Minecraft To Be Bigger Than The Earth?

David Souter sends word of the latest work by “Notch”, Minecraft’s coder-wizard, which should make the landmass of a Minecraft world larger than the entire planet. Notch says:

The world is 30 million blocks across. A block is one square meter. 30,000,000 meters is 30,000 km. 30,000*30.000 is 900,000,000, so the Minecraft world is nine hundred million square kilometers. The earth has a surface area of about 510 million square kilometers.

It IS larger than the earth, people!

Minecraft is also totally brilliant. Go try it out. (Picture via Casey Jamieson.)


  1. Heliocentric says:

    I don’t want to be a maths spoil sport but… Why are we comparing linear planar surface area with absolute potential surface area? Not to mention the statement they are one meter in size.

    Okay, i get it, its indie…. I mean, what would you say if activision or something came out with that. Be consistent.

    • James says:

      Show your work, please.

    • Wulf says:

      It’s just a bit of fun, Helio. You need to recalibrate your fun sensors.

      I didn’t complain when Fuel wasn’t quite as big as Codies made out, because it was still bloody huge, big enough for me to have a lot of fun with, fun just driving around randomly. And I’ve had a go of his massive-map version, it is, indeed, absolutely bloody massive. It reminds me of Daggerfall where one could walk, and walk, and walk. And if a big server gets one of those maps going and people start making towns and cities, separated by huge distances and joined by roads, well…

      Massive is still massive, even if people have trouble quantifying massive, they can usually identify it well enough. The Minecraft /infdev/ map is massive, absolutely massive, and big enough to make me happy.

  2. James says:

    I’ve tried it briefly, but didn’t get a sense of any overarching goal except to build stuff. Is that accurate?

    I liked the ideas behind Wurm quite a bit. This just seems so…geometric. Still, “bigger than earth” is a nice bullet point.

    • HermitUK says:

      The free mode is pretty much just that. Build things out of blocks. What he’s also working on is Survival mode. Essentially you gather materials, craft weapons, armour, and the like, build forts, and try not to die horribly when all the undead come out at night. There’s also talk of a mode for single player adventures where you create a level that players can’t destroy but can explore, the addition of levers and moving parts, more zombie modes, and so on.

      If the game is ever complete he’s said he’s thinking about opening up mod support or going open source to let other folks do stuff with it.

      That’s all been pushed back a few months though, for the addition of the massive maps.

    • Scypher says:

      As of now there’s a pretty disparate difference between the free single-player mode and the “in-dev” single-player mode (which requires a ‘pre-order,’ or development funding, basically). Best I can describe it is Dwarf Fortress meets Doom: carving out a personal niche in first person by mining for resources, fending off monsters, and building stuff.

      The in-dev version is still pretty bare-bones, though, so it’s a shame that the most amazing parts of what this game is — or what it’s shaping to be — aren’t solid enough to be in the free demo yet. I’ve spent a good 20 hours on it since this weekend and I don’t regret any of it.

    • Wulf says:

      The /indev/ version is coming out pretty much like Ultima Online, but with cheery blocks and procedurally generated landscapes. One can craft things though, and harvest things, one can even have a farm (I have a farm). If you’re into that sort of thing, you could even have a shrubbery with a path down the middle and a nice sort of two-layered effect.

      Though I’m hoping he’ll add vehicles soon to complete the feel, or some kind of tameable, ridable animal.

    • Lack_26 says:

      Yeah, the /indev/ is pretty darn awesome, I spend far too much time playing it. I like deep maps the best, even if it does make diamond almost impossible to find unless you have a very deep mine system (like my current one is), still, I got a fully set of diamond armour, although that’s showing some serious wear after one too many creepers sneaking up on me. I barely touch the ‘creative mode’ any more.

  3. HermitUK says:

    We were so close to multiplayer survival.

    So, damn, close.

    Ah well, Inf maps should be fun, though I’m still dissapointed that it means the overall view distance falls, as he’s basically using the old Morrowind tactic of ‘Fog Up Everything’ to hide the loading/unloading of cells.

    • ThePinkNinja says:

      My brother in dreams D:

      I too wish for an MMO where bullets are to be hoarded, water and foot matter more than any loot, an attack mauls a leg and slows you down and findign a safe place to sleep at night gives an actual purpose to towns and guilds.

