SSSSssssss..... September 8, 2010 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Any interest in starting a metafilter Minecraft server? Either creative or (the still very buggy) survival mode?
posted by empath to MetaFilter-Related at 8:10 AM (134 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

The good folks at MeFightClub have a couple of Survival Multiplayer servers up and running.

The Aporkalypse can be reached by pointing Minecraft at mc1.[AskMe's favorite dating advice acronym].org. Maps and such can be found at the MFC forums.
posted by toomuchpete at 8:28 AM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Luckily, the fine folks over at MeFightClub, a Metafilter off-shoot, already have a Minecraft server up.

Unfortunately, since I don't own the server, I'm a little hesitant posting the details here for all the 'net to see, so I'll be in contact with the owner to see what he wants. If you want to find the details on the MeFightClub forum, sign up and ctrl+f for 'aporkalypse now.'
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:29 AM on September 8, 2010


Oh hey, the owner got here before me!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:29 AM on September 8, 2010


oh, sweet.
posted by empath at 8:32 AM on September 8, 2010


Are you guys running the fixes for furnaces and inventory?
posted by empath at 8:33 AM on September 8, 2010


Are the folks good, or are they fine? Make up your mind, people!
posted by darksasami at 8:42 AM on September 8, 2010


Not right now -- we're hoping to keep the server as stock as possible (the inventory fix is client-side... persister.jar is the thing you're looking for) -- however if Notch doesn't fix that stuff in the relatively near future (now that he's back working on the game) I'm not sure we'll have much choice.

I've been considering starting up a new server with all fo that suff turned on, just for grins, but the server at present doesn't get a ton of use (3-4 people a day) so I haven't done that yet.
posted by toomuchpete at 8:45 AM on September 8, 2010


Just for more background, we also have a second server that's waiting in the wings for the game to actually become, you know, survival. The current plan, last time I talked to the owner, is to set it to the hardest difficulty and reset it every few weeks (once it's gotten "easy" and established), while the Aporkalypse remains for the purposes of building grandiose structures and long-term projects.

All that subject to change, of course.
posted by toomuchpete at 8:50 AM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


darksasami: Can't we be both?
posted by JauntyFedora at 9:56 AM on September 8, 2010


Is this one of those things that I should be playing?
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:57 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


YES
posted by empath at 10:00 AM on September 8, 2010


I'd very much recommend playing it. It's a unique game that really rewards players who have a thirst for exploration. Despite its crude graphics, hell, maybe because of the crude graphics, it's incredibly immersive. The world is procedurally generated and as you explore its margins, it generates more and more world as you walk onwards in any direction.

It's in alpha state right now, but the single player survival mode (which you have to pay to access) is to my mind, the best way to experience the game right now, though others will disagree. You're thrown into this newly generated world with nothing but your wits and it's nice to putter around, dig up some earth, punch some chickens, discover the landscape and then night falls, and that's when things get even more interesting.

I play a shitload of games and Minecraft has been the freshest pixellated experience I've had in some time and a lot of the joy and wonder came from the first session of it I played. You may not play it forever, but even playing it once is well worth it, in my opinion. The multiplayer is fun enough, and while unfinished, I don't really see it ever moving beyond being a Lego MMO that lacks challenge.
posted by picea at 10:19 AM on September 8, 2010


Here's the second server for future reference.. there's not much on it:

lobster{MeFi's favored lobster related attire}.com
posted by xorry at 10:32 AM on September 8, 2010


How much of my dwarffortress stamina will this game take up?
posted by Think_Long at 11:16 AM on September 8, 2010


I tried this yesterday and while it was certainly worth my money to support an interesting and unique game, I'm a bit confused. I'm not good at self-motivating and not too interested in building crazy structures, but I do like the idea of a harrowing survival game. I got my ass kicked on the first night, but is there enough depth in the survival game to make this interesting for more than a few hours on those terms alone?
posted by naju at 11:54 AM on September 8, 2010


I tried this yesterday and while it was certainly worth my money to support an interesting and unique game, I'm a bit confused. I'm not good at self-motivating and not too interested in building crazy structures, but I do like the idea of a harrowing survival game. I got my ass kicked on the first night, but is there enough depth in the survival game to make this interesting for more than a few hours on those terms alone?

The way that I play it is to set goals.

One of my goals in my latest game was to hollow out the inside of a mountain, turn it into a highly visible beacon, and then explore while using that as a home base. One of the downsides to exploring, lacking a compass at present, is that it's easy to get lost.

I started on a beach, with the mountain in view, and alternated between working on my fortress (using a small wooden shack on the beach as a temporary base) and exploring a cave network within my initial spawn point. The cave network proved to be really lucrative, and ended up generating a lot of iron (used to make better armor and tools), which made it easier to hollow out the mountain.

After getting my giant fortress set up, I improved things by making a farm system, a tree garden, and a giant wall of furnaces (to cook meat, smelt metal, create glass, and refine cobblestone).

With the base basically finished, I started exploring. I came across another cave system, which went much deeper (in general deep=better resources) and decided to explore it until I found enough diamond to make armor. I was doing pretty good, and was about halfway there, but had neglected to bank everything I'd dug up recently. I found a monster spawner (the first I'd ever seen) was so excited that I let a spider ambush me, knock me into lava, and summarily lost the huge hoarde of treasure that I'd amassed. Fuck.

But that's ok, because I figured I was pretty much done with that game anyway, and started a new one (I'm on an island, and my first goal is to build a bridge to the mainland).

