Minecraft 1.1 And Much More For Mojang

By Adam Smith on January 13th, 2012 at 2:49 pm.

If numbers were always written in lava, mathematics would be more popular with youths.

This could be the year that Mojang stops meaning Minecraft and nothing but Minecraft. In an interview with Edge, CEO Carl Manneh says that there are two games in development that will be announced and possibly even be released as early as the first half of 2012. Minecraft creator Notch is working on one of these titles, having stepped back from lead development of his blocky baby. By my calculations – and keep in mind I haven’t checked in some time – it’s the first half of 2012 right now so that’s very exciting indeed. There is mention of a third title in the works, although that seems to be a more distant promise. Despite being released last year, Minecraft isn’t done either, far from it in fact. Update 1.1 landed yesterday and while I could tell you what it adds,there’s a funny video to do that for me.

If you can’t watch the video because you object strongly to British accents then you should be aware this post is written in refined Mancunian so there’s no escape really. Here’s the important changes though, in textual format:

- Bow Enchantments
- Golden Apple recipe
- New language translations.
- Slightly smoothed color transitions between biomes
- Reduced brewing time to 20 seconds
- Added spawn eggs to creative (the colors of the eggs even look like the mobs)
- Added world type options (currently only super-flat and default)
- Removed collision box from ladders
- Sheep eat grass and regain their wool

I’m pleased that sheep are being treated in a manner more befitting sheep, regrowing their wool and chomping on grass, but it’s not a huge update. If we receive new bits and bobs this regularly though, I’ll be a happy chappy. Scratch that – I’m already a happy chappy.

My thoughts now turn to what Mojang may do next, with all their games. Remember this news? I shall ponder things awhile and then say nothing until an announcement is made because who can truly know the minds of other men?

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65 Comments »

  1. Duckee says:

    I can’t help but think that Mojang will slip and fall, and indeed lose their focus, if they keep growing as fast as they have recently. I really hope Carl Manneh is a far-sighted business man with long term goals.

    • Lambchops says:

      Any indie dev about to expand would do well to look at the experiences of Introversion. Thankfully they seem to have got themselves more or less back on track but their past troubles are a cautionary tale for indie devs looking to grow bigger.

      Putting that to one side, I’m looking forward to seeing what they have in the works.

    • Sami H says:

      (wrong reply)

    • Kent says:

      I think that Notch simply started working on the game that everybody wanted… it were no secret! Everybody always wanted a game where they could manipulate the environment directly. It’s just that there is far too many lazy developers (or incompetent) so they’re just making standard fiction, which is far from what games can and should do.

      Now that Notch has done that he really don’t have anything else to do really. I know that nobody wants a computer card game, which is what I’m told that Scrolls is. If that’s what Notch thinks that Mojang should continue working on then he’s in for a serious disappointment.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I think right now Mojang has a problem in that they don’t seem to have a set business philosophy. Right now their only philosophy seems to be “listen to the community,” which is amazing for game support, but I don’t know if it will help them make future games from scratch.

      Then again, it’s not like I know any of this stuff; I’m just guessing.

    • Hendar23 says:

      Difference between Mojang and Introversion is Minecraft has generated an absolutely filthy huge pile of money. If they are smart with it, they don’t have to worry about any new games making a profit for about….oooooh….twenty years I’d guess.
      Lets see…when I bought it Minecraft was about $15..they have sold about 4.5 million copies…thats about $67million. (No idea home much he pays in tax….lets assume he’s in one of those friendly socialist countries that really likes to spread the wealth….70%? That leaves 20million ish) Thats enough cash for Notch to buy a mansion, a yacht, a sportscar and still have enough money to pay 20 decent salaries and rent office space for….a long fucking time.

    • Urthman says:

      You guys are talking like Mojang is a business instead of a hobby.

      It’s basically a club financed by a millionaire where Notch gets to hang out with some people he likes and make video games. If people want to buy them, great, but that’s not the point.

    • Duckee says:

      Surely these “club members” are interested in keeping their jobs, income, houses and lifestyle? It is a business, exactly in the same way Valve is. Notch did the sensible thing of hiring a CEO to run the company, but the question is if the CEO has what it takes. Either way he will be the one blamed if things fail.

