[UPDATE 9/9 9:45am EST] Mojang has released Minecraft snapshot 13w36b, which features a couple of extra additions to the game, plus some extra bug fixes that weren't ready for inclusion in Minecraft snapshot 13w36a. Click here for the latest change log.

It's been just over two months, since the Minecraft 1.6 Update went live back in July, but Minecraft fans will be happy to know that we're officially on the road to the Minecraft 1.7 Update after Mojang released Minecraft snapshot 13w36a on Thursday.

Minecraft fans continue to devour content at a pace that Mojang (and even the modding community) seem barely capable of keeping pace with. Within days of Minecraft 1.6.1 going live on July 1, fans were already begging for a new round of Minecraft snapshots, curious as to what the Minecraft 1.7 Update might bring. Fortunately, the first in the usual series of Minecraft preview builds that precede each Minecraft patch emerged this week, and Minecraft snapshot 13w36a is likely to leave a large percentage of the game's 12 million person player pool eager for the Minecraft 1.7 Update.

The most dedicated Builders and map creators will be happy to know that the Minecraft team has implemented a new /summon command that allows players to spawn mobs with data that can be customized by the player creating the entity(s) in question. Minecraft snapshot 13w36a also features some of the new biomes that were teased by Bergensten late last month, when the programmer outlined a number of exciting changes coming to the game's world generator in the Minecraft 1.7 Update.

Minecraft snapshot 13w36a also brings an exciting update, for the Minecraft players who've been clamoring for improvements to the game's fishing system, introducing new fish, junk and treasure that can all wind up on players' hooks when fishing in Minecraft snapshot 13w36a. There's even a new potion to make use of the pufferfish being introduced in Minecraft 1.7, leaving me to wonder if somebody at Mojang was reading my wishlist for the Minecraft 1.7 Update.

The Minecraft dev team also made some changes to the Options screen in Minecraft snapshot 13w36a, and included new sound controls for better adjustment of a variety of in-game sounds. Jukeboxes also have adjustable sound levels now, and will be twice as loud as their previous iteration when set to max volume in the Minecraft 1.7 Update

Thankfully, though Minecraft dev Nathan "Dinnerbone" Adams wanted to keep the contents of Minecraft snapshot 13w36a a secret, lead programmer Jens Bergensten already posted the first Minecraft 1.7 preview build's change log on reddit. We've also posted the full change log for Minecraft snapshot 13w36a below, for anyone who'd like to save themselves a trip to reddit.

Here's the full Minecraft snapshot 13w36a change log:

  • - Added /summon [x] [y] [z] [dataTag] to spawn entities with custom data
  • - [I] Improved the terrain generator - Many biomes added or revisited!
    • -- Screenshot, Screenshots
    • -- Reduced frequency of black spots extremely
    • -- Improved biomes - Added pine trees to extreme hills, among other changes
    • -- "Disco Mountains" - Screenshot - Also, cliffs
    • -- Another new biome - Screenshot
    • -- Cliffs - Screenshot - Snow at level 80 and higher
    • -- [M] Higher world generation, skylands - Screenshot
    • -- Smaller oceans, biome variants with varying rarity
    • -- Biomes have been put into 4 categories: snowy, cold, medium, dry/warm - Now they will usually not neighbour extremely different biomes
    • -- Biome overviews: Before, then, after, then, now
    • -- (Via hearsay following:) New biomes: Savannah, snowy and non-snowy Taiga, Mesa (Canyon/Disco biome), Birch Forest, Redwood Forest, Black Forest (Dense trees and leaves), detailed snowy Plains, Extreme Snowy biome
  • - Depending on biome temperature, it will now snow on higher places
  • - Added Podzol/Pinestraw

    • -- Screenshots
    • -- Behaves like mycelium - grass can't spread on it
    • -- Can be harvested using Silk Touch
  • - Added new dirt block

    • -- Can't be overgrown
    • -- Has data/damage value 1
    • -- Can only be obtained using /give
  • - Added new plants

    • -- Sunflowers - Always face east when grown, Screenshots
    • -- Tall tall grass and blue tall flowers, Screenshots
    • -- Paeonia in pink, purely decorative - Screenshot
    • -- Several kinds of tulips
    • -- Some or all are flowering plants
    • -- Bonemeal-created flowers now depend on the biome
  • - Jukeboxes are now twice as loud since their volume is adjustable now

    • -- Maybe: Note Blocks too
  • - Weighted Pressure Plates now count entities, not just items
  • - Improved item frames

    • -- Screenshot
    • -- Looking at an item frame holding a renamed item now shows a nametag like on renamed mobs
    • -- Punching non-empty item frames now only drops their content
  • - You can now clone written books