Basically there are no goals implemented in the game yet, and possibly never will be. You decide to do things, and certain things are made harder by requiring resources that can only be excavated from dangerous parts of the map. If you don't like fighting monsters, then you can turn it on to "peaceful" difficulty and just have fun exploring without having to worry about a creeper sneaking up on you.
posted by codacorolla at 12:35 PM on September 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also, for new players, I really don't think it's spoiling anything if you just go ahead and read the crafting guide on minepedia. It helps you set goals to play from (by knowing what resources you need) and would probably be nearly impossible to guess them otherwise:
http://minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Crafting
posted by codacorolla at 12:41 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


cortex: "Is this one of those things that I should be playing"

Wait, hold on.
posted by boo_radley at 1:00 PM on September 8, 2010


I tried this yesterday and while it was certainly worth my money to support an interesting and unique game, I'm a bit confused. I'm not good at self-motivating and not too interested in building crazy structures, but I do like the idea of a harrowing survival game. I got my ass kicked on the first night, but is there enough depth in the survival game to make this interesting for more than a few hours on those terms alone?

At this point, it's still more toy-like than game-like, but Notch met with Valve recently and apparently they gave him lots of free advice along those lines (like more reasons to go outside, regional resource distribution, etc).
posted by empath at 1:09 PM on September 8, 2010


cortex: "Is this one of those things that I should be playing"

Yes.

Waterslide

Earth

Timelapse server view (this is a pretty big area, there's a bunch of people playing)

There's another video of people making a Turing Machine, and an automated railroad system and bunches of other stuff. If you like sandboxy stuff, it's a great game.
posted by boo_radley at 1:09 PM on September 8, 2010


I, uh.

Huh.

I'll be in my bunk.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:19 PM on September 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Point of clarification: there's alpha and there's classic, is classic multiplayer what people are doing and alpha is currently only single player? Or?
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:34 PM on September 8, 2010


Classic is a mode where you get infinite numbers of blocks to play around with. Most multiplayer servers are 'classic'.

Alpha is the survival mode that means you have to mine and everything. There is an alpha survival server, but it's broken in lots of ways (no monster, no saved inventory, no furnaces, etc)
posted by empath at 1:37 PM on September 8, 2010


Minecraft is amazing. Before playing it I would've never believed that a game based on blocks with 16x16 textures could be more immersive than most AAA games.

Single player is very fun, but fooling around in a alpha survival server it's entertaining too. I haven't played creative multiplayer but I doubt I'd enjoy it as much as the other modes.

(And I had no idea there was a mefi-related server. I'm not sure I want to create an account at MeFightClub though)
posted by Memo at 1:42 PM on September 8, 2010


alpha is your choice.
posted by boo_radley at 1:43 PM on September 8, 2010


Is the world persistent?
posted by mkultra at 1:54 PM on September 8, 2010


mkultra: "Is the world persistent"

Yes, it is.
However, in survival multiplayer only the world is persistent (at least until the admin makes a new map), not your inventory.
posted by Memo at 2:01 PM on September 8, 2010


The main problem with survival multi right now is the netcode, judging from what Notch has posted on the dev blog. Basically, it's hard to have stuff like enemies, persisting inventories, and a bunch of other crucial-to-survival features while still tamping down cheating. I hope that with the most recent announcement that he's bringing on staff and actually making an office will mean that he can effectively delegate responsibility for stuff he isn't great at and really focus on stuff that he is.

It's also incredible how much money he's made off this game. I hope Minecraft is a harbinger of what's coming in indie development.
posted by codacorolla at 2:10 PM on September 8, 2010


Memo: "I'm not sure I want to create an account at MeFightClub though"

toomuchpete (the server owner) gave out the connection info at the very top of this page, so I don't think you'll need to create a MeFight account. Come by, hang out, build a thing.
posted by boo_radley at 2:12 PM on September 8, 2010


This sounds intriguing. Is it the sorta thing you could put in a little bit of time every so often (a couple-three times a week), or would it not be worth be picking up if that's all you do?
posted by inigo2 at 2:23 PM on September 8, 2010


inigo2: "Is it the sorta thing you could put in a little bit of time every so often (a couple-three times a week), or would it not be worth be picking up if that's all you do?"

Check out the classic mode and see what you think of that -- this is the precursor to the current version which refines what you'd be playing in classic. You can run games on your pc and play whenever, or check into your favorite servers and see what's been happening periodically.
posted by boo_radley at 2:26 PM on September 8, 2010


The different flavors of the game can be a bit confusing, so here's a rundown:

Classic - An old version of the game. No monsters or animals (collectively called "mobs" in MC parlance for some reason), unlimited blocks of everything (no inventory), no crafting, no lighting effects. In other words, it's missing all the interesting features, but you can give it a whirl for free here.

Creative - The multiplayer version of Classic. I'm pretty sure this is what the "timelapse server view" video boo_radley linked above is of, since mining that many blocks would take a good while and I don't see any mines.

Survival Alpha - The current single-player game (pay only). Features crafting, fauna, monsters, swords, pickaxes, diamonds, fire, minecarts, boats, dynamic lighting, and horrible horrible lava death, among many other things.

Survival MP - The current, very very alpha, multiplayer version of Survival. Right now, tons of stuff is broken, but the stuff that isn't broken works surprisingly well. Broken stuff includes: inventory (client-side only, so if you crash or get disconnected you lose everything unless you're using the persister hack), furnaces/smelting, minecarts, mobs. This is what "our" server is running. It's possible to get "free" blocks with the right server mods (and you have to cheat to get iron or glass, since smelting is broken), but the vast majority of the material used on the server, at least, was mined the hard way (and lots of it lost to the ether due to the inventory problem).
posted by neckro23 at 3:04 PM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


neckro23: "was mined the hard way (and lots of it lost to the ether due to the inventory problem)."

