We speak with the Firaxis team on what makes Marvel's Midnight Suns a Saturday morning special!
Firaxis Chats In-Depth about Marvel's Midnight Suns!
Incredible 4K performance, the new GeForce RTX 4080 is here.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Edition Review
With its triple-slot design, the MSI GeForce RTX 4080 Gaming X Trio is huge. But so is its performance.
MSI GeForce RTX 4080 Gaming X Trio Review
We've taken Kratos and Atreus on an almighty journey in sequel territory. Is it as good as the OG?
Realms Apart | Our In-Depth God of War Ragnarök Review

Genre: Simulator Players: 1 (2 to 24 Online)
Developer: Mojang Specifications Official Site: http://www.minecraft.net
Wednesday, 8 June 2022
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 10:25am 08/06/22 | 0 Comments
In both the Bedrock and Java editions of the game. The Wild Update brings with it new biomes which come with new resources to procure, alongside new boats and chests. Mud blocks are now a thing as well as frogs. Lots of frogs and tadpoles now join the ecology of the game, making The Wild Update one of the more significant content upgrades for Minecraft in quite some time.

Once you install the update, your game will now feature two new biomes – the deep dark and mangrove swamps – four new mobs – the warden, the allay, frogs, and tadpoles – and blocks galore, including sculk, mangrove wood, and mud!

If you’ve been following the journey on YouTube, the final piece of the puzzle will finally be in place. Alex and Steve have been sneaking around in the deep dark, the mangrove swamp, and now finally they get to decorate their base with all the resources they picked up along the way. Joining them are some new blocks, new mobs, and a whole lot of wild tales that are waiting to be told.

Now it’s your turn to pick which path will transport you into The Wild Update. Will you start a scientific expedition? Head out on an epic adventure? Go for a thoughtful hike? Maybe you should just follow the first frog or allay that you see. Whatever road you go down, I wish you good luck and safe travel. Now go forth! The Overworld awaits.
As part of the release info around this update, we were also reminded to share a recent TED Talk by the game's lead designer, Agnes Larsson, which talks about Minecraft and the metaverse, while perhaps more poignantly we're also encouraging people to check out Kyiv: Craft a City Guidebook which is an exercise as part of Minecraft: Education Edition designed to highlight unique real-world spaces and their histories and cultures. Hit the link above to learn more.

Friday, 1 April 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 11:38am 01/04/22 | 0 Comments
As part of a Minecraft Preview Build For Xbox Series consoles, players noticed the option to enable ray-tracing. As seen on PC, ray-tracing in Minecraft presents the game with full path-traced lighting - and the results are stunning. And completely transform the visual side of the experience in ways that make the block-heavy title cutting edge.

So much so you needed a high-end GeForce RTX graphics card with DLSS to turn on the feature - which led to it being called Minecraft RTX.

In response to the unexpected addition the official Minecraft account posted that the new build "inadvertently included prototype code for raytracing support on Xbox consoles".

Adding that is "doesn't signal near future plans to bring raytracing support to consoles", which is a shame. But still, with the option being there it does kind of signal that the team is playing with the idea of Minecraft ray-tracing on consoles.
Thursday, 16 April 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 11:03pm 16/04/20 | 2 Comments
After going hands-on last year we finally got to experience Minecraft's stunning RTX update on our own rig. And it's nothing short of a game-changer. And with the Minecraft with RTX release now hours away, we're here to tell you why.

Or, simply show you.

For all the technical wizardry that has gone into making real-time ray-tracing a reality, from hardware innovation brought to the market by NVIDIA with its GeForce RTX line of graphics cards, through to development software and tool integration with Microsoft’s DirectX API - Minecraft with RTX brings a certain level of truth to an age-old saying. That there’s beauty in simplicity.

And that beauty is stunning in motion.

