The Weekly Kickstarter: Building Minecraft

Minecraft is a massively successful videogame that has taken the indie scene by storm, providing one of the best regarded and most addictive experiences to ever hit the industry. Unlike the multi-million dollar budgets and expansive staff numbers that go into typical game development, however, Minecraft is the work of one extremely talented and dedicated artist. This week's featured Kickstarter project is a documentary that looks at Minecraft's ongoing creation and how an indie videogame sensation is born.

Minecraft is a massively successful videogame that has taken the indie scene by storm, providing one of the best regarded and most addictive experiences to ever hit the industry. Unlike the multi-million dollar budgets and expansive staff numbers that go into typical game development, however, Minecraft is the work of one extremely talented and dedicated artist. This week’s featured Kickstarter project is a documentary that looks at Minecraft‘s ongoing creation and how an indie videogame sensation is born.

2 Player Production‘s Kickstarter project focuses on the creator of Minecraft — Markus “Notch” Persson — over the year in which he began to form a new development studio from money earned on game sales. Minecraft: The Story of Mojang provides an intimiate look at the birth of the Swedish team, Mojang Specifications, as it hunkers down on finishing the title and Notch works to fulfill player expectations while simultaneously dealing with finding himself at the head of one of the most-watched companies in videogame history.

Minecraft, for the uninitiated, is a deceptively simple game that puts players into a virtual world where continued survival depends on mining resources and building elaborate defenses from harvested blocks. It has quickly established a rabid fanbase and unprecedented sales figures — unheard of for games that haven’t even released a finalized version yet. An enormous number of devoted players have made Minecraft into something of a giant, bin-free Lego set wherein incredible architectural feats are regularly accomplished and shared with the world (often via YouTube) in a strange, digital iteration of show-and-tell.

2 Player Productions is uniquely qualified for the job of capturing the essence of the game and its creator. The documentary crew is devoted to the world of games, specifically the culture surrounding it, and has previously worked on projects like a weekly reality show centred on webcomic, Penny Arcade‘s offices, and a host of music videos for the burgeoning “chiptune” scene. The strength of 2 Player’s one-of-a-kind aesthetic provided the team with an invitation to travel to Sweden and follow Notch as he began the arduous process of building a design company from the ground up. What began as a 20-minute short quickly outgrew its limitations and, now, 2 Player Productions’ require help in order to fully flesh out the Mojang — and Minecraft — story.

Donations to Minecraft: The Story of Mojang go toward helping 2 Player Productions with the travel expenses required to continue shooting in Stockholm, Sweden (where Notch and Mojang are based) as well as various production costs. Money will be invested in crucial areas like the hiring of a post-production crew and audio engineers as well as the commissioning of an original, chiptune soundtrack. The rewards on offer for various pledging tiers are sure to appeal to the game’s already devout fanbase too. 2 Player Productions understands its ideal audience well and has produced some impressive swag for casual and devout Minecraft fans alike to enjoy.

To donate to Minecraft: The Story of Mojang on Kickstarter, do a little clicky-click here. The project will be funded on Saturday, March 26th, 2011 at 2.49am EST (if the pledge goal of $150,000 is met). 20 minutes of the uncompleted film are also available through this link.