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Minecraft Monday: New “Enderman” Mob in Adventure Patch 1.8 Announced!

Notch updated his blog with this nifty post about the ned “Enderman” mob coming to Minecrafts near you!  He laced his post with spoiler alerts so I am going to do the same.  I think they sound awesome, but after reading what it says, I cannot wait to see people’s reactions to this new guys when the patch drops.

So, you have a choice my friends!

Do you want to wait and see what’s new when it occurs with your blinder caps securely in place till patch day, or do you want a sneak peek?  I’m telling ya, it’s great stuff.  You will find out exactly how the mob works when you play the game yourself though, so if you opt out of reading you will still learn about it in-game and all you miss is early details.  Don’t feel like you *need* to read this if you want to genuinely be surprised.

The choice is yours!

Read the rest of this entry

Minecraft Monday: Monumental Musicks!

Since I’ve started doing Minecraft Mondays, I’ve focused on the stuffs you can see.  But what about the things you can hear?  No, not the thwocking, crumbling wood as you take down a tree, or the clack-a-lackin’ of slimes under your Bastion of Awesome, or even the Ssssssilent approach and your sudden demise brought about by the daring Creeper.  Nay!  The music, friends!  MUSIC!

This is actually kind of a merge of a few ideas I’ve had.  A wee bit back I planned on doing posts each week about music in video games, but as time grows (and seems to stay) tight, I wanted to make sure I posted at least one thing a week.  As the Misses and I were all about Minecraft, I opted to report on our travels instead of the ear juice.  Consider this a bit of a “Compromise of Cool.”

Fans, new and old, feel free to hit play and let this run as you read on.  No lyrics to distract ya are to be found in these tracks.

The music in Minecraft plays fairly randomly, and I’m sorry to admit that I usually have it turned off by accident.  When I’m playing online with buds it can choke out ventrillo like a python.  (Just turning it down low and you think a cellphone is going off every once and awhile, so I tend to leave it at 0%.)

The tracks C418 has assembled for the game are striking.  For such a blocky game I expected to hear 8 bits and bloops in the background, but was treated to a savory soundtrack that still impresses.  Actually, c418 did all of the audio in the game, I believe.  But fans of the series already know the spooky sounds, and neither they nor newcomers will appreciate that unsettling sound (which signifies a large, dark cave nearby.  Darkness means enemies, and unless you are in your base, you could very well be walking into a wide-open dungeon just out of sight. ) so I’m sticking to music tracks.

The music fits remarkably well within the game’s setting.  If you are collecting supplies, relaxing next to a fire, or just looking out from atop of a tower made of dirt to survey the setting sun upon the horizon, it just gels.

The emphasis on piano or similar sounds is a nice change.  Usually it’s a kicking drum beat or oomcha-ing bass.  (Which I just spelled as “base,” sigh.)  The subdued songs add a level of calming to the game, which fits the day cycles more so than the daunting night.  Maybe it is even a way to catch a new player off guard to truly frighten them at night when the land grows dark and arrows start whizzing their way.  Tricky, tricky.

Also interesting is how the songs commonly drop off into a lull of silence, and then another takes up the reigns, usually a more uplifting and bouncy tune.  I think this helps as the music, while melodic, can sway either way from happy and bubbly, to depressingly heavy.  If this second half is meant to perk up the player or due to a technical limitation I do not know, but now that I think about it, it could just as well be a way to end the music on a high note so that when you are lucky enough for it to pop up again, you are eager to hear it, and possibly relax you from your last zombie or giant slime scare.

As I mentioned above, the music does tend to have a certain ‘uplifting sadness’ about it.  Reflective. Introspective.  Reminds me of Shawshank Redemption when Red says:

” …something so beautiful, it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it.”

Maybe it’s similar to alcohol.  For one, we all know Minecraft is addicting as all heck, but maybe the music aspect of it is similar to booze.  How some people are mad, get drunk, and are really mad till they sober up?  Or sad, more sad, etc.  Maybe it’s the Rorschach of a blocky world, an inkblot of the digital mind!

