It's amazing just how much Minecraft has changed since 2011, with each new update bringing some level of function and aesthetic upgrades. The new Caves and Cliffs update is no exception, and a recent developer diary posted on YouTube goes over the new world generation features the update brings with it.
According to Minecraft Vanilla Game Director Agnes Larsson, updates like the Caves and Cliffs generally take a year and a half of work before they're ready to go live. When planning the updates, the team usually starts with a theme and builds out from there. They also consider different player styles as well as how the new features will reward players for going on journeys and obtaining new items that the update might include.
Later in the video, Gameplay Designer Henrik Kniberg states that the goal for new features is to create something the dev team cannot stop playing themselves. This method seems to have worked out well in the widely praised Minecraft Nether update that came out in 2020, and with the excitement surrounding the Caves and Cliffs update, Minecraft developers appear to be poised for more success.
For the Cliffs portion of the update, the developers reveal a little bit about what players can expect from the new, expansive mountain ranges, including powder snow traps and mountain goats. The Minecraft mountain updates were announced sometime ago, but to see the developers excitedly talk about them and go into a bit more detail about the steep slopes and snowy peaks has many in the YouTube comment section even more excited than before.
Where the new Caves are concerned, Kniberg says the team wanted the terrain to feel as open and fun to explore as the above ground world is, and that he was inspired by real caves he has visited across the globe. The dev team previously discussed some of the elements going into the Caves update in a Minecraft Snapshot last month, but the video goes more in depth about some of the thought processes behind the changes. For instance, Minecraft lead artist Jasper Boerstra explains that the new dripstones are brown so that they will match with stone, sand, and dirt blocks, and that they decided to make the dripstone more like a plant shape as opposed to a traditional Minecraft block in order to preserve its real-life natural shape.
Last year, during a Q & A, the dev team revealed they wanted to increase the Minecraft world's height limit, and the dev diary reveals that they have now done that in order to fit the vast caves and sharp mountain peaks into the game. The Caves and Cliffs update will be released later this year, and after the World Generation Dev Diary, many fans are more excited than ever.
Minecraft is a game that is so ubiquitous around the world that one could say that it has become a household name. One way to understand its popularity is to look at its gradual progression from being a bare-bones sandbox to becoming a full-fledged franchise. The Minecraft timeline is full of updates, platform ports, and other spin-offs of the original game that all contribute in part its success.
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