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The Enterprise Drops Into Minecraft
September 28, 2010 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Felicia Day tweeted about halkun's project to import plans for the Enterprise into Minecraft virtual reality. This video walkthrough is the result.
posted by cgc373 (109 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm waiting for it to catch fire.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:58 AM on September 28, 2010 [15 favorites]


At this point I think free copies of Minecraft should be given out with unemployment checks.
posted by The Whelk at 8:58 AM on September 28, 2010 [18 favorites]


I'm confused... Felicia Day's tweet links to the video walkthrough. How could the walkthrough then be a result of the tweet? Is there some kind of time loop going on? Do we need to reverse the polarity of the tachyons?
posted by kmz at 8:59 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm confused... Felicia Day's tweet links to the video walkthrough. How could the walkthrough then be a result of the tweet?

One should attempt to include a reference to Felicia Day whenever possible.
posted by bondcliff at 9:03 AM on September 28, 2010


Arthur's senses bobbed and spun as, traveling at the immense speed he knew the minecart attained, they climbed slowly through the open air, leaving the gateway through which they had passed an invisible pinprick in the shimmering Moiré-patterned wall behind them.

The wall.

The wall defied the imagination -- seduced it and defeated it. The wall was so paralyzingly vast and sheer that its top, bottom, and sides passed away beyond the reach of his video card. The mere shock of vertigo could kill a mob.

"Welcome," said Slartibotfast as the tiny speck that was the minecart, traveling now at three times the speed of a frightened pig, crept imperceptibly forward into the mind-boggling space, "welcome," he said, "to our factory floor."

Arthur stared about him in a kind of wonderful horror. Ranged away before them, at distances he could neither judge nor even guess at, were a series of curious suspensions, delicate traceries of metal and light hung about shadowy spherical shapes that hung in the space.

A flash of light arced through the structure and revealed in stark relief the patterns that were formed on the dark sphere within. Patterns that Arthur knew, rough blobby shapes that were as familiar to him as the shapes of words, part of the furniture of his mind. For a few seconds he sat in stunned silence as the images rushed around his mind and tried to find somewhere to settle down and make sense.

The flash came again, and this time there could be no doubt.

"The Enterprise..." whispered Arthur.
/gratuitous repost
posted by Rhaomi at 9:05 AM on September 28, 2010 [13 favorites]


One. Block. At. A. Time.

I have empathetic carpal tunnel for this guy.
posted by cavalier at 9:06 AM on September 28, 2010


Sure, I'll fave the HGttG ref twice.
posted by Artw at 9:07 AM on September 28, 2010


O.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:08 AM on September 28, 2010


Minecraft seems like legos but without the annoyance of buying the parts. Or at least it attracts the same kind of people.
posted by smackfu at 9:13 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


cavalier: "One. Block. At. A. Time. I have empathetic carpal tunnel for this guy."

Nothing so monk-like-- he took plans he already had and converted them into a minecraft readable format and imported them deck by deck, no hand-placing needed (so far). Still very impressive, would be fun to help finish it off it, if it were on a public server.
posted by Static Vagabond at 9:14 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


One. Block. At. A. Time.

Actually, I don't think it is. There are add-ons that allow you to give them a set of plans and they will auto-build from that plan, and he talks of 'importing'. From the PA thread:

"The Minecraft world uses 1m^3 blocks, ans so, I simply converted my already scaled plans into a format that minecraft could take and imported each deck in batch, leaving 4 spaces in between for walls"

It's still impressive, I guess, just not *as* impressive.
posted by graventy at 9:15 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


The mind boggles at the amount of free time.

But still appreciates. Now build us one with no bloody -A, -B, -C or -D, the Matt Jefferies original, please? (shout out to Andy Probert, tho)
posted by zoogleplex at 9:17 AM on September 28, 2010


I'm loving Minecraft, but personally I'm not very excited by these imported structures. It's basically just converting image formats. Yeah, some imagination required in figuring out what to import, whether it'll look good scaled, etc. But end of the day it's less like sculpting and more like cutting-and-pasting some clip art.