You might say it was an ether ore situation.
posted by boo_radley at 3:18 PM on September 8, 2010 [20 favorites]


"The main problem with survival multi right now is the netcode, judging from what Notch has posted on the dev blog. Basically, it's hard to have stuff like enemies, persisting inventories, and a bunch of other crucial-to-survival features while still tamping down cheating."

From what I've gathered reading his blog and twitter, it's that he hacked inventory and crafted into the GUI code, which basically means that he needs to re-write the entire system to have it server side.
posted by empath at 3:44 PM on September 8, 2010


(collectively called "mobs" in MC parlance for some reason)

Apparently from developer speak from early MUDs/MMOs, short for Mobile Object, somehow managed to persist to the present day
posted by thedaniel at 4:11 PM on September 8, 2010


Well, there went that afternoon. Built myself a nice little house with your basic appliances, cut down all the local trees, dug a few deep-ass holes, found a lava stream flowing into a waterfall, got lost in the dark after a bad fall, spent fifteen harrowing minutes trying to make my way back out with half a heart and a near-spent pickaxe, and finally got back to the surface just in time to be killed by some horrible green monster.

Matt and Jess are gonna love hearing about this game come next podcast.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:18 PM on September 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


Minecraft is probably my game of the year for 2010. I am sooo addicted. There's a video tour of the Wonderchicken Industries Lair In Development up here, if anyone's interested.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:00 PM on September 8, 2010


(that's in multi on toomuchpete's server, btw, so if you want to go have a look for yourself, you can -- I'd go check out other Mefighters' much more amazing stuff, though)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:02 PM on September 8, 2010


I'm not sure I want to create an account at MeFightClub though

I run the place, and I guarantee if you take the 30 seconds to do so, I will a) use your email address to steal your identity and buy another yacht b) start sending you Serbian chicken porn and c) force you to drink my pee.

So, yeah, it would definitely be better for you if you didn't sign up.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:08 PM on September 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


stavrosthewonderchicken: "I'm not sure I want to create an account at MeFightClub though

I run the place, and I guarantee if you take the 30 seconds to do so, I will a) use your email address to steal your identity and buy another yacht b) start sending you Serbian chicken porn and c) force you to drink my pee.

So, yeah, it would definitely be better for you if you didn't sign up
"

Apparently, I already have an account (I wasn't sure, that's why I didn't want to register again) and I've never received any Serbian chicken porn which is a little disappointing.
posted by Memo at 6:16 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I joined the server earlier and forgot that it was multiplayer and promptly started digging coal out of the walls of someone's castle :(
posted by empath at 6:17 PM on September 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


CHICKEN PORN EN ROUTE!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:20 PM on September 8, 2010


Apparently, I already have an account (I wasn't sure, that's why I didn't want to register again)

If that happens to anyone else, just MeFi mail me or send regular mail to my user name @mefightclub.com, and we can sort you out with a new password or whatever.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:25 PM on September 8, 2010


cortex: "Matt and Jess are gonna love hearing about this game come next podcast."

Did that eyerolling noise come from the west coast? Or Vermont? It seems like it was all around me there for a sec.
posted by boo_radley at 6:55 PM on September 8, 2010


Some pretty buildings in that server. I'm not sure if I have the daring / OCD to start building though, it's getting pretty crowded...
posted by anthill at 7:28 PM on September 8, 2010


The world is infinite, I believe. As people venture further afield, more of it is generated. So plenty o' room, if you can handle a walk out to your homestead claim.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:02 PM on September 8, 2010


There are plans in the works to allow people to set their own "home", but those have not yet come to fruition.
posted by toomuchpete at 8:59 PM on September 8, 2010


fucking game gives me motion sickness.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:26 AM on September 9, 2010


allkindsoftime: "fucking game gives me motion sickness"

I'm pretty sure you can turn the view-bobbing off, if that's what is causing it. From some random website: "Press ESC ~> Options ~> View Bobbing [Toggle]"
posted by Grither at 4:35 AM on September 9, 2010


I can't locate the MFC servers on the list. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong..
posted by Mister_A at 11:28 AM on September 9, 2010


WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THAT THIS THREAD EXISTED? I blame you, empath.

I'm so very glad to hear that there's a MeFightClub server. I probably won't get around to joining it for a week or two, because there's still so much I want to do on my own in my singleplayer game ... but I really relish the idea of the "set it to the hardest difficulty and reset it every few weeks (once it's gotten "easy" and established)" thing.

I think a lot of this weird yearning for multiplayer co-op survival comes from watching my very good friends play Team Fortress way back in the day (a game which I did not play). They had this guy, their clan leader, that none of them had ever met IRL but who was an extremely effective leader. I was always a little in awe, and maybe a little jealous, of this whole concept of, "We trust this guy enough that we just show up, he tells us what to do, and we win."

Not that you can win at Survival mode, but you know what I mean. I like the idea of a distributed team just like in Team Fortress. These guys dig, and whatever they find is passed on to the inventory management guys, who distribute it to the forgers to make armor for the team of guys who are guarding the miners all night so that work can continue 24 hours a day, etc.

Which is also why I'm terrified of a server being raided by griefers - all that hard work potentially destroyed!

Anyway maybe I'm more in love with the idea than the execution, but I will be subscribed to this thread when the time comes that a true co-op Survival server is announced.
posted by komara at 12:04 PM on September 9, 2010


Also GOD you should be able to craft a compass. I swear.
posted by komara at 12:09 PM on September 9, 2010


Also GOD you should be able to craft a compass. I swear.

