How much Minecraft do I really have to buy?

I'm about to addict myself and all my young children to Minecraft. I'm digging around the site and wikis and even tweeted to Moj customer rep some, but I'm left with a couple questions that someone more familiar with the game might be able to answer quickly. We only have two computers that I intend to probably install the game on, but I want each child to have their own game space to build in for single player. I am also considering running the server on my main machine (one of the two PCs) so that two family members could play together as well. My PC looks beefy enough for the task and I intend the server to be for my household local area network alone. My questions are: how many copies of Minecraft do I actually have to purchase? and, Can I just create several Minecraft accounts and just have the kids share a single install? If I have to buy more than two licenses, then I think this project is dead before I even start. I want the seperate game spaces because I just don't want to hear how "little sis burned down my castle" or somesuch if I can at all help it.

thanks,
tcurt.

Yes buying the game once comes with multiple world save spots on a single existing program. You log in and all your worlds come up and you can create many of them. Hopefully that answers your questions. You will have to however have two copies to play multiplayer since they need to be different accounts to play online together. However I am not sure whether each account must be paid for or if you can have infinite accounts after paying for a copy. Probably the former to prevent online ban jumping.

tcurt:
My questions are: how many copies of Minecraft do I actually have to purchase?

You need 2 copies of Minecraft (1 Per account)

tcurt:
Can I just create several Minecraft accounts and just have the kids share a single install?

Nope, you need that second license to be able to do the Multiplayer.

Hope that helps.

2 Copies unfortunately. The server, however, is free and can be downloaded at anytime: http://www.minecraft.net/download

I honestly don't know. One account can be logged on any amount of computers with little difficulties, but I've never tried having two of the same account go on the same multiplayer server. I'd imagine it wouldn't work, you're probably going to have to get two accounts.

Hmm. Thanks for all the replies. It appears to me that I could purchase one copy, install it on both PCs, and the house can play as much single player as we want. No one would step on anyone's creative toes. But unless I am mistaken, playing together may just be out. Even if I get two licenses, I'd still only have two accounts, and that would mean only two logons on my own server. So if my son and I started playing together, and then my daughter wanted to switch in, she couldn't have an original space to create in on the server. That makes sense from a security stand point, but bummer for us.
I'll double check the server commands before I make a final decision. Maybe I can set my own policies on my own server. But it looks like we might be just playing single player instead.

thanks again.

tcurt:
So if my son and I started playing together, and then my daughter wanted to switch in, she couldn't have an original space to create in on the server.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean here by "original space"...if you're playing on a server, everyone is in the same world.

the only problem with both of them using the same account to play from the same computer is that they'll both be completing achievements from the same pool, though that's of minor-to-negligible importance.

TheYellowCellPhone:
I honestly don't know. One account can be logged on any amount of computers with little difficulties, but I've never tried having two of the same account go on the same multiplayer server. I'd imagine it wouldn't work, you're probably going to have to get two accounts.

When I tried it, my server automatically disconnected the first instance of myself.

You only need two accounts, one for each pc, and BTW hosting and playing a server on one PC is not recommended unless you have a fairly powerful PC

My PC is a piece of crap, but easily hosted a game between me and my housemate. I'm not sure it would be up to the task of hosting a full server, but 2 people it had no issues with.

If you just want 2 people to be able to play together, you need 2 copies. If you want everyone to have their own character with their own spawn/inventory etc. you need 1 per person, so 3.

GrandmaFunk:
I'm not exactly sure what you mean here by "original space"...if you're playing on a server, everyone is in the same world.

DasDestroyer:
If you just want 2 people to be able to play together, you need 2 copies. If you want everyone to have their own character with their own spawn/inventory etc. you need 1 per person, so 3.

This is what I meant by "original space." We play a few MMOs and I usually have the family share the Alts. Some MMOs give each alt it's own name, inventory, and even personal construction space. Some only share in-game money. Some (frustratingly) share everything: all alts have the same name, inventory, weapons, crafting, friends list, etc. When that happens I'll have one child (or me) log on and gather tons of resources only to find the next child crafts all of it into something they needed. Managing the peace between the kids over that is a hassel. Since when you play Minecraft on a server, the server remembers the games state of the player (it does, right?), I want each child to have their own unique log-on. Each kids' (and my) specific progress would be protected from the others. I initially considered the server idea because any child could then log on from any computer in the house and their progress would be accessible from where ever they happen to be. If they start a single player game on one pc, then they could only continue if that pc was free. And as a bonus, I liked the idea that they could cooperate/compete if they wanted too.

I have my answer now though. One copy, single player, skip the server for now, and they can take turns. I might be talking 4-5 licenses if this really catches on in my household, so I think I should budget for it and just see what happens first. If I'd only jumped on during the alpha.

Thanks for everyone's help! Really appreciate it.

You actually only need 1 copy to do what you want. Both computers can be logged into the same account at the same time and it works fine. The only problem you might have is with your multiplayer server. You need a unique account for each person simultaneously logged on normally, but there is an easy change in server settings that will let a person log on without an account, with some restrictions. Send me a private message if you want the details.

I would recommend getting only one copy right now, then getting a second if people in your family like it.

 

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