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Minecraft Enterprise and 16-Bit ALU

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the your-hobby-is-lame dept.

Programming 151

tekgoblin writes "Joshua Walker spent the last few months creating a masterpiece. He created the Starship Enterprise 1701-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation in Minecraft using just blocks. He recorded a short video of him explaining how he did it and even gave us a sneak peek at the partially completed ship." He also posted on the Penny-Arcade forums about how he did it. If you aren't impressed by that, perhaps you should check out a 16-Bit ALU also implemented in Minecraft which totally reminded me of one of my favorite XKCD comics.

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Idle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33728476)

Mod op 'idle'.

Stop it, please! (5, Funny)

Peach Rings (1782482) | about 4 years ago | (#33728482)

First minecraft was plugged from the teamfortress.com blog, then 2 days of penny arcade were devoted to it, and since then it's been coming up every few days on slashdot and Boing Boing. The servers have been wrecked like 40% of the time from the constant barrage. If you like minecraft stop telling people about it!

Re:Stop it, please! (5, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 4 years ago | (#33728522)

You sound stressed. You should try playing this game I found [minecraft.net] . It's very relaxing.

Re:Stop it, please! (5, Funny)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | about 4 years ago | (#33728546)

I wish I could, but I'm posting from a 386 I made in my minecraft world 1. I think I'm stuck here.

Re:Stop it, please! (1)

Xoltri (1052470) | about 4 years ago | (#33728728)

Just hope a creeper doesn't come and blow up your 386, then who knows where you'll end up!

Re:Stop it, please! (1)

gilleain (1310105) | about 4 years ago | (#33728736)

I wish I could, but I'm posting from a 386 I made in my minecraft world 1. I think I'm stuck here.

In an Inception-like twist, your computer is so slow because the game of minecraft you made the 386 in is actually running ... IN ANOTHER COPY OF MINECRAFT!

Move over M. Night Shyamalan...

Re:Stop it, please! (1)

phobos512 (766371) | about 4 years ago | (#33729180)

No, that'd be the Thirteenth Floor, thank you VERY MUCH. :D

Re:Stop it, please! (1)

zrbyte (1666979) | about 4 years ago | (#33728952)

Well, at least you have the pigs [youtube.com] for company.

Re:Stop it, please! (-1, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | about 4 years ago | (#33728710)

Dude, I play Minecraft singleplayer so I really don't care about the servers.

That said, if the server is anything like the client I can see why it can't handle the load. Don't write games in Java idiots.

Re:Stop it, please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33728740)

Don't write games in Java idiots.

But...but...he was such more productive in writing bloated code than in a real programming language!

Re:Stop it, please! (1)

Xoltri (1052470) | about 4 years ago | (#33728752)

Yeah, you do need a massive computer to be able to turn the draw distance up at all.

Re:Stop it, please! (2, Interesting)

VGR (467274) | about 4 years ago | (#33728836)

Don't write games in Java idiots.

Yeah, nothing good [bytonic.de] can come of it.

Re:Stop it, please! (1)

orkysoft (93727) | about 4 years ago | (#33729068)

I think the lag is caused by having a large render distance. If you set it lower, the game will run smoother.

The thing that irks me is that even if you're facing an opaque wall, if the render distance isn't low, you'll still get a choppy game, which means that it's actually considering drawing blocks that it could've discarded immediately, because they're being obscured by the wall you're facing...

Re:Stop it, please! (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 4 years ago | (#33729208)

Huh, I hadn't heard anything about the game performing poorly. Odd, since it looks worse than Quake.

I'm not complaining about it looking bad, mind you; I'm just surprised that it can't run on a Pentium 1 with all its settings turned up to full.

Re:Stop it, please! (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 4 years ago | (#33729304)

I'm not complaining about it looking bad, mind you; I'm just surprised that it can't run on a Pentium 1 with all its settings turned up to full.

exactly, that's what happens when you write code in Java. I'm not saying you can't write fast Java code, it just takes more effort.

