Tag Archives: Minecraft

Watch the ARKit Bring ‘Minecraft’ and a Measuring Tape to Life

Watch the ARKit Bring ‘Minecraft’ and a Measuring Tape to Life

It’s no secret that Apple is betting that AR, and specifically its ARKit, will be a game-changer for the iOS ecosystem, and after seeing some recent examples, I can see why the company is so confident. In the first video, developer Matthew Hallberg shows off his Minecraft [$ 6.99] AR app that lets players place Minecraft blocks in the real world and then proceed to break them just like they would do when playing the actual game. The video shows how easy it is to create whole Minecraft worlds using ARKit in a way that makes them believable and immersive. Pay attention to how the lights he places interact with the blocks; it’s pretty cool. I can see for instance people making Minecraft mazes for a kid’s birthday party.

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In addition to making gaming applications, developers are also using ARKit to create applications that offer all kinds of extremely useful every-day tools. For instance, the video below shows off an extremely accurate AR measuring tape that you can use to measure objects and spaces in your environment. While this measuring tape might look like a simple little thing, think about all the tools that can easily be replaced through accurate AR, and also think of how many times you had to look for that silly measuring tape just to quickly see if what you’re buying from Amazon will actually fit in your house. And keep in mind that the ARKit is still in beta and has been out for barely a few weeks.

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And there’s an even cooler application of the accuracy of ARKit when combined with Minecraft; designing real buildings for public spaces. You might not remember this story, but last year the United Nations announced that it’s utilizing Minecraft to allow communities to design new public spaces in places like East Jerusalem and Africa. With ARKit, projects like those can be done on the actual spaces they will end up occupying, further engaging communities and blurring the digital and the real world. I’m very excited to see what else developers can come up with once ARKit is out in the wild and once the iPhone 8?with its purported AR focus?releases. Any ideas for any great applications?

[via MacRumors]

‘Minecraft’ ‘Better Together’ Update Bringing Stained Glass, Books, and Banners

‘Minecraft’ ‘Better Together’ Update Bringing Stained Glass, Books, and Banners

Most of you probably know that the Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$ 6.99] Better Together update will add cross-platform servers and graphical upgrades to the game, but it will also add plenty of other fun features as it strives for parity between versions. Three of those features that will be added to the game are stained glass, books, and banners, with the first two being the most fun of the three. Banners are crafted from wool, can be placed either on the ground or on walls, and they make for fun decorations when you’re making medieval-themed builds. Books and quills let you create books that you can add text to and are great for adventure maps.

The most exciting feature though is by far stained glass, decorative variants of regular glass blocks that let you create fantastic buildings. They come with a ton of different colors and also let you change Beacon colors. I’m pretty sure builders will be very excited for this one. What other features are you hoping to see in the Better Together update?

‘Minecraft: Pocket Edition’ Servers Will Greatly Expand How You Play the Game

‘Minecraft: Pocket Edition’ Servers Will Greatly Expand How You Play the Game

You probably know by now that Microsoft has announced that Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$ 6.99] will become just Minecraft and will have cross-play with all other platforms using the bedrock engine. The other new feature that’s been announced is servers coming to mobile, which will greatly expand how you can play the game. In a video and blog post published today, Microsoft offered a few more details on how the servers will work. First a necessary clarification: Realms and Servers are a different thing. Realms are private, cloud-hosted worlds hosted by Microsoft that you have to pay to run. Servers, on the other hand, are community-owned and are open to everyone who wants to join.

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The servers will be offering activities like co-op exploration, PvP game modes, competitive builds, and more. I do share the concerns of many that going into a PvP fight against someone with a mouse and keyboard will be most probably a death sentence, but, as you’ll hear in the video, the server owners are trying to find modes and ways to play that will level the playing field. Are you interested in joining these servers once they become available later this summer?

