While it has yet to be fully implemented into the game the NPC Village does exist on each standard Map/World, and it does contain semi-autonomous human-like NPC's and, you know, a village. Seriously though, do not be surprised when you come around a hill or over a mountain -- or perhaps emerge from a dark forest -- to discover a small but neatly maintained village complete with orderly rows of houses and outbuildings of various construction, intermixed with crops of Tall Grass and Wheat, perhaps the odd Pumpkin Patch, and an animal or two (most common are Chickens).
Discovering the location of the NPC Village in your world is cause to celebrate!
As covered previously in the guide, the village is populated by human-like NPC's consisting of a number of types -- there is the generic Villager mob (who has no designated profession), and then the Blacksmith, (b) Butcher, Farmer, Librarian, and Priest -- though it has been our experience that a village can and often does have more than one Farmer.
The NPC Village was first revealed -- and introduced to the gamers who made up the fan base during the Beta stages at PAX Prime, during the first official demo of the game. For the demo Notch set the Village to appear close by the spawn point so that players experiencing the game for the first time where more likely to also experience the Village.
Following the PAX demo the village was populated by default NPC's from the list above, which made the world of Minecraft less like living the experience that Tom Hank's character had in Castaway than otherwise -- no Wilson for you! Still, it is comforting to know that you are not alone in this world, though the lack of interaction with the NPC Villagers is close to being alone...
-- The Village Proper --
Based upon comments that have been made by Notch and Jeb tie Village has a proper name, and so do the villagers who populate it, though these have not been shared as far as we know, at least not officially -- but as the creation of the village is actually a shared effort between Notch and Jeb perhaps they each have names for them and that is why they have not been officially christened yet?
If it seems that the village - and its residents - are little more than dressing to show that there are other humans in the world, take heart as this is most certainly not the case. The NPC Village is part of the world and, as part of the world, often finds itself interacting with it -- and it is intended to eventually interact with the player(s) as well, after some future update adds that functionality into the game.
Each village contains a number of building types and a population of hard working NPC Villagers...
Right now the village can suffer the depredations of mob attacks -- it has been seen to suffer Zombie sieges and grouped attacks, and the villagers can indeed die (there is code in the game to re-spawn the villagers who die after a discrete and respectful delay), and the game will spawn and re-spawn as many villagers as there are houses to contain them, so it should never appear to be a ghost town for long -- though come to think on it wouldn't it be cool if the game had ghost towns -- with ghosts living in them???
According to Notch the plans for the village and villagers eventually will include direct interaction with the player, and the village will have a morality system attached to it so that each village remembers how the player treated them -- the idea being that just like in real life, you reap what you sow, so being nice to villagers and giving them stuff in the form of small presents will eventually result in them being nice to you and giving YOU small presents. That is the eventual plan anyway...
The morality system that Notch has discussed in the past for the Village in an upcoming update will extend to the villagers themselves -- and they will act and react to the player as individuals, so if hte player has attacked, say, the Blacksmith, he will remember that and may attack you! The villagers will also feel the bonds of ownership with their houses -- so if you treat them like loot central, that just may earn you a Villager with a grudge, we are just saying...
Built-in Potential for Adventure
One of the aspects of the village that is not so obvious is that it is not simply a housing spawn for NPC's, it actually includes a variety of building types, from houses and huts to an inn and pub, library, shops, and a church -- so the foundation is in place for the village to be expanded to provide goods and services nd a basic barter economy down the road -- not that Notch has promised that or anything, but there has been a comment or two in that direciton and of course loads of speculation!
We find the notion of being able to visit the village Pub and barter a dozen eggs for a pitcher of ale to be an attractive notion -- and wouldn't it be great if the villagers who were sitting in the Pub drinking wanted to play pub Games with you? Yeah, that would be sweet -- and the potential is clearly present to do that and more with this as yet untapped resource for fun.
Was Seseme Street's Bert the model for this Villager? You decide!
Did you know?
The village was originally intended to be a point of contention for the player, as it was planned to be populate with Pigmen (not Zombie Pigmen mind you, regular ones)... The village had a significantly different appearance then though, with most of the buildings being constructed of Moss Stone and the buildings were not the neat and well-maintained structures that we see today.
There are a number of small but rare bugs that can impact the spawn and placement of the village in a world -- for example during the world build if the village ends up being placed over a cave network, parts of it can (and will) collapse into the caves if their depth points intersect!
If the village spawns in a desert area there is a good chance that there will be odd errors in the objects that decorate the village -- for instance because Cactus plants are native to the desert biomes but are not factored into the build for the village, it is possible for Cactus' to be spawned in odd and even unlikely locations with in the village.
Because placement of the village is a randomly generated location that takes place before the world is fully formed, there have been instances in which the village was placed in the middle of the ocean or partly submerged in a lake. There have been a number of cases where the village spawned in the center of a ravine or valley, putting the houses on slopes (Google that).
While it is very rare -- and so not very likely -- it is possible for a dungeon to spawn beneath a house inside the village, which has the effect of the house appearing to be haunted!
Occasionally when the village spawns with incompatible terrain and objects intersecting some of the houses it has been said to look like it survived a bombing.
While they mostly ignore you, villages are frequently observed being social with each other -- it is not uncommon to see them having silent conversations with each other..
When you walk into a house uninvited and surprise the occupant they can make some very amusing expressions of shock and irritation.
One of the villagers is thought to have been patterned after the muppet Bert of Bert and Ernie fame (from the children's TV show Sesame Street).
-- The Millénaire NPC Village mod --
This mod to the NPC village changes the behavior of the villagers, most notably adding male and female pairing and a strong urge in each of the villagers to find a companion / SO and begin procreating as quickly as possible. The mod also instills a desire in the NPC's to create a better and larger home or building (which they will construct).
The mod includes a basic economy system for the village and villagers, and a number of interesting utility items for applying it to an existing world, including a "Village Wand" that allows you to cast a spell on an Obsidian Block to spawn a village anywhere you want.
Note that often when a gamer on a fan site or board is talking about events in the NPC village in their world, and the NPC's are doing things that they do not do in your world, chances are that the reason for that is because that gamer has this mod installed in their world...