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Markus Persson

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Markus "Notch" Persson is a video game developer and the creator of Minecraft and Scrolls.

Markus began programming computers at the age of seven. His father had purchased a Commodore 128 home computer and began subscribing to a computer magazine which featured type-in programs. Following experimentation with the code of these programs, Persson produced his first game at the age of eight, a text adventure.[1] Professionally, he has worked on games such as Wurm Online and as a game developer for King.com for over four years.[1][2]

Minecraft development started on May 10, 2009, soon after Persson had quit his job as a game developer for King.com in order to concentrate on independent development.[1][3] Persson was inspired to create Minecraft by several other games, including Dwarf Fortress, RollerCoaster Tycoon and Dungeon Keeper. He was still working out the basics of what the gameplay would be when he discovered a game called Infiniminer and played with other forum users of TIGSource, the website of independent game developer Derek Yu.[2][3] At the time, he had been visualizing an isometric 3D building game that would be a cross between his inspiration games, and had built some early prototypes of what it could look like.[1][4] Infiniminer heavily influenced the style of gameplay that eventually resulted, including the first-person aspect of the game and the blocky visual style.[3]

The game was first released to the public on May 17, 2009 as an "alpha" build; it is expected to move into beta after multiplayer is fully integrated into survival mode.[5] Although at first Notch maintained a day job with Jalbum.net, he later moved to working part time and has since quit to work on Minecraft full time as sales of the alpha version of the game have expanded.[2] Minecraft is continually updated, with near-daily releases pushed out automatically to users. Persson plans to continue these updates after the release of the full game, as long as there is still an active userbase.[3] These updates have included new items, blocks, and changes to the game's behavior such as the way that water flows. Persson plans to release the game as open-source eventually, after sales have dropped off and when he wants to move onto other projects.[2]

In September 2010, Persson announced that he and a friend were starting a video game company. This company would back the development of Minecraft and another, unrelated game which the friend would primarily work on. As part of creating the company, Persson plans to hire "an artist, a web site developer and a business guy" as well as additional programmers and to set up an office in Stockholm for the company to operate in, to allow him to focus more time and effort on creating Minecraft.[6] Although Persson plans to spend the majority of his time working on Minecraft while his partner spends the majority of his time working on the other game, Persson claims that "everyone working at the company will be involved in both projects to some degree".[6] He said that part of the motivation behind hiring staff was that he felt that he was spending too much time working on the website and reading emails rather than developing Minecraft.[6]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Handy, Alex (2010-03-23). Interview: Markus 'Notch' Persson Talks Making Minecraft. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2010-06-26.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 McDougal, Jaz (2010-07-29). Community heroes: Notch, for Minecraft. PC Gamer. Retrieved on 2010-08-03.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Persson, Markus. About the game. Minecraft.net. Retrieved on 2010-06-26.
  4. Persson, Markus (2009-10-30). The Origins of Minecraft. Retrieved on 2010-08-03.
  5. Persson, Markus (2010-07-29). I’m going all gaga now, 1000 sales in 24 hours!. Retrieved on 2010-08-03.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Persson, Markus (2010-09-06). Hiring some people, getting an office, and all that!. Retrieved on 2010-09-06.

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