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Minecraft’s story

Yet another famous game? And its marketing

Minecraft was intially made in Java because of its cross-platform compatibility with Windows, GNU Linux and Mac. Originally made available for PC users only. Others had to wait until 2011 before it was finally release on popular Smart-phone platforms and as a native program for Windows named Bedrock Edition (Windows native) and P.E.(Pocket Edition) for mobile devices. For seven years after release of Minecraft Creation, Microsoft released the “education” version with features like periodical table and mathematics etc, focused on school going and other young people.

How it started?

Minecraft started in 2009 as an small project, small made by “Markus Person” (actually known as “Nocht”). It was just a cave game breaking and placing generic blocks (suck Grass and Stone), it received positive response from critics. Markus then designed his own textures in the next update. Yeah, the first ones were taken from another game. Minecraft was designed to be able to run on a potato PC smoothly. Eventually more updates featuring new content was released. Most of the versions from 2009-2010 are lost but from what I can recall, it included survival and creative tests. Even the alpha and beta versions were good enough to play for two years without getting you bored. Also, they are nostalgic now, as they were designed by the original game developer himself.

Community and Microsoft buying Minecraft

When version 1.0.0 was out, it was completely playable, with an “end” and it solved all the lag and other performance related problems in beta versions, from 1.0.0 to 1.2.2, actual game development progress was not there but then they released a “buff” of new features in 1.3.1. It got its own wiki, community thrived and also received one of the most important mods today “Optifine”, specially for older PCs. It did not need a mod loader. But the biggest thing that happened to Minecraft was Microsoft. Microsoft predicated true potential of Minecraft and bought Stockholm, Sweden based Mojang (Minecraft company) in September of 2014 for two and a half billion dollars and “Nocht” said, he will not be involved anymore in things related to Minecraft any more. He wanted to work with smaller projects and keep things interesting.

I do not want the responsibility of an important company at world level

Starting with Minecraft version 1.3.1, many additions were made to the game. One interesting thing that the community was experiencing especially when upgrading world is corruptions leaving no option but to downgrade an area or world, this was improved a lot and every one was grateful. What also improved something that is called the “far lands” in Minecraft’s community and the theoretical limits, which are the limits of the “infinite”, later in 1.7 beta release, Minecraft was in fact already infinite even if in very far points (let’s say 2^32 or 2^64 blocks). It can eat a lot of resources pretty quickly as you try to reach far but it is really infinite because it simply generates more terrain and elements at random.

Minecraft expands from PC to consoles

When Minecraft 1.8.1 was out Mojang released realms (You pay a subscription to Mojang and they set up a complete customizable Minecraft server for you exclusively) and Bedrock version (Mobile and Windows native program) then with release of 1.9.0, a large variety of gaming consoles including Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita were supported. An increase in price from 19$ to 25$ was observed. In version, 1.9.0, they released “Combat Update” and it destroyed part of the “PvP” (player vs player, combat) community. Now dated yet loved version 1.8.9 is already used today on most servers, 1.7.10 is also in use but is a lot slower in comparison.

Baffling Minimum Requirements

On the official page, minimum requirements are incredibly demanding and high, just by seeing “GPU (discrete) AMD Radeon HD series 7000”, leaves you startled and disqualified at the first glance, which might not actually be the case. You need to do this, treat minimum requirements as the optimal, because Minecraft will not use all the potential of said hardware.

A basic Radeon X1200 graphics chip with 1 or 2 GB of RAM, 2 GB of Disk (SSD will run faster of course) and a decent dual-core 1.66Ghz CPU is enough for you to play it at 50-60 fps at a resolution of 1024×768 with texture pack. If you happen to own a Potato PC with 1 GB of RAM, integrated Intel GMA 1000+ GPU, Dual-core Atom CPU and monitor with a resolution of 800×600, it would still run and is playable. The official minimum requirement is to force you to buy new hardware and trash your still good enough old hardware. I have an AMD Radeon HD 6600 graphics card and it is bizarre, you can play at 75 fps in 2k resolution with maximum configuration with it.

Decadence

From Minecraft version 1.12 to 1.16.2 (actual) progress in game’s development met a decline owing to requirement of Java 8 and not being able to run on 32-bit machines (1.13+). Further OpenGL 2.0 is needed to run Minecraft 1.14+ or newer. Also, they have now made it less mod-able starting version 1.13+. But all is not bad. 1.16.1 make people able to make “datapacks”, take vanilla Minecraft and modify it at the point to make different things (for example when someone hits you, place an invisible armor stand with a red wool block in the hand and move it to different sites, or placing an invisible armor stand up to the player saying, “Clan: Strategics, Online: 3”, or similar things, they are vanilla, but tweaked in an interesting way).

Now the problem is that the Microsoft only improves their own version and the rest has less features and more of general bug fixes only. This is not a danger for common users, just the beginning of a decadence. Currently most servers play with versions between 1.8 to 1.15 and most recent versions are not so commonly found in networks specially, version 1.16, due to a lot of differences, 1.7.10 is used on some “PvP” servers too.

To conclude, Minecraft’s early alpha to first beta is nostalgic and good enough to be a fan, from first beta to last beta performance was very bad, from version 1.0.0 to 1.3.1, work is very appreciable, versions 1.4.0 to 1.8.1, just added more features to the game and the community thrived, 1.8.1 to 1.12, just did more marketing (except for Combat update, 1.9+ and education edition), Minecraft 1.13 to 1.15.2 is just new releases, 1.16.1+ was a good progress with addition of ‘datapacks’ and the sage continues.

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Manish Gehlot

I am a privacy, security, encryption and software freedom enthusiast. I am into VPNs, TLS security. Recently I also got into technical writings including guides.

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