Possibly my favorite developer on the Minecraft team (sorry, Notch!) gave an interview to the people who run the official Minecraft forums the other day. If you haven’t seen it, here it is. There’s some good information and clarification about some things that will be included in the Adventure Update. If you follow Jeb on twitter you’ll usually be the first to know when new announcements are made and teasers are leaked.
MCF: When did you first become interested in game development?
Jeb: Not sure actually, but I was very young. I always preferred games that had map editors. I remember a neighbor who had a shoot’em’up game maker for the C64, and I was very envious. I made hundreds of maps for Lode Runner on the old Apple, though.
MCF: What would you say has been your greatest challenge with developing Minecraft?
Jeb: So far most things have been fairly simple, but I’m really struggling with the NPC and dungeons. It’s hard to add new “goals” to Minecraft.
MCF: With or without specifics, have you ever taken inspiration from the community, in regards to development direction?
Jeb: Sure, but I don’t remember anything specific at the moment.
Touching on the 1.8 Adventure Update:
MCF: If you could summarize the overall feel or direction of the Adventure Update in one sentence, what would it be?
Jeb: Exploration, I think.
MCF: Are there any specific features from the update that you can tell us about?
Jeb: You can get beef now.
MCF: Some users have expressed a desire to make things like NPC villages optional – any plans for that?
Jeb: Yes it’s already optional.
MCF: There have been many questions regarding the future of Survival as it exists currently – will it exist in any form after 1.8?
Jeb: I don’t think so.
MCF: If you could pick one thing from the upcoming update as your favorite feature, what would it be?
Jeb: I like the new structures and biomes, because I really enjoy exploring the world. Once we get NPCs working I will probably enjoy trading as well.
MCF: There was a mention about a “roguelike” leveling system recently – any specifics on that?
Jeb: We’ve only spoken loosely about it… It’s on Notch’s table at the moment.
MCF: Are there any details about the new NPCs you can tell us? Will there be factions, alliances, etc?
MCF: Recent screenshots appear to show a hunger bar and what may either be a stamina or XP bar – can you tell us a little bit about that?
Jeb: The food / hunger bar is refilled by eating (which takes 1.6 seconds). If you have 90 % food you will regain health slowly, but if you have 0 % you will lose health instead. The “stamina bar” is the XP bar and shows your progress to the next player level.
MCF: It looks like dungeons will be very different after 1.8, can you tell us a bit about them?
Jeb: The old dungeons still remain, these are just bigger with corridors, doors and stairs.
MCF: Sprinting has been a hot topic with players lately – what can you tell us about that?
Jeb: You sprint by double-tapping forward. It’s quite nice but needs to be better synchronized in multiplayer.
MCF: There have been a few teasers suggesting new mobs (including the elusive Endermen) – what can you tell us about that?
Jeb: Nah I rather not =)