Cross-Platform ‘Minecraft’ Play Coming in ‘Better Together Update’, Includes Massive Community Servers and Improved Visuals

Cross-Platform ‘Minecraft’ Play Coming in ‘Better Together Update’, Includes Massive Community Servers and Improved Visuals

Huge news out of E3 right now as Mojang and Microsoft just announced that Minecraft [$ 6.99] is going fully cross-platform in an update called Better Together, coming this summer. All of the Minecraft versions will be unified (so forget the Minecraft: Pocket Edition name, all will be called Minecraft), which means you’ll be able to play with every other Minecraft player regardless of platform choice, and that’s pretty huge. Keep in mind, though, that the Java version won’t be included in this move. And Mojang mentioned that it will include massive servers that you’ll be able to join in-game. The service will launch with four servers?Lifeboat, Mineplex, InPVP, and Cubecraft?with more to follow.

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Finally, we are also getting a huge free update to the visuals (which you don’t have to use if you don’t want to) that will bring improved lighting, shadows, water effects, and more. This is a huge move by Microsoft and one that will continue to move the various Minecraft versions towards feature parity. I’m very excited by this move because uniting the Minecraft world into one huge server of sorts is a fantastic idea. What do you all think?

‘Minecraft: Story Mode’ Season 2 Premieres on July 11th

‘Minecraft: Story Mode’ Season 2 Premieres on July 11th

Telltale and Mojang have announced that there’s a second season of Minecraft: Story Mode [Free], and the first episode is going to premiere on July 11th. Surprise! This will continue the story of Jesse (played by Patton Oswalt or Catherine Taber depending on your customization choice), after the Wither Storm was vanquished in the first season. Jesse and crew are more famous after those events, and then Jesse gets their hand stuck in a creepy gauntlet. Things escalate from there, an underwater temple plays a role, and a llama gets involved.

While the full cast has yet to be revealed, there will be more cameos from popular video personalities, with episode 1, “Hero in Residence,” featuring Stampy Cat and stacyplays as cameos. Telltale is including the Crowd Play feature that they’ve used in events before. This way, if you’re playing on console or desktop, you can start up a Crowd Play game and have local players help decide the choices in the game. Hopefully this can be launched from the mobile versions at some point…Apple TV, AirPlay mirroring, and HDMI adapters exist! “Hero in Residence” will hit all platforms on July 11th.






Best iPhone Game Updates: ‘Minecraft’, ‘Stickman Skate Battle’, ‘King Rabbit’, ‘RayForce’, and More

Best iPhone Game Updates: ‘Minecraft’, ‘Stickman Skate Battle’, ‘King Rabbit’, ‘RayForce’, and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It’s time once again for our look back at the most noteworthy updates of the last seven days. Lots of good stuff to pick from, but I think I’ve found a bag of excellent updates we can mostly agree on. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper Social [Free], the watchlist in the TouchArcade App [Free], or by participating in the TouchArcade forums, but this weekly summary is here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let’s dig in!

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Minecraft: Pocket Edition

Minecraft: Pocket Edition, $ 6.99 Minecraft got a relatively major update in the last week, adding the Marketplace to the game among other things. Also added were llamas, forest mansions, illagers, cartographers you can trade with for treasure maps, and shulker boxes. Concrete and glazed terracotta blocks are now in the game, and to top it all off, there’s a Skyrim mash-up pack available. Probably the least-buggy Skyrim experience ever!

King Rabbit

King Rabbit, Free Do you love King Rabbit? Have you already finished off all of the levels introduced in the Emerald Collection? Well, worry not. There’s another pack of levels ready to go in the form of the Ruby Collection. Pick up the $ 1.99 IAP to get a whole bunch of tricky new levels to romp through. If the developer keeps at this long enough, we might one day see a Musgravite Collection. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Crazy Taxi

Crazy Taxi, Free What a mess this situation ended up being. Crazy Taxi got a nice update that brought it up to modern spec last week, but it also went free with ads. In the past, SEGA has been reliable for two things when this kind of thing happens. One, completely screwing up the messaging and initial delivery for previous paying customers. Two, eventually making it right, and that’s what happened this time. First it had ads, then it didn’t. Then it needed to be online, but now it doesn’t. In the end, if you bought the game before, you should be fine now. And if you didn’t, you can still IAP your way into the old paid set-up.