    • CMaster says:

      @Duckee
      The point is that if all the club wants to do is carry on like things are, then they can probably keep this u for fifty years without selling any more games at all. And minecraft is still selling 8.5k copies a day.

    • ahluka says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they never make anything worth playing again.

      If I was in Notch’s shoes, well, I never would’ve started a company around Minecraft (I’m aware Mojang probably existed in some form beforehand, but let’s assume it didn’t). When the money pile hit a couple of tens of millions I would’ve scooped my share (most of it, because I didn’t start a company) and ran. Like a proper capitalist pig.

      OTOH, in a way I hope I’m eating these words a year or so from now. My cynicism needs taking down a few notches (see what I did there?).

    • darkath says:

      Wow, that’s an impressive bunch of pessimists we have there.
      1. Don’t diss a game you know nothing of (Scrolls)
      2. Don’t diss the CEO either
      3. Don’t diss notch for doing what he wants to do godammit.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      @Urthman
      This. Notch made minecraft because it was a game he wanted to make. He’ll keep doing games he wants to make whether they are mega-successes or not… if he was mainly after the money there are hundreds of ways he could monetize Minecraft in a more wily way.

      Edit: and I disagree with those who think Mojang grew too fast, saying that borders on idiotic. They’ve been selling Minecraft for several years and yet they just added a third programmer to the Minecraft team.

    • Kent says:

      @ darkath
      Dissing? Your statements sounds like something a child would have said. We’re merely criticizing the business side of Mojang. We have all seen computerized card games before like magic the gathering, yugioh and even pokemon. From a business standpoint they have low amount of success just because its already been done before.

      So Notch made a lot of cash? Good for him! He doesn’t want to develop any more ‘good’ games? Okay. Then that’s that. He can scuttle off and start a space program as far as I’m concerned. We don’t got anything against him, but he’s just not all that impressive.

    • Zakkeh says:

      @Kent. You really should stop saying that a card game is a bad game. It’s not a very popular form of game, but that doesn’t mean that no one wants it. There’s a market for everything.

      I’ll probably buy Scrolls because it sounds pretty awesome, and because it’s Mojang so will many Minecraft fans. The idea behind Scrolls is a boardgame on a computer, coming to life to fight. RPS has, in the past and now, been a fan of board games, so I’m not sure why you seem to hate them.

    • Kent says:

      I never said Scrolls would be a bad game, so… All I’m saying is that I don’t believe in Scrolls. A boardgame could take many different forms and as far as I’m updated on it, it sounds like a card game. Do I hate it? Not really. Don’t assume that I hate things I criticize. If I assume that ‘many’ (ie. an undefined amount that’s probably exaggerated) Minecraft players would buy Scrolls just because it’s Mojang… sure. I have been thinking the same thing myself, but I don’t think it’s that many and I don’t think the Minecraft playerbase is all that loyal.

      Partly because it has a number of casual players, but also because some of the decisions Mojang has done in the history of Minecraft, like messing up updates which bugs the game and never releasing mod support and sometimes dropping anticipated features in future updates.

      I think that most of the playerbase of Scrolls is going to be genuinely interested players from the get go of Scrolls development. If you’re claiming that the Mojang fans will be greater than that, then Scrolls as a game isn’t exactly carrying its own weight. Regardless… I don’t believe in Scrolls for the simple reason that it’s not popular.

      Now I’d by lying if I said there weren’t any personal preferences involved. Personally I have no interest in Scrolls. If I need a boardgame; I would dust off one of my own boardgames and play with my family. Many boardgames are a lot of fun but it also depends on what boardgame it is and if you’ve noticed: Many boardgames live on it’s coolness factor or simplicity. Making a computer RPG, even with cards, is neither. I guess the most promising feature would be to play online, but we’ve seen computer game boardgames before and… well Monopoly on PC never caught on like real Monopoly did… I mean not even close.

      But it is also a source of disappointment for me, albeit a minor one. It would have been nice to have Notch making some more popular or bigger types of games.

    • zbeeblebrox says:

      “When the money pile hit a couple of tens of millions I would’ve scooped my share (most of it, because I didn’t start a company) and ran.” – ahluka

      I just wanted to point out how bad this advice is. Sure, building a company for the sole purpose of selling it makes sense if you’re in the business of building up companies for the sole purpose of selling them, but if you aren’t, then doing so is stupid.