I love the complexity of Minecraft's survival mode, where the game physics and AI itself conspire to make it difficult to do things. Black objects become impressive because you know the only way to get black is to go deep into a mine, find some diamonds, make a diamond pick, then manipulate a river on top of lava to generate obsidian, then clear out the lava, and then slowly, methodically chip away one block at a time to get some precious obsidian before the creepers find you and blow you up. Scarcity makes things valuable, even in virtual worlds.
posted by Nelson at 9:21 AM on September 28, 2010 [10 favorites]


I agree with Nelson, but this is still pretty damn cool.
posted by Mister_A at 9:21 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Have to say I'm with Nelson on this one. I saw the Enterprise skeleton prior to this fpp and was staggered, but I had assumed that it was made "by hand".

mined and built > freeform built > > > imported

Still... 1st person perspective certainly adds something, were you to walk into a giant chamber and look up to see the Enterprise. He's right when he says people probably don't realize just how humongous the thing is.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:27 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now he just needs to put a Star Destroyer in there, employ some sort of battle simulation and we can finally put the argument to rest.

And by argument I mean "who is the nerdiest person of all time" because he would clearly win.
posted by starman at 9:28 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


One time I saw the actual physical model for the Super Star Destroyer. It was about 12 foot long, and awesome.
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Welcome," said Slartibotfast as the tiny speck that was the minecart, traveling now at three times the speed of a frightened pig, crept imperceptibly forward into the mind-boggling space, "welcome," he said, "to our factory floor."

Slartibartfast.

It's cool lookin'. But what does it do in the game?
posted by zarq at 9:31 AM on September 28, 2010


The internet might have just jumped the shark.
posted by LakesideOrion at 9:35 AM on September 28, 2010


zarq: "Slartibartfast. "

Unless he built that monstrosity by hand and not by automated scripts, I'm thinking "Slartibotfast" is an appropriate pun. IT'S MY JOKE AND I'M STICKING TO IT.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:39 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's cool lookin'. But what does it do in the game?

It's creative mode. Building stuff is the game. It's just a toy, really.
posted by empath at 9:39 AM on September 28, 2010


It vibrates.
posted by Artw at 9:41 AM on September 28, 2010


Aw, imported? Feh.

Still neat, but, feh.
posted by cavalier at 9:45 AM on September 28, 2010


Unless he built that monstrosity by hand and not by automated scripts, I'm thinking "Slartibotfast" is an appropriate pun. IT'S MY JOKE AND I'M STICKING TO IT.

Philistine! :D
posted by zarq at 9:45 AM on September 28, 2010


It's creative mode. Building stuff is the game. It's just a toy, really.

Ah. Looks like a fun, tremendous time suck.
posted by zarq at 9:46 AM on September 28, 2010


it so is and it's only going to get more fun as it develops.
posted by The Whelk at 9:48 AM on September 28, 2010


I'm loving Minecraft, but personally I'm not very excited by these imported structures. It's basically just converting image formats. Yeah, some imagination required in figuring out what to import, whether it'll look good scaled, etc. But end of the day it's less like sculpting and more like cutting-and-pasting some clip art.

I tend to agree, though for all that there is a lot of charm to the careful application of an adaptation sensibility to such a project.

I've taken a kind of perverse stubborn pride in doing this (not to mention this, with some help from a friend) totally by hand on the multiplayer server.

There's a weird kind of holistic zen satisfaction to taking these big projects on and laying them down block by block, going on mining runs for materials, doing landscaping and earthmoving to create the right sort of terrain, setting up subfloors to support notoriously gravity-sensitive sand floors, treating grass like a virus that you can spread where you want and have to carefully firewall off from where you don't want it.

With the Hyrule map (still in progress though the whole skeleton of the overworld is in place now, happily), I've planned enough that I could be sure to get it laid out correctly but left enough of the details of the project unspecific that there's an extra bit of improvised creative component to how I'm doing the addition of depth to any given screen, which keeps it from being a robotic drudge.
posted by cortex at 9:53 AM on September 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


Oh god Hyrule map. So obvious. I may actually pay for this now.
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


(I'm trying to build an underground Forrest but with no luck. Does light passing through glass still count as light or?)
posted by The Whelk at 9:57 AM on September 28, 2010


I like the comparison that building things in Minecraft is like making sand paintings. Methodical, slow, meditative, transient.
posted by Nelson at 9:57 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


My brother used a line I like very much: Minecraft is chiptune architecture.
posted by cortex at 9:59 AM on September 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


Hyrule..... cortex, that's lovely.
posted by cavalier at 10:00 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


i think i may be alone in appreciating the 3D entropic landscapes of the hyper-griefed public servers. Especially after getting immersed in the LEGO-naturale survival mode.
posted by ennui.bz at 10:05 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I've been thinking that more entropy needs to be built into the game somehow.

