Train2Game: Minecraft developer Mojang streaming 60 hour Game Jam this weekend

Train2Game students can get an insight into how Mojang develop games this weekend, when the Minecraft developer live streams their 60 hour “Mojam”

Starting this Friday, Mojang will be making a brand new game, with the theme and genre being decided through a public vote which you can take part in at

And not only are Mojang making a brand new game, they’ve also teamed up with Humble Bundle to raise money for charity. The team will be offering incentives for you to donate to the 60 hour project, while there will also be opportunities to get involved in Q&A sessions with Mojang developers, something that would sure to be useful to Train2Game students.

For more information, check out the Humble Bundle Mojam video below.

We’ve previously shown you Bethesda’s Skyrim Game Jam, which saw Bethesda developers given a week to be creative.

Train2Game students know all about Game Jams, as Train2Game has held two 48 hour long Game Jams, with the four winning teams at the Train2Game & Epic Game Jam, moving onto a Make Something Unreal Live at The Gadget Show Live, where they have the opportunity to win a fully licensed UDK Ios development kit.

For previous news from Mojang, see The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on Mojam? Will you be tuning into the live streams? What would you ask the team?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Notch: “It’s easier to be an indie game developer these days”

Train2Game forum users are familiar with the success of Minecraft, the indie game that brought huge success for its creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson and his studio Mojang.

And while it’s unlikely that all indie titles will match the huge success of Minecraft, Notch believes it’s easier to be an indie developer now than ever before, which is potentially good news for Train2Game students!

“I think it’s easier to be an indie game developer these days because back in the day it wasn’t called being an “indie developer” but a “garage programmer.” You weren’t expected to charge for your game so you couldn’t do it. People never charged. It was just a hobby.” he told PC Gamer.

“I think it’s much easier these days, but there’s still no guarantee you’ll make a profit. If you’re doing it out of passion and just want to get some money back it’s definitely doable.” the Minecraft creator added.

Notch also discussed whether after selling almost 5 million copies of Minecraft, Mojang still count as “indie” developers.

“I don’t think [Mojang] are indie in the sense of how I used to work anymore, because we have a payroll to worry about and we need to do stuff to ensure the company lasts,” he said.

“We have other stuff which influences what we do other than trying to focus on the games. We make sure me and Jacob are only focusing on game development so the founders are still developing” Notch continued.

“But as a company, I don’t think we are indie in the sense that I used to mean it. But in the other sense of indie – as in we make games we want to play without having any external dependencies – then yeah, we’re indie.” The Minecraft creator concluded.

As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, Notch has stepped down as lead developer of Minecraft in order to concentrate on other projects.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for the latest Minecraft news.

So Train2Game, do you agree that it’s easier to be an indie developer nowadays? And  what’s your definition of an “indie” studio or game?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: PC Gamer]

Train2Game news: Minecraft 1.1 update released

Train2Game forum user favourite Minecraft may have been officially released, but that doesn’t mean game development has stopped, with Mojang releasing update 1.1. for their hugely popular title.

The updates, posted on the Mojang Blog, include improvements to bows, new recipies, and sheep now being able to regrow their wool. Minecraft update 1.1 also fixes a number of bugs. It just goes to show that even when a game is released, the game design process isn’t finished.

Train2Game students can watch the video from Mojang below, which describes all of the new updates.

As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, Jen Bergensten is now Minecraft lead designer, having taken over from creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson last month.

For more about the indie sensation that is Minecraft, see the Train2Game blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Minecraft update? How important is it for developers to keep working on games, even after they’re released?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Your Minecraft creation could feature in the official Minecon trailer

Train2Game students who’ve made custom Minecraft skins could see them feature in an official trailer at Minecon, the Minecraft convention taking place in Las Vegas next month.

Indie sensation Minecraft is popular on the Train2Game forum, so there’ll no doubt be some Train2Game students who want to get involved in the contest.

To celebrate Minecon, Minecraft trailer producers, The Hat Films, are giving fans the opportunity to see their custom skins feature in the official trailer.

“We will randomly be selecting subscribers from our Youtube channel and messaging the winners for their Minecraft user names, so that we may tear the skin from your virtual blocky bodies and thrust them upon NPCs in game.” said a Walrus representing The Hat Films in their video announcement, which Train2Game students can see below.

Train2Game students could therefore potentially see their custom Minecraft skin seen at the convention which will coincide with the ‘full’ release of Mojang’s title.

Despite still being in beta, Minecraft has been purchased over three million times. For more information on the full release of Minecraft, see this post on the Train2Game blog.

The popularity of Minecraft saw developers Mojang walk away with the ‘Downloadable Game of the Year’ at the Golden Joysticks.  The success of Minecraft provides inspiration for many Train2Game students.

So Train2Game, have you produced Minecraft skins? Will you enter the contest?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: PC Gamer]

Train2Game News, Minecraft passes 10 million registered users

The Train2Game blog has kept a close eye on the progress of indie sensation Minecraft, which as reported last month has reached over 2.5 million sales. Minecraft has long has a cult forum among Train2Game forum users.

The game has hit yet another milestone, with over 10 million people now having registered to play the free version of Minecraft. The free version doesn’t receive the regular updates the full-game does, such as the “adventure mode” as reported by the Train2Game blog.

Currently over 2.7 million people have bought the Beta version of Minecraft, with the full release coming later this year.  Imagine if the free-to-play Minecraft users all bought the full version, Notch would become even richer!

As reported by the Train2Game blog, we’ll also see an Xbox 360 version of Minecraft towards the end of this year. Minecraft is also heading to smartphones, there will be no escaping it!

