Minecraft Hellshot, Plus Darwinian Invasion

It's a bit gloomy, eh?

I was worried that people haven’t had an opportunity to complain that we write too much about Minecraft for a bit. So here’s two Minecraft things at once. First up, yesterday developer Notch released a screenshot of the Hell dimension that’s appearing in the Halloween update. You can speculate for yourself what the various block types in here might be – there’s five new ones being added overall. Click on that pic above to see it all biggerised. And below, there’s something special. A video of the biggest Darwinian you’ve ever seen.

This is the work of the Introversion community, made as a tribute, and spotted by Introversion’s Chris Delay. In turn it reaches us thanks to Xocrates on Twitter. There’s a special surprise tribute to another game inside. And as Delay points out, this was all made in-game, without cheaty importing rubbishness. It’s pretty spectacular.


  1. James says:

    I love Minecraft, you should continue to write too much about it.

  2. Neosubu says:

    I agree, even tho I don’t play it myself.. It’s so damn charming!
    I’m in need of a new Song of Unionbog tho!

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      I’m of the opinion that Quinns should just write about these two games all the time, forever.

    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      I agree!

      And while were at it, if AleC doesn’t write a similar game diary about his AdventureS in Gothic 4 (ArcaniA), i will swim over there, and take his hat away, personally!

    • Davie says:

      Definitely. Quinns, you have a task. More adventures in indie digging games all around!

  3. Dario ff says:

    There isn’t enough about Minecraft yet. You should merge Notch’s blog with RPS for that, though we aren’t too far from it.

  4. Poppis says:

    Rock, Paper, Pickaxe

    I love it.

  5. YogSo says:

    To continue with my newly stablished tradition to reply to comments from the Arkham City post in the comments thread of an adjacent post, I will just say to istalkforcash: Happy now?

    (Yeah, I will stop now. I just couldn’t resist the urge to make this last one :P )

  6. Joshua says:

    The only bad thing about Minecraft is that I do not own it.

    • mlaskus says:

      Aaaand that there is no demo, I’m glad with my purchase but the fact I couldn’t try the game before I bought it is pretty terrible.

      I know that there is some very old version available for free, but still, it doesn’t give you a good idea of how the game plays now.

    • AndrewC says:

      Yes it does.

    • ShawnClapper says:

      @mlaskus Yea and I would almost say the free version on the site does more harm than good. I’m trying to get my friends to play and that kind of turns them away without the whole generated land/mining stuff.

    • YogSo says:

      You are asking for a demo for a game that is still in development, and is yet to undergo a lot of changes (i.e. the torch-gate :P ) and will probably feel/play quite differently in its final, finished incarnation than it does right now…

      If after all the RPS coverage you are still not sure wether Minecraf is for you or not, my advice is to wait until the game is officially finished/released and then try the official demo that will -possibly- be released along with it.

    • wcanyon says:

      @mlaskus: there’s enough videos on youtube of the full version that your friends should be able to get the drift.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      It’s an Alpha at this time. It’s weird, and a little unusual, that an alpha is getting this much press, but it is still an alpha, and is disclosed as an alpha. You don’t make demos of games in their Alpha state. Also, it’s $10. Brown bag it for a day or two at work.

    • Michael says:

      To be fair, it’s an alpha that you can buy and play. So it’s just like every other game on the market.

      See what I did there? Take that games industry.

    • mlaskus says:

      He is selling it, it should have a demo. For people having trouble with reading comprehension, I BOUGHT the game already.
      The problem is, the game is extremely hyped right now. It is available for purchase and you cannot try it before you buy it.

      Alpha and beta no longer mean anything to most developers, including Notch.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      If you would read the webpage that you bought the game from, he clearly states that it is an Alpha. You are not purchasing the alpha. You are preordering the game, which gives you early access to the Alpha. In a lot of ways, it is obvious in the game that it is an Alpha. How much clearer is he required to make it?

      “Alpha and beta no longer mean anything to most developers, including Notch.”

      What I think Notch means (and by think, I mean “What Notch has said”) is that the current version is not a Gold Master of the game, that he would sell through a channel like steam, that the game is going through a lot of upheaval and changes, that you stand a decent chance of losing you’re save, and that all of this is working towards a version of the game that is significantly more stable that he will sell for $20. What exactly does the word “Alpha” convey in your mind?