Walls eroding, wood rotting, torches going out, the player getting hungry, etc... So if an area isn't actively being 'lived in', it becomes ruins.

Also gives more incentive to mine, etc.
posted by empath at 10:08 AM on September 28, 2010


Yeah, I've been thinking that more entropy needs to be built into the game somehow.

I think the only agent of entropy in survival mode are those exploding trolls.
posted by ennui.bz at 10:12 AM on September 28, 2010


You'd better be building the dungeons (in the correct places) into that Hyrule map. Hell, all the caves. So cool.
posted by graventy at 10:15 AM on September 28, 2010


cortex: Are you going to dig the dungeons underneath the world map? I don't know if they all fit or how they were originally coded into memory or anything, so that might not work.
posted by wires at 10:24 AM on September 28, 2010


You'd better be building the dungeons (in the correct places) into that Hyrule map. Hell, all the caves.

I've built every cave entrance in, even the under-bush and in-wall holes that you have to bomb or burn open. It is feeling...unlikely that the actual content of all that will take form, because frankly it's a lot of dull work to gore out each plain black 7*12 hole. I've made a couple of the key near-start ones.

As for the dungeons, that's even trickier. A lot of drudge work in any case with even fewer choices for decor, but beyond that the dungeons would have to be dug at varying depths to avoid overlap, and there's a HUGE natural cave system under the overworld map that would make building such a thing even crazier.

I may do level one just to prove I can, maybe after taking a break once the goddam overworld is done, but I'm not sure if it's worth it to do all nine, when you can't even get a nice overhead view of them like you can with the overworld.
posted by cortex at 10:27 AM on September 28, 2010


I would be curious to see if there's a correlation between Minecraft downtime and increased posting activity on MetaFilter.

If you haven't played it, DEAR GOD GET AWAY WHILE YOU STILL CAN!
posted by brundlefly at 10:27 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


They all fit together.
posted by empath at 10:28 AM on September 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I suspect the easiest way to go about that would be to start building that at the surface level, and then put the overworld on top of it as a roof.
posted by Artw at 10:30 AM on September 28, 2010


(I'm trying to build an underground Forrest but with no luck. Does light passing through glass still count as light or?)

You can grow trees underground without any access to the actual sky. Just put a bunch of torches around them, and lay a TON of seedlings. I get good results from laying the trees in a checkerboard pattern.

Here is my underwater garden, and this is the outside view, for reference. Some people will tell you that seedlings need a ton of space to grow, but you can see two trees diagonally touching in the first screenshot. Just make sure they have at least 4 vertical blocks available.
posted by tylermoody at 10:30 AM on September 28, 2010


They all fit together.

Indeed, and previously. But, alas, not in their ostensible below-ground configuration. It's a nice bit of storage efficiency on the designers' part but it doesn't help me out at all when real space comes into it.
posted by cortex at 10:31 AM on September 28, 2010


I'm not sure if it's worth it to do all nine, when you can't even get a nice overhead view of them like you can with the overworld.

You could show them off using mineview to cut away to the dungeon levels.
posted by graventy at 10:33 AM on September 28, 2010


For the love of god someone please lock Notch and the Dwarf Fortress guy in a room and not let them out till they have figured out a way to merge the two games together. Preferably something that allows you to use a top down view to command your dwarfs and then change over to a 1st person view and run around in it while they're moving blocks around one at a time, digging, sleeping, drinking beer.

Pleasepleasepleaseplease.

Seriously, could we start a project on Kickstart or something, get some VCs to drop a couple thousand and get this moving. Please? I haven't played DF since they started doing multiple levels, but Minecraft would be so perfect for this.

Also, here's an interview w/ Notch that was just on BB earlier.
posted by daHIFI at 10:33 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I've been thinking that more entropy needs to be built into the game somehow.

