It's been years since I played Minecraft — it's like a whole new game today

Minecraft is be the best selling game of all time and represents a huge chunk of Microsoft's gaming efforts across cloud, cross-platform services, and merchandising. And at 10 years old it's showing no signs of slowing down.

Creators of all types have made careers producing videos, mods, and other types of content for Minecraft, which remains one of the biggest games on YouTube in terms of viewership. It has made history as the first ever game with cross-platform play between Xbox, Nintendo, VR, mobile, and PC platforms, owing to its re-written Bedrock Engine, powering cross-platform experiences. Soon, Minecraft will also take on augmented reality, in the form of Minecraft Earth.

At this point, Minecraft is a game that needs no introduction. A lot of the things I bring up here will be old news for the Minecraft faithful, too. But for me, as a lapsed player of the old Java version, returning to find out what Microsoft has been doing with modern Minecraft has been an incredible experience, and I felt like sharing. If you're an OG Minecrafter that's been away for a while, here's why it might be worth jumping back in.

A platform for adventure

While I have dabbled in the Bedrock Edition here and there, it was the recent Village and Pillage update that got me re-addicted to the game. Village and Pillage added deeper settlement systems to the game, where new types of villages could be raided and ransacked by evil “illagers.” On our particular Realm seed, the illager spawns have been relatively rare, but we have triggered at least one raid, which plays out similarly to a huge Horde-style battle, with villagers running indoors to hide.

I defeated my first raid in Minecraft 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 pic.twitter.com/WtF3a3XpyN— Jen Gentleman 🌺 (@JenMsft) June 2, 2019

Minecraft's creative aspects are a great way to relax, but some of the newer, more adventurousaspects have surprised me as a platform for tense, exciting co-operative fun. The Nether, Minecraft's twisted Hell-like otherworld, has been in the game for quite a long time, but I recently had my first foray into its lava-blasted world. Emerging unscathed with all the loot I acquired, including armor for my trusty steed, tons of Blaze rods for making potions, and Ghast tears for various spooky things, was quite a nerve-wracking challenge.

An undersea shipwreck, will there be treasure?

The Nether is pretty difficult to navigate for a newbie like myself, with lava pitfalls all over the place, floating eldritch horrors, and swarms of horrifically mutated pigs that make me question Minecraft's “kid-friendly” designation. Raiding the place was a blast, and by no means the only adventure I've had the past few weeks.

I've also had the chance to experience some of Minecraft's newer biomes, including polar-style glaciers, taigas filled with gigantic trees, and swamps full of slime monsters. Perhaps the most exciting, for me, so far has been the abandoned mine shaft, which was added years ago, showing just how much I've been missing out on. I came upon an abandoned mine shaft while digging beneath the Helmsdeep-inspired survival base I've been making, uncovering a vast warren of spooky tunnels, brimming with monsters, precious ores, and minecart chest loot. The mine shaft system generated there seems to intersect with various other caves and crevices too, making me wonder just how big it is. After a couple of weeks, I'm still finding new tunnels and pathways in the darkness, which typifies the quintessential Minecraft fantasy in my book.

There are still tons of experiences I haven't dabbled with yet too, including The End dimension, where the Ender Dragon dwells. I'm yet to find an Illager outpost and trigger a raid of my own, too. I'm just on the edge of being ready to craft water breathing potions to explore some of the undersea biomes added in Update Aquatic, as well as the oceanic temples filled with monsters I've never seen. There's so much to do, so much to see, all without getting creative.

A platform for creativity

The essential Minecraft “digital Lego” experience not only remains intact but seems to have pushed far further than I could have imagined, even without considering the vast array of mods and add-ons that can enhance the experience. As someone playing using only a basic texture pack, I have been blown away by some of the new options for creation, but even more so when looking at creators on YouTube and subreddits like /r/detailcraft and /r/minecraftbuilds for inspiration.

We're playing on a dedicated Realm, rented from Microsoft for around $7 per month. It allows up to ten concurrent players onto the server at any one time, allowing you to build together, craft together, slay monsters together, and so on. As a survival realm, resources aren't infinite as they are on creative mode, where players can build endlessly to their heart's content. Some of the creative mode stuff I've seen has been truly crazy, but there's something satisfying about making large structures with the added danger of creepers lurking around, ready to blow up your stuff.

I've been crafting a Helmsdeep-inspired castle wall, with plans to carve homes and buildings out of a large cliff face behind it. We've also been building large skyways to link parts of the map across powered rails, monorail-style. There are tons of small and large homes of all types dotted around the map, created by our small community, and it's always fun to walk around and see what people have made.

Some of the new features like leashes and campfires, which seem simplistic enough, have led to a vast array of new creative ideas out of the Minecraft community. Campfires can be used in chimneys to create the effect of rising smoke, while leashes can be tied to wooden posts and buried chickens (sorry chickens) to create realistic-looking rope bridges. The beauty and genius of Minecraft's low-poly visuals is that the lack of detail on items allows them to perform multiple functions, with your imagination filling in the gaps. With higher fidelity graphics, a campfire would always look like a campfire, but in Minecraft, it can also be any sort of wooden detail when you douse the flames.

What does the future hold?

Had expected them to blow up in a line, lol. Wanted to build a moat. <.< #TNTproblems #Minecraftpic.twitter.com/f3YZsw9Gwa— Jezcraft⛏️ (@JezCorden) May 18, 2019

We already know about Minecraft Earth hitting smartphones in the near future, as well as Minecraft Dungeons, which look as though it'll condense Minecraft's adventuring gameplay into shorter, more focused Diablo-like sessions. But what else does the franchise hold for Microsoft?