Re:Stop it, please! (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 years ago | (#33729382)

Which is wierd.

Why not take a game that was released OSS like Quake II or Quake III and make it into a MMORG like this?

Why make it look like wolfenstine?

Re:Stop it, please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33729570)

Because those engines rely on a lot of calculations on the world being done at level design time - they just aren't designed to cope with the world geometry changing constantly in real time.
When Minecraft first came out, I had a go at implementing something similar using a proper nice looking 3d engine (Ogre3d). It is actually pretty hard to get good performance when you are dealing with so many cubes on screen - my efforts never ran as well as Minecraft did, even though it is in Java (he does use OpenGL for the graphics though, so Java performance isn't so much of an issue).

Re:Stop it, please! (2, Insightful)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | about 4 years ago | (#33729766)

Guess what? Hidden surface determination [wikipedia.org] , including Occlusion Culling is hard(tm), even for completely static scenes!
Don't forget this game has a fully modifiable world and lighting (through torches) making it even harder.

Re:Stop it, please! (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | about 4 years ago | (#33730174)

The dynamic world continues to generate for awhile after you begin playing. Obviously Java is crippling but there are some serious computational problems being solved. Water starts in seed areas and flows outward until it meets walls at the exact height of the start point, and stops there. How would you do that quickly for a 4 billion sq km area?

Re:Stop it, please! (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | about 4 years ago | (#33730288)

It doesn't actually work this way - it only computes a smallish area around you and generates as needed from a fixed random seed (so going back to an old area will be the same) + changes you have made.

enterprisey! (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 4 years ago | (#33729234)

But using Java is what makes it Minecraft Enterprise!

(seriously, what I first thought when I read the title.)

Re:Stop it, please! (2, Informative)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | about 4 years ago | (#33730262)

Don't write games in Java idiots.

From what I understand, the speed issues of Minecraft are not so much due to Java but the poor OpenGL bindings available to Java applications. According to Notch (Minecraft's author), the engine computations themselves are only slightly slower than they would have been in C++.

Re:Stop it, please! (1)

b1t r0t (216468) | about 4 years ago | (#33729138)

The word you are looking for is "autist".

(Yes, I read /v/ from time to time, and yes, I have paid my $13.77. But I play survival mode.)

Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (4, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | about 4 years ago | (#33728526)

It is true. Massive block constructions and fluid flow logic were there first.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (2, Informative)

yincrash (854885) | about 4 years ago | (#33728610)

minecraft allows for unlimited power for the circuits using redstone wires. [minecraftwiki.net] there was flow logic before redstone using falling sand, however, these types of circuits require you to refill the source of the flow (sand), every time you wanted a new computation done.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (2, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | about 4 years ago | (#33728664)

Power may be unlimited, but scale isn't. Apparently there's a certain distance that Minecraft makes active, so he can't expand the system beyond that distance.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33728700)

Based on player position or owner position?

I mean, it's multiplayer. So if you get 4 friends to stand equidistant from each other will the mechanics still work or do they shutdown based on owner/builder position?

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33728808)

I think it's based on the activation point. 16 units from the lever, button, etc that triggered it.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 4 years ago | (#33728886)

This isn't much of a limitation for dwarf fortress logic. As long as you have sufficient power an axle can transmit state to any distance on the map. water flow has evaporation and flow rate issues that make it best to use in small units actively pumped from an aquifer. The big thing holding back DF CPU complexity is the massive amount of stuff going on at any one time in a fortress of significant size that will bring the simulation to a crawl.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (1)

Archwyrm (670653) | about 4 years ago | (#33729066)

Clearly you need a supercomputer to simulate your supercomputer.

Maybe they should have it run on DirectCompute (1)

mykos (1627575) | about 4 years ago | (#33730602)

I would love a GPU-accelerated DF. It would be a god among games with the amount of complexity you could add.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (2, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 4 years ago | (#33728996)

It shows a repeater on that wiki page that extends the range. Not surprisingly it also introduces a slight delay. You could extend the signal as far as you want with enough repeaters and as long as you’re willing to tolerate the delay.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33728938)

The Minecraft world is divided into areas called "chunks" that are 16 x 16 x 128 high units in size. From what information I have gathered over my brief playtime, only chunks that are close to or visible to players are actively updated, meaning that activity like mob movement, water/lava flow, tree growth, and redstone wire logic only occurs in the chunks being updated.

