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Minecraft Monday: The Mystery of the Block

Well ‘ello, ‘ello!  Mondays always seem to sneak up on me XD  Hows about we get right to it then?

Minecraft News

Busy, busy week for Notch!  After a whole bunch of bugfixes, he needed to fix other bugs that the whole process caused in the first place.  Poor guy.  The biggest news currently is one more batch of bugfixes this week, then a long while of a wait for patch 1.7. 

Adventure Mode

Adventure mode is something Notch wanted to do for a while now, and is basically going to be entirely for people who like to… well.. adventure ^_^  The mode is all about going out and slaying baddies, completely opposite of building.  In fact, unless he has changed his mind, you will not be able to place or destroy any type of block in Adventure mode at all.  It’ll just be you going through dungeons and hazards and trying to make it out alive.  Sorta like a Medieval Doom or something :D

This leads to interesting situations. 

  • How do you get weapons and armor? 
  • Are they just given to you at the start? 
  • Do they not break at all, then? 
  • There are chests in the game, will you be granted rewards for completing the dungeon, and if so what? 
  • Will it be completed diamond gear? (As we cannot craft) 
  • Will you be locked into a never-ending challenge area?  (If you can just ‘go around’ the mammoth mountain and skip to the end, you could easily loot the place without doing any of the actual work for it.  Which now makes me wonder…
  • After completing the dungeon, will you have to go alllll the way back out the way you came in?
  • Will there be a key-system in place to prevent looting shenanigans?

But that’s going to be awhile from now.  Easily a month or two.  E3 is coming up and then they got the mobile Minecraft version to be unveiled and all that.  Busy busy!

Mystery of the Block

Since 1.5 came out, the look of my inventory has bothered me.  I run the default textures, but you all might have noticed a slight difference as well.  So, I dug up the files and tinkered a bit to see why things are going on as they are.  I think I may have some results.

The first step was to edit the right file.  And finding that file was deceptively obvious (it is the only one NOT in a certain folder, gah!) so I changed the few that I knew looked off into rather jarring color stripes.

Minecraft Single Player: Texture Editing
This is science is progress, folks. Beautifully hideous science.

The problem wasn’t really with the 3d blocks though, as you can see everything maintains the stripe look, minus distant ones but that is to be expected with a pattern like this.  No, the problems weren’t with the placed blocks, but when you hold the blocks in your inventory.  Specifically dirt, cobble, and wooden planks.  Here is a screen shot I blow’d up to show you what I mean.

On the left is the stripe test look.  In the middle is the post-1.5 patch look, and on the right is the original look.  The cobble is still cobble, but the lighting is different and the pattern looks messy.  In the original, the top is brighter than either side planes, while in the new version almost all sides are evenly lit.  (Admittedly the sides are barely a shade darker than the top, but compared to the original look it is worlds apart.  Furthermore, I have an aging/darkening monitor as well, so the changes should be even less apparent to most others.  End point: He tampered with something to cause this change.)  YesI know dissecting a virtual block is a bit nutty, but we like to continually earn our Encrazed title, ah-thank-you.

The reason my stripe block is up there at all is to see how the image gets scrunched up.  If you look closely, not all stripes are intact.  Quite a few merge together. I cannot compare this to a previous version to see how that may have changed things, but I will say, staring at the image file these are based on, the textures in question did not change between patches.  At all.  This suggests a coding change somewhere, and that I do not wish to tangle with.

New Textures

A spiffy thing I just noticed was this nestled in the same texture file as the dirt and that:


These are the dead (Desert biome) and alive (I guess anywhere else ^_^) versions of the new shrub thang’ he added.  Haven’t spent too much time in new chunks to see these in action, but I will say that the tall grass is working so, in theory, these should be as well.  Oh, and the reason that one on the right is gray is because the game should take in the current surroundings and make it more vibrant green or muddy brown depending on the locale.

That’s it for this week, let’s see if E3 adds anything new to the table!  Last time Notch went to a place like that, we got Wolves!  I doubt we’ll get something that big, but still, couldn’t hurt to hope a lil’, right? ^_^

Minecraft Monday: Mapz!

Notch just made a post on his tumblr stating an idea about maps getting added to the game.  Maybe a new use for paper and squid ink?  Sounds cool either way ^_^  He mentioned that it will start out as a blank map that gets revealed over time as you wander, and that multiplayer folks’ll be able to link up their maps so both people can see what the other has revealed, maybe even see where that person is on the map when you check it. 

Harry Potter-esque, no?

In some Meh News, he said Pistons are getting delayed again, possibly for awhile.  Even worse, this is because a coder is getting moved to another game, likely Scrolls.  Even though I got a few ideas for pistons at the moment, the acknowledgement that they got one less coder working on the game isn’t great news to hear.  This bothers me even more, because possibly the largest influence of me getting the game, X, from his Let’s Play Minecraft youtube series posted a lengthy list of things he’d like to see in the game.

Having watched each of his videos marathon-style for pretty much two full days until he stopped posting them, I know first hand this guy spent a lot of time in-game.  But he got bored.  Painfully bored.  He claims it was because nothing was threatening anymore, and while I think it was more of a burn-out than boredom that killed it for him, I can see where he is coming from.

But Notch didn’t read his post.  Actually, he decided to completely ignore it.