Good lord yes. I am trying to start thinking through ways to formalize direction finding so that in future attempts I will not be so helplessly lost underground. Which, to be fair, it's kind of awesome that the game as designed forces you to be a little thoughtful about how you go about mining wildly into the dark depths, but sheesh.

The period before I found my first vein of coal was super rough. Now it's torch, torch, torch as I go and that helps a lot—when in doubt, run toward the light that's uphill—but I still don't have any real specific sense of discipline in how I dig. Best I've figured so far is to start a make-no-exceptions straight downhill staircase and keep it well lighted, only wandering off the path to explore, not change direction of my fundamental dig.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:17 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The clouds always move directly north. The sun and moon rise directly to the east and set directly to the west. I compass is a bit redundant. I also think adding specific map and navigation functionality would be a bad idea. Figuring out how not to get lost is a big part of the challenge and fun to me.
posted by empath at 12:21 PM on September 9, 2010


Oh, right, underground.

Always put torches on your right as you explore. When you want to go back, keep the torches on your left. When you finish with a passageway, either block it off, or put torches around it so you know it's been thoroughly explored.
posted by empath at 12:23 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Caves are networks of connections between nodes. Thinking of them in terms of directions can be counter productive, because even if you know your entrance was east, there's no guarantee that going east will get you any closer.
posted by empath at 12:24 PM on September 9, 2010


The period before I found my first vein of coal was super rough. Now it's torch, torch, torch as I go and that helps a lot—when in doubt, run toward the light that's uphill—but I still don't have any real specific sense of discipline in how I dig.

Unless you're strip-mining for stone, you should be looking for caves, not really digging through a lot of stone looking for iron veins. I'd suggest digging random exploration pits maybe 6 X 4 at the most until you hear sound as you're digging -- either water or monster sounds. Then start expanding outwards until you figure out which direction it's coming from. It may actually still be below you or above you so you'll probably have to dig out a fairly big area before you find it. Once you find a cave system, it becomes a LOT easier to find diamond, iron, gold and redstone.

I found my first cave system a couple of days ago and in a few hours I went from having found about 8 iron having strip mined a huge pit to the bottom of the earth, to having a full set of steel armor and tools, with about 20 iron left over, 15 gold, and 20 redstone, and that's even with dying once and losing a full set of steel armor and tools and a bunch of iron, gold and redstone I hadn't gotten back to base.
posted by empath at 12:33 PM on September 9, 2010


Oh, right, underground.

Yes. Heh. Torch discipline is seeming like a smart move, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:42 PM on September 9, 2010


Always put torches on your right as you explore

Oh shit, because on the Mefightclub server the convention has been torches on your left. At least, I think so. Who knows?

Given the presence of iron, water, and buckets it seems like a compass should be an achievable technology. Navigation is part of the fun, though. Once you get going I find a giant lavafall lights the way nicely.
posted by Nelson at 12:52 PM on September 9, 2010


I just automatically started doing torches left, so that's great.

Also, man, there are a ton of caves near my place ripe for exploration - but they're SCARY. I keep feeling the need to expand my home cave first, even though that's totally not necessary.
posted by komara at 1:34 PM on September 9, 2010


Oh shit, because on the Mefightclub server the convention has been torches on your left. At least, I think so. Who knows?

Torches on your left as you descend or head away from familiar territory, so they're on your right as you come back. 'Red right returning' is the mnemonic from sailing as well, so that makes intuitive sense to me.

I can't locate the MFC servers on the list. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong..

Not sure what list you're referring to -- there's a list somewhere? The MC server addresses are cunningly hinted at upthread, or you can join Mefightclub and get them there. You just need to type the address in the join box when you hit the multiplayer button and you're good to go...

Yes. Heh. Torch discipline is seeming like a smart move, yeah

When digging exploratory tunnels, I tend to dig until I basically can't see, then that's the time to pop up a torch on the left.

When decorating, I tend to go apeshit. Redrock dust torches are also pretty.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:56 PM on September 9, 2010


Oh I see. Now I'm having a Mean Java thing so I'll have to wait til I get home to figure it out.

Blast!
posted by Mister_A at 2:13 PM on September 9, 2010


The last post I made about this on the blue didn't very get much of a response, possibly because of there being a pay wall for what is essentially an alpha, but it seems like a decent amount of stuff has changed. It might be worth another post at some point. Maybe when he makes his next big release as an actual established dev company instead of just a one-man show.
posted by codacorolla at 2:20 PM on September 9, 2010


Question: is it true that they're talking about making torches have a lifespan? If so, what are explorers to do?

I haven't tested this yet, but I will when I get home. In the meantime, can someone confirm you can just set fire to a block of wood and it'll burn indefinitely?
posted by komara at 2:27 PM on September 9, 2010


can I just say I'm still extremely pleased with my pun? This feeling is like afterglow.
posted by boo_radley at 2:46 PM on September 9, 2010


One more dumb question: I plan on building this mob-killing machine - but I've never thought about how long drops stay active. Do they disappear after a while? Or will this machine just build up tons of goodies over time?

