Mojang has announced a new beta version, named The Friendly Update, of Minecraft Pocket Edition. Version 0.15 adds pistons, pig riding, fire charges, husk zombies, and Xbox Live achievements on Android, among a range of other additions, tweaks, and bug fixes.
Mysterious, as-yet-unspecified friendliness
Pistons and sticky pistons!
Observer blocks: new blocks that can detect changes in neighboring blocks
Xbox Live Achievements on iOS and Android
Online multiplayer with Xbox Live friends!
Leads, horses and dyeable horse armor!
A whole new UI for the main menu, shared with the Windows 10 Edition
You can now tip arrows using a cauldron and potions!
Minecraft is great, but it's even better when playing with others, and better still when played with people you know. To that end Mojang introduced us to Realms in 2013, an always-on server that enables play with friends or family. Since then Realms has been available for Windows and OS X, but Mojang today announced it's bringing it to Android in the form of an opt-in alpha (although support was actually added for Realms back in 2013).
Realms is a paid service costing $7.99, although for the moment it will be free on Android's Pocket Edition while testing is underway. Mojang says that to use Realms an Xbox Live login will be required, which makes cross-platform play possible between Android, iOS, Windows, and Windows Phone.
You might think that a game like Minecraft, where there's no story and you essentially build an entire world out of complicated digital LEGOs, doesn't lend itself well to the adventure game format. You might be right. But if anyone can make a licensed story out of Mojang's phenomenal open-world title, it's TellTale Games, who have successfully adapted such diverse properties as The Walking Dead, Borderlands, Game of Thrones, and Back To The Future into episodic adventure games with near-universal appeal.
TellTale showed off the first footage of Minecraft: Story Mode at Minecon 2015. That's a Minecraft convention, if you're wondering.
Fancy a bit of customization for your Android version of Minecraft? You'll soon be accommodated by developer Mojang. According to this blog post, the Pocket Edition of the game will get a significant update later this week, with player skins being the biggest addition. If you've played the PC or console version of Minecraft, you know that custom skins for player avatars have become a big part of the game's community aspect.
At least a few free skins will be available, and Mojang will sell more as in-app purchases, with packs of around 20 skins costing one US dollar. But that's not the only way to access the feature.
Fans of Mojang's incredibly popular game franchise, Minecraft, will soon have a better option for manipulating the Android version of the game. Mobile controller support will finally be added in an update that will be arriving "soon". This news comes via Twitter from Mojang developer Tommaso Checchi.
Fortunately we'll soon raze the entire UI to the ground, so that we'll be able to have proper controller support among other things :)
Mining, building, and fighting off zombies with precision should be much easier with an external controller than with touch screen controls. Other improvements to the game were also alluded to in Tommaso's tweet.
Minecraft is what you make it. Mojang has excelled at creating an open world game that captures the hearts of children and grown-ups everywhere, but it has done so without a memorable plot lingering in people's minds. What if it weren't just the game's unique visuals that stuck with people? What if there were something more? Enter Minecraft Story Mode, a collaboration between Mojang and developer Telltale Games that's set to arrive in 2015.
Telltale Games, praised for works including The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, knows how to create captivating story-driven point-and-click games. This new series will be based on the world of Minecraft, but it will stand alone as a separate title.
Hey, Minecraft fans! Did you know that Mojang, the developer of the uber-popular creation game, has been working on another game for years? It's called "Scrolls," and... well, it's nothing like Minecraft. Nope, it's more like a mix between Plants vs Zombies and Blizzard's Hearthstone card game, all set up on a hexadecimal tower defense structure. That's confusing. Watch the promotional video below to try and get a handle on the unique cross-platform title. This is a tablet-only game, no smartphones need apply.
Scrolls is part strategy, part tower defense, part card game. You use the somewhat randomized cards to deploy units, structures, and spells to both defend your own five "idols" and try to destroy at least three of those on the opposing side.
The folks at Mojang have been hard at work, and they're now pushing out version 0.10. The changelog for this one is going to blow your mind. We're talking "more watery-looking water" and "foggier-looking fog." Not only that, you get "even more particles than before." Tinted lighting now reflects on the environment and the baddies that roam it.
Last week a Wall Street Journal report suggested that Microsoft and Mojang were considering an acquisition worth upwards of $2 billion, and a Reuters article later stated that an announcement would come today, revealing an agreed price of $2.5 billion. Now it's official. Mojang's Chief World Officer Owen Hill has taken to its blog to confirm that the two and half billion dollar acquisition is definitely happening.
Speaking for Minecraft's creator, Hill says in the post that it was never Markus Persson's - known as Notch - intention for the game to get this big. Being the majority shareholder of Mojang left him with the responsibility of owning a company with global influence.