Notch on Game Development
Minecraft is awesome and everyone should play it – there I said it.
One of the things that makes Minecraft so appealing is how Notch (the main brain behind the game) and the rest of the team at Mojang engage with their community. They are active on Reddit and elsewhere, but what caught my eye recently was a blog post of Notch’s.
Notch mentions that he spent the weekend coding, which is not the most fun thing to be doing during the weekend, but he finds some joy in it. He then goes on to mention that what he was working on had some unexpected side-effects that inspired more game development.
I really enjoy how open he is to acknowledging the serendipitous things that occur while fumbling along designing a game.
Here’s the part I’m referring to:
I was exploring a forest biome, hit upon a river cutting through it, and walked over a small hill. On the other side, a wolf was chasing a sheep, but the sheep was running away. I didn’t have this in mind when I wrote the code to make mobs flee, but it ended up giving me an unexpected experience of having some kind of echo system of competing behaviors in various animals, and it just felt.. nice. It made me realize we should explore more mob to mob interactions, and have more chaotic competing behavior.