Click Here to Read Minecraft with RTX – Beauty in Blocks
Tuesday, 14 April 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 11:01pm 14/04/20 | 0 Comments
With Minecraft for Windows 10 opening its block-shaped doors to the world of real-time ray-traced reflections, shadows, lighting, and all other goodness on April 16 as Minecraft with RTX moves to open beta. Working with Microsoft and Minecraft developer Mojang, NVIDIA has showcased a fully path-traced Minecraft RTX in the past, powered by the company’s line of GeForce RTX GPUs. The results of which have been stunning.

Something we’ve seen first hand these past few days thanks to early access to this week's release update. Minecraft with RTX also adds NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 support, where AI-powered rendering has led to performance improvements of around 1.7-times in the frames-per-second department. And with no perceived loss in visual quality (DLSS 2.0 is something of a game-changer), this has led to a situation where the entry-level GeForce RTX 2060 GPU has no problem running the Minecraft with RTX update.

The visual difference is not only striking, bringing a level of detail to the best-selling game of all time that nobody though was possible, but a glimpse into a future where raytracing is used across the board. The full path-tracing in Minecraft’s RTX update includes:
  • Realistic hard and soft shadows
  • Emissive lighting from surfaces such as glowstone and lava
  • Global illumination
  • Accurate reflections in water and metallic surfaces
  • Transparent materials such as stained glass, water and ice with reflection and refraction
  • Volumetric fog and light shafts

  • Actually, as you can create anything and everything in Minecraft (including the entire planet Earth), perhaps this means – as a certain Cable Guy once said – the future is now.

    “We teamed up with Mojang Studios to bring next-generation ray tracing and AI to Minecraft and the results are truly amazing,” Jeff Fisher, senior vice president of gaming at NVIDIA says. “There is a ton of excitement from the community for Minecraft with RTX, and we can’t wait to see what they create.”

    “The next big evolution for Minecraft has arrived with Minecraft with RTX,” adds Saxs Persson, franchise creative director of Minecraft at Microsoft. “The core of regular Minecraft is building with blocks. GeForce RTX GPUs transform the Minecraft world with a dramatically more realistic look by adding life-like lighting effects, shadows, reflections, refraction and more to the builder’s tool kit.”

    Access will be easy with players able to sign-up to the beta via the Xbox Insider Hub, where six new RTX-powered worlds will be available to download for free via the Minecraft Marketplace. Created in collaboration between NVIDIA and Minecraft creators, these worlds have been designed to showcase both the freedom to create within Minecraft and the truly stunning difference that ‘RTX-On’ brings.

    The six new worlds are:
  • Aquatic Adventure RTX by Dr_Bond
  • Color, Light and Shadow RTX by PearlescentMoon (Australian Content Creator)
  • Crystal Palace RTX by GeminiTay
  • Imagination Island RTX by BlockWorks
  • Neon District RTX by Elysium Fire
  • Of Temples and Totems RTX by Razzleberries

  • According to Razzleberries, “The added dimension these incredible visuals add to Minecraft has reinvigorated our collective creativity and enabled us to create amazing new worlds and experiences for Minecraft that just were not possible before.”

    Here’s a closer look.

    Minecraft with RTX is expected to get a full release later in the year.
    Tuesday, 31 March 2020
    Post by Steve Farrelly @ 03:24pm 31/03/20 | 0 Comments
    As long as any contributors aren't Flat-Earthers, that is. But let's be real, there shouldn't be. So yeah, a 1:1 Earth build with a number of mods in Minecraft that break its ruleset as it currently stands, and with a shoutout for people to contribute city-to-city, country-to-country, this is a project that might actually see realisation.

    As reported by PC Gamer, the project aims to utilise a handful of mods with Google Earth and other earth-mapping applications in an effort to create the earth, within Minecraft 1:1. Currently, it's possible through some mods to do this based on the topographical information mentioned above, but none of that has transferred human creation, ala cities, buildings, homes, etc. However, YouTuber, PippenFTS, plans to change all of that. Most of this is actually over my head, so I'll let his video do the talking. My son, who is a Minecraft freak, mind, was blown away for different reasons beyond scale.

