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Minecraft has one million concurrent players online between Linux, Mac and Windows PC

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More than one million people are playing Minecraft at the same time, developer #Mojang has #revealed.

“For the first time ever, we finally have the capability to see how many people are currently playing Minecraft right now. Holy crap,” Mojang developer Nathan Adams said on Twitter. “There are currently over 998,000 people playing Minecraft right at this moment. It is not even remotely close to being a peak time. I could have waited 5 minutes to say 1 million, but nobody would believe that.”

Adams said that this number counts #Linux, Mac, and Windows PC players with version 1.3 and higher who are online now. This number would be even larger if Mojang was able to count offline players, players with older versions, and players who did not purchase the game legitimately.

A quick look at Steam Charts reveals that Minecraft is handily beating Steam’s consistently most popular game, Dota 2, which has yet to crack one million concurrent players.

Johan Bernhardsson, another Mojang developer, also revealed that the mobile version of the game, Minecraft: Pocket Edition, has sold 30 million copies to date.

In other Minecraft news, Mojang and Telltale Games recently announced a brand new episodic series based on the game, launching in 2015 for PC, consoles, and mobile.

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A retro fun Crawl game with one major flaw

Crawl is (appropriately) a #dungeoncrawler with an 8-bit heart of gold, a fun lark that takes on a whole new life when played with friends, and a conditional flaw.

The art style and music are pure retro: Modelled after arcade dungeon crawlers, they manage to somehow give the hero and monsters their own personalities and a trippy, kinetic feel.

Crawl is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows PC; it was released by Powerhoof on Steam Early Access August 6. Having played it on Linux using the mouse, the keyboard, and a Xbox 360 game controller to control the hero and ghosts.

What you’ll like

Being bad is so very, very good

It’s good that both hero and monsters have personality, because you’re going to spend time as both. As the hero, your job is to hack and slash your way through monsters and objects to level up so that you can face the end boss. You can buy better weapons and earn better abilities from dropped gold.

If you die, you become a monster, and the person or bot previously playing the monster “regains his humanity” and takes your place. The monsters level up, too, via “vitae” points that players earn after clearing each floor, and they earn gold of their own from spilling the hero’s blood.

As the hero, you have a simple attack and a special attack, controlled either by mouse or keyboard — not both (or by game controller, if you choose). Battle your way through the levels to face off against the bosses, controlled by a bot or another player.

As a monster, you start as a ghost, which can possess traps or physical monsters and then attack the hero. And if the hero makes it to the boss of a level? Yes indeed: That’s you.

You’re going to find yourself secretly wishing to die if you’re playing as the hero, because the strategy of playing the ghosts (what you possess and how you use it against the hero) is so very much fun. As the hero, the big payoff is getting to beat up on your friends, if you’re playing with others. More on that in a second.

Easy to pick up, smooth to play

Crawl’s action is fast and smooth, and while rooms are somewhat featureless, it’s impressive how much personality and how many effects you can simulate with large square, pixel-like blobs of color. Clearing a floor is quick, taking just a few minutes, and the run to level up enough for a boss easily takes less than half an hour.

Best enjoyed with friends you don’t mind killing

But where the game really shines is multiplayer. When human beings are controlling both hero and monsters, what was a quick-paced crawler becomes a frenetic battle, with heroes battling it out against player-controlled monsters that take their turn as the hunted hero if they’re successful at killing him.

Playing as the monsters constantly changes. Depending on how far you’ve evolved, you’ll add new abilities and forms to each of the three beasts you can inhabit. Which monsters you get is determined by how much power you’ve sucked up from blobs on the floor, which evolutions you’ve chosen to spend your vitae on, and by the god you choose to worship when you create your character. A rat-like creature can become a minotaur, for example.

Choose your friends’ deaths for maximum enjoyment

Monster abilities vary widely. You can breathe fire with a dragon-like creature or shoot arrows from a skeleton. Inhabit traps with your ghost, and you can do things like send lines of spikes shooting up from the floor at the hero, snap a trap shut on him, pepper your opponent with fireballs, or send spiked stars wheeling across the floor.

As the hero, you can chose a variety of defensive abilities — set up shields! carry an eyeball to reduce damage! — and a range of weapons from daggers to pikes with which to slay beast and friend alike.

There are a wide variety of creative ways to kill your friends, and this is easily the best part of the game.

Add extra enemies or keep it simple

You can choose how many bots you battle against: The game starts with any mix of people and bots, from two to four players (one hero and up to three ghosts/monsters). The bots are surprisingly smart, but playing with friends adds another level of fun.