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RayForce

RayForce, $ 4.99 Taito seems to be taking a renewed interest in their mobile gaming line-up of late. The most recent effort sees the excellent shooter RayForce get its first update in almost a half-decade. In addition to major performance improvements, the game also supports MFi controllers and larger iPhone screen sizes. It also has a new music track courtesy of Shohei Tsuchiya from Zuntata. An update for RayStorm will follow in the lead-up to this summer’s launch of RayCrisis. That’s good enough for this week’s UMMSMotW award, I think!

Phoenix II

Phoenix II, Free Speaking of awesome updates to equally-awesome shoot-em-ups, here’s Phoenix 2 with some good stuff you’re sure to love. A classic ship from Phoenix HD, the Corsair, has been added to the game. It features a Rocket Pod, a Missile Swarm, and a Tracking Minigun in its arsenal. The old world of Ceres Major is the latest setting for blasting action, while those who fail and don’t want to continue can now hammer away at the screen to make the timer count down more quickly. There will be one more update of a similar size to this later this month, followed by the giant 3.0 update in July when the game hits its first anniversary. I don’t know about you, friends, but I’m looking forward to it!

Subway Surfers

Subway Surfers, Free Ah, Subway Surfers. Wherever I go, there you are. But also, wherever you go, there I am. With updates notes, that is. The Surfers are making their way through Peru this time around, so hop on your Tumi board and try to unlock the new Poncho outfit for Carlos. You can also get some nice rewards by collecting Inca statues, which are apparently just all over the place in South America? Not sure. I’m not really good about places where there’s no hockey.

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Vainglory

Vainglory, Free You’re so Vainglory, you probably think this entry’s about you. Oh wait, it is. Um, some new skins! Good luck with those. Perhaps more importantly, a new feature called Talents have been added to the Brawl-flavored gameplay modes. These are special abilities that you can find and use to give yourself the edge in battle. I’m guess these unbalance the game quite a bit, because they’re not accessible in the classic MOBA modes of Vainglory. Do the thing you have to do, friends.

Hearthstone

Hearthstone, Free Mmm, it’s one of those updates that has a bunch of things that I think players will appreciate but will be almost indecipherable to those who don’t play it. Deck importing! Golden card stacking in decklists! Being able to complete quests with friends all the time! A new card back! And much, much more! I can only guess at the significance of some of these things, because playing RPGs all the time means no time for card games like this one. But App Store reviews never lie, except when they do, and they say this update continues the game’s streak of being the bee’s pajamas.

Shooty Skies - Endless Arcade Flyer

Shooty Skies – Endless Arcade Flyer, Free Okay, so there seems to be some special daily missions now where you can get gold versions of existing pilots. They are gold so of course you have to covet them. On top of that, there are ten new pilots, six of which are standard and four of which are secret. They are secret so of course you have to covet them. Finally, there are new mission objectives, a new boss, some new terrain, and a new shield thing that you do not have to covet if you do not want.

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Stickman Skate Battle

Stickman Skate Battle, Free The latest Stickman sports game puts the familiar characters in a skate park to do their sticky, sporty thing. That… that sounds dirtier than I intended. Anyway, these games are always pretty popular, and this one seems to be no exception. The latest update adds some new skaters and boards to the mix, along with bug fixes and other improvements. Bacon in the pan!

