Minecraft Unofficial Guide by Chris Boots-Faubert for SuperCheats.com
The guide on these pages are primarily intended for the standard version of Minecraft, if you are looking for a guide to Minecraft: Pocket Edition, then follow this link: http://www.supercheats.com/walkthrough/minecraft-pocket-edition
Minecraft is an extremely addictive game in which the player's imagination and creativity are widely rewarded... This is the simple answer to the question: What is Minecraft?
When you read about the game on most websites or ask gamers who are fans to describe the game to you, the most basic definition of Minecraft you will read and hear is that it is a sandbox-style game of building, survival, and adventure that was envisioned and created by the Swedish code-wizard Markus "Notch" Persson, and is now sold by his company, Mojang with versions for PC and some mobile platforms, and a version for Microsoft's Xbox 360 released in 2012.
No, seriously, LEGO Minecraft - visit the official Minecraft Store and Believe!
A variation of the simple answer I heard from a gamer while I was covering the SecureWorld Expo for work was this: "Minecraft is LEGO for adults!" There is more truth to that than fiction, because in the end for a lot of gamers that is precisely what Minecraft is, and particularly for players who prefer the Creative Mode of game play over Survival Mode.
A more complicated answer to the question of just what is Minecraft requires us to ask yet another question: Have you ever heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? This question has far more significance than it might seem, because the answer represents the entire infrastructure of the game philosophy and easily explains why it is as popular as it is.
Abraham Harold Maslow was an American professor of psychology who taught at a number of impressive schools, including Brandeis University, and Columbia University, and also happens to be the man who created Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs -- which if you think about it worked out really well since you know, it was named after him and all...
Abraham Maslow -- Father of Modern Management Psychology
His paper "A Theory of Human Motivation" (written and published in 1943) described his ideas about human developmental psychology, describing the stages of growth in humans. This is really significant because among other things, while Maslow used terms like Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, and Self-Actualization needs to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through, when you break this down to its core components -- and use a pyramid to depict them which, interestingly, Maslow never did -- you generally see them laid out as follows (with the most important at the bottom):
Self-Actualization: Morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving.
Esteem: Self-esteem, confidence, respect of self, respect by others.
Love / Belonging: Friendship, family, sexual intimacy.
Safety: Security of person, resources, morality, the family, health, property.
Physiological: Breathing, shelter, personal safety, food, water, sex, sleep.
First we should point out that McDonald's is nowhere on that list, and second, that sex appears in several places, but more important than that, the list begins not at the top but at the bottom -- and the world of Minecraft (minus the sex sadly) is the perfect laboratory to simulate the base for Maslow's hierarchy of needs! That alone makes this one of the most brilliant games ever conceived, because in its simplicity it is an elegant hack that just happens to nail all but one of those base needs to a "T" it does.
Minecraft as a game focuses upon creativity and building, using a variety of textured cubes within its 3D world to allow gamers to create, build, and experiment by finding and using the resources that exist in that world.
Originally it included only the single-player survival mode, but as it approaches its next commercial release on the Xbox 360 LIVE Arcade platform, the game has expanded to include three well-defined modes: Survival, Creative, and Hardcore Survival -- with the third mode basically consisting of the Survival mode but locked on the highest difficulty, and having real consequences for dying in the game.
Markus "Notch" Persson, Creator of Minecraft
In Survival mode, the player must construct their own shelter and obtain food to stay alive, while in Creative mode the emphasis is simply to make things -- and when we say make things we do not mean boats, houses, or castles, but THINGS. Devices, contraptions, pig-flinging canon, you name it! The sky is the limit! Literally!
Another interesting aspect of the gaming world and experience that is to be found here is that for the most part it is a game whose fun is created by the gamer -- that is to say that there is no real set way to play it -- it is not a rail-based game, and there is no right way to play. Having said that, gamers who are new to the world of Minecraft will find this guide to be indispensable, because within it you will find the basic information, tips, and tricks as well as pointers towards a more advanced play -- from obtaining the ability to survive to really thriving in this world of basics.
The alpha version of the game was released on May 17th, 2009, and its beta version followed on December 20th, 2010 -- emerging from beta on November 18th, 2011, and quickly gaining wide commercial support from the gaming community that has grown up around it.
Minecraft is available on multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Linux, Mac OSX, Microsoft Windows, Xperia Play, with a commercial release scheduled on the Xbox 360 console some time in 2012. In addition to the installation-versions, there is also a web-based version that can be played from any browser as long as you own a game license and login.
That tells you all that you need to know -- and now it is time to go out and buy a copy, register it, and create your login -- at the main screen, create a new world in survival mode and tell the game to construct it -- and once it has done that, it is time to play Minecraft.
The Arch-Nemesis and Vision from Our Nightmares
As you can tell from the by-line, the Unofficial SuperCheats Guide to Minecraft was written as a collaboration between Peter Boots-Faubert, and CM Boots-Faubert. While Chris played the game for the purposes of writing this guide, Peter is a fan of the game, and has been playing it since the release of the second beta version. The game version used for the creation of this guide is the full retail version for Windows PC, played without any mods or added content.
The vast body of the guide was written by Peter, but because it was created through play of the PC version, and because the PC version is at present the dominant version, it was written with a heavy emphasis upon the strategies and play that apply to that version of the game. This was an error that was not caught until the guide was mostly completed, and passed on to Chris to be edited.
The realization that the guide was narrowly structured for the PC version presented something of a quandary because the purpose of this guide in addition to serving as a useful and entertaining reference source for the PC version, is also to serve as the core resource for gamers playing the Xbox 360 version of the game. This is important because while the original PC version of the game is widely popular and enjoys an incredible following among PC gamers, it is one of a handful of PC games whose cross-over appeal convinced console gamers to play it on PC -- though among that community there are plenty of gamers who have vocally pointed out that they are just waiting for the console version of the game to arrive.
A prediction of the future for Xbox Gamers
That being the case, the discovery that the guide was not structured to allow for the easy integration of and expansion for the console version (Mojang has confirmed that the only version of the game for console play will be on the Xbox 360) the decision was made on the literal day that the guide was supposed to be submitted for publication to recast it completely -- so we tore it apart and rebuilt it in its present form in order to make updating and expanding it later a more workable process.
Having said all of that it behooves us to point out that this fact notwithstanding, our recasting the guide to make the integration of the console version a major element of its focus in no way detracts from its value to players of the PC (Windows and Linux) and mobile versions (and we do plan to expand the content that applies specifically to the mobile versions later).
Some of the versions are more restrictive, some (notably the Linux Version) require the player to have at least a minimum of system and server administrative skills to really get the best out of the game -- but in the end they all share a common thread of strategy and play style that easily translates into one game, one goal, and one voice.
As we close out this Introduction we want to expressly thank our editor, Rich, for his patience with us while we re-wrote the guide. He was expecting it on a Tuesday and did not receive it until the following Sunday -- not an ideal set of circumstances -- but we are confident that the quality of its structure and content, and the process of making the guide more flexible for updating and expanding it makes it all worth it.