Now that Minecraft has officially gone retail (or out of beta), creator Markus "Notch" Persson is stepping down as lead developer and reportedly taking a break. Co-developer Jens Bergensten is now taking the reigns, but Notch said he'll still help out with the sandbox PC game while also starting work on a new project.
"[Jens] will have the final say in all design decisions, so he will kinda sorta become my boss, I guess," Notch said on his blog. "I’ve promised him to not pull rank. We’ve been working together on Minecraft for a year now, and I’m amazed at how much in synch we two are when it comes to how to design the game. And when we don’t agree, we discuss it and something much better comes out at a result. He’s truly a great person to work with, and I feel very confident handing over the leadership of Minecraft to him."
Missing its projected "gold" date of November 11, 2011, Minecraft was finally released on November 18 after years of development. The game entered alpha in May 17, 2009 followed by a beta on December 20, 2010. A "Pocket Edition" made its first appearance on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play phone during E3 2011, but was later released on all Android handsets on October 8. An iOS version landed on Apple's App Store on November 16, and a version for the Xbox 360 is currently in the works.
That said, it is now time for s break... at least for Notch. "Personally, I will now rest for a while, then get back to work refreshed and eager," he said.
In related Minecraft news, YouTube member ParadiseDecay is making waves across the industry with a video he created using the popular sandbox game. In fact, he recreated the entire Death Star run from the original Star Wars movie (aka Episode 4, A New Hope). Naturally there's nothing really moving save for the camera panning in and out of the set and the occasional wandering zombie, and the special effects are down to one or two explosions at best. Still, it's a great use of "camera work" and excellent -- if not extremely patient -- set building.
Torches lighting up the interior of Darth Vader's TIE Fighter = too funny. Zombies walking across the face of the Death Star = priceless.