We've heard that the teams building Minecraft experiences is among the largest as Redmond, up there with Halo in terms of employees. We've also heard that Microsoft has even more Minecraft-related standalone projects in the works, beyond Dungeons and Earth, as well as the typical heavy updates for its Java and Bedrock Editions that fans have come to know and love. The long-awaited 4K Super Duper Graphics pack is still reportedly in the works, although it has been heavily delayed to accommodate emerging graphics tech like ray tracing. I'll try and find out more about that at E3 2019.

One thing is for certain: Minecraft is not slowing down, nor is it going away. As Microsoft's biggest recreational property outside of Xbox itself, the $2.5 billion purchase from 2014 has proven to be a huge win for Redmond, and I'd argue it has been a big win for Minecraft fans too.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have another section of wall to build, and a ton more to learn.

BERGHAIN, THE WORLD’S MOST EXCLUSIVE NIGHTCLUB, RECREATED INSIDE MINECRAFT

The iconic techno venue Berghain in Berlin, Germany — considered a mecca of dance music — has been brought to life inside the game of Minecraft.

With exceptional attention to detail, one player has completely recreated the dance landmark, thus bringing a unique and rarely seen night life experience to countless others from all corners of the earth. The only thing that seems to be missing is the steady thumping of music and the doorman that decides your fate.

The aesthetic of Berghain, even in virtual form, is beyond astounding. This person obviously dedicated an insane amount of time to the project, allowing players to access the elite establishment anytime they so desire — even without a passport or a flight.

To tour Berghain via Minecraft, watch below.

Berghain Minecraft Tour

Berghain on Minecraft

Someone's made a version of Berghain on Minecraft and it's incredibly detailed.

Posted by Mixmag on Tuesday, June 4, 2019

‘Minecraft’ 10th Anniversary Map Gives Tour of Game’s History

Minecraft” celebrated 10 years last month, but a special anniversary map is still available for players to enjoy, according to a news post on the official website for the game posted Saturday.

The map, made by Blockworks, is a celebration of all things “Minecraft,” the popular sandbox-style game which allows players to craft their own worlds. The map is completely free, and gives players a brief tour of “Minecraft’s” history. It starts in a special golden minecart, and players are taken stop by stop through the various updates “Minecraft” has had over the years.

“Hop into the golden minecart and you’ll be zipped along a powered rail down memory lane,” the news post explained. “You’ll get a brief tour of each of our updates over the years! It’s a fast paced treat through the past of ‘Minecraft’…”

After the guided tour, players are left with a puzzle to solve to unlock a virtual “Minecraft” museum. The museum has plenty for players to learn about the history of the game.

The free map is available for “Minecraft” on Xbox One, Windows PC, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch, and even “Minecraft” Java.

For those who can’t get enough “Minecraft,” be sure to check out the upcoming AR game “Minecraft Earth.”

Minecraft Dungeons out in spring 2020

Microsoft’s E3 presentation today gave us a new trailer for Minecraft Dungeons, which will be a dungeon-crawling game where players will be able to team up with friends to take on new challenges.

The trailer showcased a variety of locales, from forests to lava-filled castles. We also saw a bunch of enemy hordes that players will take down in the search for loot. Players will accordingly be able to equip all sorts of weapons and armor, and will have levels, enchantments, and various stats to boot. In addition to standard weapons like hammers, fans will also be able to use magic. There will also be a wide variety of customization options to help players personalize their characters. Overall, the game seems to be way more action-oriented than the base Minecraft experience, but unlike Diablo, it will have more of a family-friendly appeal.

Minecraft Dungeons will be out in spring 2020 for PC, consoles, and Xbox Game Pass.

Minecraft: Dungeons gameplay debuts at E3 2019

The Minecraft Team showed off some new gameplay for its Minecraft: Dungeons action game. This adventure takes the blocky setting and applies it to a Gauntlet-style four-player cooperative game that is launching in the spring of 2020.

You can watch the trailer above, which shows off the isometric-view and hack-‘n’-slash action. Players can equip new weapons and magical abilities. And all of this works for local cooperative play or online over Xbox Live.

Minecraft Dungeons — a Minecraft action-adventure game — is coming to Nintendo Switch in 2020

If you've been feeling a little bored with your world-building adventure in Minecraft but you don't want to ever stop digging and building and fighting in your blocky, pixelated world, you've got something big to look forward to in 2020. Majong has just unveiled the upcoming release of an entirely new title, set within the realm of Minecraft — Minecraft Dungeons.

Fight your way through an all-new action-adventure game, inspired by classic dungeon crawlers and set in the Minecraft universe! Coming to PC, consoles and Xbox Game Pass in spring 2020. Sign up to learn more! ↣ https://t.co/Yp6rAX7o44 ↢ pic.twitter.com/XitfPycQZN— Minecraft Dungeons (@dungeonsgame) June 9, 2019

If you're wondering what Minecraft Dungeon even is, it's a stand-alone action-adventure game designed with the classic dungeon crawler in mind. Players traverse all new lands, fight all new baddies, and solve all-new puzzles to unlock new items, weapons, spells, and more.

It's an all-new action-adventure game inspired by classic dungeon crawlers, where you'll constantly discover new weapons and items that will help you defeat a ruthless swarm of new-and-nasty mobs. You'll fight or flee through canyons, swamps and – of course – mines!

You can brave the dungeons alone, or team up with friends. Up to four players can battle together through action-packed, treasure-stuffed, wildly varied levels, all in an epic quest to save the villagers and take down the evil Arch-Illager!

