GDC 2012: Minecraft Creator Hints at Secret Crafting Recipe

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GDC 2012: Minecraft Creator Hints at Secret Crafting Recipe

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Markus "Notch" Persson discussed how the development of Minecraft was full of happy accidents.

Minecraft was the big winner of GDC 2011, snagging many of the Independent Games Festival's top awards while game creator Markus "Notch" Persson endeared fans with his humble (and numerous) acceptance speeches. This year, the developer of Minecraft sat down with Maxis veteran Chris Hecker for a "Fireside Chat" on Wednesday at GDC. Behind a Minecraft-stylized TV-screen fire, Notch revealed his thoughts on developing Minecraft, indie titles, and the challenge of building female Minecraftian characters. He also mentioned that most of the crafting recipes he added to the game have been discovered and well-documented on wikis and websites, but there's one that still hasn't been found.

Surprising Emergent Behavior

Minecraft is an open-world game of crafting, building, and survival. Players have little instruction and little restrictions in terms of what they do in the game world, allowing players to explore their creativity. The world itself is populated by creatures, some hostile that need to be avoided, and some docile that can be used to your advantage. The AI behaviors of the monsters that inhabit the world has been one of the most compelling features of the game for the developer.

In his discussions of local behavior, or behavior localized to the player, Notch cited an example of hostile creepers that initially would explode near your house when you weren't there and that wasn't what he wanted to have happen. So creeper explosions became localized. He admits that the most surprising activities he witnessed in the game dealt with "The monster AI stuff" like creepers. While errantly-exploding creepers didn't fit the game world, when some emergent behavior is interesting and makes sense, Notch keeps it in the game. As an example, Notch discussed when he entered the game and "wolves would chase sheep and I wasn't prepared for that... they would just run by you." The code was in there, Notch explained, but he didn't understand the behavior until he saw it. Happy with the results, "We definitely left it in there."

He estimated, jokingly, that around "62.5 percent" of what's in the end is intended, there is always a give and take with how behaviors affect gameplay and vice versa. While a great part of what's in Minecraft was always designed to be included, a lot is from trial and error, and comes from entering the world that's been created and playing in it: "I play with it more than I write it," Notch admits. "I want to make sure it's fun."

Female Minecraft Characters

Notch was asked about creating a female character in Minecraft and he was quick to point out that all of the game characters are gender neutral-- all of the animals in the game take traits from both genders. However, Notch admits that in the beginning he always thought of the player-character as male. "We attribute blocks to maculinity," he concedes. "Guys are more square" traditionally and so if Minecraft were to include a female character "We'd have to make a more round model," he stated to the amusement of Chris Hecker.

Mistakes We Knew We Were Making

In the years he's now been working on the game, Notch discussed some mistakes he made. While staircases and lanterns made sense aesthetically in the game world, Notch concedes that the half-meter blocks were a mistake as essentially "You've doubled the number of blocks" and created a major headache for coding.

But, he can't put the genie back in the lamp. The developers of Minecraft "can nerf existing behavior but can't remove blocks people have used to build...if it breaks cool structures, we can't change it." Notch is famed for his loyalty to his players and his receptiveness to their criticism and will even go so far as to not break save games that players have spent hours creating.

"Multiplayer Programming is Boring"

Asked if he would do anything differently given the benefit of hindsight, Notch freely admits that he "would have started multiplayer much earlier ... and I did it twice!" Right now, he doesn't have any multiplayer vs single player statistics, and so has little way to understand how multiplayer is doing. He fully admits that "multiplayer programming is boring" and has never made it a high priority. Surprisingly, a lot of his multiplayer feedback comes back simply from tweets.

Crafting as Social Tool

Crafting is the fabric that ties the game together-- it lets you build everything from tools to the building blocks for massive houses. While some are quite simple, other recipes to build certain substances and objects can be complex and are much sought-after among Minecraft fans. Initially, "It started as intuitive enough so you could brute force it," Notch explained. "But then we realized that crafting is what gets people to talk to other people about the game."

Notch admits that he "Didn't provide links in the game ... which would have been a good thing to do," but actually likes how players have to go online and talk to each other to learn more about crafting. When he saw the community that cropped up around his game, Notch "just encouraged it and said 'Hey, I love this.'" There are many, many recipes in the game that require days to find the ingredients to and utilize. But, "there is one thing people haven't found yet."

Notch, of course, remained silent on what that one recipe is.

Permalink

So I guess the race to find this mythical crafting recipe is ON!

... that said, when Blizzard launched Cataclysm and restructured the old world forever, they suggested that there were several quests that nobody had EVER found and completed.
Personally I wasn't sure if this was even possible considering the amount of datamining each snippet of code in that game is subjected to, but what do I know?

