Let’s talk server monetisation!

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Hello!

Let’s get one thing clear: we love it when Minecrafters host servers. Tiny or massive, running vanilla Minecraft or a heavily modded version, we think they’re all great. Playing with friends in persistent worlds is awesome. Everyone knows that.

Over the past week there’s been lots of discussion about Minecraft servers and your right to monetise them. Legally, you are not allowed to make money from our products. There has been one exception to this rule so far – Minecraft videos. We’re about to make a second exception – Minecraft servers.

Hosting servers can be expensive. We want to give community members a way to cover their costs. That said, we don’t want our players to be exploited, or to have a frustrating time unless they pay. The following rules, which may be tweaked at a later date, have been created with those points in mind.

You are allowed to charge players to access your server
So long as the fee is the same for all players, you are allowed to charge for access to your server. You are not allowed to split your playerbase into paying, and non-paying users, nor can you restrict gameplay elements to different tiers of player.

Basically, if you’re charging for access to your server, you are selling a “ticket” and there can only be one type of ticket, no matter how much people are willing to spend.

You are allowed to accept donations
You are allowed to accept donations from your players. You can thank them publicly, or in-game, but can’t give preferential treatment for donating. You are not allowed to restrict gameplay features in an attempt to make money.

You are allowed to provide in-game advertising or sponsorship opportunities
Running servers can be expensive, with that in mind, you are allowed to put adverts in your Minecraft worlds to help with costs. Used within reason, adverts and sponsorship can be good ways to fund a server.

You are allowed to sell in-game items so long as they don’t affect gameplay
We don’t mind you selling items in game, but they must be purely cosmetic. Pets, hats, and particle effects are OK, but swords, invincibility potions, and man-eating pigs are not. We want all players to be presented with the same gameplay features, whether they decide to pay or not.

There is one exception to this rule – capes! We have a lot of fun making cool capes for extra-special members of our community and Minecon attendees. We’d like to keep them as exclusive as possible. So, yeah, no capes please, for free or otherwise.

You cannot charge real-world cash for in-game currency
We don’t mind you making up currencies which are earned through playing, but you are not allowed to sell them for real-world cash. Remember – if the stuff you sell affects gameplay, we’re not cool with it.

Don’t pretend to be us, and provide your customers with loads of info!
If you do decide to monetise your server, you must clearly state that the purchase is not associated with Mojang, declare who the money is going to, and provide a purchase history and contact details. You should also check up on the legality of selling digital items in your specific region.

Thanks for reading!
As I hope you’ve noticed, these rules are making attempts to prevent Minecraft servers becoming “pay-to-win.” We hate the idea of server hosts restricting Minecraft’s features to players who have already bought our game! It seems really mean.

We’re hoping that these rules will give hosts opportunity to continue creating awesome Minecraft worlds, and for our players to enjoy them without being forced to spend.

Have a good day!

Owen – @bopogamel, and your buddies at Mojang.


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Battlefield Hardline: Stun Gun Community Mission


The Battlefield Hardline closed beta is in full swing and players from all over the world have thrown themselves into the all-out cops and criminals warfare. As you know, Battlefield is all about team play, and now we have the ultimate cooperative challenge for you: the very first Battlefield Hardline community mission.

We want you to collectively perform 250,000 takedowns with the Stun Gun in 6 days.

Battlefield Hardline 2 WM

The community mission will be active between June 10, 9AM PDT and June 16, 9AM PDT. If the goal is reached within time, all participating players will be awarded with an exclusive Battlefield Hardline in-game Patch, handed out at retail launch.

Now, charge up your Stun Guns, hit the streets, and go for that 250k!


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Announcing the Battlefield Hardline Closed Beta


Welcome to your new playground! We are very excited to announce that we have made the newly unveiled Battlefield Hardline playable now in a closed multiplayer beta, available on PC and PlayStation 4! This will be a unique chance for you to live out your cops and criminals fantasies – months before the official release on October 21.

To sign up for a chance to play the Battlefield Hardline closed beta, simply head to www.battlefield.com/beta and follow the instructions. (Please note that beta slots are limited).

Sign up for the Battlefield Hardline beta

Battlefield Hardline E3 Live Stream

To experience the thrilling cops and criminals world that is Battlefield Hardline right now, tune in to the exclusive Battlefield Hardline E3 live stream. Coming to you live from the rooftops of downtown Los Angeles, the live stream features 32 selected players going head-to-head in Battlefield Hardline’s multiplayer mayhem.