What you won’t like

No online multiplayer in a game that thrives on competition

This is Crawl’s Achilles’ heel: Its multiplayer is couch co-op only, on a single machine. It is so fun playing with other people — one person can use the keyboard, another the mouse, and the rest game controllers — that many of the threads about this game in its Steam forum were at one time or another dominated by the discussion of why it doesn’t have online play. Those discussions continue despite a permanently pinned post addressing it.

Dave Lloyd, the game’s programmer at Melbourne, Australia-based Powerhoof, says they hope to add online multiplayer while the game is still in Early Access. It’s clear their players hope they can overcome the technical difficulties that would pose.

Room designs are (at this stage) plain

Most of the environments at this point are a little simple — straightforward rooms with some bits of repetitive, destructible furniture; traps and pentagrams for the ghost opponents to inhabit; and doors leading to the next room.

The developers have said they expect to add more monsters, more weapons, more abilities, and more environments as the game moves through Early Access, but for now, the focus is definitely on the gameplay, not where it takes place.

Conclusion

Crawl is a lovingly retro arcade crawler that will instantly appeal to gamers who remember pumping quarters into games that were just like this (but not as intelligent).

The variety of weapons, monster evolutions, and abilities mean good replay value even though floors and the time to end bosses are quick.

The lack of online multiplayer for a game that is at its most fun when you know who’s pummeling you is unfortunate, and it’s not surprising Powerhoof is trying to build it in. But in the meantime, Crawl gives you a truly fun reason to seek out some people to huddle around your Linux, Mac or Windows PC.

Video game addiction – What's are your thoughts?

Libbi Gorr’s talk on video game addiction with Susan McLean from Cyber Safety Solutions prompted a strong reaction from one listener. This is interesting.

Video game addiction - What's your take on it?

How young is too young for online video games?

Minecraft and other MMOGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) can prove addictive for some, with many children dedicated to playing them for hours on end, day in and day out.

Libbi Gorr spoke to Susan McLean from Cyber Safety Solutions about whether these games are a negative influence on young minds, and looked at how involved you should be as a parent.

It’s a discussion that prompted this response from a listener.

My name is Jordan, I’m 20 years old and I was listening to the broadcast today about the effects of video games on children. Personally, I have played video games from a very young age (about 5 years old) and still do today. Throughout the program, there were many points of view that were raised by the hostess and special guest about communication within online games, addiction to said games and antisocial behaviours caused by said games that I personally disagree with.

I frequent a store at which there are rows of computers set up for people to come in and use the internet; primarily for online gaming. I have been visiting this store for a number of years and have met people aged between 12 and 40 (roughly) who come down on a semi-regular basis to play games, whether it is with whoever is in the store at the time, or an organised group. I have spoken to the parents of some of the younger people who come in to play games such as Minecraft, and they have said that it is a social environment for people to play games. Gathering at places like this also negate the need for chat applications like ‘Skype’ because you are sitting right next to all your friends.

In online games, cyber-bullying can be completely nullified, and people shouldn’t be told that its simply out there and to be afraid of it. In the majority of online games, there is an option to ‘block’ or ‘ignore’ someone who is making the online experience less enjoyable. Simply taking the time to inform the person playing these games of this functionality and when to use it can make online gaming a much safer, more satisfying experience.

Video game addiction is a real thing. There are people out there who play video games all day, every day, non-stop. Playing a video game for more than 30 minutes a day doesn’t make you an addict. Coming from someone who has played video games from as far back as the Nintendo 64 (dating back to the mid/late 90’s), before games were as in-depth and complex, at a rate of 30 minutes a day, it would take close to a year to complete one of these games. Video games are, in my personal opinion, supposed to be about the sense of achievement you get from completing certain objectives to finish the game. From a mature perspective, playing video games for hours on end is not acceptable. I agree with this, however I also think that people who play games, especially younger people, need to get that sense of achievement from playing it. I would suggest that instead of setting a 30 minute time limit to play, monitoring the game time and finishing up after a level is completed, or after 2 20 minute rounds of a game.

I believe that the special guest who I believe was referred to as an expert should be giving the public this kind of information instead of jumping to the conclusion that video games are terrible and shouldn’t be played. That was the understanding I took from listening; the internet and video games are unsafe, antisocial, addictive and should not be played. With proper precautions, and close monitoring, younger and older people alike can enjoy the games, get that sense of accomplishment and play with their friends in a safe environment.

Reblogged from: abc.net.au

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