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Minecraft Reaches Beta Status, Price Goes Up

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the another-notch-in-the-belt dept.

PC Games (Games) 279

Eric writes "After over a year of development, Minecraft has hit Beta status today. Minecraft was developed for about a week before its public release on May 17, 2009. With the new milestone, the price of the game has increased to €14.95; when Minecraft moves beyond beta status, it will sell for €20.00. The beta is more focused on polish and content. The aim is to add proper modding support via a stable API, some kind of non-intrusive narrative to help drive the game experience early on, and a late-game goal. Updates will be less frequent, so as to make sure stability is maintained thanks to more extended testing. Despite this, there have already been two beta releases: client and server Beta 1.0 followed quickly by client 1.0_01."

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The real question going through my mind is.. (4, Interesting)

Ventriloquate (551798) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626680)

did they get their money back from PayPal?

Re:The real question going through my mind is.. (4, Informative)

Ailure (853833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626700)

Yes, Notch got his money. :)

Re:The real question going through my mind is.. (2)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626706)

Yes and no. I heard that they allow limited releases of cash back when this was a huge issue. Now I'm not so sure about it, but they also have along with Paypal a credit card processor for payment.

Releases. (3, Interesting)

srothroc (733160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626712)

The summary fails to mention the spectacular fail.

The release that was supposed to inaugurate the beta also created a bunch of bugs for both single- and multi-player modes, including dupe bugs, which he was trying to fix.

The patch that followed the beta release was supposed to fix those bugs, and didn't. Minecraft remains almost unplayable for me in single- or multi-player mode; my friends can't even connect to the server anymore.

I understand that "beta" is just a milestone, but this is really inauspicious.

Re:Releases. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626734)

Regardless of whether you blame Minecraft's success on luck or Notch's genius, he's a rather poor programmer. If you read through the release notes on his blog, he's apparently incapable of adding features without breaking lots of stuff on the way and waiting for him to fix basic functionality can take months.

Re:Releases. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626804)

If you read through the jar's you could probable fix half of the problems in about a week.

Poor programmer? (5, Insightful)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626812)

Regardless of whether you blame Minecraft's success on luck or Notch's genius, he's a rather poor programmer. If you read through the release notes on his blog, he's apparently incapable of adding features without breaking lots of stuff on the way and waiting for him to fix basic functionality can take months.

I don't know if that's true or not, but I do know that programming 'under the spotlight' can be very distracting. What with twitter, blog comments, and forums there are far too many ways for the customer base to contact Notch 24/7. That's got to make fixing stuff hard if people are constantly shouting "FIX IT!" in your ear.

Re:Poor programmer? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626856)

Not really, he really is a bad programmer.
I'm not even sure if he knows what the Undo functionality is of whatever he is using.

He regularly fucks up even the most simplistic of things when he shouldn't have even been NEAR that section.
He is too messy, he dabbles around with everything at once, instead of focusing on one tiny section at a time.
Hell, the game STILL CRASHES WHEN IT EXITS. Seriously, launch it from command prompt, watch those errors roll!
Not to mention myself, along with countless other people, have to run MC (standalone) from command prompt with a JVM memory limit because Notch has done god knows what to screw even that up.
Game works fine in browser, but as soon as it hits that c drive and you start it yourself, oh boy.
And apparently he was at some code-athon recently, which as a huge let down i hear. (not sure myself though)

Now the game is too crashy to even play on SMP, eggs crash the game at random points, shit duplicating like crazy.
Server-side inventory was supposed to FIX duplication bugs, not make it 10 times easier!
Well, just heard from friend that the more recent patch to this update (god) is a little less buggy, so there is some hope this game will be completed by 2020...

Re:Poor programmer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626906)

Where's your video game bro? Can I play it? Or is the ETA on your tetris clone set to AD 2030 because you have OCPD and you stress out over the tiniest, most insignificant details?

Re:Poor programmer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626942)

  • the game STILL CRASHES WHEN IT EXITS
  • too crashy to even play on SMP
  • eggs crash the game at random points
  • shit duplicating like crazy

Where's your video game bro? Or is the ETA on your tetris clone set to AD 2030 because you have OCPD and you stress out over the tiniest, most insignificant details?

