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Minecraft beta phase announced

Minecraft beta phase announced

Minecraft is set to progress to beta on December 20th, with new features and price hike.

Indie hit Minecraft is about to progress from alpha to beta stage, according to designer Marcus Persson, who has set the date as December 20th.

The move to beta will see new features added to the game, as well as some form of story mode. The price of pre-order will also be raised as the game gets closer to full release.

Minecraft is a block-building game made by Persson's Mojang Productions. Players have previously been able to pre-order the game at a cost of 10 Euros, gaining access to the full alpha build, while a limited demo is playable on the official site. Persson is raising the pre-order price from 10 Euros to 14.99 Euros as the game enters beta, in line with previous announcements.

'We'll start early on with adding proper modding support with a stable API, and we'd love all input we can get on this from the modders out there,' wrote Persson on his official blog. 'We'll also add some kind of non-intrusive narrative to the game to help drive the game experience early on, and to provide some kind of late game goal.'

'There will be a bigger focus on testing and stability as well, with more time between updates.'

'We will also change the license to remove the line that promises all future versions of the game for free,' he continued.

'Please note that this change only affects people who buy the game after December 20, so if you got the game for during alpha, you will still get all future updates for free, despite this change. A promise is a promise.'

'Buying the game during beta will include all updates up until release, of course, and bug patches will be free.'

We sent Games Editor Joe on holiday to Minecraft earlier this year and he sent back many lovely holiday snaps - although not everyone on the team liked them.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

32 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
JrRRr 14th December 2010, 11:35 Quote
Hmm.. Removing the "all future versions for free"-promise. I see the potential money-loss, but none the less: It bites!
nukeman8 14th December 2010, 11:53 Quote
it will end up with them missing out on some cash i think, as very few people would buy it in beta when they know they have to pay for it again when it gets released.
Ross1 14th December 2010, 11:59 Quote
'We will also change the license to remove the line that promises all future versions of the game for free,'
...
Hasnt he already made a lot of money from a simple indie game in which the player has to do all of the work?
perplekks45 14th December 2010, 12:03 Quote
What exactly is the game about? Other than creating for creation's sake, that is?
MajorTom 14th December 2010, 12:05 Quote
@nukeman8 you might has misunderstood the line, 'Buying the game during beta will include all updates up until release, of course, and bug patches will be free.' as it is misleading. If you buy the game in Beta, you are buying the full game too and all the bug fixes etc for the full game will be included in that price. If they decide to release any add-ons/DLC in the future, however, you may have to pay for them. Alpha users will get all future updates for nothing.

That's how I read it anyway.
AlexB 14th December 2010, 12:07 Quote
The beta people get the full game for free as well as beta access, they just wont get any expansions / additions later on. Alpha people get everything for free.

It's not breaking any promises.
nukeman8 14th December 2010, 12:40 Quote
Ah i really did misunderstand it completely.
I didn't realise alpha people would get everything free including any addons or dlc, put a smile on my face.

@perplekks45, currently multiplayer is building for building sake but singleplayer and evenutally multiplayer will be a more survival type of game.
TWeaK 14th December 2010, 12:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by nukeman8
@perplekks45, currently multiplayer is building for building sake but singleplayer and evenutally multiplayer will be a more survival type of game.

Actually, damage has been in multiplayer for a couple weeks now. I'm pretty sure it also means PvP is in now as well, but I'm not sure - damage was switched off on the Bit-Tech server as soon as it could be :)
mjm25 14th December 2010, 13:04 Quote
in regards to the article picture...

Yo Dawg...
alpaca 14th December 2010, 13:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK
Actually, damage has been in multiplayer for a couple weeks now. I'm pretty sure it also means PvP is in now as well, but I'm not sure - damage was switched off on the Bit-Tech server as soon as it could be :)

YES, we are the BT pussy's. hell yeah
JrRRr 14th December 2010, 14:03 Quote
..it does take the sport out of pushing people off of high buildings some.
benji2412 14th December 2010, 14:43 Quote
I saw this at a LAN and while the stuff being built was pretty cool, it isn't the game for me (yet, as it's still being tested). Although I'm not paying to beta test anything, I know there's a demo but pfft.
nukeman8 14th December 2010, 14:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK

Actually, damage has been in multiplayer for a couple weeks now. I'm pretty sure it also means PvP is in now as well, but I'm not sure - damage was switched off on the Bit-Tech server as soon as it could be :)

Do mobs work work properly now to but turned off on the BT server?
bogie170 14th December 2010, 16:46 Quote
Whats the Bit-Tech Minecraft server ip? I'll have to pop on in!
Dae314 14th December 2010, 18:22 Quote
I sense some mass buying of alpha accounts to sell later once the game is in full release for profit xD
Cerberus90 14th December 2010, 19:20 Quote
Do you know how much this game has made? Money wise.