    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:21pm 31/03/20 | 0 Comments
    Still no release date but "Minecraft with RTX is coming soon for Minecraft players on Windows 10" according to a new post by NVIDIA. Minecraft RTX as it's been called offers up a fully path-traced makeover to the game offering realistic reflections, shadows, global illumination, and caustics. It's a literal game-changer, and stunning in motion.

    So why not sit back and get your nerd on with this deep dive into the groundbreaking work gone in to making what was once a visually simple game into a piece of cutting edge next-gen tech.

    When played on a GeForce RTX GPU, you can experience worlds that are fully path-traced, enabling reflections, shadows, caustics, global illumination, and other realistic lighting effects that interact naturally with physically based textures applied to Minecraft’s blocks. These PBR textures enable per-pixel emissives, volumetric effects, and other never-before-seen sights, that together with the path-traced effects usher in the next evolution of Minecraft.

    As NVIDIA and Mojang and Microsoft prep for launch the teams have been working closely with many talented Minecraft creators to help them build the first ray-traced worlds. Here's a glimpse at a few of them.

    Of Temples and Totems RTX. By: Razzleberries - An adventure world focusing players on exploring and completing challenges in mysterious temples. Each temple showcases per-pixel emissivity and real-time shadows, and leverages global illumination to create an immersive experience for players.

    Imagination Island RTX. By: BlockWorks. A fully explorable theme park, filled with easter eggs, that hosts four distinct lands, each dedicated to an element of real-time ray tracing. In this scene we see the visitor centre of the park, highlighted by god rays cast in real-time through the windows, shining down onto the floor.

    And for the budding creators out there NVIDIA has put together a handy Minecraft with RTX: PBR Texturing Guide which covers the introduction of new physically-based textures that were designed to take full advantage of RTX features. In addition to the new HD Testure Pack.
    Tuesday, 14 January 2020
    Post by Steve Farrelly @ 12:56pm 14/01/20 | 0 Comments
    Minecraft is going to take players to the beautifully block-crafted world of Harry Potter with the forthcoming Minecraft School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And we've got a brand new gameplay trailer to share for all those still playing Minecraft.

    The evergreen juggblockernaut just keeps going from strength to strength, whether it's through the addition of ray tracing, the announcement of Minecraft Dungeons, or any number of expansions, item updates and more. It looks like it's not going anywhere, any time soon. Though it's now going to take you to the world of Harry Potter. Watch the new gameplay trailer embedded below.

    Tuesday, 10 December 2019
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:22pm 10/12/19 | 0 Comments
    With the console's version of Minecraft all set to be updated to the Bedrock edition tomorrow, enabling cross-platform play. Which means Minecraft players across Xbox One, Windows 10, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, Gear VR, and now PlayStation 4 will be able to build together.

    The Bedrock edition is great for other reasons too as it means all purchases and progress made on PlayStation 4 will also carry over to other platforms. The Bedrock edition will replace all current versions as a free update.
    Monday, 23 September 2019
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:32pm 23/09/19 | 0 Comments
    With a vibrant and engaged mod-scene people have been customising the look of their Minecracft characters for quite some time now. But, not in an official capacity. That's where the new Minecraft Character Creator tool comes in, currently in beta.

    How it works is fairly straight-forward, and will give people surprising control over what amounts to a few blocks stuck together in person-form. Here's the details from the latest Patch Notes.
    Introducing the Minecraft Character Creator
    • Personalise your avatar in a number of ways, including body size and shape, limb replacement and tweaking of eyes, mouth, hairstyles and colours, facial hair and skin tones
    • More than 100 items will be available for free. There will also be a range of custom accessories, created by the Minecraft team, available for purchase
    • The Character Creator is currently available to beta testers, but will also roll out to Minecraft Earth, as well as all other Bedrock platforms like iOS and Nintendo Switch, once the beta has concluded
    • Traditional custom skins can still be imported as before, on Windows 10 and mobile, using the following steps: Profile > Edit Character > Classic Skins tab > Owned > Import > Choose New Skin

    Existing skin support will continue, and with Minecraft available across multiple platforms an official character creation tool is long-overdue.

