Not To Be Confused With Molyjam: Mojang’s Mojam 2

By Alec Meer on February 20th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

Notachalade

As we all know, the free-to-play Facebook game Minecraft 2: Steve’s Magic Garden launches its Kickstarter on Christmas Day this year, published by Activision, funded by the Bulgarian mafia and available exclusively on Origin. But given that’s just a reskinned FarmVille clone that they’ll knock out in five minutes, what are Minecraft-makers Mojang spending their time doing in the meantime?

One of those things is their second Mojam, wherein the Scandi-devs splinter into small groups, rope in famous friends such as Vlambeer, Wolfire and Grapefrukt, and frantically try to make new, teeny games within a strict time limit. Humble Bundle are once again in on the act, with a pay-what-you-want deal for the resultant games, all proceeds going to good causes. By which I don’t mean another platinum hat and diamond-tipped beard-trimmer for Notch.

The jam kicks off at 9AM PST/5PM Imperial British Regal Time today, and runs for 78 hours, wrapping up 3PM PST/11PM IBRT this Saturday. You’ll be able to watch a free livestream of the whole shebang here once it kicks off.

The full list of devs involved is Mojang, Grapefrukt, Ludosity, Oxeye Game Studio, Vlambeer, and Wolfire Games. There’ll be some manner of concept for the jam, which has yet to be announced, but frankly I’m confident that the studios involved can turn out some pretty neat/insane stuff based on any suggestion.

All proceeds go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and youth scheme Block by Block, with donors splitting their payment as they see fit. Mojam 1 raised $400k, and hopefully this one will do better.

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35 Comments »

  1. pakoito says:

    Can Oxeye make a game in 78h?

  2. Danny252 says:

    Henceforth, one shall be setting all of one’s timekeeping devices to Imperial British Regal Time.

  3. Zarf says:

    That opening paragraph is at once the most enraging and hilarious thing I’ve read in months. Thanks, Alec. This is *precisely* why I read RPS.

  4. StranaMente says:

    Serious question, what did Mojang do apart from minecraft?

    • Randomer says:

      Some might make a snarky comment about Skyrim. I will let that opportunity pass by and say that they are still working on a tactical card game called Scrolls.

      • Inzimus says:

        anyone remember the last Mojam? and all the great games that came of it?

        • Liudeius says:

          I presume you are being sarcastic…
          Wolfire is the only one that actually seems to know what they are doing (or rather does what they are doing well) based on the last game jam.

          As for Mojang, they’ve not done anything other than Scrolls yet considering Minecraft was Notch pretty much alone.
          But just because they’ve never proven themselves beyond the lucky success of Minecraft doesn’t mean all the Notch hate is warranted.

          • rb2610 says:

            I actually thought Mojang’s contribution to the last Mojam was quite good, aside from a major bug that caused it to crash.

          • Inzimus says:

            Scrolls doesn’t really seem to be anything but Magic the Gathering with added fluff – but hey, who knows it might just be the next big hit

            there’s just something appalling about Notch and the way he has treated his community (and especially us alpha-.funders) that truly irk me and the fact that he has been made up to be ‘The True Face of Indie-gaming’, when in reality all he did was reinvent LEGO

            I appreciate the effort of bringing more money to charity, but it feels more like a publicity-stunt than an actual charity-event and if last years ‘game’ is any indication of his true skills, then there s little hope left for him, once he runs out of money

          • theleif says:

            @Inzimus says:
            “there’s just something appalling about Notch and the way he has treated his community (and especially us alpha-.funders) that truly irk me”

            Yeah. How dare he sell a game for 10$ and then continue to update it for years?
            It’s appalling, and I’m frankly disgusted by the fact that a game I bought cheap during pre alpha didn’t end up exactly as was planned. It is shameful! How can it be that every idea one had during development does not make it into the final product? Shame on you Notch.
            Shame on you.

          • rhynie says:

            @theleif

            What kind of argument is that? Notch sold the alpha funders on a Kickstarter-like idea. Then after making 10 million, he decides to throw a party and puts a single person to finish the game while he plays Skyrim. All the while, login servers are consistently down, the forums a mess, and no love given to the modders trying to finish the game for him (every bugfix breaks mods yet again).

            When it was finally released as 1.0, over a year later, it was still a buggy mess, little different than it was after biomes were added, with a mockery of RPG elements thrown in, with towns hastily placed half in the air, half under water. Half-assed all the way.

            I still wouldn’t call the current game anywhere near “finished”, not in any way the alpha funders were led to believe during the Summer in 2010, or the flurry of promises that followed the whole Paypal fiasco. I feel embarrassed for how many people I got to buy the game that Fall. I sold them on the idea I was being sold. I was a good little viral marketer for Notch, and frankly, I feel betrayed. I am not the only one.

            Where is the Kickstarter for a complete voxel creative/artistic/second-life sandbox world? The Internet should throw money at that. Out of the money Notch sucked in, there could have been ten teams with ten million each, I bet every single one of those would have exceeded the potential that Minecraft ended up with. At least there would have been more than one person working on them for years.

