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Found 35 results

  1. Jack Gardner

    The Best Games Period - Episode 97 - Minecraft

    Minecraft officially released back in 2011 and has since been taking the world by storm. You can now find Minecraft action figures, movies, several alternate versions of the game built as educational tools, and more that have forged a media empire based on that one game alone. In 2014, only three years after Minecraft's official launch, that empire had grown into a property worth billions of dollars. Microsoft approached the owner of Mojang, Minecraft's development studio, and bought the studio and its intellectual property for $2.5 billion. Boasting a bevy of free updates, narrative-based spin-offs, and a thriving community of players and content creators who continue to delve into its intricacies, Minecraft continues to be one of the most popular games in the world. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Minecraft 'Squishy's Theme' by The Orichalcon (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02327) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Minecraft officially released back in 2011 and has since been taking the world by storm. You can now find Minecraft action figures, movies, several alternate versions of the game built as educational tools, and more that have forged a media empire based on that one game alone. In 2014, only three years after Minecraft's official launch, that empire had grown into a property worth billions of dollars. Microsoft approached the owner of Mojang, Minecraft's development studio, and bought the studio and its intellectual property for $2.5 billion. Boasting a bevy of free updates, narrative-based spin-offs, and a thriving community of players and content creators who continue to delve into its intricacies, Minecraft continues to be one of the most popular games in the world. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Minecraft 'Squishy's Theme' by The Orichalcon (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02327) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. Indonesian artist Aditya Aryanto recently made some waves on social media for his new Anicube or Animal Cube style. Like the name implies, Aryanto takes pictures of animals and then turns them into what they might look like if they had more cube-like designs. It started as a personal project that the artist found amusing, but after uploading a few creations to Instagram, Aryanto discovered that those pictures delighted others, too. Aryanto's process for creating the images was actually fairly simple. "I am interested in the cubical shape and trying to change some animal form into cubes," he explained, "First, I was afraid if it would be nicer than the original shape. I was really curious about the results, so I tried to find some funny animal pictures to be changed into Anicube." The artist put together the images together in a gallery under the title "Minecraft in real life (ANICUBE)" and they are all well worth the look. The result is a a plethora of strangely adorable animals that have been made into cubes. Perhaps the images give us an idea of what alternate reality animals might look like. Or they could just be a fun way to view life from a different perspective. Whatever the attraction, people can check out more of Aryanto's work here. View full article
  4. Jack Gardner

    Artist Creates Minecraft in Real Life

    Indonesian artist Aditya Aryanto recently made some waves on social media for his new Anicube or Animal Cube style. Like the name implies, Aryanto takes pictures of animals and then turns them into what they might look like if they had more cube-like designs. It started as a personal project that the artist found amusing, but after uploading a few creations to Instagram, Aryanto discovered that those pictures delighted others, too. Aryanto's process for creating the images was actually fairly simple. "I am interested in the cubical shape and trying to change some animal form into cubes," he explained, "First, I was afraid if it would be nicer than the original shape. I was really curious about the results, so I tried to find some funny animal pictures to be changed into Anicube." The artist put together the images together in a gallery under the title "Minecraft in real life (ANICUBE)" and they are all well worth the look. The result is a a plethora of strangely adorable animals that have been made into cubes. Perhaps the images give us an idea of what alternate reality animals might look like. Or they could just be a fun way to view life from a different perspective. Whatever the attraction, people can check out more of Aryanto's work here.
  5. Jack Gardner

    Minecraft Teaches Kids to Code

    Minecraft: Education Edition has been available to teachers for almost a year now, but Mojang continues to add new features and patches to expand its use as an educational tool. The latest addition to the game allows teachers to use Minecraft to teach their kids to code in a unique way. This update, titled Code Builder, allows teachers to make interacting with the Minecraft world possible only through coding a robot to do it for you. Students make use of coding platforms like MakeCode, Scratch, and Tynker to tell the robot what structures it should make and with what materials. It's an easy way to teach coding to kids as they are essentially using their newly learned skills to write code for the robot while in-game. This method of learning, using games as a way to stimulate or facilitate interest in a topic, seems to be one of the best ways to help kids (and, let's be real, people in general) learn about new and sometimes difficult topics. Hadi Partovi, the CEO of Code.org, explains that, "learning can be done best when you don't think that you're learning, you just think that you're enjoying yourself." Code Builder isn't a fully completed addition to Minecraft: Education Edition just yet. It's available today, but still in beta, so Mojang has a number of bugs and kinks to squash out of their system. that being said, this is a fantastic idea that harnesses the creativity kids have while in Minecraft and helps them learn a skill that will only become more valuable in the future. The development team even says that the game goes farther than the in-game tools. If players want to use different languages to program, like JavaScript, Code Builder allows them to do that without any hassle at all. That leaves the option open even for more advanced lessons in programming. Teachers or institutions interested in obtaining Minecraft: Education Edition can find out if their organization is eligible for the expanding teaching tool on the Minecraft website.