    Tuesday, 17 September 2019
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:19pm 17/09/19 | 0 Comments
    A figure that sees an increase of over 20 million players from the last time Microsoft released figures, which was back in October 2018. A staggering increase to be sure, and as we've been focusing on player counts and the rise of popular Battle Royales like Fortnite and PUBG, Minecraft's growth has been steadily on the rise for over a decade now.

    Microsoft, which bought the game and property back in 2014 for the hefty sum of $2.5 billion USD has been instrumental in keeping the game open to all players across every platform. Speaking with Business Insider, Studio Head of Minecraft Helen Chiang notes that the allure and continued success of Minecraft is one that comes from being a game and creative endeavour that people of all ages keep coming back to.

    “What we find is that it’s a game that players keep coming back to,” Helen Chiang said. “It may not always be the one that’s in the forefront, because there are a lot of great games that continue to come out, but it’s one that they love to return to.”

    With 112 million players, Minecraft is not showing any signs of slowing down either - as the game is also part of Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass service, and thanks to recent collaboration with NVIDIA is getting full ray-tracing added in the near future that propels the simple visual design of Minecraft well into the future.

    Then there's stuff like people creating the entirety of The Lord of the Rings' Middle-Earth in Minecraft.
    Monday, 19 August 2019
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 05:06pm 19/08/19 | 0 Comments
    When talking about high-fidelity visuals that impress in terms of technical features, one doesn’t usually mention Minecraft. Unless of course it’s about how a group recreated the entirety of Lord of the Rings’ Middle-earth in-game. As one of the most popular games of all-time, with over 176 million copies sold, that hasn’t stopped several mods and user-made tools being created that add real-time raytracing. Often with stunning results. And much like the overhaul seen with Quake II RTX, it’s now official – NVIDIA GeForce RTX-powered raytracing is coming to Minecraft.

    The free update, will open up Minecraft to more realistic shadows, lighting and vibrant colours made possible using the ground-breaking tech. As with the Quake II RTX update, NVIDIA and Mojang are adding path tracing (a form of raytracing) to the Windows 10 version of the game. It will be used as a unified model to calculate lighting in the game for various effects, including reflections, shadows, and more.

    Here’s a breakdown using the latest in technical graphics speak.
  • Direct lighting from the sun, sky and various light sources, including emissive surfaces such as glowstone and lava
  • Realistic hard and soft shadows depending on the size, shape and distance of the light source
  • Per-pixel emissive lighting
  • Indirect diffuse illumination (diffuse global illumination)
  • Indirect specular illumination (reflections)
  • Transparent materials with reflection, refraction and scattering (stained glass, water, ice)
  • Atmospheric scattering and density (volumetric fog, light shafts, realistic sky)

  • And here’s the trailer – which shows the remarkable difference between RTX On and RTX Off. So much so that it alters the look of the game in quite a substantial way, making it seem like you took Minecraft’s graphics and made them feel real.

    “Minecraft will expose ray tracing to millions of gamers of all ages and backgrounds that may not play more hardcore video games,” said Matt Wuebbling, head of GeForce marketing at NVIDIA. “The world’s best-selling video game adding ray tracing on PC illustrates the momentum that ray tracing has built in the gaming ecosystem.”

    “Ray tracing sits at the center of what we think is next for Minecraft,” added Saxs Persson, franchise creative director of Minecraft at Microsoft. “GeForce RTX gives the Minecraft world a brand-new feel to it. In normal Minecraft, a block of gold just appears yellow, but with ray tracing turned on, you really get to see the specular highlight, you get to see the reflection, you can even see a mob reflected in it.”

    No word on when the update will be made available, so stay tuned on that front.
    Saturday, 20 July 2019
    Post by Steve Farrelly @ 03:40pm 20/07/19 | 0 Comments
    We know that people make some crazy shit in Minecraft, but after nine years of collaborative work "Minecraft Middle-earth", as it's known, has been completed and boy, does this thing highlight both creativity and dedication, alongside people maybe having too much time to do whatever they want.