Besides, doesn't Minecraft have mods that can spawn you any item in the game by scanning for item identity tags or somesuch?
Unless he's being obscure and it's just, say, a different way to make something everyone already knows about. But that would be boring.

I Love Mr. Notch, but I think he did this just to put us into a frenzy to try everything imaginable. My guess is that you have to surround a bucket of lava with snowballs.

Maybe it's gunpowder in the center, surrounded by stone, with a string on the top.
Throwable bombs!

If it exists and is hidden even to modders it's probably akin golem craft of something. You place certain blocks in a certain configuration at a certain time in a certain wether condition etc etc etc.

That or it's metaphorical.

It's Unobtainium, all those marines died for nothing!

JaceArveduin:
I Love Mr. Notch, but I think he did this just to put us into a frenzy to try everything imaginable. My guess is that you have to surround a bucket of lava with snowballs.

I'd try to guess how many people saw this and said "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED", but I have no idea how many people play Minecraft these days =|

Torrasque:

JaceArveduin:
I Love Mr. Notch, but I think he did this just to put us into a frenzy to try everything imaginable. My guess is that you have to surround a bucket of lava with snowballs.

I'd try to guess how many people saw this and said "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED", but I have no idea how many people play Minecraft these days =|

Oh wow, new captcha... Oh wait, the question, yeah... Not sure myself, but I'm sure it's safe to say "a whole fucking lot" when talking about it's numbers.

Oh, what the... I can read the captcha... something must be off here...

JaceArveduin:

Torrasque:

JaceArveduin:
I Love Mr. Notch, but I think he did this just to put us into a frenzy to try everything imaginable. My guess is that you have to surround a bucket of lava with snowballs.

I'd try to guess how many people saw this and said "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED", but I have no idea how many people play Minecraft these days =|

Oh wow, new captcha... Oh wait, the question, yeah... Not sure myself, but I'm sure it's safe to say "a whole fucking lot" when talking about it's numbers.

Oh, what the... I can read the captcha... something must be off here...

The captcha isn't appearing for me and I want to make a thread, but I can't without the captcha appearing... grrrrrr....

I'm actually curious about how many people play Minecraft. I know there is a pretty big cult following for it, but Fire Emblem has a pretty big cult following, and that isn't astronomical by anyone's standards.

Notch, if you keep teasing the players you are going to regret it.

Minecraft is already risking many new players because there is no info or tutorial in the game; You could have people start in a NPC village of whatever race (my personal favorite are the Lazer Indians) where you can see building stuff in their normal lives and new players can get inspired by doing better in the game without having to recur to Youtube videos to know what in the hell the game is about.

New people will love it and veterans will love it too because having the NPC teach you to build amazing things makes the world feel more alive. Here, have my last attempt to convince the Minecraft base that the game NEEDED this before i got bored to death with this game:

https://getsatisfaction.com/mojang/topics/compilation_of_ideas_of_npc_ai_npc_technology_traits_leyends_live_on_mode_utility_mobs_tutorial_posibilities

Specially with a fanbase that only gives you stars for ideas like having guns on Minecraft. Because apparently making the game even EASIER isnt enough.

Lets rename Minecraft to: "Call of Blocky: Retro Warfare"

the real question is..
is this true or is notch trolling again

chickenhound:
the real question is..
is this true or is notch trolling again

Trolling of course, people would have noticed already by looking at the code. Unless he is talking about this new block that wasnt implemented yet because it was added in the last patch:

http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Sandstone

DioWallachia:

chickenhound:
the real question is..
is this true or is notch trolling again

Trolling of course, people would have noticed already by looking at the code. Unless he is talking about this new block that wasnt implemented yet because it was added in the last patch:

http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Sandstone

Sandstone has been around for awhile though, I know this because I built a castle out of the stuff ages ago.

I wish he had at least given a clue to narrow the search down. Theres also the chance that someone has discovered it but just not said anything because they didnt realise it was a secret...

Fasckira:

DioWallachia:

chickenhound:
the real question is..
is this true or is notch trolling again

Trolling of course, people would have noticed already by looking at the code. Unless he is talking about this new block that wasnt implemented yet because it was added in the last patch:

http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Sandstone

Sandstone has been around for awhile though, I know this because I built a castle out of the stuff ages ago.

I wish he had at least given a clue to narrow the search down. Theres also the chance that someone has discovered it but just not said anything because they didnt realise it was a secret...

He gave the wrong link. There isn't any article up for it, but here are two images

http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/File:NewSandstoneGrid1.png

http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/File:NewSandstoneGrid2.png

It might not be a crafting grid recipe but a something you build that comes to life, sort of like snowmen and golems.

Cue several hundred thousand Minecraft players spamming the Crafting Table.