    • mlaskus says:

      Software is being released as alpha or beta increasingly often for reasons other than testing which is part of a healthy development life cycle. I don’t know what Notch’s reasons were, probably to finance the development of the game. I am not criticizing him for that, I think he is doing great work and I am happy his game has been received so well.

      The thing is, the game has been released to the public, it can be bought and played. Calling it an alpha, a pre-release version, or whatever is pure rhetorics with absolutely no importance to most customers.
      If you are considering a purchase of a piece of software, you should be able to try it first. If you are not, you are buying it blind. Yes there is a lot of videos and reviews on the net, but do you just trust videos and reviews when you purchase games? What if the game is overhyped? Let’s try a demo! Ah, there is no demo, but people say it is so great! Let’s buy it!
      I guess you would be quite disappointed if it turned out to be shit?(I do not think Minecraft is shit!)
      It is a purely ethical concern, you should give people a way to try your product.

      It probably wouldn’t bug me so, if it wasn’t so easy to for example put a time limit on the game’s client if you do not login.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      Saying it is an Alpha is not just a semantic issue, it is a statement of where development is. The game is quite interesting, but it is obvious there is a lot of things not there. Dramatic changes are occurring with the update, changes which will break, in a fundamental way, how people play the game (Lanterns, specifically). If something is an Alpha, then development time is being pushed to add new content, or to change that content. If it is a Beta, then it is being put into bug fixes. Telling us in advance of the purchase what stage the game is at is a statement of what you are able to reasonably expect of the product. You cannot expect stability, you cannot expect huge amounts of content, and you cannot expect a demo. It is simply unreasonable. If you are uncomfortable purchasing something to access the Alpha, then you don’t buy it. That was easy, wasn’t it?

      Also, this is not entirely unprecedented. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the beta of WoW require a subscription?

    • Shadram says:

      It being an alpha may not change the unrealistic expectations some people have of what they should get from the software, but stating on the website that “The game is in alpha” should most certainly tell people that there is currently no demo available. When the game is much nearer complete, I’m sure Notch will use some of his dev time in producing a demo, but at this stage, in the middle of alpha with a ton of new content to add, there’s no chance of him doing that. Especially since a demo exists to give people an idea of what the finished product will be like, which doesn’t exist yet.

      If you’re* uncertain about the game and don’t know whether to purchase without a “try before you buy” offer, then you’ll just need to wait until a demo is released. If you can’t wait that long, then this isn’t you, so just buy it. It’s only 10 Euros, after all.

      * And by “you” I don’t mean you personally, I mean the proverbial “you”. No reading failure on my part. :)

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Well, you can’t information, so your wish is like wishing that gravity goes away. It’s physically impossible.
      But I guess what you tried to say, is either, that you want to have a license (in case you believe in the lies spread by the Mafia of child-rapist terrorists*) or that you want to have a copy (in case you are sane and live in reality).

      * hey, if they call us people that plunder, rape and kill, we can call them that too.

  7. mlaskus says:

    The Darwinian is epic.

  8. Ubiquitous says:

    I agree with James.
    I’ve never been more intimidated by a darwinian.
    That is all.

  9. Beemunk says:

    Rock, Paper, Shovel surely?

  10. Liquidated says:

    I was about to complain that there weren’t any complaints about minecraft. Actually linked to a friend the page not an hour ago asking:WTF? not a single word about minecraft on RPS????????”

    Thank goodness, thought Western civilization was done for there. now where did that duck chicken thing go, need lunch.

    • Matt says:

      You eat feathers for lunch?

    • Liquidated says:

      Some feathers, some quackers. I do prefer a light midday meal, thanks.

      No worries though, I tend to pig out for supper.

  11. wcanyon says:

    @mlaskus: isn’t there a free browser version?

    • wcanyon says:

      Argh, comment system fail.

    • Rich says:

      Yeah, but it’s not at all representative of the current alpha version. It has no crafting, no minerals, no lighting model, no flowing liquids etc. It’s really just the bare bones of the engine.

  12. mandrill says:

    I started watching the vid and I was all like: “Oh its a big Darwinian”
    I watched a bit more and the perspective kicked in and I was like “Holy mother of Dawkins, Thats a HUGE Darwinian!”

