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235 comments

Release date (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753322)

"The date 11/11/11 was actually chosen because it falls on the same date as other various game releases, the most notable being Skyrim."

Isn't that terribly rude?

Re:Release date (1)

cruff (171569) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753444)

Isn't that terribly rude?

Why? It isn't like anyone owns that date. A large majority of people don't care about Minecraft or Skyrim anyway. I'm sure a bunch of numerologists have their own plans for that date.

Re:Release date (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753554)

Are you kidding me? Skyrim could continue the tradition as the most disastrous Elder Scrolls game yet! What's not to like?

Wow! (1)

DMFNR (1986182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753324)

What a way to test a game! It's gotta be a pain developing a game with such a huge pool of testers!

Worse yet... (2)

gmezero (4448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753712)

Let's just home they get around to fixing bugs instead of shoveling features up until the last minute. I'm fear that clearly since they don't know what beta means (beta means you're done adding features and are now testing and buttoning up your code to prepare to ship) that shipped may be confused with "time to debug". Sigh... There are some seriously major architectural problems with the code and he's currently telling the community that certain single player features will never be implemented in multi-player because the code is two busted to make it work. Grrr...

Re:Worse yet... (1)

gmezero (4448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753722)

and I clearly can't spell to save my life tonight. grr again.

Re:Worse yet... (4, Funny)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754516)

and I clearly can't spell to save my life tonight. grr again.

The comment must have been in beta.

Re:Worse yet... (3, Informative)

Senes (928228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754816)

Personally I think this is just a sign of changing times rather than Notch not knowing what he's doing. In the days of packaged software you had an alpha you tested yourself, a beta your close friends tested, and then a "final" release and that was it. This new style of development involves continually adding features until the developer gets tired of the work; we don't have to press things onto hard media and ship things out to retailers now so there's no more solid cutoff on how long you can continue working.

Re:Wow! (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754606)

Does anyone actually play minecraft?

Everyone I know freaking wet themselves over how amazing everything you could built in the game looked.

Then they played for a bit and realized that 98% of the cool things you've seen were created not by playing the game, but by using the world-editor.

Most of those people have since stopped playing it.

I bought the game ages ago. I dig it. I don't play it, though. Pretty much for the same reason and because while i like a sandbox, I like some sort of motivation which the game doesn't yet have.

Still, it's a fun story to watch unfold and I'm damned envious of Notch!

Re:Wow! (2)

sjwt (161428) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754672)

Or you know, you could try to create cool things in the game, makes it quite interesting when you want a 2 cubic diamond block and you need to find, mine and keep all those resources. Then think 'may I should cover that in gold, and that in Iron.

Then try building mega structures when you have to mine out below and around them. You can do a lot of that cool stuff you see, its just harder, and more rewarding.

Ah yes.... (2)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753328)

It seems Slashdot currently has currently first class editing :)

Re:Ah yes.... (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753360)

tekgoblin currently the whole article.

Re:Ah yes.... (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753394)

oh.... well now it's not funny.... they fixed it

WTF is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753648)

Well, I still don't know what Minecraft is. Is it something by Blizzard?

No, I haven't bothered to look it up, why would I?

Re:WTF is it? (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754534)

No, I haven't bothered to look it up, why would I?

Your post is useless and so is mine.

Re:WTF is it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754810)

Your post is useless and so is minecraft.

See what i did here?

good thing i pirated it (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753338)

Seriously the userbase of Minecraft is awful, Notch is a lazy fuck always going on vacation thanks to people pre-ordering his buggy java shit ripped off from Infiniminer and most of the additions are made by the community only to be ripped off by Jeb so he looks like he's earning a day's wage rather than vigorously jerking to the vidya when everyone's out of the Mojang offices.

Cue the virginal autist NDF to mod me into oblivion which, ironically, is a better game than this steaming pile of shit.

Re:good thing i pirated it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753408)

I haven't played Minecraft nor planned to but your entire post reads like something an angered 9-year-old might say.

Then again...

If you get this incoherently angry over Minecraft I'd love to see what you have to say about Oblivion, Dwarf Fortress, or Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing.

What's with the 503 errors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753346)

Dammmmnnnnn!!!!!

Which date? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753354)

Is that mm/dd/yy or dd/mm/yy?
I wouldn't want to get my dates mixed up.

Re:Which date? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753376)

That's not funny because it's stupid.

