Scroll With It: Minecraft 1.6 Bringing Maps

By Quintin Smith on April 28th, 2011 at 9:52 am.

This feature sounded better on paper.

In a clear case of Notch putting the cart before the ography, he’s announced on his blog that the 1.6 update for Minecraft will predominantly be made up of bugfixes, but will also add maps to the game.

It’s a little bit cooler than it sounds. If another player picks up a map you’ve dropped, they’ll be able to see your handiwork and add to it themselves. Notch also says there’ll be a way to “clone” maps, so that two players will see one another as flashing marks on each of their copies of the map. Predictable song after the jump.

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52 Comments »

  1. Stranglove says:

    That map looks very minecraft, I like the way it seems to be integrated quite well.

    • McDan says:

      And how! I for one will be using this a lot. I get lost on my ramblings, I antagonise creepers far too much.

  2. Rich says:

    I wonder if you can zoom into it. On the bigger worlds a map like the one shown above will be largely useless.
    Unless, perhaps, he also allowed you to place beacons in the world that show up on the map.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      He says right there in the blog post! You can zoom to your heart’s content.

    • bjohndooh says:

      The way he describes zoom seems to more like the scale.
      It’s different than zoom – like in terms of just the view of the actual map.

    • Rich says:

      Yeah, he seems to suggest you select the scale of the map when you craft it, which is then fixed. That’s fair.

    • Avenger says:

      “he also allowed you to place BACONS in the world that show up on the map”

      Thats how I read it and thought it was stupidly awesome…

  3. Heliocentric says:

    I know I will use this, I know it will save me from losing hours wandering around, I know this is an all round “good thing” ™ but I do feel that this sacrafices a little of minecrafts mystery.
    Is that so wrong?

    • Spacewalk says:

      We’re only seeing overworld maps in the screenshots so maybe there’s a chance that you won’t be able to map out the underground but that will probably happen as well. We can hope though.

    • GenBanks says:

      I sort of agree, getting lost is part of what makes the world of minecraft feel big and a little bit threatening.
      But if you have to craft the map and make a big effort to to do so, I don’t think the ‘mystery’ will be compromised too much and it’ll enhance your sense of conquering and mastering your surroundings, giving the game even greater sense of progression.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Personally, I’ve always used maps when playing minecraft. Cartograph maps, that is. Simply because I tend to wander around a lot and the make multiple spread out living spaces and although my sense of direction is pretty good I don’t always exactly remember where what was. That, and I like to see my creations all at one glance.

      But there’s something to be said for leaving the game unmapped, certainly.

    • Tei says:

      You can always install a mod, that make having a map increase the possibility to be attacked by pirates in zeppelins, with canyons.

    • Zwebbie says:

      Heliocentric: I’ve always applauded Minecraft’s lack of maps. We’re so conditioned to think of landscapes in maps and top views that you tend to forget that’s pretty unnatural, and a very Western thing to boot. Having no map gets you thinking in different kinds of terms, over that big hill, on this and that side of the archipelago, forest land and cow land and so on, that I can only imagine must have been commonplace when people came up with names as Low Countries and Outremer.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      If you’re in the low countries you don’t need a map because you can see everywhere. Especially if you’re from the low countries because then you’re ten feet tall.

    • Jeremy says:

      Feelings can’t be wrong, but I do disagree (in a totally subjective way) :) When I play Minecraft, I often think of myself as an explorer entering into a new land who has to survive on his own or with a few friends, discovering new areas, making a home, taming the land and such. For me, maps only add to that, as it allows my “explorer” self to get into some map making and put down on paper the surrounding lands.

  4. Spacewalk says:

    Being able to nail maps to signs would be something that I would like to see.

  5. BloodPukeSalvation says:

    that map is way too hi res for an in-game item!
    Notch has clearly sold out.

    edit: also, it is an erect penis.

  6. BloodPukeSalvation says:

    This map is too hi res for an in-game item.

    Notch has clearly sold out.

    Also, it is an erect penis.

  7. RaytraceRat says:

    Elder Scrolls: Minecraft ?

  8. eydryan says:

    maps are an awesome feature but I wish we could map the underground, that’s where I always hate getting lost in. I mean the compass is useless and all the corridors look the same so actually finding the way out is a challenge. and not the fun kind of challenge either. we could go the d&d way and put pen to paper but that just spoils the spirit of the game.

    otherwise I’m not sure why we’d need a map of a region.

    • terry says:

      I find dungeon navigation simple, up is safety, down is where you’re going.

    • Jeremy says:

      I get lost all the time in the world, mainly because of some wonky spawning at times. Most won’t care about the following story, and you can skip it without me feeling bad. This is a situation where I could definitely have used a map:

      MP Server with a friend, we both ended up using the same bed to create a spawn point for ourselves in our exploration. In a random twist of fate, I died at night during an excavation with some wild creeper spawnings, then reappeared at the spawn point. It was occupied by a creeper (I am cursed), which promptly blew up the entire safehouse, including the bed/spawn. My friend died seconds later, and had no spawn point, so was returned to the original world spawn. Myself, having just appeared next to a creeper, and being blown up, also died. I had no spawn point, and was transported to the original world spawn. So, we had no gear, no items, no blocks, and a mere hint of a memory at where our primary homes were located. We had to trundle about, without any items, and eventually stumble back to our homes through some good fortune and a lot of time.

      I would have loved a map in that moment. Granted, my map would probably have been on the ground somewhere near my original corpse at that point.

