The Endermen, as Notch decided he would be calling them earlier this week, will likely be the creepiest mobs currently discoverable in the Minecraft universe. The indy developer went to the trouble of detailing his recent design decisions for this mob and the way it will behave with players on his blog, The Word of Notch. It’s there that he explores the notion of what makes scary things scary and how to ensure that they remain fun.
“Fear is one of the easiest emotions to evoke, but doing so in a way that doesn’t frustrate or fatigue the player is more difficult. I find this fascinating. What parts of fear are fun, and what parts aren’t fun?”
The Endermen, Notch elaborates, will be creepy. These mobs, seen clearly in the brightened screenshot above, will mill about a given space near players and actively move blocks of matter from place to place. Whether or not those blocks are always landscape and not manmade has yet to be revealed. They are passive mobs at first…until players look at them.
By “looking at them,” we mean physically placing the game’s reticule directly over the mobs. Once players do that, the Enderman will stop what he’s doing, turn and stare back at the player. They will remain completely still. As soon as the player looks away from the mob, the Enderman will sprint or teleport (depending on the distance between the player and the mob) towards the player and attack.
Scary. As Notch puts it:
When they attack, you know it’s your fault. When you happen to look at one, you can keep looking at it to figure out how to deal with it, but you know it WILL reach you very fast once you stop looking at it.
And that, my friends, is creepy. Possibly too creepy.
1.8, or the Adventure Update, is looking incredible. While the release date has not been announced yet, fans can employ simple logic by realizing that every day lived is one day closer to its coming. If that seems like desperately nerdy thinking to you, you should probably try playing Mojang‘s Minecraft.
What will seal the deal on the creep out factor of these new mobs, for me, will be the sounds they make. I can’t decide which is worse: complete silence or quiet moaning…
[via The Word of Notch]
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