Walls eroding, wood rotting, torches going out, the player getting hungry, etc...

Apparently, notch is planning to to change torches so they eventually go out. I'm not such a fan of this idea, unless he adds another kind of light source that is permanent, but composed of rarer compounds.
posted by Edgewise at 10:34 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you haven't played it, DEAR GOD GET AWAY WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

My Civ V download finally completed last night, I played through the tutorials and fooled around a bit... and went to bed with an unscratched Minecraft itch.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:34 AM on September 28, 2010



Walls eroding, wood rotting, torches going out, the player getting hungry, etc...


Notch has brought up limited-duration torches a couple times. I'd expect to see them (plus a harder-to-make infinite-duration item) implemented after he gets SMP brought in line with single player.
posted by tylermoody at 10:34 AM on September 28, 2010


Can someone explain the appeal of this "game" (?) succinctly and without linking to videos (I'm at work) and also without being too fanboish? All I've heard is "I'm addicted to Minecraft!" and "You HAVE to play this game!" stuff. What's the challenge? What's the objective?

I'm more of an explorer than a builder, so I suspect it's not for me.
posted by Eideteker at 10:37 AM on September 28, 2010


Hmm. The appeal.

True sandbox with limited tools, forcing the kind of improvisation you know you loved as a kid. Very much *giant box of standard lego bricks* vs pre-made sets.

A very appealing aesthetic, I have to say. The blocky moon is a thing of beauty.

Passage of time with (relative) cycles of danger and safety.

Exploration element, where you will stumble on incredible "natural" caverns with possibilities both for wealth and danger.

Rarity component to items that are mostly more than ornamental, in that they are the tools and building blocks you want and need.

Some great sound work, and choices that lend themselves to tension (hearing monsters through walls; not hearing that creeper that's... right... behind you). Hell, I just love the sound of walking on sand.

There's more but that's the first stuff that instantly comes to mind.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:43 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm more of an explorer than a builder, so I suspect it's not for me.

The world is 8 times larger than the planet earth, and different for each person.
posted by empath at 10:44 AM on September 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Eideteker, there have been plenty of Minecraft related posts on the blue in the past few weeks, but I would look at the comments on this thread.
posted by daHIFI at 10:46 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


For Hyrule, how do you handle the differences in height levels up in the mountainous north? Just handwave it with stone walls and walkways, or have you figured out a way to get it all working right with stairs and such?

For the love of god someone please lock Notch and the Dwarf Fortress guy in a room and not let them out till they have figured out a way to merge the two games together. Preferably something that allows you to use a top down view to command your dwarfs and then change over to a 1st person view and run around in it while they're moving blocks around one at a time, digging, sleeping, drinking beer.

Here's a Dwarf Fortress to Minecraft converter. Still in development, though, and doesn't output Alpha levels.
posted by kafziel at 10:46 AM on September 28, 2010


Actually, there's a shitload of fun in the exploring too. You can either just find sweet procedurally generated terrain, or maybe pop in Skylands and explore, or there's a mod that will add dungeons to your world populated with monsters and treasure.
posted by graventy at 10:46 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just downloaded this last weekend during the "free play" period. So, I haven't played too much and haven't paid for an account yet.

Can someone tell me: What am I playing when I am playing offline? Is that survival mode, or something else? When I do buy an account, how will my online play be different than playing offline?
posted by Think_Long at 10:47 AM on September 28, 2010


Oh, and on the improv front, the mechanics permit some amazingly complex works, both aesthetic and technical (see redstone circuits).

On preview: the funny thing is that when I go back and look at the two previous minecraft posts, there was such a lack of enthusiasm for it. Not sure if the change occurred entirely do to survival mode or were there other elements (smelting?) that turned this thing around?

Exploring is awesome, but now that I know that terrain is generated as long and as far as I keep exploring, I think it's a wonder I never got lost for more than 2-3 game days. You can't just strike off in a direction and hope for the best.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:52 AM on September 28, 2010


Well the appeal then, Eideteker, for you, may be that you have to do a lot of exploring before you can do any earnest building - in the "Survival" game mode , anyway. Also, the MeFightClub server is really fun to just walk around in —tons of stuff to explore.

