Everything You Need to Know About Minecraft

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#1 Edited by TheBeast (1931 posts) -

 
  
   
So you've been hearing a lot about Minecraft recently.  
Some of you have no idea what it's about, some of you have just picked it up and don't know what to do, others are already exploring some cave for that elusive diamond... either way, there'll be something in this thread for you.  

Pretty Important Notes  

Minecraft is a game in heavy active development. It is currently in alpha, which basically means: evolving, but broken. Lots of things probably won't work right, but they're being fixed every day. 

Minecraft: What is it?

What did you go and ask that for? This thing is really damn hard to describe, so I'll just quote a Reddit commenter (ajpos) who seems to be able to describe it better than I ever could: 

It's a bit hard to describe.
Wife: What are you doing?

Me: Building a pick.
Wife: Why?
Me: So I can dig underground.
Wife: Why would you dig underground?
Me: To find diamonds.
Wife: What do you do with diamonds?
Me: Build a better a pick.

It's a sandbox FPS with an infinitely-sized randomly generated map. Everything is also incorporated within a "3d grid," where every cube of the map is filled with a "block" of some kind. These can include air, water, sand, lava, gravel, stone, and many others. Each block has different properties (such as durability) and can be manipulated (taken, moved, destroyed, etc.) in order to suit your objectives.

Your objectives are mostly up to you. For the first hour or so of gameplay, your objective is to survive monsters. However, after an hour you probably have enough weapons and shelter to save yourself from these monsters - so you are free to dig deep caverns, go exploring, or build things from the various blocks on the world.

Your inventory is the various blocks you have collected and the tools you've made to collect them. Your health is shown because of the damage you've taken from the monsters.

Or perhaps this description appeals more to your imagination:

It's a game that half exists in the users own imagination, as such screen-shots and videos can struggle to give you an accurate representation of what it's like playing it. 

It's like this; Right now I'm spelunking caves in a newly generated world, and I plan to link them up via tunnels to create a huge underground dungeon where I can store all my loot. Later I'll probably set up a mono-rail station above ground so I can travel by train to the various points in my underground network. 

However at any point I can decide this is boring and build a concrete spider 80 foot long looming over my base. Or I could get bored of that and decide to see how much TNT I can stuff in to a mountain and detonate all at once. Or I can later decide that huge explosions are not for me and instead I will set sail at the first Lake I come across and start new buildings on its shore. Or maybe half way through the lake ride I could get bored and decide to pile sand in the middle to form my own personal island. Or I could change my mind and... and do whatever I want to do. 

It's impossible to get bored playing, because you can decide at any point to do anything else in the game world. However minecraft is unique, because unlike other games where you have such a grand sense of freedom it is still quite challenging. At night monsters roam the world, and to get rare materials you have to dig down in to caverns containing unseen terrors. And unknown to you, that diamond seam you're happily digging in to contains a sizeable pocket of lava on the other side... 

Experiences, or 'I still don't get it.'

   Not convinced? Maybe these Minecraft experiences in various mediums from other players will help. 

Resources, or "Ok, I'm convinced, now what?"

First, buy it. At the time of writing this, it's about $13. That's $0.0000001 for every hour you will spend in Minecraft. Best value for entertainment ever.  
That price will probably be increasing when it goes in to beta, so pick it up while you can. 

You might notice there's a free version - this is not what the rest of us are playing - it's Minecraft in its original form, and while it can still be fun, it's nowhere near as good as the 'real thing' or Alpha, as you may hear it called. 
 
Now you probably want to check out the Minecraft Wiki, it's full of useful information but the two most useful pages are Crafting and Furnace. If you're still a bit confused; take a look at Your First Shelter in Minecraft which should guide you through the basics.
 
For more on the game you can't go wrong with a few of these communities: 
Giant Bomb's Minecraft forums 
The Minecraft Forum 
Minecraft Subreddit 
 
You can follow the developer, Markus Persson (aka Notch) on his blog and on Twitter.
#2 Posted by Mikemcn (7011 posts) -

Good Post, minecraft is awesome!

