Surely some of you have heard of the indie game Minecraft. I've been playing it a lot lately and I have to say it is easily one of the greatest games I've played in years.
The brainchild and pet project of Swedish game designer Markus Persson, the best way to describe this game is an exploration game with elements of surival horror, the creative freedom of Lego (actually more creative freedom than Lego, come to think of it) and the best (only?) good thing about the red faction games. If you have the patience, you can essentially remodel the very realistic (if obviously quite blocky) landscape into whatever you want it to be. People have made some truly insane stuff in this indie gem, and as my friends know, I hardly play games at all these days but Minecraft has been sucking up every ounce of my spare time lately.
But you didn't write this article to promote some game, did you??
Well, no, the issue here is that last night I couldn't get onto the goddamn website or get a multiplayer server running because of a DDoS attack on the site.
The folks taking credit for this "co-ordinated attack" are none other than those lovable scamps from 4chan. Apparently, they were sending Markus a 'clear message' that they were unhappy about having to wait for updates for this game and so it would be in their best interests to bombard him with Distributed Denial of Service barrages effectively crippling the site, and in particular sales of the game, for several hours. This would therefore (?) coerce him into working harder on the game and releasing the updates faster.
One theory I heard is that the people from 4chan have nothing to do with this and are simply taking credit for it, and honestly, I am inclined to agree. The reasons I think this is the case are the same reasons this DDoS attack would be a fundamentally stupid thing to do if it were actually a deliberate attack from disgruntled fans:
- Markus has been mentioning for some time now that he is planning a Hallowe'en update, which will be released on Hallowe'en. If this DDoS attack was really a kick up the arse to get things moving, then good lord, talk about impatience.
- Updates are, always have been, and always should be a bonus to players. Patches are something we should expect if we pay ninety dollars for a game from a huge studio and our guy falls off his horse and into the ground and dies. But to target an indie developer because he's not catering to his fans fast enough for a ten euro game is just plain moronic.
- Minecraft is incredibly playable in its current state. I'm going to come out and admit that I played this game before buying it for a few weeks on a friend's account, and only bought it last night (somehow! Moments before the DDoS attack that was apparently supposed to stop people like me from buying it). I was still overwhelmed enough with the quality and excellence of the game to happily fork over ten euros just so I could have my own account. In fact, I mostly did it just to support Markus and the indie scene. I don't care if he's already rich, he fucking deserves it for making a game I love.
- Murdering Markus' site and cutting off sales is not going to motivate him to make updates for this game. One parallel I read which I found exceedingly hilarious is of a man who breaks his wife's hands and immediately demands her to make him a sandwich. We're lucky Markus isn't less of a man and just packed it in because of the attacks, running away with ten million euros and leaving us with an Alpha that had updates just around the corner.
- The guy is starting a fucking business. Anyone who has ever had to sit down and fill out a tax return should be able to guess how much work that involves. He's only hiring like, what, five, six people to help him out?? If you can stand the horrifying, ageless wait that it will take for him to get the business shit sorted out I'm sure we will be getting many more updates far more regularly from now on.