  6. Minecraft: Education Edition has been available to teachers for almost a year now, but Mojang continues to add new features and patches to expand its use as an educational tool. The latest addition to the game allows teachers to use Minecraft to teach their kids to code in a unique way. This update, titled Code Builder, allows teachers to make interacting with the Minecraft world possible only through coding a robot to do it for you. Students make use of coding platforms like MakeCode, Scratch, and Tynker to tell the robot what structures it should make and with what materials. It's an easy way to teach coding to kids as they are essentially using their newly learned skills to write code for the robot while in-game. This method of learning, using games as a way to stimulate or facilitate interest in a topic, seems to be one of the best ways to help kids (and, let's be real, people in general) learn about new and sometimes difficult topics. Hadi Partovi, the CEO of Code.org, explains that, "learning can be done best when you don't think that you're learning, you just think that you're enjoying yourself." Code Builder isn't a fully completed addition to Minecraft: Education Edition just yet. It's available today, but still in beta, so Mojang has a number of bugs and kinks to squash out of their system. that being said, this is a fantastic idea that harnesses the creativity kids have while in Minecraft and helps them learn a skill that will only become more valuable in the future. The development team even says that the game goes farther than the in-game tools. If players want to use different languages to program, like JavaScript, Code Builder allows them to do that without any hassle at all. That leaves the option open even for more advanced lessons in programming. Teachers or institutions interested in obtaining Minecraft: Education Edition can find out if their organization is eligible for the expanding teaching tool on the Minecraft website. View full article
  7. Minecraft just received its eleventh update today. Dubbed 'The Exploration Update,' the world of Minecraft now has a host of new things to do and explore for those either currently or formerly enthralled to the world's foremost infinite block-world builder. The Minecraft community has been clamoring for more... well, everything, for quite some time now. Version 1.11 aims to deliver in a number of ways. First and foremost, Minecraft now has llamas. These alpacas can be ridden and carry supplies by equipping them with a carpet and chest, respectively. They can be leashed to create caravans that follow the play through the world. The ability to caravan a number of storage inventories together will surely be very handy for players on extended expeditions or working on large building projects. Another big addition to 1.11, woodland mansions now have a chance of spawning within the Roofed Forest biome. These large, foreboding structures hold two new enemy types intended to be end-game challenges for players. They hold many different traps and challenges for players to overcome and those who manage to prevail over the hostile home will face new adversaries - the Illagers. These tricky and dangerous Illagers come in two varieties. First, the vindicator mob wields an iron axe and attacks villagers and players on sight, acting as brute muscle to defend the mansion from intruders. They have a slight chance of dropping an emerald when slain. The second type, evokers, are much more dangerous. Mojang views them as something of a mini-boss in the world of Minecraft and has given the evokers otherworldly powers. Evokers can summon ghostly creatures known as vex to provide a distraction while they attack with snapping jaws they can summon from the ground. Vex are summoned in packs of two to four, can fly, and are capable of passing through any block without any resistance. Players who manage to slay an evoker are rewarded with a Totem of Undying - an item that, when held in hand, can resurrect a player instantly at the moment of their death. Mojang has also added the Shulker Box, a chest made with the shell of a shulker mob. This special chest retains its inventory when broken down, rendering a wide variety of inventory highly portable. These can only be made with materials gathered from the End, which now holds return portals to transport the player back to the main End portal. Another welcome addition to Minecraft: Cartographers! A new type of NPC, cartographers can be traded with to provide maps to various locations in the game world. Want to start a quest for a woodland mansion, ocean temple, or other interesting world location? The cartographer might just be able to point you in the right direction with a treasure map. Overall, The Exploration update seems to be a really solid expansion of Minecraft in all the ways players want. Head out there and get crafting!