Sorry if these questions are inappropriate but I'd rather ask here than join the official Minecraft forum because when I've browsed through it in the past it makes my head hurt.
posted by komara at 2:54 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you stand in the middle of the configuration, the drops will move to you and you'll pick them up automatically.
posted by boo_radley at 3:06 PM on September 9, 2010


I think komara's asking more about whether building this thing and then checking in on it daily will yield a day's worth of random-casualty ham/wool/feathers/leather/etc or just the last x minutes' worth for some value of x significantly smaller than 1,440.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:10 PM on September 9, 2010


Only use the mob killing machine when you're willing to stand there. Aside from items having a short lifespan there's two reasons you gotta stay in the glass box:
* creatures won't spawn if you're not in the same chunk, so if you wander too far away, nothing will spawn to be drowned by your box.
* even if they did and assuming the items would stick around for you to pick up, the fact that enemies are drawn to you and will zero in on your location is part of what drives the configuration. If you're not standing in it, they'll just ramble around, maybe falling into a watery doom, maybe not. Standing in the center will guide them into the trap.
posted by boo_radley at 3:19 PM on September 9, 2010


I haven't tested this yet, but I will when I get home. In the meantime, can someone confirm you can just set fire to a block of wood and it'll burn indefinitely

They will, although they are a bit fiddly and may burn to ash quickly when you light them up. Once they sustain a burn, though, they'll keep going indefinitely. Good for beacons on mountaintops.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:00 PM on September 9, 2010


Okay last night was a whirlwind of building digging crafting mining insanity including one point at which my computer just ... shut off, leaving my last hour of work unsaved. That was a bummer. Did I mention that being on a world where it snows SUCKS? This is my first game, I thought the snow was beautiful, and I've stuck with it but now MAN I hate it. If I'd known I would have abandoned it and started a new game immediately. Every time you dig outside you gather snowballs which can only stack to 16 meaning they start taking up all your inventory with a quickness. I tried to make an infinite water pool (4x4) and the top froze over immediately - I had to build it under a tree to keep the snow off. The snow falling on the monster water trap was screwing up the flow of the water so I had to build a shelter over the whole thing, which took forever, blah blah blah.

BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME. You all hear those stories about how PayPal is a pain in the ass and randomly freezes accounts and offers no explanations and so forth? They just did it to Notch leaving (according to him) 600,000 euro in limbo.
posted by komara at 7:07 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


You probably didn't lose an hour. It saves as you go.
posted by empath at 8:11 AM on September 10, 2010


empath: I dunno about that. I restarted my machine and then entire hilltop I had excavated was back as if I'd never visited (not to mention I was missing many recently-acquired items from my inventory). It looked as if it were just at my most recent manual save point because I was in my home facing my inventory chests, where I usually save. I'm running the Mac version, if you think that might make a difference. Regardless, progress was lost. Then regained.
posted by komara at 8:17 AM on September 10, 2010


It saves when you press ESC to pause.
Also, dropped items disappear after about 5 minutes.
posted by Memo at 8:22 AM on September 10, 2010


Yeah, i found that out the hard way, losing a full set of iron armor and tools and a ton of gold, iron and redstone in a dungeon, because I stopped to craft some new armor and swords first.

Also, saving IN a dungeon is a spectacularly stupid idea and cost me a second set of armor and swords because i ragequit about losing the first one.
posted by empath at 9:05 AM on September 10, 2010


komara: "Did I mention that being on a world where it snows SUCKS? This is my first game, I thought the snow was beautiful, and I've stuck with it but now MAN I hate it."

In other games (DF) the snow will eventually kill you. Be happy the snow is just cosmetic.
posted by boo_radley at 9:16 AM on September 10, 2010


Btw, cortex, the compass is in tonights update
posted by empath at 9:26 AM on September 10, 2010


ESC? To pause? What a country!
posted by komara at 9:52 AM on September 10, 2010


but seriously thank you I didn't know
posted by komara at 9:52 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait now I'm confused. Doesn't ESC just bring up the "save and return to worlds list"? So even bringing up that menu saves?
posted by komara at 9:53 AM on September 10, 2010


Yeah, I think it just does a quick "hey, while we're here I think I'll autosave!" thing whenever you bring up the menu.

Btw, cortex, the compass is in tonights update

Just when I got good about leftying my torches! Where's the .plan, so to speak? I didn't see a mention of specific update news on the dev blog, but maybe I'm looking in the wrong place.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:04 AM on September 10, 2010


www.twitter.com/xnotch he mentioned working on getting compasses working.
posted by empath at 10:14 AM on September 10, 2010


Did I mention I have precognitive abilities? The other day, maybe two weeks ago, I thought to myself, "I don't own any red-cyan 3D anaglyph glasses. That's strange." So I went and bought some off of Amazon. They were supposed to be like $2 for a pair, but they charged me $1.76 and shipped me three pair. God knows why.

Anyway, I was looking at settings last night, and Minecraft has a 3D anaglyph setting. It's ... astounding, to say the least. My only complaint is that the pointer that shows you where you're aiming doesn't focus correctly, but all else is fantastic. Of course I started to get a headache after a few minutes, but still, it's pretty impressive. If you have some glasses lying around the house you should definitely check it out.
posted by komara at 10:55 AM on September 10, 2010


The other day, maybe two weeks ago, I thought to myself, "I don't own any red-cyan 3D anaglyph glasses. That's strange."

Statements like this are one of the reasons I love metafilter.

posted by inigo2 at 11:04 AM on September 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Update is out --

Furnaces!
Signs!
Compass!
Monsters!
Inventory!
posted by empath at 2:20 PM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay last night was a whirlwind of building digging crafting mining insanity including one point at which my computer just ... shut off

Yeah my laptop is doing this. The 3D graphics are overheating it, which is pathetic, given the 3D graphics in Minecraft are hardly pushing the boundaries.

