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Minecraft

Minecraft

Minecraft

Minecraft is a sandbox indie game originally created by Swedish programmer Markus "Notch" Persson and later developed and published by Mojang. It was publicly released for the PC on May 17, 2009, as a developmental alpha version and, after gradual updates, was published as a full release version on November 18, 2011. A version for Android was released a month earlier on October 7, and an iOS version was released on November 17, 2011. On May 9, 2012, the game was released on Xbox 360 as an Xbox Live Arcade game, co-developed by 4J Studios. All versions of Minecraft receive periodic updates.

The creative and building aspects of Minecraft allow players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world. Other activities in the game include exploration, gathering resources, crafting, and combat. Gameplay in its commercial release has two principal modes: survival, which requires players to acquire resources and maintain their health and hunger; and creative, where players have an unlimited supply of resources, the ability to fly, and no health or hunger. A third gameplay mode named hardcore is the same as survival, differing only in difficulty; it is set to the most difficult setting and respawning is disabled, forcing players to delete their worlds upon death.

Minecraft received five awards from the 2011 Game Developers Conference: it was awarded the Innovation Award, Best Downloadable Game Award, and the Best Debut Game Award from the Game Developers Choice Awards; and the Audience Award, as well as the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, from the Independent Games Festival in 2011. In 2012, Minecraft was awarded a Golden Joystick Award in the category Best Downloadable Game. As of February 3, 2014, the game has sold over 14 million copies on PC and over 35 million copies across all platforms.

Minecraft Gameplay

Minecraft is an open world game that has no specific goals for the player to accomplish, allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game. However, there is an achievement system. The gameplay by default is first person, but players have the option to play in third person mode. The core gameplay revolves around breaking and placing blocks. The game world is essentially composed of rough 3D objects—mainly cubes—that are arranged in a fixed grid pattern and represent different materials, such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, and tree trunks. While players can move freely across the world, objects and items can only be placed at fixed locations relative to the grid. Players can gather these material blocks and place them elsewhere, thus allowing for various constructions.

At the start of the game, the player is placed on the surface of a procedurally generated and virtually infinite game world. Players can walk across the terrain consisting of plains, mountains, forests, caves, and various water bodies. The world is divided into biomes ranging from deserts to jungles to snowfields. The in-game time system follows a day and night cycle, with one full cycle lasting 20 real-time minutes. Throughout the course of the game, players encounter various non-player characters known as mobs, including animals, villagers and hostile creatures. Non-hostile animals—such as cows, pigs, and chickens—spawn during the daytime. The player may hunt them for food and crafting materials. By contrast, hostile mobs—such as large spiders, skeletons, and zombies—spawn during nighttime and in dark places, such as caves. Some Minecraft-unique creatures have been noted by reviewers, such as the Creeper, an exploding creature that sneaks up on the player; and the Enderman, a creature with the ability to teleport and pick up blocks.

A few of the hostile and neutral mobs displayed in Minecraft from left to right: Zombie, Spider, Enderman, Creeper, Skeleton

The game world is procedurally generated as players explore it, using a seed which is obtained from the system clock at the time of world creation unless manually specified by the player. Although limits exist on vertical movement both up and down, Minecraft allows for an infinitely large game world to be generated on the horizontal plane, only running into technical problems when extremely distant locations are reached. The game achieves this by splitting the game world data into smaller sections called "chunks", which are only created or loaded into memory when players are nearby.

The game's physics system, in which most solid blocks are unaffected by gravity, has often been described as unrealistic by commentators. Liquids in the game flow from a source block, which can be removed by placing a solid block in its place, or by scooping it into a bucket. Complex systems can be built using primitive mechanical devices, electrical circuits, and logic gates built with an in-game material known as redstone.

Minecraft features two alternate dimensions besides the main world – the Nether and The End. The Nether is a hell-like dimension accessed via player-built portals that contains many unique resources and can be used to travel great distances in the overworld. The End is a barren land in which a boss dragon called the Ender Dragon dwells. Killing the dragon cues the game's ending credits, written by Irish author Julian Gough. Players are then allowed to teleport back to their original spawn point in the overworld, and will receive "The End" achievement. There is also a second boss called "The Wither", which drops materials used to build a placeable beacon that can enhance certain abilities of all nearby players.

The game primarily consists of two game modes: survival and creative. It also has a changeable difficulty system of four levels; the easiest difficulty (peaceful) removes any hostile creatures that spawn.

Reception
On January 12, 2011, Minecraft passed 1 million purchases, less than a month after entering its beta phase. At the same time, the game had no publisher backing and has never been commercially advertised except through word of mouth, and various unpaid references in popular media such as the Penny Arcade webcomic. By April 2011, Persson estimated that Minecraft had made €23 million (US$33 million) in revenue, with 800,000 sales of the alpha version of the game, and over 1 million sales of the beta version. In November 2011, prior to the game's full release, Minecraft beta surpassed 16 million registered users and 4 million purchases. By March 2012, Minecraft had become the 6th best-selling PC game of all time. As of February 3, 2014, the game has sold over 14 million copies on PC and over 35 million copies across all platforms.

The Xbox 360 version of Minecraft became profitable within the first 24 hours of the game's release when the game broke the Xbox Live sales records with 400,000 players online. Within a week of being on the Xbox Live Marketplace, Minecraft sold upwards of 1 million copies. GameSpot announced in December 2012 that Minecraft sold over 4.48 million copies since the game debuted on Xbox LIVE Arcade in May 2012. In 2012, Minecraft was the most purchased title on Xbox Live Arcade; it was also the fourth most played title on Xbox Live based on average unique users per day. In addition, Minecraft: Pocket Edition has reached a figure of 7.3 million in sales. The PlayStation 3 version sold one million copies in five weeks.


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