Minecraft is getting a new enemy, described by creator Markus "Notch" Persson as "possibly too creepy." Describing the creation of the new 'Enderman' enemy, Persson explains what goes into making a new mob and how the process shifted the creature's behavior along the way.
The Endermen mob is described as dark, with "long and narrow limbs." It "moves very slowly, and will pick up blocks and move them around." The first iteration felt like a regular zombie, so he made it move faster and deal more damage, but something was still missing.
Persson concluded that consequences for your actions make them more scary, so he started making the Endermen react violently to looking straight at them with the targeting reticle. "You can keep them visible on screen and actually look straight at them in real life, but as soon as your character looks straight at them, boom." But then, he says in a blog post, it was "more scary than creepy."
The solution was apparently to keep the violent reaction, but delay it. "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," he said. "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." Plus, to close long distances, they can teleport. Creepy, indeed.
The new mob is supposed to come with the Adventure Update (aka moved to Beta 1.8). If you want to give Minecraft a shot without committing to buying it, you can get a limited-time free trial with the current Humble Indie Bundle -- along with the five other Bundle games, of course.
[Ed. Note: We've corrected an error that stated 'Adventure' was coming in update 1.7, it was recently pushed to 1.8]