Re:Which date? (2)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753436)

Obviously it's yy/mm/dd! Were you raised by wolves or something?

Re:Which date? (5, Insightful)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753488)

I know you're joking but....

I like the European date format. dd/mm/yy makes sense, since it goes from the smallest time frame (days), to the largest. The American format seems silly.

- PS: I'm American.

Re:Which date? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753520)

YY/MM/DD is actually the one that makes the most sense. It's the only one that's automatically sorted by date, even by programs that don't recognize that it's a date format.

Re:Which date? (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753530)

IMHO, dates should be easily human readable, not easily computer readable. Last I checked, computers served people, not the other way around.

Re:Which date? (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753550)

But computers were made by humans... who serves who?

Re:Which date? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753580)

I never knew my CPU enjoyed me lubing its topside.

Re:Which date? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753726)

I still prefer reading them in that order. Broadest timescale to most precise.

Re:Which date? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753968)

little endian! Little Endian! LITTLE ENDIAN!

Re:Which date? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754024)

One little, Two little, Three little Endians.

Re:Which date? (2)

grim-one (1312413) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753972)

Are you implying that YY/MM/DD is not easily human readable? I would suggest that's just because you've been trained to recognize other formats.

Re:Which date? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753540)

In Mandarin Chinese, when you say the full date, you always go from year to month to day

Re:Which date? (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754588)

Makes sense. That's my format of choice for anything that needs a date in a filename. Anything else (honestly) just seems stupid and backwards. I Hi-Five those wonderful forward thinkers of Mandarin Chinese!

Re:Which date? (5, Insightful)

internettoughguy (1478741) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753572)

I know you're joking but....

  I like the European date format. dd/mm/yy makes sense, since it goes from the smallest time frame (days), to the largest. The American format seems silly.

  - PS: I'm American.

Agreed, but it would also make even more sense to do it big endian, that way it's in line with how we notate time ie; YYYY/MM/DD/hh/mm/ss.

Re:Which date? (1)

nprz (1210658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753600)

Agreed, which is how it is in Japanese (and maybe other places, like Mandarin Chinese from above).

Re:Which date? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753598)

Actually, the date format used by most seems silly. Best Date format is yyyymmdd hh:mm:ss It doesn't need fixing for anything. You need to shorten it, you can cut off end bits as needed and it still is readable. You can take out all the punctuation that makes it readable and it is just as valid. You can strip bits easily. You can sort it.

My $.02

Re:Which date? (2)

Permutation Citizen (1306083) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754738)

This is still weird format. Using Unix time is much more rational. It is based on the SI unit of time, the second. It avoids the ugly mix of archaic Babylonian base sixty number system and decimal one.

Re:Which date? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753744)

I didn't know DD/MM/YY was European format, I'm an American too, but I always just referred to it as "fuck you, you're way makes no sense and I'm not going to write dates MM/DD/YY - though to make you complacent I will meet you at military time: DDMMMYYYY"

Re:Which date? (1)

smisle (1640863) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753816)

For other people, I usually write the 3 letter name of the month out (nov - 11 - 11), that way no one gets confused. For myself, it's the ISO standard, all the way! 20111111

Re:Which date? (0)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753832)

To avoid ambiguity, I write down the month. For example, today is: 8.april.2011.

Re:Which date? (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753958)

It does seem silly. I imagine it comes from the way we tell people dates. It's September 11th to most people in the US. Other countries tend to say the 11th of September. Us lazy Americans found out we could eliminate "the" and "of" and still communicate the date.

Re:Which date? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754630)

Actually, to most people it's probably November 11th.

Just sayin'...

Re:Which date? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754680)

You could even eliminate the 'th'. In Dutch, we say "11 september" (we even eleminated a capital there).

Re:Which date? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754042)

mm/dd/yyyy goes from smallest to largest...
months are mostly single digit while days are generally double digit and years are generally put as 4 or 2 digits. So it's possible to cut off the leading zero without it looking weird: 4/17/11, etc.

Re:Which date? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754686)

mm/dd/yyyy goes from smallest to largest...
months are mostly single digit while days are generally double digit and years are generally put as 4 or 2 digits. So it's possible to cut off the leading zero without it looking weird: 4/17/11, etc.

That not looking weird is because of the slashes separating the fields. 41711 as a date would definitely look weird, whereas 17/4/11 doesn't.