But at some point you'll want to build a huge Mickey Mouse or something, trust me.
posted by Mister_A at 10:53 AM on September 28, 2010


daHIFI: this is a start.
posted by lubujackson at 10:55 AM on September 28, 2010


Since monsters can't survive sharp drops I now want to create some kind of vast crater garden, open to the air but secure, maybe if a big fuck-off waterfall.
posted by The Whelk at 10:55 AM on September 28, 2010


For Hyrule, how do you handle the differences in height levels up in the mountainous north? Just handwave it with stone walls and walkways, or have you figured out a way to get it all working right with stairs and such?

I went through the map with the photoshop equivalent of a few colored highlighters and made a rough height-map where every staircase means adding at least one level of depth. Fiddled with that for probably ten minutes or so and came out with a workable sketch of the minimum height various sections had to have above sea-level (where most of the map, including the start area, is at that sea-level height. As a result, Death Mountain is about four blocks higher than the the start screen, with various steppings-up throughout the map to make that happen.

Where it didn't otherwise disrupt the constraints of the height diagram, I used a little creative license to push a couple section up higher so there'd be more topological excitement. Frankly, I might have gotten even more aggressive with the heightmapping if it wasn't breaking my brain a bit to deal with—many of the staircases are very shallow in slope compared to what I'd prefer there be. But it works.
posted by cortex at 10:56 AM on September 28, 2010


My idea, which I will never fulfill and which someone should steal, is to mod Minecraft to use a non-cuboid honeycomb for its blocks. Wouldn't you want to experience a world composed of Trapezo-rhombic dodecahedrals?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:00 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


How about the trees? How do you plan to represent them, since the tree structure in Minecraft is so much bigger and more iffy in growth?
posted by kafziel at 11:00 AM on September 28, 2010


I haven't really done any multiplayer. I logged on to the MeFightClub server and found all the awesome stuff there to be incredibly imposing and didn't last long. What's the polite way to go about things: just keep walking till I find undeveloped land and start building?
posted by brundlefly at 11:00 AM on September 28, 2010


Bushes have become grass-covered dirt. Works okay palette wise, though I wish I had some sort of bush that would fill that role well. Using grassy dirt for the green stone as well; in an insane world, I could go back and resurface those with mossy cobble, but that's a hell of a lot of treasure rooms to find and deconstruct for the volume of rock I'd need.

Notch has hinted at a possible mossy cobble virus effect like grass has on dirt, which would be really great for such purposes.
posted by cortex at 11:09 AM on September 28, 2010


This reminds me - I have to pony up the cash so I can get back on the public server before my island is over-run! By cool people building stuff!
posted by Mister_A at 11:15 AM on September 28, 2010


Also new on YouCraft, I mean MineTube, is this doozy of a bit of engineering. Guy created a fully functional 16-bit Arithmetic Logic Unit. He's building a full computer.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:09 PM on September 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Can someone explain the appeal of this "game" (?) succinctly and without linking to videos (I'm at work) and also without being too fanboish? All I've heard is "I'm addicted to Minecraft!" and "You HAVE to play this game!" stuff. What's the challenge? What's the objective?

I'm surprised that more people haven't fallen over themselves to answer this. Speaking for myself, I spend most of the day sitting around wondering "When will somebody ask me about Minecraft? I need another excuse to bring it up."

Fortunately for you, there is plenty to explore in Minecraft. I've definitely enjoyed building things, but probably the most fun I've had in the game is while exploring natural caverns. As you've probably heard, the gameworld is procedurally generated randomized terrain. Among other things, this includes underground caverns. These can go very deep, and extend for many game miles. Features typically include underground rivers and lava streams, rare minerals, monsters, and the occasional "dungeon" (heard about them but haven't found any, yet) with the potential for rare treasures.

Minecraft survival mode can occasionally seem a bit stark and unstructured. This is the peril of any sandbox game. There's no narrative, and no NPC's. It could be improved by adding more content -- fortunately, you can depend on this happening, based on the pronouncements of lone developer notch, as well as the fact that the game is in the alpha production phase.