The Sandbox Evolution - Craft a 2D Pixel Universe

The Sandbox Evolution – Craft a 2D Pixel Universe, Free Another month sees another add-on for The Sandbox Evolution. For $ 2.99, you can pick up the Brainiac Pack, which apparently allows you to build some rather complex and advanced contraptions. The pack comes with seven new textures you can use to make your new stuff, and two new campaigns that will show you the ropes of using the Brainiac.

Real Racing 3

Real Racing 3, Free It’s time once again for Le Mans, where you can take a Mazda 787B to the track in an attempt to win fame and glory. This update also adds an improved Porsche 911 RSR that you can win in the Rennsport Redefined event, returning events from the past such as Scuderia Ferrari Championship and Retro Rivals, and some limited time series with sweet rides as the prizes. You could win the Jaguar XJR-9, the Porsche 962C, and Caterham Seven. You probably won’t, mind you. But you could. And that makes all the difference, apparently.

That about wraps it up for last week’s significant updates. I’m sure I’ve missed some, though, so please feel free to comment below and let everyone know if you think something should be mentioned. As usual, major updates will likely get their own news stories throughout this week, and I’ll be back next Monday to summarize and fill in the blanks. Have a great week!

‘Minecraft PE’ 1.1 Discovery Update Is Out, Adds Minecraft Marketplace, Skyrim Pack, Woodland Mansions, and More

‘Minecraft PE’ 1.1 Discovery Update Is Out, Adds Minecraft Marketplace, Skyrim Pack, Woodland Mansions, and More

It’s finally here, ladies and gentlemen; the Minecraft Pocket Edition [$ 6.99] Discovery Update, or 1.1, has gone live. This update is packed with content that will change the way you play the game. First of all, the new update has added the Minecraft Marketplace, an expansion to the existing store that has added 14 pieces of content: six worlds, two survival spawns, two texture packs, and four skin packs. These should offer hours of ready-made entertainment for a pretty low price. The Worlds are huge builds with their own storylines, texture packs, and objectives that transform the way you play the game. Survival Spawns are builds that you can use as your survival games’ base.

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In addition to the Marketplace, the 1.1 Discovery Update adds Woodland Mansions, which come with the new Cartographer villager who gives you treasure maps, and Illagers, evil villagers ready to take you out. There are also Shulker Boxes, Llamas, dyeable beds, and new enchantments. And the game is adding a third gameplay mode, Adventure Mode, that will let you make and play custom games and scenarios. Finally, we also got a Skyrim Mash-up pack that adds a ton of skins, a texture pack, and a whole world. So, go enjoy all the new toys!

‘Minecraft Marketplace’ Interview With John Thornton, Realms Executive Producer, and James Delaney, Founder of Blockworks

‘Minecraft Marketplace’ Interview With John Thornton, Realms Executive Producer, and James Delaney, Founder of Blockworks

With Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$ 6.99] officially getting the big Minecraft Marketplace addition, we wanted to talk to the developers to get an insight look about how the whole idea came about, how they went about implementing it, what obstacles they encountered (if any), and more. So, I got to talk to John Thornton, Executive Producer of Minecraft Realms, and James Delaney, the Founder of Blockworks. I’m sure most Minecraft PE players will be happy to have access to all this new content, but let me know in the comments what you think about the Minecraft Marketplace.

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Let’s talk about the game in general briefly and then we’ll shift to talk about the Minecraft Marketplace. What is the updating process? How do you decide what should be in the next update?

John: We’re a pretty collaborative team, so we work together to see what the roadmap should be. We also look at what the community is asking for and combine that with what’s technically feasible and what we’re currently focusing on to come up with what the next set of features should be. Obviously in the Minecraft Pocket Edition space, we’re looking a lot towards what’s happening in Java, and we are also coming up with entirely new things, like the work we’ve just done with Add-ons, where we’ve just launched the ability to use them to change the movements of characters in the game. We want to have things like that on mobile [since] it’s a completely different platform that needs to be thought of completely differently. So, a whole range of activities happen before we figure out what’s next, and it’s really fun and exciting to be part of that process.

