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Minecraft Is Finished 272

Posted by timothy
from the it's-never-finished dept.
SharkLaser writes "Minecraft, the most widely known and best selling indie game in the history, is now finished. Minecraft creator Notch tweeted yesterday that Minecraft has gone gold and will be released at the end of the week at the first Minecon, a gathering of Minecraft fans. So far over 4 million people have bought the game, generating over 50 million dollars in revenue. Minecraft has also had a rapid modding community around the game, developing gems like the Millenaire mod, Builders and Tornadoes. Minecraft also brought back the interest in voxel based engines, introducing games like Ace of Spades (build, make tunnels, capture the flag FPS) and Voxatron [note: you might want to turn down your volume for this video]. It also opened up many ways for new indie developers, as Minecraft showed development can be funded solely by making something new and giving out early access to the game for those who are interested in the project. The upcoming Steam-like IndieCity-platform will also employ similar feature where, in addition to normal indie game store, players can look at unfinished projects and choose to support their development."
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Minecraft Is Finished

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  • Not finished (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:38AM (#38059412)

    They've explicitly and repeatedly stated that while the 1.0 release is a major milestone, it's essentially arbitrary, and their development work on the game won't change quantitatively or qualitatively once it passes.

    • Re:Not finished (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cygnwolf (601176) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:40AM (#38059432)
      I think he's probably tired of saying the word 'Beta'.
      • by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:44AM (#38059484)

        Which is why he'll never work for Google

        • by RussellSHarris (1385323) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:46AM (#38059502)

          Or for the tropical fish department of PetsMart.

          What were we talking about?

      • by hedwards (940851)

        I'm guessing that Notch finally got around to some new hires. Unfortunately they used to work on Firefox...

        • by Baloroth (2370816)

          Unfortunately they used to work on Firefox...

          It isn't the people who used to work on Firefox that are the problem.

    • by esocid (946821)
      It may be arbitrary, but the users on my server will bug me until I update, which I won't do, because the bukkit team will have to fix all those "arbitrary" bugs. No minecraft release is ever arbitrary.
      • by Sockatume (732728)

        What do you mean by "arbitrary" here, because it's not a usage that I recognise.

      • by gorzek (647352)

        I feel your pain. My players complain about how long it takes for me to get a Bukkit update, whining about how they are losing interest in the game, the longer it takes. Not that they absolutely must update the second a new version comes out--I specifically tell them not to! But when I offer to switch us (temporarily) to the vanilla server, they freak--they like having warps and such. There's no pleasing some of them. I also refuse to upgrade right away because the .0 version of any Minecraft release is alw

    • by AdamJS (2466928)

      Other than the ability to charge for updates, of course. :)

      • by gorzek (647352)

        Only to people who bought during beta! Suckers!

        * Bought Minecraft during Alpha.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:43AM (#38059474)

    That's what I want, because I just found an awesome seed, -6035877519343706770 and I'd like to try it with an "official" version of the game.

    Try it yourself, mountain islands, two nearby villages, some deep chasms, and a readily accessible diamond chunk in a tunnel not too far away.

  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:44AM (#38059476)

    ... the gameplay matters. Even if it is simpler then modern games the interactivity (being able to build/destroy) is off the charts since you're able to create/destroy what you want and as you wish. So that patterns never have to be the same, as opposed to modern static worlds of aesthetically pleasing art that are most always the same /w some scripted destruction in the world here and there.

    Ever since around 2001 ish game developers have just created clones and sequels ad nauseum because they allowed publishers and marketers to too heavily influence game development, if developers weren't so clueless they should have either joined forces or complained to the government about the abuse they take at the hands of publishers.

    • by mr_gorkajuice (1347383) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:56AM (#38059594)
      Noone who matters was ever in doubt that gameplay matters. But if you, as a developer, want to get paid at some point before actually having an early beta available for people to pre-order, you're gonna have to work for someone who already has the money. And if you're working for someone, expect to be asked to do as they say. And if you're the person with the money, hiring a lot of professional developers, you're either *REALLY* confident that your groundbreaking new idea is gonna sell, or you're gonna take the beaten path, and just hope you can beat the established players at their game.

