[edit:] I should probably go back to work now, I need to finish achievement saving today.. I'll check in every now and then!

My name is Markus Persson, and I made Minecraft. I started work on it in 2009, and it started making a profit after a couple of months. About six months ago, me and two friends started a company to support development of the game and to start work on another game we wanted to make.

There's a subreddit for Minecraft, which I post in every now and then from this account. If you need more verification than that, let me know!

Ask me almost anything! I'd rather not have this turn into a feature request thread for Minecraft, so please avoid asking things about the game directly.

Comments: 2617 • Responses: 59  • Date: 

Mugendai821 karma

Everybody here hates Java. I like Java. You use Java. That's cool.

xNotch701 karma

Yeah, that's an upvote. ;D

Fight the power!

lklklklklklklklklk171 karma

On this note, why did you choose java?

xNotch263 karma

It's the language I've used the most.

neolduser501 karma

Do creepers scare you as much as they scare me?

xNotch824 karma

Yes, they're horrible

zorency465 karma

Hey Notch, would you be interested in visiting a danish summer school which teaches young people in the age of 15-19 on how to develop games? I'm sure it would mean a lot to the participants.

If you do please send me a message here on reddit. If you like you can take a look at our website: http://game.unf.dk/index-en.php?language=en

We will of course pay your travel expenses and stay here in denmark.

Edit: Spell fix

xNotch400 karma

I'm TERRIFIED of public speaking.. I do ok in interview situations, though.. So if it's some kind of q&a session where I don't have to prepare anything, sure! (schedule permitting)

dirtei457 karma

  1. How do you feel about the Minecraft ripoff on the iPhone app store?
  2. What is the most amazing creation you've seen come from Minecraft?
  3. What are your top 3 favorite videogames?
  4. Has Minecraft directly gotten you laid?
  5. If/when you play Minecraft, do you use the default skin?
  6. Are you irritated that the majority of my questions are Minecraft related?

xNotch595 karma

  1. It's a decent game, but I think we could do it better. Now that they're not calling themselves Minecraft and stopped using our art, I don't mind it. Competition is good.

  2. The CPU.

  3. This changes all the time.. Dungeon Master 2, Doom 2, Grand Theft Auto 3, perhaps?

  4. Nope.

  5. Yes, I use the default skin.

  6. It's not about feature requests, so no. :D

Rockerpult94 karma

Did you foresee the kinds of things like the CPU would come about when you introduced redstone?

xNotch215 karma

Yes, I actually told my fiancée someone would make a CPU "soon" when I added the redstone. It took longer than I expected, but seeing how complex it is, I'm surprised it got finished at all.

Wencel433 karma

Hey Notch! I always wondered, what inspired you to create the creeper?

xNotch1304 karma

I tried to make a pig and failed :/

[deleted]368 karma


xNotch463 karma

Really? Awesome. :D

xNotch243 karma

Holy Hawkins! I can't even begin to understand that, but from what I can understand so far, I LOVE IT

afschuld298 karma

Did you have any idea that minecraft was going to be as successful as it was? At what point did you realize, "Holy shit, this is a THING"?

xNotch515 karma

I realized it was big about a year ago. And it's kept growing since :-8

zeily565 karma

that's what she said

xNotch1441 karma


PSquid59 karma


What is going on with that emoticon's mouth? ಠ_ಠ

xNotch64 karma

It's scared!

Amablue267 karma

Where does the name Notch come from?

xNotch280 karma

I just picked a nickname.

whubbard231 karma

How much revenue have you made from Minecraft so far?

xNotch422 karma

A lot. It all ends up in an account somewhere, and I try not to look at it. I get a normal salary these days for day to day stuff, but there's a big pile somewhere.

