"The original idea was to make a game similar to Dwarf Fortress in tone, but with a Rollercoaster Tycoon type interface," Persson explained. "As I was playing around with a first person mode I stumbled upon a game called Infiniminer that used low-res textures in a 3D environment, and I realized that that was a perfect fit for both my artistic skills and the type of game I wanted to make.Building a hit, one block at a time: the creation of Minecraft
"Right from the start, the vision for Minecraft was very similar to where Minecraft alpha is now, but I focused on just getting the engine written and making sure that the controls felt smooth. People really liked the early versions of the game that didn't have any gameplay at all, so I decided to keep that around, calling it "creative mode...'"
"I'm working on hiring some people to help with development and business, getting an office, and all that," he told Ars. "Then my focus is to finish up survival mode multiplayer, with working enemies and health and better cheat prevention tools for server admins. Once that is done, the game will be in beta, and there will be lots of polishing and tweaks to get the game ready for the final version. After the final version, we will keep working on the game.
"There are a lot of things that could be added to this game, and we'd like to try to add as many of those as we can."