On the Home page, it says 757,000 purchases. That's £6.84 million !!!!!!!!!!!
Sloth 14th December 2010, 19:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dae314
I sense some mass buying of alpha accounts to sell later once the game is in full release for profit xD
A buddy of mine is already planning on buying two Alpha gift passes either for friends who join later, or for profit.

Can't say I completely understand what Notch is getting at with the charging for post-release content bit. I'm sure Notch works very hard on Minecraft and is reaping what he's sewn, but it's still the works of one person, they're inherently limited. I sure wouldn't want to pay additional money for a biome DLC, for example. It's just not much work, regardless of how impressive it is that it's from an indie developer.

Certainly glad I paid by $20 and get everything from here on out. That's a good deal, in my eyes.
Jommick 14th December 2010, 19:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MajorTom
@nukeman8 you might has misunderstood the line, 'Buying the game during beta will include all updates up until release, of course, and bug patches will be free.' as it is misleading. If you buy the game in Beta, you are buying the full game too and all the bug fixes etc for the full game will be included in that price. If they decide to release any add-ons/DLC in the future, however, you may have to pay for them. Alpha users will get all future updates for nothing.

That's how I read it anyway.

I think that this just about sums up how notch plans to go about this. If you want, you could also ask him on Twitter, he actually talks with MOST people there.
Blackie Chan 14th December 2010, 19:51 Quote
IF YOU BUY THE GAME DURING ALPHA, ALL FUTURE UPDATES ARE FREE.
Dae314 14th December 2010, 21:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Can't say I completely understand what Notch is getting at with the charging for post-release content bit. I'm sure Notch works very hard on Minecraft and is reaping what he's sewn, but it's still the works of one person, they're inherently limited. I sure wouldn't want to pay additional money for a biome DLC, for example. It's just not much work, regardless of how impressive it is that it's from an indie developer.

Just because the development is limited to one person (and whoever he gets to help him) doesn't mean that the game should be any less professional. That's a crutch that doesn't need to be used.

If Notch designed this correctly, minecraft should allow for a globalization of the work. Major updates will come from him, but mods and plugins will come from other developers. He also doesn't need to pay for all the multiplayer servers because people are getting servers on their own and putting the minecraft host on it for him.

Charging for updates is similar to what Adobe does with its creative suites. You can buy a suite and you'll get all the bug fixes and plugins that come with it, but when CS(n+1) comes out you need to buy it again. While that kind of strategy does chase away some people, it keeps the money flowing in more consistently than if he made all updates free.

I understand what he's doing but I'm still happy I have an alpha account :P.
Sloth 14th December 2010, 21:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dae314
Just because the development is limited to one person (and whoever he gets to help him) doesn't mean that the game should be any less professional. That's a crutch that doesn't need to be used.

If Notch designed this correctly, minecraft should allow for a globalization of the work. Major updates will come from him, but mods and plugins will come from other developers. He also doesn't need to pay for all the multiplayer servers because people are getting servers on their own and putting the minecraft host on it for him.

Charging for updates is similar to what Adobe does with its creative suites. You can buy a suite and you'll get all the bug fixes and plugins that come with it, but when CS(n+1) comes out you need to buy it again. While that kind of strategy does chase away some people, it keeps the money flowing in more consistently than if he made all updates free.

I understand what he's doing but I'm still happy I have an alpha account :P.
I just wonder what those updates will be. What will Notch be adding that would really be worth paying more money for? Would you feel satisfied, for example, buying a Minecraft DLC of some new critters and monsters when you can get a graphically intense and detailed DLC with added story and items in Borderlands for the same price?

Especially with third party addons and plugins like you suggest, what would be big enough to justify charging players?

I've been puzzling over it for awhile and still can't really think of anything that I'd consider being worth the typical DLC price of $5. Just about every option is to just make more of the same, something which would likely be possible with third parties anyway. Additional block/monster/item types could all easily be third party addons, what would anyone want from Notch?
Dae314 14th December 2010, 23:56 Quote
Adding new block types is a definite yes although as you said that could be done by other designers. Adding new gameplay modes (idk what) would be another one. Being able to create something that is more complex like a car or a plane. Being able to ditch the world that you're on and travel to another "planet" and get resources from there. That's what I see in his updates. Putting in bosses, making the game more rpg like, I'm seeing his updates being stuff that deals with changing how the game works rather than modifying how the game is.
sausages 15th December 2010, 02:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
What exactly is the game about? Other than creating for creation's sake, that is?

