If I’ve not been blogging or tweeting much recently, it’s because I’ve discovered Minecraft!
Although not as dramatic as that fanmade trailer makes it appear, Minecraft still can be pretty tense. The only real challenge is to survive, which is easy enough once you know what you’re doing, but can be a real struggle for the first couple of nights. Penny Arcade captures the feeling of your first three nights pretty well:
This blog post explains the appeal perfectly:
Minecraft is exceptionally good at intrinsic narrative. It recognises, preserves and rewards everything you do. It presses you to play frontiersman. A Minecraft world ends up dotted with torchlit paths, menhirs, landmarks, emergency caches. Here’s the hole where you dug stone for your first house. Here’s the causeway you built from your spawn point to a handy woodland. Here’s the crater in the landscape where the exploding monster took out you and your wheatfield at once. And, of course, here’s your enormous castle above a waterfall. There’s no utility in building anything bigger than a hut, but the temptations of architecture are irresistible. Minecraft isn’t so much a world generator as a screenshot-generator and a war-story generator.
I read that the creator, Notch, is planning to make Survival mode a bit more of a challenge, and introduce some story elements so players can get a sense of closure at some point. Personally, I hope not. I’d much rather see some enemies with some really good AI. Perhaps primitive tribes that could be enemies or allies.
If you want to see a bit of gameplay, there are lots of videos on YouTube, including this great tutorial on how to survive your first night.
Each world generated is a vast and unique sandbox, probably much larger than you will ever explore. Some people like the adventure and exploration elements, but I’m more interested in design and construction, although I simply don’t have the time to build something on the scale some others have…
Minecraft megaobjects (and microchips)
A 1:1 scale Enterprise-D! (via ars)
The El Castillo pyramid at Chichen-Itza
Building a working computer
I think my very first encounter with Minecraft was this video of a guy demonstrating how to make a nice inviting fire in your own home – but then things get out of control…
- Minepedia – Essential. I keep this open alongside my game the whole time.
- Minecraft forums
- SeaNanners has a great series of gameplay videos. He’s very entertaining, and these are almost as fun to watch as the game is to play. Start here!