  8. Minecraft just received its eleventh update today. Dubbed 'The Exploration Update,' the world of Minecraft now has a host of new things to do and explore for those either currently or formerly enthralled to the world's foremost infinite block-world builder. The Minecraft community has been clamoring for more... well, everything, for quite some time now. Version 1.11 aims to deliver in a number of ways. First and foremost, Minecraft now has llamas. These alpacas can be ridden and carry supplies by equipping them with a carpet and chest, respectively. They can be leashed to create caravans that follow the play through the world. The ability to caravan a number of storage inventories together will surely be very handy for players on extended expeditions or working on large building projects. Another big addition to 1.11, woodland mansions now have a chance of spawning within the Roofed Forest biome. These large, foreboding structures hold two new enemy types intended to be end-game challenges for players. They hold many different traps and challenges for players to overcome and those who manage to prevail over the hostile home will face new adversaries - the Illagers. These tricky and dangerous Illagers come in two varieties. First, the vindicator mob wields an iron axe and attacks villagers and players on sight, acting as brute muscle to defend the mansion from intruders. They have a slight chance of dropping an emerald when slain. The second type, evokers, are much more dangerous. Mojang views them as something of a mini-boss in the world of Minecraft and has given the evokers otherworldly powers. Evokers can summon ghostly creatures known as vex to provide a distraction while they attack with snapping jaws they can summon from the ground. Vex are summoned in packs of two to four, can fly, and are capable of passing through any block without any resistance. Players who manage to slay an evoker are rewarded with a Totem of Undying - an item that, when held in hand, can resurrect a player instantly at the moment of their death. Mojang has also added the Shulker Box, a chest made with the shell of a shulker mob. This special chest retains its inventory when broken down, rendering a wide variety of inventory highly portable. These can only be made with materials gathered from the End, which now holds return portals to transport the player back to the main End portal. Another welcome addition to Minecraft: Cartographers! A new type of NPC, cartographers can be traded with to provide maps to various locations in the game world. Want to start a quest for a woodland mansion, ocean temple, or other interesting world location? The cartographer might just be able to point you in the right direction with a treasure map. Overall, The Exploration update seems to be a really solid expansion of Minecraft in all the ways players want. Head out there and get crafting! View full article
  9. The three-part addition to Telltale's narrative take on the popular blocky building game comes to a close with the release of Episode 8: A Journey's End? this September 13. Minecraft: Story Mode proved to be fairly successful when it launched in late 2015 and Telltale began extending the series with new episodes as part of the Adventure Pass after the original five episode run came to a close. Three episodes make up the additional content. The first, A Portal to Mystery, offered players a chance to solve a spooky mansion mystery with characters voiced by popular Minecraft YouTubers. Access Denied composes the second episode of the Adventure Pass in which players face off against a haywire redstone AI. The final episode, A Journey's End?, follows the block-based adventurers as they battle their way through a gladiatorial arena in a bid to find their way home. Two voice actors have been revealed for the finale episode: Jim Cummings and Kari Wahlgren. Many might recognize Cummings for his work on Winnie the Pooh and Darkwing Duck. Meanwhile, Kari Wahlgren has made a name for herself on Rick and Morty and The Farily OddParents. The Adventure Pass can be purchased for $14.99 while individual episodes go for $4.99 apiece. It is required that players own Episode 1 of Minecraft: Story Mode or the physical season pass disc in order to purchase Episodes 6-8. Minecraft: Story Mode and the Adventure Pass episodes 6 & 7 are available now for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, and iOS. Episode 8: A Journey's End will be available on September 13 for all consoles and PCs, with the mobile versions coming later that week.
  10. The three-part addition to Telltale's narrative take on the popular blocky building game comes to a close with the release of Episode 8: A Journey's End? this September 13. Minecraft: Story Mode proved to be fairly successful when it launched in late 2015 and Telltale began extending the series with new episodes as part of the Adventure Pass after the original five episode run came to a close. Three episodes make up the additional content. The first, A Portal to Mystery, offered players a chance to solve a spooky mansion mystery with characters voiced by popular Minecraft YouTubers. Access Denied composes the second episode of the Adventure Pass in which players face off against a haywire redstone AI. The final episode, A Journey's End?, follows the block-based adventurers as they battle their way through a gladiatorial arena in a bid to find their way home. Two voice actors have been revealed for the finale episode: Jim Cummings and Kari Wahlgren. Many might recognize Cummings for his work on Winnie the Pooh and Darkwing Duck. Meanwhile, Kari Wahlgren has made a name for herself on Rick and Morty and The Farily OddParents. The Adventure Pass can be purchased for $14.99 while individual episodes go for $4.99 apiece. It is required that players own Episode 1 of Minecraft: Story Mode or the physical season pass disc in order to purchase Episodes 6-8. Minecraft: Story Mode and the Adventure Pass episodes 6 & 7 are available now for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, and iOS. Episode 8: A Journey's End will be available on September 13 for all consoles and PCs, with the mobile versions coming later that week. View full article
