Minecraft surpasses three-million in sales, talks XBLA beta
On the same day that Minecraft hit three-million in sales—and keep in mind it's still in beta— Develop Magazine published an interview with designer Markus Persson in which the Swedish developer talked about the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade version of the game.
Mojang, Persson's own studio, has contracted out the development effort to Scottish game maker 4J, which is intending to handle the game's Xbox 360 release in a fashion similar to its PC forerunner. The team is apparently planning a beta—no word on whether it will be open or closed—to figure out what people enjoy doing so they can tailor the experience to console gamers.
Some key elements under scrutiny for the Xbox release: How to make crafting fun using a gamepad, how to implement Kinect control, and how to allow mods without, as Persson puts it, "breaking the system."
Expect more on Minecraft for Xbox Live Arcade this winter. In the meantime, the game's superfans can register for MineCon in Las Vegas, which will take place in November to coincide with the PC release.
Source: Develop Online
Former Rockstar Creative Director chats up new hot-button project: 1979: The Game
An article posted on CNN Thursday provides tantalizing details about a game that is destined to generate a few headlines. 1979: The Game will provide an open-world experience exploring Iran's Islamic Revolution from the perspective of several playable characters, including an American/Iranian translator and a student demonstrator.
You don't have to be a historian to know this is a project fraught with the prickliest of narrative thorns. Luckily, the game's creative direction is being handled by a man ideally suited to tell this particular story: Former Rockstar Games developer Navid Khonsari. The Iranian-born game maker actually lived in Iran during the events that the game is set to depict before eventually fleeing to Canada with his family.
"I want people to understand the incredible moral ambiguity of this story, that this was a country with many different ideas and beliefs," said Mr. Khonsari in the CNN piece. "Growing up in Iran when I did, I saw Iranians in the greatest light, and I saw them in the worst light."
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, then, at the game's tagline: "There are no good guys."
Google rolls out Google+ Games
Given the immense popularity of games on Facebook, everyone knew Google would introduce games to its (surprisingly popular) social media network, and it turns out they have come sooner rather than later. The Web giant announced via its blog on Thursday that Google+ Games was in the process of being rolled out to the service's millions of registered users.
In an attempt to distinguish its social gaming experience from that of its competitor, Google is providing a high level of control over just how large—or small—a role games play in the Google+ experience.
"That means giving you control over when you see games, how you play them and with whom you share your experiences," states Google's Vic Gundotra in the blog post. "Games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don't."
I've yet to see the games button pop up at the top of my stream, but I'll report back here once I've had a chance to check out Google+ Games for myself.
Source: Google Blog