Henrick and Agnes talk about the Caves and Cliffs update on Minecraft and why they have split it into two releases. The caves and cliffs updates will be released in two different parts: one is a summer release and another one is a holiday release at the end of the year.
They have their reasons as to splitting this update into two and they have three reasons for that to be exact. The first one is quality, second one is technical complexity, and third one is team health.
- Ensure Quality – to ensure quality, they have decided to release the caves and cliffs update in the holiday instead. For them, the most important thing is to always deliver as much player delight as possible. They have realized that if they don’t release some of the features, the more complex ones during the holiday, there will be a risk that they will not be in a good enough quality and then it will be an as great of an experience.
- Technical Challenges – this update is going to be huge as they are changing the very shape of the world in Minecraft, adding massive mountains, epic caves, and changing the height of the world in order to fit these things. This will be tricky because it touches the core of how the world is generated. It is also tricky for performance reasons, because there is just more going on when the worlds are higher.
- Team Health – with the cliffs and caves update they have realized that if they are going to release all the features in the summer, they would have to crunch a lot which they should not. They don’t want to force anyone to work overtime. They also want to acknowledge that we are all living in a pandemic right now, and they know that many have been affected by that. So they think it is better to make sure that their team feels as good as possible and are as happy as possible, because then they can be happy, creative, and create a good game.
THE SPLIT: How are they going to split the features across two updates?
In the first update, for the summer, they are going to focus on the blocks and the mobs, and not so much world generation. Blocks would include biome blocks such as dripleaf, pointed dripstone, glow berries, and some building blocks such as deepslate and etc. Mobs will include the axolotl, the goat, and the glow squid. Most of the world generation is in part two but there will be a little bit in part one as well, such as generation of copper, geodes, and things like that.
The second part is all about world generation. There you will find, for the holiday update, the new caves, the new mountains, and the new world height, as well as the actual placement of the biomes. The reason why they are doing this, again, is because the technical challenges they have mentioned are mostly about world generation where they want to give it more time to make sure they would get it right. Plus, it makes sense to put all the big world generation changes into one update to make it easier from a player perspective, when you’re going to upgrade from your world.