Minecraft is one of the best-selling video games of all time, but getting started with it can be a little intimidating, not to mention why it’s so popular. In this edition of How-To Geek School, we’re going to help you get started with the game (or at least understand why your kids love it so much).
Despite its simple appearance, there is a lot going on in Minecraft. This can be confusing, but don’t worry, we’ve put together a series of tutorials that will help you not know anything about the game and advance in the gameplay. This includes creating custom maps, creating game devices and structures, and thriving in the challenging survival mode.
Today we will talk about installing and setting up Minecraft so that you can start playing and enjoying the game as quickly as possible. After that, we’ll have daily tutorials focused on optimizing the game, learning about all the interesting terrains and creatures, as well as more advanced aspects of the gameplay, such as creating a local multiplayer game, customizing the look of the game, and playing online.
If you’ve watched your friends or kids play and have been scratching your head about what’s appealing (or maybe you’re already convinced and excited), we’ll talk about what makes Minecraft so addictive for so many.
It is important for most people to understand what exactly this hugely popular game is and why others fall in love with it so much before they start spinning it. So we’ll start by learning about the history of Minecraft and what kind of game it is.
What is Minecraft?
Before we get started installing and playing, let’s take a closer look at what Minecraft is, where it came from, and what makes it so popular (the game had over 100 million players worldwide as of early 2014). Despite the huge number of copies sold and registered players, it’s not immediately clear to many what the appeal of Minecraft is and how the game was able to suck everyone from elementary school children to retirees.
Minecraft is the brainchild of Swedish video game programmer and designer Markus «Notch» Persson. He started making games in his spare time while working as a game developer at Jalbum and ended up founding Mojang when Minecraft proved popular enough to become his full-time job.
His work has been heavily influenced by earlier video games such as Dungeon Keeper (a resource and dungeon management game in the late 1990s), Dwarf Fortress (a procedurally generated open world game released in 2006) and Infiniminer (a small indie game that foreshadowed Minecraft with block-based sandbox gameplay). You are free to explore these games if you want to get an idea of the origins of video games in Minecraft, but what really matters is, what it’s for games. Let’s define some of these gaming terms and how they relate to Minecraft in order to better understand Minecraft and its runaway success.
Minecraft belongs to three different genres of video games, and how these genres intertwine with each other creates an experience that attracts players. First, Minecraft is an open world game. In open world games, you are free to roam wherever you want with very few restrictions. In most video games, you can only go where the video game developer expected you to (and where they created space for you).
Take your average Super Mario Bros. game as a simple example. No matter how much you want to go outside of Bowser’s castle and roam the gardens, you won’t be able to because video game designers never intended for you to go outside of the castle and in the video game code itself, that the Garden doesn’t even exist beyond a slight hint of what you see through the window when playing the castle level. Pieces of the game out of the player’s reach are essentially decorative, like stage backdrops.
There are very few such restrictions in Minecraft because the game was never intended to be a linear game. With very few exceptions, if you see something in Minecraft, you can explore it, touch it, or otherwise interact with it.
In addition to its open world design, Minecraft is also a sandbox game. Although the term «sandbox» is often used interchangeably with «open world» to describe games that allow movement around the world with few restrictions, a true sandbox game includes tools that allow the player to modify the game world. In this regard, Minecraft is the virtual epitome of sandbox gaming, in that no matter how you play the game, using tools to modify and interact with your environment is the backbone of the experience. The Minecraft player is simply expected to use their game hands and tools to destroy, move, build and rebuild the world.
Finally, Minecraft is also a procedurally generated game; This aspect of the game is closely tied to the open world experience. In your typical linear video game, game designers create a kind of tunnel in which the player moves from point A to point Z during the game. Even games that feel big and let you make choices about what you’re going to do and in what order are still essentially linear in that you start the game, follow the story (and enjoy the scenery along the way), you arrive at the last stations on a linear railway line and it’s game over. Every stop along the line, every bit of scenery, every dungeon, all , what you experience in the game have been carefully thought out by the designers, how the film crew and the director create the impression that you experience while watching a movie.
