Simply Splendid: Minecraft Multiplayer

By Jim Rossignol on June 13th, 2009 at 9:14 am.


Games which have other, real human beings in are often bettered simply by have a human intelligence at work in them. That’s never been more true than in the indie-multiplayer building toy/game thing, Minecraft. The randomly generated levels of the single player system are interesting, and an useful way to figure out how you can build with nine types of blocks, or delete them. But it’s only when you go onto the multiplayer servers, and see the astonishing pixel-art landscapes that people have created, that you realise what a brilliant piece of software this is. Somehow, by being limited to just nine blocks, it becomes more than the sum of its parts. The beauty of simplification, or something. Anyway, enough babbling from me, go sign up, explore, build. It’s awesome. That image above is from the Great Pyramid server (which seems to have public editing disabled?), but there’s a whole load of amazing projects. I quite like the floating islands servers for their amazing vistas.

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45 Comments »

  1. RogB says:

    i havent even looked at the multiplayer ones yet, but am absolutely astounded at just the single player part. The ease of use is great, tyying to build a house with walls and windows means you have to build little platform ‘scaffolding’ to get the height!
    I decided to start excavating in the sea, thinking ‘how far down does it go?’ when I happened upon an underground body of water. this was a sort of spherical shape and the upper part was not filled with water so I jumped out into some sort of underground cave system. awesome! Part of me wishes it had something like Dwarf fortress or Ultima underworld-esque game to bolt onto the fab blocky map.

  2. Lack_26 says:

    Ooh, 1600 fps, nice. Also, this is really cool.

  3. Dzamir says:

    WOW
    I built an enormous tree with another player, and there was a flying house really cool.
    This game is FANTASTIC! It’s like a cooperative LEGO.
    WOWWOWOWOWOWOWW
    And it’s really funny when you build a tunnel under someone feet and it didn’t set a spawn point! :D

  4. Lack_26 says:

    Yeah, I’m loving this game.

  5. RogB says:

    hey dzamir, was it you ive just seen building a hollowed out tree? :)

  6. Gwyn says:

    The multiplayer one doesn’t load and then freezes Firefox for me. :(

  7. gulag says:

    Okay, so perhaps this guy and the Dwarf Fortress guy need to have a little chat…

  8. Cunningbeef says:

    Funnily enough, this is being developed by the other part of the two-man team that started Wurm Online (the part that’s not Rolf, I forget his name).

    True to form, the first thing I built was a giant cock.

  9. Turin Turambar says:

    There is a cool Mario statue/drawing thig. And i accidentally flooded with water the long underground tunnel of someone. Too mcuh digging :P

  10. Jahkaivah says:

    Infiniminer anyone?

    http://www.zachtronicsindustries.com/pivot/entry.php?id=82

    Not calling rip-off here, I know better. But at the present moment, Infiniminer seems to have more to offer (class system, build able gadgets, competitive team play…)

  11. gor says:

    I missread the headline as minesweeper multiplayer and now dont care about any other game

  12. ImperialCreed says:

    @ Jahkaivah

    My first thought on seeing the images was “Good grief, it’s a prettied up version of Infiniminer!”

    I haven’t played this, so I’ve no idea if that’s actually the case.

  13. Jahkaivah says:

    @ImperialCreed

    To be fair it has pros over Infiniminer, placing blocks is fair bit easier, and griefing sandbox mode (which seems to be Minecraft’s only mode) is harder without competitive stuff like TNT to screw everyone over.

    I’d say both games should take a leaf out of each other’s books.

  14. Dzamir says:

    @RogB:
    Yes, it was me :-)

  15. Notch says:

    Wahey, thanks for the article, Jim.

    The main inspiration for the design is definitely infiniminer, yes. Such a great game. :D

  16. Kynes says:

    This game is quite awesome. The £10 that it’s planned to cost is not. I’m all for indie developers getting something back from their work, but with Infiniminer being free, dropping that much on a similar game isn’t too convincing.

  17. Lack_26 says:

    Yeah, £10 is quite high, I think voluntary donations would be better. I can buy much bigger, better games for £10.

  18. james says:

    yep, instantly thought of Dwarf Fortress, that would be awesome….

  19. Inanimotion says:

    This game doesn’t work for me…
    I can run it, I can join servers, I can move and jump, I can look around.

    But I can not, for the life of me, spawn a god damn block and it’s starting to piss me off.

    Mouse wheel and right click also do nothing so I’m thinking my mouse just flat out doesn’t work for this…and I REALLY want to play…

  20. The Innocent says:

    It’s pretty cool, though it would really benefit from… something more. It’s delightful for a couple hours, but beyond that it gets sort of samey. I just spent a while battling one player by digging each other down into the ground, but how long can that stay fun really?

  21. Premium User Badge

    Kelron says:

    Taking a look at the site, it seems they plan to include more competetive game modes at a later stage, which could be interesting. As it is, fun for messing around. Definitely not something I’d pay for unless they add a lot to it.

