Minecraft 1.20: Thoughts on Version Numbers, and The New “Features”

I didn’t watch Minecraft Live in full, just the part where they discussed a little bit about what was new in this update. And honestly? It’s pretty underwhelming so far, but I feel like we kind of expected that. Mojang hasn’t had an excellent track record with delivering upon promised features in one update.

(Caves & Cliffs was split into, technically, 3 updates: 1.17, 1.18, 1.19. As a reminder, Caves & Cliffs was initially supposed to be one singular update.)

However, all that being said… there are some gems in here I’d like to highlight, because they’re super important!

There are new Default Skins! We’ve been introduced to (pictured below in this post, from left to right) Sunny, Kai, Makena, Steve, Alex, Zuri, Efe, Ari, and Noor. This is a huge step towards representation for all in the game, and I’m so happy to see it.

[Image: Minecraft.net / Mojang]

Additionally, we heard about a handful of new additions to the game today. They are:

  • Camel
  • Hanging Signs
  • Chiseled Bookshelves
  • Bamboo building blocks
  • Rafts

But unlike previous years, we did not learn the name of this update nor have we heard about all of the new additions. We’ve just been given a small taste of what’s to come. I feel like this is a better direction considering 1.17, 1.18, and 1.19’s hiccups. The only thing we did learn is that this is Minecraft 1.20.

And I want to talk about these version numbers for a second.

As someone who actively follows the development and tests the stable releases of the Linux kernel, I’m starting to feel like the version number for Minecraft is getting too big. Linux, for example, resets its version number usually once it hits the “.19” milestone, then it moves up a main number.

With Minecraft, it’s starting to get to the point where “2.0” would feel more fitting for this update. Honestly, the Nether Update is where I feel they should have reset the version numbers. “1.20” is the last version I feel should be “version 1” of the game.

We’re coming up on 11 years of Minecraft releasing as a full game, after all. It’s time for a change, dare I say: a new lease on life.

I’m excited to see where 1.20 goes, even if I’m skeptical much will be delivered. We’ll likely see this fully release in the summer, with snapshots to take place very soon. I’m looking forward to testing them with my friends when they start releasing snapshots!