Saturday, October 1, 2011

New Element of Play to Earth Map

Along with playing with Easy mode on the Earth map, I've decided to take the plot a step further. The ancient Egyptians believed their leader, the Pharaoh, to be the living embodiment of their chief god. Each dalai lama is considered to be the previous one reincarnated. There is this sense of the leader being divine and continuous despite different bodies.

I'm sort of adopting this into my style of play. During normal Minecraft play, when our character dies it is respawned at our last spawn point. Despite the character's death, it is effectively immortal. In the show "Doctor Who," the main character can be fatally wounded and will just transform into a new individual with the same basic personality. In my case, my character is currently the First Pharaoh. In real life he was the Scorpion King. In Minecraft, he shall be known as the Squid King due to the presence of squids in the Egyptian waters. My character is the Squid King and will be responsible for beginning the construction of Cush. If, during the time I'm exploring underground or at night, I get killed by a mob, then I'll respawn but then I'll be the next pharaoh - King Squid II. And so on. This sort of adds a touch of realism by bringing civilization into existence under multiple leaders, instead of one seemingly immortal ruler.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Village of Asshur

This post is long delayed but finally pictures and an explanation of Asshur is ready for viewing. The people of Asshur, properly called Assyrians, are sort of cousins of the Tubalites. They borrow the title of tubal for their leader. On a map, Asshur appears to the east of Tubal, through a mountain range and across a river, where their official settlement limit is. Here's an aerial view of Asshur:

Here you can see five buildings, one farm, and a cobblestone road. In the middle of the village is the tubal's house.

Already, you can see there's been a bit of an upgrade in architecture between Asshur and Tubal. The bases of buildings are lined with cobblestone and corners of levels made with wooden planks don't have corner pieces. Logs still make up the roofing. Even the tubal's dog has a little doghouse connected to the building!

Inside view:

The internal design is still simplistic, but now there are windows! This is part of the technological advance that humanity has made. Glass windows.

This image is of one of the villager's houses, and it really shows the architectural style better:

Another advent that has come with Asshur is the concept of the supernatural. Humanity's first religion has appeared. The Assyrians serve and worship the Creator deity Anu (name taken from real-life research of ancient Assyrian deities). The right-most building in the first image is their temple. The leader of the village was also charged with being their priest, a title which would later be termed tubal-anu. Entrance to the temple:

A small atrium connects the front entrance to the sanctuary.

Inside the sanctuary are a couple double chests, furnaces, workbenches, and the temple dog. Dominating the room is the altar. This is where the Assyrians offer sacrifices to Anu: the first wheat of each harvest. They drop the wheat into it and after five minutes it "supernaturally" despawns. Also put in there are the bones of the deceased and enemies when they are not otherwise used for taming wolves.

Underground, the Assyrians found their land underfoot had already been explored by the Tubalites. However they were able to explore further than the explorers of their cousin town and also invented a new form of finding resources, which in-game is normally called strip mining: parallel 2x1 tunnels.

Now, Asshur is in the desert. As such, there aren't very many animals that come around to sustain them. Tubal offered to make a trade agreement with Asshur and it was accepted: Assyrians could come to Tubal and collect wool and leather from its animals. In return, Tubal wanted trees and charcoal to subsidize what they already have. Some intelligent Assyrian realized that he could make a profit by establishing a trading post halfway between the two villages and offering his services as a neutral place of trade. The pictures below show the trading post, its position between the two villages, and the world's first bridge.

To recap, the advancements made between Tubal and Asshur:
  • Cobblestone as a firm base for buildings.
  • Burning of logs to form charcoal, a relatively cheap and easy substitute for coal.
  • Smelting of sand to form glass.
  • Introduction of religion and supernatural beliefs.
  • Trading post between other villages.
  • Bridges.
Next up after Asshur, I am going to dive southward and backtrack to Cush, this map's first large city. It will have technological upgrades such as iron, sandstone, and dyes! What's more, I'm going to challenge myself and make this project all the more rewarding: I will do all building on Easy mode to add the element of danger that hostile mobs bring!