      You can't have a bunch of developers join forces, unless they agree which game to make. And if they don't agree, they'd might as well make "someone else's game" for a large company able to pay a decent salary.

      In short - billion-dollar developer studios are not big risk-takers. Don't expect this to change, and don't try to make it sound like the government needs to save the oppresed developers from the horror that is established game studios.
      • Noone who matters was ever in doubt that gameplay matters. But if you, as a developer, want to get paid at some point before actually having an early beta available for people to pre-order, you're gonna have to work for someone who already has the money. And if you're working for someone, expect to be asked to do as they say.

        Sorry, too lazy to read TFA in-depth, but isn't the point that Minecraft netted $50M essentially "up front" before this release?

        • I don't know all the details, but I suspect that the $50 million didn't start rolling in till after the game was substantially feature complete and people were playing the beta. There was a substantial period (I don't know how long, but I can't imagine it was less than several months) where he was working "for free" and had no idea if anyone would give him anything for his work. If you're a kid fresh out of college living with your parents, or in a similar situation you can afford to do that. If you've g

        • by Hadlock (143607)

          I think Minecraft had netted ~$15 million in October 2010, which means they made ~$30+ million in 2011. Prior to May 2010 the game was definitely Alpha, and by July or August 2010 it was what I would call "beta" and actually playable. By January-March 2011 it was in a state most companies would release as gold master. Multiplayer was essentially finished, and players could access the "nether" world without crashing it too badly. What we're getting here in November is sort of "major patch #2" you might see 6

    • Ever since around 2001 ish game developers have just created clones and sequels ad nauseum

      I'd go back slightly further. Since the introduction of Parappa in 1997, there really haven't been any genre-making games that I remember. Even Katamari Damacy is just the old arcade game Bubbles redone as a 3D platformer.

      because they allowed publishers and marketers to too heavily influence game development

      Publishers and marketers hold the keys to actually reaching an audience with your game. There are entire genres where self-publication on PC is not practical, and you need a publisher in order to get your game onto a console.

      • by Moridineas (213502) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:22AM (#38059972) Journal

        I'd go back slightly further. Since the introduction of Parappa in 1997, there really haven't been any genre-making games that I remember. Even Katamari Damacy is just the old arcade game Bubbles redone as a 3D platformer.

        And by that standard there has NEVER been a movie with an original plot and all of the works of fiction of our lifetimes are just hackish copies of the same stories that existed thousands of years ago.

        We're a culture that loves the new and sometimes the innovative. When it really comes down to it, there's not that much that's truly new (at least by your standards for video games!). I don't really like the argument, and it's kind of reductio ad absurdum, but posting on slashdot is basically just a form of email, email is basically the same as a telegraph, a telegraph is basically the same as writing a letter, and writing a letter is basically the same as memorizing a message and telling it to someone else. So were any of these things truly innovative? People have been relaying messages for tens of thousands of years!

        Beyond that, I would say video games don't really HAVE to be innovative. Again, by your standards, World of Warcraft was not at all innovative. Very little in Warcraft was new, innovative, or unique (see EQ, UO, MUDS, etc). But it was all done really damn well! Sometimes excellent execution of a well-liked idea/game/plan is good enough!

    • by Goaway (82658) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:15AM (#38059880) Homepage

      If Minecraft is proof of anything, it is that gameplay does not matter at all. Minecraft used to have no "gameplay" whatsoever. It is only recently it has gained some fragments of gameplay, and even that is pretty primitive.

      There are plenty reasons to like Minecraft, I'm sure, but "gameplay" is not one of them.

      • by Bengie (1121981)

        You'll have to define "gameplay". Personally, I assume it's something that I find fun and lots of people have found Minecraft "fun" for a long time now. Your definition must be different than mine.

        • by Goaway (82658) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:28AM (#38060064) Homepage

          Gameplay implies rules, and goals, and mechanisms.

          You can have fun for hours in a paint program, but that does not make it a game.

          • by Bengie (1121981)

            That makes more sense now :-)

            I would have to agree then.

