up by pressing T. After 1.2.4, it was now possible to scroll back through previous chat entries using the arrow keys.
One popular game on multiplayer servers is Spleef (a play on the word "grief"), a game where the player's aim is to make another player drop through the floor by destroying blocks beneath the opponent's feet. This is typically played in a designated area.
Notch got the idea for Minecraft after playing Infiniminer with other members of the TIG Source forums in 2009. Other influences include Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper, and Notch's own previous project, RubyDung.
|“||I realized that a game that simple yet that dynamic had a lot of potential to turn into a really great game, and kept coming up with things I wanted to change and stuff I wanted to add.||„|
|~ Notch on minecraft.net|
When he first started working on Minecraft, Notch had planned for it to just be a small project. For instance, when Notch uploaded the first YouTube video of Minecraft on May 13, 2009, he had not yet decided on a name, and simply referred to it as a "cave game". The name "Minecraft: Order of the Stone" (a reference to Order of the Stick, a web comic and "one of the best things on the internet") was announced the next day, and then shortly after, it was shortened to "Minecraft" as it was much simpler and to prevent people from confusing it with Order of the Stick. The game was finally released for an "early private singleplayer alpha" on May 16, 2009.
- Main article: Classic
Minecraft 0.0.11a was publicly released the day after the private release on May 17, 2009, and the game received mention on IndieGames.com the day after that. This phase was later named Minecraft Classic. In July, Minecraft was rewritten to use the Lightweight Java Gaming Library (LWJGL). Until Minecraft Beta reintroduced it, Classic was the only version of Minecraft with the Creative game mode, which allows the player to build and destroy blocks, allowing the creation of all sorts of objects. Players are given an infinite amount of each block to build with. Minecraft Classic may still be played here in Singleplayer and also in Multiplayer here.
- Main article: Survival Test
Survival Test was released as a version of Classic on September 1, 2009. It was the introduction of Survival Mode. In it, the player now had to mine blocks, face Mobs, and had a health bar. If the player were to die, the map was lost, and unless backed up, the user would have to start over with a new map.
- Main article: Indev
Indev (short for "in development") was released on December 23, 2009 after Notch received requests to let the community try out new features he was implementing in Survival Test. Indev version 0.31 was released to the public on minecraft.net/indev and available only to people who had purchased the game. When a new game was started, the player would spawn in a prefabricated wooden house.
Updates introduced a more complex and realistic lighting scheme than Classic. Indev received more updates after this, adding a few fundamental features to Minecraft as it went. During its lifespan, some updates were devoted mostly to testing new things, like Torches or Fire. Unique to Indev was level types, similar to Biomes and the Dimensions. For example, Floating Islands and the Sky Dimension, and Hell and The Nether. Like Survival Test, if the player were to die, all progress was lost.
- Main article: Infdev
Infdev (short for "infinite development") was released on February 27, 2010, featuring automatically expanding maps. It contained other upgrades too, including new crafting recipes, 3D clouds, a new terrain generator, a more realistic fluid system, and more complex caves.
- Main article: Alpha
Alpha was released on June 28, 2010, and would see many major features added to Minecraft. Multiplayer for Survival was created, and features such as Redstone Circuits, boats, new music, new mobs, and a Difficulty setting were added to the game, often without announcement in "Seecret Friday Updates".
- Main article: Beta
Beta was released on December 20, 2010. Features that were added include a new logo and launcher, achievements and statistics, weather, Smooth Lighting, dyes, more plant types (two new types of trees and Tall Grass), wolves and squid, beds, and other blocks and items.
The Adventure Update was a major set of updates, focusing on exploring, combat, and add a ending to the game. Features added include new terrain generator, new mobs, blocks, biomes, and items. More generated structures where added; NPC Villages, Strongholds, Abandoned Mine Shafts. Changes to general gameplay include an improved combat system including critical hits and Experience, a reintroduced Creative Mode, Hardcore Mode, and a way to finish the game by traveling to The End and defeating the Ender Dragon.
Originally planned to be started in Beta 1.7, the first part of the Adventure Update was released as Beta 1.8 on September 14, 2011. Starting on September 9th, 2011, developmental versions were "leaked" by Mojang. Beta 1.9 was never released, but 6 pre-releases using the 1.9 version number were made available for users to test and report bugs back to Mojang. On October 18th, a feature freeze went into effect and Mojang shifted all Minecraft development focus to fixing bugs and preparing the game for release. On November 13th a release candidate of 1.0 was released, along with aa official update to 1.8.1 that added sounds from the developmental version.
- Main article: Pocket Edition
Minecraft Pocket Edition was released on August 16, 2011 and is designed for mobile platforms, with gameplay similar to Classic. It was depuded on Sony's Xperia Play Android phone. The game was developed by Mojang employee Aron Nieminen. A version for all supported android phones was released on October 7, 2011 after the exclusivity agreement between Sony and Mojang expired and the touch screen controls were added. On November 16th, a version for iOS was released.