Update is out --

Oh hell yeah. Once my son is finished forcing me to find Youtube videos of dragons for him, I'm back in.
posted by Jimbob at 2:33 PM on September 10, 2010


So that's the trip to making springs / pools...in the multiplayer server, if I put a bucket of water in a hole in the ground, it dissapears. Bug, or am I just doing it wrong?
posted by Jimbob at 3:43 PM on September 10, 2010


Thank you empath for reminding me about this game. My brother-in-law showed it to me a year ago. I thought it was interesting, but got bored playing free mode. However, after reading more about Survival mode I bought it a couple days ago and man, it's fulfilling some primal urge of mine to plan, create, maintain, etc random crap.

Tonight I made a tree house, then saw a HUGE canopy of leaves on the top of "my" mountain so I had to build a staircase up there and the view is awesome.

Hope Notch gets the paypal stuff figured out though...
posted by johnstein at 2:30 AM on September 11, 2010


I spent too much of yesterday carving an awesome glass-windowed, mossy-cobble pixel skull overlook room into the top of the mountain into whose base I initially carved my home. It has obsidian for eyes, because I'm not patient enough to mine any more obsidian than that. Spending several game days and nights trying to build that out (including some insanely twitchy scaffolding building to be able to get some of the exterior blocks in place) while dodging attacks by skeletons and zombies and creepers was, honestly, one of the most engaging and nerve-wracking gaming experiences I've had in a long time.

The fort is looking good now, the site of the glowing skull in the distance as you make the trek from spawn at night is pretty great and it doesn't look half-bad at daytime either. I threw an extra floating skull above it just for visibility from a distance. I hereby declare it Two Skulls.

I think I really need to get onto the multiplayer server at this point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:05 AM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


one of us! one of us!
posted by boo_radley at 9:32 AM on September 13, 2010


I just lost my entire weekend to this game, after it was mentioned on the blue.

This has to be the best stupid game ever.
posted by lekvar at 3:31 PM on September 13, 2010


Menger sponge, motherfuckers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:40 PM on September 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just a quick note: a basic rule of MefightClub is 'have fun, but in having your fun, try not to reduce the fun-factor for anyone else.'

I bring this up because it applies to the Minecraft server as well: please do not damage or otherwise mess around with anything anyone else has built without express permission. It's been happening in a relatively minor way, and that's no fun for anyone. The world is infinite: if you want to experiment, just keep walking until you find some wilderness, stake down your claim, and go nuts.

Thank you for your kind consideration.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:02 PM on September 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


I thought this was little more than Dwarf Fortress with better graphics when I first saw the YouTube videos. Then I entered one of the multiplayer worlds and found myself wandering through the halls of a near-flawless full-scale replica of the United States Capitol Building.

Including the insides. Take a look:

The House chamber (real-life comparison)
The Senate chamber (another comparison shot)
The Old Senate Chamber (compare)
The Rotunda (ditto)
Do I spy The Apotheosis of Washington? I believe so!
The Capitol Dome

Bonus:
The White House
The Washington Monument (echo)

There are a bunch of other collaboratively-built landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial and the Supreme Court along with a bunch of other original works, but they're not quite as impressive as these. If you're logged in to Minecraft.net, you can access this amazing level here.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:26 PM on September 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


I thought I was playing a video game but it turns out I was actually doing math. That was a lot of fun to build, in a tedious zen sort of way.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:11 PM on September 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a good start, but I think you should go one level deeper. You could top this full scale replica of Chichen Itza for sheer insanity.
posted by empath at 3:44 PM on September 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ha. It would take, by my reckoning, about a man-month to do the next level. Maybe a couple weeks if it really cracked along. It'd require an awful lot of material, too; the finished version here is made of 8,000 blocks whereas the next iteration would be 160,000.

Keep in mind that all of this was actually dug out of the ground and put in place by hand; no map editing and no spawning of materials, so every block of that thing started out as a part of a hill or a cave somewhere. I'd be willing to use a map editor to cheat a level 4 sponge into existence some time just to see what it looks like, but I can't imagine enjoying actually building the thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:54 PM on September 14, 2010


Yeah, that's nice and all, cortex. Now lets see the NEGATIVE version of that.
posted by Jimbob at 4:25 PM on September 14, 2010


Notch didn't like Recettear. I... I'm not sure about anything anymore. :(
posted by Memo at 5:19 AM on September 16, 2010


By the way, I just found this video of a flythrough of a generated map. Our servers are equally as vast, of course, because all Minecraft maps are effectively infinite. If you can imagine collaboratively exploring a world like that (and all of the equally amazing, randomly generated underworld of caverns and subterranean rivers and stuff as well), and building whatever you can imagine as you go, and that gets you as excited as it does me -- join us!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:51 PM on September 16, 2010


toomuchpete said:
Just for more background, we also have a second server that's waiting in the wings for the game to actually become, you know, survival. The current plan, last time I talked to the owner, is to set it to the hardest difficulty and reset it every few weeks (once it's gotten "easy" and established), while the Aporkalypse remains for the purposes of building grandiose structures and long-term projects.

