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News 09-10-12 08:40 PM

Blocks with friends: How to run your own Minecraft server
 
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-conten...wn-640x360.jpg Awesome architecture by Arsian qchronod.
Lee Hutchinson


Minecraft is a sandbox-type game where you gather materials and use them to create things, which is about as understated a description as "the sun is a big bright light in the sky." The poster child for indie gaming success, Minecraft began as a basement coding project by hat-wearing Swede Markus Persson in 2010; it has since become a bona fide phenomenon.

In Minecraft, you play a mute protagonist in an unending retro-blocky landscape populated by lots and lots of NPCs, with no traditional adventure game-type goal other than survival. This seems easy at first. When the game begins, you invariably find yourself on a sandy beach somewhere, and a bit of experimentation quickly yields the knowledge that you can affect your environment by punching things. You can punch trees to break them apart and collect wood, for instance, which you can use to make tools, which you can use to gather more materials, which you can use to make more things. You'll just be getting the hang of the basic mechanics when night falls'and the zombies and skeletons and spiders and creepers come out to collect your soul.

As the game grew more popular, Persson (known to fans by his in-game handle "Notch") hired staff and eventually turned over daily programming duties to other folks. These days, Notch spends his days developing other games and being interviewed by famous Internet journalists, while Minecraft thrives on multiple platforms including PC, Mac, Linux, and XBox 360.

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