  4. Tei says:

    Minecraft would be better with more “Garrys Mod” features. Like moving platforms, the ability to use a phisic gun to move stuff not glued to the ground. Maybe even weapons like grenades to burn holes on the ground. Spray paint…

    Its built on java technology and this may (or not) limit the ability of the game to evolve to something much more complex. ( I may not because we have rich games like Tribal Tribes done in java ). It looks and feel like a 3D game rendered on the CPU (I don’t know if this is the case).

    • mrmud says:

      Just because it uses java doesnt mean it cant use real graphics libraries that use a GPU.
      So there is not really anything preventing it from becomming more. It might be a bit slower than something written in C++/C# but for a game like this I doubt it is all that important.

    • faelnor says:

      On the contrary, I’d argue Minecraft started being worse when Notch added new blocks and the ability to control lava/water.

      Now there’s less honest art for the sake of art, less modest collaborative efforts to make a simple building or cave, and more “majestic” servers with stupid login schemes, teleporters, elevators, pixel art (really getting tired) and bots. Woohoo.

  5. Mungrul says:

    Oh god no.
    I see that picture and have an uncontrollable urge to recreate it in Dwarf Fortress, not because it’s particularly brilliant or anything, but just because I know it could be done :E

  6. theleif says:

    Dwarf Fortress in the minecraft engine.
    The thought makes me a little horny.

    Edit: Now reading what i just wrote i got a weird sense of deja vu.

  7. ljalkfjklajsf says:

    This game has taken /v/ by storm… I won’t download it because it seems to be in the same vein of highly niche gameplay (meaning I wont like it) as dwarf fortress. It’s like the squid-sushi of the gaming world- a highly acquired taste, and the people who have this taste will absolutely say it’s great! However, those who are used to steak and hamburgers will be hesitant to try it out.

    • Wulf says:

      And that’s a bit of a shame, because despite it being technically LEGO (yay LEGO), some particularly astounding things can be done with it. The other day I built a monument to/of my partner, which was a surprisingly well done Wolf pup, a gigantic Wolf-pup, surrounded by a little vacation spot, with trees, picnic spots, park benches, an observational tower thing (where I’m tempted to put a cafĂ©), and so on.

      There’s just something to the simplicity of it that pushes certain WHEEE, CREATIVITY! buttons. It’s probably best to run your own server though, because people on the public servers will likely be dicks and tear down your stuff, but if you’re running your own server, you can keep backups, and the general audience (except for those you invite) can’t get in. Then you can engage in massive works of creativity unhindered.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      You don’t download it as such, it runs in your browser (obviously stuff gets downloaded ever time you play) as long as you already have java installed then you won’t need to install anything.

  8. Wulf says:

    I love Minecraft. You can even be Soundwave in Minecraft, so what’s not to love?

    Quite looking forward to seeing where he takes development of this, next, and I’ve been following his devblog for a bit, now.

  9. Bob says:

    Just tried it and love it!

  10. SFLegend says:

    To me, this will always be a second rate ripoff of infiniminer.

    • Wulf says:

      Huh, are we back to the meme of one indie game being a blatant rip off of another due to shared concepts?

      Cave Story rip off!

      Though from everything I’ve read, Minecraft does quite a few things differently to Infiniminer, and a number of things decidedly better. Hooray for independent research, and Google.

      But yeah, what we have here is a Garry’s Mod vs jbmod thing, and Minecraft? Minecraft is Garry’s Mod.

  11. Jahkaivah says:

    “Minecraft is much bigger than Yourcraft”

    Terrible I know.

  12. gribbit says:

    Notch, Minecraft’s developer, really, really seems to want to push Dwarf Fortress-style mechanics into the game. He’s showing every sign of returning to that business immediately after making the current giant map upgrade functional. I’d note here that Dwarf Fortress has taken four years to get to its current state, yet remains nominally in alpha. It’s hard to fathom at what point Notch would consider his game ready for beta, let alone prepared for full release. There’s a lot of simple, not-terribly-creative grunt work ahead if he wants to craft a game as complex as Dwarf Fortress, with a variety of interactive objects, a full line of equipment, furniture, fixtures, and crafting tools, and a more interesting selection of AI-controlled critters. Hopefully, he has the psychological stamina to not burn out anytime soon. Also, I hope that he doesn’t entirely neglect the art-builders for much longer; torches and dynamic lighting aside, they still haven’t seen anything of the ownership flags or decorative elements that they have requested. As much as I anticipate hearing about the first-person recreation of Boatmurdered, the intermittent real artistic achievements I’ve seen sprinkled between the box-houses, sprite art, and swastikas on the classic sandbox servers have been just as impressive.