      First of all, normally this kind of practice is done by an owner with no creative stake – meaning when they sell it they move on, it’s out of their hands. You don’t create something profitable in order to sell it away. Either you contract others to make said product and then sell it AND them away, or you just don’t do it period. Notch not only had a creative stake, he had a HUUUUGE creative stake! So either he’d sell it and watch with frustration as another company completely misses the point and ruins his baby, or he’d sell it but find himself in a situation where he’s still under contract to work on Minecraft but no long has seniority in the decision making process. Basically a decision between Bad and Worse.

      And none of this even *addresses* the fact that Mojang is making more money, hand over fist, than they’d EVER receive from a buyout. This goes back to Justin Timberlake’s line in Social Network, “A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”

      And you don’t get a billion dollars if you’re in the business of selling companies.

  2. inertia says:

    Yes, but when are they going to finish that Scrolls game? Louis Letrush is still more Diglet than Imperial, and my poor mage’s head still disappears when she puts on her robe and wizard mask.

  3. Lev Astov says:

    I wouldn’t really call this update that regular, really. Little updates like this every other week would be awesome, or even every month if they really have that few people working on it. It’s been two months, though. But then, I’m totally over Minecraft now. Yep.

    *curls up in a corner and shivers*

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I think most people aren’t looking forward to frequent updates because of mod updating issues. I’d rather they’d release an update once every two or three months if not less frequently and cram everything they’ve done in that instead of giving us more smaller updates.

    • King Toko says:

      They are apparently doing regular updates but only releasing them in sections.

  4. kael13 says:

    This is probably the wrong place, but does anyone know how to do a clean update of a vanilla Minecraft server without losing the world you’ve already built?

    Last time it was more difficult than simply saving the folder named ‘World’.

  5. rustybroomhandle says:

    And now you can experience sheep in a way more befitting of sheep, in Welsh!

    • Lionmaruu says:

      This was cool, lots of people I know don’t speak English and the translations are really a helping hand sometimes, but I prefer keep playing in English somehow feels wrong seeing the objects of the game with another name ^^

      but the best was: Sheep eat grass and regain their wool

      I just spawned and sheared a bunch of sheep and watched them eating and being fluffy (blocky fluffy) again :)

  6. Bluerps says:

    Hm. When comes the update that makes the NPCs behave differently than the cows?

  7. RogB says:

    looks like more effort went into the trailer than the update.

    • mjig says:

      Yeah, really disappointed to see the way Minecraft has gone. I don’t mean that as entitlement at all, I got far, far, FAR more than $14 worth of game out of it. I just mean that it feels like the game has more potential than maybe any game I have ever seen, and for awhile there it looked like it was going to fulfill it, and then he started his company and it all fell apart.

      I would pay full price without question to see more frequent updates that add more real game mechanics, rather than a few cool blocks to decorate your house.

      Notch used to give us seecret Friday updates that had better content than this while doing his real job.

    • SquareWheel says:

      I think Jeb is putting more focus into polishing than adding features right now, which the game really did need. Language support, bug fixes, and (hopefully soon) a modding API.

    • Kaira- says:

      I thought they already ditched the idea of modding API, instead just opting to give the source code to modders.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      You trolling, or what? Just language support is a huge feature that must’ve required a ton of effort and coordination with the community to get all those translations in so fast.

  8. danimalkingdom says:

    Who could possibly object to our beautiful accents.

  9. Lev Astov says:

    I’m actually fairly certain that in 1.0 they stayed around. I remember exploring far and wide on my home server only to come back to base camp days later and find all the sheep I had sheared still standing around sans wool. It was annoying.

  10. Xocrates says:

    All of that was in place even before official release.

    EDIT: bah, ninja’ed

  11. Quasar says:

    [Ignore. Reply fail.]

  12. Quasar says:

    Yeah, I’ve been sharing a server with a friend for a good few months now, and if we wander back to our original spawn there are still naked sheep all over the place. I felt kinda bad, especially as it was right next to a snow biome. At least now they can get dressed.