Re:Which date? (4, Funny)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753888)

Is that mm/dd/yy or dd/mm/yy?
I wouldn't want to get my dates mixed up.

Huh? I thought 11/11/11 it was binary and I'd missed it by 1001 years and 11 months.

Re:Which date? (1)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753922)

Goddamn slashdot interface is a piece of shit. Even the moderation is broken. I tried to mod you up. Fucking slashdot ffuucckkk

ISO 8601 (1)

xororand (860319) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754658)

I'm disappointed with Slashdot. Every sane person writes dates in ISO 8601 format.
YYYY-MM-DD.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601 [wikipedia.org]

MM/DD/YY vs DD/MM/YY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753358)

Bloody hell, date formats are confusing enough as it is, stop it with the MM/DD/YY format already... Let's all just agree on using DD/MM/YY.

Re:MM/DD/YY vs DD/MM/YY (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753442)

Let's just all agree to have all important things fall on symmetrical dates. "On 5/5/2011, it will be a frigidly cold -40 degrees at 0 longitude. Ex-president Bush says this has him 'Literally Chuffed.'"

Re:MM/DD/YY vs DD/MM/YY (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754308)

There is no -40 degrees!

-- Lord Kelvin

Re:MM/DD/YY vs DD/MM/YY (1)

.tekrox (858002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754030)

No,
I agree MM/DD/YY is 'stupid' (Being Australian we use DD/MM/YY)

But there is an ISO Standard for dates now which generally follows YYYY/MM/DD
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601 [wikipedia.org]

rememberance day (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753414)

for WW1.

remember?

Re:rememberance day (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753548)

They forgot.

--
BMO

Re:rememberance day (1)

AtomicSnarl (549626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753926)

No -- they just want their Trench Warfare bonus pack to be a nice surprise!

Re:rememberance day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753558)

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Re:rememberance day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753656)

I stopped watching the Simpsons years ago.

So, uh... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753464)

They're going to release it on Veterans' Day (Armistice Day, Remembrance Day)

This seems... odd.

--
BMO

Re:So, uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753504)

You're operating under the assumption that all game developers around the world take random american holidays into account when deciding on things like release dates?

Re:So, uh... (4, Informative)

lee1026 (876806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753524)

Nov 11 is a holiday in most of the western world, as it is based on the ending of WWI in 11/11/1918.

Re:So, uh... (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753688)

True but beating up on the entire western world isn't as popular around here as beating on Americans. So, even of the rest of the western or even the entire world does what someone is bitching it's just fashionable to act like only Americans do it. It's kind of like a racist claiming that only certain races take advantage of welfare and such.

Re:So, uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753872)

It's an American website, and non-English discussion is banned. Of course you're focused on you ignorant dolt.

Re:So, uh... (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753786)

you mean 1918/11/11

Holiday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753878)

The eleventh of November is not necessarily a 'holiday'. IMHO a 'holiday' is when people get the day off work for the observance of the occasion. In the USA 14th February (valentines day) is often referred to as a holiday, but nobody gets the day off. St Patricks Day may be a holiday in Ireland, but everywhere else its just an excuse to wear green clothes and drink Guinness.

And while in many countries Armistice day is a holiday, where I come from we remember the fallen (soldiers, sailors and airmen) on April 25th, and that date is a holiday for us (and our neighbours across the ditch.)

Re:So, uh... (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754542)

>>Nov 11 is a holiday in most of the western world, as it is based on the ending of WWI in 11/11/1918.

But more importantly, it's the release date of Skyrim.

Let's just hope they've finally fixed the bugs from Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout, Fallout New Vegas...

Re:So, uh... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754018)

Being the largest consumer market for games, you'd think they would.

Re:So, uh... (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753544)

It's also the opening of Karnival in Germany, Singles Day in China and Pepero (Pocky rip-off) day in South Korea. Non e of which seem to produce much on an outcry.

Could move it to the day before, but then you'd collide with Panama Independence day, Ataturk Rememberance day and the Heroe's day in Indonesia. And the day after is the death day of Cornelis Wreeswijk and Percival Lowell, and the Comoro islands joining the United Nations.

Point being, you can't really pick any day without it being significant in some way - in many ways, good and bad.

Re:So, uh... (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754700)

It's also the opening of Karnival in Germany, Singles Day in China and Pepero (Pocky rip-off) day in South Korea. Non e of which seem to produce much on an outcry.