This is officially the world's dumbest argument. Not only is his criticism totally unfounded in your eyes because you don't know if he's written his own game, you consider major impediments to running the game "insignificant details".

Re:Poor programmer? (1, Insightful)

KovaaK (1347019) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627078)

I've never had Minecraft crash on me. Are you playing a pirated copy or something?

SMP required a rather large re-write, so there are definitely issues with it. Considering that server-side inventory was just released (in beta-state, mind you), issues like item duplication are almost expected.

Re:Poor programmer? (2)

skyride (1436439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627356)

Talking as someone who has been running half a dozen or so Minecraft servers for a few months, I've only seen more and more features added. If you think about it from a logical point of view, its quite easy to see why its causing so many problems. Aside from breaking server-side plugins every update (which is hardly unique to minecraft), there haven't been any major issues.

Re:Poor programmer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627100)

He hasn't written his own game, or he wouldn't be making these arguments. Anyone who has realizes that shipping the actual game is of paramount importance, everything else be damned.

FYI, Oblivion crashed at exit on most people's computers. Was this raised as an important issue? NO - absolutely never. Those players who grew annoyed by it wrote an injection hook routine to solve it.

And lest the significance of this fact be wasted upon you: the game is said to be in beta. In most small-team development cycles this means the product is barely two steps above a successful compilation.

Re:Poor programmer? (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627238)

Actually what you're describing is more an alpha build, a beta build should be a virtually stable and complete build requiring only 'minor' tweaks, and should be ready for large scale testing.

Re:Poor programmer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627388)

That's a fine argument to make for minor application software, web apps, or anything critical. When you're talking about 3-man indie groups releasing a complex game to tens of thousands of PC configurations in as short a time as possible, "alpha" essentially means "the non-released development state the game has been in for the last year."

AAA publishers have literally hundreds (pushing 1,000+ for a game like SC2) of QA testers working on it before/during beta stage. With indies, typically the game rarely gets thoroughly tested until after beta releases.

Re:Poor programmer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627224)

Well to notches credit most games have large teams working on them and there are plenty of bugs constantly being fixed. I think the guy is doing a rather good job. Lets think of the positive here, and if you really don't like it..guess what? Don't pay for or play it!

Re:Poor programmer? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627200)

I'm pretty tired of the "unless you've done something better, shut up" argument. Why do I need to demonstrate I'm a super-star programmer before I can complain about a game that isn't fun? Or a best-selling musician before I can comment on how crappy certain songs are? If I call a film out as having really poorly-acted, is my opinion invalid because I'm not Ian McKellan?

If you have released something into the public eye, and it is flawed, then you know what? I'm going to say so. I'm not going to hold my mouth shut while thinking "well, I don't know how to fix his game-save corruption bug, so I guess it's none of my business", especially if I've paid for the damned thing. I'm going to say "Hey, what happened to my save? Fix it!" And likewise, if they make something great, then I'll say so too. If the programmer/musician/actor/whoever is worth their salt, they'll learn from the criticism, and graciously accept the praise.

Now, don't get me wrong; the AC above was being whiny, especially given the game's literally under 24 hours out of Alpha. But just tell them "Hey, you're being a whiny bitch, file a bug report and enjoy what works", not "Could I just see your programming credentials? Oh, Mr. Newell, I didn't know... I guess this means you were right all along."

Re:Poor programmer? (1)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627912)

STORA SNOPPAR. Thank you for reading.

Re:Poor programmer? (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627626)

The game crashing on exit isn't necessarily his fault. The 3D library he is using, LWJGL, has some problems freeing the GL context when it shuts down. I've dealt with those errors in Linux and it appears it is some combination of how LWGL creates its context and what X expects. This of course doesn't excuse the rest of his code.