Somewhat recently, C418 added a few new tracks to the game, the above is an example.  They tend to be more synthesized than a simple piano piece, but it still fits the setting and still features a ‘part two’ towards the halfway mark.  There are even two hidden songs that can only be accessed by very specific ways and are fairly difficult to unearth.  They do not play normally, and if you do not check out youtube or hack the game’s files you will never hear them. 

To those curious, you have to find dungeon after dungeon and hope to get lucky with the chests granting you a record, or the more predictable but no-less simple method of beating a creeper to low health and having a skeleton shoot it and finish it off.  Recently Creepers seem to blow up from further away, so this might be even more difficult than I recall.

Hopefully you all enjoyed this week’s installment!  (If your eyes didn’t like it, I hope your ears did at least!)  I may end up doing another once-a-week post about video game music, but no guarantees!  I think this one went pretty well though, so we’ll see if this christened a new weekly post or not. 

Either way, keep on crafting those mines!

Minecraft Monday: As Delayed As the Server’s Ping

So, yeah!  Kinda hard to be over-joyed about Minecraft considering the past 24 friggin’ hours the servers have been shot.  Since the patch my buddies server wasn’t working as the software wasn’t behaving right on the host’s end, so they finally rigged it to work for all of us, and the day after, the servers go boom >.<

If anyone wanted to know how my Minecraft experience was the past few I’d have to sum it up with zee following image:

24 Hours of Minecraft Fun

I thought things would be solved by now, but that is the first thing Minecraft has displayed to me this morning.  All last night my buds kept getting locked out of the game for large stretches of time.  Notch tweeted about the servers being very slow, once, and that was it.  Not that he’s working to fix it, not that they would lock up completely by that night, but he did find time to mention they were installing new coffee machines in his office ;>.>

Today his blog reads that they are now working on moving the servers to a bigger place, which is good.  But they are still down now.  Which is bad.  Next paragraph:

In other news, we spent the day today out of the office in various cafés, as the floor was getting fixed. And we got the Machinima.com IGA awards! They’re pretty!

Well that’s just wonderful.  More coffee and awards while the game remains unplayable online.  Stupendous.

Before that crap started to increase the frustration levels, we did have a good time yesterday.  I started a handful of forest fires that spread quite a distance.  I spent most of the day-hours travelling to that island and clearing the burning timbers and charting a course back to my cousin’s Alamo-like docking station he’s got set up.

The Misses constantly has a spider problem at night, so we decided to help clear out a cave she had under her base.  And thus started the great Cave Trek of 2011.  We ended up sailing by boat until we happened to see a cave with this at it’s mouth:

Minecraft Co-op  Landscape

Naturally occurring lava, water, and ice all in a tight area.  And no cobblestone either, was a nice mix.  Right about here is when the adventure was kicked up several pegs as this cave structure is the largest inner-connected structure I have seen in the game yet.  It seems to be like a cave which was camouflaging itself as a mountain at this point, as there are tens of entrances alone, with multitudes more cave systems branching out.  I really want a bud to record this and put it up on youtube, the ‘walkthrough’ alone would eat up 10 minutes, and even that wouldn’t show every twist and turn we have going on.  What made this particular cave so formidable, is that there happens to be one of every mob spawner in there.  We took out the zombie spawner at the cost of my cousin’s loot, as I wasn’t able to reclaim the items before they disappeared (which is annoying as items seem to last a long long time now due to some glitch perhaps, but his items were gone before the 5 minute marker by a long shot). 

We later took out a spider spawner, but still have a skele and creeper spawner within range of one another.  It’s rather daunting to have four different directions and several levels to look out for at the same time.  While going up to resupply ourselves we constantly heard explosions going off from distant creeper attacks, usually followed by an unsavory comment from my cousin.

I’d post more pictures but the servers are down and will not let me login, let alone reach the online game waiting to be played.  Disappointing and frustrating to say the least.