It's also Sint Maarten in the north of Netherland. How are kids supposed to be going around the neighbourhood singing songs for candy, knowing that a new game has just been released? Terribly insensitive.

Re:So, uh... (1)

razberry636 (601469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753840)

I think they intend to release it on Nigel Tufnel Day.

Re:So, uh... (1)

babblefrog (1013127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753892)

I know! Why would they release it on corduroy day?

Re:So, uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753966)

This seems... odd.

It's telling that you find this odd. It's likely you have some major hangups about war. This is something I would advise you to deal with.

Back in the day, on my old TRS80 Model III (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753536)

I would always enter 11/11/11 as the system date. (You would have to enter the date every time you restarted). I must have been psychic.

Someone better tell Bethesda (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753596)

...to reschedule the Skyrim release date. It'll be a disaster going up against the sheer awesome firepower of Minecraft!

Re:Someone better tell Bethesda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753776)

...to reschedule the Skyrim release date. It'll be a disaster going up against the sheer awesome firepower of Minecraft!

They did lose in the march madness contest on escapist and minecraft went all the way

Re:Someone better tell Bethesda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753898)

If Skyrim is anything like Oblivion, players will be able to play Minecraft while grinding their character stats via macro.

Are you sure it is 'because' not 'in spite of'? (1)

robcozzens (1835894) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753614)

Notch made no mention that they picked 11/11/11 'because' other games had done so. More likely, they picked it because it is a numerically cool (and memorable) date just like why the other games and movies picked it.

Other things being equal, companies usually pick launch dates that aren't crowded.

Re:Are you sure it is 'because' not 'in spite of'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754050)

Notch made no mention that they picked 11/11/11 'because' other games had done so. More likely, they picked it because it is a numerically cool (and memorable) date just like why the other games and movies picked it.

Other things being equal, companies usually pick launch dates that aren't crowded.

What? From TFA:

It’s the same date as a few other games and movies, and the one I’m the most excited about is Skyrim, so that will be a nice reward for me if we actually manage to hit that date!

Obligatory XKCD (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753616)

http://xkcd.com/861/

Re:Obligatory XKCD (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35753808)

Speaking of painkillers [blogspot.com] ....

w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753620)

Minecraft is awesome.

What the hell is Skyrim? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753732)

I'm waiting for Uncharted 3. Though I may have to skip it, due to the whole geohot thing. Sorry, naughty dog.

B'day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753772)

WOOT my birthday is going to kick ass this year!!!

Minecraft SUCKS! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35753964)

I still don't get why it's so popular.
It's complete crap. It's not fun. It doesn't even look good.
25 years of gaming and minecraft takes the prize for the most baffling 'hit'.

This comment might set a record for downmoderation. Since i have dared insult the latest crap fad.

Re:Minecraft SUCKS! (0)

Sable Drakon (831800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754038)

You not the only real gamer to just 'not get it'. I certainly don't. I'd rather play E.T. for Atari or Daikatana than play Minecraft.

Re:Minecraft SUCKS! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754080)

Its because you the world isn't made of people that are exactly like you. You don't have to like it, but don't be so close minded to denigrate what millions other people do appreciate. BTW...check out Dwarf Fortress, i have heard the graphics in that are amazing.

Legos SUCK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754084)

I still don't get why it's so popular.
It's complete crap. It's not fun. It doesn't even look good.
100 years of toys and legos take the prize for the most baffling 'hit'.

This comment might set a record for downmoderation. Since i have dared insult the latest crap fad.

Re:Minecraft SUCKS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754088)

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," I believe the saying is. What "sucks" is relative.

Re:Minecraft SUCKS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754102)

You are used to games that have a goal.

Games without goals have been around forever. Ever heard of LEGO Creator? I'm sure there are plenty others.

Re:Minecraft SUCKS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754108)

Re:Minecraft SUCKS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754200)

Can you explain why Call of Duty is so popular? Is it because people love being called faggots by twelve year olds with no social lives?

Re:Minecraft SUCKS! (4, Insightful)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754212)

I'm not sure why this was modded insightful -- there's nothing insightful about it. It's either a blatant troll attempt (hey guys, I hate on the popular fads cause it makes me look superior!), or borne of complete ignorance.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I was incredibly underwhelmed by Minecraft, but saying it has poor graphics is like saying your novel doesn't have enough pictures - Minecraft was never intended to look pretty, and if you went into expecting it to look pretty ... well, you're a fool.