All that subject to change, of course.
Which means that since I read this whole thread back in the day I knew that this was the case, and yet I'd forgotten, which meant that when he told me all this all over again last night I was excited as hell.

cortex said:
Is this one of those things that I should be playing?
Oh how quickly we go from 'ignorance' to 'already bored with 3-level Menger sponge, now building the house from Resident Evil'.
posted by komara at 10:56 AM on September 17, 2010


In case there still are people who are not convinced, Minecraft is having a free weekend right now due to some server problems.
posted by Memo at 2:58 PM on September 18, 2010


I only just found out about Minecraft today and I love it to death. I'll probably be joining the MeFightClub server when they open registrations for Minecraft again.
posted by sveskemus at 2:11 PM on September 19, 2010


I downloaded the Alpha today and have been playing it in offline mode (obviously). Installed it at 10:30...and somehow, it's now 7:30. What a great game! I'll be happy to pay for this and join the MeFight server when everything is back online. It really reminds me of Stranded - which makes me incredibly happy. :)
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:32 PM on September 19, 2010


It's so strange that I only joined the MeFightClub server a little over a week ago, but now I feel totally old school. Every time someone new joins and says, "Oh WOW look at THAT!" I'm like, "You have no idea, just keep wandering. It only gets better."

I also stared long and hard at the overhead map for at least an hour before I ever connected to the server, trying to find the right (unpopulated) place to live. I can totally sympathize with everyone who connects and says, "So where can I start building?"
posted by komara at 6:32 AM on September 20, 2010


It feels like Minecraft (and 2nd life, and all VR games) seem to end up developed in the suburban style of fantastic sprawling creations spaced far apart.

However unlike 2nd life, there is no teleport (enforcing respect for spare), and for now there are no railcars. So it takes a very long time to walk anywhere.

I have a humble suggestion for the Mefightclub server: some Urban-style development? I'd love to see a little neighborhood of small (20x20) lots, spaced closely together. Builders could be challenged to use a space-efficient style, and it would be much more accessible for tourists.

Sort of a Minecraft trailer park, if you will.
posted by anthill at 7:57 AM on September 20, 2010


respect for space that is
posted by anthill at 7:57 AM on September 20, 2010


That'd be fun, anthill. And to some extent we're seeing a kind of density fill happening in spots on the server, as new people (like me, a week ago) have joined up and started building in spots between existing lairs/landmarks. The north-side neighborhood of the server is actually starting to fill in kind of nicely, to the point where the problem is more one of folks working out who is digging where so there aren't conflicts rather than having to walk five minutes to see anything at all.

I'd be that closer-in village-style planning may happen more naturally as well as the survival aspects of the game find their way into multi. If you can dig without fear and fall without dying, it's a lot easier to build crazy big monolithic structures and such; if you have to keep monsters out and lava is actually deadly and falling far enough is game over, folks might be more inclined to try and establish something like a collective, structures close together inside a well lit, fenced-in village or whatever.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:20 AM on September 20, 2010


the problem is more one of folks working out who is digging where so there aren't conflicts

That's the problem with tightening things up, as a non-regular I am not around often enough to be able to negotiate these kinds of things. If someone laid out a street grid and folks could plant a sign on a plot of land, above-ground space negotiation would be easier. Below ground... well, that could be a free-for-all.

village-style planning may happen more naturally [in survival mode]

Yes, that's a good point. This would be my preferred outcome, it's always better when the gameplay emerges from simple mechanics rather than being enforced by an admin 'property surveyor'.

Still, a little more government would be nice! I just want a place to build a little japanese sand garden without treading on someone's toes...
posted by anthill at 9:29 AM on September 20, 2010


I'd be that closer-in village-style planning may happen more naturally as well as the survival aspects of the game find their way into multi. If you can dig without fear and fall without dying, it's a lot easier to build crazy big monolithic structures and such; if you have to keep monsters out and lava is actually deadly and falling far enough is game over, folks might be more inclined to try and establish something like a collective, structures close together inside a well lit, fenced-in village or whatever.

Absolutely. I'll be damned if I'm going to go wandering out and around in the middle of nowhere when there are creatures spawing everywhere. I mean, I might make a little distance from my neighbors, but not that much.

I think the first order of business for me and a select group would be a gigantic castle, all old-school style. Trees and whatever else in a big courtyard, rooms for each player to put some chests, and entrances to mines within the confines of the building.

First point of order: finding / creating obsidian for a creeper-proof blast wall on the outside. Alternately: a good drowning moat with drop retrieval.

If we really had this delicious kind of co-op Survival mode I think I'd die. That sounds like more fun than anything.
posted by komara at 10:27 AM on September 20, 2010


...

I think I'm gonna go start drawing up castle plans now.
posted by komara at 10:29 AM on September 20, 2010


I am doomed. This game is just awesome. Also, castle idea sounds awesome.
posted by lizarrd at 11:27 AM on September 20, 2010


Anthill, in the server I tend to play in we have a town. It has a bank with free tools and blocks, a public tree forest where you need to replant the trees you have mined, space for anyone who wants to build a house (for storing chests and your furnace), a wall with signs telling the story of our disasters (fires and griefing mostly) and streets/roads connecting everything.

Of course, the only reason this works is that the server is smallish (20-30 members) and has a whitelist, as there's no way to prevent people from stealing stuff from your chests or destroying everything.
posted by Memo at 11:42 AM on September 20, 2010


Memo, that sounds very cozy. I'd love to play on that server.

the only reason this works is that the server ... has a whitelist, as there's no way to prevent people from stealing stuff from your chests or destroying everything

To be fair, there's no way to prevent this on any server, whether buildings are spread all over or concentrated in a 'village'.
posted by anthill at 12:00 PM on September 20, 2010


As in real llife, I find myself denouncing capitalist "property rights", and pining for a server where anarcho-collectivists will work together to create a better world, from each according to their ability, to each according to their need. And, as in real life, that works great until some griefers come along.
posted by Jimbob at 2:22 PM on September 20, 2010


Just to re-iterate: the mefight server is completely awesome & you should all go and have a wander around, even if you don't plan to stay & build. I've explored a tiny, tiny fraction of it tonight.

