Minecraft To See “Experimental Gameplay”

By Jim Rossignol on June 28th, 2011 at 7:00 pm.


Notch has previously mentioned that he’d like to have “monster towns” in Minecraft, but today he described what he’s expecting to put into the 1.8 update as “npc villages”. I’d imagine these will be much the same thing, but perhaps the idea has moved on and we’ll get more than just a monster hub? Interesting possibilities there. If survival mode is missing anything, it’s someone to trade your crafted wares with. It’d be really something to be able to trade up a load of lesser resources for diamond or something. Notch’s teaser post also mentioned that 1.8 will contain “at least one new mob, some interesting new combat mechanics, a new lighting engine… interesting farming, bigger incentives to explore.”

It’s looking like quite the update, but is clearly going to take some time to appear, too.

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67 Comments »

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  1. TillEulenspiegel says:

    Looks like the development slowdown while setting up the business is finally over. First pistons, now much much more. Good to see.

    a new lighting engine

    Hopefully it’s not as dark as the current smooth lighting.

    • Mctittles says:

      I’ve heard Valve has released a video of Half Life 3. They were showing off how they figured out the mechanic of opening and closing doors. All you can do currently is open and close doors (does not work in multiplayer), but they are planning much more things like being able to fire weapons and possibly jump.

      You can pre-order the game unfinished to see the new door technology or go to Half-Life Con for $99 to see a live demo.

    • Glen Moyes says:

      Actually from the underground ravine screenshot I think the new lighting engine incorporates colored lighting.

    • James says:

      @Glen Moyes

      If Notch is to be believed, it’s “warm” colors and “cool” colors only (orange and blue tints).

    • MadTinkerer says:

      “Looks like the development slowdown while setting up the business is finally over. ”

      That ended a while ago. 1.6 was a huge update: bugs don’t fix themselves, you know.

    • Kaira- says:

      @MadTinkerer
      Nor do bugs just appear. If I counted correctly, 1.6.x-updates had: 27 (1.6.0) + 13 (1.6.2) + 2 (1.6.3) + 38 (1.6.4) + 25 (1.6.5) + 5 (1.6.6) = 110 new bugs (if patch notes are anything to go by) compared to 110 + (1.6.0) + 1 (1.6.1) + 1 (1.6.2) + 3 (1.6.3) + 1 (1.6.4) + 13 (1.6.5) + 5 (1.6.6) = 134 bug fixes, some of which would seem to not actually been fixed.

      Then again, 1.6 did bring some nice features to game, but still, the amount of bugs they were able to generate is ridiculous.

    • steviesteveo says:

      I was shocked how buggy my server was after the 1.6.x updates.

  2. treat says:

    Better not take too long to appear. This game is supposed to be completed in the fall, isn’t it? *scoff*

    • Premium User Badge

      frymaster says:

      it’s supposed to reach release quality in November, yes.

      At the moment I believe the idea is to still add content after release, but in less of a “let everyone find the bugs for us” kind of way. (They’ll have an “unstable” release track for that, so more “let anyone who wants to find the bugs for us”)

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I think he said something along the lines of a delay to that 11.11.11 release date

    • thegooseking says:

      As far as I’m aware, that delay is on the order of about a week or so and is more to do with finding a venue for the launch event than it is anything to do with the game.

  3. Tei says:

    “Already implemented are new complex terrain features”

    Sand could work like a liquid that you can walk into, that would look cool :3
    Fire was a interesting mechanics for adventure maps, making fire less fierce was (probably) bad for adventure maps. “Burn this cloth” was a interesting mechanic for adventure maps.

    “, at least one new mob, ”

    A scarecrow could be look. a inmobile enemy that follow you wen you are not looking at him. Somewhat like that “Creepy Watson”.

    “some interesting new combat mechanics, ”

    Grenades of slime?

    “a new lighting engine,”

    I think he decoupled day light and other light types, so re-lighting will be less often, and faster.

    ” and some experimental new gameplay ideas. To come is more interesting farming, bigger incentives to explore, and npc villages.”

    yay!

    • Icarus says:

      “A scarecrow could be look. a inmobile enemy that follow you wen you are not looking at him. Somewhat like that “Creepy Watson”.”