And yet...somehow, Minecraft in its current form manages to be tremendously compelling. Free building is entirely uninteresting to me, and sandbox games, despite their theoretical potential, often leave me cold. But somehow, I keep coming back to Minecraft, to build that one last glass tower, or to create a walled garden to keep the monsters away from my little fort, or to finally find my first dungeon.

By all rights, it shouldn't work, as the concept is too cute by half; something that looks good on paper, but shouldn't play well. But Minecraft plays very well, and the precise mixture of elements that makes it work for so many people is very hard to pin down. There's the right balance of discovery and creation, a living world that you can interact with meaningfully.

Survival mode has just enough structure to keep you reaching for the next self-assigned objective. If you've ever been interested in the idea of a sandbox game but never played one that clicked, this might be your ticket. It might in fact be the perfect sandbox game, in that it is extremely open without being dead boring.

That's my take. But I'd recommend you give it a try for an hour or two (in the free version, although the full version is quite cheap), and you'll probably be able to answer your question yourself.
posted by Edgewise at 12:10 PM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow, this is pretty awesome. Now we have to make it fight with the Dwarf Fortress to Minecraft tool!
posted by Canageek at 12:12 PM on September 28, 2010


Minecraft reminds me both of the game in Ender's Game and the game in The Magicians. Anyone else get that?
posted by ben242 at 12:18 PM on September 28, 2010


Of course, as soon as I read this I see that Ars Technica has posted an explanation about how it was done technically.
posted by Canageek at 12:19 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have played a bit with Minecraft and find it sometimes fun and sometimes boring. So I go back to it here and there. Anyway, can someone please answer me the question I set out to answer my first time in: If you keep digging straight down, where do you end up?

I tried it, but as it was my first time, I had no torches (didn't know how to make them) and I eventually ran out of shovels or picks. And then then it got dark. And then I must have dug myself to the side a bit and I got lost and it was dark forever. I couldn't climb up because I was very deep. I couldn't go down because I had no tools. Or maybe I could go down but I had no sense of it because I couldn't see anything.

So, if you have enough tools and enough light, where does straight down bring you?

And now I want to play again.
posted by bDiddy at 12:22 PM on September 28, 2010


If you keep digging straight down, where do you end up?

Bedrock, fairly quickly even. The game world is 128 block high, sea level is right in the middle. So with a good pick you can get to the bottom pretty fast; the last five layers of the world are an uneven substrated of unbreakable Adminium mineral.

Lots of lava down there. Also, diamonds. Bit of a pickle, that.
posted by cortex at 12:25 PM on September 28, 2010


And Shelob. Shelob is down there.

Shelob and her thousand kin.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:32 PM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you keep digging straight down, where do you end up?

It strikes me as a little weird that the game has (effectively) infinite X and Y coordinates, but a very tightly-bounded Z. He's obviously just generating pieces of the world as soon as the first player on a map enters the draw region, so he ends up with a map file that grows incrementally--why not just do the same thing underground? Sea level is zero, no upper or lower bound. You can build your ziggarut fifteen miles into the air, or dig the Marianas Trench in 1-1 scale. As it is, the mechanics of ore and diamond placement have already been backward-engineered, so everybody knows how far down to dig before expanding their mineshaft laterally to look for the resource of choice.
posted by Mayor West at 12:57 PM on September 28, 2010


That's a good point, Mayor West. I don't see any technical reason why you couldn't have unlimited verticality. I've seen mods that dispense with the altitude limit, and which have done some pretty compelling things with the extra space.

You could even design some interesting gameplay ideas around it. Higher altitudes leading to colder temperatures 9snow forts!)... high mountains plagued by predatory birds and yeti... a challenge mode where you have to construct a Tower of Babel in order to breach the gates of Minecraft Heaven...
posted by Rhaomi at 1:17 PM on September 28, 2010


As it is, the mechanics of ore and diamond placement have already been backward-engineered, so everybody knows how far down to dig before expanding their mineshaft laterally to look for the resource of choice.

They have? How far down do you dig for each material?
posted by kafziel at 1:20 PM on September 28, 2010


There was a cross-section image posted to the Minecraft sub-reddit not too long ago. Not finding it now.
posted by brundlefly at 1:32 PM on September 28, 2010


Durn Bronzefist: "The blocky moon is a thing of beauty."