  11. You know that time you felt really accomplished in Minecraft because you managed to make a really big hole or a castle to the sky? I know I was proud of the time I hollowed out a mountain and did my best to create a mini Mines of Moria. Mere mortals can only dream of what YouTuber Reqaug did a mere three weeks after the 1.10 Minecraft update. Reqaug wanted to test the limits of a new block type called the "structure block." These pieces of magic allow players to save entire sections of a given structure. This allowed Reqaug to refresh the Game Boy Advance screen quickly enough to support actual gameplay. And what better game to translate into the digital world of Minecraft than Pokémon FireRed? To be perfectly clear, Reqaug made a functional GBA with a level editor and a basically functional version of Pokémon FireRed running within Minecraft. That is insane. Obviously, the Minecraft Pokémon FireRed is still incomplete, lacking battles and dialogue, but further functions will be coming in future updates as development continues. Those are things that are possible with this GBA construction. You can download the GBA map for yourself over on the mod database Planet Minecraft: http://www.planetminecraft.com/project/working-pokemon-firered-gba/ The future is an insane, scary, wonderful place. View full article
  12. You know that time you felt really accomplished in Minecraft because you managed to make a really big hole or a castle to the sky? I know I was proud of the time I hollowed out a mountain and did my best to create a mini Mines of Moria. Mere mortals can only dream of what YouTuber Reqaug did a mere three weeks after the 1.10 Minecraft update. Reqaug wanted to test the limits of a new block type called the "structure block." These pieces of magic allow players to save entire sections of a given structure. This allowed Reqaug to refresh the Game Boy Advance screen quickly enough to support actual gameplay. And what better game to translate into the digital world of Minecraft than Pokémon FireRed? To be perfectly clear, Reqaug made a functional GBA with a level editor and a basically functional version of Pokémon FireRed running within Minecraft. That is insane. Obviously, the Minecraft Pokémon FireRed is still incomplete, lacking battles and dialogue, but further functions will be coming in future updates as development continues. Those are things that are possible with this GBA construction. You can download the GBA map for yourself over on the mod database Planet Minecraft: http://www.planetminecraft.com/project/working-pokemon-firered-gba/ The future is an insane, scary, wonderful place.
  13. There is a gallery for any pictures from last nights meeting. Feel free to go an upload anything you want to add to the gallery from last night. 2016 Extra Life Boston Guild Launch Meeting Gallery
  14. A terrible evil threatens to consume the fabric of the world and only the scattered Order of the Stone can even hope to halt its inexorable advance. Jesse and company must set out to find the remaining members of the Order in Episode Two - Assembly Required. That episode becomes available digitally for consoles in North America today. Physical copies of the game will be making their way to retail today, as well. Retail discs of Minecraft: Story Mode cost $29.99 and come with Episode One on-disc. The disc will then grant access to all future episodes as they are released by Telltale Games via online updates. "Premiering 'Minecraft: Story Mode' this month, we've been overjoyed by the reception from both the Minecraft community and fans of Telltale across the world diving into the all-ages adventure and making key decisions that will craft their own stories throughout the rest of the season," said Kevin Bruner, CEO and Co-Founder of Telltale Games. "This week, we're happy to offer the game on a special disc at retailers worldwide, including access to the thrilling second episode, 'Assembly Required,' which will feel like a completely different chapter for players depending on their paths taken in episode one." Minecraft: Story Mode Episode Two - Assembly Required is now available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Later this week the second episode will make its way to PC and mobile devices. The series will also be coming to Wii U and PlayStation Vita, but no word yet on release dates for those systems.
  15. A terrible evil threatens to consume the fabric of the world and only the scattered Order of the Stone can even hope to halt its inexorable advance. Jesse and company must set out to find the remaining members of the Order in Episode Two - Assembly Required. That episode becomes available digitally for consoles in North America today. Physical copies of the game will be making their way to retail today, as well. Retail discs of Minecraft: Story Mode cost $29.99 and come with Episode One on-disc. The disc will then grant access to all future episodes as they are released by Telltale Games via online updates. "Premiering 'Minecraft: Story Mode' this month, we've been overjoyed by the reception from both the Minecraft community and fans of Telltale across the world diving into the all-ages adventure and making key decisions that will craft their own stories throughout the rest of the season," said Kevin Bruner, CEO and Co-Founder of Telltale Games. "This week, we're happy to offer the game on a special disc at retailers worldwide, including access to the thrilling second episode, 'Assembly Required,' which will feel like a completely different chapter for players depending on their paths taken in episode one." Minecraft: Story Mode Episode Two - Assembly Required is now available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Later this week the second episode will make its way to PC and mobile devices. The series will also be coming to Wii U and PlayStation Vita, but no word yet on release dates for those systems. View full article