  13. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Something I didn’t quite understand and someone in here can probably instruct me:

    Surely seems like a game I can become very much addicted to. But I got the impression that the current contemplative style is going to end. That the plan is to include critters that try to kill you and such. Or I got it wrong?

    I surely can become quite addicted to a builder/contemplative game (sandbox). A nice change and there’s plenty of other games out there to put my killing spree desires to the test. But if Minecraft becomes an “action” game, I think I will pass.

    • Dr Snofeld says:

      The plan is to have both Creative mode (sandbox) and Survival mode (with the critters), with both modes eventually having multiplayer (currently only Creative is multiplayer). So you can still build crazy stuff all you like.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Thanks. Got it.
      That’s much better.

  14. Jelemonde says:

    This game is coming pretty much like Wurm online with a WAAAAY better price (I prefer having a one-time fee thant a pay per month :D)

    Minecraft is like a dream coming true! First person, RPG, RTS coming on a multi-OS platform wich is Java!

    I am planning of starting a Survival RP server! Infinite map WILL be the best feature of the game mixed with the seasons and the crafting!

    All hail Notch!

  15. HexagonalBolts says:

    Is it worth buying for the in-development-survival-mode ? I found the creative mode ok but really needed some direction, as there is in Dwarf Fortress

    • gribbit says:

      Play the Survival Mode single-player test. Indev is more like that than it is like the creative (multiplayer) mode — there are monsters, all building materials must be mined or harvested, and ultimately, it currently allows fewer tile/block types than creative (though this will VERY likely change in the future). At some point, Notch will offer a creative mode update, maybe around the time the game goes “beta.” Until then, you’re paying for a significantly improved version of Survival Mode. It’s fun IMO, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

  16. Marauder says:

    Hell yes. You can mine to get ore to smelt for weapons, and you can grow stuff. It is really amazingly fun. Beware of the Creepers though. They come out at night and will blow up your nice house. Fend them off with arrows and your diamond sword. This is the best game I have played since…..since…..i dunno…Just buy it, it’s dirt cheap now.

  17. Junior says:

    Why is survival mode scary, that’s all I want to know.

  18. Tholal says:

    That game has the most useless ‘About’ page I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t say anything or really give any clue about actual gameplay. Going to be hard to make any sales like that!

  19. Snake says:

    Depending on the genre of games you enjoy, the Minecraft /indev/ can be very fun and exciting. I play it every day for hours on end. There’s limitless possibilities. You start off in a small wood spawn house with two torches. You can either build onto this house or make a new one somewhere else.
    You click and hold onto materials to start digging away at them. You can craft swords, pickaxes, shovels, axes, chowder, furnaces, treasure chests, armor, and so much more. There are many materials that you can harvest. Wood (acquired from Tree trunks, you can craft those into wood planks if you want), Stone (acquired from using a Wood Pickaxe on the stone blocks. You get Cobblestone from doing so, but you can smelt them into what the stone looked like before you mined it), Logs, Cobblestone, Glass (acquired by smelting Sand in a Furnace), Sand, Gravel, “Cloth” (acquired from hitting Sheep), Dirt, Iron Ore, Gold Ore, (both of which can be smelted into ingots), and many more.
    You can plant Tree Saplings and grow trees, craft a Hoe, till dirt, and plant seeds for Wheat (which can be crafted into bread), plant flowers, use Torches for lighting in dark, dangerous caves, swim out into the ocean and brave the underground that monsters such as Giant Spiders, Zombies, Skeleton Archers, and exploding monsters called Creepers can spawn.
    There’s a lot of fun to be had in Minecraft, in my opinion. Once I started playing it in July of 2009, I have hooked ever since.

  20. kaitou says:

    fuck shit cock stupid ass fucking asss mother fucking swatiska shit…. word

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  22. The Sad Loner says:

    THe Alpha creative mutliplayer, Which I’ve just spent 3 days getting a custom Mczall server up for, the game goes down for a week- and when they fix it – It’ll be p2p.