Sunday, 25 November 2012

Minecraft is coming to Raspberry Pi! (With FAQ!)

Yes, Minecraft really is coming to the Raspberry Pi! Ever since the Pi was announced I am fairly sure that one of the most frequently asked questions on the forums has been whether or not it will be able to run Minecraft. There have been numerous attempts to get it running, with oodles of threads created over in the forum.

People have had some success getting the server running, but as far as I am aware running Minecraft itselt has remained frustratingly out of reach. People have suggested porting other similar software (like Minetest) and one enterprising father and son combination has even created their own clone called Blocky which is well worth checking out!

But yesterday changed EVERYTHING, with an official announcement from Mojang that they were bringing Minecraft to Raspberry Pi by porting Minecraft Pocket Edition. This has obviously led to a flurry of interest and excitement in both the Minecraft and Raspberry Pi communities with loads of questions flying back and forth. In order to attempt to answer some of these, allow me to present the Minecraft Pi Edition FAQ!

Minecraft Pi Edition FAQ

What is Minecraft?

Minecraft is a sandbox construction game where you can build anything you can imagine. It also has scary monsters, like creepers who tend to want to destroy what you have built.

If you want to know more, just go to YouTube and type in Minecraft!


What is Minecraft Pi Edition?

Minecraft Pi Edition is a version of Minecraft: Pocket Edition that comes with a revised feature set and support for multiple programming languages.


What is Minecraft Pocket Edition?

Minecraft Pocket Edition is a cut-down version of Minecraft for Android and iOS devices.

The current version of the software concentrates on the creative building and the primitive survival aspect of the game, and does not contain all the features of the PC and Xbox 360 releases. The current release allows for multiplayer across a local wireless network.


How much will it cost?

Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Zero.


Will it have multiplayer?

Unclear at present, although the following comment in the original post on Mojang's website suggest that it will have LAN multiplayer:

"You could organise the cheapest LAN party of all time..."

It's worth noting that the current version of Pocket Edition does support multiplayer across a local wireless network.


What will I be able to do with it?

The possibilities are massive. You could organise the cheapest LAN party of all time, or use the Pi to learn the fundamentals of programming on a miniscule budget. It’s like hacking your way into Minecraft and modifying the game world with code, a bit like being Notch, Jeb, or Nathan, but arguably more fun and less stressful.

You can start by building structures in the traditional Minecraft way, but once you’ve got to grips with the in-game features, there’s opportunity to break open the code and use programming language to manipulate things in the game world. You’ll be learning new skills through Minecraft.


What programming languages will I be able to use?

Not known at present, as soon as more details are available I will update this!

Where can I see it in action?

You can see it in action here!


When will it be released?

"Soon" is all we know at present. The announcement was made on 24 November 2012, and was described as "available to download soon" but specific timescales are not yet known.


Will there be server software?

Not known at present, as soon as more details are available I will update this!

How are they doing 3D in an X Window?

From Daniel Frisk on Twitter: "actually, it's "fake". We check if the win dimensions has changed and if so recreate the glucontext"


I thought Minecraft needed lots of memory? Will I need the 512Mb version of the Raspberry Pi?

Daniel Frisk has said "we'll try to at least run it on the 256"

(It's worth mentioning that my son has an Archos 101 Android tablet that has 256Mb of RAM and that can run Minecraft Pocket Edition. However that's obviously no guarantee that the Pi Edition will also work in 256Mb of RAM.)