Here’s a closing shot of one of those tricky spiders staring down at me like Ceiling Cat.

Minecraft Co-op: Spider Senses

Minecraft Million Milestone

Welp, it happened.  Minecraft has sold over one million copies of the game, just under an hour ago.  This October when I gots me the game it was about 400-500,000ish copies sold.  When I last posted about it 21 days ago, it was released as Beta with 855263 copies sold.  That means about 144,737 copies of the game have been sold at roughly just under 7,000 a day (average).  While I am glad the game has come this far already, I did wish to keep a count for another reason than a simple tally. 

Those hundred forty-four thousand plus copies sold were all more expensive than  it was in Alpha, and each of those may rightfully have to pay for every large expansion to the game it incurs, possibly monthly.  I’m sure some have just found out about the game now, as it’s Facebook presence has grown from 45,811 almost a month ago to 153,473, but it boggles the mind at how many knew about the game but waited to buy it until after the hoist in cost and planned costs will occur in the future.  Boggles, I say!

In more personal Minecraft related news, the multiplayer server I posted a solitary shot of will be reset today or tomorrow, but thankfully the server host got a backup copy so I can continue tinkerin’ with stuff with the Misses on a local connection if we so choose.  But speaking of pictures, it has been awhile since I posted that *one* and since I uploaded quite a few shots to flickr on Christmas, why not finally showcase a few right here? 

Behold Minecraft Day One shots!  (There’s only four, don’t get all anxious on me now.)  They are sorta smallish, so feel free to click them to make em bigger.  Thar’ hosted on flickr as these would start to eat up my allowed space on wordpress, so don’t freak if a new pages opens up once you click em’ ^_^

Minecraft Day 1: Outside View

A look at our base after our first co-op survival multiplayer attempt, monsters turned on and not on peaceful.  It ain’t winnin’ awards for style, but it’s keepin’ the Creepers at bay.

Minecraft Day 1: First Floor

First floor.  Close up of the chest and workstuffs!  Look at that chicken down there, you rascle!  Inside view of our base, furnace a-glowin’, probably with glass.  Since that is the one and only thing I have ever seen the Misses use the furnace for.  Sigh.
Minecraft Day 1: Misses' 'Balcony'

The Misses’ Balcony.  This was something the Misses was working on.  No idea what she had planned.  She likes to make things look purdy’ topside, while I prefer to mine shtuff up from below.  We even each other out.  Minecraft.  For Matches Made In Heaven.  I like how the chicken that found its way in is warming up in the sunlight.  Also, this is the proper way to waste a stack or three of torches.  No better way to say thank-you to the significant other for going out and slash-n-burning forests than throwing around all there hard-earned goods willy nilly.  Thank the flying spaghetti monster the game doesn’t charge for electricity or this floor alone would be a stack of gold bars a week.
 Minecraft Day 1: Mining View

The last of the Day One shots, this time a view of zee Mining Shaft.  One of my mining floors, got it situated so every ten levels I have another one of these hubs.  It’s setup to be used as further points to spread out to mine, but I could just as easily make them fountains or something and fill em with water.  Yes that’s dirt and gravel, I will go back and replace them all.  Since I did already after this picture was taken.  That was a cool two hours of time invested. 

‘Say, Encrazed.  What do you feel like doing for lunch?

Well I had this swell idea of harvesting wood from the trees outside I had to replant the last time I used them, turning that into lumber to heat a furnace I made from solid stone to heat these bits and pebbles hot enough to turn them into a more stream-lined look.  Then I’ll have to move or destroy all of the previously placed blocks that simply don’t match which should fill in the rest of my day.

‘Wow, that seems rather elaborate for a utility shaft…why would anyon–

BECAUSE I’M ADDICTED.

Then, of course, all the extra wood and stacks of coal I had gets turned into a thousand more useless torches to light the balcony region of our fortress.  Yes, it’s a full-on fortress at this point. But I’ll get to that in another day or so >.<

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