    And if anyone wants to just mess around with friends, it’s easy to host your own server. Lag’s not really an issue, I couldn’t work out how to make a private server (using public=false in the config just made it single player), but at least you’ll be able to kick any unwanted players.

  22. Poet says:

    Funny how in game one builds swastikas everywhere and here never mentions nazis or the like.

    Me, I spent all night destroying Ozamir’s swastikas.

  23. lumpi says:

    Don’t bother. It has already been invaded by 4chan and ebaum tards.

    Remember the kid in kindergarden that always pushed over your lego tower right before it hit that magical eye-height level? Go figure.

  24. deadcabbit says:

    For all sandbox/world building/coop games I would set up a mandatory IQ and cultural test. Let the morons play deathmatch, shouting racist comments and never allow them on these servers… :((

  25. superking208 says:

    Ah, I will assume that, from the order of today’s updates, you lot check TIGdb?

  26. DethDonald says:

    This is great. Although its a sandbox style multiplayer game I still feel competitive, another player will build a boat and then I’m obligated to make a better one next to it.

    It would be nice to have a RPS room, I’m tired of seeing skies covered with cubes and random towers placed everywhere.

  27. Tuo says:

    Heh. It’s kind of being a jerk, but I love to find a structure up really high, get to a spot that’s one block thick, and wait. Eventually somebody walks on top and I delete it, and they fall. It’s fun.

  28. Unlucky Irish says:

    This game lead to one of the best in game moments of discovery I’ve ever had came. Whilst building a rather spiffy tower in the Sky Village server (tis still their next, just past the big stairs if you fancy a look) i decided to add an underground altar room thing. So I dig down, make some stairs but just when i started adding some flooring i fall through a hole into this big under-ground lake. Was surprisingly impressive, even with the some what limited graphics, and i was rather chuffed with my discovery.

  29. Wedge says:

    It seems like they actually intended this to be a game, but instead it’s just become a really stripped down Blockland. But… I would think youl’d just be better off playing Blockland.

  30. Dodomaster says:

    I didn’t find blockland as exciting as this game, and remember that this is only an early alpha of the game. It will get more features and gamemodes in time.

  31. what says:

    @mic 2070 I saw those on the facepunch server.
    I myself had an awesome moment of discovery, I had built a legoman on the facepunch server, and I left for a while (5 minutes). When I came back I searched for 30 minutes until I found it, half buried in sand. I was all like “DAMN YOUUUU”

  32. Dan says:

    Ok, but what is up with the first sentence of this review? I may be slightly delirious from beer and dancing, but just does not sound right.

  33. Brett says:

    For me this, more than almost anything else I’ve played, is a really neat game of discovery. I only play for little bursts, but the joy is in seeing something new. At first it was discovering that there were under ground lakes and lava pits, but then I started logging into multiplayer servers, and that is were the real joy of discovery was. Climbing up to the inevitable sky bridge, looking down over all the little constructions, half finished, half taken apart. It’s crazy. Some of the effort required to build the things that you can see is incredible. Then carving out my own little niche in the landscape.

    And above all that, it looks really charming. A lot more so than Infiniminer, which is nice, but not as appealing as this. I don’t think they need to make new gameplay modes, as much as facilitate player created gameplay with new types of blocks and so on. I’m already able to play it like a simple but odd little platform game in some of the crazier servers.

  34. MA6200 says:

    Thanks for posting this. I really had a blast last night just carving out a little underground hole. I guess I was fortunate to not really run in to many griefers/swastika building idiots.

    Water is pretty obnoxious though as it’s infinite – one square will flood everything, so building down is tricky.

  35. Dan K says:

    I suggest a cross between the two. The build/dig distance in Minecraft is too large in my opinion, that, and I didn’t come across any lava. None.
    Also, someone, anyone, should make this in the UT engine or source engine with blocks being rougher, non-cube shapes, but still confined within certain constant dimensions.

    Infiniminer has the charm and the 8-Bit music though.

  36. pimorte says:

    Not a single server up for Infiniminer?
    Guess I’ll have to try in US hours. :(

  37. Javaguy says:

    I do love this game. It’s utterly lovely. Something about the simplicity combined with the sense of exploration and discovery.

    It really, REALLY does need a private server to get the best out of it though, and lots of admins.

  38. Nik Daum says:

    Has RPS considered running a Minecraft server? It would rock.

  39. Boomer says:

    Does anyone know if the website version is safe? Every time I try it it says something about an unsafe publisher, so I say cancel, but then I can’t play, and I really want to! Help meh!!!

  40. Boomer says:

    Also, when I tried to play (after pressin run), It said something about a pixel format. Help!!!!

  41. Schwerpunk says:

    I am absolutely obsessed with this game, and hope it’s a portent of what PC gaming will one day become.

  42. RIKKU says:

    HALP I NEED THE ENTIRE SERVER.CFG file. find it in java -> jrv6 (or something) -> bin

  43. Tei says:

    Woah… This looks like a very advanced minecraft mod, with a amazing engine. Will it deliver? lots of things must work, like multiplayer.