Re:Poor programmer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627968)

Poor Programmer is a relative term. He is very creative, ambitious, and has been able to create something almost single handed that hundreds of thousands of people enjoy. And he's a millionaire from it, so if success is your measure, he's a pretty good programmer. However he's not very systematic in his development from what I've observed, and he does not appear to have much in the way of quality control checking. I don't think he even uses a real code versioning system. By the classic definitions of 'good programming', I think he would get a bad grade. I think he is just out to create something that is fun, and hasn't really thought out the whole scalability thing. He has admitted he never thought it would get this popular. He's hired some people and if he's smart, he'll give them the tasks he is bad at like creating a test suite and versioning the code etc. so he can concentrate on what he's good at.

Re:Releases. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626842)

He's just one man. Look through the patch notes of TF2, from a HUGE developer, and you see exactly the same thing. Valve patched an airblast exploit that was well known for more than a year only just this week.

Re:Releases. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626922)

The fact that he is a poor programmer seems to escape most people, despite the evidence (let's ignore the rabid notch-can-do-no-evil userbase)

What he does seem to have a good grasp of is the game design which is arguably more important.

He does really need to hire a project manager, though.

Re:Releases. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627008)

As someone who hasn't played this game yet, let me ask: who the fuck cares about his programming skills? Do you realize that you're discussing a computer game? You couldn't possibly find a topic more shallow.

If the quality of the game matters so much to you, then stop fucking playing it and leave us alone with your nerd-bitching equivalent of Miley Cyrus hate regarding personal tampon choice and hygiene.

Re:Releases. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627062)

who the fuck cares about his programming skills?

People who play the game, perhaps? If his code is of poor quality, is bug ridden, and is terribly inefficient, then I would say that it is important. Not only that, but it might also make it harder for him and anyone else to maintain it.

If the quality of the game matters so much to you, then stop fucking playing it and leave us alone with your nerd-bitching equivalent of Miley Cyrus hate regarding personal tampon choice and hygiene.

Negative criticism is just as valid as positive criticism. Perhaps even more so. It helps people grow (if they agree with it, that is). Telling people who weren't completely satisfied to get out isn't really a valid argument.

Re:Releases. (1)

JonStewartMill (1463117) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627252)

The beta won't even launch for me. I get this:

Minecraft: Minecraft Beta 1.0_01
OS: Linux (i386) version 2.6.34.7-0.5-default
Java: 1.6.0_20, Sun Microsystems Inc.
VM: OpenJDK Server VM (mixed mode), Sun Microsystems Inc.
LWJGL: 2.4.2
[failed to get system properties (java.lang.NullPointerException)]

org.lwjgl.LWJGLException: Could not init GLX
at org.lwjgl.opengl.LinuxDisplayPeerInfo.initDefaultPeerInfo(Native Method)
at org.lwjgl.opengl.LinuxDisplayPeerInfo.(LinuxDisplayPeerInfo.java:52)
at org.lwjgl.opengl.LinuxDisplay.createPeerInfo(LinuxDisplay.java:684)
at org.lwjgl.opengl.Display.create(Display.java:854)
at org.lwjgl.opengl.Display.create(Display.java:784)
at org.lwjgl.opengl.Display.create(Display.java:765)
at net.minecraft.client.Minecraft.a(SourceFile:279)
at net.minecraft.client.Minecraft.run(SourceFile:641)
at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:636)
--- END ERROR REPORT 2aa07b3a ----------

Re:Releases. (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627298)

VM: OpenJDK Server VM

http://www.minecraft.net/download.jsp [minecraft.net] -->

Also, please make sure you're running the Sun JVM...

I know it's not clearly explained but the Sun version is required.

Re:Releases. (1)

JonStewartMill (1463117) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627358)

Pardon my ignorance, but I assumed that that's what "Sun Microsystems Inc." indicates. At any rate, it worked perfectly for the past six weeks with Minecraft Alpha.

Re:Releases. (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627394)

$ java -version
java version "1.6.0_23"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_23-b05)
Java HotSpot(TM) Server VM (build 19.0-b09, mixed mode)

I'm assuming he only tests the java.com version, and not OpenJDK. When I tried with OpenJDK a long time ago it did not work, so it would be a crapshoot.

