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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Minecraft Cake – For Realies!

Hey guys n’ gals!  You might have noticed that yesterday the lovely kaozz of the ECTmmo blog got the free gift we sent her via the knit it forward post a few months back.  You might have also noticed that her cats went nuts over it, because we stuffed these bad boys with catnip, baby!  Everybody loves them some cake, kittehs are no exception!

Just wanted to let ya know that we threw one of these up on our Etsy store, so if you have a cutey kitty that totally deserves to be spoiled, you know where to find one of these for your very own furry companion :D

While you are there, be sure to give Kaozz’s Etsy shop a look-see as well!  She’s got a lot of nifty graphical options for all your imaging needs.  To summarize: the lass is a Photoshop wizard.  If she was in Salem a few hundred years ago and they saw what she can do with a pixel, she’d be running away from a zippo is all I’m sayin’.

Minecraft News

Might as well round it off with something new I just found from the ol’ Notchster’s tweets!  The combat one sounds awesome, but both are interesting.

I’ve spent a day and a half trying to make town borders look good, and I’m getting very sick of it. Back to combat tweaking for a while! (source)

Town borders, he says? Like fences?  Curious…

Hitting a mob while rushing now sends them flying. It’s satisfying, and I’m giggling a bit. (source)

Now that sounds epic.  I keep flashing back to the Stronghold with a ravine going through it and thinking how cool it would be to duke it out with a mob army in there.  Being able to punt an enemy off a ledge and down to his demise is nearing the top of my list of things I cannot wait to do once 1.8 goes live.

Have a great day, all!

Minecraft 1.8 “Adventure Patch”: Sword n’ Board! Combat Updates and Additions!

Yesterday I mentioned that there is an experience bar and you can level up in the upcoming Adventure Patch to Minecraft.  I got a hankerin’ that these combat updates and new abilities are going to be *the* reason why you wanna level up at all.  But, and this is pure speculation on my part, but at this time I don’t know what else you’d earn from leveling.  Something to help you survive mo’ better seems about right, thus I came to this conclusion ^_^

Critical Hits and Sprinting

Critical hits meaning more damage, higher burst and all that.  I don’t know if he’s going the simple route of “2x damage” or the math-bending “1.5x damage” method.  I’m hoping the two times option because the brain processes multiples faster than fractions.  Mine does anyway.  It does ask the question though… eventually you’ll get the diamond sword and that nearly one-shots everything out right now.  So a crit of that would be beyond over kill… unless new mobs have a lotta more health.  Ah, ha!  Things to keep in mind folks, gotta work those angles -_^  Also, this ties into the perma death/lost items change he has planned.  Once you get that diamond sword with high crit chances you know more than anything you don’t want to lose it, making the fear of impending death even more harrowing.

And you thought the “Ssss…” of a Creeper was bad now.

As for sprinting, Notch seems to still be iterating this, but for now it’s a temporary speed boost that might also change our vantage point during the process:

So I added sprinting, just to try it out. Double tap forward to start running, like the fast jump move thing from Unreal, but it only works forwards, like sprinting in most modern FPS games. It felt slow and weird until I added a FOV change as well, but now it’s fun and addictive. I feel like there needs to be a drawback to doing it, though, or you’ll feel like you’re wasting time when you’re not sprinting. (source)

Field of view change.  Hmm.  Third person?  Increase the peripheral range?  Or just juxtapose the landscape during the process?  We’ll need more details before we can find out for sure.

Hold-to-Charge Bow Mechanic Added

In a tweet just about two weeks ago, Notch mentioned that bows will have a charging option.  You can hold down the fire button to add more ‘ummph’ to your shots.  I’m assuming higher the change, higher the range and likely increasing the damage as well.  They also mentioned two achievements related to bows for 1.8, one more realistic than the other.  One is to shoot the Moon (might just be a joke, but it sounds just goofy enough for him to actually add) and the other is to kill a skeleton at 50 meters, which Notch added “will not be easy.”

Blocking Attacks

Instead of just hopping in-and-out of combat like a one-legged pirate, attempting to dodge all attacks by merely being a mixture of ESP and nimbality, why not block stuff with your weapon?  (Technically, it’d be a parry, but it’s Notch so I’ll let the semantics slip this once :P  Hey, tank long enough in WoW and you’ll know the difference!)  Notch mentioned that doing so would be useless as there is no visual cue that the mob is about to attack, so he’ll add new animations as well!  Double bonus!

Maybe if we’re lucky we can stop arrows like a medieval Jedi!  Fueled entirely on bacon and rigorously trained by punching trees all day under the guidance of a hairy, old, and cloak-clad Creeper that can move blocks with his mind!  …But just being able to avoid damaging attacks while staying in melee range would be cool by itself, too.

