Given Free Rain: Minecraft 1.5 Patch, Demo

Notch will never know weather this was a good idea.

Do you have a friend, colleague or enemy who’s somehow escaped the marvellous timesink that is Minecraft? More than likely they’ve said it’s “Not for them” without even playing it, am I right? Like they’re the sodding Professor X of PC games or something. In which case the first order of business today is to point them at the 4Mb demo that Notch has just made for PC Gamer. You can get it here.

Second of all, the decidedly moist 1.5 update that adds rain, thunderstorms, snow and achievements, as well as official mine cart Boosters and mine cart detector rails has arrived. In case you missed the video of the new weather effects first time around, you can watch it again after the jump.


  1. frenz0rz says:

    I dont play Minecraft, but I’d just like to congratulate Mr Smith on yet another brilliant headline :)

  2. tomeoftom says:


  3. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Sound effects are decent.. and the rain animation is surprisingly rain-y. That and official booster tracks? I am pleased this day (well, two days at least. It appeared yesterday).

    • P7uen says:

      I have reclaimed my life from Minecraft before the Halloween netherworld thingy, I just didn’t have the time to invest anymore.
      I’m not given to superstition but I believe Jesus gave his life so that I could get back into Minecraft this weekend.

      Edit: no idea why this became a reply :(

  4. Jonathan says:

    I still haven’t played since the last update, but I’m looking forward to sinking some time into this one. Or maybe I should just play Portal 2. Damn you, Valve and Mojang! Why must you fight?

  5. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    I Built a giant skull fortress into the side of a mountain, and built a giant mansion inside it’s cranium, I really don’t think I can be bothered sinking more time into it; I’m enjoying A-10C and Metro 2033 too much =3.
    Also hope he got the rain right; could be very annoying if it rains every second day etc.

    • lunarplasma says:

      It will rain only on weekends when you’re planning a BBQ.

  6. Dinger says:

    Those whining about the shortness of Portal 2 would best remember that, after releasing 1.5, notch dropped off the internet to play Valve’s latest. Thankfully, he’s already finished, and has now turned to patching 1.5, especially the infinite-loop thing with power rails.

    Of course, those whinging about Portal 2 will likely complain that RPS is little more than the Valve and Mojang Fan Club.

    Look, not all of us grew up fantasizing about a three-way with Sonic and a Goombah. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you.
    So get used to it. In two years, RPS will be linking to summaries of Ph.D. theses on Soaring like an eagle flying a blimp: a feminist critique of the mind-body duality in Cartesian space, a prolegomenon to Portal 2 and But the railway’s there yet: Minecraft and the persistence of 19th-Century Colonial Discourse.

  7. CMaster says:

    Weather effects are pretty atmospheric and a welcome addition. The storms tend to perhaps last a little too long – never seen one that took less than 12 minecraft hours and it would be nice to have some form of lighter rain, rather than simply: Dry/Torrential Downpour/Thunderstorm at the moment.

    Minecart booster and detector tracks are dissapointing. At the moment, they’re still outclassed by the bug-based boosters in an awful lot of ways. Needs some work.

    Acheivements and stats are interesting, if pretty peripheral. There’s also something of a lack of acheivements at the moment.

    Anyway, a much more enthralling update than the feature-poor and long-time coming 1.4, let’s hope for more like this in the future.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Oh, that’s disappointing! These minecart additions are exactly the type of thing that would get me back to play this game since I stopped back in October; i.e. the trimming and pruning of existing game features, instead of adding new content… often buggy new content.

      In what way are they still superseded by the old boosters? And btw, do we already have a gate for fences?

    • CMaster says:

      The bug-boosters are superior to the boosting track in a few ways:
      1. Power Even a very, very short bug booster gives more momentum than the new powered track and instantly acellerates up to maximum speed – it needs several new boosters to acheive max speed. To get empty carts up a slope needs a powered track every other track or so.

      2. Rider Detection Detector rails simply detect any cart passing over them. To determine the difference between occupied/unoccupied carts still needs bug boosting across a stone pressure plate.

      3. Cost Not really an issue in stations or similar, but the quantities of iron needed to boost carts at full speed along a good length of track with bug boosters are signficantly less than the quantity of (rarer) gold needed to keep speed up with offical boosters

      So the new boosters have uses, but limited ones (really handy for better staions, or for controlling the old-fasioned boosters).

      And no, still no gates. Still doors in the middle of fences.

      Also, why does pressing “edit” remove line-breaks…

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Bah! I’m back to stop being excited about Minecraft.

      Thanks for the info.

    • Shark says:

      The new boosters are designed to only accelerate occupied carts (empty ones work too, but slower),
      so the powered cart (which can burn saplings now) is more useful if you want to send chest carts around.

  8. Carra says:

    Haven’t played it for a few months.