So if a portion of the redstone wire logic system were in a chunk or chunks outside of the update range then logic processing would cease.

I've not looked at the redstone wiring portion of the game much at all (supposedly it can create lots of lag in multiplayer) but apparently signals can be transmitted vertically as well as horizontally. So by limiting horizontal size and increasing the vertical size I suppose a good deal more wiring/logic circuitry could be packed into the chunks that are actively updated when a player is present.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (1)

Pteraspidomorphi (1651293) | about 4 years ago | (#33729950)

The range of visible and updated chunks around a player with visibility set to far is huge, though.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (1)

orkysoft (93727) | about 4 years ago | (#33729040)

Yes, that's why he should build up and down instead. It'll also lower the distance between components, and the bus length, and thus reduce lag.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | about 4 years ago | (#33729054)

If he's running the server can't he just tweak a configuration value or something.
If it's not in the server configs after stuff like this I'm sure the developer would be happy to put one in.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (1)

Sark666 (756464) | about 4 years ago | (#33730312)

Please explain this to me, I'm not too familiar with minecraft. I thought it was just for creating 3d worlds/objects. How is it actually running code?

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (1)

pclminion (145572) | about 4 years ago | (#33728790)

So, wait. The game includes features that were created expressly to make it easier to do this sort of thing? That kind of removes a big chunk of the "cool" factor, at least for me.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (1)

Archwyrm (670653) | about 4 years ago | (#33729150)

I wouldn't say that the features were created for making complex logic circuits, it just happens to be possible. Mostly they are for doing things like opening and closing doors, which is of a lot more practical use than an enormous logic machine.

If you want complex logic in the game, there are versions of the Minecraft server which include script interpreters (Python, et al).

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (2, Informative)

Smidge204 (605297) | about 4 years ago | (#33729158)

The purpose of the electrical stuff was obstinately for much simpler reasons: Control of in-game elements. Doors open/close when powered, power can set off explosives and alter the direction of mine cart tracks. You have buttons and levers and pressure plates to provide temporary power and the red torches provide constant power unless powered themselves.

Boolean logic is just so simple that it doesn't take much more to implement a whole computer based on it.
=Smidge=

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 4 years ago | (#33728904)

there was flow logic before redstone using falling sand, however, these types of circuits require you to refill the source of the flow (sand), every time you wanted a new computation done.

Phew - that sentence was clearly typed by someone on too much caffeine and itching to return to minecraft...

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 4 years ago | (#33729456)

Yah. But Minecraft has a usable UI. UI matters.

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 4 years ago | (#33729800)

Yeah, I just YouTube'd Dwarf Fortress and the sudden urge to claw my eyes out overtook me. If you're into that kind of thing, more power to you, but...has anybody come up with at least a tile-based skin for it?

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (2, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | about 4 years ago | (#33730048)

Yes. It uses OpenGL accelerated graphics tiles. The most common tileset is mayday.

http://df.magmawiki.com/index.php/Graphics

http://afteractionreporter.com/2010/04/02/new-version-of-dwarf-fortress-with-mayday-tileset/

Re:Meh. Dwarf Fortress did it first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33730088)

Yes, several of them.

There are also programs that will render in 3d or isometric, though they are not yet realtime.

I watched the ALU video earlier today... (1)

Angostura (703910) | about 4 years ago | (#33728544)

... it was fascinating, but frankly the commentary was too sketchy for someone like me to understand how it was functioning. I;d be very grateful for any clues.

Re:I watched the ALU video earlier today... (1)

somersault (912633) | about 4 years ago | (#33729058)

It's interesting to hear that there are people that really talk like Elmer Fudd, though it seems more like this guy is actually Kripke from the Big Bang Theory :0

Every time I try to RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33728568)

I remember why no one reads TFA.