That's it. It's basically just LEGO though, so people can get some enjoyment from it because they find some fun in building stuff.

Personally I find it incredibly boring and massively over hyped, but I am keeping track of it because it could be brilliant if they update it in the right way. For example, there are creatures that wander around and attack the player (but not if you are indoors). If they make a mode so that the creatures actually attack your buildings, it could make the game in to a really interesting defence game. That's what I always hoped it would become, like an advanced, first person tower defence game. But it would need a lot to become that. At the moment it's barely even a game in my opinion.
Dae314 15th December 2010, 03:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sausages
but not if you are indoors

I've had monsters spawn on the inside of my building before. But then again do u mean an inclosed space or just a space that has been modified? The part that I'm talking about is the lower area of my original floating castle. There's an open air balcony on the lower floor so that might not qualify as indoors. I had a heck of a time trying to get them out lol
HourBeforeDawn 15th December 2010, 04:03 Quote
ooh lol never paid to much attention to this lol I didnt know it was a new game by the graphics I thought it was some game back in the early Duke Nukem / Doom days that people just now started messing with again lol.
yakyb 15th December 2010, 10:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dae314
Quote:
Originally Posted by sausages
but not if you are indoors

I've had monsters spawn on the inside of my building before. But then again do u mean an inclosed space or just a space that has been modified? The part that I'm talking about is the lower area of my original floating castle. There's an open air balcony on the lower floor so that might not qualify as indoors. I had a heck of a time trying to get them out lol

Monsters Spawn anywhere it is dark!
Sloth 15th December 2010, 16:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dae314
Adding new block types is a definite yes although as you said that could be done by other designers. Adding new gameplay modes (idk what) would be another one. Being able to create something that is more complex like a car or a plane. Being able to ditch the world that you're on and travel to another "planet" and get resources from there. That's what I see in his updates. Putting in bosses, making the game more rpg like, I'm seeing his updates being stuff that deals with changing how the game works rather than modifying how the game is.
Okay you've officially just made my eager as all get out. :D

We already have the Nether... another planet's not so far fetched! The world has a moon!
Dae314 15th December 2010, 18:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
ooh lol never paid to much attention to this lol I didnt know it was a new game by the graphics I thought it was some game back in the early Duke Nukem / Doom days that people just now started messing with again lol.

The graphics are that way in order to allow the game to be massive... I've heard that each map has a surface area something like 5 to 8x the surface area of the earth (by the measurement of 1 block = 1 cubic meter). If he made the graphics really pretty it'd make the game only accessible to those people with higher end parts. As it is, the game can be played on maxed settings using midrange parts (my laptop with intel GMA can only do it with short rendering distance D:). There's HD resolution skins for the world that you can download and apply if you want to have nicer looking graphics.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Okay you've officially just made my eager as all get out. :D

We already have the Nether... another planet's not so far fetched! The world has a moon!

lol I made a sloth excited xD.
sausages 16th December 2010, 00:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dae314
Quote:
Originally Posted by sausages
but not if you are indoors

I've had monsters spawn on the inside of my building before. But then again do u mean an inclosed space or just a space that has been modified? The part that I'm talking about is the lower area of my original floating castle. There's an open air balcony on the lower floor so that might not qualify as indoors. I had a heck of a time trying to get them out lol

Well what I mean is that they don't actually try to break in and attack your buildings. So all you need to do is dig a hole in a wall, walk inside, and fill the entrance with soil, and you're pretty much safe. I want them to try to break down the walls so that you have to build a really solid fortress. It would make a great survival game.
Apoptosis 16th December 2010, 06:08 Quote
Fifteen euros is a lot for a game that requires the player to produce the content.
yakyb 16th December 2010, 10:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apoptosis
Fifteen euros is a lot for a game that requires the player to produce the content.

thats a load of crap £40 is a lot of money for a game that is no more than a interactive movie
£40 is a lot of money for a racer that is the same as the last 5 incarnations

i bet more time is spent on Mine craft by its fans than on 90% of other games
I,e i have spent more time on mine craft than the Last 10 games i have bought (excluding Mortal Online)
SpAceman 19th December 2010, 12:47 Quote
Read this and went and got me some Minecraft before the beta arrives. I'm a bit ADHD so my attention span isn't too good unless something really pulls me in. I just cant stop playing this game, its so cool :D
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