I've also hooked my 7 year old on Minecraft in a single session. Clearly Notch is about to get some of my money...
posted by pharm at 2:37 PM on September 20, 2010


I've also hooked my 7 year old on Minecraft in a single session.

I got my 4 year old onto it the other day.

He kept wanting to use the flint on sheep to set them on fire.
posted by Jimbob at 3:52 PM on September 20, 2010


I hate you people for inflicting this upon me.
posted by inigo2 at 9:34 PM on September 20, 2010


I just logged into the Mefi server about half an hour ago and I haven't stopped grinning. First I find signs to an airship, then from the airship I see an aqueduct, so I go to that, and from the top of that I realize I just walked over a fucking enormous hedge maze on my way there, without even realizing it.

I haven't even begun to explore. One time I did get stuck in a ditch so I had to dig a bit, but I put everything back in its place afterwards... promise!

Something I'm not sure about - is there a way to chat with other players, or get an overview of the whole land?
posted by odinsdream at 6:13 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Odin: press T to chat & issue commands to the server like /playerlist.

I still haven't worked out how to get to Cortex's Menger Sponge.
posted by pharm at 6:30 AM on September 22, 2010


Oh, and there's a Google-map style interface not here.
posted by pharm at 6:31 AM on September 22, 2010


Eeeee!!! AWESOME....

Is that map live or synced frequently?
posted by odinsdream at 6:37 AM on September 22, 2010


Synced dailyish I think.
posted by pharm at 6:48 AM on September 22, 2010


can someone tell me how you did that map? I'd like to do that on my server.
posted by empath at 7:01 AM on September 22, 2010


Etiquette question: as far as getting building materials for a project, is it OK to devour what looks like an unused portion of the map?
posted by odinsdream at 7:01 AM on September 22, 2010


empath: "can someone tell me how you did that map? I'd like to do that on my server"

Overviewer does that.
posted by Memo at 7:07 AM on September 22, 2010


Etiquette question: as far as getting building materials for a project, is it OK to devour what looks like an unused portion of the map?

The basic rule is Don't Fuck Anyone Else's Stuff Up, so if you don't see signs of life or development in an area, you're probably good. There's a very active thread on mefightclub where people have talked a bit about wanting to lay claim to this or that area; common consensus is the best plan is to actually clearly mark a zone somehow if you want to be sure, but for the polite new developer it's not a terrible idea to maybe drop a quick "is anyone planning something here?" query in the thread if you're not sure a place isn't totally wild.

If you've set up shop there, go crazy.

Is that map live or synced frequently?

I think the plan is for something like a dailyish sync on the map, yeah, though long-suffering server admin toomuchpete is doing all the heavy lifting there and because of the bumpy weekend I don't think he's had a chance to really test the load involved in doing the map-refresh process. (The original generation of the map takes a lot of time to accomplish and creates a big pile of files. Subsequent runs are supposed to go much faster.)

So that's a picture as of I think about 48 hours ago?

Note that for whatever odd reasons, orientation of the maps is not at all what you'd expect; north is actually down-left. There are a couple of compass roses people have built at this point, though the newer bigger one post-dates this snapshot of the world so you can't actually see it yet. There is a small (which is to say, merely large, which in a huge world doesn't count for much) rose in the water near the spawn point, which is the busy area near the center of the map with three different bridges heading out of it two to the north and one to the south.

My sponge is north; following either of the bridges across the water (clouds head north, easy orientation!), take the road they lead to, veer left at the fork and you'll end up on a long straight floating highway called Friendship Road. That goes past some floating biomes overhead, then you'll find my sponge and my recreation of Spencer Mansion on the right, as well as Pope Guilty's previously lava-filled glass-walled chamber. If you keep following the road north, you'll come to Larry David's island depot; if you head east from the road at around the mansion and go past it and the sponge, you'll be in the vicinity of a giant lava-filled Batsign and a gigantic sphere in progress. Keep heading east and you'll reach Maple St., another north-south corridor, along which a few other people have been doing development as well.

And that's just the north side.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:18 AM on September 22, 2010


The answer to these questions and more, as mentioned, can be found at Mefight Club. I highly recommend (as I just did in-game with odinsdream (also known as 'Player', oddly) that you sign up over there, join the gang and hit up the multiple ongoing Minecraft threads. And any other ones you want.

It feels more than a little weird and redundant to be discussing the Minecraft server(s) here at Metatalk, to be honest.

While I'm here, though: empath, ask toomuchpete, the owner of the server, about the mapping tool. It might be Overseer -- I can't remember. Better yet, again, just look in-thread over at MFC, where it was all being figured out.

odinsdream: the world is infinite. The mapped portion is just places that people have been so far. Walk further, the world will be there. In-game, hit T to talk. First command to know and love: /help for a list of other command line... er... commands.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:35 AM on September 22, 2010


btw, someone may want to delete that map link, if you're trying to keep the server secret.
posted by empath at 7:45 AM on September 22, 2010


Ah, point empath. We probably don't want the internet rampaging all over the server. Can a mod make an edit? I'll flag the post...
posted by pharm at 8:08 AM on September 22, 2010


I HAVE SEAMLESSLY EDITED IT.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:13 AM on September 22, 2010


To further derail on the Overviewer topic. It keeps telling me it can't find minecraft.jar. Do you have to do something tricky to get it to work with the multiplayer server maps?
posted by empath at 8:32 AM on September 22, 2010


It's as if it was never there!
posted by pharm at 9:13 AM on September 22, 2010


D'oh, now I can't see the map. =(
posted by Eideteker at 2:37 PM on September 28, 2010


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