Primitive Coding: Minecraft Busts Out A New Block

By Richard Cobbett on July 27th, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

What secrets are in the Cube? Even Peter Molyneux doesn't know. But nobody's going to try and sell you a $50,000 pick-axe to find out. Though if you'd be willing to pay $50,000, drop me a line and I'll give you my PayPal address and a great deal on a bridge I plan to try and sell you.

On the face of it, “game adds new block type” might not seem a big deal. When that game is Minecraft though, and that block is a fully-programmable one that lets server admins take control of their worlds, things get interesting very, very quickly.

Revealed by Jens Bergensten on his Twitter, this new block is primarily aimed at adventure worlds. Admins are the only ones who can place them, and imbue them with scripts – the basic example being handing a player 500 points for accomplishing something. That may sound simple, but lest we forget, this is the game whose playerbase routinely does stuff like recreating the whole of Westeros. You just know we’re going to see some impressive stuff here, especially when you factor in mods and groups of players willing to play by the rules of stuff like a Hunger Games recreation instead of having to be forced to be nice by a computer.

Hmm. Until people start playing with it, there’s not a lot else to say. So… semi-related, did anyone else ever feel slightly unnerved by that oddly dystopian Blockbusters intro? Seriously. An entire planet apparently on the brink of being annihilated by a supernova, seeking temporary solace at The Hot Spot, before returning to lives of being crushed by the all-consuming Blockbusters Corporation. A world of inequality, where two against one is not merely encouraged, but the law. Where giant shrieking hexagons attack out of nowhere, blocking any hope for freedom. A city where humour begins and ends with smirking while asking “Can I have a P please, Bob?” and is followed by savage beatings and life-long imprisonment in a gigantic hive on the orders of mighty Zeus, King of the Olympian Summer Games Gods. Truly, it is the Sodom and Gomorrah of pointless trivia; the Sin City of light entertainment.

Just me then? Oh. Well, at least we can probably agree this Minecraft thing is quite neat.

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56 Comments »

  1. sincarne says:

    So this will essentially let you DM your Minecraft world. Awesome. I look forward to swapping map-games with folks!

  2. Siegfried says:

    Does this mean we can have script for random dragon attacks or those skyrim maps

  3. BlackestTea says:

    The way you linked blocks, busting and blockbusters is… truly magnificent. Now I can’t wait for a minecraft movie simply titled “BLOCKBUSTER” it would be oddly appropriate. Much preferring the punning here to that of your KOTOR article, though :)

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      Wait for the headline that’s coming up in about 47 minutes…

    • neonordnance says:

      I’m just going to assume that Blockbusters is something untranslateably British, like Yorky bars (WHAT IF GIRLS LIKE IT TOO?), Panto (what is the national obsession with men dressed up as women?) and Beano (not even going to try to understand, like when my friend tried to explain bronies).

      When I think Blockbuster, I think movie rentals, snacks with no nutritional benefit whatsoever, and cheap third-party console gear. Got some great pre-owned Xbox games there after the 360 came out though.

  4. Highstorm says:

    At first I thought this was a programmable block for redstone circuits and I got ridiculously excited. Then I got a big sad…

    • Ritashi says:

      Why would you need a programmable Redstone block? You have *Redstone*.

      • Highstorm says:

        I don’t know how much you’ve played around with it, but wiring circuitry to do even basic things (like allowing two levers to open one door) takes up HUGE amounts of space with even the most compact designs. Half the challenge in making something like that is figuring out how you’re going to hide all the wiring.

        So it’d be downright amazing to have a circuitry block that you could put your redstone wiring into (on like an inventory grid), then simply place that single block to have it perform the operation.

        Instead of: 2x Lever -> Giant XOR gate wiring taking up an 8x8x4 grid -> Door

        It’d be: 2x Lever -> 1x1x1 Circuit block with XOR built inside -> Door

        • grundus says:

          It would be nice if there was a craftable transistor, which could then be used to craft logic gates, which could then be used to craft flip flops in a single block. The possibilities those would open up…

    • Zombie Jesus says:

      There’s a mod that does this called Computercraft.