Watch the Live Stream – Experience the Future of Battlefield

A special message from Steve Papoutsis, Executive Producer on Battlefield Hardline:

To all BATTLEFIELD fans,

The team at Visceral Games and I are stoked to be working on the Battlefield franchise. Taking on this project and the responsibility of creating an all-new Battlefield game is an exciting moment for us as developers, but almost even more so as gamers. A lot of us at Visceral are huge Battlefield fans and have been playing since Battlefield 1942, Vietnam, 2142, Bad Company and more. That’s the great thing about Battlefield – the settings have changed over time but have always retained that same core gameplay formula that we as fans love. And that’s what we’re hoping to do with Battlefield Hardline.

When we first started thinking about what kind of Battlefield game we wanted to make, the cops and criminals theme immediately came up. At the time (about three years ago), there was a great group of modern military shooters out already and the new direction everyone was headed looked to be sci-fi. Having just worked on the Dead Space series, we were ready for a different setting.

But, making a Battlefield game is a huge undertaking, and we didn’t want to immediately jump in. So, we started by developing the last expansion for Battlefield 3, Battlefield 3: End Game. We were really proud of what we accomplished there, introducing dirt bikes to the franchise and creating some fun new maps that added to that great experience.

What End Game really helped us learn was what makes Battlefield so special – the rock, paper, scissors gameplay. Developing a game around that open sandbox in a cops and criminals world is tons of fun. Our daily playtests are always a highlight of the day. After all, who doesn’t like the action of a good crime drama or action movie like Heat, Die Hard, or The Town. We’re focused on creating a game that allows you to feel that rush of being a cop or criminal, by pulling off that big score or feeling that pleasure of making the huge bust. Imagine blowing open vaults, run-and-gun foot pursuits and near escapes via getaway choppers. This is the foundation of Battlefield Hardline.

We’re introducing a lot of cool new twists, which some of you will be able to discover in the closed beta right now. But, we’re also saving some surprises for launch. New gadgets like grappling hooks and ziplines can take you across skyscrapers, and tear gas and gas masks can really affect the battle that’s going on in the streets. We’ve added fun new melee weapons in the game with bats and batons and added a new mechanic in multiplayer called interrogation that fits more in line with the cops and criminals fiction. Not to mention we have our own methods to destruction and set of police and getaway vehicles including a police bearcat armored truck, fast muscle cars and of course street bikes.

We know it’s hard to believe us by just reading this so that’s why we are unveiling this game with a beta where you get to play the High Tension map on two new game modes, Heist and Blood Money. We want gamers to not only see, but also play the game for themselves. Even more important, having a beta this early will also help us test things on our end to help ensure a smooth launch. We are all aware of what happened with Battlefield 4 and we’ve been partnering with DICE to learn more from them and are working with them on things like the recent netcode patch (please note: improvements from this patch are not in the beta, but will be in for launch). We are definitely listening, so please send us your feedback whether it’s through social media or the Battlelog forums.

Before you go, I wanted to quickly touch on singleplayer. We are bringing the Visceral story-telling pedigree that we learned with Dead Space to the campaign of Battlefield Hardline. This will be a more personal experience than your typical shooter with compelling characters, a deeper story and production value like a great crime drama. That’s all I can say about singleplayer for now but keep your eyes peeled for more in the months ahead.

Welcome to Battlefield Hardline. Can’t wait to see you on the streets!

Steve Papoutsis

Executive Producer, Battlefield Hardline

VP, GM Visceral Games


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Pocket Edition 0.9.0 Snapshot. Biggest update ever!

Pocket Edition

Hello!

The Pocket Edition team are a hard-working bunch. Their most recent snapshot is the biggest update to Minecraft: Pocket Edition so far! It really is massive.

If you’re on Android and like the idea of testing these features early, join this Google community, then sign up for the updates.

For those of you who aren’t on Android, this update will be released for all versions of Pocket Edition in the near future with significantly less bugs. Be patient, pocket crafters. It’s going to be great!