    Colour me suitably impressed.

    • GibletHead2000 says:

      I’d have been impressed by the really big hole they dug, even without the darwinian in it.

    • Xocrates says:

      @GibletHead2000: To be perfectly fair, the hole was where there was the more onerous cheating, as we used mad admin powers to provide lots and lots of TNT.

      For those wondering the remaining extent of the “cheating” consisted on using the multiplayer bug to fix your tools and to generate the lava used in the interior decorations (since buckets don’t work). We also tried using admin-provided water to fight off the lava, but that proved to be a terrible idea since it meant we now had to dig a bunch of obsidian.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Haha, me too! From the starting perspective it’s like “Oh, two small Darwinians with a big Darwinian a little behind them.” Then he moves up to the edge of the cliff, and you realize the big Darwinian is half a mile away. =-o

  13. Dominic White says:

    The Darwinian is kinda neat, but Hell is what really impresses me.

    Just to hammer it into peoples heads, Notch is adding PARALLEL WORLDS to minecraft that interact with the ‘prime’ world, despite existing off in their own seperate reality. You gotta admit that’s pretty impressive.

    • pakoito says:

      That’s a B map with teleporters to A map. If he decides to make something like Sliders/Planescape THAT would be impressive.

    • Vinraith says:


      I was about to ask how this worked, so thanks for the explanation.

      This looks absolutely fantastic, and more variety is what Minecraft really needs at this stage so it’s a particularly welcome addition.

    • gerafin says:

      Notch said on his blog that it was vaguely based on the system that they use in the Wheel of Time series – which is a splendid read, by the way, incredibly absorbing.

    • po says:

      I’m hoping it’ll be like Neverwinter Nights, where a portal on one server links to a matching portal on a completely different server.

    • Rich says:

      Didn’t expect it to be a big cave though. I was thinking it would be more like the plains of Oblivion, or the parallel hell of Constantine.

  14. laikapants says:

    Is it Oct 31st yet? No? Damn. *goes back into diamond cave*

    Also, we almost got bats “that look like small cliff racers, but are more annoying?”

    • pakoito says:

      “Ghast is the most unfair creep ever. I haven’t been able to kill one, I’m gonna try with a bow. Also, Fire immune”
      Notch’s Twitter.

    • laikapants says:

      @pakoito: I may never leave Peaceful mode again / That sounds awesome. Utterly awesome.

  15. yhancik says:

    Hellcraft is other peoplecraft.

  16. Nick says:

    What is this minecraft game?

  17. Tei says:

    From the screenshot:
    Right: is almost not visible, but there’s a block of the new “hellishfaces” blocks. Part of a portal?
    Left: theres a bunch of blocks that look like a hive. Some people argue is sulphur that emit light.
    All around: is a enormous cave, there’s fires and lava.

  18. Urthman says:

    It’s Oblivion with shovels!

  19. Tei says:

    Notch just posted this:

    • laikapants says:

      @Tei: I saw that yesterday on Reddit. Cannot wait to see something similar when the biomes come into play.

    • Dominic White says:

      Agreed on the ‘will be even better with biomes’ thing.

      Also, there’s a thought… Will train tracks be able to run between worlds? Having a super-express train route that takes shortcuts through the netherworld would be pretty goddamn cool.

    • laikapants says:

      @Dominic: I know several people who are building makeshift Stargates are hoping just such a thing will be possible.

      Now that we’ve seen the new Hell dimension, I’m incredibly curious what the portal will be. Will you be able to pick it up and place it somewhere more to your liking and what have you?

    • Tei says:

      Now, for these people that complain about too much minecraft.

      Here is a video that is not about minecraft:

    • the wiseass says:

      wow… this video… just… wow. I fuckin’ love Minecraft and the things people do with it.

    • JB says:

      Tei, thanks for the Facade video link. I had tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard!

    • Rich says:

      Wonder how easy it’s actually going to be to predict where a portal will come out.

  20. torchedEARTH says:

    What a shame.

    …oh wait, it’s not a shame because nothing has crawled up my ass and died.

  21. Kandon Arc says:

    And on the sign is written: “I am Darwinian, King of Kings: Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

    • MWoody says:

      I hear that in Spock’s voice in my head. Am I going to die?