The connection has timed out
The server at www.tekgoblin.com is taking too long to respond.

Minecraft. (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#33728572)

What I'm gathering about Minecraft [wikipedia.org] , this guy is creating the Enterprise so that he can fight stuff on board?

Would it be possible to create a version of Nemesis that doesn't suck?

Re:Minecraft. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 years ago | (#33729400)

not in minecraft

Source for TFA (4, Informative)

AltairDusk (1757788) | about 4 years ago | (#33728604)

TFA is sourced from this article at Ars [arstechnica.com] which should (in theory) stay up so I recommend reading it there.

Re:Source for TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33730856)

I am terribly sorry, TekGoblin.com is on a VPS with 512mb of ram and I cannot figure out how to get it to handle this traffic spike >.> any suggestions appreciated.

Big whoop-dee-doo! (4, Funny)

mandark1967 (630856) | about 4 years ago | (#33728636)

I made Devil's Butte from mashed potatoes, and you can EAT it afterwards...you can E-A-T it afterwards...

signed,

Richard Dreyfuss

P.S. I also made a 1840's era bacon fort, but I ate the westward facing wall and all my soldiers died at the hands of the Hamokee Indians.

Re:Big whoop-dee-doo! (1)

silverglade00 (1751552) | about 4 years ago | (#33728688)

You're gonna build a mountain (gonna build a mountain)
In your living room (in your living room)
You're gonna build a mountain (gonna build a mountain)
And it's gonna be keen!

Re:Big whoop-dee-doo! (1)

sweatyboatman (457800) | about 4 years ago | (#33730546)

I thought you would like to know that I very much enjoyed your post.

Thank you.

Conundrum (1)

rakuen (1230808) | about 4 years ago | (#33728692)

On the one hand, he built the Enterprise in Minecraft.
On the other hand, he built the Enterprise in Minecraft.
I'm not sure whether he is impossibly lame or awesome, and I don't think I care. Now excuse me while my head explodes.

Re:Conundrum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33728816)

To save your head, he didn't build it in Minecraft.

He built a 3D model of the Enterprise and imported it into Minecraft. Minecraft levels can be modified by several programs and things can be imported into them.

Apparently he actually had a more complete version however the file was somehow lost and I believe he lost 6 months of work.

Minecraft is amazing (1)

stimpleton (732392) | about 4 years ago | (#33728708)

Discovered this game a few days ago. Have amassed a few items in survival mode, and have found a good hiding place, and buried them. This morning I snuck into someones home and stole a chest of items. Sitting at work now, I feel like I've actually stolen something from a local shop(not that I ever have). And thats the point, the game offers something so fresh. Tonight I could find my items raided.

This is survival multiplayer, not the free-build mode, which does not appeal to me at all.

Re:Minecraft is amazing (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33728750)

The game definitely needs more grue.

Re:Minecraft is amazing (1)

b1t r0t (216468) | about 4 years ago | (#33729298)

What's wrong, are you SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSScared of the dark? BOOM

(If you don't get the reference, google for minecraft creeper.)

Minecraft Tux (2, Informative)

ryanisflyboy (202507) | about 4 years ago | (#33728778)

Some of our local LUG people have gotten bit by the minecraft bug. We've built a massive multiplayer island. Some of the locations include Lua Beach, Torvalds Torrent, FreeBSD falls, and Xen caverns. We also have logic gate fields, where members are working on a binary adder. Working already are various logic gates. One of our members built tux out of blocks (who also doubles as a water slide!).

http://plug.org/mc_tux.png [plug.org]

This game is soooo addicting. Don't get sucked in. The best phrase I've heard describe minecraft went something like this... This game is crap. It is full of bugs and nothing works. I hate it, hate it, hate it! I'm logging in right now.

Re:Minecraft Tux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33729148)

That's what I can't understand. Why am I so addicted to this game? Why do I feel this is what Second Life should have been, when technically SL is more advanced in every way?

