In 1697 William Congreve coined the phrase, “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned”, though in 2012 its starting to look like “indie” might also be an acceptable substitution. The controversy surrounds EA’s use of the words “indie bundle” in their most recent Steam sale, and real indies have been lashing out at the company from every angle.
Can you tell we're pumped about Minecraft-themed Legos? We've been anxiously following their development, breathlessly reporting when the petition to create the set passed the needed 10,000 signature mark -- and when the project got the official green light. Lego and Mojang must be pumped about the Minecraft Micro World, too; in less than a month, the set has flown through the design process and is headed to the production line. In fact, Lego started selling preorders for the set yesterday.
In videogames, anything can happen. And outside them, well, apparently the same rule applies. It all started when Tim Schafer lamented that he's “actually pitched [Psychonauts 2] to publishers several times and no-one has taken the bait so far." Sounds like the end of the line for the brain-bending, mind-invading cult hit, right? Not if Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson has anything to say about it.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out why Mojang struck gold with Minecraft: it's basically a grown-up version of Legos, only with virtual blocks instead of real ones. And zombies. Prepare for the line between children's toys and grown-up games to get even blurrier in the coming months. After a petition for a Minecraft-themed Lego set garnered over 10,000 e-signatures, Lego considered the prospect in an official review. As of yesterday, Minecraft Legos are officially a go.
For as popular as the Xbox 360 is, Microsoft's been notoriously slow to certify game updates to be rolled out via its Xbox Live service, a constant source of frustration for developers and gamers alike. That's reportedly going to change when Minecraft is ported over to Xbox Live Arcade, which could very well end up being the first game to tout frequent and constant updates.
The Internet is going to be a cold, dark place on January 18th. After the Reddit team announced a few days back that the site would be down on that date as a protest to the proposed SOPA legislation, a couple of other organizations have decided to throw their lot in with Reddit and stage blackouts of their own. Namely, Minecraft, Destructoid, the iCanHazCheezburger family of sites, and Anonymous, the hacker group everybody loves to hate. Dozens of smaller sites such as Red 5 Studios and Errata Security will be shutting down as well. Even Wikipedia is considering a blackout.
It's the end of the year, and you know what that means: awards! Awards for everyone, from everyone! Best graphics, best game featuring Nolan North as a ruggedly handsome scoundrel, worst “arrow in the knee” joke (answer: all of them), etc, etc, etc. Honestly, though, most of the teary eyed, speech-blabbing winners are kind of boring. For example, Portal 2: An undeniably great, but ultimately safe update to a revered franchise. Arkham City: An undeniably great, but ultimately safe update to a revered franchise. Skyrim: An undeniably great, but blah blah blah. You get the point. The following, then, are games didn't land with such a huge splash -- perhaps because they weren't so great, or maybe because they're not even new -- but will almost certainly send out ripples for years to come.
Minecraft, if you ask us, is one of the absolute easiest games to explain to non-gamers. While we often awkwardly stumble through Fallout (“...and the best part is, uh, when you get chased around by giant scorpions while wearing armor that may as well be made of 'Kick me' signs!”) and don't even bother with Call of Duty (“Er, some of the commercials are neat”), Minecraft's a quick, simple “Legos for grown-ups.” But -- now that Minecraft Legos for tiny-block-swallowing youths are on the way -- we might have to come up with something a bit more creative.
After a star-studded, presumably crawling-with-Creepers convention in Vegas, Minecraft has officially put its beta days behind it. That, however, doesn't mean Notch has any intention of letting his gravy train stall out in the station. “I had this goal of where I wanted to take the game, but there’s so much we can add and we keep finding out,” he told IGN. “We’re going to keep working for as long as people keep buying, really.” So then, what's next? “One thing we really wanted to do, which for some reason kind of slipped [through] the cracks, is the mod support, because lots of people are adding really cool stuff and we want to embrace that more,” he explained. Further, he's now hired an AI specialist to breathe some life into Minecraft's braindead villagers. Will they repeatedly spout nonsense about taking arrows to the knee? We can only hope.
There’s a two-way street of animosity that runs between many console gamers and PC gamers – but at the heart of things, aren’t we all just gamers? Can’t we all just get along? If our high-horse appeal to reason doesn’t sway you, consider this: a trio of multinational Minecraft freaks has showed us The Good that can happen when we set our virtual pickaxes aside and embrace both console and PC games, in the form of pixel-perfect recreations of Super Mario Land, Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and more, using only stop-motion and millions of Minecraft blocks. These videos will boggle your mind.