Minecraft Creator Shows Off Early Gaming Projects

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Minecraft Creator Shows Off Early Gaming Projects

Markus "Notch" Persson has revealed over a dozen screenshots from games he worked on before Minecraft.

Markus "Notch" Persson had been creating videogames long before stepping into the limelight with Minecraft. In a recent blog post, he links to 13 screenshots of early projects that helped him gain the skills to put together one of the most popular indie games in the world.

Before naming his current company Mojang, Persson developed games under the name BitSeven Productions. All of the work shown here was programmed using the Turbo Pascal integrated development environment. The projects span game genres from across the board.

One of the titles was a "Megaman-type game" called Howl that starred a robotic coyote. Persson says he spent a lot of time perfecting the shells that got ejected from the coyote's gun.

Another was a JRPG-style game called Rubylands. Players would have wandered around and fought baby chickens, if it ever were released. The Rubylands name was later transferred to Rubylands X, a roguelike with exploding barrels.

Other projects include a side-scrolling space shooter, a top-down action game, a real-time strategy game, and more. They're worth looking at if you want to know how Persson learned to be a game designer. The screenshots along with their captions can be found here.

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I saw these from his Twitter and some of them are pretty impressive. He's delved into a lot of different aspects of games and it's pretty awesome that he allowed us to see some of the progress that led to the creation of his big hit.

I'm really digging the old-school feel...

Shows everyone started somewhere and every thing you do can be forged into a success, if not now then later on! :-)

Motivating!

The one game screen actually looks like it was taken directly out of Chip's Challenge with the green door outline and pink ball enemies and all...

As Steve Jobs once said, "Overnight successes often took awhile."

Wow this guy's been busy

Well...you gotta kiss a few frogs.

Sooo... Copies of old games?
He should have taken the job at Valve...

DazBurger:
Sooo... Copies of old games?
He should have taken the job at Valve...

Harr Harr Harr. No. : |

Learning to build game enviroments take a hell of a lot of time, effort and experimentation. These show he has been putting his ideas down on paper in a range of genres using quick and realtively easy tools. He's using the genre veins of the late 16 bit era as a jumping off point. These are one man experimental projects and im not usre you could fault him for all 13 of them not being original masterpeices.

Of course im sure the dozens of games you have developed are much better.

Scrumpmonkey:

DazBurger:
Sooo... Copies of old games?
He should have taken the job at Valve...

Harr Harr Harr. No. : |

Learning to build game enviroments take a hell of a lot of time, effort and experimentation. These show he has been putting his ideas down on paper in a range of genres using quick and realtively easy tools. He's using the genre veins of the late 16 bit era as a jumping off point. These are one man experimental projects and im not usre you could fault him for all 13 of them not being original masterpeices.

Of course im sure the dozens of games you have developed are much better.

Yes! Of course they are!

But still... I wasn't expecting all 13 of them to be original, but I was hoping to see at least ONE original.. ONE new idea.. Perhaps I was setting my expectations too high :/

DazBurger:

Scrumpmonkey:

DazBurger:
Sooo... Copies of old games?
He should have taken the job at Valve...

Harr Harr Harr. No. : |

Learning to build game enviroments take a hell of a lot of time, effort and experimentation. These show he has been putting his ideas down on paper in a range of genres using quick and realtively easy tools. He's using the genre veins of the late 16 bit era as a jumping off point. These are one man experimental projects and im not usre you could fault him for all 13 of them not being original masterpeices.

Of course im sure the dozens of games you have developed are much better.

Yes! Of course they are!

But still... I wasn't expecting all 13 of them to be original, but I was hoping to see at least ONE original.. ONE new idea.. Perhaps I was setting my expectations too high :/

He did have one, He called it Minecraft XD

#6 KILL THE CHOCOBOs!
I actually thought #3 was a city skyline at night until I saw the blown-up version. Disappoint

DazBurger:

Scrumpmonkey:

DazBurger:
Sooo... Copies of old games?
He should have taken the job at Valve...

Harr Harr Harr. No. : |

Learning to build game enviroments take a hell of a lot of time, effort and experimentation. These show he has been putting his ideas down on paper in a range of genres using quick and realtively easy tools. He's using the genre veins of the late 16 bit era as a jumping off point. These are one man experimental projects and im not usre you could fault him for all 13 of them not being original masterpeices.

Of course im sure the dozens of games you have developed are much better.

Yes! Of course they are!

