Minecraft 1.12 introducing pretty new blocks and tiles

Minecraft [official site] is expanding its options for decorators in an upcoming update, the first test version of which is now available. Version 1.12 is introducing plain and simple concrete blocks which can be dyed — perfect for pixel art monoliths too — and beautiful glazed terracotta tiles with geometric patterns in different colours. They’re really nice tiles! Most of Minecraft’s blocks are materials rather than patterned, so this is an interesting addition. I don’t craft those mines myself but I do enjoy seeing players’ creations, and I’m keen to see what happens with these.

Snapshot 17W06A is now live as an opt-in test build. “We anticipate to do many more snapshots in the upcoming months, as we will continue adding more features and make major improvements to the core game itself,” Mojang say. So you’ll be waiting a few months if you don’t want to play with test builds. Or even longer if you won’t switch until all the mods you use update to 1.12.

Anyway! Look at these lovely tiling terracotta tiles:

Aren’t those great? They’re made by smelting dyed Hardened Clay, coming in 16 colours with two pattern variants for each. The variants tile with each other, making for lovely combinations. Some look a bit Greek and Roman to me, while others have a touch of Islamic geometry about them. Good tiles!

As for the concrete blocks, they can also be dyed the 16 colours of Minecraft and have very little texture so they make for clean decoration.

Please, make cool things with this and share them with the world.


  1. brucethemoose says:

    This pales in comparison to Chisel alone, much less the hundreds of other aesthetic mods…

    It’s really sad that the vast majority of the world plays Minecraft without Forge mods, IMHO.

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      Drib says:

      It’s always kind of cute how Mojang puts in piddling little updates with a new creature or a half dozen blocks.

      Meanwhile mod authors will do the same in a tenth of the time, and with much more interesting ideas.

      • PseudoKnight says:

        Mojang has constraints and considerations that mod authors don’t have. They’re also seriously outnumbered. heh

      • brucethemoose says:


        So Mojang’s Revenue minus Profit in 2015 was about $330 million USD.

        Let’s say they end up spending 1/10th of that on the Java desktop game, so $33 million.

        Let’s say 1/10th of that goes into development itself, the rest goes into rent and so on.

        $3.3 million a year should buy you ALOT of development on an existing game, right?

        That’s the strangest part to me. Mojang makes more money than god, yet the studio seems to make less progress than a lone dev who piddles with the code in his/her little spare time.

        • Stevostin says:

          I think the issue is rather than what you wan in a vanilla game isn’t what you want for mods. From a dev perspective, they’re also responsible for mods, by making them not only a possibility but actually easing the UX for the players using them and promoting them in various ways. Which allows them to have different goals for Vanilla minecraft. Which, in their mind, shall stay light, not overwhelming for newcomers, and reach eventual consistency on all platform. They probably can produce way more content than the modding community if they puts their mind to it. But the point of Minecraft is a delicate balance that’s not about throwing endless amount of stuff to the user. Compare Minecraft armor & weapon system to the one in Terraria. In Minecraft, each version has its use. You have your entry level gear (stone & leather), you have the Gear (Iron), you have the precious gear for intense fights (Diamond). You have the vanity gear (gold) and that’s it. By contrast in Terraria you have shitload of armour that more or less just replace themselves. Where Minecraft manages to keep you on your toe about what gear you wear, Terraria essentially removes that choice from you by doing what you ask, ie offering “more”. But “more” here is less gameplay. Which is the reason I very rarely go out of my way for gameplay chaning mods. 90% of them actually don’t get the restraint needed to make a rich decision making gameplay.

        • geldonyetich says:

          I think it’s precisely because they’re so successful that they are so slow to introduce change.

          They’ve got a golden goose on their hands. If they make the wrong change and alienate most of the players, they’ll lose it. So, instead, they creep along at a glacially slow rate of change, trying to choose relatively “safe” changes to make.

          On top of that, bear in mind that these sales prices are mostly for new players, those who haven’t bored of Minecraft yet. As such, they don’t need to make a lot of changes, because to those players everything in the game is new.

          It’s the established players who modders are keeping interested. It’s a shame they can’t pay successful modders for their work.

          • brucethemoose says:

            I never really thought of it that way.

            If I were Microsoft, and I paid billions for Minecraft, I wouldn’t want to muck it up either.

            The annoying part is that they DO muck up the underlying code enough to require frequent mod rewrites, yet the actual improvements are rather meager (or, in some cases, regressions).

          • geldonyetich says:

            The way I heard it, it’s deliberate that they muck it up for the mods. But it’s not to prevent mods from being made, rather they are trying to cut down on piracy by making the existing cracks obsolete. In a way, a piracy crack is basically a mod whose purpose is to make the game free.

            Of course, pirates simply just release a new crack, but the idea is to entice those who are too impatient to wait for another crack to play the latest and greatest Minecraft. Wouldn’t it be easier just to not have to constantly attain new cracks? All you have to do is buy a legit copy, once, and that ease will be yours forever.

