Minecraft came to the Sydney Opera House last week and fans of the popular game bloody frothed it.
It’s the first time such an event was held at the famous venue, making it a milestone for gamers across the country. Along with a competition, there were also meet-and-greets with well-known YouTube streamers and free play stations where anyone could roll up and give it a whirl.
I got to have a quick chat with Jens Bergensten, Minecraft’s lead creative designer about the game, his vision of what it has become and where it all began.
“In one way, it’s like your own LEGO world where you have an infinite amount of bricks you can knock down for resources and use to create tools or build new constructions.”
While LEGO is the obvious real-world comparison, Jens says it was never the intention, or even the inspiration for the game. The real inspiration came from an insanely difficult indie game called Dwarf Fortress released in 2006.
“It was inspired [by] a game called Dwarf Fortress, which is about dealing with a clan of dwarfs in a mountain,” he said. “So it was more along the lines of a fantasy game where you would dig for resources in the ground and build houses.”
“That was the spark and everything else has been building on that.”
And when I say hard, I mean fucking hard. The original release of the game is played entirely with ASCII characters, with graphics packs not becoming available until much later.
So while creating something LEGO-like was “not a goal” for the team, it’s certainly something they’ve embraced now.
In a game with such massive scope where doing whatever the fuck you want is encouraged, Jens says some of the most surprising things come from how players uses glitches to their advantage.
“The most unexpected things are obviously when they figure out glitches in the game and exploit them for different reasons,” he said.
“One example is that people figured out that you could set the durability of an armour item to a negative value and then it would last forever. Then people were extremely upset when I fixed it because I saw it as a bug.”
You can get Minecraft on pretty much every gaming platform, most of which will soon support cross-platform play, meaning you’ll be able to play with your mates regardless of what console they use. Hell yeah.
Photo: Microsoft / Mojang.