Seeing Redstone: Mojang Details Minecraft’s 1.5 Update

By Nathan Grayson on November 27th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

BUSINESS.

While we slept off traditionally fatal turkey venoms or, you know, did non-festive things, Mojang took over Disneyland this weekend. No, no, Notch and co didn’t buy Disney (yet; that won’t happen for another couple years, at least), but they did host MineCon at Disneyland Paris. And though I imagine there was plenty of magic and childlike wonderment involved, they did – at certain points throughout the show – put on their business Mickey Mouse hats. Shockingly, Minecraft got the bulk of the attention during those rare instances, and 1.5 – now dubbed The Redstone Update – was the main attraction.

VG247 reports that it is – again, with a shock so powerful as to rival that of Zeus himself – focused primarily on Redstone, a mighty material that players have already used to pull of some rather impressive feats. Now, though, it’s getting variable strength, which will cause it to react only once a specific level of input has been met or exceeded. Taken in conjunction with a new capacitor block, this allows for advanced builds like weighted pressure plates and pressure-sensitive detectors.

The Minecraft maestros are also crafting better minecarts, daylight detectors that can be used to make what are essentially solar panels, and a bunch of bug fixes.

Beyond that, Mojang spoke a bit about the long-awaited modding API, which will get its own central add-on hub on Minecraft’s website. Anything will be free game so long as it involves adding or removing functionality, but altering the core game engine is a no-go.

The update’s going live in January, and the plan is to churn out more rapid, single-element-specific updates along similar lines after that. And then Mojang will buy Disney, obviously. But you already knew that. This will, however, open the door for Minecraft Lego Star Wars, which will immediately cause some form of all-consuming void to engulf the universe. So, um, just a heads up.

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43 Comments »

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  1. Grargh says:

    Astonishing read.

  2. Taidan says:

    Don’t forget to mention the Raspberry Pi port that will be appearing soon!

    Biggest news of the show for us fans of the pint-sized PC.

    • celozzip says:

      ah yes, raspberry pi, the “pocket-sized pc” with no screen, keyboard or mouse. buy a cheap old laptop off ebay, it’s more powerful, moddable and you don’t need to buy lots of extra peripherals to make it worthwhile. the pi is fine for hobby stuff like building a robot but anything else it’s worthless. cheap laptops or even tablets are a much better way to get kids into programming too which is what raspberry pi’s makers keep banging on about. anyway…

      • slight says:

        An old laptop off ebay isnt 30 quid and many wont be able to decode 1080p video (my old one cant). It’ll also be a lot larger and will draw a lot more power. My pi is driving my projector with a secondary XBMC install which pulls content from my primary xbmc (which outputs to the tv). Aside from HTPC stuff, price size and low power requirements make it appropriate for many things a laptop is no good for.

        • Liudeius says:

          I think you’re missing the point.
          You still need a screen, a mouse, a keyboard, and speakers to play Minecraft on the Pi correctly. Which means after saving a fortune on a new computer by spending too much money on a micro one, you have to fork out $300 for that 1080p display, $20 for an adequate mouse, $30 for a keyboard, at least $10 for ear buds. So basically in “saving money” you’ve spent more than a NEW (while crap) computer would cost (or a better used computer), and it still takes quite a bit of power to use those components.
          While I’m not familiar with the Pi, I have trouble believing it is anywhere near powerful enough to play Minecraft well.

          • Liudeius says:

            And after looking at its specs, you still need a hard drive, and a new CPU, and a new GPU, because there is no way you are running Minecraft properly on a 1 GHz processor.

          • Hairball says:

            Most likely you have a spare/old mouse and keyboard, a TV which probably has already has a HDMI cable, an SD card and a phone charger lying around. Most people will be able to gather together all these bits without having to spend any money.

          • Hairball says:

            Also it’s not running minecraft, it’s running a port of the mobile version. The port will “support .. multiple programming languages”, whether this means it will be open source or just have some functionality opened up is unclear but would be great for getting people into programming/programming for games.