Similarly, while the 'game' part of minecraft essentially boils down to crafting and a simple combat simulator, if you went into it expecting more than that, you must have been buying blind.

But if you want to see why Minecraft is as popular as it is, it's not hard. You just have to stop thinking of it as a game (because as a game, it is lacking), and more as a world where you can create something -- in that regard, it is much more akin to playing with legos ... with hostile critters.

It has a unique style that's easily recognizable, which makes parodies fun (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uyxVmdaJ-w). It can generate some interesting landscapes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwkVTuHcuHQ). And some people just enjoy making stuff (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOpkpW1tDAM).

I don't have the patience to make anything interesting, and got bored with it in about a week, but I can certainly see it's appeal.

-1: Attempts reverse psychology on the moderators (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754320)

I wish this was a moderation option.

Re:Minecraft SUCKS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754522)

I still don't get why it's so popular.

Minecraft is the first major voxel game. It's a totally new genre of game with a new level of interactivity. Saying Minecraft sucks isn't an opinion, it's an admission of ignorance.

Re:Minecraft SUCKS! (1)

Sacrieur (2035314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754648)

Sorry, I can't seem to hear you over my mining, I'm busy building giant golden cock & balls.

Re:Minecraft SUCKS! (4, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754754)

I don't get why Farmville is so popular. That truly sucks. In the space of a week, I managed to out-class all my Facebook friends who'd been playing it for years just by doing a quick bit of maths and working out how to make money. It was dull. Yet millions of people play it so often that I've had to remove its posts from my Facebook because of the spamming.

I don't get why WoW is so popular. I never hear anything but complaints about it, and certainly never play games on a subscription basis. And people still tell me they are pissing about £40-50 a month on the damn thing for years at a time.

I grew up with a ZX Spectrum. Maybe you're from a different era. Let me give you a hint. Graphics mean NOTHING. Not even worthy of mention. Not even an "it doesn't even look good", like that's the last saving grace of a crap game. If you count graphics in your evaluation of a game, you're the wrong target for most games. Hint: In a year's time, *every* game's graphics will look crap compared to today's. Does that mean the older games have somehow got "worse" without changing?

A game is either fun and absorbing or not. I spent most of last week playing Altitude (PC) and Batty (Spectrum) with my girlfriend. We didn't care that it wasn't 3D, or high-res, or anti-aliased. It literally did not factor in at all. We honestly spent more times looking at ZX Spectrum colour clash. Didn't mean we didn't enjoy it though. I don't think my girlfriend even noticed that the Spectrum *had* colour clash.

As for "not fun", no you don't see yourself laughing at it, or entertained. But what it does is absorb you. That's a really tricky thing to achieve in a game. Some games are endless restarts of the same chapter, but some manage to absorb you so much that you don't even realise that's what you're doing.

Minecraft is a sandbox game. It's about people building a little virtual world of their own like we were promised for the past 50 years. It's similar to the 3D Construction Kit "game" of many years ago - very few people can make something impressive but everyone enjoys having a go and making their virtual world, even if the graphics are atrocious by modern video card standards. That hardly matters - it's just fun to tinker. 3DCK was literally dithered polygons (and only about half-a-dozen at a time on the Spectrum!) when I first looked at it but immediately thought "whoa, that's something I want to tinker with". There was also something called VU-3D on the Spectrum. Go look it up. I spent hours tinkering with that. Not a "game" as such, in the same way that Minecraft isn't a game.

I play Minecraft - not masses but I've had a couple of long sessions on it, alt-tabbing back and forth between the Minepedia and the game. I actually prefer it without the monsters at night, which some would say is the only interaction in the game.

It's just nice to build a little world and explore it. I actually quite enjoy the times when I've done a big build job and my "character" walks out of the house, down to his little jetty that I made (deliberately facing West), gets in a boat and has a little paddle towards the sunset. And then he turns around, sees the distant light of his little home in the dusk and sculls back on home.

And more annoyingly, I keep finding myself thinking "if only you could craft X or collect Y" and wondering how to go about programming it (I have resisted the temptation to look at the code thus far and, anyway, my Java is rusty - if it's easy to add new things, I'll never escape the damn block-universe).

