Java Edition pre-Classic (early builds)

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Cave Game

Java Edition

Date developed

May 10,2009 to May 12, 2009

The first pre-Classic versions of Minecraft (then called Cave Game) were made between around May 10[1] or May 11[2] and May 12,[3] 2009. They added features that would be later seen in the Cave game tech test video, which showcases version rd-131655. No footage exists of these builds.



  • Physics
  • Lighting
    • The lighting engine in Classic and Pre-Classic was simple, with only two light levels, bright and dark. "Sunlight" is emitted by the top edge of the map and hits any block that is under it, regardless of distance. It passes through transparent blocks to light blocks underneath. Blocks that do not receive light are in a dim shadow that remains at the same level of brightness no matter how far they are from a light source.[verify]
  • Chunks
    • They take about 110 of a second to generate each.[4]
    • The size of each chunk was 16x16 blocks.[5]
  • World generation
    • 256×64×256 tile map.
    • It was possible to fall out of the world.
  • Caves
    • Reached down until a few blocks before the last layer of cobblestone, making a ravine.
  • Creative mode
    • This was an extremely basic version of it. The player could not fly or place/remove blocks and there was no inventory or hotbar to get them from.


  • The player
    • Currently has no visible model.
    • Has a height of 1.7 blocks.


  • Air
    • Not listed internally as a block at this time.
  • Cobblestone JE1.png Cobblestone
    • Made with the same graphics from Notch's game RubyDung.
  • Grass Block JE1.png Grass Block
    • Made with the same graphics from RubyDung.
    • Grass generation is randomized, but it will only generate on fully lit tiles. The higher the Y level is, the more chance there will be of grass generating. At the top of the map, grass will generate on all fully lit tiles.


  1. "About the game" (Archive) – Minecraft, June 2009.
  2. Rotab's IRC Logs "(10:40:09) <@Notch> heh, the game game tech test video is from the 13'th"[...]"(10:40:18) <@Notch> that was after two days of work, so I started the 11'th, probably"
  3. LWJGL IRC Logs "[13:34:09] <Notch> i was trying to narrow down a performance issue last night."
  4. LWJGL IRC Logs "[13:37:42] <Notch> rebuilding a chunk of these takes almost 100 ms, but that's everything, including tesselation, calculating lighting, and building the display list."
  5. LWJGL IRC Logs "[13:37:08] <Notch> I've got chunks of blocks, 16x16x16 blocks. Each block can have a maximum of three quads, but that's worst case scenario"