Read on for the huge list…

New features

  • Unlimited worlds!
  • New culling algorithm
  • New culling of clouds
  • Tile entities are saved differently
  • New falling mechanics for gravel and sand
  • New insta ticking of water and lava

New blocks

  • Podzol
  • Mycelium
  • Huge mushroom blocks
  • Cocoa
  • End portal frame
  • Double plants
  • More stairs/slabs for new wood types
  • New log types (savanna tree and dark oak)
  • New leafs (savanna tree)
  • Monster egg
  • Stained clay
  • Waterlily
  • New flowers
  • Red sand
  • Hardened clay
  • End stone
  • Granite
  • Diorite
  • Andesite
  • Emerald block
  • Emerald ore
  • New leveldb based saving format
  • New entity handling
  • New crafting screen
  • Remade network code (mostly the same packages but new system).
  • New interact button (to make the game easier for new players)

New mobs

  • Slimes
  • Endermen
  • Wolves
  • Mooshrooms
  • Silverfish

New and updated biomes

  • Deserts
  • Extreme hills
  • Forests
  • Redwood taiga
  • Roofed forests
  • Frozen
  • Jungle
  • Savanna
  • Mesa
  • Mushroom island
  • Taiga
  • Deep ocean
  • Swamps

New world feature generation

  • Sand
  • Boulders
  • Ice patch
  • Ice spike
  • Spike
  • Lake
  • Double plants
  • Ground bushes
  • Fancy oaks
  • Jungle tree
  • Mega jungle tree
  • Mega pine tree
  • Savanna tree
  • Swamp tree
  • Huge mushroom
  • Tallgrass
  • Waterlily
  • Vines
  • Melons
  • Pumpkin
  • Dead bush
  • Monster rooms
  • Desert well
  • Fallen logs
  • Emerald ore

Tweaks to caves

  • Lava at the bottom of caves
  • Caves in desert and mesa
  • Strongholds
  • Villages
  • Villagers
  • Abandoned mine shafts
  • Flat world generation
  • Limited world generation
  • “New” mob spawning
  • Updated light generation
  • Grass color for different biomes
  • Foliage color for different biomes
  • Water color for swamps

New AI

  • Spiders
  • New leaf rendering
  • Added more spawn eggs in Creative Mode
  • Added immersive mode for Android
  • Added drip particles for water and lava
  • Updated create world screen

Tweaks and bug fixes

  • Correct name for stairs, slabs and spawn eggs
  • Beds no longer gives full health in normal difficulty
  • Smooth lighting added for:
  • Beds
  • Fences
  • Walls
  • Cobwebs
  • Chests
  • Leaves
  • Smooth lighting removed for:
  • Glowstone
  • Glass
  • Jack ‘o’ lanterns
  • Improved performance of TNT
  • Prettier clouds
  • The fog is darker underground

Known Bugs

  • The block highlight flickers (z-fights) when more than 10k blocks distant from spawn
  • Changing the view distance while in a world might crash the game
  • If players walk too far from each other in multiplayer, they can’t see each other

Known bugs requiring attention

  • Multiplayer is a bit fragile. Please test it and report all issues to us!
  • The LevelDB save format + upgrading of old maps. Please report any data corruption!
  • Crashes in general – uncommon and random crashes might still happen

 

If you made it this far, thanks! We’re impressed with your dedication.

Owen – @bopogamel, Johan – @jbernhardsson, and Tommasso – @_tomcc


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Battlefield Hardline: Into the Jungle


Visceral Games brings its critically-acclaimed storytelling swagger to an all new cops and criminal fantasy inspired by some of the most popular TV crime dramas.

For more Battlefield Hardline info: http://www.battlefield.com/hardline


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Battlefield Hardline: Into the Jungle Teaser


Visceral Games brings its critically-acclaimed storytelling swagger to an all new cops and criminal fantasy inspired by some of the most popular TV crime dramas.

For more Battlefield Hardline info: http://www.battlefield.com/hardline


This article was automatically syndicated from the following publicly available RSS feed The Battlefield Blog.

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This content does not belong to Gamers Life Line under any condition and is automatically syndicated for your viewing ease and pleasure.

Inside DICE: Our Lead Sound Designer


The award-winning audio work of the Battlefield games is a vital part of what makes the franchise successful. In this installment of “Inside DICE”, we have a quick chat with Andreas Almström, Lead Sound Designer. Learn more about dinosaur sounds and how to avoid noisy children…

andreas

You’re the lead sound designer here at DICE, how did you end up here/in this role? 
- I started here at DICE about 4 years ago. I got in in the f2p initiative here at DICE which turned into Easy and I helped ship two of their games. Then I got hired onto Battlefield 3, where I worked as a regular sound designer. I did a pretty good job so for Battlefield, I ended up as the lead sound designer.

- I have a specific skill set when it comes to core systems and very technical type sound designs, and weapons and vehicles are my sort of main interest. So being a lead sound designer here at DICE fits me very well.

