Interesting notes about why Minecraft is quite interesting

#1 Posted by Affe (2 posts) -

GB crew quite clearly has a hard time understanding what all the fuzz is about Minecraft. While I truly like this site's attitude of "we don't have to cover everything/ hype about everything that's now popular", I feel that (some of) the bombers should give MC a(nother) chance. I have therefore collected some interesting/important notes about the game from few more or less respectable sources. So my ultimatesuperdreamfantasy is that somehow magically some of the boys (cough-Vinny-cough) would see this and "get" Minecraft.

Edge -

-Minecraft allows you to shape worlds, but first it constructs one for you: a procedurally generated landscape of mountains and dales, deserts and strongholds, that nobody else will ever have seen before. It’s an astonishing start to each adventure, and it’s critical when it comes to explaining why this seemingly primitive indie project has become a cultural phenomenon while other, far more lavish building games remain curios. The trick is that Minecraft doesn’t just give you tools allowing you to create things; it also provides a context that ensures you will.There’s no room for blank-page syndrome when you’ve already got a whole biosphere in front of you, then, while the need to mine even basic materials will see you carving your first sculptures just by hesitantly digging a few holes in the dirt. Mojang’s insistence on manufacturing your playground in advance of your arrival also adds a crucial element of stage management to a game where the designers otherwise keep a respectful distance.

-Minecraft isn’t the game its sales figures necessarily suggest: it’s stranger and more willful than most mega-hits, and it isn’t particularly friendly early on. Lacking tutorials and obvious objectives, it’s not uncommon to spend your first few hours simply wandering around, waiting for the moment when the game will actually begin. The fun only emerges if you stop hunting for it: when you change tack and make a plan that the world either supports or undermines, when you pick a distant peak to investigate, and then night falls and the mobs emerge. While Mojang’s game takes up almost no hard-drive space, the demands it makes of its players are enormous.

-Minecraft’s a powerful survival horror game at times, and that can be your entire experience if you want it to be. Simply ignore the impulse to focus on anything other than armour, weaponry and enchantments: Mojang doesn’t mind.

-Its success lies not with the things that got added along the way so much as the things that didn’t. Levelling and Portals aside, the core of Minecraft is still space: space to build, space to explore, space to creatively, even accidentally, do yourself in. It’s heroic in its open-endedness, especially when you consider that leaving something open-ended is often the most daring choice.

-The central achievement of Minecraft is a willingness to let the player define the experience; to make them the most interesting element in a world that’s already dynamic and fascinating. It’s a decision that has made designer Markus Persson a millionaire, and it’s ensured that the most important PC game of the past five years is also the most timely. Minecraft creates pockets of unmapped wilderness in a world that’s increasingly cluttered, and offers the illusion of control in an era in which genuine control is so rarely available. It’s the promise, particularly potent these days, of ownership; of not just shaping a landscape, but also calling it home.

The Telegraph -

It’s a game about survival, discovery, community, loneliness, creativity, and despair. There’s something oddly primal about it. In gameplay terms, there’s really very little reason to expand beyond a very basic hut. But the desire to experiment, create and tame the surrounding wilderness constantly propels the player towards new experiences and challenges. Minecraft is by far one of the most fascinating and progressive games ever made, both in terms of its leanings towards procedural generation and emergent gameplay.

1UP -

-Minecraft is unique in the gaming universe at the moment -- though knockoffs already abound. They range from the excellent 2D Terraria -- which takes obvious inspiration from Minecraft but establishes its own identity -- to a glut of derivative and shameless clones like FortressCraft, which have been cleaning up on Xbox Live's Indie Games section. It seems inevitable that some time in the next year or so we'll see some of the bigger studios realize what veteran Minecrafters already know: There's gold in them there hills. Whether we're treated to slicker looking, soulless knockoffs or wildly divergent games that retain the game's premise of ultimate freedom in a near-infinite world, there's already a lot to look forward to.

-Meanwhile, Minecraft, with all its flaws and quirks, has already joined Super Mario Brothers, Wolfenstein 3D, and Tetris in the pantheon of games that prototyped an entire genre. No, it's not perfect, but you just don't give a game like that anything less than our highest score.

Gamesradar -

-Why is Minecraft one of the most famous indie games of all time? Versatility and near-infinite replayability. Want to accomplish a series of goals and clear the final boss? Minecraft has that. Want to explore a series of underground ruins and caverns, unearthing fabulous treasures? That, too.