I find it hard to believe that there is a recipe that hasn't been discovered yet. The quantities of people who still play minecraft can indeed be described as "a whole fucking lot". I suppose if it's something like the snowmen and golems it could be missed, but still... Difficult to believe.

Notch, stop trolling and tell Jeb to make me some goddamn sandstone steps!

DioWallachia:
Notch, if you keep teasing the players you are going to regret it.

Minecraft is already risking many new players because there is no info or tutorial in the game; You could have people start in a NPC village of whatever race (my personal favorite are the Lazer Indians) where you can see building stuff in their normal lives and new players can get inspired by doing better in the game without having to recur to Youtube videos to know what in the hell the game is about.

New people will love it and veterans will love it too because having the NPC teach you to build amazing things makes the world feel more alive. Here, have my last attempt to convince the Minecraft base that the game NEEDED this before i got bored to death with this game:

https://getsatisfaction.com/mojang/topics/compilation_of_ideas_of_npc_ai_npc_technology_traits_leyends_live_on_mode_utility_mobs_tutorial_posibilities

Specially with a fanbase that only gives you stars for ideas like having guns on Minecraft. Because apparently making the game even EASIER isnt enough.

Lets rename Minecraft to: "Call of Blocky: Retro Warfare"

I don't think that really matters, what with the scaring off players. Minecraft got such a huge fanbase without even teaching a single thing. I dont think they HAVE to change it now.

In this procedural generated world, there will spawn two blocks that look like any other block, randomly placed separately in the world. When you place them next to eachother, something cool will happen. START SEARCHING!

Adfest:
I find it hard to believe that there is a recipe that hasn't been discovered yet. The quantities of people who still play minecraft can indeed be described as "a whole fucking lot". I suppose if it's something like the snowmen and golems it could be missed, but still... Difficult to believe.

Notch, stop trolling and tell Jeb to make me some goddamn sandstone steps!

Yeah, especially as there are mods that read all the crafting recipies from the program (even ones added by third-party mods) and display them to you in a "Crafting Book" for reference.

th155:

Fasckira:

DioWallachia:

Trolling of course, people would have noticed already by looking at the code. Unless he is talking about this new block that wasnt implemented yet because it was added in the last patch:

http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Sandstone

Sandstone has been around for awhile though, I know this because I built a castle out of the stuff ages ago.

I wish he had at least given a clue to narrow the search down. Theres also the chance that someone has discovered it but just not said anything because they didnt realise it was a secret...

He gave the wrong link. There isn't any article up for it, but here are two images

http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/File:NewSandstoneGrid1.png

http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/File:NewSandstoneGrid2.png

The images of the new sandstone WERE in the link i gave, he just didnt saw the article but whatever

Alexander Reeve:
GDC 2012: Minecraft Creator Hints at Secret Crafting Recipe

Markus "Notch" Persson discussed how the development of Minecraft was full of happy accidents.
"You've doubled the number of blocks" and created a major headache for coding.

That sure happens. Every time an update comes up, the blocks get messed up one way or another, like flowers, roses, and mushrooms making the blocks they're on slightly brighter. Bugs show up like creepers for the game.

I think you can craft Batman.

Black wool, diamond sword, and I'm out of idea's D:

Dr Jones:

DioWallachia:
Notch, if you keep teasing the players you are going to regret it.

Minecraft is already risking many new players because there is no info or tutorial in the game; You could have people start in a NPC village of whatever race (my personal favorite are the Lazer Indians) where you can see building stuff in their normal lives and new players can get inspired by doing better in the game without having to recur to Youtube videos to know what in the hell the game is about.

New people will love it and veterans will love it too because having the NPC teach you to build amazing things makes the world feel more alive. Here, have my last attempt to convince the Minecraft base that the game NEEDED this before i got bored to death with this game:

https://getsatisfaction.com/mojang/topics/compilation_of_ideas_of_npc_ai_npc_technology_traits_leyends_live_on_mode_utility_mobs_tutorial_posibilities

Specially with a fanbase that only gives you stars for ideas like having guns on Minecraft. Because apparently making the game even EASIER isnt enough.

Lets rename Minecraft to: "Call of Blocky: Retro Warfare"

I don't think that really matters, what with the scaring off players. Minecraft got such a huge fanbase without even teaching a single thing. I dont think they HAVE to change it now.

And you really think that they dont feel that the game is lacking something? I mean, Redstone circuits are always a topic for constant debate to the point that they managed to make WIRELESS SIGNAL CIRCUITS. But that its just only ONE aspect of the game, its like praising a game for having a good minigame when it should be praised only by the merits of everything it has to offer

I find it really hard to believe that there is an undiscovered recipe, because from what I remember, they're all conveniently stored in a single java class, and considering the amount of modders there are, someone would have found it.

You know what this means...

image

And crafting really is a great social activity. Especially when you're just starting off.

