Minecraft: Mojang watches what other survival games do well. I queried Mojang about Minecraft’s future before the 1.19 release. Game director Agnes Larsson and developer Nir “Ulraf” Vaknin weren’t eager to discuss the next big update’s features. Instead, we spoke about how they’re still learning from other crafting rivals and aim to “maintain Minecraft’s charm” for 10 years or longer.
Minecraft’s 2010 alpha introduced survival and crafting. Minecraft remains the gold standard for sandbox creation despite a thousand rival voxel-based crafting games. After so long as king, Mojang might become complacent, insular, and reliant on its own devs and gamers.
Larsson and Vaknin said Minecraft wasn’t the best. (I would.) I’m not boastful. Knowing what makes the game unique helps them retain it, they claim.
Intrinsic motivation, said Larsson. “We should encourage and allow gamers to be creative, but never dictate or compel,” she stated.
Vaknin acknowledged that it thrives at self-motivation: “A lot of games are straying away from that because a lot of players want to be guided, and that’s good.”
I’ve played several survival crafting games. Recently, viking crafting in Valheim, session-based survival in Icarus, and vampire crafting in V Rising captivated me. Even Valheim, which I played for over 100 hours and helped push for as our game of the year in 2021, hasn’t kept me going back.
Vaknin stated he follows the competition. He was also interested in Valheim’s food and hunger. In many other crafting games, like Minecraft, I felt free to omit food systems or consider all meals as equal. “I ponder about it and wonder what we can learn,” he adds.
Vaknin said, “V Rising features a really innovative objective and boss tracking system.” To locate a boss, you must follow them around the area. “It reminded me of Minecraft’s eyes of ender to discover the End stronghold.”
Vaknin on Minecraft
Vaknin thinks Minecraft won’t pursue its gamers as it does trends.
“Minecraft is not clingy,” he said, comparing it to an old buddy who will be there if you leave and return months later.
Vaknin highlighted a typical Minecraft experience: playing intensively years ago and returning annually when the whim hits. I’ve done it for years, and I’m delighted Mojang feels comfortable with it.
“So many other games lure you in too much, and then you don’t want to return. I adore that Minecraft doesn’t. I must retain it.”
Larsson: “Play Minecraft because you want to, not because you feel obliged to.”
As I anticipate Minecraft release 1.20, it’s reassuring to hear that the developers are confident enough to stay up with crafting and survival trends without following them.
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