Mojang AB (Credits)
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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 game was released as Minecraft 1.0 on November 18, 2011. Since its release, Minecraft has expanded to mobile devices and consoles.
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. Ultimately, the completely optional goal of the game is to travel to an alternate dimension called the End, and defeat the Ender Dragon.
- 1 Purchase and availability
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Development
- 4 Modifications and third-party programs
- 5 Platforms
- 6 Reception
- 7 References in popular culture
- 8 Films
- 9 References
Purchase and availability
Minecraft can be purchased for €19.95 (or US $26.95 [GB £17.95] [NZD 32.52]). All editions of the game can be bought as a one-time purchase. Once purchased, the game can be played by downloading the launcher. Players were previously able to play the game in their browser, but that feature was removed with the implementation of the new 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.
Pocket Edition can be purchased in the Amazon Appstore, Google Play Store, and iTunes App Store for Android and iOS respectively.
- See also: Hardware performance
- CPU: Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 (K8) 2.6 GHz
- RAM: 2GB
- GPU (Integrated): Intel HD Graphics or AMD (formerly ATI) Radeon HD Graphics with OpenGL 2.1
- GPU (Discrete): Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT or AMD Radeon HD 2400 with OpenGL 3.1
- HDD: At least 200MB for Game Core and Other Files
- Java Version: Java 6 Release 45
- CPU: Intel Core i3 or AMD Athlon II (K10) 2.8 GHz
- RAM: 4GB
- GPU: GeForce 2xx Series or AMD Radeon HD 5xxx Series (Excluding Integrated Chipsets) with OpenGL 3.3
- HDD: 1GB
- Latest release of Java 7 from java.com
- Minecraft Release 1.6 or newer. Older versions will need to be updated to current versions
- Please note that some users experience issues playing Minecraft while using a mismatched version of Java for their operating system (32 or 64 bit), while using certain versions of Java 7, or while multiple versions of Java are installed
If you have a laptop with an a built-in (integrated) graphics card, rather than a dedicated card, it is highly suggested that you try the demo before purchase.
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. If the bonus chest option is enabled, a chest filled with basic items generates near the player. 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 difficulty is not set to Peaceful, 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.
Blocks are the objects that make up Minecraft, 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, End Portal frames, and Command Blocks are the only unbreakable blocks.
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, lapis lazuli, and emerald. These are crucial in making several useful items. Mining can involve digging a hole from the surface or going down through a cave. Abandoned Mine Shafts create extra areas to look for resources.
Crafting and smelting
Crafting allows players 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.
Mobs (short for Mobiles) are the animals and other creatures that inhabit the map. These include zombies that attack by melee and summon other zombies; skeletons that have a bow and arrow, spiders that jump large distances and can climb walls, and creepers that explode when near the player. Rare mobs include Spider Jockeys, which is a skeleton riding spider, Chicken Jockeys, which is a baby zombie riding a chicken, Endermen, which are tall, black creatures with purple eyes and turn aggressive when the player looks at them, and slimes, which spawn deep within the map and in swamplands. The Nether features ghasts; flying mobs that spit exploding fire balls and attack without provocation, and Zombie Pigmen; modified Pigmen with a Golden Sword and are neutral, blazes; which shoot fireballs and fly, and Magma Cubes, which are similar to slimes but jump a bit higher). In The End, the Ender Dragon exists. Withers can be built in all dimensions.
To aid the player there are several passive mobs: pigs, cows, chickens, sheep, and squid, and four tamable mob types, wolves, ocelots, rabbits and horses. Wolves will attack enemy mobs if the player engages or is attacked by them. Cats, or tamed ocelots will keep creepers at bay and can't take fall 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.
The Nether is a dimension in Minecraft, accessible from the Overworld by a Nether Portal. It was added in the Halloween Update on October 30, 2010. It was described by Notch as "a brand new hell world". It consists mainly of Netherrack and generates lakes of lava. It is populated by Zombie Pigmen, Blazes, Ghasts, Wither Skeletons, and Magma Cubes.