It doesn't matter how "fun" it is. Personally, I'm pissed off with Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 at the moment because of the constant restarts from checkpoints. The game is fun, when it flows and absorbs, but otherwise that's just a chore. Whereas Minecraft - you can even be "immortal" if you don't have the monsters at night or fall off a cliff (though finding string is always a problem then, which means my character can't fish from his boat). It flows and absorbs but isn't necessarily "fun".

In the end, if I pay more than 1 UK pound per hour of absorption over the life of the product, I consider it an inefficient use of my money. Most movies come into that category, as do most DVD's, music, etc. But on indie games, I can *easily* get that kind of value. And Minecraft *does* offer that value too.

I doubt anyone ever said "Let's make a freeform 'game' with blocks where you can mine" and expected it to be popular. That's not what happened. What happened is that the sandbox-style of the game allowed people to be absorbed inside it, and it *became* popular. Similarly, who would ever have thought that a game where you hit a square ball with a rectangular paddle would be so popular - yeah, if you compare such games to "modern" games, they don't look as realistic. It *doesn't* mean they aren't / weren't as absorbing, especially in their prime-time.

I can't think of anything worse to get out of a game that I've paid lots of money for than flashy graphics, another "me-too" engine the same as all the others, physics-based puzzles thrown in for the sake of it, famous-name actors voicing the characters, and a basic FPS-style gameplay. Yurk. But Minecraft, and many of the indie games that come out of nowhere and become popular (e.g. World of Goo) aren't popular because of the game premise (there are thousands of puzzle games like World of Goo) but because of the absorption of the player and, to some extent, the novelty. There are a million physics-based-puzzle games, for instance, but only a few shining examples were actually absorbing.

Personally? I'm in the middle of writing a game that I've been slowly imagining since I was about 8. I finally got to the point where I feel confident of it being finished some day, and playable, and absorbing. It uses 640x480x256 colour graphics on a basic 2D-isometric background, the sounds were sucked from FreeSound.org and it doesn't do 1% of what I have planned for it. But I keep playing with it, even though there's barely anything to "play" with at all - it's literally a handful of static sprites running around on a isometric grid but already *I* feel the personality of the game.

Maybe it's because it's "my" little world, the same way that millions of people have their own Minecraft little world.

Reverse shareware (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754154)

Remember the days when they would distribute like 1/3 of a game for free so if you enjoyed it you could buy it? Was the business model of try this finished game and see how you like it too generous for the gamers? I cant believe people would pay for a beta of such a badly designed game. Its fun sure, i just cant see how people would pay for a resource hog BETA version of a game, that isnt even beta its more like alpha.

Re:Reverse shareware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35754310)

They aren't paying for beta or alpha. They are pre-ordering the game. They are getting early access to the game as an incentive to pre-order. FYI : I pre-ordered it when it was alpha, and I already got more than my money's worth out of the game. Isn't that what counts in the end?

Re:Reverse shareware (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754626)

Well, I don't "pre-order" anything. But I played this game for more hours than I care to think of when I first saw it and thought "what's all the fuss about". Not so much a game as a sandbox-with-potential.

But the fact is that at no point did my computer struggle to run it. So it can't really be described as a resource hog. Yeah, the graphics aren't fabulous but I come from the ZX Spectrum era and have always held that that means nothing - and the point of the engine is that the graphics are crap to enable millions of blocks to be visible simultaneously.

And it hasn't crashed once, and even between upgrades it successfully converts my old worlds to new formats without a problem. If it had had visible problems in that area, I wouldn't have touched it until they were fixed.

Maybe I only got in on the game after such things were already fixed but to me - it's a game. Even the first version I downloaded is still on my hard drive and still a playable game on it's own. So I parted with a tiny bit of cash to show my appreciation for the game (I always used to register my shareware if I'd used it that much, too) which also got me a guaranteed update for every version of Minecraft that comes out in the future. Considering I was looking on the money more as a donation, I think that's just an extra-added bonus.

Now if I could just stop seeing blocks at night, that'd be great.

High on the Charts at Gamefaqs (2)

oakwine (1709682) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754362)

Number two on top 10 Games, Number 3 on top 10 Gamefaqs message boards. Just below World of WarCraft in both cases. Good indication that "the people" like it a lot! Also generates tons of videos on YouTube. It is a phenomenon.

So what did I already buy? (1)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 3 years ago | (#35754692)

Also, is that whole thread-per-connection thing gonna be fixed before then? (Signs point to no, of course.)

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