          • wu wei says:

            I’ve sunk several _hundred_ hours into Minecraft & its mods. For the $10 I spent as an “alpha-funder”, I’m more than satisfied, and find complaints like yours to be the pissy whining that tars PC gamers with the “entitled” brush.

            What were you expecting? That by 1.0 it would fellate you?

          • Mrs Columbo says:

            Oi, wu wei: although I agree with your points there’s no need for that kinda chat. Do it in a civilised way, okay? This is RPS.

            The boiled-down argument made by rhynie that Minecraft could’ve been so much more if someone else had done it is flawed in a pretty obvious way.

          • rhynie says:

            Well, I paid 10 Euros, not 10 Dollars. I am fairly sure everyone else did at the time too. That was more like 14-15 Dollars with exchange fees.

            What annoys me about how Notch handled his success, was when he was given tens of millions to do this project (to do it right), he rushed a few half-assed ‘features’ that no one asked for, and later worked on something else entirely, set only a single person to work on Minecraft, and continued to jack up the price for newcomers. I don’t know if this ever changed, but when it was Beta, it was assumed you’d have to also buy 1.0 once that came out, because you wouldn’t get future updates after that point. You were supposed to pay 15 Eruo for the Beta, and 20 Euro for 1.0. All this after Notch basically won the lottery. How am I to interpret his actions, as an Alpha funder? Do I not get the right to complain? Am I suddenly too entitled to call out someone else’s greediness? I convinced a dozen or so people to buy the game in Alpha, they convinced yet more people during Beta to get it. All those second degree buyers had to also shell out for 1.0 because they still play the game (mostly children of the first degree buyers).

            I believed this game could have been more. I thought throwing money at it would make that happen. At least the modders do a good job, but they still got shat on every time there’s an update, gotta redo mods again, “but I hear the API is coming next update, serious this time!”.

            I know many others that do the modding thing, and I have had to tell many of them their worlds were lost due to an update. Some mods never get updated, sometimes you cannot get an earlier version of Minecraft and make that work. Sometimes if you load your modded world after an update, it become irreparable. Even today, you still have to resort to copying directories and creating batch files in order to play multiple versions. I’m not going to play at Minecraft Support for all the people I got into the game. I’m sure the people running the Wiki got sick of paying for bandwidth after Notch made several million. The official forum is a mess, requiring modders to host their own mods, usually on some malware-laden ‘free’ site. Why the hell isn’t there an official portal for uploading Minecraft mods? Oh yeah, Notch is greedy, he won’t use ‘his’ money to do any of this right.

            Thinking back on it, he couldn’t be bothered to solve the issues with the login servers. Millions of dollars, and he couldn’t throw any of that at that problem, to even allow people to play the game. All throughout the end of 2010 and most of 2011, you didn’t know if you would even be able to play that evening. Oh, but it was ‘DRM free’.

            In retrospect, I’d rather Minecraft never happened, and see that 100 million go towards Kickstarter projects. The Internet would have seen a hell of a lot more out of that. Argue what you will about the inability for anyone else to make another Minecraft (I don’t agree, look at the modders), but you cannot say that 100 million in projects wouldn’t produce more, and even some better games than what 100 million supposedly bought with Mojang.

            I’m disappointed and inconsolable. Every now and then I find a fellow Alpha funder that seems to think the same way, and I’ll always come to defend when the inevitable argument from a fanboi shows up “you paid 10 bux, you have no right to complain!”.

          • theleif says:

            Of course you have the right to complain, and of course there are things that need to be improved in the game. Things like modding support, half implemented features and bugs. But you know the game is still being patched and expanded to this day. What you seem to forget is that this is and was a one man project and at no time did he commit to use all his funds to Minecraft. I think he seems to be spending his money well, making 2 new games and funding AoW III. It is his project and he is free to do whatever he wants with it. Just because you want a feature does not mean he should put it in. And really, if you buy any game during alpha you buy on faith and should expect things might not turn out exactly the way it’s planned. I thought that was obvious.
            And I paid 10€ as well, but you know, 10€ = 10$ is how it is in almost every case so… And what is this about having to pay for 1.0? I’ve paid once and have never had to pay again. I have really no idea what you are talking about. Have you even looked at the game in the last 2 years?
            Your argument that Minecraft should never have happened doesn’t even make sense. If anything, his success has led to more indie games being funded and published, not less. He (of course not only he) basically brought the indie scene to the attention of the “main stream” gamer.
            I’m not a fanboi by any means. I like the game, but I’ve not played it that much. What bothers me (and many others) is not that you complain, it’s that your complaining is way out of proportions. And yeah, saying you feel betrayed, speaking about the Notch’s greed and being inconsolable when you talk about a 10€ indie game does make you look kinda silly.

          • rhynie says:

            “And I paid 10€ as well, but you know, 10€ = 10$ is how it is in almost every case so… And what is this about having to pay for 1.0? I’ve paid once and have never had to pay again. I have really no idea what you are talking about. Have you even looked at the game in the last 2 years?”

