Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Slimes, Starships, and Other Stuff that Starts with "S"

Last night, I had done some prototyping of various parts of the Elohim class battleship. The Elohim class battleship is one of the first large-scale project ideas I've had since I began playing Minecraft. It's designed to be able to split into three subsections so it can hit targets from multiple angles. I tried not to copy Star Trek's designs but the influence is clearly there. The control room (aka the "bridge") has a command chair in the middle surrounded by stations and a forward screen. It has a briefing room connected to it. I also make mockups of the enlisted crew's quarters, the mess hall (dining area), computer core and map room. The map room, or stellar cartography room, is quite a treat. You walk into this large room and see the far wall almost completely occupied by the star map which is two decks in height. There's a balcony on the second deck. It's one of my finder constructs.

I briefly had a team to make it and a server to host it on, but the team was never really mobilized and the server looks like it's going to be shut down. I wanted this to be a team effort because, frankly, I'm terrible at designing things. Actually I've improved greatly in the past couple months but I'm no great architect. Since last night I've had renewed interest in making it.

There are two things that a suitable server could do for me that I can't really do in singleplayer, and they're rather important to completing the ship. First of all, I want to have channels used as turbolifts that run vertically though key parts of the ship, and they're filled with water. Placeable water doesn't seem to exist in Classic. So I would either need to learn how to edit the code myself (and I may just have found something on the Minecraft wiki) or build the ship and then ask someone who can add water to do so in the requested place. Second of all there are things called "message blocks" in SMP where you can walk by an area and the chat has a message pop up. With this, navigation could be made easier. Like, if you enter the control room the game can say "Control Center". Or if you are going up and down a turbolift conduit and are lost, you can step out and it'll say "Deck 4 Section 9" which would indicate you're near the back end of the ship.

Of course, one can also consider portals. This would definitely be useful but I don't know if I would want to add those. It's be a bit too much like transporters. On the other hand, having dedicated portal rooms would make it easier for visitors and builders to travel around faster.

If I did make the Elohim, I would like for it to be on multiple servers. I guess it's a desire for fame. :D

I was watching Qubetubers a little earlier (http://www.livestream.com/minecraftgirledition) and they mentioned a mod that makes text-based commands for SSP. One of the commands spawns creatures, including Slimes. I love Slimes. They're oh so cute. I installed the mod and ran Minecraft. I spawned a Slime. It began hopping around making its plick! plick! plick! sound. I killed it, pillared a little with gravel, and spawned 10 Slimes. And 10 Slimes I got. Then I decided to spawn 10 more.

That's when things went wrong. One of the Slimes spawned and knocked me off my pillar as it fell to the ground and I ended up in the middle of 20 Slimes. These Slimes were doing damage to me so I started running. Then I desperately tried pillaring. One knocked me off of my pillar but I kept trying, and eventually got high enough to escape them. At that point my iron armor was at half strength. I made a plan to get over to my house and get in by making a hole in the wall.

I carefully began sneaking to the edge of the gravel and making a cobblestone bridge. The Slimes were huddled underneath me as I went. As I approached my house, I realized that they were able to jump on top of my ceiling. I changed my plan. Since I can move faster than Slimes, I decided I would run as far from them as I needed so they would hopefully despawn. I jumped and started running. I got into water and kept going. The slapping sound grew fainter until they went silent. I kept going. I turned around some distance off and saw they were gone, so returned. Actually I expected that they would still be there. However only one remained, and it was sitting in the water, not able to attack me. I killed it and chopped down the gravel/cobblestone towers and bridges, then spawned another Slime. It was a smaller one and was loitering outside my house's door when I ended the game for the day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What's to Be Said?

Over the past few days, I haven't really done much. College and church-related activities have kept me preoccupied, and in any case I haven't been motivated to play.

I'm getting better with designing buildings. It's actually pretty cool to see how I've improved in that respect. I went from building cube, mundane things to the beginnings of varied colors and complex shapes. In my main save, if I ever get back to it, I can see my base having a cylindrical main room with little cube rooms branching off over and behind it. I practiced making a better looking house in a Classic world and I didn't do too bad for how much of it I got done. I've realized that planks and furnaces would be good approximations for kitchen counters and stoves. And cabinets too, although chests may be better suited there.

The latest update hasn't been overly exciting for me although to be fair I haven't look much into it. Notch's blog, http://notch.tumblr.com, shows what's been added. I like the squids. I closing one in and getting it out of water but I killed it. I sort of question the system for dyes. I can see sheep having white, gray, and black fur. However, outside of that, the dye system is rather illogical. Sixteen dyes possible and they come from so many sources: cacti, flowers, an ore found deep underground, etc. Some of them require bone meal, which is gained from crafting bones dropped by skeletons. Someone mentioned a simpler system and I agree.

Why not start with the three basic colors - red, blue, and yellow - and go from there? Red and yellow can be gained from flowers while lapis lazuli can give blue. I guess you can use bone meal to generate dyes when crafted with them, although since bone meal is also a fertilizer ink sacs may be smarter. Then mix them to get green, purple and orange. Although, there are still ten other colors this system doesn't account for. Maybe that's where the hodgepodge of crafting recipes come in.

I haven't made any music boxes or dispensers yet, but I can see some practical use for both of those. Dispensers seemed a little overpowered to me at first but I've warmed up to them.

Anyway, back to the Minecraft World. I've done more exploring and I must say, a world of nations would fit nicely on it. Some day, I'll have to post a map of it on here. Something that bugs me, though, is this: Why? Why do I want to make a world of nations? For the fun of it? Making houses over and over would get boring eventually. For the fame? This idea probably won't generate that much interest, and would eventually be forgotten. I wish I could do this in multiplayer, but I wouldn't be able to connect to most servers. Although I could use my computer as a server, Minecraft would need me to port forward, and I don't want to mess with my parents' router.

Also, I never got started on another project I wanted to do: the Elohim class battleship. That's a Classic project which I briefly had a team set up to carry out but we never got started and the host server looks like it's doomed to be shut down. So I have three projects: the Elohim, the Minecraft World, and my main save base. I need to decide which I will do and how I will do them.