Mojang really outdid themselves for April Fools’ Day this year. Their 2020 Minecraft April Fools’ prank is one for the history books. But it’s almost not even really a prank.
It’s more like an April Fools’ treat.
Minecraft players discovered a new snapshot for Minecraft on April Fools’ Day. Mojang called it “20W14infinite,” likely because there’s an infinite number of new dimensions.
Upon booting up Minecraft for the day, players quickly noticed something wasn’t quite the same: The boot screen appeared slightly different. When the game finished loading, they heard the start-up screen sing “Mojang!” in the classic SEGA style.
So far, so good.
Then someone discovered that throwing a signed book into a Nether portal generates a very random Minecraft world on the other side. All you have to do is write anything you want in a “Book and Quill” and sign it.
When you throw the book into the portal, it changes color. Go through the portal, and you end up in a randomly generated world. Apparently, Mojang has rigged up the game to hash any string of characters from a book into a seed.
And the worlds generated are absolutely stunning.
The really fun part of this is if players discover a truly amazing dimension, they can share what they wrote in the book with other Minecraft fans, who can use it to generate the same world on their machine.
It’s a deliciously meta prank, because this is the kind of rumor someone would spread online as an April Fools’ joke. “Hey if you throw a signed book into a Nether portal…” Then when people try it, and it doesn’t work: “April Fools’!”
But it does work. This is like an anti-April Fools’ prank.
And fans are a lot happier with it than Mojang’s 2018 Minecraft April Fools’ prank. In which someone thought it would be a good idea to update the textures to look like absolute crap upon loading the game.
Many people thought they had completely, irreparably messed up their game with recently-installed mods. Mojang literally made someone’s daughter cry. Another’s autistic son went into total meltdown.
But the community is giving this year’s “prank” two big thumbs up.