        • by Hadlock (143607)

          Sandboxing is fun, but games generally have rules and objectives. Until recently there was a very limited tech tree (now recently improved enchantments and that ender pearl receptacle thing), but nothing too crazy. Generally when describing gameplay to someone else, you should be able to describe the starting circumstances, one or two high points, and the end result. Sim City is a sandbox game with good gameplay; the player has to start a town, grow it, respond to natural disasters and define it as a major

    • by ledow (319597) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:15AM (#38059890) Homepage

      Replayability.

      Even something as silly as Nethack has almost infinite replayability, and that's why it's popular. (It doesn't mean that making games replayable will instantly make them hits, but it's certainly a large factor).

      I've realised, though, that no matter what games I emulate from my "golden" period of gaming, that I quickly get bored of them and move onto other games, except for a certain handful that you *can* just keep playing over and over again even if you've played them for 20 years on-and-off.

      Modern games rely on things like multiplayer options to provide their replayability but that relies on people *wanting* to play it online to the extent that they setup / buy / manage servers / games for it. Multiplayer really was the death of creativity in videogames.

      The problem is that games authors don't match replayability with making money. If someone can only reasonably play a game once or twice before they get bored / stop having fun, then they'll go and buy another - maybe a sequel - instead. It's not directly profitable to make a game replayable. It's a rare instance where a replayable game can just make that amount of money overnight because of people "rewarding" them, effectively, for making such an enjoyable bit of gameplay - few others will enjoy that success even if their game is better AND more replayable.

      I judge my Steam purchases by hours of gameplay per pound (about $1.50). Anything over 10 hours per pound is usually pretty good. Some games are in the hundreds of hours per pound. Most half-decent games manage at least 1 hour per pound. Anything below that I consider a loss. So the game has to be either amazing and long (rare - HL2 managed it), or it has to be cheap, or it has to be very replayable.

      How many games, when you replay, do you end up doing the same things, talking to the same characters, hitting the same buttons, being "ambushed" at the same points, etc.? (I tired of Magicka very quickly because of that (and because of their stupid save system).

      How many have a formula - "press this button, then hide on that platform and shoot until everything's dead" - that, once you work it out, you can follow and be pretty certain of constantly making progress? Even HL2 is guilty of both problems and thus why I've never really replayed it.

      But silly things like Minecraft, Nethack (and spin-offs like Dungeons of Dredmor), Elite and a thousand other games are replayable enough that even if you *DID* make it through and complete the game, you could go back for more and it would be different. For HL2 you'd still be subject to the same cutscenes, the same forced route, the same decisions, etc.

      It's not just an "open-plan" game like the Grand Theft Autos - you still have to do the same mash of missions in the same time in the same way doing the same things in those even if you have choice of which one to do when - but a replayable game. Replayable games can even be quite repetitive at times, but they don't stop being fun to play because it "feels" different - like you've acclimatised to how the world works but it's still a new world each time with its own challenges.

      Big-name games don't have the same replayability that they used to - it's definitely followed the indie genre more than the commercial publishers. Sequel after sequel after sequel don't make something more replayable - it's like the difference between being given three "one night" game rentals, and being given three games. With modern games, you'd hardly notice the difference because you'll never load them again, but with the best games, you'd much rather pay more and own them forever and get to play them as much as you'd like.

      As someone who's racked up over 500 hours on Altitude, 100 hours on Dungeons of Dredmor, 1000's of hours on Counterstrike, it's disappointing that most of what make them great is missing from commercial games that people queue outside stores for, see advertised on TV, etc.

      Replayability is the key. If I don't get an hour per pou

      • Excellent commentary and I totally agree on your points.

        If your an RPG fan (or even slightly interested), then check out Skyrim. If you want long per-play-through times and incredible amounts of re-playability, then that's your game.
      • The problem is that games authors don't match replayability with making money.