Note that there is nothing wrong with making a game this way, and there are plenty of brilliant and iconic video games that are designed this way, but such games are inherently limited in scope simply because there is a tight balance between how much time and money can be invested in the game and deadlines.
Procedural generation changes the dynamics, as the game world is generated by an algorithmic procedure and can be essentially infinite (limited only by artificial limits imposed by the game developer or computational limits of the computer system that hosts the game). The Minecraft world is effectively infinite in this regard, as its main limitation is the computational limitations of 32-bit computing.
If you were to translate the largest possible Minecraft map (using 32-bit computing limits as an upper limit on map size) to real world scale (where each block in Minecraft is a square meter), the edge-to-edge size of a Minecraft Map would be 9. 3 million times larger than the surface area of the Earth. In fact, a player named Kurt Mack has turned walking around the Minecraft map into a kind of zen experience. He’s spent the last few years just walking around the world — assuming he’s on a mission, he’ll complete the trek around 2040.
Our talk of the sandbox game, the huge world, and how Kurt Mack just wanders around the world for fun highlights the true charm of Minecraft. The game is not only virtually infinite in size, but also virtually infinite in how you play it.
Minecraft is not about saving a kingdom (or the whole world), exploring caves filled with monsters, building a functioning city with electric lights, or planning a crazy rollercoaster, but it can be any, all or none of these things if you want it to be. The secret to Minecraft’s success lies in the fact that the game is a set of tools that allows players to turn the game into the one they want to play, whether it’s a game focused on creation, exploration, survival, or all of the above.
Like the popularity of LEGO blocks ® and other building toys, Minecraft lets you build whatever you want to build: castles, racetracks, rocket ships, dollhouses, and everything in between; all using tools you are familiar with and easy to manipulate.
Once you become familiar with the tools and techniques behind the Minecraft world, you can easily use the tools to make Minecraft the way you want it to be; the game turns into a swiss army knife of creation, adventure and fun.
Intrigued by a game that can be what the player wants? Whether you’re wondering because you’re looking for a new game to lose yourself in, or you’re trying to figure out why your child or grandchild is so into Minecraft, read on as we clean up the blocky layers of the game and take you through everything from installing the game to understanding it. more mysterious foundations.
What can I play Minecraft and how much does it cost?
Minecraft is very popular and, as you can imagine, has been ported and adapted to various platforms. The original Minecraft game was made for the desktop and the desktop version remains the most popular version of Minecraft.
minecraft pc edition
The PC version of Minecraft is based on Java and can be played on any Windows, Mac, or Linux computer with Java installed and the right hardware. Even though Minecraft looks very simple thanks to the minimalist graphical features and user interface, below the surface the game is quite complex and the procedural world generation as well as the game physics require more powerful hardware than you would expect. ,
For this reason, Minecraft PC Edition includes an extended demo that the developers strongly recommend that you use before purchasing to determine if your computer can provide a smooth and enjoyable experience with Minecraft (we’ll show you how to try out the demo mode). in an instant).
If you have access to all the different platforms that Minecraft can run on, we highly recommend switching from the original PC version to alternative versions like those available for mobile devices and game consoles. While the PC version costs $27, making it the most expensive version of Minecraft, it is the most versatile and certainly offers the best value when you consider the variety of multiplayer servers and how you can dramatically change the game entirely with mod packs. ,
minecraft pocket edition
In addition to the desktop version, there is also Minecraft Pocket Edition (PE). Minecraft PE is available for Android and iOS devices and costs $7. The Pocket Edition is significantly less demanding than the PC version; for example, we had no problems playing Minecraft PE on an old iPad 1.
While Minecraft PE is great for playing on the go, it comes with some pretty hard limits compared to the PC version. All content is separate from the PC and console editions (so you can only join multiplayer servers, such as those dedicated to Minecraft PE).
Redstone, Minecraft’s version of electrical/electrical circuits, and a fairly significant element of many designs in the PC Edition, is completely missing from the Pocket Edition. Unlike the almost infinite world map of Minecraft PC Edition, Pocket Edition maps are limited to 256 x 256 blocks. While there is still plenty of room to roam and build, it’s not the same spacious experience.
