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Minecraft is a sandbox game which allows players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world. The game was developed by Mojang. Initially, the lead developer was Markus "Notch" Persson, but on December 1, 2011, Markus handed the reins over to Jens "Jeb" Bergenstein.[1]

The gameplay is inspired by Dwarf Fortress, Dungeon Keeper, and especially Infiniminer.[2][3]

The game is split into four variants, survival, hardcore, creative, and adventure. Survival is a game mode where you need to eat food and regenerate health against the monsters that appear at night. In hardcore, the game is locked at the highest difficulty and you only have one life and in creative mode, you can spawn anything that appears in the Minecraft world and place them to your desire.

Minecraft was developed for about a week before its public release on May 17, 2009 on the TIGSource forums, where it gained a considerable level of popularity. It has been continually updated since then.

Pocket Edition, a mobile version of Minecraft, was first released on August 16, 2011 for Android; November 16, 2011 for iOS; April 2, 2014 for the Amazon Fire TV; December 10, 2014 for Windows Phone; and July 29, 2015 for Windows 10.

Console Edition, a series of Minecraft editions for consoles, was first released for the Xbox 360 as Xbox 360 Edition; December 17, 2013 for the PlayStation 3 as PlayStation 3 Edition; September 4, 2014 for the PlayStation 4 as PlayStation 4 Edition; September 5, 2014 for the Xbox One as Xbox One Edition; October 14, 2014 for the PlayStation Vita as PlayStation Vita Edition; and December 17, 2015 for the Wii U as Wii U Edition.


Minecraft features four separate game modes (though the fourth is still a work-in-progress), each focusing on the core mechanic in a different way: survival mode, creative mode and adventure mode.

Creative mode is mainly a building simulator, playable in single or multi-player mode. Initially, creative mode had no mobs or crafting, but later updates added both. In creative mode, normally hostile mobs will ignore the player.

Survival mode gives the player a health meter and limits on the number of blocks they can carry or place. Blocks must be acquired in the world before they can be used.

Hardcore mode locks the player into the hard difficulty mode and forces the player to delete the world on death, similar to many roguelikes. In online multiplayer, hardcore mode automatically bans players from the server on death.

Adventure mode originally disallowed mining, but has since been changed to allow block removal using an appropriate tool.

In multi-player, ops can use a command to switch individual players between survival, creative and adventure modes.


Minecraft title

The original Minecraft logo and menu.

Minecraft went through six phases of development.

Indev, Infdev, Alpha and Beta are no longer available, and are no longer supported or updated, and the official game has become the main version of the game, with the free version being renamed Classic.

In Minecraft, there is a 3D anaglyph mode where the player may wear a pair of basic "3D" glasses and view the world in a true 3D format.


Classic is the first version of Minecraft. It was dubbed "Classic" to distinguish it from Alpha.

It features a bare-bones version of the creative mode found in later versions, allowing players to build and destroy any and all parts of the world, either alone or in a multi-player server, without the need to worry about being attacked by mobs or avoiding hazards like lava or steep falls. It also lacked the crafting system found in later versions.

The player is given an unlimited number of blocks with which to build, and can place and remove blocks instantly regardless of type. Classic is free to play, though it is not updated.

An official version of the Classic server software is available from the Minecraft website, but several fans have created their own custom servers with extra features.

In classic, placed sponge repels water, unlike in later versions. Additionally, all water is infinite.


Indev added a number of new features.


Infdev added an almost infinite playing surface.


Alpha was the second version of Minecraft after Classic, and was only available to purchasers.

Only featuring a survival mode (although with single and multiplayer variants), Alpha required that the player use the building and mining mechanics as a method of protection from hostile monsters, and as a way to uncover useful ores in the ground. Alpha also included limits on the number of blocks that can be held by the player, using an inventory system, and required that all blocks be mined first rather than giving the player an unlimited supply as in Classic's creative mode.

Different blocks can be crafted into items such as chests, minecarts and tracks, and buckets. There were also plants and animals, which can be farmed and hunted for other resources. The player had an inventory in which to hold blocks and items, as well as a health meter. Health can be restored upon eating certain items and is lost from long falls or attacks by monsters. Upon death, the player respawns at their original spawn point with an empty inventory, though items can be recovered if the player reaches the point of death before they disappear.

Alpha also placed a heavy emphasis on creativity. Players must devise methods of building functional and navigable structures that can withstand the nightly assault from various monsters. The player's short reach and short jumping ability forces players to plan structures carefully, lest they trap themselves or fall to their death during construction. More advanced players can create complex traps and mechanisms using the game physics as well as primitive electrical circuits and logic gates.