The game sold about 800,000 copies at 9.95 euro and then so far 1 million more at 14.95 euro. Paypal takes a cut, there are taxes, and such, but it's still a huge wad of money.

tonaros224 karma

What's the coolest thing you ever built yourself while playing Minecraft?

xNotch383 karma

I'm most fond of the things I built early on when there really wasn't that many blocks in the game. I joined some multiplayer server and helped build a stone castle with a wooden drawbridge, some stables, and a moat. Water physics were different back then. Filling the moat was a lot of fun.

We hit a cave system while digging out the moat, and as usual I had to explore all of it before continuing building.

GrantSolar77 karma

Water physics were different back then

In what way?

xNotch159 karma

It was finite, so when water spread to a tile, it got removed from somewhere else. That model had to go when I changed the levels to infinite. (And it was impossible to make waterfalls)

StargazyPi213 karma

How did you get those precious, precious first users? I'm just nearing the stage where I need to face this step. I'm a programmer, not a marketer - help!

xNotch267 karma

I posted about the game on a few forums I used to frequent, and people from there started playing it.

rufenstein211 karma

I know it's a lame question, but who is the creator of the images of Mojang employees?

xNotch279 karma

Junkboy! He's intentionally a bit mysterious with his real identity for some reason (fun, probably). He's a very talented guy.



rufenstein61 karma

Awesome, thank you. I love his work.

Will he be the leading artist for Scrolls?

xNotch126 karma

Yes. He told me the art for Minecraft was good enough and that he didn't want to change it. ;D

tonaros165 karma

Does your life or the success of the game feel like it's gotten "out of control?"

Do you find yourself struggling to keep up with the community and its demands?

Is there any desire to just "kick back" now that you have more money than god and let go of the game (let the rest of Mojang finish it or just sell it off)?

xNotch324 karma

I've always had a tendency to feel like I'm just not quite keeping up with demands, even before starting work on Minecraft. It's not gotten better by having a runaway hit like this. Last new years eve, I made a promise to myself to stop stressing, and I've managed to stick to that pretty well.

It would be nice to "kick back", but I'd just end up developing games again, so it kinda wouldn't change anything if I did that. ;) I'm still genuinely developing Minecraft out of passion for the game. If that ever changes, I probably SHOULD hand over the reins to someone else.

afroSHOES145 karma

First off. Thank you. You are a pioneer. Never have I seen or played a game so different and had so much fun. I really would like to know how you had the idea for this game.
I have played since alpha and the core of the game hasn't changed much.

But what I have always wondered is how the game was like in pre-alpha I guess. Was your original idea for Minecraft anything how the game looks or feels like today?

xNotch242 karma

The game is very similar to what the idea was like a couple of months into the project, but when I started it, it was originally going to be a cross-over between dwarf fortress, dungeon keeper, and rollercoaster tycoon. If anyone wants to make that game, PLEASE DO!

autocorrector145 karma

What do you think about releasing a game in the middle of its development cycle, and the ensuing requests for add-ons? Would you release another game like this again?

xNotch307 karma

I think it's a great way for a small studio to do game development. It might not make sense for all types of games, though. I'd definitely want to release future games in the same way. Developing in the dark is scary and probably wrong.

Coelophysis141 karma

What are you wearing right now?

xNotch214 karma

Nike Air Force Ones (black), mismatching socks (one black, one dark blue), slightly too large jeans (dark blue), black CK underwear (boxer briefs), and a Soma FM t-shirt (red text on black)

deltree711192 karma

Boxer briefs ftw. Every time someone asks Boxers or Briefs, I answer "Yes."

xNotch176 karma

Yeah, why choose when you can have both?

Aesthete59 karma

Soma FM t-shirt

You listen to Soma FM too? Whoopie! :D

What's your favorite channel? I'm torn between Groove Salad and Illinois Street Lounge.

xNotch88 karma

Groove Salad and Secret Agent. Secret Agent is AWESOME for cuddling.

klarth136 karma

Are you ever bothered by the way some of your less scrupulous "fans" behave? A few days back I saw a chart some guy had made that obsessively catalogued your vacation time and the frequency of Minecraft updates over the past year. It was creepy.

