Notch Details Creepy New Mob For Minecraft's Adventure Update

by Jeff Marchiafava on Jul 29, 2011 at 01:30 PM

Meet the Endermen, a new mob featured in Minecraft's anticipated Adventure update, which Notch has designed to freak you out during gameplay.

In a blog post entitled "The Psychology of the Reticle and the Feeling of Control," Notch explains how this new, lanky figure is designed to set the player on edge.

"Last weekend, I started working on a new mob...and for some reason I decided to make yet another creepy one. It’s dark, it has long and narrow limbs, moves very slowly, and will pick up blocks and move them around. I wanted this to be a mob you only saw in the distance and a mob you’d be afraid of, but when I playtested it, it mostly felt like a regular zombie...When I made it move faster towards the player when attacking, and deal more damage, it got more difficult and I started respecting it, but it never felt creepy or scary."

Notch goes on to explain the key elements to making the Endermen creepy. "So I made it passive until you looked straight at it. And that was scary. Suddenly you could walk up to these looking beasts (they’re three meters tall) and watch them as they moved their blocks around, but as soon as you happened to look straight at them, they’d attack..." Notch says the Endermen will be activated when the players reticle pans over them, so you're free to watch them in the periphery.

"Still, that was more scary than creepy. It’s like a jump scare in a movie. You know it might happen at any time, and when it happens you freak out a bit. I wanted something a bit more psychological. So to really drive home the point of looking at them being bad, I made the Endermen freeze and turn towards you when you look at them. As long as you look straight at them, they stand perfectly still and look straight at you. As soon as you look away, they will run (very fast) towards you."

Notch also reveals that Endermen are capable of teleporting as well, so you're not necessarily safe even if viewing them from a distance. All in all they do indeed sound pretty creepy, and we can't wait to see how the new mob affects the feeling of exploring Minecraft's massive, dangerous worlds.

[via PC Gamer]