'Minecraft' 1.3 combines single-player and multiplayer

Minecraft version 1.3 is set to merge the game's single-player and multiplayer modes on August 1st, developer Mojang announced today.

The next update to Minecraft, version 1.3, is set to change the game's fundamental structure on August 1st, developer Mojang announced today.

Single-player Minecraft will no longer exist on its own; instead, it will live as a "shell" atop the multiplayer mode. This sets the stage for the modding API, which has been pushed back to the 1.4 update, and makes it much easier for Mojang to fix bugs.

However, this change also means that "the game needs to be able to both simulate and emulate the world" during single-player gameplay, an exercise that increases Minecraft's system requirements. The studio is working on optimizations to rendering, but they won't be implemented until version 1.4.

Minecraft v1.3 also adds a system for trading with villagers, the ability to write in books, and a host of sundry items including tripwire for creating traps. Check out the full list of changes on Mojang's blog.

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