As you wander through various dungeons, you'll fight mobs and loot their corpses. Of course, no good dungeon crawl is complete without a couple of nice, fat chest of treasures along the way.

You'll be able to personalize your character, including picking your favorite fighting style. Then, hit the ground running as a tank, ranged fighter, healer, or fighter.

You won't be fighting alone in Minecraft Dungeons (unless you want to, of course). It'll support four-player multi-player local and online gaming. Between you and your buddies, you'll be sure to make it to the mob boss in no time. As long as one of your party members is still alive, they can resurrect everyone and continue the game.

Minecraft Dungeons is coming to a variety of platforms, including Windows, Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch. It's not going to be ready until sometime in 2020, but you can sign up for updates at Mojong's Minecraft Dungeons portal.

‘Minecraft Dungeon’ Coming Spring 2020 with Co-Op and Online Play

“Minecraft Dungeon” is set to launch in Spring 2020, it was announced during Microsoft’s E3 conference on Sunday.

Developed by Minecraft creator Mojang, “Minecraft Dungeons” is an action-adventure game inspired by classic dungeon crawlers. The game, which was first revealed during Minecon Earth in 2018, allows for up to four player co-op and both local and online play.

In “Minecraft Dungeon,” players can unlock dozens of unique items and weapon enchantments to unleash devastating special attacks, and explore treasure-filled levels as they quest to take out the evil Arch-Illager. You can check out the new gameplay trailer above.

E3 2019 is coming to Los Angeles on June 11 through 13, and we’ll cover all the highlights of the event here at Variety as well.

Minecraft Earth: How monetization works (and doesn't)

Microsoft just unveiled Minecraft Earth, bringing the augmented reality (AR) world of Pokemon Go and combining it with the social creativity of Minecraft. Players will be able to go adventure using their phones, be it Android and iOS, obtaining rare blocks, building huge structures, and collecting unique mobs for their own personal build spaces.

As a free-to-play game, Minecraft Earth raises the specter of some of gaming's most predatory monetization practices on mobile phones. Thankfully, Microsoft doesn't seem to be going down the same route other games have.

Speaking to Executive Producer Jesse Merriam, we learned that Minecraft Earth will have some form of funding model but it doesn't sound as though it'll be aggressive.

These Minecraft Wave Machines Are Extremely Satisfying To Watch

Minecraft is a game that lets players create basically anything they want, assuming that player has the time to do it. It also has Redstone, a resource that allows players to move, power and manipulate blocks in various ways. Combine this with the predictable and simple physics of Minecraft and you end up with some satisfying machines.

Over on the Minecraft subreddit, the community is making wave machines using different elements of Minecraft. For example, here’s a really cool wave machine using decorative armor stands.GIF: Sabinn16 (Reddit)

This one uses minecarts and would make a great screensaver if I used still used screensavers. 
GIF: Nathanie512 (Reddit)

Another player created one that looks like water using lapis lazuli and  reprogrammable command blocks.

A more colorful creation uses various sand blocks in different shades to create a rainbow wave. Perfect for Pride Month.GIF: inadequatetacos (Reddit)

While these machines have become popular recently, they aren’t exactly new. People have been making these types of machines for years in Minecraft. One large one was created back in 2011 using sand blocks and like the newer ones, it is very satisfying to watch.

If we ever get a Minecraft theme park, maybe we this could be an attraction? Everyone jumps into a minecart and rides the wave.

Minecraft: Story Mode is being pulled from stores on June 25th

Minecraft developer Mojang has announced that support for Minecraft: Story Mode is ending, and that players will have until June 25th, 2019, to download their episodes. The game’s delisting follows the disappearance of other games created by Telltale Games, which abruptly shut down last year.

Mojang says that because of Telltale’s closure, the game will no longer be supported as of June, and that players who purchased it will need to make sure to download it before it’s taken down for good. The game is the latest of Telltale’s creations to be pulled from stores: at the end of May, Kotaku reported that games such as Tales from the Borderlands was no longer available on Steam, and that storefront Good Old Games announced that it would no longer be selling Telltale’s games.THE GAME IS THE LATEST TELLTALE CREATION TO BE PULLED FROM SALE FOLLOWING THE STUDIO’S CLOSURE

Telltale Games announced the story-driven game back in 2014 and launched it in 2015, bringing a traditional narrative to the sandbox game through a series of episodic games that Telltale became known for. The game was available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, and iOS.

The game followed Jesse (voiced by Patton Oswalt), who, along with his friends, have to find the Order of the Stone, to prevent the destruction of their video game universe. At the time, Telltale’s director of creative communications Job Stauffer noted that the game was inspired a bit by classic films from the 1980s, like Ghostbusters and The Goonies: There was something magical about that generation of film before the PG-13 rating became commonplace that bred an incredible body of inspiration for us.”

The game ran for two seasons (Season 1 ran for eight episodes, and Season 2 ran for five episodes) between 2015 and 2017, and last year, Telltale Games signed a deal with Netflixto bring its games to the streaming service, and a five-episode season of Minecraft: Story Mode debuted in November.

Minecraft With Fancy Lighting Looks Great

Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable Shaders is a shaderpack that adds the kinds of effects we normally associate with ray-tracing— like light that’s able to bounce off other objects—to ol’ blocky-ass Minecraft, and do it while you’re playing in real-time.

It’s not technically ray-tracing (he’s actually using path-tracing), but the effects are still incredible. Here are some examples of it in action:

And here are some screens showing it off on some more traditional areas:

You can download what you need by pledging $10 over on Sonic Ether’s Patreon page. Just know that the effects here are software-based, so you’ll need a decent PC to get a good framerate.