While many players agree with Pocket Edition’s limitations, a near-universal complaint is that messy use of on-screen controls is compared to using a mouse and keyboard on a PC, or a quality controller on Console Edition.
Minecraft Console Edition
Console players can get a copy of Minecraft Console Edition (CE) for the Xbox platform and for the PlayStation platform (both of which cost $20). Because Console Edition is customized specifically for the platform it’s deployed on, you can expect smooth playback without worrying about hardware requirements.
Early Console Editions were a bit rough around the edges; the Xbox and PlayStation releases had significant differences and were out of sync. All Console Editions are now in sync and receive side-by-side updates. Compared to the Pocket Edition, the Console Edition is quite advanced and more like the PC Edition. However, like the Pocket Edition, the world is still limited in size, albeit larger at 864 x 864 blocks.
One of the big differences between the Console Edition and all other editions is that it supports split-screen local play, so you can play co-op with up to three friends.
Minecraft Raspberry Pi Edition
Finally, Minecraft has even been ported to the Raspberry Pi. Pi Edition is especially interesting from an educational point of view. The Pi Edition is intended to be used as a tutorial and includes tools for novice programmers and enthusiasts to actually change the game’s code.
The Pi version is based on the Pocket Edition but includes a creative mode and does not have a survival mode or any survival mode related elements.
We can’t really emphasize the educational/experimental part of the Pi Edition. If you want the full Minecraft experience, this won’t be it. If you want the pleasure of highlighting the video game you’re playing at the code level and peeking into its intuition, the Pi version is for you.
Follow along with any edition
For the purposes of this How-To Geek School article series, we’ll focus on the PC version, as it’s the most widely used, has the most features, and provides the best basis for discussing and highlighting all the amazing things you can do with Minecraft.
However, even if you’re interested in playing the PE, CE, or Pi editions, we still highly recommend that you read the series as most of the information applies to all editions. If you are using a non-PC version, please refer to the links we provided above to the Minecraft Wiki hosted on Gamepedia to see what elements of the PC version are missing from the version you are using.
Once you’ve seen the PC requirements, it’s time to install your copy of Minecraft and give it a try.
Let’s walk through the registration and installation process.
Registering for an account
The first step is to register an account. If you want to go straight to buying a copy or playing the demo, you’ll need to create a free Minecraft.net account. Registration is easy, just enter a valid email address and choose a password. Wait for an email confirmation from Mojang (Minecraft’s parent company) and then confirm when it arrives.
When you follow the confirmation link, you will be taken to the second step of the registration process: choosing your Minecraft username and purchasing the game.
If you would like to try a demo before purchasing, please visit this link first. There you can download the demo without creating a username or purchasing the game. The demo version allows you to play the game for 100 minutes (approximately five Minecraft in-game days); you can reset the demo and play it again, but you are always limited to 100 minutes before you have to reset the world.
Whether you bought the game directly or try the demo, the next step is to download the game and install it. On the download page, select the appropriate download for your platform; Windows users should grab Minecraft.exe (a friendly Windows shell to run Minecraft and the tool we’ll be using); OS X users should grab Minecraft.dmg; and Linux users, or those using an alternative operating system capable of running Java, should grab the Minecraft.jar file.
If you don’t already have Java installed on your computer (or you’re using an outdated copy), you must install and/or update it before playing Minecraft. Visit the Java Support page to obtain the appropriate copy of Java 7+ for your operating system. It is highly recommended to use a 64-bit copy of Java if you have a 64-bit processor/OS as you will see a significant performance boost.
Save the file to your computer and when the download is complete, run the file. You will see a brief boot sequence followed by a login prompt.
Always sign in with your email address (the only people who need to enter a username are those who signed up for Minecraft in 2012 or earlier).
After logging in, you will see an Update Notes tab that will keep you up to date with the most recent changes to Minecraft. In addition to the Upgrade Notes tab, there is also a tab for the Development Console, Profile Editor, and Local Version Editor. Feel free to ignore them for now as they are of very limited use for a novice player and do not require troubleshooting or some special needs, you will never have to visit them.
At this point, we are ready to dig in and play the game. But there is one useful element that we want to highlight before we start playing.