  13. Persus-9 says:

    I miss Minecraft. I wish Mojang would get their act together on after sales support. Coming up to two months since I first logged a ticket with their tech support system and in despite three follow up e-mails to various address I still haven’t received anything more than an automated acknowledgement. I know that time took in Minecon, release and Jul but still. :-(

  14. bikkebakke says:

    schlå on kubar pa schvenschka

  15. Blundero says:

    Anyone else see the Amnesia monster/grunt in the face of the minecraft guy?

  16. InternetBatman says:

    I’m really happy with Minecraft now. I haven’t explored all the new dimensions and I think they’ve delivered a solid game. Unfortunately, it kept crashing for me after 1.0 (java running out of memory?) so I stopped playing. I hope they fix it, but I’ll be in and out either way.

  17. Beelzebud says:

    I hope they realize that not everything they produce is going to explode like Minecraft did. Outside of MC, I have no interest in anything else I’ve seen from them.

  18. Wulf says:

    I really can’t understand removing collision boxes from ladders. That seems to be fixing something fun just because someone views it as a bug. I really don’t understand why collision boxes would be removed from ladders, it seems silly, and it seems like it would make ladders even more difficult to use.

    That seems like a bad decision through and through.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      You could fall down a shaft and kill yourself by hitting the top of a ladder instead of being slowed down by it, among several annoying things. This change is definitely for the best.

    • Durkonkell says:

      I have fallen down a shaft and severely injured myself on a ladder hitbox as recently as three days ago*, so this change is welcome!

      *(And in the game)

  19. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    One of the consequences of this being in the game is that if you remove animals.. they won’t come back (quickly/at all). But hey, that’s why you can breed animals.

  20. JackDandy says:

    I can’t help but feel all these Minecraft “updates” seem kind of… Useless.

  21. King Toko says:

    You can change the language to pirate so that makes the game a lot better already. No seriously its good. You can “Play by yerself” for example.

  22. Yosharian says:

    So basically, Mojang releases an update that fixes a bunch of stuff that people were whining their faces off… and people whine their faces off regardless.

  23. metalangel says:

    The best thing about this update (apart from the fact it snows again if you’re in the appropriate biome and precipitation starts, more on that in a second) is that you can now essentially ‘fix’ any broken NPC villages you may have uncovered between their being made activate and the actual NPCs being added.

    We’re gleefully populating the vast city on our server as we speak, finally the place is alive.

    (Pumpkin people just didn’t have the same effect)

    However, the biomes are messed up. The icy area we have is very old, many versions ago, and the game has decided it will rain there. Meanwhile, a forest further away has snow falling on its green grass. Bah!

  24. PleasingFungus says:

    There’s been a golden apple recipe for over a year and a half.

    Hm.

    I’d like an update that got me playing Minecraft again, but this isn’t it.

  25. pakoito says:

    No mod API, just some easy to code random stuff. Again.

  26. passingstranger says:

    Still trying to wait for Zombie Horde mode. For me, that’s always where Minecraft has seemed to hold a lot of it’s promise and game-ness.

    • Mattressi says:

      Yeah, I wonder if they’re still planning to implement that. It was one of the things I most looked forward to. As others have said, I feel I’ve already easily got my money’s worth from the game, but I can’t help feel disappointed about how slow development seems to be going now and I’m worried that these brilliant ideas that I was waiting for will never be put in the game. At least this update is supposed to make the terrain a little more like the earlier versions of MC and less like the very flat, dull terrain of late.

  27. ScorpionWasp says:

    Any chance Notch will add a survival mode to Minecraft any time soon? As it stands, the “game” feels completely pointless to people who aren’t into playing with legos… it’s exasperating to see an engine with so much potential being used so poorly.

  28. TheGameSquid says:

    I’m fine with no features being added, but I’m not okay with the lack of bug fixes.

    As far as I can see, there is only one smallish bug-fix:
    “- Removed collision box from ladders”

    The Minecraft 1.0 release was now almost 2 months ago. This is what they came up with in that timeframe?

    I agree with everyone who says that the game has already given more than enough for that price. However, the developers themselves must realize that the game itself has SO MUCH potential that just hasn’t been realized. I don’t get how you, as a creator, just leave it like that, knowing how much more it could be.

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