Please Enjoy This Beautiful Minecraft House

As old as Minecraft is, I’ll never get tired of appreciating just how good it looks when people put the effort in. I know a lot of games can get modded to Hell and back and look great, but there’s something about the distance blocky ol’ Minecraft has to travel to get there that makes it particularly special.

Case in point: this absolutely stunning house, made by umsoea using all kinds of tricks like shaders and custom textures. The architecture is definitely helping sell the whole thing here; a modern house like this is naturally blocky, removing one of the great obstacles Minecraft builds tend to have before they can look “real”.

But neither that fact, or the framerate (it’s…bad) can take away from just how good this looks. This wasn’t built for smooth gameplay and digging underground, this was built to marvel at, and I’ve been doing a lot of that today.

You can find links to download the stuff you need for this here.

Best Official Minecraft Merchandise in 2019

Ever since its original debut way back in 2009 (if you can believe it), Minecraft has become a global gaming phenomenon, attracting millions of fans, young and old alike, to its incredibly addicting gameplay and easy-to-learn creation tools. Due to how popular it has become, Minecraft has become home to tons of high-quality merchandise items over the years. Here are our favorites.

Best adult shirt:Pig Riders Adult T-Shirt

Staff favorite

The Pig Riders Adult T-Shirt for adults is the perfect way to show your Minecraft spirit. The design is cool, yet not overly flashy in any way. In addition, it's made out of 50% cotton and 50% polyester, which ensures a nice balance between comfort and shrink-resistance.$10 at Minecraft

Best youth shirt:Midnight Chase Youth T-Shirt

The Midnight Chase Youth T-Shirt features an awesome-looking design with iconic Minecraft characters like Steve, zombies, and a creeper, and it's made with 100% ring-spun cotton for maximum comfort.$15 at Minecraft

Best Xbox:Minecraft Xbox One S

This 1TB Xbox One S model comes with an awesome-looking Minecraft skin that's reminiscent of the dirt blocks you see in-game. It comes with a sweet creeper-themed Xbox One controller, too.$335 at Amazon

Best Xbox controller:Creeper controller

This is the same controller that comes with the Minecraft Xbox One S, but it's sold separately. The sickly green creeper color looks super cool, and the controller also comes with textured grips for enhanced comfort and Minecraft font on the buttons.$58 at Amazon

Cute Xbox controller:Pig Xbox controller

The Pig Xbox controller features the iconic face and color of the adorable pigs you can find in Minecraft, and like the creeper-themed controller, the grips are textured and the ABXY buttons have Minecraft font on them.$60 at Amazon

Best costume:Steve Youth Costume

This Steve costume is a fantastic way for your little one to dress up Minecraft-style. It offers a boxy and easy-to-wear suit and a large, 10-inch mask that fits comfortably over a child's face.$33 at Minecraft

Best baseball cap:Creeper Rush Cap

The Creeper Rush Cap is the best baseball cap-style hat available officially for Minecraft, featuring a sleek black-and-green look with three creepers on the front. In addition, it's also got an awesome mesh back that helps keep your head cool in high heat.$20 at Minecraft

Best beanie:Creeper Stripe Beanie

The Creeper Stripe Beanie shares the same sleek black-and-green look as the Creeper Rush Cap, and its got a 100% acrylic knit construction that will keep the head warm in the cold.$20 at Minecraft

Best wallet:Spider Jockey Bi-fold Wallet

This neat little wallet features a cool design that will remind players of their spider-riding adventures, and it doesn't look overly crazy style or color-wise, which is great. Additionally, it has a translucent ID slot and five slots for various card types.$20 at Minecraft

Best backpack:Creepy Creeper Backpack

The Creepy Creeper backpack is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a new backpack. Its creeper-themed design is super cool, and it also has enough room inside for a full 17-inch laptop, books, and plenty of various other items.$30 at Minecraft

Best lunchbox:Dirt Block Lunchbox

The Dirt Block Lunchbox is a roomy 8.5-inch container perfect for holding your lunch throughout the day, and its design features a detailed rendition of the iconic Minecraft dirt block.$15 at Minecraft

Best plush:Grand Adventure Creeper Plush

The Grand Adventure Creeper Plush is a soft and fluffy 16-inch tall plush made out of polyester fibers, meaning that it's both fun to play with and comfortable for children to snuggle with in bed.$30 at Minecraft

Best action figure:Mining Steve Action Figure

The Mining Steve Action Figure is a fully-articulated, 5-inch action figure of the iconic Minecraft character Steve. In addition to the figure simply looking awesome, you can even make Steve swing his pickaxe, adding play value into the mix.$15 at Minecraft

Best LEGO set:LEGO Minecraft: The End Battle

The LEGO Minecraft: The End Battle set depicts the famous “final boss fight” of Minecraft, offering buyers Dragonslayer, Ender Dragon, and Enderman figures to build. They'll also get a code to unlock the Dragonslayer skin in-game.$20 at Minecraft

Runner-up LEGO set:LEGO Minecraft: The Melon Farm

The LEGO Minecraft: The Melon Farm set depicts a dangerous encounter between a creeper and Steve, his pig steed, and a villager. You also get a chest and a handful of food item pieces for setting up a diorama.$30 at Amazon

Best interactive toy:Light-up Adventure Sword

The Light-up Adventure Sword is an awesome handheld toy that looks like the sword from the game. It also lights up and makes cool sounds thanks to its triple AA batteries, with the first set of these included in the box.$35 at Minecraft

