What’s the deal with Minecraft: Story Mode’s Wither Storm?

By Brenna Hillier, Friday, 16 October 2015 04:17 GMT

Almost everything in Minecraft: Story Mode exists in vanilla Minecraft or resource packs – except the Wither Storm.

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In Minecraft: Story Mode players face a threat called a Wither Storm. It’s one of the few concepts in Story Mode that doesn’t exist in Minecraft itself, was essential in the development of the game’s plot, and got the nod from Mojang.

“We’ve been working really closely with Mojang to make sure the game is authentic. Any time we push it, we make sure its things that might be able to be done with resource packs and the like. Though something like the Wither Storm is obviously unique to Story Mode,” TellTale’s Kevin Bruner said in a Reddit AMA.

“When we push the limits, it’s usually the result of a direct conversation with Mojang where we pitch ideas back and forth and start nerding out on the same things and then viola, a new idea/modified monster such as the Wither Storm is born,” creative director Dennis Lenart added.

Those who looked closely at the Wither Storm, trying to figure out how it fits in with the world, may have noticed something at its heart – and Bruner confirmed that’s an important observation.

“Without any spoilers, the command block is a design choice and very important part of the story,” he said.

Discussing the Wither Storm’s origins, Lenart said both telltale and Mojang loved the idea.

“The Wither Storm concept came out of the story room process with Mojang and as soon as it was suggested, pretty much everyone went ‘Ohhhh yeah, that’s awesome. We have to do that,'” he said.

“We iterated on its look a bit (tentacles vs. no tentacles, how big it is, the tractor beams, etc.), but for the most part it’s pretty similar to how we described it all the way at the beginning.”

There’s one other cute anecdote related to the Wither Storm:

“In the realm of life imitating art, a few months ago during production on episode 1, one of our writers unleashed a wither on our TTG Minecraft server that destroyed an entire town that one of our programmer’s named Carl had made,” Lenart said.

“He sent out the saddest email to the company the following Monday informing everyone what had happened.”

The full AMA contains some interesting discussion of how closely Telltale and Mojang worked together, how Telltale prototypes Minecraft: Story Mode in vanilla Minecraft and Telltale’s other projects.

The first episode of Minecraft: Story Mode is out now on Android, iOS, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, with Wii U and Vita releases pending. It’s pretty good, apparently.

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