So that’s about it on the combat front as far as we know right now.  There are a few more things that could tie into this of course, such as the food healing over time, new types of food via chicken, steak, and melons/pumpkins being farmable, as well as the new NPC villages and Strongholds.  How fun will those places be to clear out!  Just be careful you don’t sprint off into a ravine, of course ^_^  That would give you just enough time to curse to your heart’s content before turning to mush at the bottom and losing all those precious items and combat abilities!

-Edit-

Was watching Jeb’s conference and he actually mentioned the idea of doing double damage to mobs if you attack them and they fall down a block or so.  Like if you punch them not exactly off a cliff, but down a hill, they’ll take even more falling damage or something.  Which is nifty too!

There is quite a few more things, but these are the biggies and most likely to come out in my opinion.  Feel free to check out the whole list so far right here if ya like!

Minecraft 1.8 ‘Adventure Mode’ News: Higher Highs, Lower Lows

Just the other day, my good bud Allahweh asked me if anything new about the Adventure Mode/Patch was going on in the Minecraft loony universe.  Originally I was going to say no, but then I happened upon an interview and WOW.  I was way off!  Check out some of this news right from the Notch-man himself!

One does not merely walk into Mordor...

Read the rest of this entry

Twisted Metal (PS3) Sniper Mechanics: ‘Bad Timing’ Or P.C. Insanity?

I got a Minecraft update post in the works, but a bud of mine asked about how David Jaffe was doing because I seem to have something cool to say about him whenever he asks.  So I was surprised to see Jaffe’s blog got rapid-fire updates (sign the game making process is back in check, or just more press for Comic Con tomorrow ^_^), but I checked out his twitter where he really lives and got ticked off about a response made to a tweet of his.

David has made it very clear early on that he detests the “spawn-die-spawn-die” cycle in Call of Dookie and all that current nonsense companies are doing when classifying bad code and sloppy development as ‘modern shooters’.  Someone asked about the one-shot, one kill mechanic potential of the sniper weapon pickup, and he responded with the tasty details.

To the fine fellows- and lady- at TMA: There are ZERO one shot kills in the new Twisted Metal except for sniper. And SNIPER is only a one shot kill if you’ve kept the target on the enemy for X seconds (like 15 sec or so) and the enemy KNOWS he’s being targeted so he can flee or shield or counter attack to stop you from taking the shot.(source)

Then lord187x asked, “How exactly does the Sniping work? Does it go into like First Person Shooter view?” (source) David responded by saying:

2 kinds of sniper mechanics in the new Twisted Metal. Neither is a one shot kill like a traditional sniper. Scott and I have made it clear many times we hate the ‘spawn and die/spawn and die’ play from a lot of FPS and so ain’t no way we’re going to encourage that.  There is the pick up sniper weapon that works pretty much like the recital weapon in TM:BLACK. Then Grimm has a bazooka crosshair  (for his alt special) that zooms and that is kind of like GOLGO 13 on the NES…and if you don’t know the reference: SHAME ON YOU!!!! :)  NOTE: Doesn’t mean a good player can’t freeze you, fire a few shot gun blasts, then turbo dash into you and take you out a few seconds after you spawn but that’s like 4-6 attacks and shame on you for not shielding or blocking or knowing how to turbo the hell out of a bad situation :)…. (source)

A developer and his team that actually know how to make a game, astounding.  But instead of praise, someone mentions the shooting going on in Norway, and that discussing how people can be killed with a sniper rifle in-game might not be the most timely of choices.  He doesn’t do it rudely, and he even made a follow up to go out of his way to say it was just a heads up to the situation… but that really sets me off.  I’m not upset someone told him about the shooting ordeal, but that he felt the need to do so, and the cause.  The reason why he gave Dave a heads up wasn’t just to inform him of a current event, but to avoid saying something someone could use against him for their own personal gain.

Where do you draw the line on what is ok to say, and what is not?  How about when? Time is certainly a factor, or we wouldn’t have the phrase “toon soon?” coined.

The game is animated violence, it is going to get a T for Teen rating for crying out loud, and Dave comes from a background of M for Mature.  This very game is a sequel to a Mature, one of the first that came out commercially for the PS2.  He knows the boundaries.  Everyone involved in the conversation and even outside of it knows damn well it’s about a video game.  If anyone quotes Jaffe it would be blatantly obvious they were skewing his words to suit their punchline unless they only did half the quote intentionally to change the meaning, and that it is not accurate reporting.

It is a GAME.

People are worried about fairness in said game and he was assuring them that all is thought-out and you can react accordingly.  The “spawn-die” shenanigans will not be present unless you go against a highly skilled wheel man and didn’t get out of dodge before the stars aligned.

