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Jens bergensten Jeb Mojang

Jeb in his own words in 2016 – a lost interview

Something simple since I haven’t posted in a while. I have 50 post drafts sitting around ;-;

“Jeb has amazing hair!” – Splash 216.

I can’t verify the authenticity of this interview, though there’s little reason to doubt. The original interview was published as part of a larger article on Inside the box | From The Desk of Risto Pakarinen. That in turn was taken from the Scandinavian Traveler at the following non-existent link (The website was likely bought out by a travel company and wiped clean). Original title: “Jens Bergensten – A creative mind behind Minecraft”


Jens Bergensten – A creative mind behind Minecraft

“[Jens about coding new Minecraft features alone, later impressing Notch] I can now see how it could have gone terribly wrong, but I was naive and thought everybody would love what I had done.”

“[Jens about development] That was cooler than the actual game. I’ve always been ­someone who wants to fix things. My mother had an Apple II with Lode Runner, a 1983 game in which you could create your own levels. I made hundreds of them for my brother.”

Nibbles [Early game by Jens] was originally a two-player game, but I made it a three-player game, simply by copying strings of code ­everywhere the number of players was ­defined.”

“People use Minecraft in different ways. Children are a big group, and many of them get into the game for the adventure and to build their own worlds. Tweens get a little more ­competitive and take on challenges on the big servers of the world.”

“Teens often leave Minecraft because it’s not considered cool, but many come back later on, and when they do, they play in a more structured way. There are all kinds of players, from the engineer types who build massive machines to whole families who build worlds together.”

“Sometimes they [Mojang] add functions that do too much. I like every function to do as little as possible. They’re ­supposed to help players deal with their inconveniences, not solve their problems for them. Unfortunately, players who use mods aren’t going to settle for the most balanced function.”

“If I could work on one of my big ideas, I wouldn’t be able focus on Minecraft anymore. And that’s why I have a hard time getting started… so I just play games.”

“A really good idea may sound a little too good when you hear it.”

“Minecraft was like that. Marcus [Persson] wanted to create a castle-­building game with a bird’s-eye view. Then he saw Infiniminer, a first-person game, and got their permission to use some of their code. It was the combination of the first-person perspective and the adventure that was the key. Nobody else had seen that.”

“One trick we have in this industry is game jams, in which we create a game in a limited time using some constraints, often chosen at random. That’s inspiring and can sometimes lead to bigger things or give you solutions you can use in some other games. Nuclear Throne got its start in a game jam.”

“It’s good to box yourself in a little and then be creative inside the set parameters. That gives you a direction to go. If you then hit a point where you ­realize it’s not going to be any good, just toss it aside. Ideas come and go. Maybe you can reuse at least parts of what you’ve created.”

“[Jens about having an office across from a school as Minecraft was growing.] I waved to them and then decided to go outside to give them Minecraft cards that we have. When I realized I didn’t have enough of them, I did a quick head count before going back into the office to get more cards.”

“A small boy once gave me a huge hug and told me he loved me. That caught me by surprise.”

“I don’t tweet about politics. I’m now linked to a game that many children play, so I’ll keep my tweets to my life, games, and Minecraft. [Jens has mostly ceased Tweeting as of October 2023] ”

“[Per Strömbäck on Jens] Minecraft has had a tradition of being transparent and there has always been a clear author behind the game. First it was Notch, now Jens is carrying the torch. It’s unusual, though, that a developer is as well-known as the developers of Minecraft have been.”

“[Per Strömbäck on Jens] Twitter has been an important tool, but the school kids don’t have Twitter. Maybe it’s just one of those things that spreads across a schoolyard. When I was a kid, we talked about the members of KISS. I guess Jens is the Gene Simmons of our time,”

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