          • Beelzebud says:

            So don’t buy one. It’s obviously not for you. However keep in mind, you are not everyone.

      • Premium User Badge

        wyrmsine says:

        the pi is fine for hobby stuff like building a robot

        I think I may have misunderstood you, as I’m under the impression that you’re complaining about a $30 robot-brain that runs Minecraft and plays HD video. Are your words from the future? Can I somehow prevent this jaded, joyless world-to-come?

        • roguewombat says:

          Hear, hear.

        • Sic says:

          I choose to believe he is joking.

        • Renton81 says:

          There’s no need to spend $30 if you don’t want to. There are many gaming sites that offers games free to their users just for being a member.

          A unique Gaming community site is giving out Minecraft Gift codes to all its users. They actually share their advertising revenue to purchase the codes from minecraft.net, so the more users they have visiting the more they can buy. You can also check their forums and see that there are thousands of other users, many posting screen shots of what they got in the “Look What I Got” section. Some of these posts go back 2 years so it’s a pretty prestigious site.

          Their main blog is here
          http://freeminecraftw.webs.com/

          It also highlights the complete process of how to get your Premium version of minecraft.

    • WhiteZero says:

      Of the Pocket Edition…

  3. John Connor says:

    Still no vertical redstone? Fuck’s sake.

    • derbefrier says:

      seriously….This would save so much time and space. As a guy who spends most of his time in minecraft designing redstone circuits this is still a pretty cool patch though. This will do cool things for automation.

    • Derppy says:

      Vertical redstone was already modded in, so I can’t see what’s the problem with implementing it.

      It makes so much more sense to put a wire on the wall, than make a torch tower or a staircase for it.

      • MrLebanon says:

        “why add it to the game! The modders do it better!”

        -_-

        Although I have to say…. I’m more interested in reading about tekkit/technic pack updates over minecrat updates since tekkit is SO MUCH BETTER.

        • Sic says:

          He is saying the exact opposite. People have already made the mod, therefore it should be easy to implement.

  4. HexagonalBolts says:

    Having now played minecraft with the ‘feed the beast’ mod pack (which has the delights of pipes which shoot items along them, machines, robots, an automatic inventory sorter, a minimap, a searchable compendium of recipes, portals to additional customised worlds and all sorts), I was wondering before why Mojang weren’t adding more complexity to the game, but now feel more like minecraft is being made into a sort of blank canvas for mod. Many of the logical routes of progression have already been taken by mods, and I expect they don’t want to just implement stuff mods have already created.

    • Chupacabra- says:

      The pistons they implemented in an update came from a mod.
      I wouldn’t be surprised certain elements of Feed the Beast will make it into the game eventually.

    • zbeeblebrox says:

      Moreover, one thing playing FTB has shown me is that adding tons of gameplay complexity – while fun – means an exponentially more opaque experience that all but requires lots of research on the player’s part. Not only are those kinds of additions unlikely, but they don’t really help the core game either.

      One thing I wonder about is how their proposed API will stack up against Forge (the API that the FTB mod pack uses, and many other mods). Forge is designed so that mods don’t need to modify base classes, or minimizes the need if it can’t be helped. That means it’s already kind of doing the “doesn’t alter the core game engine” thing for a majority of the mods that use it..

      • DerNebel says:

        Ill bet your mother that Mojang is going over exactly what Forge does and will incorporate or modify all the elements that they find useful. This will also make it easier to modify existing mods for the new API. They’ve done it before and Forge is already a brilliant API so I see no reason they wouldn’t use it. They have the rights and they’ve done it before.

        • themindstream says:

          This was brought up at Minecon’s mod API panel: Mojang won’t be using Forge wholesale, preferring to roll their own, but they are in communication with the Forge devs and sharing info over each other’s internal chat channels. This would seem to indicate that if you’re a mod dev currently using Forge, you will be in a decent starting position when it comes time to port to the official API.