This is what bothers me this week.  I’m a big fan of X, and I admit I may have a bias towards his side of the story.  I also admit that X got a lot of popularity due to his Minecraft vids, and accidentally sent one heck of a tidal wave of fans Notch’s way, supposedly to the point of Notch getting text messages to read the post when trying to eat dinner.  I get he would be displeased.

I also understand that Notch is probably trying to avoid the whole “if enough people tell him, he’ll listen to my thoughts and change the game!” can of worms.  If he admits he read the list it might make him look like he caved to the pressure, but at the same time, completely ignoring the changes is not the right answer either.  I read the list of ideas, and X was very understanding.  He knew the changes would likely never get added, but it was mostly posted towards his fans for them to understand why he isn’t playing it nearly at all anymore.  (Again, I think he built too much too fast and right out of the gates, while he claims lack of changes and lack of depth and difficulty.)

Most of X’s ideas were about beefing up the Adventuring aspect of the game.  He conquered all he saw, and wept.  (To decimate a Great phrase a la Alexander.)  He said the game is almost all about building and almost nothing about Adventuring, which is correct.  But he didn’t just want to complain about things and he listed ideas on how to fix what he felt needed more attention.  Mainly, add upgraded versions of all current mobs for starters.  You’ll  need armor to go cave hunting as the upgraded mobs take a lot more damage and dish it out as well, so why not have those rare mobs drop better gear in mind of said adventurers?  Say, iron ore?  That would keep Adventurers stocked with iron for armor and weapons while not forcing them to mine all day for it.

You can read his whole thing (as well as an apology to Notch for X’s fans pestering him so much) right here.  Was Notch right in blocking off new ideas?  Is it wrong for people to suggest changes while playing a game born from creativity?  Maybe Notch should hire on someone who just deals with people’s suggestions and organizes them for the team?  He can afford it.  (Minecraft broke 2,000,000 sales recently.)

But, to avoid ending it on a slightly negative note, my buddeh’ Ben allowed me and the Misses to visit his server this week!  We didn’t stay long, Madam is under the weather and I’m drinking plenty of liquids to avoid catching it as well, but I did have enough time to snap this shot!

Minecraft Co-Op: Vertigo!

Just doesn't look the same without your texture pack, does it? -_^

…right before a giant slime gutted me.  Dang processor couldn’t handle me loading the image program so I died before I could alt+tab back in >.<  Also, Ben has a kick-arse Dr. Who skin.  Tennant’s version, of course.  (Even had nifty 3-d glasses on, woo!)  Not big on the Doc, but I really like Tennant.  Think my fave episode was the Shakespeare one. 

“Good ol’ J.K.!”

Minecraft 1.5 is LIVE

Do I gain cheese points for the rhyme in the title?  I wasn’t sure, but went with it anyway ^_^

As Ben studiously pointed out, 1.5 is upon us.  I immediately was met with the typical End of Stream error message so no-go on the online play for me, today.

So I loaded up single player, of course!  I immediately checked out the Achievy’s and Stats, and I’m leaning towards positive mixed.  (I think that would be Neutral Good?  Or, I guess knowing me, Chaotic Good :D)

I am glad they are in place, but I was kinda expecting a little bit more.  You can easily get most of those in under three minutes, six if you have a completely empty inventory. 

That’s it.  Not a big gripe, but I calls it as I see’s it ^_^  There will undoubtedly be many more added, and not only do I like the stylin’ new background they got behind the achievements (bunch of mining blocks and dirt, etc.), but they were smart!  They actually kept Stats and Achievy’s separate!  How many times are you ‘awarded’ for getting arbitrary and monotonous amounts of something?  Would it not be better to merely keep track of your actions through Stats, and keep the Achievements interesting?

Kudos to Mojang for keeping that in mind, though I offer up a puzzle of my own.

Minecraft 1.5 Update: Stats!

This is a shot of my current stats after tinkering around for a bit. Yes I know that’s a lot of jumps, but I was scaling mountains and running across water is faster when leaping around like a limping fast-style zombie.

I understood what everything listed meant, but three.  Climbed, Flown, and Dove were there exciting terms that, at first, I thought that was a hint we could fly or something, but it was just odd word choice.

Flown is the amount of space you have travelled through the air.  So jumping off a block down to a lower area would give you a small amount of Flown.  Not quite as cool as a rocketing around, but now ya know.

Dove is another one that sounds very close to flying, but this one is the opposite of Flown.  While Flown is counted through air, Dove is the past tense of Dive.  That is, how far have you trudged around like a Big Daddy with water over your head.  Distance travelled submerged in water, folks!

And I still have no idea what Climb is.  I thought if one was air, two was water, three might be height, so I looked around and jumped atop the highest mountain in view, but didn’t get any credit for it under that listing.  Might take a little more research to find out exactly what this stat is trackin’.

Oh wait, maybe stairs?

Ladders!   Climb is counted when you climb up ladders and swimming straight up , but not stairs as I first thought just now.  I feel like I just got a Discovery! like an Alchemist in WoW. 

Awesome ^_^

I would comment on weather systems, but I wasn’t planning on playing single player and uh… I didn’t make extra ladders.  Good thing I have a small waterfall next to my mining shaft in this save.  Looks like I’ll be leveling up that Climb stat quite a bit just to get out of here. 

…And just now the rain started hammering my roof and thunder is rumblin’ in real life.  Man, Notch thought of everything -_^


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