» Mac A Gaming Diary Mon, 11 Oct 2010 15:35:59 +0000 en hourly 1 Minecraft (Mac) Tue, 05 Oct 2010 12:45:25 +0000 That Rev Chap You know how when you build something in Minecraft you can’t see it and then you jump down and turn around and look at your creation and it is either:

a) glorious!


b) a bit disappointing?

Today I built an angel.


I shall call him Robbie. (No. I won't.)


He’s a b.

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Minecraft (Mac) Mon, 04 Oct 2010 14:05:44 +0000 That Rev Chap Sometimes you end up layering stupidity upon stupidity until you reach some kind of idiot nirvana where everything seems to work out. It’s like the universe – or, in this case, Minecraft – starts feeling so sorry for you that it feels the need to help you out.


I’m building a castle around all the entrances to the cave system I currently call home. Well, not all of them, there too far away, but I’m going to put glass over those ones so they still let light in, while not being an easy way for enemies to enter my safe areas. That’s not stupid. What is stupid is trying to carry on building the castle walls at night.


And not only building them at night, but not having any torches with me to help me light the area. Meaning I fell off a wall and killed myself. I ran back and had to find all my stuff in the dark. I ran back home, grabbed my torches…


…and then came back out to finish laying the stones I had in my inventory. At least this time I didn’t fall off and die. Instead, I ran into a skeleton archer on the way home.


I ran away… away from the skeleton and, more importantly, my entrance and ended up on the wrong side of my castle wall…


…a castle wall in which I’d neglected to build a single, solitary door. The skeleton killed me and I had to try and gather my tools in the dark.


My stuff's down there... somewhere.

Somehow, though, I managed it. On the way home I didn’t encounter any enemies, but right outside my entrance was the biggest herd of cows I’ve ever seen in the game.


Cows, lots of cows.

I slaughtered them all and now have enough leather to make a pair of trousers. Thanks Minecraft!

So, after all that, I managed to get a lot of a wall built, didn’t suffer any inventory loss from dying and managed to get some leather. Someone up there (or in there) must like me.

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Minecraft (Mac) Wed, 29 Sep 2010 13:10:36 +0000 That Rev Chap Today’s tip, always have some torches visible from your spawn point so you know which way to go when you respawn at night.


Like this.

Always helpful when you’re running for your stuff, but I don’t think it’s going to help me today, as I was swept down a river into the darkness and only knew I’d been killed by a skeleton archer because I happened to have the sound on. (Which is very rare, believe me.)

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Minecraft (Mac) Fri, 24 Sep 2010 13:05:40 +0000 That Rev Chap A long, long time ago on my multiplayer server I wandered off into the middle of nowhere and built a small statue of my wife, just for her.

I wasn’t sure if anyone would ever find it again, as it was so far from civilisation.

Unfortunately, it turns out it wasn’t far enough. Our buildings have spread far and wide and that statue was in the way of someone’s expansion, so they asked whether anyone knew whose it was and if they could demolish it.

Now, I didn’t want my statue to be the way and I didn’t want to be a dick about things, but that statue has sentimental value.

So I came up with a plan. I emptied all the cobblestone and torches out of my inventory and trekked off to the statue.

I then demolished it.

That’s not the end, though! Don’t cry!

I wandered off into the landscape, found an interesting spot far from anywhere and rebuild the statue piece-by-piece, using exactly the same materials as before.


She's back!

So it’s the same statue, made of the same stuff, it’s just moved.

(And I’ve also built a replica in a new secret garden in my castle grounds.)

Oh, and I’m testing out a new texture pack – a custom version of the Painterly Pack.

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Minecraft (Mac) Thu, 23 Sep 2010 11:28:04 +0000 That Rev Chap I dream of Minecraft most nights. (When I’m not dreaming I’m at Minute Maid Park.)

Today, though, I think I caught Minecraft having a fever dream of its own.


One screenshot can't do it justice.

Odd floating islands and dozens of looming overhangs. All the baffling oddness of Minecraft’s possible worlds magnified in one area. I walked through it fearfully; it was something new and strange. I half expected the ground to shift beneath my feet. As it was, a hidden pit saw me plummet into the darkness and lose half my health.

The game can still surprise me.

Sometimes I think it might even surprise itself.

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Minecraft (Mac) Wed, 22 Sep 2010 13:31:46 +0000 That Rev Chap The adventure to the north continues…

You know what I was saying in my last post about wanting monster spawns on the surface? Well, on my travels I found a big pit with a sandy bottom. I’d just noticed that the walls of the pit were cobblestone – implying construction! – when a spider appeared out of nowhere. I killed it easily enough, then looked around to see where it had come from.