What is the biggest challenge when creating sounds for a video game?
- The biggest challenge is to really capture the sound. Or in other words: to avoid disturbances – all the things that can distract from the performance or be an annoyance. We embrace recording in “wild” environments so we accept there is some grit in the field recordings. But it can be challenging to get away from sounds of people, animals, and children. Children are the hardest ones to silence!

Is there anything that people underestimate about sound design work?
- The amount of work that goes into creating a sound. If it works you take it for granted, but the amount of tweaking and handling or working with animation and working with VFX and making the systems, implementing them, creating the content, organizing content, keeping track of memory budgets, emails – it all adds up. If you’re not involved in a studio that works with games, it’s hard to dismiss the sound as something that’s just there.

Do you have a favorite sound from the Battlefield games?
- The hidden roar on Rogue Transmission is a personal favorite from Battlefield 4. That one was really fun to design, and the reaction it got from the community was incredible. We wanted to create some kind of puzzle that had to be solved, so an idea of two buttons that had to be pushed simultaneously was born. The sound itself was a mixture of sounds from elephants, lions, bushes, and then we added some reverb.

- When Battlefield 4 was released it took a few weeks before someone had gone through all the sounds of the game and found this roar. No one knew for sure how it could be triggered however, so there was a ton of discussions on the Battlelog forums. I think the thread consisted of 400 pages before someone had guessed the combination… It was great fun to follow this quest online!

Want to learn more about the sound design in Battlefield 4? Read “Sounds of the Battlefield“.


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What’s up with Minecraft.net today?

ResetthenetThe perceptive among you might have noticed the intimidating camera flash on Minecraft.net, followed by punchy message from a group known as Reset The Net. Here’s an explanation of what’s going on…

I am extremely confused!
OK – here’s a brief explanation: A year ago today it was revealed that the NSA (National Security Agency) and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) were intercepting data from phone and internet networks, and poking around in information stored by US technology companies. That’s extremely uncool.

Should I click the massive “Click Here” button?
Yes! We’ve put that on Minecraft.net today for a reason. Click it now, or read on for more information, then click it!

Why should I care?
The internet is a great thing, but the idea of companies operating closely with the government and giving away private data without consent is extremely worrying.

It’s a bit like someone accessing your Minecraft server, poking about in your chests, and reading all your chat logs without you knowing, only potentially more damaging (hard to believe – I know).

Umm. I’m scared now.
There’s no need to be scared. But there is a way to protect yourself. That’s what the Reset The Net campaign is about. It’s a place where you can learn how to fight against a potentially sinister side of the internet. Learn more at Reset The Net or watch the video below for more information.


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Battlefield Hardline Live Stream at E3


On June 9, the newly announced Battlefield Hardline will be taking to the stage at the Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles for EA’s World Premiere: E3 2014 Preview Press Conference. Hosted by our CEO Andrew Wilson, this will be your first chance to get an exclusive sneak peek at Battlefield Hardline as well as new projects and never-before-seen content from other EA studios.

To show off the thrilling cops and criminals theme of Visceral’s first entry to the franchise, we’re also excited to reveal an exclusive Battlefield Hardline E3 live stream. Coming to you live and direct from an undisclosed location in downtown Los Angeles, the Battlefield Hardline livestream will feature 32 selected players going head-to-head in all-out multiplayer mayhem. Without saying too much, we can promise you a truly spectacular event, true to the heart of Battlefield Hardline.

Be sure to RSVP on Facebook to receive a live stream reminder when it starts.

The Battlefield Hardline E3 live stream will begin at 1PM PDT/10PM CET on June 9 at Twitch.tv/Battlefield. Make sure to catch it to experience the future of Battlefield.

Don’t miss any of the action from the E3 Press Conference that starts at 12PM PT on June 9th – you can watch the live stream broadcast at ea.com/e3

bfhardline_keyart


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New Update Addressing “Netcode” Rolling Out


We’re happy to announce that we’ve released an update for PC, PS3, and X360 consoles today containing the new improved “Netcode” for Battlefield 4. The update will be released later this week on PS4 and Xbox One.

This update has been developed using the CTE (Community Test Environment) on PC (you can sign up if you haven’t done so already at http://cte.battlelog.com), and is the first update being deployed using your gameplay feedback.

The number of changes possible in this update would be difficult to pull off without the continued support from our community, both through direct constructive feedback and telemetry data gathered on the CTE.

High Frequency Network Update

For the PC, PS4, and Xbox One platforms, we are adding something we nicknamed the “High Frequency Bubble”.