    • -- Screenshot
    • -- Craft a written book with normal books to get all of them stacked together in the form of the original written book
  • - Falling now produces particles when landing

  • - Improved silverfish

    • -- Screenshot
    • -- Maybe: They now form conga lines
    • -- Added missing stone brick monster egg blocks
  • - Improved fishing

    • -- Is now "pretty fun and not at all frustrating"
    • -- More fish
    • -- More rewards: some good, some bad
    • -- Treasure: 7 items in total, including enchanted fishing rods with looting-like enchant, nametags, lily pads
    • -- Junk: 11 items in total, including broken fishing rods and damagedleather boots
    • -- Fish: 4 items in total, including the regular fish and poisonous pufferfish
    • -- Many more particles and different times until you get a nibble
    • -- There are enchantments to change your luck between the piles
  • - Water breathing potions can now be brewed using pufferfish
  • - Changed the Creative mode item selection screen Decoration tab's icon to that of the peony

  • - Custom item data can now be added via commands

    • -- Screenshots
    • -- Works only with /give so far
    • -- Works with enchantments, names and lore
    • -- Syntax example: {display:{Name:"Edward";Lore:["Edward made this.";"It's not your fault."]};ench:[{id:16;lvl:2};{id:17;lvl:1}]}
  • - Improved the NBT format

    • -- List tags no longer need to be named
    • -- No longer crashes when given the wrong type (integer/short)
    • -- Maybe: Ignoring case of tag names ("Name"/"name")
  • - Maybe: A very community oriented feature

    • -- Not gameplay related
  • - Improved the options screens

    • -- Rewrote some of them
    • -- Improved the 'Controls' section to include a scrollable list of keybinds, allow rebinding of the screenshot, camera and cinematic camera keys, added 'Sprint' key and moved 'Invert Mouse', 'Sensitivity' & 'Touchscreen Mode' there - Screenshot; Cinematic camera is now onF4 by default
    • -- Sprint key: Double tapping W still works, doesn't allow sprinting while sneaking, can be held down continuously to always sprint when moving
    • -- Added separate keybinds for every hotbar slot
    • -- Screenshot of the options menu
    • -- Rewrote scroll list GUI component for a new Resource Pack screen
    • -- Added Super Secret Settings... button in main Options menu
  • - Added more separate volume controls - Screenshots - Master Volume, Music, Weather, Blocks & Environment, Players, Jukeboxes & Note Blocks, Enemy Monsters, Friendly Animals
  • - Overhauled the resource pack screen

    • -- Screenshot
    • -- Animation, via
    • -- Now multiple resouce packs can be applied at once
    • -- The higher ones override the lower ones if files appear more than once
  • - Servers can now offer resource packs again

    • -- Max size increased to 50 MB
  • - Maybe: Being able to add new sounds using resource packs
  • - Improved the server list

    • -- Can now be refreshed using F5
    • -- Maybe: The MP screen can now be reordered in the same fashion as resource packs
  • - Reworked the achievements & stats system

    • -- Now ties in with the scoreboard system - added 744 new objectivecriteria that were previously tracked with statistics and achievements;Screenshots
    • -- Are now per world
  • - Improved bidi and arabic language handling - Screenshot
  • - Fixed some bugs

    • -- Fixed torches in mineshafts and strongholds not producing light correctly
    • -- Fixed VSync not applying on startup if not running in fullscreen mode
    • -- Fixed the "end of stream" spam in the MP console
    • -- The Protection enchantment no longer reduces hunger damage
    • -- Durability no longer decreases from unsuccessful attacks

To access the Minecraft snapshot 13w36a content on your own computer:

1. Launch Minecraft

2. Create a new profile (Dinnerbone suggests calling it "snapshots" for easy identification)

3. Check the box next to "Enable experimental development snapshots" and save the profile

Now you should be able to swap between the latest Minecraft snapshot and the normal version of the game via the drop-down menu in the lower left-hand corner of the launcher!

Be sure to check back with iDigitalTImes.com and follow Scott on Twitter for all the latest Minecraft news as we continue to follow development of the Minecraft 1.7 Update in the weeks to come.

What do you think of all the changes introduced in Minecraft snapshot 13w36a? Are you already experiencing a major issue(s) in the first preview build of the Minecraft 1.7 Update? Have an idea for a feature or change you'd like to see added to the game in a future Minecraft snapshot/patch?

Let us know in the comments section!

More Minecraft News:

Minecraft 1.7 Update: New World Biome Generator, Lily Pad Changes Revealed By Devs

Minecraft Xbox 360 Update 13 Will Serve As The Game's Latest Bug Fix Patch, Says 4J Studios

Minecraft 1.7 Update: Ten Changes We Want To See In The Next Version Of Minecraft