Minecraft’s Jens Bergensten Talks Updates, Mods, and Pig Latin (INTERVIEW)

Since taking over the reins of Minecraft last december, Mojang’s Jens Bergensten has had a lot on his plate. In the short time since becoming the game‘s lead developer, they’ve rolled out new features for creative mode, new server settings (level-type, spawn-npcs, generate-structures), a brand new worldtype called Superflat, and even the introduction of fictional languages (bringing the total number of translated languages to 56). And this is only the tip of a very big, and blocky, iceberg.

Fortunately for us, busy or not, Jens made himself available to interview, and we took full advantage. We talked about splash texts, the spam filter, whether or not we’ll get more fictional languages, and most importantly, his favorite Minecraft mods.

GAMEFRONT: About the decision to include fictional languages in the latest version of Minecraft (Klingon, Pirate, Elvish), What went into their selection?

JENS: The translations are made by the community, so I’ve added the languages the community has requested.

GF: Are there plans for more, like Pig Latin?

J: Not sure about Pig Latin, but the recent requests have been about Latin (not really fictional, but still), L33TSP34K and Esperanto.

GF: Are there any plans to fix the splash text issue; they don’t translate, so even if you’re playing in, say Arabic, splash texts appear in English.

J: No. The splash texts are jokes and quotes, and some of them can’t be translated to other languages.

GF: About Superflat. It’s hilarious, and hilariously difficult, but why did you add it?

J: It was added mainly as an option for multiplayer servers running in creative mode. Some people are trying to challenge themselves and play it in hardcore, but that is not what I intended :)

GF: Is it intended as the first of many new worldtypes?

J: Yes, more world types will be added when I have time to work on them.

GF: How have things changed at Mojang and on Minecraft with Notch’s recent change of job?

J: So far I haven’t noticed that much of a difference. The company is quickly growing (two more people were hired last week), which probably has a larger effect than Notch working on new games. The biggest difference is that the whole company used to have daily meetings, but now each project has its own meeting.

GF: Three new settings have been added to server properties. How did feedback from the players influence what to add?

J: I don’t really remember which three properties that are the latest ones… I usually add properties when the game mode or world generator changes, so that servers have the same options as the single-player version, or when there is an optional optimization for servers. Sometimes I add properties (such as rcon and gs4) by requests from server hosting companies.

GF: Does Mojang plan to establish a regular schedule for updates? For people who run servers, particularly modding servers, an inconsistent update schedule makes
it a bit tough to stay fully up to date.

J: Not really. The next update will always come “when it’s ready,” but we could try to offer a better heads-up, since we usually know if the “next snapshot” is an official update.

GF: How does Mojang feel about mod communities like Bukkit?

J: They are doing awesome stuff!

GF: What are some of your personal favorite Minecraft mods?

J: Tale of Kingdoms is really cool.

GF: Have you incorporated ideas into the main game that originated in the modding

J: Yes, the pistons were originally from a mod by Hippoplatimus. I’ve also received a lot of help from the modder Scaevolus (world format and Unicode fonts).

GF: About the change to SMP servers in which non-ops are kicked out if they spam in chat. It’s a small thing, but nice. How did this feature come about?

J: It was added because there was a griefer client-side mod that allowed you to spam the chat very easily. The mod also had a “disconnect spam” option, which was also fixed (I hope).

GF: How does the feature determine spam?

J: The spam filter simply has a value that is increased every time you write something, and decreased gradually over time. If the value exceeds a threshold, it means your chat-per-time value is too big, and you are kicked.


New worldtypes, a better update notification system and L33TSP34K. That’s a lot to chew on, even if Jens was his usual coy self. We’ll obviously be keeping our eyes and ears on things to see how they pan out. In the meantime, we have a suggestion: someone out in Minecraft land should really consider translating Snoop Dogg speak. Minecriznaft needs to happen.

Need more Minecraft? Make sure to check out the new season of The Minecraft Show.

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1 Comment on Minecraft’s Jens Bergensten Talks Updates, Mods, and Pig Latin (INTERVIEW)


On May 23, 2012 at 5:17 am

i think they should: allow mods from beofre your version to work; to make modding similar to that of texture packs if not easier; create an in game wiki so you do not have to go out of fullscreen to download mods you have heard of; keep the META-INF file from canceling out mods; allow mods to be downloaded without having to close minecraft; make the X-Box version to have a sky dimension but no Nether; um i think i ran out of ideas oh yeah and the NPC’s should act like actual NPCs instead of pigs that aren’t afraid of anything, meaning the NPCs can talk, and you can get quests from them. Oh, and there should be RPG and story modes, and also you can choose from Steve or other mobs as a character, and the mob characters spawn in their respective habitats, steve spawns in his usual wilderness, while Adventurer Villagers should spawn in villages, and there should be mobs that can’t be played as (the mobs that actually dont make sense as a character: enderdragon, pigs, wolves, cows, chickens, squid, creeper, mooshrooms, ocelots, and the other more passive mobs). Potions should replenish health instead of food, bananas should grow in jungle trees, bushes should drop berries; storms,earthquakes, tsunamis, and other storms should be included, more ores should be added (like so many people request), more monsters should be added, and saddles should be craftable. lighters (single use) should be crafted with two sticks, used to create a campfire by lighting a log with it to cook just food and used as a source of light, there also should be a Hypothermia feature where if you do not have a campfire+sleeping bag or another source of heat in a snow biome or at night (slower effect) you freeze up and slowly die (this should be shown with snow flakes, slower than death by water). This is a lot of stuff I came up with, I hope someone either makes this into a major mod or Notch/Jeb puts this in a future update I don’t know how to mod, so please someone make this into a mod for me! Whoever makes it a good indicator would be Enhanced Minecraft, if that name is possible. Thanks people, I hope you guys read this.