I seem to be finding out all sorts of cool stuff via those I follow on Twitter, these days. It was reported on there that Gamasutra published news that Minecraft is officially coming to iOS. So Mojang’s plan for addicting the world to Minecraft is spreading to users of the iPhone, iPod and iPad… cunning! 🙂 Also, Kappische tweeted today that there’ll also be an Android version. More victims, ripe for the picking! (cue evil-genius laugh)
This is incredible news, though not unexpected. As is usual with games, movies and the like, once A Good Thing shows up on the radar, people race to clone, emulate or just rip it off, so they can have their own Good Thing and grab a slice of the pie. So why shouldn’t Mojang bring out versions for handheld devices? After all (to belabour the analogy), they baked the pie in the first place…
But before iOS and Android users start screaming, “Where’s our version?”, bear in mind that the port is going to be no small feat of programming, depending on the route that Mojang decides to take. Apple apparently lifted the restrictions on programming apps, so Java-based apps can now be written, rather than in C, C++ or Objective C. But if Mojang chooses to stick with the C-based languages, that means a rewrite of the entire code base…
The team might have an easier time of it with Android: Wikipedia says that apps are primarily written in Java, though Google’s Java libraries may contain some interesting idiosyncracies.
[Disclaimer: I’m having to resort to a greater level of speculation than usual, with this – my programming ability (such as it was) is largely restricted to BASIC; the copy of Java for Dummies I bought a couple of weeks ago for $1 from Goodwill is squirrelled away on a shelf in the corner of Chez Astragali.]
In the brief article, Notch said that not every feature from the browser/download version will be available to handheld users; they’ll be granted features that “make sense” to the devices’ touch-screen capability.
It’ll be interesting to see how this develops, even though I don’t possess either iOS or Android devices – I tend to expend my wages on silly luxuries like food and rent. I know – I’m such a wastrel.
Will Minecraft take the iTunes Store and Android Marketplace by storm? And will existing Minecraft addicts with those devices buy the more portable version? If you’re one of those people, let me know what you’d do, in the comments section.