      Don’t blink, Tei… Whatever you do, don’t blink…

    • Duckee says:

      Jeb stated during Dreamhack that the new combat mechanics will be in the nature of having critical hits, and jumping (falling) onto enemies whilst hitting would do extra damage. So far, nothing really interesting about this.

    • gwathdring says:

      Reply fail.

  4. msarge says:

    This update should finally make Minecraft more of an actual game.

  5. timmyvos says:

    Minecraft: now getting actual gameplay!

  6. BurningPet says:

    I might buy Minecraft if he does that right.

  7. jonfitt says:

    Excellent!

    However I would temper your expectations as to what an npc village might be. I’m sure we can all talk for ages about what it could be, but keeping it within the scope of what we’ve already seen, I expect it to be randomly occurring auto generated buildings containing people mobs who do nothing except switch from friendly/hostile depending on some simple factor. Perhaps there will be chests in the town to rob, or a simple trade screen.

    If it’s any more than that I would treat it as a pleasant surprise.

    • Ateius says:

      Are you referring to that one mod that adds in NPC villages? The NPCs in that actually build their structures (to a preprogrammed plan of course), it’s not random-gen. I wouldn’t be surprised if Notch has partnered up with that modder to incorporate it properly into the game, it looked quite grand.

  8. Coins says:

    I just hope it doesn’t make it a complete RPG. I relaly hope he doesn’t. What I love about Minecraft is the sheer ability to create stuff, which is why I’m so excited for pistions. If he would add more mechanical things, that’d be lovely, and I wouldn’t have to use mods!

  9. Hoaxfish says:

    next stop Hellgate: Minecraft

  10. Bilbo says:

    All I want in Minecraft is some terraria-style endgame stuff to do. At the moment, other than building giant monuments to vanity and doing things for the sake of doing them there’s not a lot to do

    • mwoody says:

      Meanwhile, I would like to see Terraria get the endgame Minecraft has, as once you’ve gotten as powerful as you can, the game loses its impetus.

      The problem with focusing on the “game” aspect (and making progress follow you between worlds, I guess) is that the game will eventually end, leaving only the sandbox. In the long run, the better sandbox will always win.

    • skinlo says:

      I disagree, I don’t want end game. I want to be able to come back and keep building bigger and bigger ideas!

    • Bilbo says:

      I hear what you’re saying – just not at all convinced by your hypothesis that sandbox gameplay is automatically superior to traditional gameplay. I agree Terraria doesn’t have as much “building for vanity” to do as Minecraft does – by simple virtue of being 2D, I suppose – but I don’t agree with, know of any evidence to support, or see any direct reasoning to support your hypothesis.

    • skurmedel says:

      I am enjoying the building. I bought Terraria, but I think the building is all too fiddly. It would be nice with NPCs of some kind though. People to inhabit your giant creations.

    • jonfitt says:

      I don’t want boss monsters, but I would like more extremely loose “goals” you have the goal of mining obsidian to create portals, taming a wolf, and creating a mine-cart system etc. More of that stuff.
      Treking across huge distances to find the edge of the world (not the unreal edge that you have to cheat to get to) would be cool. Or getting to the Skyworld Notch tweeted about.
      Or he could add deliberate unique environment occurrences like a fountain that rains gold, or a cavern of polished diamond, or buried tombs. Maybe your map doesn’t have one, you’d have to go exploring.

    • Mistabashi says:

      Personally I think what’s needed more than anything is more reasons to actually go out and explore the world. Whether that be for the purpose of an overall narrative/plot, or just to find certain resources that are only available in specific places I don’t mind. I’m not personally interested in there being an “endgame” as such, but often sandboxy games are improved by having a little bit of direction, to give you some implied measure of ‘progress’.

    • steviesteveo says:

      Yeah, the problem is that currently one part of your minecraft world is the same as all the other parts and there’s no reason to move around: you can mine, craft and build where you already are just fine.

