The best-laid plans of mice and Mojang…

Developments on Minecraft took an interesting turn this morning when Notch sent out this tweet:

New blog post: notch.tumblr.com ! TL;DR: 1.7 this with with [sic] ONLY pistons. 1.8 in “a long time” with lots of cool adventure stuff.

Given that I’m writing this several hours after the post came out, chances are that most of you already know that Notch and Jeb plan for 1.7’s release to be on Thursday, as per this tweet from Notch:

1.7 is planned for Thursday.

Told you. 😉

Well, a look at the blog post in question reveals the reason for the change: Notch and Jeb’s planned additions to Minecraft have become much greater in scope than they’d originally anticipated, and so they need to push back The Adventure Update to 1.8. Makes for a great chant, don’t you think? “ONE-POINT-EIGHT’S THE ADVENTURE UPDATE!”

Okay, maybe not 😉

To me, the news is rather like having a jolly and eccentric uncle¹ turning up at the house on Christmas Day and saying, “Okay, you remember I said you were getting a big gift today? Well, that’s had to wait for a little bit, so you’re getting a couple of smaller toys for now – but you’re still getting the bigger gift later on, and it’s going to be even bigger than I originally promised…”

(Of course, if you were telling that to a spoiled brat in real life, you wouldn’t get past “that’s had to wait for a little bit”, because they’d be yelling, “BUT YOU PROMISED!!!” and screaming the house down… And then the kid’s parents would kick you out, and tell you to stop teasing their little darling.)

I’m happy about this, even though it has the unfortunate side-effect of the inevitable plug-in updates to accommodate the new stuff (I feel for server owners and admins, I truly do). We’ve got something new to play with, while we wait for 1.8 (no rhyming actually intended there) – and I can’t wait to see what the likes of bluenokkad will come up with 🙂

And, maybe I’m being a bit naïve – especially considering some recent (non-Minecraft) hype which turned out, I feel, somewhat disappointing in the end – but the shift to putting The Adventure Update back to 1.8 makes me more excited, and hopeful, that when it does come out, it’s going to be something rather special. And I was pretty damn excited about it to begin with.

But Notch’s blog post didn’t end there – after 1.8 comes “crunching for the full release in November”, with performance and stability improvements, integrating SSP and SMP into one block of code², and much more. The use of “crunching” in that sentence makes me wonder a little bit about when 1.8 will be released – Notch did say that it might be a long wait, and it’ll be as long as it takes – but then regular readers of this blog will know by now that I’m not averse to wondering and speculation 🙂

Still, in the meantime, I’ll be able to get to work on that super-secret hideaway, powered by pistons. Oh. I may have given too much away. Now I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to let you leave my lair… 😉

¹ Come on – Notch has totally got the “jolly uncle” vibe completely down…

² When Notch said that there were two separate codebases for SSP and SMP, I was instantly confused. But then, I’m not a programmer of any particular skill, so I just figured there must have been a really good reason for it 🙂

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