Preorder now! (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626732)

Minecraft Reaches Beta Status, Price Goes Up

If there's one thing I don't do, it's buy software that isn't written yet. Maybe under some limited conditions in custom software both otherwise, let me know when you're done and what you're charging for it and I'll consider it.

Re:Preorder now! (5, Insightful)

srothroc (733160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626740)

It was written; you were paying for a product that existed at the time, with the bonus being unlimited future updates. Beta purchasers are not eligible for the unlimited future updates, unfortunately. A lot of people, me included, obviously thought that the game as it was in its nascent alpha stage was worth the 10-15 USD (depending on the exchange rate) being charged for it.

Re:Preorder now! (5, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626792)

Beta purchasers are not eligible for the unlimited future updates, unfortunately.

They are eligible for all updates up until the final release, and all bugfixes, though.

Re:Preorder now! (3, Informative)

Pteraspidomorphi (1651293) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627810)

Yeah, in other words, Notch just wants to be able to have, in the future, a "Minecraft 2"-type expansion package and charge for it...

Re:Preorder now! (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626886)

I bought it thinking I would probably get my money's worth eventually. Instead, what I found was that I had 10 euros of fun in the first day, and the rest of the next couple weeks was pure bonus. I don't play it now, but I intend to play it again once there are actual goals... And I'll continue to reap value from that purchase.

I was a little sad to see that future purchases won't have the major updates included, but I did already tell all my friends about it, so it's their fault for missing it.

Re:Preorder now! (1)

BassMan449 (1356143) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627794)

To be fair I don't think Notch has the intention of charging for updates in the foreseeable future, but he removed the language about unlimited updates because permanent language like that scared his lawyers.

Re:Preorder now! (4, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626754)

No shit.

This man made BANK on a fucking ALPHA.

What the fuck? I can understand needing development capital, but still, charging for an Alpha?

Insanity. He just showed up Microsoft, Apple, Google, EVERYBODY, at their own goddamned game.

Re:Preorder now! (1)

AC-x (735297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626810)

What the fuck? I can understand needing development capital, but still, charging for an Alpha?

It was still completely playable in single and multi player, until a few duff releases broke various aspects of multiplayer. It's probably because everything mostly worked that people forgot it was an alpha version and liable to break all the time.

Re:Preorder now! (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626816)

If you paid for Alpha you get ALL future updates and expansions. Beta gets all updates until release and bug fixes.

Re:Preorder now! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626822)

He just showed up Microsoft, Apple, Google, EVERYBODY,

WTF are you talking about? A project with Minecraft's sales at one of those companies would be a loss.

at their own goddamned game

Crack is bad, mkay?

Re:Preorder now! (2)

Elegor (866572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626828)

I bought in to the alpha version and haven't regretted a single penny of it. I've played and enjoyed Minecraft more over the past three months than any other game I've bought in the last decade. It hits the same sweet-spot of freedom, struggle and reward that Elite managed to nail in the '80s. And, coincidentally, Minecraft Alpha cost about the same as Elite did on the Spectrum all those years ago!

I really don't mind paying for alpha software that is this much fun, and 850k other people seem to feel the same

Re:Preorder now! (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626936)

There's an obvious joke about Microsoft/Apple charging for the alpha version of an OS/gizmo here, and I'd just like to say that anyone who makes it should be ashamed of themselves.

Re:Preorder now! (1)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627256)

There's an obvious joke about Microsoft/Apple charging for the alpha version of an OS/gizmo here, and I'd just like to say that anyone who makes it should be ashamed of themselves.

It actually hadn't come to mind before this reminded me but now that I'm thinking about it someone should really mention Windows ME.

Re:Preorder now! (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627228)

That game is pretty awesome.

Re:Preorder now! (4, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627396)

Actually, he essentially sold the full version of the game plus any upgrades he will ever release. You just happen to get access to all pre-release versions, as well. Essentially it's a discounted preorder that automatically enrolls you into the alpha/beta test. (Yes, he did actualy sell the alpha but you still got access to any subsequent release.)