      • LazyBoot says:

        Or you could use the mod redpower, it adds a lot of the logic gates as 1 block devices… And lets you place them and wiring on the walls

  5. LionsPhil says:

    No, you’re pretty much right with Blockbusters. But can you escape the tormentuous maze of Catch Phrase?

    Beware; lurking somewhere within its mocking walls lies the great and terrible Roy Walker, armed with unspeakable jokes. To so much as overhear a fraction of his punchlines is to be driven beyond the very limits of madness.

  6. mjig says:

    This may be the thing that brings me back to Minecraft. If modders are able to expand its usefulness even more, we may see the sort of living world that we originally envisioned before the Age of Vacations.

    No doubt that random enemy attacks and quests are what the game needs.

  7. Phantoon says:

    You’re not forced to be nice by The Computer. It’s just that people who aren’t nice are unhappy, and being unhappy is treason.

  8. pakoito says:

    You forgot version 0.00001 pre-alpha of the Minecraft API that revealed this week. Finally the game will be correctly moddable!

  9. Tei says:

    Obligatory

  10. MasterDex says:

    But..but…but Mojang abandoned Minecraft to make Scrolls? Wasn’t that the general opinion?

    Good to see the game still getting new content. I’ll be interested in checking this new block out. Hopefully with the API coming along, the modding community will go into fast-forward and we’ll start to see the real potential of the game being realised.

    • frymaster says:

      that was never the general opinion at all. There isn’t a single person working on Scrolls who’s ever worked on anything except scrolls; the only person to stop working on minecraft (Notch), isn’t working on Scrolls, and his departure from the project came at the same time as a vast increase in minecraft developers went underway.

      • MasterDex says:

        If it wasn’t the general opinion, it was certainly a popular one. A few months ago, you couldn’t visit an article about Minecraft without reading a bunch of people complaining that they’ve abandoned it.

        Also re: people working on Scrolls. Wasn’t the guy leading Scrolls development or that came up with the idea for it working on Minecraft up until Scrolls development began?

    • Mrs Columbo says:

      Yes. Porn.

  11. po says:

    Now if you could link a pair of these that are placed at opposite corners of a cuboid space, and use a script to set which kind of blocks can be mined/placed within that space, and by who, you’d have a very flexible way to lock off areas of maps (like an access control list), as well as come up with some interesting puzzles that work by limiting what you can use to solve them.

  12. DrGonzo says:

    That was maybe the best paragraph you will ever write Richard, made me laugh and then start dancing to the Blockbusters theme!

    It’s started again on ChallengeTV, and here’s the new intro.

    http://youtu.be/2-_ytxYSWzo?t=37s

    Yes that is a youtube video of a youtube video.

  13. mineshaft says:

    Just a reminder for the unplugged:

    Minecraft 1.3. is going to drop on August 1.

    http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Upcoming_features

    They are going to have WRITING in BOOKS.

    /hyperventilate

    • spectone says:

      And after 1.3 comes the even better version of 1.4 which has the killer feature of a modding API.

      Also notice that there are no longer two versions of Minecaft for the PC. Both the single and multiplayer versions are being merged, so development and bug fixing can go faster as hey only need to deal with one version.

  14. SiHy_ says:

    The pinnacle of dystopian Blockbusters humour was set by a man saying ‘orgasm’ instead of ‘organism’. He was summarily executed by Bob Holness on the spot.

  15. Leaufai says:

    This is amazing. It’s like I saw this being born. First Jeb posts a video of this guy suggesting all these things that would help custom maps, commenting that he’ll try to make this happen as he needed something to do to bridge the time till release of 1.3. A day later he shows us with a pretty much finished prototype.

  16. Sinomatic says:

    Watching the Blockbusters theme suddenly made me think that it sounds an awful lot like the Knightmare intro theme. Seems someone was waaaay ahead of me:
    Knightmare Remixed – Bluckbuster theme

    Blockbuster Remixed: Knightmare edition

    Seems they were both composed by the same guy.

  17. Monkeh says:

    Wth did I just watch?

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