4J Studios' Paddy Burns has shared a little more info with OXM on forthcoming Minecraft Xbox 360 updates. Feel like you've seen everything Mojang's world-building sim has to offer? Brace yourself, presumptuous soul, for the enigmatic sorcery of hydraulics.
4J's first Minecraft Xbox 360 update will be version 1.7.3 - not version 1.7.2, as previously reported - and pistons are the big additions, allowing you to shunt stacks or rows of blocks around to create (for instance) extendible sandstone willies. Don't act like you weren't thinking it.
As impressive as the functionality sounds, this is actually one of the easier updates. "We're implementing the features from the Beta 1.7.3 version at the moment, and it's nowhere near as tricky as the 1.8.2 changes will be," Burns told OXM. "There are no big architecture changes with the move to 1.7.3, so it's been quite straightforward. The move to 1.8.2 is much more challenging."
Dubbed the "Adventure update", Minecraft 1.8 isn't so much an expansion as an entirely new game. It adds Creative Mode, which gives players invulnerability, infinite blocks and the power of flight, plus a host of mechanics that are designed to make Survival Mode feel more like a classic dungeon-crawler.
You'll have a new stamina gauge to reckon with, replenished by eating things, plus new enemies like the Endermen, the ability to parry attacks, optional NPC villages and vast underground strongholds, stocked with rare items and materials. On the technical side, expect a revamped lighting system. Read the full list of content over on the Minecraft wiki.
"This is going to be the most difficult update due to the sheer amount of changes, and also the underlying architecture changes that come with it. We're looking forward to the challenge!" Burns reflected.
4J has a degree of control over which Minecraft PC features make the cut, he went on. "We are working with Daniel Kaplan at Mojang to define what is going in to the Xbox version, but the aim is to include as many of the PC features that make sense on the Xbox as possible. The game isn't Minecraft on the Xbox, it is Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, so it isn't really a direct port of the PC game."
What have you built in Minecraft lately? Read our interview Minecraft Xbox 360: memory limits, mods, splitscreen and free updates for an overview of the game's technical tribulations. For the embarrassingly gushy final verdict, catch my Minecraft Xbox 360 review. Here's a feature on the port's greatest technical challenges.