Caragh looking out at the monsters from the castle wallsI’ve been playing Minecraft single player for a while now and it’s great.  Everything you’ve heard about the game is true.  The whole mechanic hinges around the simple rules that govern the physics of the world and the unique experiences that emerge from them (apparently this is called emergent gameplay).  The adventures you can have battling monsters, exploring caves and going off on hikes and sea voyages can be exhilarating, scary and challenging.  The simple graphics are charming and sometimes quite awe inspiring once you reach a mountain peak and get a good view of the impressive terrains that get generated.  There’s nothing like building your own world to really get you invested in what goes on in it and that’s exactly what you do as you stack tons of cobblestones into towering battlements around your castle keep, dig endlessly downwards into your labyrinth mines and caves and carefully landscape grassy forests and deserts into the perfect back garden.

Singleplayer was great but what has been even more fun is setting up a server and convincing Caragh to join me in a multiplayer world.  Here are some screenshots of the action we’ve encountered so far.

Minecraft beach/desert screenshot

This is the spawn location in our world, every time you die you’re yanked back here and all your stuff stays where you were so you have to run back and collect it before it disappears.

Screenshot Caragh of cutting down trees

Caragh’s cutting down logs while I head off to find coal.  It’s important to gather coal and wood on your first day so you can craft torches to get through that long first night.

Sun's going down, here come the monsters

The sun’s going down which means the monsters will be coming out.  Time to start to build a shelter so we can hide away.

Time to dig a shelter into the hillside

Got our chest, crafting bench and furnace set up

We’ve got a little hole to hide away in now, with a door, a furnace, crafting bench, a chest and most importantly, torch light.

Started digging a mine

At first the only thing to do at night is to start digging a mineshaft so you can mine out some raw materials like coal, iron and maybe even diamond.

A scary cave to explore at the bottom of our mineWhilst mining you’ll often breakthrough into huge natural caverns or tight twisting passages with zombies and skeletons hiding around every corner.  It’s up to you whether to hastily brick them up or to grab a torch and a sword and venture in.

I think Caragh got Creepered!

Caragh standing in a creeper crater.  Creepers will sneak up on you soundlessly before making a hissing noise and exploding.  Creeper death was our number two cause of death starting out, after falling down our mineshaft.

Finally we have a small farm and some safe walls

Eventually we get a nice set of castle walls up outside our shelter so we can come out at night in relative safety.  The plants down there are the start of a wheat farm and a sugar cane crop.I built a porch out the front

We built a porch out the front because we kept opening our front door to find a creeper or a spider waiting for us.  The elevated porch is harder for the creepers to get as near to and the glass allows us to look out and see where they are.

Looking nicer inside, we have cake!

We expanded the inside around our mine a little bit and made cake.  The cake replenishes health and is made from the crops we farmed outside (and some eggs and milk).  We found the pumpkin outside and put a torch inside to make a Jack-O-Lantern.

I climbed a big tree on the mountainside to get a better view of our castle

I climbed a tall tree on the hillside to get a better view of our castle/shelter.  You can see the skylight that lights our mineshaft from here.

Venturing further from home

Venturing even further from home.

Begging to be explored!

In the other direction is a huge island.  I can’t wait to take a boat over there and explore.

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7 Responses to Minecraft

  1. Mark Stickley says:

    Fascinating! This is the most I’ve really seen of Minecraft. Could you (in theory) tunnel over to the other island rather than taking a boat?

  2. HeyChinaski says:

    @Mark Yeah, you could totally tunnel there, tunnelling is the safest (and slowest) way to travel. It might take a few Minecraft days to dig all the way there.

  3. Shaun says:

    Not looked into this yet. This kind of write up inspires me to give it a go.

  4. HeyChinaski says:

    @Shaun You definitely should. Unfortunately you have to pay (or pirate), I don’t think there’s a free demo version around at the moment. The free classic version on the minecraft site isn’t very representative of the way the game is now I think.

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  6. Shaun says:

    I thought it was still in beta…

  7. HeyChinaski says:

    Yep, but you still have to pay http://www.minecraft.net/prepurchase.jsp It’s just 5 euros less while it’s in beta. I bought it when it was alpha so it was 10 euros,

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