#3 Posted by Davvyk (694 posts) -

Billiant post. im currently taking in x's youtube series and its brilliant

#4 Posted by Prolix (188 posts) -

Thought we could play for free.  We have to buy it first?  There a trial version?  I didn't read anything in this thread, cept for the word Minecraft.  :  )

#5 Posted by BraveToaster (12588 posts) -

Nice Thread.

#6 Posted by Disgaeamad (1342 posts) -

And TheBeast suddenly causes thousands to become addicted.

#7 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

It's actually closer to $13.50. But yeah, it's still a great price for all the time you could spend in it.
 
The free "classic" version doesn't give you the right impressions as to what the actual game (Survival) is in the alpha. In the free classic one you can destroy and place blocks instantly, and that's it. The full one has health, monsters, block health, and most importantly crafting.

#8 Posted by TheBeast (1931 posts) -
@MrKlorox: Cheers, fixed that! 
@Disgaeamad: Mwahaha... 
 
I'll be updating this thread with more snippets of information as I have time - if anyone wants to write anything to go in the OP, go ahead and I'll see if I can fit it in.
#9 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

Thanks for this, I've been wanting to get into the game more in depth. 

#10 Posted by Noodlearms (586 posts) -

Awesome :) this game needs more love.

#11 Posted by tankintheair315 (351 posts) -

Minecraft is one of the best games this year for me, no doubt. My caslte in the sky complete with floating moats and floating forests is amazing!

#12 Posted by junkrebel (42 posts) -

I have been playing, and indeed thinking about MineCraft all week long. I had heard about its wonders before but it was the RPS writeup which finally convinced me to give it a shot and play it. It's a really unique game and it has such a tactile feedback loop of being able to deconstruct any part of the land and then construct something anywhere you like.

#13 Edited by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -

Argh, I'm trying to register and buy the game, but the server keeps crashing and I have to start all over again :( 
 
Edit: Yeah, I did it! Finally registered. Let's see if I manage to buy the game...

#14 Edited by Bevinsky (184 posts) -
#15 Posted by Glak (613 posts) -

Well, this convinced me to get this
My friends have gotten hooked on this game recently, so I guess I'm gonna buy it
Hope I don't get addicted :P

#16 Posted by ZagZagovich (769 posts) -

Dude. I've been minecrafting so hard right now that my legs  went numb.

#17 Posted by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -

OK, I finally got the game, but updating is a pain in the ass :(

#18 Posted by ViciousReiven (821 posts) -

is it just me, or at even the lowest settings it's still laggy?

#19 Edited by coaxmetal (1647 posts) -

The multiplayer is fun too, though it is only in the early stages atm and has lots of bugs (like monsters are invincible). Also, minecraft.net seems to be down right now. 

#20 Edited by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Ack the update server is way overloaded. The website won't even load at the moment. Dude needs to find a better update method with all these new players he's getting.
 

@ViciousReiven

said:

" is it just me, or at even the lowest settings it's still laggy? "

I think it's just you. I get ~200 fps at normal draw distance. How much memory is the game taking up?
 
@JoeyRavn said:
" Argh, I'm trying to register and buy the game, but the server keeps crashing and I have to start all over again :(  Edit: Yeah, I did it! Finally registered. Let's see if I manage to buy the game... "
You happened to buy it just as the new update went live. That's why you seem to be having trouble.
#21 Posted by InfamousBIG (3219 posts) -
@Disgaeamad said:
" And TheBeast suddenly causes thousands to become addicted. "
#22 Posted by JustKamToo (715 posts) -

I can't stop watcihng the minecraft LP's on youtube I think I'll die when it comes out on steam from staying up 72 hours of none stop playing.

#23 Posted by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -
@MrKlorox said:
" Ack the update server is way overloaded. The website won't even load at the moment. Dude needs to find a better update method with all these new players he's getting.
 

@ViciousReiven

said:

" is it just me, or at even the lowest settings it's still laggy? "

I think it's just you. I get ~200 fps at normal draw distance. How much memory is the game taking up?
 