It inspired this.
posted by boo_radley at 1:33 PM on September 28, 2010


I'm well aware of the DF->MC utility, but this is good only for importing DF maps into MC. I want to play DF in MC.

Someone tell me that this wouldn't be awesome game created and the worst destroyer of productivity ever?
posted by daHIFI at 1:35 PM on September 28, 2010


kafziel: How to become a master miner
posted by daHIFI at 1:38 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain the appeal of this "game" (?) succinctly and without linking to videos

Eideteker, this comic, captures and distills what is awesome about Minecraft damn near perfectly.
posted by straight at 1:40 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, also, for those of you who like goals in your games and thus find minecraft a bit uninspired, may I suggest adding MCMAPPER to your game? It's a java utility that generates random dungeons with monsters (and their generators), strange environs and treasure to your world! You can start with a simple maze or a ball busting murder library full of rapid fire creeper spawners and TERRIFYING CHASMS.

As an added bonus, there's a parameter to determine the dungeon's closeness to the player, and one to generate a nerdpole, so you can just look around to find the entrance rather than having to hunt for it.
posted by boo_radley at 1:41 PM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


So... "nerd pole" is the name for my impressive torch-covered tower structures that I build at entrance points?
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nerd poles go straight up to the skybox.

Nerd holes go straight down to bedrock.
posted by boo_radley at 1:54 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, so it's just a really tall jump-and-block-place tower? Those are lame.
posted by Artw at 1:55 PM on September 28, 2010


/starts considering using that technique to build the columns of a mighty Nerd Parthenon.
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on September 28, 2010


"Eideteker, this comic, captures and distills what is awesome about Minecraft damn near perfectly."

Seen it. I was waiting for Part 3 to explain the allure. That just reads like an interlude to me. Like it's building up to something.

Though I confess, I'm kind of hoping someone builds The Night Land (or at least The Great Redoubt). 17 mile high (and many miles deep) pyramid of adminium (or whatever the adamantium of the world is). Constant night and monsters (even if it requires a mod to do that)? Cool.
posted by Eideteker at 1:59 PM on September 28, 2010


Man, that comic really makes me want banners and flags in the game.
posted by boo_radley at 2:03 PM on September 28, 2010


Man... imagine some kind of tower defence game...
posted by Artw at 2:09 PM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


/starts planning MAZE OF DEATH fortifications, stocking up on flint, feathers.
posted by Artw at 2:31 PM on September 28, 2010


Thinking I'd just rest a bit and not procrastinate more than I ought to, I logged into MeFi. Better than a round of Starcraft, right?

And then there's the obligatory Civ5 post. And another Minecraft post. A map of Hyrule.

i think I'll close the browser before someone posts a story about recreating DF in Nethack or vice versa through a custom hack.
posted by ersatz at 3:23 PM on September 28, 2010


Also new on YouCraft, I mean MineTube, is this doozy of a bit of engineering. Guy created a fully functional 16-bit Arithmetic Logic Unit. He's building a full computer.

I liked that. But run it past me again - what do the pigs do?
posted by StephenB at 4:18 PM on September 28, 2010


Portalcraft.
posted by m0nm0n at 4:22 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm really looking forward to proper biomes whenever they get introduced -- exploring is far more appealing than building, but the terrain is too samey for the appeal to last that long right now.

Actually, I think what I really want is some mod that halves gravity, turns sand red, the sky black, and makes the player avatar into a Viking Lander
posted by rollick at 5:00 PM on September 28, 2010


Older versions of Dwarf Fortress had third-party utilities that used memory hacking to view and alter the game-state in real time, doing things like reassigning jobs, or arbitrarily revealing some stone that you haven't visited yet. I see no reason those same techniques couldn't be used to make Minecraft into a controller application for Dwarf Fortress.

Actually I do: Both games are constantly changing their world-models as they develop. A version upgrade could break things, and I sympathize with both developers if they want to finish their damn games.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:29 PM on September 28, 2010


what do the pigs do?

Look at you, naively. It's one of my favorite parts of the game, honestly.

Then I club them to death with a pixelated axe and eat their bacon. Mmmmm, bacon.
posted by anthill at 7:42 PM on September 28, 2010


what do the pigs do?