Plus, this kind of model seems to be getting more common these days: You first have people preorder and then use their preorder money to actually develop the product. OpenPandora Ltd. is using the same approach to develop a handheld console - and they can't even deliver prerelease versions. Yet it works.

It's pretty interesting. Essentially you crowdsource for development capital; this allows startups and independent developers to take a shot at developing and releasing a product without having the required funds up front. Of course it puts the risk on the customer but it's interesting nonetheless.

Re:Preorder now! (1)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627708)

After my GF played Minecraft for 40+ hours I bought the alpha for her. So I can't even calculate the non-risk involved here!

I'm surprised EA hasn't bought Minecraft. This is exactly the kind of good game they like to screw up.

Re:Preorder now! (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626806)

It's not like Notch twisted anybody's arm. Several hundred thousand people, myself included, enjoy the game enough in its current form to be willing to pay for it. And if that means it's cheaper and we get all the add-ons for free, all the better.

Re:Preorder now! (2)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626824)

Can you describe what is the game about?? I have seen some videos (a house burning or something) with 3D graphics that are equivalent to NES Super Mario Bros era.

I am really curious to know (in a nutshell) what is the gameplay about?

Is it an FPS? is it a Sim? is it something different?

Re:Preorder now! (1)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626846)

>

Is it an FPS? is it a Sim? is it something different?

tl;dr : Make castles and dig for gold while fighting off zombies and skeletons at night.

The weird thing is that in its alpha form (which I also bought, and have enjoyed) it has no point. I guess that would make it like a sim. There are various suggestions on the Get Satisfaction site about making it into some kind of dungeon crawl, or castle defense.

Technically, I suppose it is a 'sandbox' game, as it is like playing in a giant sandbox (Br Eng: Sandpit).

Re:Preorder now! (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627074)

in other words... If you like the grinding in other games, you'll love minecraft as it is never ending grinding.

never ending....

I want the last 210 hours back..... Wait, I have to build more walls.... brb...

Re:Preorder now! (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627424)

Grinding? More like freeform simulation. It draws people from the puzzle/sims crowd, too.

Re:Preorder now! (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627910)

While it sometimes can definitely become a grind, I think one of the big differences is that your resource gathering does have a lasting effect on the world. If you spend three hours digging up stone, you're going to leave a big hole in the ground, or a network of tunnels, or a cave, or whatever.

In more abstract terms, there's two basic ways to create in minecraft. There's additive, where you're stacking blocks to build something. And there's subtractive, where you're carving away at the existing landscape to create spaces or shapes. The subtractive method can leave you with lots of material for additive building.

That said, I find that your tools tend to wear out way too fast unless they're diamond, and diamond is rare enough that searching for it often feels like a chore.

Re:Preorder now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626858)

It's an FPS, but... It's an indepth multiplayer/singleplayer survival sandbox base-building farm-growing mining game, without being an RPG. And I barely scratched the surface of the game with that.

Re:Preorder now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626868)

There are a few elements for each of the styles you mention.
There is some FPS, there are bad guys you can fight and kill with bow and arrow or sword.
You mine blocks of various materials and can use the blocks you mine to build stuff. E.G. Houses, forts, gardens, tools, etc... I bought it, but have only played the single player version, which is entertaining, but gets old since there's only the monsters that come out at night and the pigs, cows, and sheep to interact with.
My biggest issue is that I had to spend literally hours even days mining for materials like Iron to build things like train tracks for my mine carts. I ended up getting board and haven't gone back to it in a while. I've thought about trying out the multiplayer version to see if it can hold my interest, but I've been playing the Xenosaga series lately.

Re:Preorder now! (3, Interesting)

Orne (144925) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627244)

This was my gripe too, that minerals are so hard to find. But then I created a new world recently... it looks like the iron probability was increased a lot, but only shows up in new worlds, or when new map chunks are generated in old worlds.

Re:Preorder now! (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626870)

Completely destructible 32-voxel world, bad things spawn in the dark. The object is to survive through mining, crafting, and building.

