A while ago a small group of us got together for a LAN to play an incredibly geeky game called Artemis. This required us to play the crew of a star ship, each of our computers functioning as one “station” of the vessels bridge, and Stupor’s very own Neil as Captain (he just shouted orders at us with no PC control of his own). In any case, once we’d exhausted the “kill n ships while defending y space stations” scenarios someone (our Captain, oh Captain as I recall) suggested we invest in a little Indie game he’d played for a while and become rather addicted to. This digital Crack was the Beta of Minecraft. It all went down-hill from there… To cut a long story short, we all paid our fare and played into the night. Around 3am we called it a day but our generous host (The Very Reverend Booth) left the server running so we could all connect up from home and extend the madness we had created.
Some months later the game has been updated several times. More resources, further recipes and enemies that can actually hurt you, rather than groaning impotently in your ear. To mark both the leaps forward made by the game itself and the fact that one of our number has been gifted a licence for the first anniversary of his 29th birthday, it was decided we should LAN again, lay waste to the old world and start over. Below you will hopefully find the story of the first days of that new land. It will be bigger, it will be better, it will undoubtedly be even mentaler…
The game begins. A new world is generated and we dive in. First thing we wander around aimlessly, hit each other a little, laugh then get on with the serious business of finding a mountain to build a monster proof home into. We all know that mountain will have to be removed eventually, but the group deludes itself into thinking that it wont happen this time.
15:00 to 16:00
Neil digs a pilot shaft and we follow him down. So far down it almost becomes up. Many, many red blacks (a rare and precious element for making electric circuits) are found, plus iron and diamond. Ralph and Matt sink “Shaft 2”, they find more iron, red and a little diamond. Nice… Work begins outside, ‘Tash fences everything in and Ralnor finds and replants reeds. Doors are placed and the base takes shape…
16:00 to 17:00
I try to start writing and get bitched at for standing around (cheers guys :o). Bedrooms are created (one nice one horrid). We all begin to gather and expand the base. Neil sinks a shaft to the mining level and equipts it with ladders, much much better than the circular staircase that took minutes to get down. I order everyone outside, we must have a picture…
The lads are putting windows in the bedrooms, two little ones have turned into what is more a entire wall of glass. This always happens. ‘Tash gets lost in the wilderness and decides to hide until the zombie goes away.
Ralph has a bucket, Ralnor decides we need a kitchen room and completes a “Ninja” entrance way. Matt wants to build a farm and everyone approves… Ralph walks on the farm while stating “I’ll be taking that mountain down”. Trev manages to interact with things in the game at last…
Ralph find a “flock of cows” then picks the flowers… BY KILLING THEM!! He also starts to wear some leather trousers which make him looks like he’s wandering around (the worst) half naked. One of the exits from the base becomes “the reed garden”, accessibility is limited but its all for the greater garden.
Matt’s farm is taking shape but people continue to walk all over it, this vexes him. The cook room is also finished, ovens line the walls, it’s like a lady-dudes dream :o)
Neil finds coal and a bunch of Creepers really close to our base, he tactically allows us them to explode on him, therefore defending the base. He then proceeds up our mountain and discovers how massive it actually is, finding both snow and pumpkins upon it. Most pleasing as snow can be used to produce snowball to throw at innocent folk and pumpkins are, well, just nice pumpkins.
After a good nights sleep we emerge to find a Creeper trying to explode Matt’s farm, he keeps his distance… We’ve now got enough red dye that Neil decides to start on the “Carpet Project”, we all think we know what he means, but you never know in this game. The first snowballs are used in anger, Ralnor is displeased. Ralph refuses to get in bed before he’s covered in leather (and in the game).
Everyone gets back to mining. Neil mines some fish and ‘Tash mines some sheep. I dig down from the top of the mountain and dig through an oven. Creeper alert in the reed garden!! He explodes and we figure we ought to sort these gits out… We decide to make a cake but we need eggs and milk, but where might we find these? A plan is formed, worry chickens so they produce eggs and squeeze the cows to make milk, that’s how it works right? Tastey, fresh squeezed sky juice could be nice :o)
Ralph wants the cows for leather, but ‘Tash wants a bucket to attack the cows for milk. Matt goes to the loo but and **** suggests we could dig up the farm in his absence, it’s agreed that that would be foolish, as he may kill in revenge.
“All the cows and no buckets” is exclaimed as ‘Tash find the cows, she does manage to milk the cows and is rewarded with some white liquid. “Yes, that’s the milk” Ralnor reassures her “unless you found a bull”… Everyone decides to gather resources again, Neil and Ralnor decide to deep mine down, reaching into the depths with pick and bucket in search of lava. The idea of tiling the kitchen is raised, everyone turns into a Changing Rooms style home furnishings fiend.