    • Flavioli says:

      FTB got recommended to me but when I peeked at the trailer for it, it just looked like a spaceship mod and could not have possibly seemed less interesting. Upon looking a bit closer, it looks like… a modpack? Wouldn’t hurt to make it more clear that FTB includes stuff like Buildcraft and IndustrialCraft… the trailer video for it makes it look pretty lame, imo.

      • gjrud says:

        that’s probably because you watched the trailer for the custom map, not the modpack. Originally ftb was a (very) challenging map based on a very large pool of technical mods. The huge success of the map and some additional factors gave birth to the modpack.

  5. goettel says:

    Still no sign of anything like the (now long dead) Survivalism mod build-in ? *sigh*

    • zbeeblebrox says:

      If you play hardcore mode where it deletes the world on death, the experience basically *is* the Survivalism mod, sans the item and block additions. Food was switched to a hunger system, which has a hidden Saturation attribute that acts like “energy”, and there’s potions you can drink now.

      Also, there’s a thirst mod if you want that. Or just jump on MineZ and experience it without needing a client-side mod ;)

  6. Derppy says:

    Sounds fantastic.

    Minecraft was never a good RPG. The combat is crap, the progression is crap, the exploration is fun for a while, but gets dull with the default map generator.

    However, the game is a fantastic platform for building stuff, especially with other people. Projects like Minecraft Middle Earth are ridiculously impressive. Some consider it a waste of time, but it’s an awesome experience to see hundreds of people log in and start building something huge together. A city quickly rises from nothing, every building there is unique, carefully planned and made by a player.

    The built-in redstone system allows ridiculously impressive engineering, where people are able to build working computers within the game. With mods that offer programmable blocks and all sorts of industrial equipment, the engineering possibilities are vast.

    I like to think Minecraft as a mix of game and a platform for creativity/creation. It’s much easier to approach than CAD and 3D-modelling software, gives you real-time results and allows collaboration with hundreds of people, even complete strangers. I’m happy they didn’t focus on enhancing the RPG elements in this update, supporting modding and further enhancing the building and engineering capabilities is exactly what’s needed.

    Because the players seem to constantly hunger for more complexity and tools, I can’t help but to imagine that if someone creates a game with actual real-time, collaborative 3D modelling capabilities, we could end up with truly amazing creations. 3DS Max isn’t much fun, but if you make a game where you can place verticies around in game world and make edges and faces with hundred of other people and then paint the creations with brushes etc, you could get some extremely interesting results (among the thousands of very detailed penises)

    • DerNebel says:

      Minecraft was never about the RPG. The survival aspects are only there to make it all the sweeter when you’ve finally finished that awesome build you’ve planned for ages. Survival is creative mode with the challenge of gathering and making what you need.

      You really hit the nail on the head with your comparisons to existing 3d software. That is exactly what I see that Minecraft is about. Even the survival maps are often about exploring what has been built much more so than “playing the adventure”. Now, with the command blocks and anvils we are slowly getting to a brilliant hybrid of builder/survival/adventure in a single, blocky game.

      • UberMonkey says:

        I generally agree, but I did want to say: I still don’t think this excuses them from implementing a decent combat system, even if many players will see it as a background feature.

        I’m not talking about a redesign prioritizing RPG elements but I think making the basic combat feel “fun” would at least allow it to be a decent distraction. It doesn’t need to be deep, just get the combat to the level of a basic hack and slash adventure and you’ll have provided an entire second activity for players. As is combat is a sort of bouncy slap fight that’s an annoyance at best.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    Minecraft Reality is also a fantastic idea. I love the idea of going to a vantage point in a city, and loading up different people’s interpretations of the cityscape, or going to a secluded valley and finding that someone’s built a metropolis in it.

  8. Premium User Badge

    tomeoftom says:

    YES. YESYESYES. Mods and redstone. Good.

  9. niko86 says:

    Why doesn’t mojang stop making content and leave that to modders. Who make content faster, arguably better and more time to spend concentrating on specific areas.