A monster spawner!

I plugged up the gap and then dug away sand until I found a chest. Nothing too interesting – some bread and gunpowder – but it was all very exciting.

That night I spent my time in a cave that seemed deserted.


Do you see that?

An arrow! I ran around like a headless chicken until I found the skeleton who’d been firing at me and knocked him down into a pit. I don’t think he died, but he didn’t bother me for the rest of the night.

I resumed my travels at daybreak and came across a natural formation that looked like some sort of beacon, so I put some torches on it.


The beacon.

All of a sudden, I felt incredibly lonely. Who was the beacon for? Nobody else is ever going to come this way. I’m on my own here. In this world are incredible sights, peril and adventure, monsters and treasure, so many stories waiting to be told. But there’s only me, walking a narrow path, forever alone. Nobody will follow in my footsteps. That beacon exists now, it’s sitting there in 1s and 0s, never to be seen again.

It seems like such a waste, a world capable of such beauty that nobody will ever see.

I’ve made my mark. “I was here.” But what’s the point?

I moved on.


Another cave, another night.

The next day, a sight that took my breath away.


Randomly-generated beauty.

Who cares if nobody else comes this way? Who cares if I never go back? I crested the hill, I saw it below me, I was there. Let’s just say that that’s enough.

Now… the last night.


Yet another hole in the ground.

I set up my furnace and workbench and made some new tools, armour and cooked a lot of pork. At one point I realised I was moving, though I was working at the bench. Something was pushing me! My heart started to beat faster as I fumbled around trying to regain control.

A zombie? A skeleton? A spider?

A duck.

I’d been pushed around by a duck that somehow found its way into way into my cave.

I’d been scared by flapping, hopping idiot.

(And believe me, I’d been scared.)

The next morning I left at dawn and went to hunt spiders. I wanted their silk for a bow. I only needed one more piece of silk, but the first spider I found didn’t drop one. As I looked around for another, a flaming zombie burst out from behind a tree and attacked. I fought him off, but dropped down a hole as I backed away. One tiny sliver of health left. No problem, though, I had food. Lots of food.

As I opened my inventory another spider pounced.


Game over, man, game over.

That’s how my adventure ended. Carelessness and greed.

My save file had increased in size from 1MB to 48MB. I saw some awe-inspiring sights. I fought monsters. I was panicked by a duck.

A completely different way to play Minecraft, but one that I enjoyed immensely.

Maybe next time I’ll go west.

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Minecraft (Mac) Wed, 22 Sep 2010 10:40:47 +0000 That Rev Chap After dying in the depths of the caverns for the hundredth time, it was time for a new adventure.

My quest: to start from the spawn point with an empty inventory and go north.

That was it. Start with nothing and trek into the north to see what adventures awaited me.

The first day was fine. I headed off and stopped along the way to gather some essentials and make some tools and torches, just in case. As night fell I was on the beach at the tip of my starting island and decided the safest place to spend the night was on a small island where no monsters could get me.


A tiny, sandy island.

It was safe, yes, but also very dull, so I decided to swim north to a tiny bit of sand sticking out of the sea. Up ahead was a larger island but… uh oh…


Do you see it?

I could just see the telltale red dots of a spider’s eyes. I wasn’t about to risk cutting my adventure short, so I decided not to move until morning.


I spent the night right here.

As dawn broke, I saw that I was right to have stayed where I was. The spider was not alone.



I made myself a sword and waited until they burst into flames under the rays of the morning sun, then swam across the gap. Unfortunately, it seems that spiders don’t combust at daybreak and it ambushed me from behind a tree. No screenshots, I’m afraid, as I was in a blind panic trying to save my life.

I hit out at it with my sword, again and again, and it died, but left me grievously injured. I had to find food. Food means pigs. I constructed a boat and set out across the sea to the next island. Right on the beach – a pig!


I shall call you Bacon.

Reader, I killed him. Sorry. He didn’t drop any meat, though. No ham, bacon or pork. Nothing. The next pig I killed didn’t oblige, either. After that, though, I found a few pigs that all gave up a lot of meat.

I didn’t eat it there and then, though. I decided I’d cook it up at night for something to do during the long hours of darkness.

As night fell, I looked for a cave, but all I found was a rocky overhang on a beach.


Not really a cave.