Within a certain radius of the player, we add the possibility to update the clients at a higher rate from the server. What this essentially means is that the server will update the client on what is happening more often than before. This normally results in a smoother, more “correct” player experience.

netcode blog

The High Frequency Update is by default turned OFF in this release. You will have to enable this setting to take advantage of the improved networking. To support players with a limited bandwidth connection, we support three different levels: LOW, MEDIUM and HIGH. Most players with a connection faster than 1Mbit should be fine using the HIGH setting. If you experience any issues, lower or turn off the setting completely.

Playstation 4 & Xbox One Server Performance

The High Frequency Update will be rolled out to all 48 player servers and on a small set of 64 player servers immediately. We will then keep a close eye on the larger servers to make sure server performance stays good in the live environment. If all goes well, all servers will be supporting the high frequency update after 24 hours or rollout and testing.

PC Server Performance

On PC the RSPs are responsible for enabling the feature at their discretion, we expect most to do so as soon as possible.

Video Comparison

When testing our “High Frequency Bubble” changes to the network layer in Battlefield 4, we made sure to employ a measurable end-user experience metric. To do this, we have been using a 60fps video camera to capture two clients connected over the internet, and counting frames to get before and after results:

Future Plans

This is the first release to contain CTE-tested “Netcode” fixes and improvements. We are still hard at work with additional improvements and tweaks to better our network experience that did not make this release.

We hope to utilize the Community Test Environment for future release to ensure quality and stability across all platforms. If you wish to take part in this testing, the CTE still has slots open. The current requirement is to own a PC copy of Battlefield 4 with a Premium memebership to sign up at http://cte.battlelog.com

Update Details

PC
• Improved/reduced explosion induced camera shake
• Character collision improvements
• Fix to reduce object damage mismatch between client/server.
• Fix explosion packs not being able to be shot sometimes
• Improvements for client side packet loss
• Client crash fixes
• AMD Mantle multi-GPU improvements
• Carrier Assault game mode reports bug fix
• High Frequency Network update
- Added High frequency “bubble” updating player movement, stance, rotation, damage and projectiles at a separate rate on foot and in vehicles
- Added option to control client side update rate setting

PlayStation 3
• Improved/reduced explosion induced camera shake
• Rental server bug fixes
• Character collision improvements
• Reduced object damage mismatch between client/server.
• Fix for explosion pack not being able to be shot sometimes
• Improvements for client side packet loss
• Added controller option to swap functionality of the bumper and trigger buttons
• Carrier – Invisible walls stopping bullets fix

Xbox 360
• Improved/reduced explosion induced camera shake
• Rent A Server bug fixes
• Character collision improvements
• Reduced object damage mismatch between client/server.
• Fix for explosion pack not being able to be shot sometimes
• Improvements for client side packet loss
• Added controller option to swap functionality of the bumper and trigger buttons
• Physics optimization for Naval Strike Wave Breaker rocks
• Carrier – Invisible walls stopping bullets fix
• Fix for issue where clients with low bandwidth would not be able to enter squad menu.

PlayStation 4
• Improved/reduced explosion induced camera shake
• Rental server bug fixes
• Character collision improvements
• Fix to reduce object damage mismatch between client/server.
• Fix explosion packs not being able to be shot sometimes
• Improvements for client side packet loss
• Added controller option to swap functionality of the bumper and trigger buttons
• Physics optimization for Naval Strike Wave Breaker rocks
• Carrier – Invisible walls stopping bullets fix
• High Frequency Network update
- Added High frequency “bubble” updating player movement, stance, rotation, damage and projectiles at a separate rate on foot and in vehicles
- Added option to control client side update rate setting

Xbox One
• Improved/reduced explosion induced camera shake
• Rental server bug fixes
• Character collision improvements
• Fix to reduce object damage mismatch between client/server.
• Fix explosion packs not being able to be shot sometimes
• Improvements for client side packet loss
• Added controller option to swap functionality of the bumper and trigger buttons
• Physics optimization for Naval Strike Wave Breaker rocks
• Carrier – Invisible walls stopping bullets fix
• Fixed issue when using standby in Campaign
• Fixed issue when using standby and reconnecting to game servers
• Fixed issue with snapped application and matchmaking
• Playgroup Matchmaking fix for Xbox One
• Fixed incorrect error message for lost Xbox Live connection
• Fixed issue for user name mismatch in rental server, ingame scoreboard and Squad Join menus
• High Frequency Network update
- Added High frequency “bubble” updating player movement, stance, rotation, damage and projectiles at a separate rate on foot and in vehicles
- Added option to control client side update rate setting


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