Minecraft

Totally skip this if you don’t know or don’t care about Minecraft.

Minecraft is a game where you either individually or in multiplayer do various activities in a variously hostile world (where you can starve, fall and die, fall into lava and die, drown, be killed by monsters, be crushed by falling rock, and discover all sorts of other interesting ways to die). But assuming you learn how to survive, you can move on to the creative side of the game, which primarily involves digging and placing blocks, but also includes crafting things and figuring out how things work.

Usually eventually, especially on a multiplayer server like the one I spend a lot of time on, a player or a group of players starts building something epic. The idea was struck on a few weeks back and that we are still working on is called the Terrarium 2, which is essentially a pyramid of the largest dimension possible within the world, going from bedrock, through the sea and up into the sky. We will build it and hollow out the underground part and build a multi-storey city within it.

Right now, we are still hollowing out. But the views are pretty impressive already.

Last night we completed the underwater section of the skirt, which is the part that lies outside the sea-level square of the pyramid but goes underwater. That’s glassed in so you can see out into the under-ocean. One interesting thing that happens as we go about this project is that we discover very efficient ways of doing particular kinds of construction tasks.

The disciplines we are observing while we do this build are:

  • No hostile mobs/monsters (though this may change)
  • No TNT
  • All hand-placed or hand-dug (it’s possible to use editors within and outside of minecraft but we’re not doing that)

We started and then stopped keeping track of deaths at the work site. There were a lot of falling deaths and still are. Also a number of us have been drowned or killed by lava.

Since it’s a game, you come back from death and often are able to go back and recover your items.

Anyway, I only have one picture, which is taken from just slightly under sea level inside the pyramid, looking across to the other side and down into the dig site where we’re hollowing out the underground part. For a sense of scale for folks not familiar, each block that you see is about a “meter” in game. Or to put it another way, a person in game is two blocks high. If I had to guess, the height of the picture taker to the bottom of the dig is about 70 meters. Also know that the peak of the pyramid is about 50 meters higher than that (you just can’t see it in this picture).


(Credit to “Clever Nickname” on the MeFightClub forums)

Just above the top of the frame is a wooden floor that spans the whole square – that’s the sea level or ground level floor of the pyramid.

Anyway, Minecraft is, as I suspected, totally addicting for me. It’s also a great pick-up video game that I can maybe spend 10-15 minutes on at a time and it helps me blow of steam, which is good. Because it’s been pretty stressful at home lately.