    • nemryn says:

      I have this problem too, which is why I’ve developed a system of torches, gravel blocks, and so forth that I can use to mark the main path, branches I’ve already explored, branches I plan to come back to later, etc.

  9. Tei says:

    This will make adventure maps easier. Since it will help map creators help the players follow a trail, and avoid the problem of the player getting lost and wandering around bored.

    Is also brilliantly integrated in the game. Notch is a brilliant man. But only testing it in-game will tell us how fun this is really.

  10. MuscleHorse says:

    I’m not sure I like the way that you have to be holding the map to map. What if I forget and I’m wondering about holding some bacon?

    • Tei says:

      This happens to you in real-life? you wander around with a piece of bacon, thinking is a map? /jk

      I think you will tell the difference, from how different will feel having a map. Having a map will feel different, probably.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      I’m pretty worried about creepers, I’m already envisaging lots of heart breaking “lalala, christ I’ve mapped a lot today, this is awesome… seriously, look at all this lovely map I’ve made! I should probably make a clone of this when I get back in case I”… “thatsssss a lovely map you have there, ssssssss” **BOOOOM** moments.

      I mean sure it says you can looks away, but I can tell it’s guna take me a few disasters before I start forcing myself to do so the entire time I’m mapping… as is the case with most things in Minecraft.

  11. Premium User Badge

    dangermouse76 says:

    I am gonna build Far Cry 2 with a lego texture pack. Giraffes and lions rule.

    Cool you could have buried treasure hunts as well ( claps hands like a child ).

    • Urthman says:

      Yeah, first you have sandbox gameplay in huge outdoor landscapes, hunts for diamonds, fire that spreads from tree to tree, and enemies constantly respawning. Now a map that you hold in-game.

      Minecraft is nothing but a Far Cry 2 ripoff.

      (Or should I say Far Cry 2 is Minecraft with guns?)

  12. poop says:

    provided the recipe for this isnt stupid bullshit this could be the first gameplay addition ol’ Notchy has done for months that I wont get bored with in five minutes :D

  13. Staggy says:

    I really hope you don’t drop the map if you die – the number of times (before beds were put in the game) I died a million miles from my vairous mines and buildings and wandered round an alien landscape for hours in vairious directions in a vain hope of rediscovering them…

  14. SanguineAngel says:

    Unashamedly cool.

  15. GallonOfAlan says:

    Regarding wildnerness wandering, well you can already craft a compass that points to spawn and use the clouds and sun … but these maps will be good on SMP if only to locate other players.

  16. RoteByrd says:

    The way he explained it is that you will have to make a new map if you want to map something on a different scale, so that is one way the sense of mystery will be kept. This means that if you want a map of a town, for instance, you can map it on the most zoomed in setting, if you want a regional map, you do it on the most zoomed out.

  17. Quasar says:

    Am I the only one who immediately wanted to boot up Far Cry 2 when I read about the mechanic of having to look down to see the map?

    For an average FPS, that game had a great sense of place.

    • Premium User Badge

      dangermouse76 says:

      No you are not. I really want to make a minecraft mod with lions and elephants and such. Camp-fires would be great also and Jeep and a…..I could go on.

    • mcwill says:

      Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

    • Premium User Badge

      dangermouse76 says:

      @mcwill

      I would love it if you had random elephant charges through your encampment, Baobab trees would be cool to. Lakes with crocodiles in them. A Hippo !!

      Endless possibilities.

  18. mcwill says:

    I’m… unsold. I don’t really like the idea of having to hold the damn map all the time, and it’ll remove all of the fun of getting monstrously lost and having to find somewhere high up and spot my glowing watchtower in the distance to find my way home. I can always ignore it the same way I do compasses, I suppose.

    I shall remain more than happy with my shiny new minecart track additions from the last update plus some bugfixes.

    • Clean3d says:

      Perhaps someone will make a mod that removes maps and compasses.

    • mcwill says:

      The thing about Minecraft is that it’s the easiest thing in the world to ignore game elements that don’t fit with your playstyle – just don’t make ‘em. So I save my redstone for other uses and avoid making compasses like the plague (except in SMP where getting lost can result in me letting someone down). I’ll probably do the same with maps. No biggie, just not my bag.

  19. Jesse L says:

    Much more fun (and useful) than watching my new wolf friend torture himself to death over miles of uneven terrain.

    I had to quit that world before he died.

    And I had a natural lava fall outside my house and everything!

  20. MrWeed says:

    I wonder if it will be possible to somehow stack the maps…
    If I craft 3 maps for 3 different regions and one map that is zoomed out all the way for better orientation, then I don’t want to sacrifice 4 inventory slots for this… Maybe it would be cool if you could stack them and then use the mousewheel for switching between the different maps you got while you are holding them.

  21. squareking says:

    Predictable band:

  22. Daniel Klein says:

    The “cart before the ography” line made me close my eyes and silently, slowly shake my head. At work. People don’t even comment on my mysterious behaviour anymore.

  23. Theodoric says:

    Woohoo! Maps in minecraft and a great song by one of my favourite bands! Unfortunately, even though this is the only YYY song everyone knows, it’s probably not even the best on the album. :/
    Really guys, buy Fever To Tell, it’s one of the best albums out there, without any songs that fall flat.

    I wonder what the materials will be for making this map, though. Hopefully it’s just paper and ink.

  24. MordeaniisChaos says:

    ….full page ads :(

    But this looks awesome! This is one of those things I’ve wanted for a while. Existing map mods are cool, but this looks way better.

  25. Shiny says:

    I think “Scroll with the changes” would have been a better headline. Then you could post an REO Speedwagon song too.