People jump on Dave constantly for his blunt remarks and make ‘something’ clearly out of nothing.  Just a few tweets previous to the one I mentioned he said something about someone being gay, to which he instinctually guarded himself by overly clarifying: “And to stop a N4G [----] storm before it starts: when I say ‘gay’ I mean HOMOSEXUAL. I do NOT mean GAY in a bad way.” (source)

It is obnoxious that someone has a knee-jerk reaction to defend themselves because everything they say will be skewed by a greedy ‘journalist’ just to get clicks and a bigger check at the end of the month.

It does nothing but promote other devs to stay the hell away from online social outlets, as those who choose to speak with their fans get it far, far worse than those who do not.  The ‘journalist’ gets a few more clicks on ad shares at the end of the month and gamers lose future opportunities to speak with their idols and possibly even shape the way the games they love pan out.

Their greed-laced vision and ignorant arrogance enrages me >.>

Minecraft Monday: WTB Redstone Torches

Oy, wudda week!  Dunno if you guys heard but Chicago got rocked by a storm last Monday, which is precisely why we didn’t update last week.  (Sorry ’bout that.)  I could say why, but this picture sums it up pretty well.

Took more than a single Stone Axe to chop that sucker.

That fell at about eight in the morning.  Took off a chunk of the… the thing on the porch.  I still don’t know what it’s called.  But on the way down it hacked off some of our trees (as the limb that fell in the picture was our neighbors) but *his* neighbor’s tree took down the actual power lines.  And it took five days and crews all the way from Alabama and Georgia to get us back up and running.  (Well, not just ours, you big sillies.  Over 800,000 lost power, so they needed reinforcements.) There are still a few homes unpowered, and a nasty, nasty heat wave is about to arrive.  Here’s hoping everyone is up and running before those triple digit heat indexes start to march out.

This is how Raisin Bran is made.

Minecraft News

You’d think a period of time passes and there’d be stuff to talk about, but unfortunately all is quiet in terms of news, so I can’t really add much here.  Nothing new on his blog, twitter wasn’t really that helpful, but how’s about this for an epic kudos from the ol’ Notchster:

“congratulations on the sex!” (source)

Well said.  (Hey, if you can’t be informative, at least be entertaining.  Right, Fox?)

Buildin’ Stuff Front

On the actual playing side of things, I was lucky enough to play a bit with the Misses this week after the power willed itself back to existence.  We got a local server thing goin’ and I helped out on her Hotel buildin’.  She wants to connect far away stuff via a railway system and a few strategic train stations to either pit stop and explore or to simply help choose your destination.  We’ll be working more on that one in the next few.  Hope all is well in your worlds, in-game and out, and we’ll see ya in the ‘Craft next week!

Minecraft: Adventure Update… Update!

This is kinda weird!  I checked out Notch’s blog just a few days ago and somehow got the info from an old post and his newest, but missed out in the middle!  Notch posted a big teaser about the Minecraft Adventure Update, or Patch 1.8.  He’re a link to the post directly, but here’s the Cliff’s Notes version.

The Adventure pack will have:

  • “NPC villages
  • Randomly generated dungeons
  • New biome code
  • Fully working Creative Mode (and individual admins can enter Creative Mode on a Survival Mode server if they choose)
  • Critical hits
  • Sprinting
  • More farming options”
  • More Content – More things to do, explore, and better combat
  • Patch 1.8 will be the last big update before Minecraft’s release in November, barring a few minor patches to fix any last-minute bugs
  • Modding API is in the works for modders to mod

As they plan on this being the last huge update before release, I’m guessing this will be out at the end of October, but they cannot say and specific date at this time.  All-in-all, excellent list so far, and that isn’t even the big stuff that they are hiding.  I’m really hoping for more in-depth farming stuff, as wheat is okay… but I’d like more options.

Minecraft Monday: Ten Million Users Plus Fourth O’ Julyness

Welp, EvE is still good fun but I’m currently at the point where I can fight off the urge to play long enough to actually get stuff done.  Luckily, as I have a LOT of crap to juggle.  As always, it seems hee hee  But onto the Minecraft News!

Minecraft News

On July 1st, Minecraft surpassed 10,000,000 or ten million users.  (Not to be confused with people who bought the game, that’s like 2.5 million right now.)  Users are the actual accounts people make to play even the free Classic stuff online.  But considering that more than twenty percent of that actually did pay for it so far, daaang.  It might not seem like much, but that really is a great ratio of players willing to purchase for the whole deal.  I’m sure that number will surge even higher once Adventure Mode is in full swing.  About that…

“Working on some new farming options. It’s very silly.” (source)

That sounds like fun.  I know theres a few mods out about planting cool trees and growing nifty plants and things like pumpkins and pineapples, but I think that a lot more of it should be added to the core game.  Farming is just something I like doing since Harvest Moon got me addicted to that style, here’s hoping more effort gets placed into it!  I wanna do more than grow wheat, I says!