Which features are really hard to bring over from the PC version?

John: There are things that are hard to do technically and things that are hard to do with a user experience that’s going to work well on the touch devices. One interesting challenge that we had with the Pocket Edition is the range of hardware, from low-end phones to PCs, different input formats, VR, AR. One of the trickiest things to do is anything that involves inputs, like Dual wielding; we have to figure out how are we going to do that for touch users, how to make that work really well. It takes a lot of time to try and figure those things and make sure we get something that works really well.

 

Yes, dual wielding would be hard to do on a touchscreen.

John: We’re still working through that, That’s something we’re playing around in the studio. We’re going to try a few things and we’ll find something that will work.

 

Moving to the big news of the day, how did the idea of the Minecraft Marketplace come about? Have you been thinking about it for a long time, or is it a recent idea?

John: It’s something we’ve been contemplating for a long time. The first store in PE showed up a little over two years ago. Prior to that we obviously had the store in the console edition. We knew there was an appetite for content, [but] we were surprised by well the first skins did. Then we started selling texture packs, and more recently we started selling worlds within our store. Every time we would bring a new piece of content online, we would see more people engaging with our store and the content there. The idea of the Marketplace started many years ago when we started thinking about how to add more variety and things that would connect the creative community directly to the players.

Our vision here is a creator-player connected community where creators like James (of Blockworks) can be discovered. If you think about the problems that exist in the creator ecosystem today, the biggest trouble for someone like James from Blockworks is to find an audience where they can connect directly to the players on mobile devices. Trying to get a world onto a mobile device, trying to copy a user created texture pack to a mobile device, it’s kind of challenging. You have to plug in a cable or go to a PC. So we wanted to shortcut all of that and provide a way that’s easy to get content on the devices, discover the latest and greatest stuff out there, and it’s something that allows James as a creator and any of the creators to hopefully build a business where they can create more and more content so we have a pipeline of content.

Who approached who? Did the devs go to the content creators, or was it a collaborative idea?

John: We reached to various content creators very early on in the process and asked them if we did this, how would you want it to work, what would you prefer, what would be the key things you care about, trying to establish a set of goals of what would resonate with our players and what would be good for our creators.

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James, and reservations about the platform?

James: From our perspective everyone wins. We get a platform from which we can build a viable business, the Minecraft team gets great content, and the players have access to that content.

Who decides what’s going to be added to the store? How much guidance and freedom do the creators have from the Minecraft Team?

John: It’s a conversation. We work with them to figure out what kinds of things they want to bring. From there they have a lot of creative freedom on what they’ll make; we basically ask that they follow some guidelines?they need to make content that’s appropriate and thinking about the audience being on touchscreen. We expect the content to be complete and playable, but from there on the art style, the way they want to go about it, that’s really up to them. We want them to be creative, we aren’t asking them or prescribing that they do specific things. We didn’t go and ask “please make a Pirate map.” They came to us with that idea. So, we want to give them a lot of creative freedom and have them create content that’s appropriate for our audience.

How did you decide which content creators to include, and are you planning to expand in the future?

John: Yes, we’ll definitely expand in the future. we’ll probably expand at a fairly measured pace, we are working with ones we have a relationship with. We sometimes talk daily with some of the creators. It’s important for us to scale in a way where we can maintain that kind of relationship with the creator. We started with nine creators, which was roughly our goal, [and] we wanted creators who were already established in the community, people already making great content and people who were working on Minecraft as a livelihood, people who were doing this professionally. If you look at the list, it’s already people from the community, if you’re an experienced Java player, you’ll recognize most if not all of the names.

That’s how we started. it wasn’t easy to pick the people to start with, but we had to start somewhere. We wanted to start with the smallest subset [so] that we could do this in a controlled way because we are doing something that’s never been done before, we’ve never had a store like this before, we never had Minecraft coins before, there’s a bunch of legal and business and a number of other discussions that had to happen to get this thing off the ground. We didn’t want to do that with 50 people. From here we will expand, so we expect to add new creators every month.