But still... I wasn't expecting all 13 of them to be original, but I was hoping to see at least ONE original.. ONE new idea.. Perhaps I was setting my expectations too high :/

No such thing as new ideas.

draythefingerless:

DazBurger:

Scrumpmonkey:

Harr Harr Harr. No. : |

Learning to build game enviroments take a hell of a lot of time, effort and experimentation. These show he has been putting his ideas down on paper in a range of genres using quick and realtively easy tools. He's using the genre veins of the late 16 bit era as a jumping off point. These are one man experimental projects and im not usre you could fault him for all 13 of them not being original masterpeices.

Of course im sure the dozens of games you have developed are much better.

Yes! Of course they are!

But still... I wasn't expecting all 13 of them to be original, but I was hoping to see at least ONE original.. ONE new idea.. Perhaps I was setting my expectations too high :/

No such thing as new ideas.

That really depends on how broad you definition of original is.

OT: Looking at these screens is like looking at an illustrated thought process that lead to Minecraft

i wish i could make anything as good as those :(
must keep studying...

HankMan:
I actually thought #3 was a city skyline at night until I saw the blown-up version. Disappoint

Same here
Nice to see his early work though, pretty interesting to see what he was before minecraft.

Are those Chocobo's?

Seriously has come a long ways, congrats to him.

Anyone notice how ISOM looks a hell of a lot like Minecraft? I swear that's the same grass texture.

That dungeon crawl game seems pretty interesting, wish he has something like that still up and running.

It's funny that I don't see a screenshot from Wurm Online, the mmo that Notch worked on for ages.
Which before you go, save yourself the the pain, it is the absolute most painful gouge your eyes out thing you will ever play (not entirely Notch's responsibility though seeing as many of those things seemed to be more from the other developers). Keep playing Minecraft, trust me, it's far better and more fun.

I have reservations in regards to Notch. My first experiences with him were from Wurm, and he was not the nice guy that made Minecraft, he was a guy that would berate his own players, make fun of them in inappropriate ways, go on epic tirades if people asked the simplest question, and in one time I'll never forget go on a long diatribe explaining how all players were nothing but "wallets" to him, we weren't people, we didn't matter, just give him our money and flip off cause a game's community was a laughable insignificant thing. Then after a particularly inflammatory tantrum, entire sections of the forums would be deleted to cover it up.

This has made the phenomena of Minecraft a very different experience for me than understandably a lot of other people.
It's nice to see that he seems to have changed after getting away from that project, but I'm still rather wary in regards to him and his creations because of that. Guess I'm wary of seeing the Notch I met again.

"Turbo Pascal" Holy crap?!
Every person y have ever met that knew about programing have said to me that Pascal is a useless coding language, except maybe for learning purposes.

That's not to say i agree or disagree with them, i know shit about programing, but it surprised me to see it used "nowadays" and for games.

draythefingerless:

DazBurger:

Scrumpmonkey:

Harr Harr Harr. No. : |

Learning to build game enviroments take a hell of a lot of time, effort and experimentation. These show he has been putting his ideas down on paper in a range of genres using quick and realtively easy tools. He's using the genre veins of the late 16 bit era as a jumping off point. These are one man experimental projects and im not usre you could fault him for all 13 of them not being original masterpeices.

Of course im sure the dozens of games you have developed are much better.

Yes! Of course they are!

But still... I wasn't expecting all 13 of them to be original, but I was hoping to see at least ONE original.. ONE new idea.. Perhaps I was setting my expectations too high :/

No such thing as new ideas.

Oh yes, there is always new ideas to be made.

MasterSplinter:
"Turbo Pascal" Holy crap?!
Every person y have ever met that knew about programing have said to me that Pascal is a useless coding language, except maybe for learning purposes.

That's not to say i agree or disagree with them, i know shit about programing, but it surprised me to see it used "nowadays" and for games.

these are all old projects. Lots of years old, so he was using it to learn.

viciouspen:
snip

I'm just gonna be really glad we all have an opportunity to grow up. The me on the internet from 10 years ago was not a friendly person *shudder*

neato

I love looking at peoples' early work.

Awesome that he used Pascal in his early years, a very nice language.
I've built games using it - Like Notch, most never left the kitchen, one did though.. but it wasn't a commercial success.

There is an active game development community for those who fancy taking up Pascal.
http://pascalgamedevelopment.com/

There's a free IDE and compiler called FreePascal too..

Scrumpmonkey:

DazBurger:

Scrumpmonkey:
-snip-

Yes! Of course they are!

