The Journey of a Minecrafter

The Journey of a Minecrafter

Most of you probably think you've been playing Minecraft for quite some time. You're probably saying "6 months is a long time!", but if you take it into perspective, it really isn't. I've been playing Minecraft for about a year and ten months, now. I've watched it grow from the beginning, and seen it change drastically over time. There was once a time when even water and lava were not in Minecraft. No trees, forests, lakes, or even caves. The only 'mob' that existed was simply named 'mob' and could be spawned by hitting 'G'.

May 22, 2009 - The day the IRC channel was started. I wasn't in there until a few days later, but I have very fond memories of the channel back then. It was just a small group of people, including Notch. We would all be talking of Minecraft, as well as other things. But surprisingly, mostly Minecraft(which is the opposite of what the channel is today, really). Notch would answer questions, take advice, ask for suggestions, and all that sort of thing. That's the kind of interaction that made Minecraft grow, in my opinion. If that had never happened, nobody would have really spread word of Minecraft. Nothing really compares to those days, where the community was so small and well knit together.

June 2009 was an incredible month, to say the least. The first versions of creative multiplayer were released, and multiple small communities had started. I really only ever played on one server at that time, which was the GamingSteve server. Very little people know that Gauphastus was the one to convince Notch to add coloured cloth blocks, as seen [here]. That's literally how small(and completely awesome) the community was back then. This month was also the time when Notch actually set up some forums, which didn't last long, and the Minecraft Forums came into existance(but I won't get into how that turned out...).

The day Minecraft went on sale - I didn't buy it. Not because I didn't love the game, but because I didn't have the money on Paypal at the time. Even back then, PayPal was giving Notch some heck, just two days after pre-orders had become available. Gauphastus was the first person I had seen with a custom skin, as he bought it quite literally minutes after it became available for sale. It seemed so incredible to be able to have a custom skin at the time. He had a red shirt while we all had our blue shirts! That quickly changed though, as I picked up the game around June 22.

July passed rather quickly, Minecraft hitting 1000 sales. Notch also talked about his development process at the time, an excerpt below. A lot has changed with this, too.

Then I start up the IRC client. I start IRC last because otherwise I have a tendency of getting stuck in there.Usually, I know what I want to do that night/session and get started on that. When I don’t, I check features.txt. I say hi on irc and check if there’s anything urgent going on I should know about.

August of 2009 may very well be one of the most important months in Minecraft's history. It's also when everything for me had completely changed. This is mainly due to the fact that World of Minecraft, arguably Minecraft's largest community/fansite, had launched. I found it simply through somebody linking the server on IRC, and I was instantly hooked. Custom servers back then, believe it or not, were not common. It was almost something unheard of. The anti-griefing on the World of Minecraft server was quite literally the absolute best at the time.

There's also the entire controversial side of World of Minecraft, as well. What I'm speaking of is the custom client wrapper, which was more known as 'hacks'. It allowed you to fly, noclip, and move around rather quickly. Some people took it with praise, and others the complete opposite. Verbal battles on IRC were not uncommon when it came to this issue. Due to the fact that I was a part of World of Minecraft, I had to endure all of the hate, anger, and frustration that people had towards us. This in itself almost made me leave the Minecraft community entirely for the first time, but in the end I did not.

As the following months went by, things continued as they had. It slowed down as time went on, though, thankfully. This was mainly due to the fact that survival was being worked on and people were playing early versions of it rather than creative. That, for me, was a major relief. It meant I could actually enjoy the game for the first time in months, without the constant hatred on the community I was a part of.

Around the start of 2010, I was just having a bad day at one point. I was just fed up with all of the WoM drama(it slowed down, yes, but did not stop), plus I was sick(nothing worse than that!). This, for one reason or another, led to me getting mad at Notch over twitter. That would be linked here, but since then I've tweeted about 3000+ times and going through that to find 4 tweets is just not easy. I apologized soon after, feeling like a complete idiot. This helped me realize how all of these people saying "Notch, you're bad!", "Notch, you did this wrong", and things like "Notch, why isn't X feature out yet!?" made Notch feel. It doesn't help at all, and if anything, it demoralizes him(and now Mojang as well). If you're one of those who say that sort of thing, please keep that in mind.

The following months went by surprisingly without much trouble. We saw the passing of indev and infdev, in all their glory. For those new, those were basically precursor versions to what survival is today. On June 29, 2010, the first downloadable client for Minecraft(and an actual version titled 'alpha') were released. The months following that were simply filled with new features. Secret friday updates still existed back then, leaving people to wonder what would be added each Friday. Sadly, today, those are non-existant.The good thing is, though, half of the new features in updates are still 'secret' and we're left to find them, so the fun is not lost(the term 'secret friday updates' was just much more fun).

Survival multiplayer. It was released on August 4, 2010, and is quite possibly the biggest and most important feature of Minecraft. It actually had some closed testing. I was a part of that testing, and I must say, it was incredibly broken at first. There were very little things you could actually do, and the lag was terrible(though that might've just been Notch's computer). The second test went much better, holding more people with little lag. I built a house that day, and I also broke ez's windows(I didn't know glass didn't let you pick it up after breaking!). I also puked out much slime during that test(due to the fact /give was being tested). The third, and possibly the largest(and best, for a time) test went rather well. The server was quite stable, and we were allowed to give the IP out to 2-3 of our friends. Of course, it ended in the inevitable. Somebody leaked it and the server was on and off crashing, as well as being full. I'll never forget 'pirate cove'.

Again, for a short while, things were 'quiet'. Features released, bugs fixed, things moved on. Minecraft was growing faster and faster, potentially due to a post on the TF2 blog back in July 2010. Another 'major' update came on October 30, 2010. This, of course, is the halloween update. It brought the 'Nether', among many things. This was an entirely new dimension--why am I explaining this, it's in the game! The update also brought zombie pigmen! The skin was made by a friend of mine,X__x, which is an altered version of the pigman skin which I made. I could write an entire article about pigmen, but I won't(unless you want me to, comment below!).

And that's where I'm going to leave this article off, for now! Around half a year down the line from now, I'll write another article much like this, but covering November 2010 until the time I write that post. If you're wondering why exactly I wrote this, I'm not even sure. I was just looking through some old pictures/files and found a lot of old things, and I just felt like writing. I didn't want to go incredibly into detail on everything, or this would literally be the size of a small novel.

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