What was the general office reaction when Minecraft.net got DDOSed?

xNotch184 karma

Yes. I guess it's pretty common to pay more attention to the negative fans than the positive fans, though. I'm working on relaxing more and not taking things seriously, so I'm getting better at it.

The DDoS wasn't that horrible. The servers were totally unprotected against it, and the game was starting to get popular, so it was kind of inevitable. It kinda goes with the territory.

middo127 karma

Here is a bit of a weird question for you Notch, but I hope to get some kind of response;

When the guy who made Infiniminer released his game, he did a few bug fixes and decided that the game couldn't be any more than it was and was already moving onto the next project.

However people decompiled his project and began adding features along with bugfixes almost immediately, his version of the server was quickly redundant and so were most of the default features, at least with the groups of people actively playing it when I was. It got to the point where people have communities centered around their own dramatically different versions of the original game with their own distribution of the game code and assets.

I'm beginning to notice a similar pattern with Minecraft, there is an amazing amount of demand for mods and changes (which is why you are working on a modding API) and the community is outpacing Minecraft's internal development in many ways.

Do you have any thoughts on this phenomenon?

xNotch159 karma

I think there's a LOT of potential in this genre, and the modding and tinkering is really making that clear. I can't want to see what the future holds for games in the style of Infiniminer and Minecraft.

BellendSebastian111 karma

Who do you find the most sexually attractive in the Mojang offices?

^ Important question.

xNotch293 karma

I'm a straight male, and everyone working here is male, so it's a pretty close race.

Actually, no. Jakob wins.

NewDark107 karma

As a fairly beginner indie game designer myself, I must ask...

What resources should I seek out to learn how to develop my own indie game? Such as what languages and IDEs are relevant, websites or books that you've found indefinitely handy, time it would take to get proficient, and probably the hardest to define: how would you come up with a game concept that would seem feasible?

xNotch159 karma

Start with just making games to get used to it. Focus on the details. What makes a jump animation feel good? What is a good main menu? Try to finish a few projects.

The language you choose only matters once it comes to distribution. If you want to end up on consoles, you pretty much have to write the game in C or some variant thereof.

JockeTF103 karma

  1. Do you have any pets?

  2. When did you start wearing a hat?

  3. Do you like fish sticks?

xNotch200 karma

  1. I used to have a cat! I'm allergic to cats, so that was pretty dumb.

  2. About a year ago.

  3. Yes! :D

Lude-a-cris135 karma

I'm gonna jump in here and impose a no-South-Park-references rule for the remainder of this thread.

xNotch160 karma

Oh yeah.. Fish dicks..

neolduser94 karma

With minecraft being so popular while still in development I imagine there's a lot of pressure to conform to fans' vision of the game instead of your own. Do you feel that that's the case? Would the game have ended up different without all the success? If you could go back and start over on minecraft with the resources you have now how might you change it?

xNotch319 karma

Most of this has been answered, except for the last one:

If I were to start over at Minecraft now, I would've made it always run multiplayer mode. So singleplayer means you run a small server locally and connect to that. That would've made the code SO MUCH CLEANER.

BloodSpillXXT78 karma


xNotch119 karma

I've always done this. I've been interested in game development since I was very young. I almost automatically try to figure out how things are implemented from the various restrictions in the games I play.

[deleted]74 karma

How do you feel about the portion of your fanbase that literally stalks you, hounding you for updates like some sort of angry mob of slavedrivers? Could you put together this thorough of a history of your past 2 years on your own - http://k.min.us/imJTdK.png ?

xNotch154 karma

That list is "slightly" incorrect.. But yeah, it's annoying.