            I think a lot of Minecraft’s success comes down to their anti-piracy measures. It’s a game that server locks access without a crack. Very few do the same.

          • ludde says:

            I really don’t think DRM – if that’s really even a thing – have anything to do with Minecraft’s success.

            It’s a great game that offers a lot of different play styles for pretty much all age groups, available on a wide range of platforms. And it cost like $10 at the time it took off.

    • FuriKuri says:

      Oh, I dunno. Sometimes I feel less is more. Some mods add so much stuff that they’re just overwhelming, especially for new players. Not that I’d argue against them, per se, but by their very nature they’re generally aimed at advanced players who have mastered the base game and are looking for more (thus limiting accessibility).

      Plus, at least part of me feels for games to be regarded as art, we must consider the execution of the original creative vision. Follow that train of thought to its logical conclusion, and it would seem many, if not all, mods seem akin to crudely doodling a goatee on the Mona Lisa…

      • brucethemoose says:

        That’s certainly true. But many mods do feel like complete improvements over vanilla.

        And that’s not to speak of the core improvements (cubic chunks, Optifine, bukkit/spigot’s many optimizations, tick threading experiments, Forge’s/Sponge’s systems and so on) that Mojang doesn’t seem to have the time to look at.

      • R. Totale says:

        So mods are like Dadaism?

        • FuriKuri says:

          Essentially. It’s not to imply they’re devoid of artistic merit themselves, but ill-representative of the original. And close to meaningless without familiarity with what is being ‘subverted’.

        • GameCat says:

          I think that combining dozens of unrelated mods in one game is a quite dada thing to do.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        Most HQM packs are like tutorials. Jumping in cold still felt like a cold shower but then you can play around with several different item pipes or ways to crush ore or channel redstone flux.
        At some point you can tell an extra utilities survivalist generator from a ender I/O stirling generator, know the default recipes and when to deploy and what cable is best to hook them up. You know how to feed items from a BC quarry in the twilight forest dimension to a tesseract which leads to your sorting and melting facility in your base after several failed attempts. Eventually it feels great.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Yeah sad to see the clueless hate on Vanilla and MC generally when they could play with deep magic like Thaumcraft or Botania or make automated factories with ex utilities, buildcraft, Tinkers, Ender I/O, Thermal Expansion, AE2 and the dozens others.
      They miss out on modpacks like Regrowth, Material Energy, Blightfall, Agrarian Skies which I love for the questbook guided singleplayer experience.
      Hundreds of hours of content for the starter fee, then you have modded sandboxes and multiplayer.

  2. Chiselphane says:

    Great additions. My daughter and I play vanilla-PS4 and getting ‘clean’ blocks in the right color can be a challenge! And she’s going to love the terracotta patterns.

  3. ColonelFlanders says:

    Hi Alice, you’ve got the version number wrong – it should be 1.11.2 :)

  4. Kefren says:

    I stopped playing when they brought in a hunger mechanic that took all the fun out of starting a new game (my health would drop continuously as I explored, then I’d die from falling a small distance). The only option was to turn off things like the monsters, but that also turned off a lot of the fun. Has it changed much since then? i.e. can you now disable hunger, but still have the rest of the game as it used to be (monsters etc)?

    • ThricebornPhoenix says:

      I haven’t tried it yet, but I hear the 1.11 update made hunger less annoying. Simply moving around – in fact everything except for health regeneration, I believe – should deplete your hunger bar much more slowly than before.

    • Kefren says:

      Thanks both – looks like you still can’t disable it. (Even if slow, it would annoy me). Surprises me that they don’t just add it as a tick box to the options, especially as it wasn’t a part of Minecraft when I started.

  5. Scandalon says:

    As someone who supports some Minecraft servers and their users (Infrastructure and end-user clueless parents and the like), personally I wish the updates would slow down a bit. :)

    It doesn’t help that as a game it bores me to tears. I’m not exactly looking for sympathy that I can sometimes fire up minecraft and “get paid for it”, mind. :P

  6. Abaleth says:

    There’s a subtlety to Minecraft. I think there’s a very good reason to why the devs are so much more careful than the modders when it comes to what to change. Too much sketchy content would ruin it, and there’s always tons modders to play around with that for players who want it. (Don’t get me wrong, I think some of the modders get the subtley too, there’s some jaw-droppingly awesome content out there, e.g. Tinker’s Workshop, Thaumcraft.)

    I think giving lots of easily available coloured blocks kinda misses the point slightly, creative mode folks already had wool, and people who liked making complex stuff whilst actually playing enjoyed the careful farming of resources.

    I wonder if Microsoft have somehow failed to get Minecraft, the modding community seems to be about a tenth as active since they took over, and I think that’s a great shame.

  7. Niox says:

    It’s incredible how much this game has changed during the last few years, nowadays it’s all about mods and Minecraft server hosting, but I’m glad vanilla Minecraft still comes up with new ideas to have fun with.