Everything’s quitened down a bit, everyone’s just going round doing their own thing. Cake has been baked, and the bedrooms have been nicely carpeted (the jack o lanterns add a disturbing edge). Also the kitchen has been nicely tiled. Tash has gone “underwater pork hunting” and Neil has put a carpet on the roof of the entrance. Ralph is digging, who knows where, who knows why? Perhaps he’s trying to mine for cows again (he likes that leather a bit too much). Oh, and we have a secret entrance to our base, it is a little too secure to be secret and is Neil states it”disrupts my pumpkins”. Sounds uncomfortable… It’s turning into a very English base, carpets, books and lots of coal.
Neil wants to “dig higher” and Matt wants to bake some bricks, where will it all end? People have found my lovely sky observatory but Ralph wants to throw himself off. In any case, perhaps a nice glass floor would add to the effect. Also I think they may have worked out where the wood went, well it definately wasn’t that ladder to the sky, I’ll tell you that.
We now also have automatic doors (Woot!! just like Tesco!!), Matt has laid some purest red from pressure pads to the front door, so we don’t even have to open the doors ourselves any more :o) Disaster strikes immediately as Matt realises that the pressure of monsters will also open our front door, pigs begin to open and close the doors at random.
Nail and Ralnor start messing with infinite sources, I wished it was for BBQ but it was for water :o( They’ve decided to build out of the side of the base with glass, then to place infinte water on it to make a “water feature”. This water fall with viewing platform is perhaps the maddest thing thus far, but it is pretty sweet. This is living…
Me and Matt decide to find some desert, we’ll follow the rising Sun and see what we find… I get dropped from the server, my first crash but everyone else seems to be experiencing ore crashes than usual too. Matt digs a hole and see’s out the night “Saddam style” buried. He continues on at first light and find a lake in the mountains and a desert with cactuses in it on the mountain just next to it. The level designer (which amounts to a mathematical equation) is doing a really cool job of making the world, but throws up these oddities sometimes, no-one’s complaining though :o)
Pizza arrives (in the real world) and we break for eats.
‘Zza is dead, tea has been drunk and the dog of the house has been teased into a drooling mess. Lets load up and get back in…
First building idea since Pizza, the two crazies have decided we need a pool. Where to build it though? Should they lower the floor or make it in a sensible place, nope, it’s gonna be made of glass and in the air. Apparently it will be like a scuba tank with reeds used as an airlock, lets see shall we… Neil immediately floods the kitchen.
Argh!!! My second crash, just as a zombie activates a pressure pad and enters the base!!
The scuba tank is complete, I immediately drown in it and respawn in a tree somewhere. Matt begins to cultivate the cactuses he found, to use to discourage any further monster intrusions. They hurt like razor-wire, let’s see how many people die on this defensive measure.
Matt has an ingenious idea, cactuses grow 3 blocks tall but can’t exist between two other blocks (so they can’t be built). He places the cactus “seeds” in some sand then puts two dirt blocks higher up, at the 3 level. Once the cactus grows to 3 tall the top will immediately pop off, as it can’t exist there, so self-farming. He extends this theory even further by growing the cactuses on an incline and putting a water flow around them, this means that, when the cactus blocks pop they land in the water and are swept to the bottom of the hill where an individual can pick them all up at once. It’s basically a cactus conveyor belt. Awesome invention, truly inspired :o)
The next project was “The Great Underwater Tunnel”, so basically the Euro-tunnel but made of glass. Trev brought all the sand in the world (to cook up into glass), Neil made the air pockets and then put Jack O Lanterns in the water (cause they work there) and the tunnel was born. It’s good, but something’s missing. Ralnor solves the problem by building a monolith to show the way into/out of the tunnel.
Neil crafts the first phallus of the night, it took a lot longer than normal (and yes, that is what she said too…).
Matt discovers a new enemy, the Slimes. They’re just like the Minecraft version of Slimer but they hurt a bit, after a little butchering they split into small and non-harmful versions of themselves. Matt smashes them and is surrounded by the annoying little buggers. Also, I pick up some Slimeballs. They seem quite useless but I’m sure we’ll find something to do with them. Just when you think you’ve seen it all Mincraft goes and surprises/delights you all over again…
And it’s about time for me, one more picture and I’m out. The guys start to play around with dispensers, they fire out whatever you put in, in response to a circuit. It doesn’t take long before they think of firing stuff out that will hurt things, just like the real world, eh?
So that’s me finished. It’s been a good day of digging and making, what more could a boy ask for? The three remaining guys are now looking at making buttons to fire things out of areas of the base at enemies and making music blocks (they do what you’d expect from the name). The world’s gonna be left up for us all to play online, so I’m gonna be checking in over the next few weeks to see what happens, the updates have certainly enhanced the game and, for the creative of mind, it’s so much fun to play. It really is the living-Lego for the grown-up geek. Any who, I’m out, here’s one last look at what we’ve created from the outside, it looks kinda weird but it was bags of laughs and there’s so much more under the surface too (kinda like the game I guess). Wonderful stuff…