But still... I wasn't expecting all 13 of them to be original, but I was hoping to see at least ONE original.. ONE new idea.. Perhaps I was setting my expectations too high :/

He did have one, He called it Minecraft XD

Which wasn't original either, I hear.

Can't believe you've been able to hang around the Escapist and participate in Minecraft threads without hearing of Infiniminer

Looks like he made some games. All of which are probably standard for anyone starting game design or developing games. I always assumed he was made in a lab to make the perfect game minecraft.

drakythe:

MasterSplinter:
"Turbo Pascal" Holy crap?!
Every person y have ever met that knew about programing have said to me that Pascal is a useless coding language, except maybe for learning purposes.

That's not to say i agree or disagree with them, i know shit about programing, but it surprised me to see it used "nowadays" and for games.

these are all old projects. Lots of years old, so he was using it to learn.

viciouspen:
snip

I'm just gonna be really glad we all have an opportunity to grow up. The me on the internet from 10 years ago was not a friendly person *shudder*

Yeah hence my wariness in regards to Notch. The Notch from Wurm was what I always referenced as the poster boy for how to be a really bad indie developer about treating your community like bad censored words that the escapist would frown upon.
His infamous (and infamously deleted with no public apology) "you're all nothing but wallets" speech I witnessed left me fairly burnt in regards to him. I've been trying to look into him more and as you said, I'm hoping the Notch I knew from back then did some growing up cause I'd hate to see the old one pop up again.
I am glad to see him make what appears to be a turn around in that department because he'd always worked on ideas that ran along with stuff me and my friends were working on (which is how we found Notch and Wurm in the first place) so back then I'd always liked some of the general ideas and work the guy did more than his attitude.

viciouspen:
*snip*

I'm disappointed that folks always seem surprised when folks end up changing.

It happens so much with so many people all the time that it should hardly be a shock anymore.

So.. am I the only one who thinks those look terrible?

viciouspen:
It's funny that I don't see a screenshot from Wurm Online, the mmo that Notch worked on for ages.
Which before you go, save yourself the the pain, it is the absolute most painful gouge your eyes out thing you will ever play (not entirely Notch's responsibility though seeing as many of those things seemed to be more from the other developers). Keep playing Minecraft, trust me, it's far better and more fun.

I have reservations in regards to Notch. My first experiences with him were from Wurm, and he was not the nice guy that made Minecraft, he was a guy that would berate his own players, make fun of them in inappropriate ways, go on epic tirades if people asked the simplest question, and in one time I'll never forget go on a long diatribe explaining how all players were nothing but "wallets" to him, we weren't people, we didn't matter, just give him our money and flip off cause a game's community was a laughable insignificant thing. Then after a particularly inflammatory tantrum, entire sections of the forums would be deleted to cover it up.

This has made the phenomena of Minecraft a very different experience for me than understandably a lot of other people.
It's nice to see that he seems to have changed after getting away from that project, but I'm still rather wary in regards to him and his creations because of that. Guess I'm wary of seeing the Notch I met again.

Rolf was not a good influence on him, had a much poorer grasp of how to develop a game (IE he's useless at generating maps etc.), and little idea which parts of games are fun and which aren't.

Working under the decisions of someone who has a lot less of a clue what makes games tick is going to make anyone pretty bitter and angry.

Imagine booting up your computer every day to chip a little bit of work into a game, knowing that your work partner is going to take whatever you do and balance half a dozen bad ideas upon it precariously. You might start viewing it as "just a paycheck" and regard everyone involved in the process with equal contempt.

Rolf went on to more diplomatically give his player base the finger more than once by moving forward with almost universally unpopular changes and telling anyone who didn't like them they were welcome to leave (some of them had subscriptions paid for a whole year). It got so bad that people were disputing their payments through paypal to send him the message that he was removing what they had paid for. He still didn't actually learn anything abut listening to players, even at that juncture, and more damningly instead of just downgrading the people he agreed to give refunds to, he banned their accounts from the game for the remainder of the billing cycle refunded as a retaliatory action.

This kind of suggests that another reason why Notch was a douche while he was on that project was because being a douche was a part of that organization's culture. The attitudes of people you work closely with are contagious.

Even his new projects will take already existing ideas. He wants to make a trading card game, and his other project sounds awfully similar to Blood Bowl...

DazBurger:
Sooo... Copies of old games?
He should have taken the job at Valve...

if he where to do that he would have to do what Valve told him to do (IE no Mine Craft)

This kinda gives me hope actually. I've wanted to make a few games for ages. Nice to see that everyone has to pay their dues :)

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