Alpha allowed for an effectively infinite horizontal playing surface, though limits existed on vertical movement both up and down. The game world was procedurally generated as the player explores it, with the full size possible stretching out to be nearly eight times the surface area of the Earth before running into technical limits dubbed the "Far Lands".[4] Alpha can be played either with a stand-alone client or in a browser, and in either single or multiplayer mode (which is still under heavy development). Minecraft Alpha was expected to move out of alpha status into beta soon, along with a name change.[5]


Several things from Alpha were retained, except for specific objects and improper physics. New features included biomes, a type of location (eg. Jungle, Desert, Tundra, etc.); a new version of the logo, proper physics, several new objects, Creative mode and lots of other things. After nearly one full year after Beta started, a sound update for some objects was the final update of Beta before the official release in early to mid-November 2011.


The official release of the game. In 1.2, several things were added. In 1.2.1, the map format was changed and the world height was doubled. In 1.3.2; emeralds, trading, many other things were also added. Every update fixes most bugs. The current update, 1.4.2 (Pretty Scary Update), features many new things, including the ability of zombies infecting villagers (making them zombie villagers) and a new boss (the Wither). An official API for mods is also in development.

Pocket Edition

On August 16, 2011, an official port of Minecraft was released for Android. On November 16, 2011, the port was released for iOS. It was later released for Fire OS on April 2, 2014. On December 10, 2014, Pocket Edition was released for Windows Phone. On July 29, 2015, Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition was released, based off of Pocket Edition.

Console Edition

The first edition of Minecraft was released for the Xbox 360 on May 9, 2012 and has since expanded to Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Wii U.


Minecraft has received generally favorable responses. It has been praised for the creative freedom it grants its players in-game, and for how dynamic its overall gameplay is.[6][7][8] PC Gamer listed Minecraft as the fourth-best game to play at work in issue 200.[9] A review of the alpha version, by Scott Munro of the Daily Record, called it "already something special" and urged readers to buy it.[10] Jim Rossignol of Rock, Paper, Shotgun also recommended the alpha of the game, calling it "a kind of generative 8-bit Lego Stalker".[11]

On January 12, 2010, the number of registered users reached 100,000.[12] As of September 2010, it has surpassed 620,000 registered users and 140,000 purchases.[13]

Notable Events

In September 2010, PayPal froze Notch's account due to "a suspicious withdrawal or deposit". At the time, Notch said there was about €600,000 in the account (about 750,000 US dollars).[14]

As of September 12, 2010, the account has been unlocked.[15]


Herobrine is a fake NPC rumoured to be Notch's dead brother and also claimed to be a bug. It is claimed that Herobrine is capable of mining and building structures, making 2x2 tunnels, large cobblestone pillars, large 5 block tall, 3 block long letter "E"s out of Glowstone and pyramids filled with torches and deathtraps.

The legend of Herobrine began as a creepypasta, but has mushroomed in popularity since then. Although the official Minecraft version changelogs refer to having "Removed Herobrine" from a number of versions, Notch (and later, Dinnerbone) has plainly stated on a number of occasions that Herobrine was never in Minecraft and there are no plans to add him.


  1. "As of yesterday, Jens Bergensten is the new lead developer on Minecraft."
  2. Markus Persson (2009-05-26). Credits due. Markus Persson..
  3. Handy, Alex (2010-03-23). Interview: Markus 'Notch' Persson Talks Making Minecraft. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2010-06-26.
  4. Persson, Markus (2010-03-19). How saving and loading will work once infinite is in..
  5. Persson, Markus (2010-07-29). I’m going all gaga now, 1000 sales in 24 hours!. Retrieved on 2010-08-03.
  6. PC Gamer UK Issue #204, Jim Rossignol "Building-block World"
  7. PC PowerPlay Issue #169, Daniel Hindes "Trouble Down Mine"
  8. Reinhart, Brandon (2010-07-28). Is that an Equalizer in your pocket?. Valve Corporation. Retrieved on 2010-07-28.
  9. Rossignol, Jim (July 2010). "50 Games to Play at Work". PC Gamer (Future plc). 
  10. Munro, Scott (2010-07-27). Minecraft (Alpha Review). Daily Record. Retrieved on 2010-08-03.
  11. Rossignol, Jim (2010-08-10). Chockablock: Minecraft Revisited. Retrieved on 2010-09-03.
  12. Persson, Markus (2010-01-13). 100 000 registered users!. Retrieved on 2010-08-11.
  13. Persson, Markus (2010-08-28). Minecraft Stats. Retrieved on 2010-08-28.
  14. Quintin Smith. PayPal Freezes MineCraft Dev’s 600k Euros. Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved on 2010-09-10.
  15. PayPal called. They're going to require a 5% "reserve" of all sales. Unacceptable. But at least they're going to unlock my account.

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