I built this long bridge between two mountains. Six people died building it (falling off the end of the bridge as they were building it). I was all 6 of those people. But I felt a sense of accomplishment after having done it. Of course then I found out you can just hold down shift and walk backwards and you won't fall off, but it was still fun (somehow). I was glad to buy the game when the servers came back online. Probably happier with it then the much more expensive Starcraft 2, and I really loved that, so that should say something.

Re:Minecraft Tux (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 4 years ago | (#33729842)

Of course then I found out you can just hold down shift and walk backwards and you won't fall off

They just added that 2 Fridays ago...and besides, you did it like a real man :)

wrong Naval Construction Contract numbers (3, Funny)

corbettw (214229) | about 4 years ago | (#33728828)

There's a glaring mistake under the diagrams where he talks about not naming this ship the Enterprise and giving it a different Naval Construction Contract (NCC) number. The USS Galaxy's NCC number was not 1700, that belonged to the USS Constitution in the 23rd century. The Galaxy's was 70637.

If he can't get this minor detail right, what was did he screw up?

Re:wrong Naval Construction Contract numbers (4, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 4 years ago | (#33728920)

It's a sad state of affairs when I can't tell if you're seriously offended by this or not...

Re:wrong Naval Construction Contract numbers (4, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 years ago | (#33729436)

He is waving his arms, his tshirt has rode up to his man boobs and he threw a perfectly good bag of cheetos...

he's downright pissed.

Re:wrong Naval Construction Contract numbers (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | about 4 years ago | (#33729020)

I'm not sure its possible to read your post in a non-nasally voice/non Comic Book Guy voice. I've tried three times with no success, congrats!

Re:wrong Naval Construction Contract numbers (1, Offtopic)

Prune (557140) | about 4 years ago | (#33729972)

I am replying to your signature, because something this offensive cannot be left unaddressed. Libertarianism is ethically unsatisfactory exactly because it judges based on merit; but you cannot blame most people for lack of merit, as aptitude in most things is genetic, as evolutionary psychology has well established by now. In nature vs nurture, it's pretty much all nature. As Steven Pinker points out, the blank slate is a myth. Meritocracy makes sense as long as merit is ONLY used to evaluate suitability for positions in employment or government; but a libertarian utopia will inevitably result in social darwinism where those with less merit on dimensions such as the ability to make a living, lead a group, etc., will not be able to have a decent life, or even possibly survive. In the extreme, libertarianism will fall either into anarchy, or with power becoming concentrated in the hands of a cunning and ruthless few (not all that different from today, just more exacerbated). It holds no promise for bettering society as a whole as it inevitably leaves those less blessed with leadership/technical/skills talent to rot behind.

Re:wrong Naval Construction Contract numbers (1)

mattcsn (1592281) | about 4 years ago | (#33730036)

Thank you, Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

Awww (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#33728830)

... which totally reminded me of one of my favorite XKCD comics.

It wasn't very nice of the story submitter to prevent 6 people in the thread from earning a +3 Funny.

Wow, this can be used.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33728910)

..to calculate how to get a girlfriend!

coolface.jpg

wut? (3, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 years ago | (#33729046)

I understand the draw of sandboxing, but is there a reason why this game looks like it's running the ID Tech-1 engine? (ie, doom)

Re:wut? (1)

mrcleaver (738705) | about 4 years ago | (#33729112)

Actually I think the pseudo retro look is a part of its appeal.

Also, as the fidelity of the world around you increases it places increasing demands on the realism and look of your own creations. Because the world looks really simple and stylized, it's much easier for people who aren't super artistic to create something that can look quite good. Your imagination fills in all the gaps for you.

Re:wut? (1)

Durinthal (791855) | about 4 years ago | (#33729144)

Because guy that made the game is a programmer, not a graphic designer.