Sometimes, underground, the game will generate little dungeons. They have a few zombies in them, a monster generator, and some chests. Inside these chests are various high-demand items, including a couple things that can't be crafted - like a saddle. If you take a saddle and put it on a pig, you can ride that pig around (but not control it, because it's a fucking pig).

That is what pigs do. Also you can kill them for their pork and then cook it at a furnace and then eat it and regain health.
posted by kafziel at 7:56 PM on September 28, 2010


Guy created a fully functional 16-bit Arithmetic Logic Unit
So how long until someone imports this into minecraft and simply runs Zelda on it?
posted by hattifattener at 9:40 PM on September 28, 2010


This might sound a bit weird but the fun I have in Minecraft is very similar to the fun I have playing Noctis. As a matter of fact, I was just thinking the other day that the "world" of Minecraft is exactly what I wanted the living planets of Noctis to be. If I could combine the two I would never leave the house again.
posted by LeeJay at 11:31 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


OK so I'm just getting into this and I have a noob question: Does coal exist? I would really like to build fire because sitting for seven minutes staring at the screen waiting for the sun to come out again while barricaded in a little fortress really sucks. Everything I've googled suggests that coal is extremely common and found all over cliff-faces, yet I have scoured about 4 worlds now and failed to find a single deposit. What gives? Is it not generated in the free offline-play mode?

(I'm using a cobblestone pick-axe FWIW).
posted by cj_ at 12:57 AM on September 29, 2010


LeeJay, you are by no means the first person to see Minecraft as a spiritual successor to Noctis. I would love a new version of Noctis with an easier-to-use spaceship and a planet generator based on Minecraft, but with lots of variation in the gravity, fauna, vegetation, colors, etc.

Have a scanner in the ship that detects planets with certain resources, then mine them while navigating the dangers unique to that planet...no, please don't do that to me....
posted by straight at 1:04 AM on September 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh nevermind, I finally found some coal. I will now proceed to stay up all night building my underground lair.
posted by cj_ at 1:10 AM on September 29, 2010


Eideteker: The PC gaming blog Rock, Paper, Shotgun have an article series that made me buy Minecraft: Mine the gap
posted by Harald74 at 1:25 AM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Like that coverage (and the "addicting"/addictive derail; these are clearly our people). Good observation there re: claustrophobia. Done a little caving. Never felt it. Getting lost in a huge cavern complex with monster sounds little by little eating away at my sanity... clawing for daylight.

That's an admirable level of immersion.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:42 AM on September 29, 2010


And oh: He's letting his audience egg him on?

What mission, you ask? Well, I have an ulterior motive in gearing up with sword & steaks. In the comments of my last MineCraft post, people said that I was much more likely to find ore in natural caves as opposed to “mining like a baby,” as one jerk put it.

Excellent. This is tasty stuff.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:54 AM on September 29, 2010


If you like games, you should already have RPS bookmarked/subscribed/whatever. 90% of my games oriented FPP's originate there.
posted by empath at 8:29 AM on September 29, 2010


Yeah, I'll definitely be heading back there.

And returning to your comment in another thread about something primal in play, just look at this rps coverage -- cave anxiety, hesitation at jumping into underground river, palpable fear of asphyxiation, darkness.

To my delight, I've remembered that I intentionally set aside my first world, all frozen spires and -- where I left it a week in -- no tools, much wonder but almost total confusion, back before I'd read an article or the wiki or anything else about it. Can't wait to revisit it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:15 AM on September 29, 2010


Whoah. RPS seriously has the bug. Decided to drop into the main page for a peek, and noted in the corner: "The Minecraft Obsession
Minecraft has taken over our lives, and the entire RPS crew is obsessed with smelting. Read about all the big Minecraft news and cleverness right here."

Really enjoying the site. Favourite exchange so far:

4. PureUncut says:
September 29, 2010 at 2:05 am
Ultimate ultimate goal: Minecraft computer becomes self aware, followed promptly by our enslavement.

Reply
o Noc says:
September 29, 2010 at 2:09 am
Minecraft computer abandons war against humanity, too busy playing Minecraft.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:28 AM on September 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Apologies if you've already seen this: Boo! Coming October 31!
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on October 4, 2010


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