  16. Microsoft held a two-hour press conference today centered around Windows 10 and what they envision for the future of the operating system. Also, they announced holograms. Holo-freakin'-grams. As you might imagine, two hours of a corporation revealing new software and hardware is a lot to parse through. Here are the highlights as relate to the gaming world: Windows 10 will include a Game DVR function for Windows games, modeled after the Xbox One's DVR capabilities. While third-party software already exists to provide that same functionality, this service will be free and possibly run more efficiently than what's currently available. Designed to offer more opportunities to game developers, the upcoming DirectX 12 consumes half the power of DirectX 11 and offers improved performance on existing hardware. This extend to mobile devices, which will now be able to run more intensive programs without trouble. Windows 10 PCs and Xbox Ones will be able to play with each other online via cross-play functionality. Xbox One owners will be able to stream their games to any Windows 10 device in their home. Microsoft unveiled their hologram initiative: HoloLens. The HoloLens is a head-mounted computer with a variety of sensors that allows it to "see" what its user sees and overlay digital data via the built-in HUD. It includes a third processor built specifically to help it interpret holographic space. The pres conference included a live demonstration of the HoloLens and how it can be used to design digital objects. They announced that HoloLens currently runs Skype, Minecraft, and will be used as early as July for scientists working with the Mars rover. Honestly, that is a lot of really cool information, but it comes with so many questions. Will game DVR functionality be as curtailed as it is on Xbox One? What are the limits to game streaming? Will players be able to stream Destiny to their PCs from their Xbox Ones? Will cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 PC be universal or a feature of some games, but not others? Obviously, HoloLens is the most intriguing, but a with most new technology, it is best to treat it with a grain of salt before it has had a chance to prove itself. As cool as the concept of the device is, remember the troubles people have had with Kinect for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. This could be a revolutionary step forward in computing, or it could be remembered as one of those goofy gizmos that never really got off the ground. In the meantime... HOLOGRAMS! AWESOME! You can watch the full press event here. View full article
  17. Jack Gardner

    A Summary of the Windows 10 Conference

    Microsoft held a two-hour press conference today centered around Windows 10 and what they envision for the future of the operating system. Also, they announced holograms. Holo-freakin'-grams. As you might imagine, two hours of a corporation revealing new software and hardware is a lot to parse through. Here are the highlights as relate to the gaming world: Windows 10 will include a Game DVR function for Windows games, modeled after the Xbox One's DVR capabilities. While third-party software already exists to provide that same functionality, this service will be free and possibly run more efficiently than what's currently available. Designed to offer more opportunities to game developers, the upcoming DirectX 12 consumes half the power of DirectX 11 and offers improved performance on existing hardware. This extend to mobile devices, which will now be able to run more intensive programs without trouble. Windows 10 PCs and Xbox Ones will be able to play with each other online via cross-play functionality. Xbox One owners will be able to stream their games to any Windows 10 device in their home. Microsoft unveiled their hologram initiative: HoloLens. The HoloLens is a head-mounted computer with a variety of sensors that allows it to "see" what its user sees and overlay digital data via the built-in HUD. It includes a third processor built specifically to help it interpret holographic space. The pres conference included a live demonstration of the HoloLens and how it can be used to design digital objects. They announced that HoloLens currently runs Skype, Minecraft, and will be used as early as July for scientists working with the Mars rover. Honestly, that is a lot of really cool information, but it comes with so many questions. Will game DVR functionality be as curtailed as it is on Xbox One? What are the limits to game streaming? Will players be able to stream Destiny to their PCs from their Xbox Ones? Will cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 PC be universal or a feature of some games, but not others? Obviously, HoloLens is the most intriguing, but a with most new technology, it is best to treat it with a grain of salt before it has had a chance to prove itself. As cool as the concept of the device is, remember the troubles people have had with Kinect for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. This could be a revolutionary step forward in computing, or it could be remembered as one of those goofy gizmos that never really got off the ground. In the meantime... HOLOGRAMS! AWESOME! You can watch the full press event here.
  18. In the years since Minecraft's release, one of the communities most requested features has been some sort of narrative. Mojang struggled internally on how to best deliver on a story set in the world of Minecraft. Today, they announced that they are working with Telltale Games for a 2015 release of their five episode Story Mode series. Though due sometime next year, not many details have been revealed about the game. Here is what we do know. The game will be primarily developed by Telltale with input from both Mojang and the Minecraft community. It will not be about Minecraft's mascot, Steve, rather it will focus on completely new characters. According to Mojang, Story Mode will not be establishing any sort of official lore, just presenting Telltale's interpretation of the world. Despite Mojang's recent acquisition by Microsoft, Minecraft: Story Mode will be released on PlayStation consoles, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, as well as Xbox systems. For more information or clarification, check out the Telltale blog, Mojang blog, or play the interactive announcement, Info Quest II.