Re:wut? (1)

rantomaniac (1876228) | about 4 years ago | (#33729170)

It's a design choice by one guy, who up to this moment had no resources to make better graphics I assume. It has a consistent style and it works pretty well, once you get into it, you don't even notice how retro it looks. Broken fluid physics or hit points in multiplayer are much more annoying.

I think it is voxel based (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33729282)

Voxels are, well, 3D pixels, pixels with volume. There's some good reasons to want to use them and a few games were big on the idea. However GPUs don't handle them, and thus their use has mostly died. However I think that's how this game builds things. That means they have to be pretty large, to function at a reasonable speed. If all the voxels got real tiny your CPU would die under the weight of all the calculations.

Personally I'm still trying to get what the big deal is, I've tried the Java version of the game (which seems to be all that is freely available) and it really fails to amuse me. However it is all over every other site in the world so I guess I'm the one missing something.

Re:I think it is voxel based (1)

Raenex (947668) | about 4 years ago | (#33729740)

Personally I'm still trying to get what the big deal is

I was the same, but then I figured out it was the same crowd that gets excited about Legos. I don't get that either, but to each their own.

Re:I think it is voxel based (1)

Narishma (822073) | about 4 years ago | (#33729876)

The free version is basically just a demo of the engine. In the paid version it's called the creation mode. There are no gameplay elements in it. It's just a sandbox. There are other modes in the paid version like survival and multiplayer survival that add stuff like collecting resources, crafting items and fighting monsters among other things.

Re:I think it is voxel based (1)

Pteraspidomorphi (1651293) | about 4 years ago | (#33729990)

They're all in Java. The freely available version played in your web browser sucks and isn't at all representative of the fun you can have with the real game (though note that it's still in alpha and very buggy).

Re:I think it is voxel based (1)

khchung (462899) | about 4 years ago | (#33730134)

There is nothing to actually "play" in free version, which is basically just a world builder. In the paid version, there is a "survival mode" that actually has stuff like hitpoints, crafting, reason for building your house/base, mining, farming (if you like to), exploring, etc.

I highly recommend the YouTube series "X's Adventure in Minecraft" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bh4EexJO4I&sns=em [youtube.com] for a good idea why this game can be fun.

Re:I think it is voxel based (5, Interesting)

FiloEleven (602040) | about 4 years ago | (#33730848)

I have only played the single-player mode in Minecraft Alpha. It's hard to describe exactly what makes it so compelling. The best thing i can think of is its sense of adventure.

You're dropped into a randomly generated world with nothing but your fist. The terrain generator makes these fantastic landscapes that, while not always entirely Earthly, are usually quite engaging and natural: forested rolling hills, rocky islets, mountains with waterfalls (which have effective and consistent physics)...and dark foreboding caves, sometimes a small hole in a hillside, other times a straight-down pit you almost have to fall into to see. You never know what you'll find just over the next rise.

It's up to you to bootstrap your survival. You've probably seen the Penny Arcade comics, so you know the basics: punch a tree, get some wood, craft some tools. You'll want to find some coal for torches and make a safe house before it gets dark--that's when the monsters come out. And because the combat is so basic, the outcome of every mob encounter is always in question. Zombies aren't so bad, but skeletons, spiders, and the sneaky creepers can ruin your night pretty quickly.

It's a sandbox game, but it's also a little like Sim City or even an RTS: if you want to build stuff, you first have to collect the resources to do so. Any block can be removed from the game world, provided you have the right tools, and any block you've gathered can be placed wherever you like. Iron ore can be smelted (after you've crafted a furnace) into better tools; there's also rarer stuff like gold ore and diamonds the further down into the earth you go.

And that's where Minecraft really shines: down in the caves. You'll find mazes of twisty little passages, all alike. You'll find huge rooms with water- or maybe even lava-falls in them. You may come to a dead end with a dirt wall; dig your way through it and you might discover a whole new set of tunnels. Wherever you go down there, you'll need to light your way with torches. Not only do they let you see pitfalls and baddies, but their light keeps more monsters from spawning. I have never played a game where the darkness was so fear-inducing. It's surprising just how tense I get when I have a pocket full of ore, but I'm lost deep below the surface, running out of torches, and my last pickaxe and sword are almost busted. Conversely, the rush of happiness and sense of reward if I survive and find my way to daylight is just as magnified.