- Main article: Minecraft 1.0
The official release of Minecraft, Minecraft 1.0, was released on November 18th, 2011, during MineCon. The release includes many features from the Adventure Update that were not included in Beta 1.8. The most prominent feature is an ending to the game, which can be achieved by defeating the Ender Dragon boss in The End. For the full version changelog of Minecraft 1.0, see Version History. 1.2.1 released on March 1, 2012, added the Jungle biome as well as Mob and chat improvements.
- Main article: Xbox Edition
Announced by Mojang on June 7, 2011 at E3, Minecraft Xbox Edition is a remake of the PC version on the Xbox 360 and is currently being developed by 4J Studios. It is designed to be able to use Kinect, although optional and to be released Winter 2011.
Modifications and Third Party Programs
Notch has always planned to add a mod API, and announced official plans to support one in the game on April 26, 2011. Although the code for the API exists in the game and the button on main menu to access texture packs is labeled "Mods and Texture Packs", as of yet it has not been implemented. (In 1.0, this button was renamed "Texture Packs") In a post before the release of Minecraft 1.0, Notch said that the mod api would be coming along with a new launcher.
When Jeb became head of Minecraft's development in December 2011, he stated that the mod API would be his top priority, as "there is no way in hell I will be able to add as much content as the whole internet can do". He said that they were talking to existing mod developers such as Bukkit, Minecraft Forge, and Minecraft Coder Pack.
- Main article: Texture Packs
The game officially supports changing most of its various textures through Texture Packs. These have to contain a certain structure of files and folders, contained in a .zip archive file and placed in the texturepack folder of the .minecraft folder. The texture packs, as well as the folder can be accessed at the main menu. The extent to which the textures are changed is dependent on how many files are contained in the texture pack.
Unofficial User Mods
- Main article: Mods
Minecraft can be modified by replacing or adding Java class files to minecraft.jar. This method of making modifications are not supported by Mojang as they can break the game if the mod is outdated, defective, or is conflicting with another mod. Some of these user created modifications have been found to impress Notch and the original authors have been attributed under Additional Programming; an implementation of Paul Spooner's Forestry mod script and Hippoplatimus' Piston Mod was added in Infdev (April 13, 2010) and Beta 1.7, respectively, although the tree mod was later removed in Infdev.
Third Party Programs
- Main article: Programs and editors
There as many programs designed for Minecraft. These include 3D map editors and viewers, game modifiers, various informational programs (such as Crafting Recipes), and server wrappers, and other specialty programs. As with mods, these too are not supported by Mojang.
Runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, started through the launcher or browser.
- Main article: Pocket Edition
Minecraft Pocket Edition is designed for mobile platforms, with gameplay similar to Classic. It features 36 blocks, a local WiFi Multiplayer and is currently available on the Android Market and iTunes App Store.
Other versions of Minecraft for the computer include Minecraft 4k and the PC Gamer Minecraft Demo. 4k is a simple version of Minecraft in the style of other "4k" Java games Notch that has entered in contests. PC Gamer Demo is a version of Beta 1.3 with helpful dialogs and a 100 minute play time limit.
Minecraft was first made available for sale during June 2009 and has since sold over 4.5 million copies. Minecraft has received high acclaim from critics and has since become one of the most influential and successful indie games ever released. The game has been praised for the creative freedom it grants its players in-game, and for how dynamic the overall gameplay is. PC Gamer listed Minecraft as the fourth-best game to play at work.
A review of the alpha version, by Scott Munro of the Daily Record, called it "already something special" and urged readers to buy it. Jim Rossignol of Rock, Paper, Shotgun also recommended the alpha of the game, calling it "a kind of generative 8-bit Lego S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. On September 17, 2010, gaming webcomic Penny Arcade began a series of comics and news posts about the addictiveness of the game. Video game talk show Good Game gave it a 7.5 and 9 out of 10, praising its creativity and customization, though they criticized its lack of a tutorial.
On May 5, 2011, Minecraft was selected as one of the 80 games that will be displayed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of "The Art of Video Games" exhibit that will open on March 16, 2012.
Since release Minecraft has won numerous awards including:
- PC Gamer's Game of the Year
- Independent Games Festival's Grand Prize and Audience Award.
- Good Game's Best Downloadable Game of 2010 
- Rock Paper Scissor's Game of the Year 
- Indie DB's Indie of the Year, Most Innovative and Best Singleplayer Indie 
- Game Developers Choice Awards's Best debut game, Best downloadable game and Most Innovative game award. 
References in Popular Culture
Many refences have been made in culture in response to the popularily of Minecraft, this includes many memes and also references in these video games:
- In Super Meat Boy, Steve? is an unlockable character. He is known as Mr. Minecraft in this game.
- In Battlefield Heroes, you could get a Royal Minecraft T-Shirt or a National Minecraft T-Shirt from the 29th to the 31st of 2011.
- In Team Fortress 2, there is a hat called Top Notch that resembles Notch's avatar in a cubic form. Notch is the only person to have this hat.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, an axe called the "Notched Pickaxe" can be found and used, possibly a reference to the game's creator Notch, and the pickaxes which feature prominently in Minecraft.
- In ChopLifter HD, there is a hidden island with Steve and Chickens in the Operation Charlie Takedown mission. When you save him, you unlock an in-game achievement. It should be noted that Steve is called "Blockhead" in this game.