  19. In the years since Minecraft's release, one of the communities most requested features has been some sort of narrative. Mojang struggled internally on how to best deliver on a story set in the world of Minecraft. Today, they announced that they are working with Telltale Games for a 2015 release of their five episode Story Mode series. Though due sometime next year, not many details have been revealed about the game. Here is what we do know. The game will be primarily developed by Telltale with input from both Mojang and the Minecraft community. It will not be about Minecraft's mascot, Steve, rather it will focus on completely new characters. According to Mojang, Story Mode will not be establishing any sort of official lore, just presenting Telltale's interpretation of the world. Despite Mojang's recent acquisition by Microsoft, Minecraft: Story Mode will be released on PlayStation consoles, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, as well as Xbox systems. For more information or clarification, check out the Telltale blog, Mojang blog, or play the interactive announcement, Info Quest II. View full article
  20. While rumors have been spreading through the industry since early last week, today Mojang confirmed that they are indeed in the middle of being bought by Microsoft for a whopping $2.5 billion. That's billion. With a B. For some perspective on that rather large number, Microsoft values Mojang at 62% of what Disney paid to acquire the entire Star Wars franchise and Lucasfilm. That's more than Oculus VR was worth to Facebook and almost three times what Twitch, the fourth highest ranked website in the US for peak internet traffic, was purchased for by Amazon. What does this mean for Minecraft? For starters, it doesn't seem like the versions that are currently available will be going away anytime soon. According to Mojang's Owen Hill: There’s no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop. Of course, Microsoft can’t make decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they might make in the future. We’re extremely proud of all editions and the awesome things you have achieved through playing together. Owen can't speak for Sony or Apple, but it seems for now that Microsoft has no intention of locking those versions of Minecraft away. Minecraft itself is going to remain the same. It will receive periodic updates and slowly continue to develop over time. It is uncertain whether the same people will continue to work on Minecraft going forward, but as of right now it is confirmed that the founders of Mojang, Carl Manneh, Markus "Notch" Persson, and Jakob Porsér, are leaving to pursue their interests elsewhere. Thus far, Notch has released a statement about leaving Mojang and Minecraft, which you can read here. His goodbye post boils down to a few key details. First, Notch doesn't view himself as a game developer; he develops games because he loves to code and play around with game concepts. Second, he doesn't want to be an abstract concept that people hate and the target of hateful comments. As he says in his message, "I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter. [...] I don’t expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won’t feel a responsibility to read them." Finally, he gave a deeply heartfelt thank you to everyone that supports Minecraft. In his post, he also mentions watching the video This Is Phil Fish as something influential in his decision to sell Mojang. &amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://c418.bandcamp.com/album/0x10c" data-mce-href="http://c418.bandcamp.com/album/0x10c"&amp;amp;amp;gt;0x10c by C418&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt; Musician C418, creator of the Minecraft soundtrack, posted the music he made for Notch's 0x10c For anyone who might still be worried about Minecraft or the future of Mojang or its employees, let me end with a quote from Owen Hill, "It's going to be good, though. Everything is going to be OK. <3"
  21. While rumors have been spreading through the industry since early last week, today Mojang confirmed that they are indeed in the middle of being bought by Microsoft for a whopping $2.5 billion. That's billion. With a B. For some perspective on that rather large number, Microsoft values Mojang at 62% of what Disney paid to acquire the entire Star Wars franchise and Lucasfilm. That's more than Oculus VR was worth to Facebook and almost three times what Twitch, the fourth highest ranked website in the US for peak internet traffic, was purchased for by Amazon. What does this mean for Minecraft? For starters, it doesn't seem like the versions that are currently available will be going away anytime soon. According to Mojang's Owen Hill: There’s no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop. Of course, Microsoft can’t make decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they might make in the future. We’re extremely proud of all editions and the awesome things you have achieved through playing together. Owen can't speak for Sony or Apple, but it seems for now that Microsoft has no intention of locking those versions of Minecraft away. Minecraft itself is going to remain the same. It will receive periodic updates and slowly continue to develop over time. It is uncertain whether the same people will continue to work on Minecraft going forward, but as of right now it is confirmed that the founders of Mojang, Carl Manneh, Markus "Notch" Persson, and Jakob Porsér, are leaving to pursue their interests elsewhere. Thus far, Notch has released a statement about leaving Mojang and Minecraft, which you can read here. His goodbye post boils down to a few key details. First, Notch doesn't view himself as a game developer; he develops games because he loves to code and play around with game concepts. Second, he doesn't want to be an abstract concept that people hate and the target of hateful comments. As he says in his message, "I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter. [...] I don’t expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won’t feel a responsibility to read them." Finally, he gave a deeply heartfelt thank you to everyone that supports Minecraft. In his post, he also mentions watching the video This Is Phil Fish as something influential in his decision to sell Mojang. &amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://c418.bandcamp.com/album/0x10c" data-mce-href="http://c418.bandcamp.com/album/0x10c"&amp;amp;amp;gt;0x10c by C418&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt; Musician C418, creator of the Minecraft soundtrack, posted the music he made for Notch's 0x10c For anyone who might still be worried about Minecraft or the future of Mojang or its employees, let me end with a quote from Owen Hill, "It's going to be good, though. Everything is going to be OK. <3" View full article