Best book:Minecraft Graphic Novel Volume 1

The Minecraft Graphic Novel is a new story that features protagonist Jack and his friends attempting to challenge and take down the infamous Ender Dragon. It's got 88 pages, so there's plenty of fun reading to be had here.$10 at Minecraft

Best bedding:Creeper Full Bed in a Bag

This 76-by-86-inch set features a full-sized comforter, fitted and flat sheets, and pillowcases make the perfect bedding set for any young Minecraft player. The design looks awesome, and the whole package is made out of warm polyester material and fill.$75 at Minecraft

If we had to choose

There's a ridiculous amount of officially-licensed merchandise out there for Minecraft, and chances are, there's something out there that will suit your needs or desires no matter what they are. If I had to choose one for myself, though, I would go with the Pig Riders Adult T-Shirt, as I think the design is really cool, yet not overly crazy as to draw unwanted attention to me while I'm out-and-about. Plus, you can get it at a fantastic price, which you often can't say about brand shirts.

People looking for something for the kids to play with should check out the Light-up Adventure Sword for its cool electronic effects that add plenty of play value, as well as the design and shape which is accurate to the swords you see in the full game. If you;re picking something up for someone who loves to read, then the 88-page adventure story within the Minecraft Graphic Novel will be perfect due to its neat take on the Minecraft art direction, as well as the fairly large size of the story overall.

Minecraft Notes A Huge Success In China With Over 1.36 Billion Downloads

NetEase Games has announced that in China, Minecraft is no joke and players correlate it to something very serious. Huge numbers have surfaced, pinpointing Minecraft’s success in China, leading to a transcultural success. Mods, player base, downloads, everything has been exposed and NetEase Games is glad to announce its recent success.

Minecraft has always been an intriguing video game, and since early release, it never lost the sense of content. It is definitely the title in which you can have proper fun, without even being pushed to, or bothered to do any forced actions.

In China’s gaming industry, Minecraft is arguably one of the most downloaded games, as thanks to the recent press release it can be easily confirmed. NetEase, the local Minecraft Publisher, has stated, mods created by 2100 developers have been downloaded 1.36 billion times. These numbers come only from the domestic players, achieving a new milestone of 200 million players.

As the press release reads:

According to Minecraft’s local publisher NetEase Games, 25,000 Minecraft mods created by over 2,100 developers have been downloaded 1.36 billion times in China with its domestic registered players passing a milestone of 200 million, making China one of the biggest blocks of the sandbox legend.

When navigating the world largest and fast-growing game market, many western games are facing cultural barriers. Minecraft’s transcultural success, however, could be explained by how it has become integrated into modern China and also its glorious past. Thanks to a dynamic and creative Minecraft community deeply rooted in the local culture, many projects are currently being built to represent the ancient Chinese architecture in the game.

The transcultural noun stands for a reason, as community and modders have managed to recreate some of the most iconic places in China, within Minecraft itself. Overall, many projects that are present in the ancient Chinese architecture have been built in the game, and it is about to continue within the same pace.

As stated by NetEase Games:

Minecraft China is being used to revive historic icons, such as the Forbidden City, and to provide the public with a more interactive way to cherish them on mobile devices or PCs. The National Architect & Cthuwork Studio spent over three years recreating the Imperial Palace within the Forbidden city which used over 100 million Minecraft blocks in its construction.

Such as the Meridian Gate of the Forbidden City, see pic below:

Not to mention the recent loss of France, the Notre-Dame cathedral which left the whole world shook, being reflected with a precious line of blocks in Minecraft. 100 Minecraft blocks were needed for its complete creation. Take a look at the image below:

All of this surely confirms the Minecraft sensation in China, and its vast success with over 1.36 billion downloads. This definitely marks Minecraft’s transcultural success in China.

MINECRAFT 1.14.1 PRE-RELEASE 1: SNAPSHOT BRINGS TONS OF FIXES FOR VILLAGE & PILLAGE UPDATE

Mojang has released a new 1.14.1 snapshot that fixes bugs found in update 1.14. Find out everything new and changes in the 1.14.1 pre-release, here.​

It’s been two weeks since the release of Minecraft’s massive 1.14 Village & Pillage update, and while the update came with a ton of exciting new changes, it also brought a plethora of bugs and glitches to hammer out. To address these early release issues, Mojang has deployed its first pre-release of version 1.14.1. In this snapshot, the company addresses numerous reported gameplay and performance issues. Players testing the pre-release should see performance and stability improvements such as better enderman and villager AI as well as improvements to chunk rendering. Meanwhile, quirks like flame enchanted bows not igniting TNT or missing raid sound effects have also been fixed. The list of fixes is substantial so we’ve provided a complete rundown of all that’s new and changed in the 1.14.1 pre-release, below. Players who want to test the 1.14.1 pre-release, can install the snapshot by opening the Minecraft Launcher and enabling snapshots in the “Launch Options” tab. To prevent corruption, players are advised to backup their worlds or run the snapshot in a different folder than their main worlds. The devs are also encouraging players to report any bugs they encounter after installing the 1.14.1 pre-release on the official Minecraft bug tracker.RELATED STORIES

Minecraft 1.14.1 Pre-Release 1: Everything New and Changed

minecraft, 1, 14, 1, pre, release, 1, bug, fixes, changes, update, patch, notes, village, pillage, java, pc, how, to, download, install

Minecraft 1.14.1 pre-release one features a wide array of bug fixes for the latest Village & Pillage update.MOJANG