What about sponges? they used to be in the game early on and as far as I know they are still technically "in" the game but they can't be crafted or found in chests. What if they were secretly put back in the game? It would be a lot harder to spot because there wouldn't be any new block id just a bit of code for crafting and reimplementation. I kinda hope I am right, sponges are really useful!

I'm pretty sure it would've been dug out of the code if there was actually something to find.

I bopped around the minecraft forums and they all think that its not a crafting thing but somthing having to do with disk 11

Redlin5:
You know what this means...

image

And crafting really is a great social activity. Especially when you're just starting off.

I haven't seen that in-joke in a long time! For reference see http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/sharing-our-medium

Let me guess, you can craft Herobrine now? Notch is such a troll :P

Thanks for the great article! I really need to get around to playing more minecraft....

According to my calculations, there are approximately 9.659*10^22 possible combinations of blocks and items on a 3x3 crafting grid.

Have fun.

DioWallachia:
Notch, if you keep teasing the players you are going to regret it.

Minecraft is already risking many new players because there is no info or tutorial in the game; You could have people start in a NPC village of whatever race (my personal favorite are the Lazer Indians) where you can see building stuff in their normal lives and new players can get inspired by doing better in the game without having to recur to Youtube videos to know what in the hell the game is about.

New people will love it and veterans will love it too because having the NPC teach you to build amazing things makes the world feel more alive. Here, have my last attempt to convince the Minecraft base that the game NEEDED this before i got bored to death with this game:

https://getsatisfaction.com/mojang/topics/compilation_of_ideas_of_npc_ai_npc_technology_traits_leyends_live_on_mode_utility_mobs_tutorial_posibilities

Specially with a fanbase that only gives you stars for ideas like having guns on Minecraft. Because apparently making the game even EASIER isnt enough.

Lets rename Minecraft to: "Call of Blocky: Retro Warfare"

Honestly, I have fond memories of figuring everything out in Minecraft. The game starting with mystery and confusion is a great way to throw the player into the world. Plus the ample online resources mean the game basically has a tutorial already. I don't think anything needs to change.

NpPro93:

DioWallachia:
Notch, if you keep teasing the players you are going to regret it.

Minecraft is already risking many new players because there is no info or tutorial in the game; You could have people start in a NPC village of whatever race (my personal favorite are the Lazer Indians) where you can see building stuff in their normal lives and new players can get inspired by doing better in the game without having to recur to Youtube videos to know what in the hell the game is about.

New people will love it and veterans will love it too because having the NPC teach you to build amazing things makes the world feel more alive. Here, have my last attempt to convince the Minecraft base that the game NEEDED this before i got bored to death with this game:

https://getsatisfaction.com/mojang/topics/compilation_of_ideas_of_npc_ai_npc_technology_traits_leyends_live_on_mode_utility_mobs_tutorial_posibilities

Specially with a fanbase that only gives you stars for ideas like having guns on Minecraft. Because apparently making the game even EASIER isnt enough.

Lets rename Minecraft to: "Call of Blocky: Retro Warfare"

Honestly, I have fond memories of figuring everything out in Minecraft. The game starting with mystery and confusion is a great way to throw the player into the world. Plus the ample online resources mean the game basically has a tutorial already. I don't think anything needs to change.

That is the problem you see. It SHOULNT be something that you look online to even BEGIN to play because in this day an age there is no excuse. In the NES era the best way to have a notion of how a game works mostly was because the games came with a manual, but today where you can creatively make a tutorial in the game it seems like a steep backwards.

How many people you know have played Minecraft AFTER seeing videos on Youtube? Because if people dont get inspired with what Minecraft COULD possibly do then they most likely dont even stand around for 1 hour. It LACK the strength to carry the fun aspect of Minecraft: Building shit up.

Leets take a look at another Indie title: The Binding of Isaac. That game is hard and of course there is no hint of what the items would do unless you use them first however the basic gameplay (aka doging and firing tears) its just fun and intuitive even of you don't have the best stuff available or even the knowledge of where to go first as long you are skilled enough.

More or less, having a creative way to teach people in Minecraft will help alot more than going to a wiki. If the tutorial i described there on the link gets implemented it would be nice for everyone, newcomers will see the villagers act on their own building amazing structures that will inspire the players to build their own and veterans of Minecraft will love seeing the world feel more alive and of course will love the fact that the Villagers will teach them new blocks that arent available to make even if you had the ingredients before (after all, how can you make something that you dont know the recipe?) thus making them less prone to get killed because "It doesnt look like a real person" or "It doesnt feel like Minecraft"

My response to that is:

"Ooooooh i am sorry, since when did we have a clear undertanding of what and what isnt supposed to be in a Minecraft? Do all fantasies have to take on Tolkien for the 4.263.196 time? They want innovation but as SOON something is different they complain like idiots"

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