  22. During the month of May, Extra Life’s current top fundraiser, Aureylian, worked with Twitch to set up the event Mining for Charity. Four teams totaling forty-eight Twitch broadcasters competed in ten different Mineplex minigames. Each team represented a different charity organization: AbleGamers, Child’s Play, Extra Life, and Stand for the Silent. The team that racked up the most points over the course of the month of Mineplex games won a $5,000 prize for their charity. Unfortunately, Extra Life came in third place, but even third place received a pretty nice chunk of change courtesy of some Twitch auctions. I had the opportunity to ask Aureylian some questions regarding Mining for Charity and her own involvement in Extra Life. --- How did you first get involved in Extra Life? I was invited to go along to the Celebration last year in Orlando along with some other gamers and Twitch employees to learn more about Extra Life. After meeting all of the kids, and being a gamer and mom myself, it seems like I was meant to be there. I have become so passionate about Extra Life, because it literally hits every major aspect of my life. What is your goal for this year and what are you going to try differently to achieve it (besides Minecraft charity tournaments)? My goal for this year is $25k. I've done a few shorter livestreams already this year and am planning at least two more (including the National Game Day). I've started integrating incentives in my game play (like renaming missions in Minecraft to donators of certain levels) and stopping livestreams to sing karaoke when someone donates $25. It's a continued effort throughout the year and a big part of my daily life, not just something I do once a year. You are currently our top fundraiser (which is so flippin' amazing). How have you gone about raising money and what do you think other people do to emulate your success on that particular front? Or, to put it another way, how can other people be as fantastic as yourself? Haha, well, not sure I'm THAT fantastic. Like I said before, Extra Life is something I am so passionate about that I speak about it and involve it on an almost daily basis. I work in my local office to donate my time, as well as raise funds and involve as many people I can. I don't know that anyone [could exactly] emulate my success, but I did help write a pretty cool tips piece on the blog for Extra Life last year that seemed to help a few people. You work at Twitch, so can you speak to how Twitch has gotten involved with Extra Life on a company-wide level? Twitch supports many charities. As an organization, we donate many resources to help promote and ensure the success of streamers who choose to stream for charity. Specifically for events like Mining For Charity, we leverage our user base to help nonprofits get exposure and involve content creators in the promotion of great causes. Okay, I pay follow eSports a fair amount and I've played many more hours of Minecraft than I'd care to admit in polite company, but I've never really heard about a Minecraft tournament. Could you explain how that works, where did the idea come from, etc.? I came up with the idea and Mineplex made it come to life. For Mining for Charity, we had four teams of 12 players (8 full time and 4 alternates). They competed each week in a series of Minecraft minigames for four weeks. Depending on their placement in each round, they received points, and at the end of the day, the place of their points determined the daily points they received. At the end of the tournament, two teams tied for first, so they went into a tiebreaker round. The goal was not only to have our content creators collaborate and help grow their audiences, but to help support charities we are passionate about in the process. Prior to the start of the tournament, each team was allowed to pick their own charity to play on behalf of, and we of course were thrilled when one of our teams chose to play on behalf of Extra Life. Twitch donated a designated amount to first place and funds were also raised by auctioning off a rare White Twitch hoodie and limited edition Twitch Minecraft shirt, both signed by Minecraft content creator. Those proceeds were all divided among 2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams. As Mike said in that introductory email, who were the casters that got involved so we can shower them with praise? AnikiDomo - Bashurverse - BlameTheController - ChaosChunk - Fyrflies - RubenDelight - Darkmalmine - Siyliss - tehneyrzomb - TerasHD - thejarren - wyld --- A huge thanks to Aureylian, he co-workers at Twitch, and all of the amazing people who participated in Mining for Charity! View full article
