Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Gaming: Minecraft

Hey everyone :)

So I wanted to introduce you to a game that I play. Now this may not be everyone's cup of tea so if your not into gaming then this post probably isn't for you - but as this blog is about the things I love - I wanted to do a small post about it.

Shoutjohn Minecraft

The game is called Minecraft and is a sandbox construction game. It is available on a number of different platforms such as PC, Mac, PlayStation and Xbox.

Basically you (the player) can interact in a 3D environment - when I say interact I mean you break and place different types of blocks. It's mainly the reason its called 'Mine'craft - because you 'mine' or 'break' the blocks with different tools such as a pickaxe or an axe.

Minecraft is available to anyone to purchase and costs (in the UK) £17.95 (this is for the PC version) - once purchased you are then able to download the launcher and launch the game. It uses Java to work so you need to make sure the Java is up-to-date on your computer and that your computer can handle playing it. You need good RAM to get a decent experience from it. (So probably best to check the recommended settings for the game against your PC specifications before purchasing).

HELPFUL HINT: Sometimes the RAM allocated in your settings is lower than the total RAM you have installed and you can actually change this and allow more RAM to be used for Minecraft which makes for a smoother game play experience. Just YouTube or Google it and they give step-by-step instructions.

When Minecraft first came out - there was only one version - what we now call 'Vanilla' Minecraft - which basically means no extra features or changes - just plain old Minecraft. Over time programmers, gamers, basically anyone with the experience created 'mods' (modifications) and different 'plugins' which add better features to Minecraft.

For example someone (can't remember who) created Pixelmon - which is the Pokemon and the Pokemon world in Minecraft - I haven't checked it all out but you can catch Pokemon, fight wild Pokemon, fight other trainers etc. We call Pixelmon a 'mod' because its a modification of Minecraft.

We then have what you call a 'plugin' which is mostly for people who own public (or like me) a private server - which lets you add additional features to make it easier to manage or do things. Plugins can be used to stop bullying - meaning you can install plugins to monitor the chat and censor swearing. There are plugins to stop players damaging other peoples property such as protection plugins. There are plugins to help the server host (me) build faster such as WorldEdit (the most amazing plugin) it lets you create millions of blocks in seconds. There are then fun plugins - I came across one of the other day that lets you have the powers of Elsa (from the Frozen movie) you can walk on water and turn it to ice, you can shoot ice at blocks - it's great fun.

Minecraft is popular among younger children and adults - I found it through watching gaming channels on YouTube and thought it looked like fun. I have to admit that I haven't seem a gaming channel on YouTube that didn't feature Minecraft at least once. It's a very creative game and so I think anyone with a creative or artistic nature would love it as it lets you create anything you want. There are also hundreds of tutorial videos on YouTube you can watch. I recently learnt how to build a lighthouse with flashing lights at the top.

There are lots of features I haven't covered in this post but I didn't want to bore you all as it does get quite complicated and explaining one thing normally means explaining two other things so you understand, and then you need to explain something else to explain those things ... can you see where I'm going with this ...

I highly recommend trying it - I think you can actually get a demo version on some platforms so you should check it out!

Let me know in the comments if you do play and we can catch up online sometime!

Images: Deadline
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