  • MC-44793 – Tamed wolf can't sit on slime blocks
  • MC-126946 – Execution order is reversed when calling a function in some cases
  • MC-128441 – /tp uses context dimension rather than destination entity's dimension
  • MC-128565 – Function tag ordering is inconsistent across reloads and does not respect datapack ordering
  • MC-131014 – Observers and block states not updated by tree growth
  • MC-136442 – Blocks of giant mushrooms don't send block updates after growing
  • MC-140317 – Ladder in village house doesn't reach the floor
  • MC-142817 – Mobs try to pathfind through corners
  • MC-143699 – Trader llamas won't despawn
  • MC-144904 – Enderman can teleport to the void
  • MC-145097 – Leather horse armor is higher in inventory slot
  • MC-145265 – Night is not skipped when all but one players on a server are sleeping, and the remaining player leaves the server
  • MC-145744 – Villager AI (POI detection) pegs CPU at 100%, causes lag in 19w13a
  • MC-145862 – Villagers try to sleep in occupied beds
  • MC-146674 – Missing Jigsaw Blocks for Beds in some Village Structures
  • MC-146811 – Enderman AI causing HIGH ms tick lag
  • MC-146935 – Crafting table uses outdated plank texture
  • MC-147013 – Villagers can get hit by their own firework
  • MC-147022 – Many village houses are inadequately lit
  • MC-147212 – Iron golems can spawn in spaces less than three blocks high and get stuck
  • MC-147479 – Villagers continue to shake their head after they found a workstation
  • MC-147578 – Beacon NBT “Levels” is missing
  • MC-147590 – Missing floor block in village/desert/houses/desert_medium_house_1
  • MC-147643 – Villagers don't sleep in beds
  • MC-147676 – The event.raid.horn sound effect cannot always be heard whilst in a village
  • MC-147819 – Custom villager with large trades has scroll bar that goes outside GUI screen
  • MC-147880 – Pillager Outposts don't generate in snowy biomes
  • MC-147890 – Hostile mobs are not spawning
  • MC-148165 – Bow with Flame Enchantment does not Activate TNT when Hit on the Top
  • MC-148179 – Ender dragon fly in circles after shooting projectile at her and never comes down to the portal
  • MC-148454 – Villager trade GUI shows incorrect price when a discount is applied on servers
  • MC-148476 – Books still have an NBT tag (RepairCost of 0) after removal of enchantments using Grindstone
  • MC-148529 – Name of enchanted book is lost after removing its enchantments in a grindstone
  • MC-148567 – taiga_animal_pen_1 water trough has water recessed 1 block beneath trapdoors
  • MC-148580 – Server lighting still broken in 1.14 pre-4
  • MC-148624 – The banner on the Pillager Outpost structure is incorrectly named
  • MC-148830 – Game crashed while loading chunks
  • MC-149040 – Iron ore texture has four miscoloured pixels
  • MC-149178 – Chunk rendering is extremely slow and random in 1.14
  • MC-149209 – Cats jitter when sitting on slime blocks
  • MC-149278 – Wolf AI can cause extremely severe lag spikes when in combat with a distant mob
  • MC-149420 – Hostile mobs not despawning at 128+ blocks
  • MC-149576 – Villagers won't sleep in their beds
  • MC-149835 – Villagers can find a job, but can't lose the job

What do you think of the 1.14.1 pre-release? Are there additional issues that need fixing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Will Minecraft Earth ever come to Windows 10 devices, tablets, or HoloLens?

Best answer: For now, no. When we asked Minecraft Earth creative director Jesse Merriam, he said definitively that Minecraft Earth is only coming to iOS and Android devices.

  • Minecraft base game: Minecraft ($20 at Microsoft)
  • Best affordable phone for Minecraft Earth: Pixel 3A ($400 at Amazon)

Why Minecraft Earth isn't coming to Windows 10 devices

Minecraft Earth is an upcoming augmented reality game from Microsoft, built in a similar vein to Pokemon Go. In Minecraft Earth, players will partake in augmented reality adventures, able to explore miniature Minecraft-style worlds full of blocks for crafting and building.

To participate in the augmented reality game, Minecraft Earth will utilize the camera on an iOS (10+) and Android (7+) device. Minecraft Earth is constructed from the ground up using Android's ARCore, and Apple's ARKit augmented reality frameworks, which Windows platforms currently do not support.

Minecraft Earth Creative Director Jesse Merriam told us that at present, Minecraft Earth is planned only for Android and iOS due to the AR framework dependencies.

Does this mean that Minecraft Earth may never appear on HoloLens or Windows 10 devices? It's hard to say, but considering Microsoft is pioneering in the augmented reality space with HoloLens, it's a little hard to believe that any future possible consumer-ready augmented reality product from Microsoft wouldn't support this game, considering how popular it's likely going to be. We'll have to wait and see.

‘MINECRAFT VOLUME ONE' WRITER SFÉ R. MONSTER AND ARTIST SARAH GRALEY TALK BRINGING THE GAMING PHENOMENON TO COMICS (EXCLUSIVE)

razes come and go in the world of video games but few franchises ever manage to reach the broad appeal and formidable staying power of Minecraft. As of May 2019, the game had sold more than 176 million copies worldwide, edging out Tetris as the best-selling game of all time. Now, as part of a multi-project publishing partnership, Mojang AB and Microsoft have teamed up with Dark Horse Comics to translate the vivid, crazy world of Minecraft to a series of graphic novels. 

Minecraft Volume One follows Tyler, a kid whose life is turned upside down when his family has to move away from his hometown. Thankfully, he's still got his besties by his virtual side—in the world of Minecraft. Accompanied by pals Evan, Tobi, Grace and Candace, Tyler embarks on the Ultimate Quest: to venture to the End and challenge the mythic ender dragon. 