  23. During the month of May, Extra Life’s current top fundraiser, Aureylian, worked with Twitch to set up the event Mining for Charity. Four teams totaling forty-eight Twitch broadcasters competed in ten different Mineplex minigames. Each team represented a different charity organization: AbleGamers, Child’s Play, Extra Life, and Stand for the Silent. The team that racked up the most points over the course of the month of Mineplex games won a $5,000 prize for their charity. Unfortunately, Extra Life came in third place, but even third place received a pretty nice chunk of change courtesy of some Twitch auctions. I had the opportunity to ask Aureylian some questions regarding Mining for Charity and her own involvement in Extra Life. --- How did you first get involved in Extra Life? I was invited to go along to the Celebration last year in Orlando along with some other gamers and Twitch employees to learn more about Extra Life. After meeting all of the kids, and being a gamer and mom myself, it seems like I was meant to be there. I have become so passionate about Extra Life, because it literally hits every major aspect of my life. What is your goal for this year and what are you going to try differently to achieve it (besides Minecraft charity tournaments)? My goal for this year is $25k. I've done a few shorter livestreams already this year and am planning at least two more (including the National Game Day). I've started integrating incentives in my game play (like renaming missions in Minecraft to donators of certain levels) and stopping livestreams to sing karaoke when someone donates $25. It's a continued effort throughout the year and a big part of my daily life, not just something I do once a year. You are currently our top fundraiser (which is so flippin' amazing). How have you gone about raising money and what do you think other people do to emulate your success on that particular front? Or, to put it another way, how can other people be as fantastic as yourself? Haha, well, not sure I'm THAT fantastic. Like I said before, Extra Life is something I am so passionate about that I speak about it and involve it on an almost daily basis. I work in my local office to donate my time, as well as raise funds and involve as many people I can. I don't know that anyone [could exactly] emulate my success, but I did help write a pretty cool tips piece on the blog for Extra Life last year that seemed to help a few people. You work at Twitch, so can you speak to how Twitch has gotten involved with Extra Life on a company-wide level? Twitch supports many charities. As an organization, we donate many resources to help promote and ensure the success of streamers who choose to stream for charity. Specifically for events like Mining For Charity, we leverage our user base to help nonprofits get exposure and involve content creators in the promotion of great causes. Okay, I pay follow eSports a fair amount and I've played many more hours of Minecraft than I'd care to admit in polite company, but I've never really heard about a Minecraft tournament. Could you explain how that works, where did the idea come from, etc.? I came up with the idea and Mineplex made it come to life. For Mining for Charity, we had four teams of 12 players (8 full time and 4 alternates). They competed each week in a series of Minecraft minigames for four weeks. Depending on their placement in each round, they received points, and at the end of the day, the place of their points determined the daily points they received. At the end of the tournament, two teams tied for first, so they went into a tiebreaker round. The goal was not only to have our content creators collaborate and help grow their audiences, but to help support charities we are passionate about in the process. Prior to the start of the tournament, each team was allowed to pick their own charity to play on behalf of, and we of course were thrilled when one of our teams chose to play on behalf of Extra Life. Twitch donated a designated amount to first place and funds were also raised by auctioning off a rare White Twitch hoodie and limited edition Twitch Minecraft shirt, both signed by Minecraft content creator. Those proceeds were all divided among 2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams. As Mike said in that introductory email, who were the casters that got involved so we can shower them with praise? AnikiDomo - Bashurverse - BlameTheController - ChaosChunk - Fyrflies - RubenDelight - Darkmalmine - Siyliss - tehneyrzomb - TerasHD - thejarren - wyld --- A huge thanks to Aureylian, he co-workers at Twitch, and all of the amazing people who participated in Mining for Charity!
  24. Mojang's long awaited private server hosting service for Minecraft is finally available for PC and Mac users. Starting at $13 a month, Realms is a paid for service that allows people who are interested in hosting a Minecraft server to do so both conveniently and safely. The servers will run 24/7 whether the host is online or not, meaning everyone can participate on the server at any time. Servers are limited to 20 players with only 10 allowed onto the server at once. Data will be backed up often so if some disaster strikes your Minecraft server, loading an earlier world state should be a simple matter. If $13 seems to be a steep price, there are options for longer subscriptions or recurring payments that bring the cost down a bit. Though Minecraft recently launched on PS3, Minecraft Realms is currently only available for PC and Mac. Mojang plans to eventually make the service available to players on other systems. View full article
  25. Jack Gardner

    Minecraft Realms Goes Live

    Mojang's long awaited private server hosting service for Minecraft is finally available for PC and Mac users. Starting at $13 a month, Realms is a paid for service that allows people who are interested in hosting a Minecraft server to do so both conveniently and safely. The servers will run 24/7 whether the host is online or not, meaning everyone can participate on the server at any time. Servers are limited to 20 players with only 10 allowed onto the server at once. Data will be backed up often so if some disaster strikes your Minecraft server, loading an earlier world state should be a simple matter. If $13 seems to be a steep price, there are options for longer subscriptions or recurring payments that bring the cost down a bit. Though Minecraft recently launched on PS3, Minecraft Realms is currently only available for PC and Mac. Mojang plans to eventually make the service available to players on other systems.
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