Minecraft - The Voxel Sandbox Game
Introducing you to Minecraft
Minecraft is a voxel-style sandbox game (everything is comprised of cubic forms). Created by Mojang. In this hub I will describe in great detail what kind of a game is Minecraft and hope to give you as much information as possible in order for you to make the right decision on purchasing it or not. I will be breaking down this game in bits and pieces and explaining it.
I will be going over very in-depth of telling you just about everything in the game. From crafting to NPCs and Entities.
Minecraft is know mainly for its sandbox gameplay (meaning you can do anything and everything) and for large and beautiful player made constructions. People have created King's Landing from Game of Thrones, The mines of Moria, and another great example is the space shuttle launch (above)
All of this building can be done in Creative mode.
Creative Mode - A mode that offers a peaceful world, where enemies won't spawn, you won't lose health and you won't have any hunger. Opening your inventory will show you, that you now have every single item, block, and entity spawners, in the game at your disposal. You'll find that the amount of times you may place a block to be infinite.
If building and constructing isn't your style, allow me to direct you to the survival mode.
Survival mode - This mode gives an interesting spin off on Minecraft. You'll start in a randomly generated world, for PC version the world is vast and nearly endless with different biomes dotting its surface. On Console versions such as Xbox 360/PlayStation 3, the Minecraft world fits comfortably on a map, it is vastly smaller, but equally enthralling. Once you spawn, you'll have an optional chest with random items to help you start off, this chest may contain various tools, food, or torches. You'll then be tasked with keeping yourself fed, and surviving the nights. The nights hold many horrors for you to endure, such as Zombies, Spiders, and Endermen. A bar of drumstick meat will signify your hunger meter, and hearts are indicators to your health. You won't regain your health if you're hungry.
If Survival mode is too easy for you (and it can be if you've developed enough), take a glance at Hardcore mode.
Hardcore Mode- A mode that is very similar to Survival, what is different is that once you die, the game ends and you will spawn on a different world to attempt survival again. It can be that added tension and will to survive that can make this a more sought out mode, and it can give you bragging rights if you manage to make a developed housing area to keep you safe at night.
Out of all the crafting games I've played : Terraria, Starbound, and Don't Starve Together. Minecraft's crafting system is certainly the most unique out of all the sandbox games.
Crafting- Minecraft crafting requires you not only have the right material, but to also align them in the right order (in a pattern of sorts) to the appearance of the item or block. While the crafting is unique and keeps the game interesting, there is unfortunately no list in-game that tells you the different patterns and materials needed to craft a certain item.
This to me is something Minecraft could stand to change. Take Terraria for example - while the crafting is more down to the point in Terraria, you need materials and the item you wish to make will pop up in the crafting menu. If you need to know a recipe first, you can ask The Guide NPC. You can then show him a material and you'll be given a list of each item that basic material can make, it displays the materials needed next to it, and you can constantly go back to him to learn more.
Minecraft unfortunately forces you to go to the Minecraft Wiki and look up each item pattern.
Farming - Farming is an excellent addition to Minecraft and it is a good way to keep a food source going when in Survival Mode. To farm you'll need a hoe, a water source next to dirt, next you'll need to till the soil, then you can insert potatoes, carrots, and seeds to grow various vegetables. Wheat can be crafted into bread at a crafting table. You can also find pumpkins and melons seeds to grow and create various items with them.
Mining - Of course, we'll have to go into the activity Minecraft is named after! Mining can lead to some interesting results, such as digging too far down and reaching the impenetrable bedrock layer, or finding diamond and gold. Mining is pretty important to Minecraft, you can find coal to power your furnaces and allow you to cook food, and smelt metals such as gold and iron. It can also be your main way of gathering stone and dirt for building.
Some of the creatures in Minecraft
Minecraft is a host to many monsters and creatures you'll encounter. Some are completely passive to the player, others will seek you out in an attempt to kill you, and others will only become hostile when certain parameters are met.
Passive/ Friendly - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Cows - Cows are one of the passive creatures you'll find. They can be used for their leather to craft things and their steak to cook and feed yourself.
Chickens- Very similar to cows. They drop chicken meat that can be cooked and eaten on survival mode. They can be kept as pets in the same way and given seeds instead to be breed. Oddly enough their chick does not come from an egg. Periodically chickens will lay eggs. These can be thrown and sometimes will drop a baby chicken, or they can be used to craft pumpkin pie and cake.
Pigs- Pigs drop pork chops on defeat. They are another food source you can cook.
Sheep - Sheep are another passive creature you'll meet. They can be sheared for their wool with sheers and can also be kept in pens and kept around to eat grass that grows too high.
- All of these creatures can follow you around with a lead attached to them, you can house them in pens and in barns you've created and breed them.