    While the books, maps and movies give us stationary glimpses at the world of Middle-earth, a fully realised 3D representation of the space has never been done. And the team behind the build went even so far as to include the footprints of the Fellowship of the Ring and their journey into Morder for people who jump into the server to follow.

    Truly, this is an incredible feat and one worth either jumping into yourself by clicking here, or by watching the 15+ minute by Node embedded below.

    Wednesday, 18 April 2018
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:40pm 18/04/18 | 0 Comments
    From UK-based charity SpecialEffect comes a special release that allows people with physical disabilities experience the joys of Minecraft. Using special eye-tracking software that is compatible with all Windows versions of Minecraft it covers everything from building, exploring, attacking, and even chat.

    Truly a wonderful new tool.

    SpecialEffect Founder and CEO Dr Mick Donegan said, “For us, EyeMine represents a watershed development. It’s a flagship example of taking the experience we’ve gained through our one-to-one work with gamers with the most severe physical disabilities and translating it into a means of helping a huge number of people on a global scale.”

    Development was a collaborative effort with a number of people with physical disabilities, and supports various different ability levels.

    For more information, including download links and tutorials, head here.
    Thursday, 3 August 2017
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:47pm 03/08/17 | 3 Comments
    From PC to Xbox to Android devices to eventually Nintendo Switch, Minecraft is looking to open its borders for everyone who plays to be able to go online and Minecraft together. Well, apart from any piece of hardware carrying a Sony logo. When pressed with the question at E3 as to why not, Sony's response at the time was that it was concerned with player safety. In that PlayStation players could end up in an unsafe environment if they left the PlayStation ecosystem.

    Microsoft's Phil Spencer didn't take those remarks lightly, and speaking with GiantBomb shortly thereafter, responding with, "The fact that somebody would kind of make an assertion that somehow we're not keeping Minecraft players safe, I found - not only from a Microsoft perspective, but from a game industry perspective - like, I don't know why that has to become the dialogue. That doesn't seem healthy for anyone."

    Anyway, today Minecraft has posted a lengthy How to Stay Safe Online article detailing all the steps one can take to ensure a smooth online experience with everything from Parental Controls to Server Moderation and Chat Filters. It's extensive.

    And possibly aimed directly at Sony. Either way if you do check it out it becomes clear why Sony is reluctant to allow the Minecraft Better Together update on the PlayStation 4.

    Yeah, you'll need an Xbox Live account to go online.
    Wednesday, 6 July 2016
    Post by Steve Farrelly @ 03:28pm 06/07/16 | 4 Comments
    Most of the news around social traps today is revolving around Pokemon GO, but we stumbled across an even more interesting piece of Pokemon news by way of the game being recreated in an equally recreated Game Boy Advance in Minecraft. This shit is seriously crazy.

    I'm not even going to pretend to know a lot about Minecraft -- I tried it way back when it was in alpha, didn't care for it and gave up, but some people out there have spent thousands upon thousands of hours recreating things in the digital, blocky space. From the Starship Enterprise to functioning computers, the Minecraft creative world is one that's both awesome and terrifying at once, and now someone has created a videogame within the game, on a handheld they also made in the game. It's batshit crazy, but YouyTube user Requag has posted a video showcasing his meta work, which he used 1.10 Structure Blocks to achieve his goal. Check out the video embedded below.

    Wednesday, 20 January 2016
    Post by Steve Farrelly @ 01:11pm 20/01/16 | 3 Comments
    Minecraft is already used in a lot of schools around the world, as it helps students think laterally about problems and engages them in new and unique ways to when I was at school. Acknowledging this, Microsoft and Mojang have worked to create Minecraft: Education Edition.

    Immersive learning with Minecraft: With thousands of classrooms in more than 40 countries already using Minecraft in the classroom, Minecraft: Education Edition will build on that early success to go even further. The experience is being shaped in the coming months by an advisory board of educators and a free trial will be available globally this summer, in time for the new school year. It will also be accompanied by a new community site on http://education.minecraft.net/, which will offer resources such as lesson plans and a new program called Minecraft Mentors that connects experienced Minecraft educators with those introducing the title to their classroom for the first time.
    It's great to see this type of learning expanding, but it would be even better if more companies could think about how their software, apps or games could be re-appropriated to classrooms.