    Thus freeing mojang to make it easier for modders and maybe tackle minecrafts terrible performance.

    • Toberoth says:

      *, who

      Also, if you have terrible performance in Minecraft I worry about what kind of PC you’re typing this comment on.

      • niko86 says:

        Corrected the whom to who, thanks.

        Regarding pc performance, my pc may not be the most cutting edge but its capable of running many pc games at an acceptable level. So its not purely my pc thats causing the performance issues. Minecraft is an unoptimised mess, blatant unscientific blanket statement I know.

        A game that many rely on mods like optifine to run well. Mojang should be either:

        a) supporting said modders better

        and/or

        b) doing something about the performance.

        Instead Jeb seems to be taking minecraft away from being a fun sandbox to evolving it into some gimped RPG.

        • MrLebanon says:

          have you tried out Optifine/optimine/whatever it’s called?

          I’ve got quite the juicy rig (not to pat myself in the back) but for whatever reason (minecraft hates my amd processor? I don’t know) I’d always get horrible stutters in MC.

          Optifine fixed it all :D

  10. El Stevo says:

    I really wish Mojang would forget about adding major new features for the time being and focus on the modding API. At the moment updates are a huge pain the arse for people who make mods or run servers, and people who play online or use mods have to wait for things to be updated (potentially for weeks) after updates. Not forgetting, of course, that once the modding API is released the modding community themselves will be able to take a lot of the burden of adding functionality.

    I’m also worried that this update will break existing redstone builds.

    • niko86 says:

      Exactly, the volume of content mojang add is insignificant compared to what the community offer. Every update without proper mod support just makes things difficult for everyone involved with mods.

    • Stuart Walton says:

      I sat in on the Modding panel and the API talk at Minecon and a few questions about how the API would affect the existing third party mod tools were asked.

      Ideally, the 3rd party API authors want their stuff to become obsolete. This isn’t going to be an overnight revolution. There are going to be things that the 3rd party tools do that the API will need to be updated for and there are other things that just cannot be done in the official API.

      The client-side code remains untouched. This doesn’t necessarily rule out ModLoader and Forge mods entirely, entity and block mods on the server get pushed to the client, but stuff like UI changes will still require 3rd party modding. It’s not just code either; sound and textures get sent to the clients too. Bukkit, being a purely server-side API should eventually evaporate and some of the Forge and ModLoader mods will be able to hop across with little effort.

      The best thing about the mods created in the new API is that they are packaged along with world data and don’t sit in the server folder. When you back up, move or install a world then you are also doing the same to the plugins and their config files. As someone who is invovled in hosting servers, this is going to prevent a lot of headaches for us and the players.

      The main reason for not having client-side core-engine modding is one of security. No-one wants to join a server and then have malicious code pushed to their client. However, I do hope that some client-side UI tools get added so that custom HUDs and Menus can be supported properly and not hacked together using world objects and command lines.

      As for the Redstone Update breaking redstone builds. It’s bound to happen, but only if you use obscure timing and orientation glitches to get your machine running. I personally try not to use the glitches because it doesn’t feel right and because it might get patched later. So my stuff is often a hulking mass, but a stable hulking mass.

  11. purdz says:

    Probably a good time to remind people that there is a great minecraft server run by fellow RPS’ers

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?86-The-(unofficial)-RPS-Minecraft-Server-Thread-III

    All the info is there on how to join and with a recent map extension there is plenty of space to start your builds.

    Enjoy a live map to have a look around at what is already there.
    http://urps-minecraft.co.uk/map/

  12. jrod says:

    Any redstone nuts should check out http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/365357-125-eloraams-mods-redpower-2-prerelease-5b2/

    you get all the logic gates necessary to build complex circuits in single block form!

  13. Pkmario1985 says:

    Hey, I’ve just received a free Minecraft Giftcode!
    You can get one too!

    >> minecraftcodes.me <<