So there's that sense of adventure, and there's also room for lots of individuality. There is no in-game map to hold your hand, and there are as many methods to (try and) keep yourself from getting lost as there are players. I play on a MacBook Pro, meaning my render distance is pretty short, so I tend to use trails of torches above-ground to lead me from my fort(s) to working caves. Inside the caves I'm working out a system of double and triple torches in various configurations to keep myself oriented. Other people build arrows out of cobblestone or dirt, or wall off certain branches for later, or heaven knows what else. You're forced to deal with the challenges the game world throws at you, but you can do it however you like. What's the point besides exploration? Well, you can build a minecart roller coaster or a giant Sphinx, or just a homey little cottage. Whatever you build is entirely individual, since as you say you're basically working with big-ass voxels. I like expanding my houses sometimes, but the real fun for me is in the exploration.

Oh, one more thing. The game is currently in Alpha. It has no right being even mildly playable, and instead it's the most engaging game I've played in a long time--in fact I can't remember the last time I was up until 5:00 AM playing a game before this. When Survival MultiPlayer starts to come together (it's playable but players and mobs can't deal damage yet) it's going to be a big deal. I'm having so much fun in my own worlds, I can only imagine what it'll be like exploring with a group of friends.

Re:wut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33729286)

You couldn't look up or down in Doom, and the BSP system couldn't represent z-levels properly IIRC.
This is a lot more like Sauerbraten.

Re:wut? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 years ago | (#33730824)

You'll notice I used the word "like."

You might want to go look that up and see what it means.

Re:wut? (4, Insightful)

Megane (129182) | about 4 years ago | (#33729634)

Because it's about gameplay, not graphics.

Another /. victim (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 4 years ago | (#33729270)

Must be chipmunk-powered as there's no getting in to see the warcraft enterprise right now.

Re:Another /. victim (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 4 years ago | (#33729294)

Sh*t, minecraft. Whatever....

Re:Another /. victim (1)

dhaines (323241) | about 4 years ago | (#33730052)

The warp core has been Slashdotted. Quick, someone repolarize the ion flux crystals!

Re:Another /. victim (1)

Jbcarpen (883850) | about 4 years ago | (#33730774)

The only crystals involved in the warp core are Dilithium, and they have nothing to do with ion flux.

He didn't make it mine craft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33729292)

He didn't make it in minecraft, he drew it in google sketchup and then moved the framework over to minecraft.

This calls for... (1)

dcposch (1438157) | about 4 years ago | (#33729334)

the hardhack tag! Which is the coolest tag on /., in my humble opinion.

Re:This calls for... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 4 years ago | (#33730346)

It's only the coolest tag because pushing around virtual blocks in a computer game doesn't qualify for it.

He did not (0, Redundant)

imsabbel (611519) | about 4 years ago | (#33730094)

Importing an external 3D file in the debug version is surely a nice accomplishment.
But he did great care to make it look like it was actually build ingame in his video.
Douchebag.

Re:He did not (2, Insightful)

jack2000 (1178961) | about 4 years ago | (#33730402)

The douche bag here is you. He explained he didn't build it ingame. And it doesn't really matter how he made it.

Go back to sketchup (1)

mr100percent (57156) | about 4 years ago | (#33730348)

Seriously, if it looks this good in Minecraft, imagine how much better it would look in SketchUp. Can we get a project going?

Enterprise-D plans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33730600)

Anyone know where I can get those plans mentioned?

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | about 4 years ago | (#33730740)

What I'm gathering about Minecraft , this guy is creating the Enterprise so that he can fight stuff on board? Would it be possible to create a version of Nemesis that doesn't suck?

hahahah i work with josh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33730780)

i work with josh in a call center, ive seen his work, he is good at what he does,. when hes not complaining that people are not answering their phones lol.

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