    I’ll have to get it out to see the new pretties.

  9. gorgol says:

    Just the ticket for me to actually get round to trying this I think!

  10. Zanchito says:

    Good FSM!!

    I have quite an area reserved in the RPS Minecraft server, but haven’t logged in in ages due to real life time constraints and constant version mistmatches. I think nest time I log in, I should de-allocate my area and just keep my house, mine and some space around them. :(

    I love Minecraft, I just don’t have the time.

  11. Creeping Death says:

    I would like more Action Man references in my RPS, thank you! :)

  12. oceanclub says:

    Do people find the performance still a bit rubbish? On a quad-core Q6600 with a GTX 560i card, I’m not getting very smooth framerates – admittedly at max settings, but still, I would have thought my system should be able to cope easily.


    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Personally I think this is a problem with trying to emulate a voxel engine through a 3D engine. LWJGL is a fast 3D thin library for java, as you can see on the link below. However Minecraft uses this polygon-based engine to emulate a voxel engine. It’s basically a whole new layer of complexity that needs to be processed before sending the frame to be rendered. The game will always suffer from a substantial reduction in framerates due to this.

      link to

    • Zanchito says:

      Q6600@2.7Ghz + 5GB DDR2 + GTX260 216i + Win7x64 , runs fine enough for me. On my netbook (Asus 1215n, NVidia ION2) I had to play at minimum everything on 1.3, haven’t tried 1.5

    • Urthman says:

      I got a significant performance boost with this release.

      I get a pretty steady 50+ FPS with a 9800GT, 5200+ AMD, and 2GB RAM, and that’s using a high-res texture pack, fancy graphics settings, and max draw distance.

  13. disperse says:

    I tried SMP 1.5 last night and my experience wasn’t great. The achievements weren’t working (I was stuck on “Press ‘I’ for Inventory” all night) and the server crashed and lost all my inventory (which has never happened to me before). Think I’ll wait for 1.5.1 before sinking time into it.

    • Zanchito says:

      Reported bug, you need to get the first achievement in SP, then you can get the rest in MP.

  14. blind_boy_grunt says:

    god, i’m glad i skipped that game. Just wanted to try it out real quick, it’s now 90 minutes later. Built a house, was almost heartbroken because i fell and died before i could make that step back an take it all in from afar, found it again. Granted it doesn’t look like much, but what do you expect from a house made out of sand. Than i built a moat around it and right before the end i caught a creeper in it. I felt so proud. And that is probably the success of minecraft, you just have to tell someone about it.

  15. Kaira- says:

    Tell me when they fix the game, I don’t really like walking on invisible blocks, not to speak that game crashes should I try to place detector tracks (or booster tracks, can’t remember).

  16. drewski says:

    So how much demo do I get for my money or, more accurately, no money?

    Also I’ve never played Minecraft and I don’t think it’s for me.

    • Urthman says:

      The demo lets you play a world for 90 minutes before it locks you out, but you you can restart and try another world as many times as you like.

    • steviesteveo says:

      90 minutes? That is not nearly enough time to build a gigantic novelty penis with flashing lights operated by timer circuits.

      People playing the demo will not get to see the point of minecraft.

    • drewski says:

      I think it’s 100 minutes actually (5 full day night cycles, which are 20 minutes each.)

      So, yeah, I tried it and you know what?

      I don’t think it’s for me.

      Apart from a strange desire to hollow out a mountain, I couldn’t really see the point. Although forest fires are fun.

    • bob_d says:

      Huh, it seems kind of counter-productive to have the demo work for 90 or 100 minutes, as it’s everything that happens after that point that really gets compelling, in my experience. When you get past the initial experience and start to realize just how expansive the worlds can be and how elaborate one’s efforts could become, that’s the interesting part.

  17. The Tupper says:

    I had a play of 1.5 yesterday and the weather in my pre-existing settlement didn’t appear to change. I played through about four day/night cycles, which, admittedly, may not be long enough. Does anybody know if the new weather incorporates into existing areas or do I need to up sticks and move to a fresh biome that has weather activated?

    • OptionalJoystick says:

      Rain/snow appears everywhere, but is infrequent. My world’s pretty old (pre-biomes) and is suddenly snowy!

      And yes, to the poster above whose post I can no-longer find – the detector rails crash is fixed.

  18. The Tupper says:


  19. Wulf says:

    Since there’s a new Minecraft article, I feel oddly obligated to link something related to Minecraft but not specifically to this patch. I’m amazed by this, really. This is the most impressive building work I’ve ever seen in Minecraft, and I’ve seen a lot of it. So much love has gone into that server, and their texture pack is lovely, too. (I recommend visiting the site and downloading that texture pack, it really does brighten up Minecraft.)

    Still, that just goes to show what dedicated fans can do with a game like this, yeah? And it’s all hand built. Blows me away.