@JoeyRavn said:
" Argh, I'm trying to register and buy the game, but the server keeps crashing and I have to start all over again :(  Edit: Yeah, I did it! Finally registered. Let's see if I manage to buy the game... "
You happened to buy it just as the new update went live. That's why you seem to be having trouble. "
Thanks for the info. I was able to buy the game and download it, but the update (when I'm lucky to get it started) halts about halfway through. I guess I'll just have to wait... watching X play Minecraft :P Hopefully tomorrow it'll be a bit better.
#24 Posted by Mmmslash (2169 posts) -

Update today was kind of disappointing.
 
Sneaking is neat, but giving me a nonfuctional fishing pole breaks my goddamn heart.

#25 Posted by RobotHamster (4177 posts) -

Minecraft is thee shit, Ice-T approves!!

#26 Posted by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -

 Minecraft Offline. Hold.
Setting up a cloud solution. Free Minecraft weekend until the problems are solved?

/ Notch    

http://minecraft.net/
 
I'm getting a grey screen after having downloaded the update. It seems I picked the worst time possible to get Minecraft :( 
#27 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -
@JoeyRavn said:
"

 Minecraft Offline. Hold.
Setting up a cloud solution. Free Minecraft weekend until the problems are solved?

/ Notch    

http://minecraft.net/
 
I'm getting a grey screen after having downloaded the update. It seems I picked the worst time possible to get Minecraft :(  "
That's unfortunate for you and super fortunate to anybody else curious about  the Alpha version. This deserves its own thread.
#28 Posted by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -

According to Notch in his Twitter, he's solved the bug: 
 

 I found the grayscreen thing! It was caused by a failed Gamma setting experiment! It should be fixed now.    

 
The game will be F2P during the rest of the weekend: 
 

 I found the grayscreen thing! It was caused by a failed Gamma setting experiment! It should be fixed now.    

#29 Posted by Necrotoxin (141 posts) -

Notch messed up this time. He should have not tried to rush this update out, but hes only human. I am going to give up trying to play today, and just try playing tomorrow.

#30 Posted by Dedodido (235 posts) -

Oh man, I just discovered this. And Civ V comes out this week. Bugger.

#31 Posted by TheBeast (1931 posts) -

Great timing on this thread then! Hopefully you all get a chance to play this weekend to see if you enjoy it - can't blame Notch for the sudden increase in demand but you might want to hold off for a bit before you try to play.

#32 Posted by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -
@TheBeast said:
" Great timing on this thread then! Hopefully you all get a chance to play this weekend to see if you enjoy it - can't blame Notch for the sudden increase in demand but you might want to hold off for a bit before you try to play. "
If you can get into the game, that is :P Anyway, since things are a bit messy right now, I'll use this time to gather some knowledge about the game.  
 
1. I have no sound, but I've read it's because of the latest update. Anyone else having this problem? 
2. I'm having problems with playing in fullscreen with the downloadable version. I have two monitors and when I press F11 and go fullscreen, Windows puts the secondary monitor's wallpaper in the main one. This only happens with Minecraft. Also, if I stay on fullscreen and I go back to the main menu, I can't exit the game, because there's no Exit button. I have to Alt+F4 it. Is this normal? 
3. What's better, the downloadable version or the browser version? :P
#33 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

I am so confused ??? I went online and played something that I thought was minecraft. I played it in a browser and all I had was a bunch of blocks I could place and blocks I could destroy, I got no sense of monsters of any of that jazz. Am I playing the right thing or what, this sounds so awesome, I want to experience the magic, HEEELP!!!

