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No, just kidding. Instead, I will ramble about working in teams.
Some people have asked me why we don’t hire a lot more programmers to work on Minecraft. The answer is that I think that would be an incredibly bad thing to do.. or at least that it WOULD have been an incredibly bad thing to do. One reason why Minecraft has managed to get as much personality as it does it that it’s only been a couple of fairly nerdy game developers working on it.
At first, it was just me, and the game really represented what I thought was fun. Later on, Jens joined in and added his own personality to the game in a way that fit really well with what I had done. Naturally, we took in a lot of external input (especially from players, thank you all so much!), but the end result was still filtered through us, making sure it was personal.
I guess in some sense, this is a big reason of why I like “indie games”. Or games made by small teams, rather. I’m growing more wary of using the term “indie games”, as there are too many definitions of what that means… to me it means a game made for the sake of exploring some game idea, made by a small team that wants to express themselves.. But I digress..
On one hand, I could see how Minecraft has at this point grown to a level where it could use some extra hands to work on it. There’s a lot of infrastructure that needs to be done, and a lot of the tone for the game is already set. On the other, I worry that having too many developers on it could water it down. On the third, it could also mean less “quirks” (bugs).. on the fourth, some of these quirks are what give the game a personality. Score: &e0. And so on.
I could argue back and forth forever, but what I really want to do as a developer, is to work on games in tiny, tiny teams. It means less compromise when it comes to design. It means more freedom when it comes to implementation.
At the moment, I am working on a bigger version of my Ludum Dare 22 entry, because I really liked working in that code base. In the relatively near future, I expect to start work on a new, bigger game. I will be the only programmer on that game until the game mechanics are fleshed out and the tone is set. I do feel an enormous pressure to live up to the Minecraft legacy, but I will try not to let that hold me back. I will keep focusing on just making games I want to play.
Happy new year, Internet!