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Minecraft Is Finished 272

Posted by timothy
from the it's-never-finished dept.
SharkLaser writes "Minecraft, the most widely known and best selling indie game in the history, is now finished. Minecraft creator Notch tweeted yesterday that Minecraft has gone gold and will be released at the end of the week at the first Minecon, a gathering of Minecraft fans. So far over 4 million people have bought the game, generating over 50 million dollars in revenue. Minecraft has also had a rapid modding community around the game, developing gems like the Millenaire mod, Builders and Tornadoes. Minecraft also brought back the interest in voxel based engines, introducing games like Ace of Spades (build, make tunnels, capture the flag FPS) and Voxatron [note: you might want to turn down your volume for this video]. It also opened up many ways for new indie developers, as Minecraft showed development can be funded solely by making something new and giving out early access to the game for those who are interested in the project. The upcoming Steam-like IndieCity-platform will also employ similar feature where, in addition to normal indie game store, players can look at unfinished projects and choose to support their development."
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Minecraft Is Finished

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  • Re:Not finished (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cygnwolf (601176) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:40AM (#38059432)
    I think he's probably tired of saying the word 'Beta'.
  • Great (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:42AM (#38059444)

    Does that mean that the DRM has been removed?

    * I've heard some people claim that it's not DRM, but any system where I have to activate the game with an external system counts as DRM in my book.

  • Re:Great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:45AM (#38059496)

    It may be DRM, but it's the least intrusive DRM I've seen in a long time. Especially the part where it will still let you play even if it can't contact the server.

  • by mr_gorkajuice (1347383) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @09:56AM (#38059594)
    Noone who matters was ever in doubt that gameplay matters. But if you, as a developer, want to get paid at some point before actually having an early beta available for people to pre-order, you're gonna have to work for someone who already has the money. And if you're working for someone, expect to be asked to do as they say. And if you're the person with the money, hiring a lot of professional developers, you're either *REALLY* confident that your groundbreaking new idea is gonna sell, or you're gonna take the beaten path, and just hope you can beat the established players at their game.

    You can't have a bunch of developers join forces, unless they agree which game to make. And if they don't agree, they'd might as well make "someone else's game" for a large company able to pay a decent salary.

    In short - billion-dollar developer studios are not big risk-takers. Don't expect this to change, and don't try to make it sound like the government needs to save the oppresed developers from the horror that is established game studios.
  • How not to develop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:14AM (#38059866)

    Notch is a man bursting with ideas, but from what I've seen, he is an atrocious project manager. The number of half-baked ideas and functions still left in the game even at 1.0 (Although as a previous commenter mentioned, this is a very arbitrary number for the game) speaks volumes about the company's attention span when implementing new features. They always seem to get halfway there, and then abandon it for the next lightbulb that lit up.

    Of course, the title is praised by both computer game enthusiasts and casual passers-by across the world, and the simple but powerful idea of creativity, survival, and effort/reward are fully realized. But when bedroom coders do impressive mods in their spare time over a weekend, and the devs take months refining trivial bugs, it says to me that there is a world of possibilities missed out due to a very amateur approach to development.

    Just my two cents.

  • by Goaway (82658) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:15AM (#38059880) Homepage

    If Minecraft is proof of anything, it is that gameplay does not matter at all. Minecraft used to have no "gameplay" whatsoever. It is only recently it has gained some fragments of gameplay, and even that is pretty primitive.

    There are plenty reasons to like Minecraft, I'm sure, but "gameplay" is not one of them.

  • by ledow (319597) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:15AM (#38059890) Homepage

    Replayability.

    Even something as silly as Nethack has almost infinite replayability, and that's why it's popular. (It doesn't mean that making games replayable will instantly make them hits, but it's certainly a large factor).

    I've realised, though, that no matter what games I emulate from my "golden" period of gaming, that I quickly get bored of them and move onto other games, except for a certain handful that you *can* just keep playing over and over again even if you've played them for 20 years on-and-off.

    Modern games rely on things like multiplayer options to provide their replayability but that relies on people *wanting* to play it online to the extent that they setup / buy / manage servers / games for it. Multiplayer really was the death of creativity in videogames.

    The problem is that games authors don't match replayability with making money. If someone can only reasonably play a game once or twice before they get bored / stop having fun, then they'll go and buy another - maybe a sequel - instead. It's not directly profitable to make a game replayable. It's a rare instance where a replayable game can just make that amount of money overnight because of people "rewarding" them, effectively, for making such an enjoyable bit of gameplay - few others will enjoy that success even if their game is better AND more replayable.

    I judge my Steam purchases by hours of gameplay per pound (about $1.50). Anything over 10 hours per pound is usually pretty good. Some games are in the hundreds of hours per pound. Most half-decent games manage at least 1 hour per pound. Anything below that I consider a loss. So the game has to be either amazing and long (rare - HL2 managed it), or it has to be cheap, or it has to be very replayable.