    • gwathdring says:

      That’s exactly the situation I’m in. Once I built a bed-rock mine I really lost a need to adventure. It was so easy to screw up and die and lose a bunch of stuff without actually giving me anything new. I found wolves, which was great. But now that I have a pack of them I don’t need to venture out much. I stay near my home, fighting monsters, digging and building. And it’s fun. But I really enjoy the basic atmosphere and mechanics of exploring in Minecraft when I go out there … I just don’t get much of a reward for the risk and often don’t find much of any interest. When I did come across great terrain features that were reward in themselves … before the map update I could usually never return to them which made it a somewhat bittersweet experience.
      I think a there are some simple things that would go a long way to making exploration last longer.

      Making certain precious resources significantly more common in different biomes, or further away from the spawn point, adding biome-specific mobs and a few more types, and adding some really intersting resources that require exploration to find, sort of like the things you find in dungeon chests. Special building materials, better than special items so they remain important and tantalising after you find a bunch of chests/villages/ruins or wherever these resources exist.

    • Premium User Badge

      soulblur says:

      One nice thing to borrow from Terraria would be how NPC villages are constructed: build a house of pre-defined size, give it a piece of furniture, a door and a light source, and accomplish a goal, and the NPC moves in automatically.

      I would also like to be able to make shields.

  11. James says:

    “If survival mode is missing anything, it’s…”

    Most of the stuff he blogged/tweeted would be in the game before release. :P

    Whatever, though. At this point I’m glad he’s even working on anything. Looking forward to the nerfed mod…sorry, update, on Thursday as well.

    • theallmightybob says:

      I would like to see a version of most popular mods that is intregated so they dont fully break every update. case in point runecraft, its a pain in the ass to have to wait for that to update sometimes.

  12. matty_gibbon says:

    I believe Notch has already spoken about npcs as a way of dishing out missions. No doubt this is the purpose of the villages. If I remember correctly npcs will have to be in the style of the rest of the game – i.e. Not like the player, to keep the feel of being somewhat alone in a wild place.

  13. metalangel says:

    Our server has a huge city… if these so-called NPCs could be coaxed to live in the buildings (perhaps by a special object or block you place to mark their “home”) it would be great.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Rinox says:

    I hope I can massacre these NPC towns and villages by engineering massive floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and/or brush fires.

    That’s what everyone does, right? Right?

    • Kaira- says:

      Well duh, it’s obvious. You first wall them into a bowl, and then build an aqueduct to channel water/lava/both/creepers in there, and then watch as the chaos unfolds.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      You gotta think with pistons… undermine the whole village with a layer of pistons, then start bouncing the whole area up and down like an earthquake simulator

    • Sassenach says:

      You people are crazy!

      You make a mob grinder to automatically process the villagers for their loot. Very profitable.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I wonder if you can teleport NPCs into the abyss and then destroy the gate. That would be my preferred method.

    • gwathdring says:

      And after we just told off Mr. Yee.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      And then you open the floodgates… and the water moves three blocks. :p

  15. gulag says:

    What is the seed for the map in that image? The world must know!!!

  16. pipman3000 says:

    sorry guys i just got off the phone with the notch and the adventure update has been delayed until patch 2.0 but 1.9 will introduce hats to make up for it.

  17. Jhoosier says:

    I like the idea of npc villages, but I don’t want them all over the place. Perhaps they could only appear on flat plains (where a space large enough is available, just flatten it and slap down a square with randomly arranged buildings).

    The idea above, about unique events would be pretty cool to try to find also. I’d love to find a golden fountain and build a minecart system connecting my spawn/base to it and an npc village.

    Given the procedural nature of the game, I wonder how they’d implement quests beyond “bring me 20 roast pork”. It seems like M&B would be the template for this, the quests were mostly fetch quests, some of which were impossible (“bring me a lord to ransom for my brother” when I’ve got 20 men).

  18. MythArcana says:

    Well, gee. The game has been in experimental status for two years now, so I’m wondering what the difference would be. One way to get some development done over at Mojang, though, would be to email every other developer on the planet and tell them not to release any more games for the year.

    It’s always a good thing to test out competition and get ideas from other games, but playing every single game that has come out since 2009 is a bit much. I’ll be looking forward to the final MC release sometime around 12/12/12…but that is being extremely optimistic.

    • Coins says:

      Hey, do know you don’t have to read posts that do not overlap with your intrest or enrage you? Just a tip.

