Maker Faire 2011 Roundup: Minecraft

Written by  //  June 25, 2011  //  Events  //  No comments

While most of our votes were just that – votes – some people decided to include artwork on their vote. We received small amounts of artwork for several major franchises, as well as for a scattering of obscure but beloved games.

We received slews of Minecraft art.

Minecraft is a recent independent game. Technically, it’s not even released – the developer, Notch, opened registration before the game’s official completion, and so far has sold almost two and a half million copies. The game’s success is thanks to its simple yet innovative game design.

Minecraft is a game about survival and construction. The player is dropped onto an Earthlike world with no tools or possessions. Sheep, pigs, cows, and similar wildlife roam the hills.

The player’s first job is to build shelter – quickly. At night, the world is a far more hostile place, infested by skeletons, spiders, and the iconic Creeper.

Much of Minecraft involves building – first your shelter, then improvements to your shelter, then houses, castles, or whatever else you may want. The game world is made entirely out of cubes, making it simple for even a novice player to plan and completeenormous projects.

While the death of the player is certainly an inconvenience, the real danger lies in the only creature capable of destroying your hard work. That creature is the Creeper, which has several highly inconvenient traits.

First, it’s very, very stealthy. Second, when it gets near to you, it starts making a loud and very distinctive hissing noise (which, as you can see, is included in some of our artwork.) And third, if you can’t get away fast enough – possibly because you don’t know which way to run, possibly because you’re trapped in a corner – it explodes, knocking a moderately-sized hole in your shelter and forcing you to rebuild.

And possibly killing you. But really, that’s not so important.

The Creeper’s appearance is the result of a programming error while the designer was trying to make a pig. While the game now includes actual pigs, the Creeper has become an irreplacable part of the game and a highly recognizable icon of modern gameplay.

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