    How many games, when you replay, do you end up doing the same things, talking to the same characters, hitting the same buttons, being "ambushed" at the same points, etc.? (I tired of Magicka very quickly because of that (and because of their stupid save system).

    How many have a formula - "press this button, then hide on that platform and shoot until everything's dead" - that, once you work it out, you can follow and be pretty certain of constantly making progress? Even HL2 is guilty of both problems and thus why I've never really replayed it.

    But silly things like Minecraft, Nethack (and spin-offs like Dungeons of Dredmor), Elite and a thousand other games are replayable enough that even if you *DID* make it through and complete the game, you could go back for more and it would be different. For HL2 you'd still be subject to the same cutscenes, the same forced route, the same decisions, etc.

    It's not just an "open-plan" game like the Grand Theft Autos - you still have to do the same mash of missions in the same time in the same way doing the same things in those even if you have choice of which one to do when - but a replayable game. Replayable games can even be quite repetitive at times, but they don't stop being fun to play because it "feels" different - like you've acclimatised to how the world works but it's still a new world each time with its own challenges.

    Big-name games don't have the same replayability that they used to - it's definitely followed the indie genre more than the commercial publishers. Sequel after sequel after sequel don't make something more replayable - it's like the difference between being given three "one night" game rentals, and being given three games. With modern games, you'd hardly notice the difference because you'll never load them again, but with the best games, you'd much rather pay more and own them forever and get to play them as much as you'd like.

    As someone who's racked up over 500 hours on Altitude, 100 hours on Dungeons of Dredmor, 1000's of hours on Counterstrike, it's disappointing that most of what make them great is missing from commercial games that people queue outside stores for, see advertised on TV, etc.

    Replayability is the key. If I don't get an hour per pou

  • Re:Not finished (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:16AM (#38059908)

    Or about those yanks that pronounce beta as bay-tah.

  • Re:Not finished (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FBeans (2201802) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:19AM (#38059938)

    Or about those yanks that pronounce beta as bay-tah.

    I say potato, you say potato, as long as we never speak in person and communicate soley over the internet, everything will be fine (TM).

  • by Goaway (82658) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:28AM (#38060064) Homepage

    Gameplay implies rules, and goals, and mechanisms.

    You can have fun for hours in a paint program, but that does not make it a game.

  • by Goaway (82658) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:45AM (#38060298) Homepage

    I don't think Lego has ever claimed to be selling a game.

  • Re:minetest (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Joe Jay Bee (1151309) <jbsouthseaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @01:19PM (#38062466)

    I actually just read the Minetest developer's note to "Minecraft fanatics". He actually has the balls to say:

    I know a lot of people here are thinking that I am cloning a game, meanly and effortlessly copying what others have done, possibly making some fancy cheap technical improvements or something. [...] You could say all the first person shooters today are clones of Quake. They all look the same and mostly you can do the same things in them. Still everybody thinks they are different games and not clones. Why is it so?

    Well the difference is that while Half-Life 2 didn't take Quake's gameplay, plot and look and feel wholesale (while of course sharing similarities in gameplay, what with them both being FPSes), Minetest is a clone of Minecraft, built with the sole aim and intention of being like Minecraft. That's a pretty big difference. There's a marked gap between building on what your predecessors did before and adding stuff, and just taking an existing game and trying to make that.

    Hell, even the HUD on the screenshot is identical...

  • by Reapy (688651) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @03:56PM (#38065152)

    Agree here, and I think the tipping point for minecraft was the idea of a game actually being placed in it via survivor mode. That's why I bought it anyway. I had the impression that the 'just build' part of minecraft was around a while but had a smaller following. Once the survivor idea caught on I think is when it exploded.

    Unfortunately he hasn't done a good job at making a game out of it yet imho. Some nice forward stepping ideas, and I haven't really looked at mods, but I just haven't picked up the game in a while. Terraria showed me more the kind of game I was looking for, but that got boring for me after time as well, but i definitly spent a lot more time with it since I like smashing through gates.

    When I can't survive in an area or get through it to see what is on the other side, it pushes me find out a solution to that problem so I can push forward.

    But yeah at the time minecraft just did a perfect mass appeal, it walked right down the middle of the line, being a building /creative tool and having that hint and promise of exploring and finding treasure and monsters, so you were able to scoop up a huge audience and get a pretty big buzz for attention.

    I think it failed pretty hard in the 'game' part, but that wasn't really apparent until I had spent 10 bucks and maybe about 3/4 hours in the game and saw everything there was to see. Still hoping that eventually there will be a neat game in there somewhere.

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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