DemanRisu72 karma

When are you getting married?

xNotch141 karma

August! :D We need to send the invitations soon..

kajaeo121 karma

My advice: Use your new wealth to buy decent envelopes.

xNotch74 karma

God, we're being so picky about the paper quality for the invitation cards.. We're expecting new samples any day now.

nymusix69 karma

Do you actively try to 'hook' your players and make them Minecraft addicts, or has that been more of a fortunate (or unfortunate) side effect?

xNotch136 karma

It's not intentional. I focused a lot on instant gratification when designing the game, though. That combined with the freedom might have ended up being a bit addictive..

carlos11859 karma

What do you feel about people illegally downloading the game and will you increase security to stop it in the future?

xNotch159 karma

I think they're being jerkasses and they should pay for it if they like it. But at the end of the day, piracy isn't as big of a problem as the industry pretends it is.

We might add measures to stop it as long as it doesn't take too long to implement, doesn't bother legitimate customers, and has some measurable effect. Or we could add more value-added services to having a paid account on minecraft.net, such as online stores statistics and achievements.

[deleted]54 karma

Do you find it disappointing when people take what you've said previously about piracy and frame it as justification for piracy and say that you're pro piracy?

I've seen many people link to the blog posts you've written about piracy and say "oh well Notch an indie dev thinks piracy is awesome, so it's okay!".

xNotch78 karma

It's frustrating, but not disappointing. And the truth is that I probably don't get as upset over it as many others would anyway..

But yeah, don't pirate! XD

busted020159 karma

A couple questions:

  • What got you into programming? When did you start, how did you learn etc.

  • How are you so hilarious/how do you have such excellent english? I know not all swedes are as good at speaking english as you, nor are many native english speakers.

xNotch95 karma

  • My dad bought us a commodore 128 when I was seven years old, and I claimed it as my own pretty soon afterwards. We subscribed to a computer magazine that had code listings in it, and that's how I learned.

  • We get most of our entertainment (movies and tv series) in English with Swedish subtitles, so we learn English pretty fast. We also learn it in school from a young age.

madmooseman55 karma

Glad to see you doing this! I guess you would be swamped with minecraft suggestions anyway, but I have to ask (even though they're minecraft-related, and possibly been asked before)

What do you think of the community that's come out of the game?

Specifically, how does it feel to see the amazing number of crazy videos of people's creations?

xNotch74 karma

I think the community is just amazing! I'm not sure how many videos there are about Minecraft on YouTube, as the number kinda changes depending on when you search for it, but I've heard people say it's "over one million". That is insanely many videos, and I think that's definitely helped spread the game.

madmooseman26 karma

Glad to see! And another question, what are your long term plans? Do you plan on making games for a great part of your life?

And finally, Oreos or Tim-Tams?

xNotch69 karma

Making games is my biggest hobby, and I feel some level of creative expression by doing so. I can see myself making games for a VERY long time. I have no plans of becoming an entrepreneur or a CEO or anything like that.

I've never tried Tim-Tams, so I'd have to go with Tim-Tams.

mr_syco45 karma

I'm an avid watcher of the Yogscast and on occasional episodes "the real Notch" as Simon would put it would be featured in the games. Is it really you?

xNotch59 karma

I haven't seen a lot of it, but I adore Yogscast! :D I've missed this "real Notch" thing you speak of.

neolduser43 karma

What do you think the biggest problem in the world is and what, if anything, can be done to fix it?

xNotch182 karma

Whatever I pick, it's going to sound like I'm trivializing the rest. Currently, I'm very worried about issues about personal freedom online, and software patents.

rufenstein43 karma

Could you please tell us a little bit more about the actual gameplay of Scrolls?

Will it be turn-based? The cards feature resources like gold, wood an stone - does that imply there will be some sort of city or fortress from where the adventures are launched?

The ease to mod and the ability to customize texture packs was great in Minecraft and I'm curious if you plan to include those feature in Scrolls, if the game will feature 3d graphics.

xNotch77 karma

Jakob might hate me, but..