        Because replayability isnt the end-all be-all. One of the best RPG's I ever played (Golden Sun 1&2 for the GBA) has very limited replability, and very limited multiplayer; however the experience was incredible, the visuals were sharp, and the plot brought it all together. Likewise, Zelda games have never had multiplayer (with a very few exceptions, like 4 swords), but have always been about the story, or the gameplay. Replayability in those mostly came from the awesome experience of it, and the solid

    • Ever since around 2001 ish game developers have just created clones and sequels ad nauseum because they allowed publishers and marketers to too heavily influence game

      Every few years I hear people talk about how there are no more good games, to which I remark that they must not be looking very hard. If you look around on Steam or at the Humble Bundle's dev's works, you will find that there are a lot of good ones floating around; and even in the major publisher circles there are good games: WoW / TBC, StarCraft 2, Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime trilogy, Super Smash brothers, Zelda Windwaker, on and on. I could probably list at least 100 games from the last 10 years that ar

    • by steelfood (895457)

      worlds of aesthetically pleasing art

      Minecraft looks absolutely amazing with a high-resolution texture pack and proper 3D shader code backing the graphics. However, it would make the game inaccessible to a lot of people.

      One of an indie developer's goals is to make their game as accessible as possible. It's already obscure enough (at least initially) as it were. That includes as little DRM as possible (note Minecraft just has an initial login screen that you can forgo for single player and even private multiplayer, not to mention there are no r

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Netcraft confirms: Minecraft is Finished
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Megane (129182)

      (sigh)

      It is official; Netcraft confirms: Minecraft is finished

      One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Minecraft community when IDC confirmed that Minecraft market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all games. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Minecraft has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Minecraft is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplifie

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Yeah, because Netcraft is renowned for its accuracy of confirmation...

  • Finished? (Score:5, Funny)

    by guybrush3pwood (1579937) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:04AM (#38059690) Homepage
    What do you mean by "finished"? I payed 14,96 euros for unlimited, endless updates. SO GET BACK TO WORK, MOJANG MINIONS!!
  • Good for him (Notch).

    I tire of so many crappy games that it's nice that what seems to be a pretty nice, funny, and smart guy got this far with an idea he started for fun. I haven't bought it because I don't think it's really my genre, but I'm looking forward to Scrolls.

  • How not to develop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:14AM (#38059866)

    Notch is a man bursting with ideas, but from what I've seen, he is an atrocious project manager. The number of half-baked ideas and functions still left in the game even at 1.0 (Although as a previous commenter mentioned, this is a very arbitrary number for the game) speaks volumes about the company's attention span when implementing new features. They always seem to get halfway there, and then abandon it for the next lightbulb that lit up.

    Of course, the title is praised by both computer game enthusiasts and casual passers-by across the world, and the simple but powerful idea of creativity, survival, and effort/reward are fully realized. But when bedroom coders do impressive mods in their spare time over a weekend, and the devs take months refining trivial bugs, it says to me that there is a world of possibilities missed out due to a very amateur approach to development.

    Just my two cents.

    • by gorzek (647352)

      I'm inclined to agree. The limitations of his style of software development are quite apparent. I think Minecraft is a great game with a concept behind it that hasn't been fully exploited yet, and I would agree that there are mods doing things the core game should be doing. Minecraft itself is a catalog of half-baked ideas. The core of the game--exploring, mining, crafting, and building--is very strong. Many of the other elements, however, feel half-finished. Take wolves as an example. You can tame wolves,

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:15AM (#38059896) Homepage

    The part that I like best about the Minecraft story is that the shambling masses of "me too" handout junkies have no answer to it.

    "My concept is the next Minecraft, so give me money" doesn't and can't work as a pitch. If your project is the next Minecraft, funders will be chasing you because you already have a game and players, and you'll be laughing at them because you're already making money, directly, without their intervention.

    Die, parasitic middle-men, die.

  • Gone gold! (Score:5, Funny)

    by arkham6 (24514) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @11:22AM (#38059968)
    Notch: Look what we have built team! Look at this beautiful creation we have made! Hours of sweat and labor finally complet*SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSBOOOM*

    Notch: DAMMIT!
    • by ckaminski (82854)
      I haven't twitched so much since first playing Doom 3 years ago.

      Creepers are both awesomely cute and adorable and give me chills.
      • Re:Gone gold! (Score:4, Informative)

        by gknoy (899301) <gknoy@anasazi s y s t e m s .com> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @01:17PM (#38061588)

        I hate them. I don't think I've hated an NPC so much in ANY game. It'd be one thing if they only killed me, but the fact that they destroy the things that I built, often irrevocably (because the blocks are destroyed, not merely disassembled) makes them SUCH a threat. Brilliant, and yet I hate them so. It's almost crippling sometimes, to the point where I don't even want to log in and play.