I cooked up my bacon and ate some of it. Bacon, as we know, heals all wounds.

There was still a lot of night left, though, so I decided to dig north through the island and see if I could get out the other side at daybreak.

It didn’t take long for me to dig through – and I nearly killed myself doing it.



Luckily, I didn’t dig right under the lava flow and stayed put until morning. I dug round the lava and out on to the beach… where I was ambushed by another spider. Again, no screenshots – I was too busy swimming for my life. Spiders can swim too, but after a while it seemed to give up.

I found myself on another island, where something weird caught my eye.


What is that?

A black void, the like of which I’d never seen. I lit a torch.


Oh. I see.

It was just a cave. Oddly, when I removed the torch, it didn’t fade back into a void, but the let the sunlight shine in.

Another long trek over land during the day, then another night spent digging through a hill. When I found myself at the other side I made some glass so I could safely watch and wait for dawn.


Waiting for the sun.

I was a little scared, but when I left my hiding place there were no nasty surprises, just a burning skeleton off in the distance.

For the first time, though, it looked like I’d reached the edge of the world.


Following the clouds across the sea.

It took a while, even in my speedy little boat, but eventually I found more land.


Land! Whoa!

Another island, more walking to do. As night fell I discovered a cave.


It's actually just a large cavern, no passages, no monsters.

And that’s where I left it, another night underground.

Minecraft, then. It’s fabulous as a building toy. It’s great when you have a base camp and explore nearby caverns and start farming.

And it’s also wonderful just to head out and see what you find.

Sure, I won’t die if I’m careful, but it’s still an adventure. I know that if I die I’ll be back to the spawn point and will never see these lands again. This is fine, fine exploration. I can’t wait to see what updates bring. Different regions with different weather? Monster camps on land? Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes? Sea serpents? Maybe some of those, maybe none of them, but you never know.

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Minecraft (Mac) Tue, 21 Sep 2010 11:11:43 +0000 That Rev Chap On the multiplayer server I built a small village, with some houses, a garden, a well and a gallows.


Well, you try making a gallows!

Unusually, though, I’ve sunk some real time into the single player game. I started a new map and found a huge cave system right near the spawn point.


My camp, just inside the caves.

My aim, then, is to explore the caves while remaining as alive as possible. It’s not been easy.

I decided a needed a bow, so I went out at night trying to hunt spiders. I died. A lot.


Burn, baby, burn.

Eventually, though, I got the silk I needed, made a bow and some arrows and started my decent. I went a long, long way – and then died.

So I ran. From the spawn point, to the caves and then down and down and down, desperately trying to reach my dropped items before they disappeared. I took a couple of wrong turns, ended up at baffling dead-ends, had to jink past a zombie trying to eat my brains, but managed to pick up my stuff. My precious bow was safe… but for how long?

I only had one-and-a-half hearts left and no food, so the trek back to my camp was tense stuff, but I made it home. Now to try and get some food before my next trip into the depths.

To that end, I’ve done something I’ve never done before; I’ve started growing wheat.


My farm. I'm lucky there's a waterfall just inside the caves, so I could create a pool.

I’m not quite sure what I’m doing, but it seems to be growing. Hopefully I’ll get some bread out of it at some point. That would be nice.

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Minecraft (Mac) Mon, 20 Sep 2010 10:43:57 +0000 That Rev Chap Having walled off a huge expanse of land, I decided I should do something with it.


My latest creation.

I built a spiral lighthouse, then built a beardy face next to it. I tend to sign my work with variations on that abstract beardy face. Sometimes it smiles, sometimes it’s grumpy, sometimes there’s a nose, sometimes there isn’t.

Also, I installed a new texture pack. You can see it more easily in a daytime shot.


Batman, newly textured.

I like it rather a lot, but unfortunately lava and water aren’t animated, which is sad.

Anyway, if you want to try it, here’s THE LINK.

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Minecraft (Mac) Fri, 17 Sep 2010 10:20:45 +0000 That Rev Chap My castle and its grounds are spreading out across the map.


My castle grounds at night.

This means I’m getting close to other people’s stuff. I try very, very hard not to destroy or change anything anyone else has made and build around anything I didn’t create myself.

I get too close, though – the equivalent of invading someone else’s personal space.


Signs work in multiplayer now.

See, I’ve preserved that excellent TIE Fighter, given credit and even created a viewing platform, but it’s stuck in a small walled area in amongst other bits and pieces I’ve built myself. I need to be more careful in future, definitely.

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