#34 Posted by TheBeast (1931 posts) -
@DoctorWelch Sounds like you're playing Classic. It's Alpha you're looking for.
#35 Posted by TheBeast (1931 posts) -
@JoeyRavn 1. The updated isn't downloading sound at the moment, Notch is working on it.
2. Sorry, can't help with that one, I play on OSX.
3. I prefer the downloadable version but they're basically exactly the same thing.
#36 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -
@JoeyRavn said:
" I have two monitors and when I press F11 and go fullscreen, Windows puts the secondary monitor's wallpaper in the main one. This only happens with Minecraft. Also, if I stay on fullscreen and I go back to the main menu, I can't exit the game, because there's no Exit button. I have to Alt+F4 it. Is this normal? "
I also have two monitors and just use the maximize button for fullscreen. It's not proper fullscreen mode but it works fine on either monitor. Just click the X to close like any other windowed program. I don't think there's a built-in exit button.
#37 Posted by JoeyRavn (5007 posts) -
@TheBeast said:
" @JoeyRavn 1. The updated isn't downloading sound at the moment, Notch is working on it. 2. Sorry, can't help with that one, I play on OSX. 3. I prefer the downloadable version but they're basically exactly the same thing. "
Thanks for the answers. Before the forums went online, I managed to download the sounds from a temporary fix from a user there. Everything's working fine now :)  

@MrKlorox said:
" @JoeyRavn said:
" I have two monitors and when I press F11 and go fullscreen, Windows puts the secondary monitor's wallpaper in the main one. This only happens with Minecraft. Also, if I stay on fullscreen and I go back to the main menu, I can't exit the game, because there's no Exit button. I have to Alt+F4 it. Is this normal? "
I also have two monitors and just use the maximize button for fullscreen. It's not proper fullscreen mode but it works fine on either monitor. Just click the X to close like any other windowed program. I don't think there's a built-in exit button. "
After playing a bit, I found that after having entered or created a world, I can toggle fullscreen/windowed inside the main menu with F11, so I just window it after playing. At least it's something, for the time being.
#38 Edited by jim_dandy (891 posts) -
@TheBeast:  Check out this tutorial video for your OP:
 
EDIT: Nevermind, I'm a dumb that needs some sleep. Anyway, the first video would be a good primer.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylVtj-1Ccgg 
  
Also what the heck is wrong with embedding videos?
 
PS - Mobs are busted in MP. :(
   
#39 Posted by EnchantedEcho (740 posts) -
@Disgaeamad said:
" And TheBeast suddenly causes thousands to become addicted. "
Great post, exactly what you need to know before playing the game.
#40 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4606 posts) -

Anyone ever actually read Robinson Crusoe? Because based on what I'm hearing, that's totally what this game is. A dude running around building shit.  I'll take a look at this when I have the time, but alas, I have not the monies, either, so it's classic for me.

#41 Posted by Mmmslash (2169 posts) -
@MarkWahlberg:  That's a fair comparison, really.
#42 Posted by Mikemcn (7011 posts) -

This video pretty much sums up Minecraft, plus it has awesome Inception trailer music.
 
 

#43 Posted by odintal (1095 posts) -

  

  Oops!
#44 Posted by Demyx (3237 posts) -
@odintal said:

"   

  Oops! "
wow, that just sucks
#45 Posted by Diamond (8634 posts) -

Only 2 days of playing Minecraft...


  
#46 Posted by dvaeg (189 posts) -

I just bought it.   I have no clue what I'm going to do with it though.

#47 Posted by Vigorousjammer (2530 posts) -

I still have no clue why I'd want to play this game... it's just a big map editor, except with RPG elements?
meaning I can't even just make a map, I have to build up resources to make a map?
 
this doesn't sound interesting to me...

#48 Posted by Ryax (4630 posts) -

bought into it and now am losing all my time to it. holy shit ive ever been happier to pay for something

#49 Posted by kalmis (1559 posts) -

I've seen some Youtube clips earlier but wasn't really impressed. I guess this is something that needs to be experienced instead.

#50 Posted by TheBeast (1931 posts) -
@Vigorousjammer: @kalmis: It's not for everyone - if it doesn't interest you, don't buy it! Screenshots and descriptions don't do it much justice, but videos like X's Adventures are a pretty good representation of what actually playing the game is like - if you find them boring, you'll probably find the game boring too.

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