Minecraft Musings

So, in spite of common sense and reason telling me that spending what little extra money I have on what looks to be a massive timesink is a horrible idea I'm buying a copy of Minecraft. Well OK not a copy so much as a license to use since it's still in Alpha and I suspect there will be no physical distribution even after it's gone Gold. As I have only toyed wit hthe free 'classic' version and am hampered by a connection that isn't very network-gaming friendly I cannot nor will I write a review. For that I leave to other people who have already gone to the trouble.

Instead I will focus on trying to find something somewhat work/writing related in this open ended sandbox. First let's take a look at what we have so far to work with. You in a forest with no background on how you got there or what happened before. You must bather resources to build a shelter and create light before nightfall so zombies, slimes, creeper, skeletons, and whatever else gets dreamed up between now and final release don't kill you. You must build tools to harvest anything other than wood and to get wood you need an axe of some sort. However since you start out with absolutely nothing until you get tools to work with punching works as a short term solution.

Let me repeat that. You can punch trees apart with your bare hands.

Not only that but the different bits to trees  above where you punched don't fall the way you or most other thigns do. Instead tree bits will hang suspended in mid-air until either they dissapear (roughly a day later in game) or are harvested. The 'stuff decays if left out too long' rule applies to dropped items and tools too (to the best of my knowledge.)

Notch, the creator of Minecraft, is big on letting people mod the thing silly. I don't know what all it takes to make mods, but several have been done which range from graphic packs (a slightly modified version of painterly is on my grab list... modified in that I plan on replacing the art/paintings you can create with somethinga little different than that pack allows.) In addition to purely cosmetic tweaks there are things like runecraft that attempt to add functionality as well as something of a magic system.

I do believe we've established that Minecraft is essentially Dwarf Fortress centering on solo exploration and building (or multiplayer cooperation for the same goal) rather than resource managing a large group of drunken retards. It is, by any standards from the past fifteen years, graphically challanged and because the world randomly generates periodically while you explore (and could theoretically be much larger than the total surface area of the Earth) it cna get CPU intensive in spite of the bad graphics. Still, it caters to a player niche that apparently is popular on the internet.

Oh right, trying to find something to blog about relating to this game/sandbox/thing. For that we need story and for story we need to draw off of what we know then expand on it (and hope later expansions by Notch don't make these expansions Irrelevent.) Apparent midevil technology with bits of magic thrown in here and there. Other than ruins and or goblin war parties that might be added in later there is no sign of civilization and currently there is no plot unless 'survive and build' counts.

Those that winde up in this isolated (or not depending on if it's single or multiplayer) state are the 'winners' of a monthly lottery. Said lottery portrays its winners as going off to live in the lap of luxeury and even includes progress updates and interviews three, six, twelve, and twenty four months down the line for its 'winners'. Obviously those that are selected are excited up until they wake up alone and wel laway from civilization.

Why the bait and switch lottery? Maybe those In Charge have found a portal and want to send people thorugh until they can make it stable enough for reliable transportation from Here to There (wherever that is) and haven't quite gotten the bugs worked out just yet. Maybe they're trying to get rid of political opponents and send through a randomish selection of people that don't fit the profile so that those watching patterns won't be tipped off on what they're really up to. Maybe its a last ditch attempt at leaving a dying world, sending people thorugh to other places almsot at random (though each spot on the other end is habitable.)

I actually sorta like that last one since it doen'st require some sort of implied malice or overarchingconspirisy to keep the public in the dark (or maybe it does and the lottery is a way to keep the populatio ndistracted while they can keep news of Doom from filtering down.)

Depending on how my mind works I might or might not explore this as the skeleton for a story during next months' writing insanity.

As can be noted already I've already added a few relevent links to my blogroll.
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