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Microsoft announced Minecraft Earth – mobile AR-game in the style of Pokémon Go

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Now players will be able to build up the real world with cubic blocks.

The release of Minecraft Earth is scheduled for this year, and the beta starts in the summer. It follows from the trailer that players will be able to build castles, extract resources and fight off monsters while the application translates virtual objects into the surrounding reality.

Gameinformer editor Jeff Cork has already managed to watch the game at the Mojang Stockholm office.

It is reported that the gameplay is similar to Pokémon Go – the game will be a map of the surrounding area, stylized as Minecraft. Players will need to move around this map and complete various tasks. As rewards, players receive new blocks – they can be used in the mode of free construction or when playing together with others.

Microsoft emphasizes that this is not an adaptation in the style and setting of Minecraft. This is the very Minecraft experience that now has all the advantages of augmented reality.

We did not develop a new title in the Minecraft series to match the AR. We did not simplify the original game. We did not remove anything from it. This is the same game that you know, with all the features you are used to: mobs, landscapes, red stone – all this will be here and already familiar to you.
Brad Schuberart director minecraft earth

Microsoft confidently declares that there will be no luthboxes in the game, even though it is a free game.

Cork also writes that the AR technology from Earth is one of the most advanced that he saw. Three-dimensional objects are devoid of “jitter” and flicker when the smartphone moves in space. The buildings are stationary in their place, they can be viewed from all sides, look into the windows of three-dimensional houses.

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The demo shown by Cork used a QR-code scan, but in the future the game will rely on Microsoft’s “spatial anchors” technology. According to Schuber, this system allows devices to more accurately simulate virtual objects, because the illusion of immersion is the key moment of AR gameplay.

The journalist also described one of the types of activities in Earth. The game will offer to search for resources in the surrounding area. Upon arrival at the location of the resource, you will see that some of the surrounding space (wall or road) seems to be made of Minecraft-blocks. The player needs to “tap” on the screen – and the block will be broken with a pick, and resources will be added to the inventory. In one of the videos shown, players punched a hole in the ground and saw a huge abyss filled with monsters.

In addition, there are also so-called “public events” in the game, similar to the usual RPG quests. Schuber notes that Microsoft is carefully approaching the activity placement algorithm. The company does not want players to wander to cemeteries and other sacred sites in order to gain some resource or fight monsters.

In the Earth there will be new mobs – for example, a dirty pig, which comes complete with a special mud block. 
An animal can wallow in the mud to such an extent that a flower grows on its head.

Cork describes one of these events – he needed to deal with a group of skeletons with a bow. Shooting was carried out by “pulling down” the string on yourself and releasing your finger. After passing it rewarded with new blocks.

The journalist draws an analogy with the Lego blocks. In Minecraft Earth, blocks earned are not duplicated: one block is one block, and it can only be used in one place at a time.

Schuber said that the authors considered the mechanics when the player would have to go back to the old buildings and pull out of them the old blocks to use again. However, the team thought that it would annoy the players. How the final version will look like is still unknown.

The game allows you to build your own objects on a special platform – with the ability to connect to you other players. The game allocates space where the user can build something from the blocks he has – for example, on an empty football field. If someone wants to join your site, they will need permission. Another player will not be able to easily spread your building. After construction is completed, you can make your objects available to others.

Cork noted that in the gameplay shown to him the game and real objects very closely interacted – for example, other players could be seen behind the streams of virtual waterfalls.

The developers note that they first wanted to tie the game season to the real one. For example – the players would have to wait for the winter to get the snow blocks.

It would be quite fun, but then we thought that a child from Alaska in this situation would never have seen the desert. This sucks and not at all in the spirit of Minecraft.
Brad Schuberart director minecraft earth

Therefore, the team decided that the new biomes will be introduced regardless of the time of year.

Further, Cork wondered what to do with the “absurd” (apparently, meant including “indecent”) buildings that will not fit into the environment. To this Schuber said that the buildings, as well as the places for their placement, will be moderated.

Minecraft Earth does not have an exact release date, but the release is announced already this year, before which closed beta will follow. Microsoft says that the emphasis is on “unhurried launch” so that the final product can satisfy the widest audience.

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