Newsweek has obtained an exclusive preview of the comic, and spoke with writer Sfé R. Monster and artist Sarah Graley about bringing the expansive possibilities of the online game to the printed page.  

Quite a few fictional stories are set in the Minecraft universe, did you use any in particular to inspire either the graphic novel’s writing or art direction?

Sfé R. Monster: Sort of! Eight or so years ago, I used to watch a lot of Minecraft Let’s Plays on YouTube.  It was my first introduction to Minecraft, actually, and what eventually convinced me to start playing the game myself.  I was really into the elaborate collaborative building and adventures that these groups of friends would post online.  Some of them had their own Minecraftcharacters and personas and created these fun improv stories in the game as they played. I was definitely inspired by the memory of those videos when I started to think about how I wanted to adapt the game of Minecraft into a graphic novel, but I also wanted to pull in a lot of my own experiences playing the game with my friends, so it was a big patchwork of inspiration.

Sarah Graley: In terms of art direction, we wanted the Minecraft world to be pretty similar to the game itself, but we were keen on making the characters look more human and less blocky! I think this definitely helped me bring my own style to the wonderful world that is Minecraft! It feels like a good mix as Minecraft is all about real people having fun together inside this virtual world, and the combination of styles was a way to pay tribute to that.

Minecraft Vol 1 PG_04

‘Minecraft Volume One' is the first official graphic novel set in the world of the gaming phenomenon that boasts more than 91 million monthly players.DARK HORSE

What aspect of Minecraft did you intend to capture with the graphic novel? How did you get involved with this comic?

SRM: I got involved with the comic because I make comics! And for a while, I was known among my comic-making friends as “the one who’s really into Minecraft.” You truly never know where your interests are going to take you! When I was invited to be a part of the project and write the comic I knew for sure that I wanted to capture the adventure part of the game: exploring all the various biomes to take on big challenges, like fighting withers and ender dragons. Personally, I feel I’m a very simple Minecraft player, who’s content to make a little house and a little farm and just putter around, but I love how epic the game can get, and I wanted to capture that sense of how big and exciting the game can be.

SG: I’ve been making comics and playing video games since forever! I originally wanted to make video games when I was a lot younger, so anything that lets me combine my love of the two together is a real treat! When I was asked to be the artist on this book, I was really excited – it meant that I was able to play a whole bunch of Minecraft and be able to call it valid research! It was really enjoyable getting to figure out how to bring my art style to the world of Minecraft and bring it all together, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out! I’m super excited to everyone to get to read this incredible adventure!

Did you have a relationship with Minecraft before working on this project? What does Minecraft mean to the cast of your story?

SRM: I was thinking about this as I started working on the story, and it turns out I’ve been playing Minecraft for as long as I’ve been making comics (seven years!). I initially started playing Minecraft on a server run by several of my comic-making friends and colleagues, so Minecraftand comics have always been closely linked in my mind.  That idea of friendship, and Minecraftbeing something you do to spend time with people you really like and care about, was something that I wanted to bring the comic. The group of kids in the story love playing Minecraft, but for them, it’s something they do together, and it’s not nearly as fun when they’re not all there in-game together.

SG: I’ve been playing Minecraft with my partner and my sister over the years, and it’s always a really fun thing to dip back into! I’m mainly a creative player – I like to build cool bases in the sides of mountains! Most recently, I built a base with several floors, and just as I was placing the finishing touches, I could hear a whole bunch of clucking noises – It turned out that my partner Stef had placed dozens of Chickens in my base and they were definitely messing up the place! I had to make a hole in the wall, and they all escaped into the sea. It was very funny to watch! In the story, I think Minecraft is especially important because it’s helping to keep Tyler in touch with his friendship group when he moves away. It’s one of my favorite things about online gaming – it keeps you connected with your friends, no matter where in the world you are.

Minecraft Vol 1 PG_05

Tyler is joined in the world of ‘Minecraft' by his close friends Evan, Candace, Tobi, and Grace, had countless adventures together across the expanses of the Overworld.DARK HORSE

Tyler’s core friend group seems to be very close. Can you provide insight to the group history prior to graphic novel?

SRM: Tyler and Evan have definitely known each other the longest. They’re met-on-the-very-first-day-of-school friends.  Grace and Candace came along a few years after, and I think Tobi is the most recent addition to the group, but they’ve all known each other and been friends for years. They’re all in the same grade, but I feel like at this point in the story they’re spread across several different homerooms, so playing Minecraft together is just as important for Evan, Grace, Candace, and Tobi (who still live in the same city) as it is for Tyler (who has recently moved with his family across the country).

In the Minecraft world you two have created, every aspect of a person’s real world seems to get copied over to the game, including apparatus like glasses, wheelchairs, and very poofy heads of hair. Why did you choose a one-to-one copy over the zany avatars normally found in video games?

SRM: I think a one-to-one copy was important for this story, where I wanted the gang to still be recognizable when they enter the world of Minecraft. They’re playing the game as themselves, so they still needed to be recognizable as themselves, but they also get to be the Minecraft versions of themselves, so rather than putting on a completely different avatar, it’s more like they’re playing dress-up. It was really fun to write their in-game descriptions and see how Sarah drew them! That was maybe my favorite part of the comic-making process.

SG: I had a lot of fun getting to figure out what the characters would look like from Sfé’s descriptions and also getting to make a whole bunch of extra background characters too! It was really fun getting to fill this Minecraft world with a bunch of real people!

Minecraft Vol 1 PG_06

The story follows Tyler and his pals as they embark on the Ultimate Quest—to travel to the End and face off against the ender dragon.DARK HORSE

There’s a lot of casual diversity amongst the cast members. Why did you believe that was something important to include?