    • theallmightybob says:

      I work 40 hours a week and still manage to get atleast 3 hours of playing games a day most of the time, Why cant notch? oh wait thats right your just angery or something.

    • The Sentinel says:

      Warning: Minecraft Troll. Please Do Not Feed.

  19. InternetBatman says:

    Minecraft doesn’t have game play? Seriously? What have I been doing in it for the last couple months?

  20. AgamemnonV2 says:

    What good is new gameplay if you STILL don’t have an in-game tutorial? Getting friends into Minecraft is one thing–having them lose interest at the beginning because the game doesn’t even hint what you’re supposed to do, followed by me telling them they have to sit down and watch some YouTube videos for a half hour, usually ends up with them saying, “Meh, I’ll get to it later.”

    The one most important aspect of the game and it’s still not here. Christ, even games in early friends and family testing have tutorial sections.

    • gwathdring says:

      I thought the achievements tried to do that. I haven’t paid attention to them yet since I already learned everything … anyone who has have input on their teaching potential?

    • theallmightybob says:

      yeah the current achievements layout kind of works to teach people the basics, but needs some more work. right now its set up as a sort of step by step web with things linked to each other to get you going. punch a tree leads to make a work bench out of four plank and so forth.

    • Bart Stewart says:

      One of the reasons why I enjoy playing Minecraft in its current form is because it doesn’t presume to tell me what I’m “supposed” to do.

      I’m not an absolutist; I’d have no objection to there being a few in-game hints to first-time players of things they can do. But there are already plenty of games where the developer very clearly tells you how you’re “supposed” to play. Today’s games signpost everything with XP and phat lewt and glowing gold lines around key objects and exclamation marks inexplicably floating over the heads of NPC quest-givers so that no player is ever in a moment’s doubt as to what he is expected to do next.

      It’s fine that there are games like that. But it should also be fine that there are games that are about the joy of discovery and the intense pleasure that comes from figuring things out for yourself.

      Minecraft as it is now is one of the rare games that enables exploration and discovery by trusting players to work out the rules of the world for themselves. It would be a shame if the upcoming patches unnecessarily tack on unavoidable “adventure” features that take away what makes Minecraft special.

    • edit says:

      Funny, my first experience playing minecraft was pretty bewildering as well for one specific reason – Coming from every other first person game where you click once to punch or fire etc, I had no idea you had to hold down the mouse button to break things. I figured the landscape must be indestructible until you have the right tools.. but how to find them? I ended up collecting some blocks from sheep and making a little cloth platform atop a mountain that I could retreat to at night. In some ways that was one of my favourite minecraft experience, as I felt entirely vulnerable and like I actually had to be resourceful to survive. Once I figured out the basic mechanics survival is practically a non-issue, unless you actively put yourself in harm’s way.

  21. SquareWheel says:

    Mob Villages have been confirmed for at least a year now.

  22. Mikko-Pentti Einari Eronen says:

    How would it work if it would courage you to venture further and further by generating the world and content so that the further you go, the more “special” and unusual mobs/minerals/stuff you can find?

    The place you spawn would only provide the basics and then you would have to travel and discover to find more special reagents.

  23. Uglycat says:

    So it’s Minecraft:Daggerfall now is it?

  24. aircool says:

    Can’t wait for this update. The MMO guild I belong to is planning ‘dungeon keeper’ style scenario’s where one of us builds a dungeon, with traps and mobs, whilst the other folk (using limited resources that are agreed on before the challenge) have to make their way to the centre of the dungeon and kill the Boss… ie, the person who designed the dungeon.

    Love this game soooooo much.

  25. Premium User Badge

    Chaz says:

    I wish he’d sort out the performance, which has just got worse and worse on my old P4 with each new patch. Even with all the setting right down I can hardly play it now, as it runs like a drunk pig wading through cold porridge. Perhaps not surprising when I see that it uses nearly 600Mb of my memory when it runs. For what is such a simple looking game it really is one hell of a system hog.

  26. DeanLearner says:

    I enjoy reading peoples comments about minecraft news stories more than I actually enjoy playing minecraft. Long may it continue!

  27. The Colonel says:

    Where should I go for lunch on taste london: Prezzo or S&M?

    No timewasters please.