The End is another dimension of the game where the player battles the Ender Dragon. The End is accessible by entering an End Portal in a Stronghold. The End is composed of End Stone and is inhabited by Endermen. It also contains Obsidian Pillars and Ender Crystals that heal the Ender Dragon.
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 Minecraft 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. With the default controls, the chat screen is brought up by pressing T.
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.
- See also: Version history
Notch got the idea for Minecraft after playing Infiniminer with other members of the TIGSource 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 (possibly from a suggestion a TIGSource forums user gave in an IRC chat), 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.
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. Players can still play Classic for free on the official Minecraft website here in Singleplayer and also in Multiplayer here, and Notch has stated it will remain for historical purposes.
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, similar to Hardcore mode.
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.
Infdev (standing for Infinite Development) was released on February 27, 2010, and became the third phase of Minecraft's development. It featured the important addition of maps that can generate infinitely, which extended the gameplay possibilities even further as well as other upgrades including new crafting recipes, 3D clouds, a new terrain generator, a more realistic fluid system, and more complex caves. However, Infdev scrapped other features of Indev such as world themes. This in turn spelled the demise of features such as 'floating islands' and 'permaday'. These removals are understandable, as Infdev's main purpose was to develop infinite maps. However, some extra gameplay features and items were added, such as the addition of minecarts and the ability to respawn. After being replaced by Alpha on June 28, 2010, Infdev remained available on the official Minecraft website until September 2010, when it was removed.
Alpha was released on June 28, 2010, and saw 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".
One could see Alpha's introduction of biomes as being the return, at least in part, of Indev's world themes, and indeed the Nether is not unlike the 'Hell' world theme. Another reintroduction in Alpha was the return of multiplayer. Unlike Classic's Creative multiplayer, Alpha's multiplayer was only available in Survival form (logically called Survival multiplayer.)
Beta was the fifth and last phase of Minecraft's development before its official release. 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 an ending to the game. Features added include new terrain generator, new mobs, blocks, biomes, and items. More generated structures where added; 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 18, a feature freeze went into effect and Mojang shifted all Minecraft development focus to fixing bugs and preparing the game for release. On November 13 a release candidate of 1.0 was released, along with an official update to 1.8.1 that added sounds from the developmental version.
It is still playable on the Minecraft launcher by checking the "old Beta Minecraft versions" option in the Profile Editor window.
The official release of Minecraft, Minecraft 1.0, was released on November 18, 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.
Subsequent updates have since been released, with additions such as new gameplay mechanics, new mobs and biomes. For the full list of additions since Minecraft 1.0, see Version history.
Table of features
Below is a short summary of what features each new milestone introduces.
|Creative||Survival Test||Minecraft 1.0||Minecraft 1.6||Minecraft 1.8|
|Premium account||Not required||Not required||Not required||Required||Required||Required||Required||Required for full version and multiplayer||Required||Required|
|Availability||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Premium only||Premium only|
|Multiplayer||No||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Premium only||Premium only||Premium only|
|Infinite map size||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Up to 29999999 blocks|
|Set spawn location||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Infinite water||No||Yes||Yes||Only in Island maps||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Achievements and Statistics||No||No||No||No||No||No||After 1.5||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|The Nether||No||No||No||No||No||After 1.2.0||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|The End||No||No||No||No||No||No||1.9 Pre-release 3||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Animal Breeding||No||No||No||No||No||No||1.9 Pre-release||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Minecraft Pocket Edition was released on August 16, 2011 and is designed for mobile platforms, with gameplay similar to Classic. It debuted on Sony's Xperia Play Android phone. The game is being developed by Mojang employees Jens Bergensten, Aron Nieminen, Johan Bernhardsson, Daniel Kaplan and Tommaso Checchi. 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 16, a version for iOS was released.
Minecraft was released on Xbox 360 on May 9, 2012. It was announced by Mojang on June 7, 2011 at E3 and the release date was announced on March 22nd through PlayXBLA's Twitter account. Kinect support will be available later on.
It was also released on PlayStation 3. It was announced August 20, 2013 and performs identically to the Xbox 360 Edition.
