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User:Nixinova/Timeline of pre-Classic

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Pre-Classic is the name given to the prototype versions of Minecraft (what is now Java Edition) developed before Classic. This page gives a timeline of the developmental progress through this phase, from May 10 to May 16, 2009.

May 10[edit]

The very first builds of what would become Minecraft were made on May 10, 2009.[1][better source needed] This version builds off the source code of RubyDung, an unfinished game that Notch was making prior to Minecraft.

May 12[edit]

Development of Cave Game continued, with Notch fixing a performance issue.[2] By this point, Notch had added physics, lighting, chunks, world generation, and a few blocks.

  • The lighting engine at this point 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.
  • Chunks are 8×8 instead of the 16×16 from later versions and are 64 blocks high. Chunks take around 0.1 seconds to generate.
  • The map itself is 256×64×256 and contains collections of caves running throughout.
  • The only blocks in the game are "air", Grass Block JE1.png grass and Cobblestone JE1.png cobblestone. These blocks have their textures taken from RubyDung. Grass generation is randomized, but it will only generate on fully lit tiles. The higher in elevation, the more chance there will be of grass generating. At the top of the map, grass will generate on all fully lit tiles.

May 13[edit]

Development of Cave Game continued, with Notch finding a major issue with how the RAM usage is detected at 11:51 UTC[3] and the game was unplayable at 12:08 UTC due to lag spikes that occur every time a block of updated.[4] This was changed by 16:41 UTC so the game updates a maximum of two chunks per frame, but it was still laggy.[5] Notch managed to get the game playable by 16:48 UTC, reporting that he managed to get 72 frames per second with 288 chunk updates per second.[6] At 16:55 UTC, Notch changed the chunk size to 16×16 from 8×8.[7]

A screenshot from Notch's showcase of the game titled "Cave game tech test".

Notch recorded the first video of the game at around 19:51 UTC and uploaded it to YouTube with the title "Cave game tech test"[8] and to his blog as "Cave Game tech demo".[9]


  1. "About the game" (Archive) – Minecraft, June 2009.
  2. "lwjgl IRC logs" – Echelog, May 13, 2009, UTC+2. "[13:34:09] <Notch> i was trying to narrow down a performance issue last night."
  3. "lwjgl IRC logs" – Echelog, May 13, 2009, UTC+2. "[13:51:00] <Notch> wait, I think I did my math wrong here somewhere. 3 terabytes of ram?"
  4. "lwjgl IRC logs" – Echelog, May 13, 2009, UTC+2. "[14:08:46] <Notch> Riven_: 100 ms lag spikes make the game unplayable right now, and they happen every time a block changes.. soo.. :-\"
  5. "lwjgl IRC logs" – Echelog, May 13, 2009, UTC+2. "[18:41:59] <Notch_> I made it only update two chunks per frame maximum, and it's very slow"
  6. "lwjgl IRC logs" – Echelog, May 13, 2009, UTC+2. "[18:48:38] <Notch_> I managed to force it to do as I want now. 72 fps, 288 chunk updates per second"
  7. "lwjgl IRC logs" – Echelog, May 13, 2009, UTC+2. "[18:55:45] <Notch_> the chunk size is 16x16 now.."
  8. "Cave game tech test" – Nizzotch, May 13, 2009 – via YouTube. (Archive)
  9. "Cave Game tech demo!"The Word of Notch, May 13, 2009