Thursday, April 28, 2011

Some Projects on Hold

Due to recent events, there are a couple projects I've mentioned on here that will be on hold...

1. Elohim: not really so much as lack of planning or time. The problem is, there is a whole lot of grunt work and repetition. For example, I have completed the outline for deck four. Deck five is going to have an almost identical outline... but it would waste lots of time and counting to make a copy of it right next to deck four's outline. In addition, I would also like to try and get the ceiling and walls completed which would again be monotonous.

I did have a team of volunteers as well as a server that was hosting the project. However, the team never did actually get together and the host decided he couldn't manage the Classic server needed for the ship. So that was basically that.

2. Apartment complex/multiplayer in general: school lets out in a little over two weeks so it's going to be at least that long before I can get onto any kind of multiplayer server. By the time I finish, though, my adopted home server will have very likely moved on. A person on there has already began making a hotel/resort of some kind and having two similar projects in competition would not end very well. Due to having a sort of teleport command available to players I would generate basically no profit.

3. Minecraft World: this is a mind-bogglingly huge project. How am I supposed to turn a map into nations? The sizes of land masses don't permit much more than perhaps really big city-states. Which is not what my idea was.

But! Not all is over with. I recently downloaded a to-scale map of the Earth (I cannot make this up, look at the thread here) and I have plenty of ideas with what I want to do with that. Now that's another blog entry all it's own. Fortunately, with it being, oh, over 21,000 blocks wide, I'm pretty sure that would be sufficient area for some fairly expansive projects. Of course I have the same creative road block I faced with the Minecraft World... how does one build a civilization?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

About that Starship... (And Other Thoughs from My Fatigued Mind)

According to the Properties window of the file you can find Elohim's model in, I haven't done any work on that ship since April 4. The file itself has existed since February 11. After I finished the fusion reactor mock-ups and warp coil models I just sort of lost interest in doing the project. I can think of numerous reasons why I've so abruptly ceased work on it:

1. No support. This has been a one-man project for me, and I do prefer that. I can work in teams but for hobbies I like to do things alone. That sort of has a drawback, however. I don't know if my ramblings about the Elohim has really generated interest in it. Maybe it's just taking up electronic space and I'm talking to electronic air, I wouldn't know otherwise. Also, because I haven't been able to secure a stable server where others could help, I've been doing the grunt work of laying block after block down. It does get boring after a while, especially when I have to remove huge amount of blocks that were incorrectly placed. I don't know, maybe if I had a team that I could give design commands to and perhaps join in, then it'd be quicker.

2. Incomplete plans. Of the twenty-one planned decks on the ship, I have seven of them actually designed on paper. Other things, even crucial ones - like medical facilities, engine rooms, etc. - are all undesigned and unplaced. This is generally a demotivator for me. I like having things planned out ahead of time which gives me a concrete, visible goal I can work to. Lack of completed plans doesn't provide me that goal.

3. Lack of time. It's crunch time in college, work is starting to take up more time, etc. By the time everything else is done I'm too tired to desire focusing on anything, including the ship.

4. Lack of commitment to the project. As a result of no plans, time, or support, what is there to make me stick to the Elohim? I don't want to continue on an aimless venture, as I have a desire to do productive, meaningful things with my time.

5. I'm swept from one idea to another and am incredibly prone to give up at the first sign of trouble. Minecraft World has been on hold because I couldn't figure out how the heck to design Yusaria City. For the reasons stated above I've paused on Elohim. I was occupied by the SMP server (now not so much). This is a general pattern in how I operate.

I may return to the project some day if conditions are right.

On another note, I was just walking around a Classic map randomly generated and set to Huge. I noticed there were cave systems underground and I explored some of them. I can tell that Notch had already did some nice work in making these things, but there definitely has been major improvements in the terrain generation algorithm because the kind of world and caves I see in Classic are not at all nearly identical to what Beta's stuff is.

Also, one of my hobbies which has fallen aside in the past year or so is programming for the TI-83+/84+ calculators. Well, some time ago I was helping someone who also programmed for those with some coding and it got my creative juices flowing. He had made a very simple copy of Minecraft (check it out here) and I did some browsing of the code. There was a significant bottleneck in the code which I succeeded in remedying with a single line of code. He updated the game and I earned a special thanks in the readme :D.

It made me think: what if I wrote a Minecraft for the TI? This other person's game is intended to be more storyline-based. I could write a sort of counterpart game which would try to emulate Beta. I've already done some significant brainstorming on how it would work. I have plenty of programming experience under my belt (two shells and two games at least) so I would find that maybe 70% of the code wouldn't be a hassle but the remaining 30% would be a challenge to implement. It would be very unlikely for me to make it in 3D given the limited processing power of these devices and the sort of mathematical gymnastics that would be required. Let's not forget the small screen sizes.