Re:Preorder now! (5, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626874)

From a first-person perspective you place and remove blocks, which have various properties, to build things. Some of those blocks can be combined and refined to make:

* New kinds of blocks, like glass or stairs
* Tools, like pickaxes and torches
* Interactable objects like doors, vehicles and refining furnaces
* Sensors, switches, buttons and NOR gates, with which one can build everything from an automatic door to a turing-complete computer

The world you play in is procedurally generated from a seed and, depending on technical limitations, is several times the size of the surface of the earth, albeit only 128 metres deep. There is a day-night cycle, monsters can spawn wherever it is sufficiently dark (i.e. at night or in unlit caverns) and farm animals can spawn wherever it is sufficiently bright.

For example, I have built a monster-resistant house with a moat, and a system of water channels that funnels the creatures from the moat down to a contraption that kills them, at which point their loot is funnelled to a sensor that lights up a lamp upstairs to tell me to go fetch the goodies. I'm currently finishing off that system before I venture into a newly-discovered cave system to get some more iron ore with which to build some tracks for a railway system. On another part of the map, I am hollowing out a mountain to build a secure location in which to construct a portal to a parallel dimension of pure suffering.

Re:Preorder now! (1)

Stele (9443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627386)

Here is a trailer [youtube.com] someone made that pretty much sums it up.

I liken it to playing with Legos (1)

jorgeuva (963084) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627486)

To me it's like playing with cube-shaped Lego bricks in that the satisfaction comes from thinking of, planning, and building cool-looking stuff on an infinitely large green baseplate. Also like playing with Legos, sometimes you have to hunt through the pile to find that one block you need to make your tower go from cool to extra cool. And to take it a bit further, sometimes at night your little green brother who is totally annoying will come over and blow up the fishing cabin you were working on for the last 15 minutes.

(Or to take another tack, if you liked building cars and creatures more than playing the actual game in Spore you'd probably enjoy Minecraft.)

Re:Preorder now! (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627902)

It's a first-person sandbox game. There is no goal at this point, no win or lose conditions (unless "dying" counts as losing but you can respawn an infinite number of times), and there is no action that NEEDS to be taken.

You dig/mine blocks, which you can then place back anywhere you want. Some blocks can be converted into materials to make other block types, tools, weapons, decorations and other stuff.

Kinda like LEGO but you have to find and dig out (sometimes manufacture) the blocks you want.
=Smidge=

Re:Preorder now! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626986)

Yours is actually a pretty good argument for this sort of 'price-increases-as-development-progresses' model, which I've seen with a few other indy game titles as well.

At some point in development, the product is polished enough to be worth playing around with, to some people, and isn't totally, egregiously crashy. Release at a low price, with those caveats noted. Those who wish can pay less, track progress from this point forward; but know that they are putting up with bugs and the risk that development will stall.

As development progresses, the price gradually goes up; because the product is better and the risk that the product will never reach 1.0 has declined. At 1.0(obviously, numbering conventions vary, some products aren't "1.0" until about "3.5 SP4"; but "1.0" as in "finished") charge full price.

Especially in recreational markets there is nothing wrong with selling inferior or unfinished goods; provided that you are honest about what you are selling...

Re:Preorder now! (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627034)

The way he termed it was that it was a €20 game, but you got 50% off in Alpha and 25% off in Beta. So he's been upfront about the pricing from the outset. It's like a discounted pre-order that happens to come with work-in-progress versions of the game.

Re:Preorder now! (2)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627194)

You stick to your principles, I'll stick with enjoying a great game. A year before you do. At half the price.

Principles are all well and good, but blindly following them without considering things on a situational basis is just stubborn and silly.

The alpha was well worth it (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626834)

I bought the alpha a few months ago, and while I haven't played it recently due to time contraints, it is easily well worth the money that is being charged. I played it far more than games that cost three times as much, not to mention that when playing it, I was never frustrated, or angry, but thoroughly enjoying the experience, which is something I can't say about most games, not to mention ones that aren't even freaking finished yet!