Minecraft can act as a massive inspiration to Train2Game students as to how successful an indie game can now be thanks to digital distribution and word of mouth. Last week the Train2Game reported that Mojang’s next title, Scrolls, will follow the same release pattern.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the continued success of Minecraft? If you’re playing the free version, why are you sticking to it?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: PC Gamer]

Mojang’s Scrolls to follow same release strategy as Minecraft

Regular Train2Game blog readers will be highly aware of the success of indie game Minecraft, as well as its huge following among Train2Game forum users.

Some of them have been there since they purchased Minecraft when it was in Alpha, or in its current Beta form, and Mojang have revealed that their next game, Scrolls, will follow the same pattern.

“With our new game, Scrolls, we’ll follow the same formula as Minecraft,” said Mojang’s Daniel Kaplan while speaking at GameLab in Barcelona.  “That means we’ll release the game very early, at the minimal playable state.”

That means people will pay for it, play it, and give feedback from a very early stage, in essence, almost asking like a QA Tester. Kaplan also revealed that Scrolls has a five person development team.

“That sounds like a small team, but it’s very big for us. One thing that means is we’re going to have to outsource art,” he added.

As reported by the Train2Game blog earlier this month, Minecraft for the Xbox 360 IS being developed by Dundee based 4J Studios, and Kaplan says it’ll be quite different to the PC version.

“I don’t think we can have the exact same experience because of the lack of a keyboard, so we’re going to do a complete overhaul of the user interface, and make sure it works on a 360 controller.”

Kaplan also commented on the prospect of Mojang publishing games by other indie studios, something the Train2Game blog revealed the developer was thinking of last month.

“We’re looking for people with a similar structure [to Mojang],” he said. “People who are very passionate about what they’re doing. We’re also looking for games that last longer, and treat games as a service, like Minecraft does.”

“And of course, [they need to have] passion,” he added. “A lot of people join the game industry because of passion, but you should also learn that that’s what it takes to stay there.”

That last statement could describe many Train2Game students who are very passionate about finding work in the games industry.

So Train2Game, what do you think of Scrolls release structure? Will it mirror the success of Minecraft? And will you be jumping in straight away?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Train2Game forum user favourite Minecraft passes 2.5 million sales

Train2Game forum user favourite Minecraft has now passed over 2.5 million sales. The news was confirmed by Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson via Twitter.

“2.5 million sales! That’s as much as Diablo 1 and FarCry, according to Wikipedia.” he said.

The numbers aren’t bad at all for a game that’s still in it’s BETA testing period and, as reported by the Train2Game blog, Minecraft will be getting a full release later this year.

The game will also be appearing on a variety of systems, with the Train2Game blog previously mentioning that Minecraft will be appearing on the Xbox 360 with full Kinect support. The indie smash hit is also heading to smartphones, as reported by the Train2Game blog.

Minecraft is a testament to Train2Game students that you don’t need to be working for a huge studio to be successful in the industry, and that producing indie games could be the way forward.

Yesterday, the Train2Game blog revealed that the 1.7 patch will add Game Design and modding elements to Minecraft.

So Train2Game, why do you think Minecraft has been so successful? Does it inspire you? Are you still playing?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Minecraft developer Mojang open to publishing games by other indie studios

Minecraft is hugely popular on the Train2Game forum, with at the time of writing, the dedicated Minecraft thread almost on its 70th page.  The success of the title thrust indie developer Mojang into the limelight to such an extent they had to hire various extra staff.

This includes business development director Daniel Kaplan who recently spoke exclusively to and revealed a little about what life is like behind the scenes at Mojang.

“We are in a great spot right now, we can basically do whatever we want to. The hardest thing for us right now is to say “no” to all the deals we’re being offered.” Said Kaplan. “There are tonnes of opportunities out there for us right now. But we have to wait it out and figure out what’s the best thing for us to do.

“We get requests every week, it’s quite hard to sort them out, to figure out, okay, this is what we’re going to do. If you take one path then you can’t take the other, you know?”

Kaplan said that Monjang is interested in publishing games by other indie developers – it’s something that many Train2Game students would surely jump at the chance to be a part of if the opportunity ever came up.

“We hope to help people, to keep them involved in the process and create a successful game, to make sure people know about their games so they can create better games later on by themselves. So we’ll see how well we can work that position.”

The idea of helping up and coming games industry talent echoes calls from Peter Molyneux for the industry to offer more support to newcomers, as reported by the Train2Game blog. Molyneux also said that Minecraft is his favourite game of the decade.

Even with the increased in size of Mojang, the developers still feel that working in small teams is the best way to go about creating games. According to Kaplan, just three people are working on new Mojang title Scrolls.

“The biggest team is the Scrolls team, but that’s just three people, it’s still very small. We like to work in small teams, because we believe we can make decisions faster, or have shorter meetings, more creative freedom for the teams. So they’re small but very multitalented.”

And despite finding himself as an icon amongst the gaming community – including with Train2Game students – Minecraft creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson  – is still involved with programming on a full-time basis.

“He’s working full time, he wants a 100 per cent focus on coding. As far as he’s concerned, he doesn’t want to be going to any meetings at all so he can just sit down and code. He’s working 40 hours a week, just like we do, so he’s very active in the company.”

Kaplan added that Mojang are also open to the idea of producing games for consoles.

“We’re always looking for new platforms, and consoles are very interesting for us, obviously. There are huge possibilities for us there. But I try to believe that Minecraft will be looked at just like Doom was. That created the first FPS game, if Minecraft is the first game to start a genre of voxel engine, sand box games, whatever you want to call them, we’ll be really proud of it.”

Minecraft has been downloaded over two million times, and last month the Train2Game blog reported that the full-game will be released in November.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the possibily of Mojang publishing games by other studios? Do you think it’d provide a massive boost for indie developers? And are you pleased to see that despite his success, Notch is still focused on coding?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.