In December 2011, Mojang submitted the concept of Minecraft merchandise to Lego for the Lego Cuusoo program, from which it quickly received 10,000 votes by users, prompting Lego to review the concept. On January 24, 2012, Lego Cuusoo announced the concept was approved and they would develop sets based around Minecraft. In February 2012, the first Lego Minecraft set of Micro World was showcased and made available for pre-orders, with a release set for the summer of 2012.
Modifications and third-party programs
Notch has always planned to add a plugin API, and announced official plans to support one in the game on April 26, 2011. As of yet it has not been implemented. In a post before the release of Minecraft 1.0, Notch said that the plugin API would be coming along with a new launcher.
When Jeb became head of Minecraft's development in December 2011, he stated that the plugin 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.
The game officially supports changing most of its various textures, sounds, and text through resource packs. These have to contain a certain structure of files and folders, contained in a .zip archive file and placed in the resourcepacks folder of the .minecraft folder. The resource packs, as well as the folder, can be accessed in the options menu. The extent to which the resources are changed is dependent on how many files are contained in the resource pack.
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 editor script (not actually an internal mod) and Hippoplatimus' Piston Mod was added in Infdev (April 13, 2010) and Beta 1.7, respectively, although the Forester script was later removed in Infdev.
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.
The original platform for Minecraft and its most popular version. Runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, started through the launcher or browser.
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 Pocket Edition is designed for mobile platforms, with gameplay similar to Beta. It features many blocks, a local WiFi multiplayer and is currently available on Google Play and the iTunes App Store.
Minecraft: Console Edition refers to the port of the 1.3.2 PC version of Minecraft for consoles. Although almost identical to the PC edition in most aspects, there are several notable distinctions between the two. The Xbox 360 Edition is designed to be able to use Kinect, although optional. The game has been continuously updated by its developers, 4J Studios.
Minecraft: Pi Editon is a ported version of the 0.5.0 version of Pocket Edition for the Raspberry Pi. It is completely free to download and is intended as an educational tool for novice programmers, allowing users to manipulate the game code. It supports multiple programming languages.
Minecraft was first made available for sale during June 2009 and has since sold over 15 million copies. Minecraft has received high acclaim from critics and has since become one of the most influential and successful indie games ever released. A level of popularity which has created an entirely new genre of Minecraft clones. 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 Shotgun'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 references have been made in culture in response to the popularly 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 and The Binding of Isaac, an item called the "Notched Pickaxe" can be found and used, referencing 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.
- In Quube Twodee, one of the levels has a Creeper face.
- In the PlayStation 3 game, PixelJunk Shooter 2, there's a small Creeper in the title screen hidden among other enemies native to Shooter 2.
- In Family Guy Online, the "Did you know?" section of the loading screen has a chance of saying "Minecraft!".
- In Borderlands 2, there is a hidden section of the game with blocks in the style of Minecraft's stone and ore blocks, which are breakable. There are also enemy Creepers in this same area.
- In Torchlight 2, there is an area called "Notch's Mine." In it are Creepers, that can be killed for loot. There are also hidden swords in the game with the same graphics as swords in Minecraft.
- In season 17 of South Park, the 2nd episode depicted 2 characters playing Minecraft.
- In Patch 1.13 of Awesomenauts, a new skin for the character Clunk was added known as Creeper Clunk. It is unlocked by killing a player using the Creeper Clunk skin.
- A vehichle card in Dusk of D.A.W.N. is called "Mine Craft". The description at the bottom says "The Mine Craft is truly top-notch". Notch's Twitter picture is hidden on the card.
- One of the many paths in The Stanley Parable will eventually take the player to a Minecraft world.
Minecraft: The Story of Mojang
Minecraft: The Story of Mojang is a documentary created by 2 Player Productions about the history and development of Mojang AB. The movie was announced on February 21, 2011, was streamed on Xbox Live on December 22, 2012, and publicly released on other platforms the next day.
On Feburary 27, 2014, Notch posted on Twitter that someone was trying to leak Mojang's partnership with Warner Bros. about a Minecraft film. He stated that he wanted to be the leak.
On March 2, 2014, the movie's script had been started, and the movie was confirmed to be live action.