            At the time, a Euro was $1.40. Having to use Paypal to purchase the game, they would tack on an additional %5 for kicks, and then apply an additional fee on top of that for conversion, so it was more like $1.50. Hardly equal, okay, do you understand currencies? The Euro has only ever dipped near $1.22 once since then and has averaged more like $1.33.

            And you are wrong, if you missed getting the game during Alpha, and bought the Beta version after December 20 2010, you were told, by Notch, that you would only get updates through the Beta, and need to buy 1.0 when it comes out. If you showed the game to anyone during Beta, or bought it as a gift for someone, that person is still playing in Beta 1.8.2, unless they pay a little less than $30 for 1.0. Mind you, this was just before the holidays, so many gifts given during that time, were of the Beta, and in reality, you were really just giving Notch a gift of a future purchase at full price.

            The game is really, truly, not that different since the Beta started, unless you consider eating a big change. A few weeks ago I spent about 10 hours in official 1.4.7, and on the wiki going through new stuff since official 1.1 (have a heavily modded 1.1 world I still play in). There really hasn’t been many changes, and something like ExtraBiomesXL still hasn’t been integrated into Vanilla. Still not a whole lot of creatures, the world still feels and looks as dead and computer generated as it was in Alpha. Villages are still an eyesore, mineshafts are still a clusterjam of straight lines. I mean seriously, if you are going to generate mineshafts, the least you could do is have them there because someone or something was mining something, not just bare rock and illogical tunnels that connect to nothing. Is the Minecraft Engine not capable of procedurally generating something that isn’t half-assed? Could a tiny fraction of the huge pile of money go towards revamping that?

    • pakoito says:

      Minecraft Mobile, Xbox, 0x10c, fund Cobalt and AoW3, and fuel Notch’s Maslowian needs.

    • Mrs Columbo says:

      @ StranaMente

      To answer your question, Mojang have, to my knowledge, only made one game of repute, Minecraft. The cultural impact of that and the associated curiosity about what its founder, Notch, will do with his unprecedented wealth (announced projects notwithstanding) contribute to the interest in the company’s activities.

  5. jaguar skills says:

    “famous friends such as Vlambeer, Wolfire and Grapefrukt”

    Oh yeah, these guys are mega famous. The David Beckhams of whatever it is they do.

    Am I the only person who has no idea who those guys are? Without context my first guess would be metal gear solid bosses.

    • JFS says:

      They’re indie devs. Wolfire participated in the last Mojam, they’re developing Overgrowth atm.

    • Fanbuoy says:

      Wolfire: The metrosexual has-beens – just returned from exile in the colonies – of gaming, supposedly.

      Grapefrukt is Swedish for grapefruit. Vlambeer is something you drink at Bulgarian Oktoberfest, I think.

    • pakoito says:

      Vlambeer made Super Crate Box and Luftrausers, which get a lot of praise but I find very plain.

    • strangeloup says:

      Wolfire make games about furries, but in a good way. They’re also spectacularly non-evil, like a sort of anti-Zynga, but it’d be nice if they’d release Overgrowth sometime before the heat death of the universe. Vlambeer make really fun nonsense games because they’re drunk pretty much constantly. Grapefrukt is one guy who’s done some interesting-looking stuff, mostly in Flash, but this is the first I’ve heard of ‘em.

  6. jaguar skills says:

    On further research I’ve discovered that one of the names made super crate box. Which I’ve heard of.
    I think what’s jarring is mentioning them as the famous friends of mojang, the biggest indie success story of the decade. It’s like saying come see Rihanna in concert with famous friends the Saturdays and Robbie Williams.

    • MOKKA says:

      Your display of ignorance is both funny and sad.

      • jaguar skills says:

        Note that I’m only disputing their fame, not their talent. I’m sure they’re very good at whatever they do but just because you and the eight other guys who keep up with the indie scene enough to have heard of them have heard of them it still doesn’t make them famous. Again, this is magnified by tenfold when put next to mojang – who even an ignoramus like me knows.

  7. zeekthegeek says:

    First Mojam was complete rubbish, none of the games got developed beyond their first week and they were completely uninteresting. Wolfire are smart guys though – they made Receiver in 7 days.

  8. Gap Gen says:

    A game about the French nuclear industry/arsenal could be fascinating. Even if it’s just a game where you have to swim under the Rainbow Warrior to plant C4.

  9. noom says:

    I tried Molyjam. I found it to be disappointing. Certainly not the life-changing taste I was promised.

    Not sure what to make of Mojam. I do like its lid though. A very fetching lid indeed.

    • jaguar skills says:

      Well with moly jam the problem is they just get too excited and talk too much before you pop it on your toast. Mojam tastes great for a while but production really slows down after they sell a few million jars, to the point where you almost forget they ever made it.

  10. Mrs Columbo says:

    That’s the first time the spam’s made sense! Brilliant. Am now clicking on the link.

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