SRM: Growing up as a queer person and a trans person I never, ever got to see myself even in the background of the media I consumed. I have a lot of friends who grew up feeling the same way, and I believe we have a tendency in our media to see the same type of protagonist over and over again. It was really important to me (and to Mojang and Dark Horse!) to see a lot of different kinds of faces playing Minecraft. The game is played all over the world by so many different kinds of people; it wouldn’t make sense to only include one type of player. This way we get to see all sorts of players from all sorts of backgrounds and identities, and it really shows how diverse the people who play Minecraft are and how there’s definitely a place for them in the game!

SG: It’s really powerful to see yourself in the media that you read and watch and play – I absolutely adore the cast of characters that Sfé has written in this story, and it was a pleasure to get to draw them. I’m really excited for everyone to read this book, and I hope everyone sees a bit of themselves reflected somewhere.

Which countries will Minecraft Earth be available in?

Best answer: Minecraft Earth is set to launch worldwide, though will see a staged rollout starting in select cities.

Which countries will Minecraft Earth be available in?

Minecraft Earth is Microsoft's upcoming augmented reality (AR) game for iOS and Android, bringing its blocky creative sandbox to the real world. Capitalizing on the worldwide Pokemon Go phenomenon, Minecraft Earth revitalizes building and exploration in a truly mobile form.

Minecraft Earth is universal by nature, leveraging Open Street Maps to build a world around existing map data. It allows the game to scale globally without handcrafting it for every location on the planet. However, Microsoft is planning a slower rollout to ensure a smooth and optimized experience for all players.

Microsoft is yet to formally discuss its Minecraft Earth plans, only committed to an early access beta throughout summer ahead of a late 2019 launch. However, the firm indicates a staged rollout over time, likely indicating a variable release date between regions. Here's Microsoft's current stance on availability, via its Minecraft Earth FAQ.

We're committed to bringing Minecraft Earth to the entire Earth but will roll the game out gradually to ensure everyone gets the best play experience. Minecraft Earth will support all the same languages as regular vanilla Minecraft.

With Microsoft's well-established U.S. presence, expect Minecraft Earth to first launch stateside. Expansions to Europe and Asia are also likely, before branching worldwide into other regions. Minecraft Earth beta registration also requires a region and zip code, indicating location will influence beta invitations.

Where will Minecraft Earth release first?

Although official word on Minecraft Earth's debut is scarce, our sources indicate Microsoft is first targeting around five cities. This limited pool of players will test and gather feedback before the game expands into new locations. It's unclear which cities will host initial tests, although we hear at least one will be outside the U.S.

Venturing into speculation, don't overlook Microsoft's ties to the Seattle area, alongside the value of tech hotspots like San Francisco and New York. Beyond U.S. cities, London could be a possible candidate, as well as Minecraft's hometown of Stockholm. Expect more details on these cities in the coming months.

‘Minecraft Dungeons' Is A New Action-RPG Set In The ‘Minecraft' Universe

Early into Microsoft's E3 2019 press conference, Minecraft Dungeons was revealed. It's a cool little surprise from the makers of the original Minecraft, Mojang. A small team in Stockholm, Sweden has been working on what the developer describes as “a passion project.”

The game is an action-RPG similar to something like Diablo, but set in the Minecraft universe with all its blocky charm. You can play solo or online with friends.

The game is set to debut on PC, consoles and Xbox Game Pass in Spring of 2020. (Though the website says PC in 2019, the trailer description says 2020.)

Minecraft Heroes
Minecraft DungeonsCREDIT: MICROSOFT

From the official website:

“What exactly is Minecraft: Dungeons? It’s an all-new action-adventure game inspired by classic dungeon crawlers, where you’ll constantly discover new weapons and items that will help you defeat a ruthless swarm of new-and-nasty mobs. You’ll fight or flee through canyons, swamps and – of course – mines!

“You can brave the dungeons alone, or team up with friends. Up to four players can battle together through action-packed, treasure-stuffed, wildly varied levels, all in an epic quest to save the villagers and take down the evil Arch-Illager!”

How to check if your phone will work with Minecraft Earth

In Minecraft Earth, you'll be able to experience augmented reality adventures using your smartphone's camera on a compatible Android and iOS device. For Android, your phone needs to be powerful enough to run ARCore, complete with Android version 7 or above, for iPhones, you'll need iOS version 10 or higher. In this guide, we'll show you how to check that your phone is compatible with Minecraft Earth.

Products used in this guide

  • Most affordable modern iPhone: iPhone XR (From $749 at Apple)
  • Best value Android flagship: OnePlus 7 Pro (From $670 at OnePlus)
  • Most affordable AR Android phone: Pixel 3A ($400 from Amazon)

How to check your version of iOS on iPhone or iPad

iOS devices like iPhones and iPads differ slightly in their settings menus, but the general execution is the same. Ensure your iPad or iPhone is rocking all the latest updates, and you can then easily find whether or not it's compatible using this quick guide.

  1. Update your iPhone to the latest available OS version.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Select General.
  4. Select About.
  5. Check your Version is 10 or higher.

How to check your version of Android

The menus vary wildly across Android devices since it allows developers a large degree of freedom for customizing the software. Generally though, the Android version is almost always found in the “About” section. Here's how to find it.

  1. Update your Android phone to the latest available OS version.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Select About phone.
  4. Check your Android version is 7 or higher.
  5. Make sure your ARCore is up to date, by checking this link in the Google Play Store.

If your devices have the latest updates and don't meet requirements, it will be unable to play Minecraft Earth.