Similar to the original game, Minecraft Earth focuses on building structures, gathering resources, crafting and exploration. Unlike the original game, players can now build augmented reality structures in collaboration with other players, gather resources through tapping on “tappables” in the in-game map, and access “Adventure” which may be a puzzle or a specific task, or a virtual location with hostile entities to defeat. These quests reward players with in-game currency, while collaborative construction is completed on “build plates”, and players can share copies of their completed structures. Plus, Earth features a progression system with levels and experience points. Read more for the first live augmented reality demo straight from WWDC 2019.
According to game director Torfi Olafsson, this game will take into account physical scenes, like trees and lakes, into the virtual world. Minecraft Earth, set for a planned closed beta in summer 2019, utilizes information from the OpenStreetMap database for map information and is built on Microsoft’s Azure PlayFab platform, using the Azure Spatial Anchors for its augmented reality features. Built on the Bedrock Engine, it will be free-to-play, and supports Android and iOS smartphones.