The payment model seems to be quite fair for the creators as they seem to be getting quite a big chunk of the revenue.

John: That was very important for us. We always wanted to be fair and enable others to make a living through our platform, so we wanted to give the majority of the profits we make back to the creators so that they can continue to create new content for us. It was very important to us and very intentional.

I see there are four categories: skin packs, worlds, mash up packs, and texture packs. Are there any other categories in the works?

John: That’s everything we’re going to do at launch. I can’t speak to the future, we may open up new areas in the future but right now we are going with these.

James, if you could see the future, one year from now how do you see the Marketplace being and how do you see your role in it?

James: It’s hard to tell because this is a new and experimental thing and it’s hard to predict. We hope we’ll be able to focus on the best quality content that we can, and we hope it’s a solid and viable business for us. It would obviously be great to have more partners on-board because that will create competition and will keep us on our toes and make sure our content is as good as it can be. I think that will be healthy for everyone.

What about you, John, where do you see the Marketplace in a year?
John: My hope is we have a bunch of features in the Marketplace to make it easy for customers to connect with content, and we have continued to increase the number of creators in the marketplace.

How did you decide how much to charge for each piece of content?

John: The actual prices are decided by the content creators. They decide how much profit they want to make and that decides the price. We try to have things at the same prices that we are selling content at right now. We think they are really affordable for our players and provide a lot of value, which are our goals: affordable to the average player and providing value. So, we shared that data with the creators and advised them on where we think the prices should be, but at the end of the day it’s up to the creators to decide on the price. We do have some boundaries on how expensive things can be, and in the most part we haven’t had any problems.
Final Question: Do you have a plan about the next update after 1.1?

John: Post 1.1 we will continue to make investments in many areas, including gameplay, Add-ons and the Minecraft Marketplace. Specifically for the Marketplace, we will continue to onboard new partners and improve the store infrastructure. We are very excited to see what the community creators are going to deliver as well.
Thank you very much for the interview and good luck with the Marketplace!

‘Minecraft Stickers’ Will Let You Add a Creeper To Every Conversation

‘Minecraft Stickers’ Will Let You Add a Creeper To Every Conversation

Message Stickers are an interesting idea that Apple is still pushing, although I’m not sure how popular they are, especially game-specific ones. However, when Mojang and Microsoft make Minecraft Stickers [$ 1.99], I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say many gamers are going to grab them. These animated Minecraft stickers bring to your phone all kinds of Minecraft creatures, from disgruntled creepers to Zombies knocking on doors to pigs in minecarts. And there are also exploding TNT, a poor, rejected iron golem, a pet wolf, a sad ghast, and many, many more.

While not everyone will go for them, I’d surprised if these stickers don’t find their way to many phones, especially since they are a great way to describe your Minecraft adventures. The sticker pack costs $ 1.99 and is available now.

‘Minecraft PE’ Discovery Update Trailer Shows the New Features – Update Coming Soon

‘Minecraft PE’ Discovery Update Trailer Shows the New Features – Update Coming Soon

I’ve been “patiently” waiting to play the new Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$ 6.99] Discovery update, and it looks like I won’t have much longer to wait. According to the latest tweet, the update is coming “soon,” although we all know that the word “soon” is a relative one in the world of gaming. More importantly, though, we got the first trailer for the Discovery Update, and it’s a fun one. The trailer shows off the whole journey to the woodland mansion, with your trusted llamas by your side, and much more that you can tease out of the trailer if you’re observant. Look for things like glazed terracotta and the Totem of Undying, for instance.

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Although the trailer doesn’t show it, we are also getting the Minecraft Marketplace when the Discovery Update hits, which is also very exciting since it will bring a ton of content to the game. I don’t know when the update will hit, but I have a feeling it’s not too far away.