-Getting through the game means you’re going to be using the game’s simple crafting system quite a bit, which in turn means you’re going to do a lot of mining for raw materials. To mine effectively, you need to make some basic tools out of wood, which can be punched apart with your bare hands. After gathering better materials, like iron ore, you can create iron tools, which in turn allow you to mine better materials, like diamonds. And that’s the essence of the game: one big, positive feedback cycle. Doing one thing enables you to do another better.

GameTrailers -

-Depending on how you approach it, Minecraft is at once refreshingly simple and profoundly complex. Each game starts out by placing you in a randomly generated three-dimensional landscape, which delivers everything from lush forests to forbidding mountains"

-While it still has some pixilated edges that leave it feeling unfinished, few games in recent years have done so well with such a promising concept and offered so many opportunities for true exploration. Accept it on its own terms, and Minecraft will leave you digging ever deeper for the secrets its sandbox has in store.

#2 Posted by Christoffer (1955 posts) -

How long before someone writes "Notch just ripped of Infiniminer, this isn't new"?

I like minecraft but I understand why GB have no interest in covering it. Everone knows what minecraft is, at this point. And forcing some reluctant staff member unto it would be a waste of time.

But it would be fun to maybe see Vinnie struggle with it for an hour or two, just for the humor.

#3 Posted by mosespippy (4586 posts) -

@Christoffer said:

And forcing some reluctant staff member unto it would be a waste of time.

So Betting the Farmville was a waste of time?

#4 Edited by WhyBeAre (73 posts) -

@mosespippy said:

@Christoffer said:

And forcing some reluctant staff member unto it would be a waste of time.

So Betting the Farmville was a waste of time?

Those were interns they don't get the same privileges, and he wants normal staff.

Anyhow I would assume they are well aware of the game and with pretty strong opinions already, it may also be a thing of time where it would be illogical to use time on Minecraft compared to the other available games.

#5 Edited by Beforet (2941 posts) -

@mosespippy said:

@Christoffer said:

And forcing some reluctant staff member unto it would be a waste of time.

So Betting the Farmville was a waste of time?

If you're suggesting a new feature where the interns try to recreate farmville in minecraft, then I am right on board, sir!

#6 Posted by onarum (2383 posts) -

There's nothing to "get" in minecraft, at first is really interesting but after a few hours you see everything there is to see, and unless you like to build useless stuff just for the heck of it you're pretty much done with it.
Also the community in there is so effin pathetic, the moment mojang tries to add at least a sliver of structure so it will actually resemble a game they go all up in arms about it, basically all they want is a glorified lego set.

#7 Posted by jetsetwillie (857 posts) -

i bought minecraft a few weeks ago after here loads of positive reaction on podcasts like weekend confirmed etc...

i loved it for about 5 hours, was building myself an enormous landmark to mark my spawn point. when i just lost interest. just like that. i turn it off and new i would NEVER play it again. and 4 weeks later still have not.

#8 Posted by Christoffer (1955 posts) -

@mosespippy said:

@Christoffer said:

And forcing some reluctant staff member unto it would be a waste of time.

So Betting the Farmville was a waste of time?

No. Any serious coverage, however, I think would be a waste of time in their own opinion, at this point. This is what I meant. They're a small team (not counting interns) and cut a lot of games because of this.

With "serious coverage" I mean playing it long enough to make thoughtful judgements about every element. As in any review. Not "this is barely a game, I hate it" or scraping the surface in a short video.

#9 Posted by drag (1206 posts) -

I would say the main reason they weren't into it was that their first experience was on a multiplayer server and basically consisted of one big griefing session. And going back to normal single player after than seems like you've been playing a game with cheats turned on for a while and suddenly they're all switched off.

#10 Posted by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

@Christoffer said:

How long before someone writes "Notch just ripped of Infiniminer, this isn't new"?

Pff--everyone know's it's just riding the popularity of Dwarf Fortress. Everyone's going to stop playing it when ASCII graphics and nested menus become popular again.

/esoteric game hipster

#11 Posted by Brackynews (4110 posts) -

Brad is on record saying he can appreciate it as a thing, but it's just not on his timetable to sit and play.

Not when he's getting a SWTOR posse together. :)

@Ravenlight: You want to play in ASCII? Minecraft has that. ;D

#12 Posted by Affe (2 posts) -

Main reason for the post was that I think Minecraft is so widely spread thing now that some of the games true strengths can be lost in the noise of how much money it made or how much pixel art and griefing the community can accomplish.

But forcing or demanding that someone should cover it more is of course silly. It's not a game everyone can or should appreciate and has a lot to improve. But honestly, I think it was one of the most fascinating (single player survival) adventures in gaming I've ever had.

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