Re:The alpha was well worth it (1)

Vernes (720223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627610)

I spend money to obliterate my free time. What was I thinking?

minutes matter (0)

Nineteen-Delta (1892866) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626860)

Does anyone want me to _vaguely promise_ to supply them with some lego blocks? - I can take pre-orders for only $10 / My swiss bank account number is....34568q35689uyq35698uy. -Blocks to follow sometime...... But if you paid and it turns out to be vapour-ware do you have any recourse?

Re:minutes matter (2)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626914)

Wait a minute, that's not a swiss bank account number! :)

Paying for an alpha is not exactly paying for vapourware. It's more like half-condensed-ware or semisolidware. It's really been a fun game, and was (mostly) worth the money. Crashes every sunrise and sunset was annoying until a reinstall fixed that.

Re:minutes matter (1)

empty_other (1116615) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626966)

If you could promise me a relatively big supply of lego-blocks (about 4,080,576,000 bricks in 91 different colors, and add a few decorative items) for about 15 USD. And if you on top of that give me a vague promise for free new blocks in the future, you got yourself a deal!

Re:minutes matter (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627684)

Oh, and don't forget the procedural lego kit design generator.

Re:minutes matter (1)

Vernes (720223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627658)

Only if you can first send some free blocks first. Limited in functionality like only single colored blocks. Only one lego-person. But Access to your community forum. I'll decide after I give it a try.

Gameplay (2)

Paxinum (1204260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626876)

The game was well worth the 10 euro I paid for it. Found a nice multiplayer server with a great community, lots of people are regulars where I play. The amazing thing is to see all the new creations since last visit: Minecraft sort of have the same charm as Lego, I mean there is no ultimate goal in Lego, you just build stuff. The world of minecraft is complex enough to be Turing complete.

Re:Gameplay (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626978)

The world of minecraft is complex enough to be Turing complete.

Prove it. No, really, that would be pretty interesting :)

Re:Gameplay (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627132)

Plaxinum is actually an AI built within Minecraft. Doesn't prove Turing Completeness, but hey... good enough for me.

Re:Gameplay (2)

Orne (144925) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627304)

There is a mineral called redstone in the game that can be placed like circuitry, albeit with a 15-block activation distance. Redstone torches act like NOT gates, but can be combined into more complex logic gates [minecraftwiki.net] .

Youtube is now littered with demos, but I think this is one of the better ones: Working 16-bit computer built inside Minecraft [joystiq.com] .

Minecraft is Addictive (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626890)

I had no idea what I was getting in to when starting Minecraft. It is fun to start off knowing nothing about how the game is played, and just start building a castle or whatever.

It is amazing how this game far outshines other games that are much more graphic intensive.

Minecraft is your Utopia. You can do anything in Minecraft.

Re:Minecraft is Addictive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627072)

Minecraft is Zombo com!

I don't get this game (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626930)

I'm played around with it a bit, but to me it just seems like a very limited type of Second Life minus all the social stuff, scripting, interaction, etc.
Am I missing some unique part of the game experience that makes this better?

Re:I don't get this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626956)

yeah the game is ridiculous, he's going to get some hardcore fans and that's all. it sucks

Re:I don't get this game (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627020)

Nothing unique, just a different approach. You build things in Minecraft from the perspective of a small figure in the game world, and it's immediately graspable how you go about building something. It's less powerful, but the learning curve is more about the mechanics of getting into a position to place blocks than figuring out an interface. Throw in the resource-gathering and survival aspects of the game and you have quite a different play cycle. For example, if I decide to build a mine track in Minecraft, I have to consider how I'm going to gather the ores for the iron, which can be a challenge in itself, and then how to plot the track so I'm not having to carve up too many mountains, and where I'm going to take shelter at night while I do that work.

Re:I don't get this game (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627112)

I'm played around with it a bit, but to me it just seems like a very limited type of Second Life minus all the social stuff, scripting, interaction, etc.

Wait a minute. Isn't lack of Second Life style interaction an advantage, not a drawback?

Re:I don't get this game (1)

edremy (36408) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627598)

I'm played around with it a bit, but to me it just seems like a very limited type of Second Life minus all the social stuff, scripting, interaction, etc.

Wait a minute. Isn't lack of Second Life style interaction an advantage, not a drawback?