    • amishmonster says:

      Nope, I had the same thing happen. Honestly, that’s the biggest failing of Civ V – no Nimoy.

  22. noobnob says:

    Oh look, a giant Darwinian.

    *3 minutes later*

    Oh look, ANOTHER giant Darwinian with burning log hair!

  23. Lambchops says:

    That’s the second biggest Darwinian I ever saw.

  24. Urael says:

    OMG – My mother always warned me that too much TV would make my eyes square!

  25. Ian says:

    Wait, you guys write about Minecraft?

  26. Parthon says:

    More like:

    Rock, Paper, SSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

  27. Mahkia says:

    This forever. I needs me some Onionbog.

    • Rich says:

      Yeah, what ever happened to Onionbog? OK, they’re probably all dead, but I’d like to know how it happened.

  28. Wipa says:

    If they didn’t cheat how did they get the lava up there?
    Buckets don’t work in multiplayer.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Technically they can with mods, but looks like they generated it.

    • Tei says:

      on any decently patched server (patched with mods) buckets of lava work

  29. Jetsetlemming says:

    “And as Delay points out, this was all made in-game, without cheaty importing rubbishness. ”

    Absolute BS. That’s very obviously a modded map- you can see when he’s at the bottom underneath it that they used an editor to carve away bedrock to make a flat base. Even without a map editor they would’ve had to cheat in TNT with Invedit to make the massive chasm he jumps down at the beginning. Speaking of jumping down, the guy’s invincible. Even on Peaceful you just regenerate damage while still taking it.

    • Xocrates says:

      I’m somewhat amused that the first two posts accusing of cheating emerged immediately after I posted explaining the extent of the cheating.

      Yes, there was some cheating. We generated TNT and lava. Though the reason there’s no damage is because it’s a multiplayer server and damage hasn’t been implemented yet.

      And if you look closely you can see bedrock emerging among the cobble stone

  30. Fox says:

    I think the most impressive part of that Darwinian is the ten-jillion stair-stones they got to face the proper direction.

    Those damn things raise my blood pressure…

    • amishmonster says:

      Yeah, the whole time he was ascending I was staring in disbelief at all the perfectly aligned stairs. I built a two-story house and couldn’t get them all right. Maybe there’s a mod for that.

    • Jhoosier says:

      It takes a bit of fussing about, but I can get stairs to line up reasonably well. Starting from the top and working down usually gets it to work well. Otherwise, sometimes blocks to one side can cause the stair to flip around

  31. Jakkar says:

    I was just starting to relax and enjoy variety again, but any tribute to Darwinia is worthy of my gaze o_o

  32. Moonracer says:

    I’m so looking forward to the halloween update. I hope it suceeds in making me afraid of the dark again.

  33. Malturt says:

    “Remember Me… Remember Me… Remember Me…”

    That’s all that was missing from that last Darwinian.

  34. Deccan says:

    We can be pretty chuffed with the stuff we’ve built; our castles are tall, our glasshouses broad. Then Youtube shows us just how small our dreams are…
    Top effort, though.

  35. Dude says:

    Rock, Paper, Whinecraft. Where’s the next Dwarf Fortress LP already. Give ’em something else to whine about!

  36. bigolslabomeat says:

    @Arthur Barnhouse: You are purchasing an Alpha, and are not guaranteed a finished game.

    “Although we are very passionate about this project, we cannot guarantee that it will be completed”

    “When you purchase the game, you pay for it as it is right now. Future updates are an added bonus.”

    Minecraft.net Terms and Conditions

  37. Dominic White says:

    For anyone complaining about the lack of demo for Minecraft in its current state, I have two things to say:

    A: Deal with it. It’s a goddamn Alpha. It’s in no fit shape to be demoed right now.

    B: Watch this really good TV (p)review link to abc.net.au

    If that makes you feel like preordering, fine. Go ahead and do it. If you don’t think there’s enough of a game there yet to put your money down on, then also fine, wait and see how it develops. Everyone wins, see?

  38. Carra says:

    I was so hoping that he would jump at the end.

  39. Feud says:

    Lavawinians rule!

  40. pooh says:

    is minecreft free to play?

  41. Tei says:

    He!, RPSers of the past!, I come from the futuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure :D

    Heres a nice video about the Nether.