    Do you agree with this type of thing being in schools for educational purposes?
    Friday, 16 January 2015
    Post by Eorl @ 12:27pm 16/01/15 | 0 Comments
    While this particular deal was apparently finalised prior to Microsoft acquiring Minecraft and its maker Mojang, it does nonetheless show you that Microsoft may have some big ideas for the ultra popular sandbox building game.

    Today Microsoft's Xbox division announced that it has teamed up with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products to launch content packs for Minecraft Xbox 360 and Xbox One editions featuring The Simpsons. Scheduled for release in late February 2015, the downloadable pack will include the entire Simpsons family (Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie) and 19 of Springfield Elementary School’s beloved characters from the long-running animated show.
    "We have an active community of more than 14 million die-hard Minecraft fans on Xbox Live enjoying the wide range of downloadable content on Xbox, and they have been clamoring for us to bring Simpsons characters to the game," said Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox. "We are thrilled to partner with Twentieth Century Fox and Gracie Films to bring THE SIMPSONS to life on Minecraft Xbox 360 and Xbox One editions. I can’t wait to see what the community creates."

    "Like THE SIMPSONS, Minecraft is a true cultural phenomenon embraced by people of all ages, from every corner of the globe," said Roz Nowicki, executive vice president of global sales and retail for Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products. "We know fans of the show will have a ton of fun bringing the colorful characters of Springfield into the intricate worlds they’ve been building in Minecraft."
    It isn't clear at this time whether this skin pack will come to other platforms but we'd presume that will be the case with some kind of timed delay. You can read more over here.
    Friday, 19 December 2014
    Post by Eorl @ 10:49am 19/12/14 | 2 Comments
    In probably the weirdest announcement that I've ever seen, and one that will make people scratch their heads, Telltale Games has announced a new IP in their choose-your-own-adventure stylings - Minecraft: Story Mode.

    The news comes via an 8-Bit game titled Info Quest II, whereby players answer different questions to receive different answers. In our case, it led to a press release with a few nuggets of info about the new title.

    According to Info Quest II, Minecraft: Story Mode will be a narrative-driven video game created by Telltale Games set in the Minecraft universe, with a focus on an original story driven by player choice. It will not, however, be an 'official' story for Steve, nor will it explain the world of Minecraft in general.

    It's said Mojang is working with Telltale and members of the Minecraft community to make the game as "Minecrafty" as possible.

    In terms of release window, the first episode is expected at some point in 2015 and will launch on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PC, Mac, iOS and Android.
    Friday, 12 December 2014
    Post by Eorl @ 10:59am 12/12/14 | 0 Comments
    Mojang and its new owner Microsoft have finally brought the Windows Phone up-to-date with other phones thanks to the recent launch of Minecraft: Pocket Edition.

    Mojang first announced a Windows Phone version of its smash-hit sandbox game back in October - after Microsoft's $2.5bn purchase of both the game and studio.

    Minecraft's Pocket Edition has already sold more than 21m copies on iOS and Android. It is available on the Windows Phone store for $8.99.
    Wednesday, 12 November 2014
    Post by Eorl @ 09:20am 12/11/14 | 0 Comments
    4JStudios is working to bring the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim-themed Minecraft DLC pack to PlayStation consoles, Mojang has confirmed.

    The Skyrim Mash-Up pack was released for Minecraft's Xbox 360 edition last year and offered players textures, character skins, music, a redesigned UI, and a chance to explore locations from Bethesda's RPG in Mojang's indie blockbuster.

    4J first confirmed it would bring the DLC to Sony's platforms on Twitter, saying that while PlayStation platforms would get the Skyrim Pack, it wouldn't be this month.

    “It is going to be cool really awesome and we think it is really cool to continue the co-operation with Bethesda,” said Mojang. “Don't have a release date but we're working on it as fast as we possibly can. It will be soonish!”