Depends- has Notch added a penis block in Minecraft yet?

Re:I don't get this game (1)

Vernes (720223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627736)

Depends what you like more.
But don't worry, minecraft has single player mode.
You can play with yourself.

Will the world save format ever be fixed? (1)

SwabTheDeck (1030520) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626932)

Right now, Minecraft saves worlds by making a huge tree of directories that stores individual data chunks in various sub-directories. Even though the total amount of data is small (my server is only about 10 megs), any time a copy needs to be made to backup or test, it takes an eternity because there are literally over 10,000 files on the disk.

I'm hopelessly in love with the game, but with the frequent software updates, there is also a need for frequent backups to make sure I don't lose all the work of everyone on the server.

Re:Will the world save format ever be fixed? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627050)

Obviously it is pretty hacky for a game to make specific demands concerning filesystem/OS configuration(with things like Big Serious Applications it is at least expected, if annoying); but it sounds like the present save format is a problem that could be solved with a RAMdisk...

Not the crazy-expensive hardware kind, just a software one carved out of system RAM. If an entire world-state is only 10ish MB, you could store plenty on just a small slice of any reasonably modern system's RAM, and that should take care of the speed problems. You would want to dump to disk from time to time, to avoid issues in the event of power loss; but doing a block-level dump of the entire RAMdisk to a single image file on HDD should, again, be pretty fast for smallish RAMdisks...

Re:Will the world save format ever be fixed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627102)

As long as one doesn't explore very far, the save size will be pretty low. Usually around 5 MB.

Re:Will the world save format ever be fixed? (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627360)

[...]any time a copy needs to be made to backup or test, it takes an eternity because there are literally over 10,000 files on the disk.

How about using rsync? That should cut down a lot on the copy time. I haven't tried it myself, mind you; my world is still small enough that a straight copy takes very little time.

Re:Will the world save format ever be fixed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627564)

What the hell? Shouldn't this be handled by say some kind of serializable tree map and saved as a single object? Or stored in some kind of simple database if it needs to be updated constantly. What's the mindset behind saving it as thousands of files?

Re:Will the world save format ever be fixed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627662)

So hook the game's I/O functions and create a virtual file system. It's easy, fun if you've never done something similar, and less than a day's work.

Couldn't it have a different name? (3, Funny)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627048)

I mean, I just read Mi*****ft, and I think "Wow, Windows is finnaly in beta, but the price is even more up?".

god damn (-1, Flamebait)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627126)

This game is about 1 step above "Dora the explorer's Big Adventure Game!" The fact that adults place this boggles my mind. I expect that soon there will be Minecraft conventions in which those that consider themselves "Geek-Sheik" will show up wearing cosplay outfits made from cardboard boxes and wallpaper.

Re:god damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627260)

Hey, don't slam Dora! Her adventure games are pretty damn amusing.

Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627346)

There's already minecraft cosplay. There was a cardboard creeper at Otakon.

Re:god damn (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627702)

Ah yes, Geek-Sheik, the famous fashion movement characterised by pocket protectors and an impressive scholarship of Islam.

1.0_01. (1)

jaminJay (1198469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627340)

Ssssssssssssssss...

Re:1.0_01. (1)

Delarth799 (1839672) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627996)

Thats a nice everything you have there >-D

pre atari 2600 graphics..wow (-1, Troll)

carigis (1878910) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627368)

why is this news? People actually pay to play a game with pre-atari 2600 graphics. I mean I thought second life's graphics were horrible.. but this game takes the cake..Im shocked people play this.. does it come on a 5'' floppy?

Re:pre atari 2600 graphics..wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627800)

Your poor sensible art loving eyes.
Here, have some photo realistic explosions with your linear game story.
Now stay there hypnotized while I try to grow the biggest fucking tree this minecraft server ever saw.
And then, build a castle ontop it!

+-mod up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627414)

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Never worked on my computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627776)

I heard great things about this game, so I tried the non-pay version before buying. Didn't work on my computer, even though supposedly it's "run everywhere" Java. So I didn't buy the alpha.

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