“I had a very productive evening tonight, finishing up two new features from scratch. Now: Futurama. Soon: sleep.” (source)

Well that sounds interesting.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the supposed Experience Spheres and Giant Mushrooms that were found in patch 1.8.  Speaking of giant mushrooms, how about entire villages and new default Minecraft textures?  Check these suckers out, straight outta Notch and Jeb’s hardrive:

Click the image, the source one is *huge*

Here you can see a small village, likely the sort of thing Notch planned about NPC villages!  Dunno about the giant mushrooms… but it looks cool in an Alice sorta way ^_^ Also note the blocks in use in these houses.  Wooden plank roof, cobble wall…and mossy cobble bases!  New source o’ cobble.  NPCs or otherwise, you bet I’ll slaughter the younglings for some snazzy and fast mossy stone.

Well, there is a LOT goin’ on here.  Let’s break this bad boy down.  First, of course it is some sorta ruins with pillars and stuff in the back.  Notice the textures in use both in the front and background.  It isn’t a new stone texture as stone is still in the mountain in the distance, which makes this either a re-texture of brick or something completely new.  I’m leaning towards new for a few reasons.

One, there are actually three versions of this new block in view already.  One is plain stone brick, the second is mossy stone brick, and the third is cracked stone brick.  Also, the ‘room’ without a roof on the right looks to have an iron cage-like door sealing it off.  Curiouser and curiouser…

Off topic but still important…

Ironic that I found out about this on ‘Independence Day’ but, looks like the guv’ment wants to throw a whole buncha people in jail because yet again they have no idea how technology works.  (Need I bring up the whole series of tubes example set so many years ago?)  Notch posted a link about this to X’s Let’s Play, my fav. Minecrafter who had a big part in me purchasing the game… and thus getting it for the Misses and making four of my buds get it as well.  In short, all copyrighted material you post a video of on youtube or any other video sharing or streaming site will equate to an automatic felony.  It won’t matter if the game company is alright with it, as it will be a government issued bill, the government will enforce it unless the game company makes a specific clause.

Check out the video for more links on the details and how to voice your opinion.  It affects a GREAT deal of stuff, to the point of being laughable that it has gotten as far as it is.  Sucks that laws get past with such vague polices openly in place so things can get taken out of context left and right.  But being able to state our negative opinion about something is one of the bonuses of being free.  And until that gets taken away all together, we still got something to celebrate this Fourth o’ July!

Minecraft Co-Op: Happy Fourth Of July!

Happy Fourth, everyone!  Be sure not to lose a hand setting off TNT blocks tonight.  It has a six second fuse, after all.  Use that to its fullest!

Minecraft 1.7 – Live and Well!

Well wuddya know?  I load up MC for the Misses today and poof!  Patch dropped.  Of course this lead to me checking out what exactly changed, and the first thing I noticed on my own was that punching sheep results in aggravation.  So for not dropping his wool I proceeded to punch him repeatedly with exponentially increasing force.  Then he died and only dropped one block.

Shears must have been added >.>

Shears

They did!  And pistons and a whole heap-load more.

I could go on and on about these changes but I should save some for the Monday post.  In short, Shears are made with two diagonally placed iron bars.  Shear sheep (they can drop up to 4 blocks now), cut through wool blocks, clip leaves from trees for chance of saplings *and* placable greenery!  You can finally make hedge mazes without hacking your inventory.  Though I think it needs a tweak, as they randomly die off just like they should on a tree when you cut down the stalk.  So you might have to dig down a block, place a log, then cover it with a leave block for it to ‘stick.’

Pistons

Pistons are of course in and crazier than ever.  Check out this video on an automatic (though you gotta pre-‘program’ it ^_^) pixel art generator.

If it’s a bit too early in the morning crack the trick to this, it’s pretty simple though a pain to first get used to.  Typical for all redstone-powered devices, ain’t it :D  You can automate cobblestone production now!  I might get a guide going for that, but in short, lava and water spread.  If water touches the main source of lava, it turns into obsidian.  If water touches any ‘run off’ of lava, it turns into cobble instantly.  Using this game mechanic and pistons leads to churning out blocks of cobble like no time!

As the blocks of cobble start spitting out, they push the other colored blocks forward one block at a time.  As this happens the picture takes shape.  The only trick at that point is to line up the color blocks correctly or the image won’t end up right.

Thanks for readin’, happy craftin’, and remember: Don’t run with shear-ers!

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