  • to add mods.
    Adding mods is a nightmare.

  • Someone griefed the hell out of it. Now they have to redo the whole f-ng thing.
  • by Bengie (1121981)

    When is it coming to Steam? I want to buy it, but I'm holding out.

  • minetest (Score:5, Informative)

    by dgp (11045) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @12:09PM (#38060614) Journal

    The open-source minecraft clone, minetest, is surprisingly complete, playable, and fun.

    http://c55.me/minetest/download.php [c55.me]

    • Re:minetest (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Joe Jay Bee (1151309) <jbsouthsea@PERIODgmail.com minus punct> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:14PM (#38062404)

      It's faintly amusing to me that despite the supposed innovation and originality benefits of F/OSS, all it ever seems to be able to turn out in the game world is different versions of existing, proprietary games - only this time free of charge. Civilization became FreeCiv, Lemmings became Pingus and now Minecraft becomes Minetest. Hell, even most F/OSS desktop applications and environments are heavily derivative clones of existing ones.

      I'm not asking this in a trolling way - where exactly is the innovation here? Are there any F/OSS games (bar Tux Racer...) that aren't merely copies of some proprietary equivalent?

      • Re:minetest (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Joe Jay Bee (1151309) <jbsouthsea@PERIODgmail.com minus punct> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @02:19PM (#38062466)

        I actually just read the Minetest developer's note to "Minecraft fanatics". He actually has the balls to say:

        I know a lot of people here are thinking that I am cloning a game, meanly and effortlessly copying what others have done, possibly making some fancy cheap technical improvements or something. [...] You could say all the first person shooters today are clones of Quake. They all look the same and mostly you can do the same things in them. Still everybody thinks they are different games and not clones. Why is it so?

        Well the difference is that while Half-Life 2 didn't take Quake's gameplay, plot and look and feel wholesale (while of course sharing similarities in gameplay, what with them both being FPSes), Minetest is a clone of Minecraft, built with the sole aim and intention of being like Minecraft. That's a pretty big difference. There's a marked gap between building on what your predecessors did before and adding stuff, and just taking an existing game and trying to make that.

        Hell, even the HUD on the screenshot is identical...

  • by Gavin Scott (15916) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @01:45PM (#38062012)

    So Minecraft is transitioning from "Minecraft Beta 1.9" to "Minecraft 1.0".

    If it were me, I would have called the milestone release version "Minecraft 2.0 (because our 1.0 is twice as good as your 1.0)".

    I believe it's just a bad idea to have multiple overlapping version numbering sequences. It's fine if you want to do it (as Mojang have) with a developer philosophy justification, but the *practical* implication is that you're going to spend the rest of your life explaining to confused customers why Minecraft 1.0 > Minecraft Beta 1.9, and eventually why Minecraft 1.1 Beta > Minecraft Beta 1.9, etc.

    People are going to google for your product, and they're going to find links to "Minecraft 1.0" and "Minecraft Beta 1.9", and which do you think they're going to follow? Chances are a substantial portion of your customer base will install version 1.0, and then find Beta 1.9 out there along with instructions for how to download and install it (which will work over the 1.0 version returning it back to a pre-1.0 beta).

    There's a reason why large airports have a LOT of signs telling you exactly where to go. Remove even one and all the tourists are going to get just a little bit more confused and some will end up in the wrong place and clog up traffic and have to go around the airport loop again increasing traffic volume etc. When you have the sort of traffic a major airport does, then every little bit that you can reduce confusion will pay back appreciably.

    Doing everything you can to avoid confusing customers for any product (especially one with millions of customers) is also worthwhile, even when it requires you to do things like spell out the blindingly obvious, because otherwise they're going to phone you, and email you, and tweet at you, and gripe about you on forums, and generally consume bandwidth that you would much rather put to other purposes.

    Hence, while philosophically I understand "Minecraft 1.0" prefectly, from practical experience I think it's a bad idea.

    G.

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