It's turn-based with a small game board to force tactics and interaction. There are various resources (jakob and junkboy are discussing which ones right now! I can hear them!). I'm not sure if there will be a hub.

We still haven't decided what the modding suport will be like for scrolls.

TheSnowlMan39 karma


xNotch76 karma

The lighting engine..

afroSHOES39 karma

Fondest childhood memory?

Did you enjoy the game Dig Dug?

xNotch61 karma

Wow, I have a lot of them. Possibly my dad pulling me along on my snowracer when I was like 6 years old. It was so serene.

And yes. Dig Dug is a great game!

spacejam200038 karma

If you could turn any movie you wanted into a game, what movie would it be?

xNotch107 karma

Movies tend to be linear story experiences, and large game studios have perfected the art of making games like that. Personally, I'd like to focus more on the interaction part of game design than just the story telling part.

There are a few really interesting settings, though, but all the good ones have already been turned into games. I can't think of a good one that hasn't been done already.

Johssy37 karma

I hear they've upgraded the spincycle of your chair now, is this true? How many SpinsPerSecond does it do now?

xNotch85 karma

We haven't dared trying it. There's like no rotational friction in these chairs, though.. They're awesome!

Czulander36 karma

how much money has minecraft made?

xNotch195 karma

More than I'll ever need.

Mugendai30 karma

I was watching that time lapse video of you making Metagun from scratch in 2 days. About how many years of experience had you had before you were able to put out a decent game with such a limited time constraint?

It took me some 6 months to do my very first (woefully incomplete) game, reading up on all the material to understand what went into making one. I wanna get back into doing that kind of thing again. Need some motivation and or advice, if possible.

xNotch59 karma

I started programming when I was 7 or 8, and never really stopped. So 31-7 years, I guess.

[deleted]66 karma


xNotch29 karma

brilliant! :D

i30026 karma

Have you studied Game Development at a university?

xNotch70 karma

No. I have next to no formal education.

whubbard24 karma

Will you be doing an Alpha release for the next game? (with the same, forever free plan)

xNotch34 karma

Not with the exact same model, no. It doesn't really fit Scrolls. For some future game, possibly!

Jordan11722 karma

  1. Do you actually play Minecraft recreationally anymore, or do you focus more on coding/business/etc.?

  2. Playing certain games extensively can start to affect the way you see the world -- Tetris is the classic example, where obsessed players imagine rotating blocks even when they're not playing. As the creator of Minecraft, have the game's mechanics ever intruded on your thinking like that?

xNotch39 karma

  1. Yes, but I rarely build things these days. I mostly just explore and build tiny shelters.

  2. Not really, but when I was working on Wurm Online, I started trying to measure how many "tiles" (4x4 meters) large real life objects were.

Killerzeit22 karma

Notch is my surname. How do you feel about that?

I don't really have a question but I'd like to say that Minecraft is, without a doubt, a unique game. It's very fun. I'm addicted and just recently got into it. Great work.

xNotch61 karma

Then you're possibly one of the people who keep taking Notch on all the websites! ;)

I feel good about it!

Danforth21 karma

What small, indie-ish game developers do you think could use more exposure? Maybe some Scandinavian or European studios (or North American, as the case may be)?

xNotch33 karma

Oh, there's a lot..

I'm very impressed with Vlambeer. Their stuff really speaks to me. Team Meat is awesome as well, but those guys have gotten plenty of exposure. I keep hoping Puppygames will get a bigger following as I'm friends with Cas. Terry Cavanagh's new game is looking promising as well.

impatspence18 karma

When are you guys releasing iphone/android version? I only ask so I can prepare not to have a life for the a couple months following release..

xNotch30 karma

Business stuff is happening behind the scenes, so I can't say!

shine_on17 karma

Would there be any copyright issues if someone were to write and sell a "Minecraft Strategy Guide" book?

xNotch36 karma

If they used our artwork, yes. If they use the name "Minecraft", there might be trademark issues as well.. I'm not sure!