- To breed the animals you'll need a specific item that they'll eat and have another animal of the same type, this will cause them to breed and spawn a baby version of the animal. The baby will eventually grow up to an adult after a few in-game days.
Villagers - Friendly NPCs that you can trade and spend time with. Villagers will live in pre-generated towns. Complete with crops and different roles the villagers will have, blacksmith, butcher, and scholar are just a few. They'll also have certain buildings like a library.
Golems - There are two types of Golems, snow and iron. Iron ones are created from 4 iron blocks in a T shape and adorning a pumpkin on the top. They will defend villagers and yourself from any nearby mobs. Snow Golems only work in colder biomes. Make two blocks of snow and stack them on each other, then by placing a pumpkin on its head will create a snowman with a jack o lantern for a head. As it moves it will leave a trail of snow on the ground and will fire snowballs at enemies.
Wolves - Tamable with bones and can be kept as pets. They will follow you around. Some wolves will be rabid and have red eyes. Be careful around these ones. They will rush to your aid if you are attacked by a hostile mob.
Horses- They can be tamed and ridden when equipped with a saddle.. They can also be kept as pets and are mounts for the player to use as transportation around their world.
Squids - Squids are passive creatures in lakes, and oceans and rivers. They will bob around in the water and can drop ink sacs to dye wool blocks black.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Hostile(enemy) mobs ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Skeletons - One of the many hostile mobs you'll come across. Skeletons are known for their unique noises of a Xylophone. They'll clitter clatter when they move around and they use a bow and arrow as their weapons
Zombies - Zombie are your main enemy in Minecraft. They will appear at night and slowly slurk towards your position, groaning and growling as they get closer. They'll hit you if they get close enough. Take care to observe your surroundings, when there is one zombie, there will be many others behind.
Enderman - Enderman are creatures native to The End. They are tall and slender, black colored with glowing purple eyes, when they appear there will be ender particles around them. They aren't hostile unless you directly look at their face. They will become hostile and make a unnerving growling noise. When they're neutral, they will mind their own business, they can teleport across the world and sometimes will be seen carrying blocks. They are hurt by water and will avoid lakes, oceans, and ponds at all times. You might see one teleporting past you when it is raining.
Creepers - The face of minecraft. These creatures appear during the night and stick around during the day for a time. Once you get close they'll chase after you and eventually try to blow you up, by detonating themselves. They make little to no noise at all, except for the hissing noise similar to when a wick is lit on fire, you have 3 seconds to get away or be blown up. They drop gunpowder on defeat, they will drop music discs when killed by a skeleton in the form of friendly fire.
Witch - Witches are mobs that will throw poisonous potions at you. They are easy to defeat and you can find their homes in swamps , these homes will usually contain a cauldron you can take. They look similar to a villager in the face, except they will have different clothing.
Ghast - Ghasts are creatures in The Nether. They shoot out firebolts that you can fire back at them or shoot them down with a bow. Their shrill cries and sounds can be heard initially.
Zombie Pigmen - Pigmen that are zombified. These are also from The Nether. They will be neutral to you as long as you don't attack them. If you attack them they will then swarm you with their large numbers.
Slime- These bouncy cubes are hostile on sight and when defeated with split into multiple slimes as you defeat them one at a time.
Wither - Wither skeletons are from Nether Fortresses they are like skeletons except they use a sword and will stick you with a nasty wither effect draining you of health slowly.
Spiders - Spiders are a common mob at night. They can climb blocks and jump at you. They will be neutral during the day time. But when night approaches they will become hostile. They drop string and spider eyes.
Enderdragon - The enderdragon is the boss of the game. You will find him in The End by using an End Portal. Once you defeat him you'll be sent to the Minecraft credits and once skipped or over, you'll be teleported back to your spawn point.
Skeleton & Enderman
Multiplayer is slightly downgraded for console versions similar to the map. However, the PC version really shows you the true image of MInecraft's multiplayer. You can create your own server using an application in your Minecraft folder on your PC, or you can join a list of many dedicated servers people host and create for others.
Multiplayer offers many different types of servers
Modded Servers - These ones contain modifications that greatly change the gameplay, to something along the line of Tekkit.
Tekkit is a game changing mod that adds a new frontier to explore, space! Create rocket ships, manufacture suits, unlock nuclear power. This mod hopes to bring back all the wonderful feelings you had when you first booted up Minecraft.
Normal Servers - These will contain servers that are just general Minecraft, that has little or no mod work done to it, to give you a classic experience, but with all the company of normal players.
If you're looking for a normal survival server to play on, you can join me at Veterancraft IP: play.veterancraft.net
Game Servers - These are revolving around a customized game of sorts for Minecraft. You'll join the server, get placed into the game, spend your time playing and you can move onto a new server.
I've not experienced one of these servers myself, but I did see one server that had you playing as Endermen, you tossed snowballs at each other and attempted to knock other players off the platform to their defeat.
- If you're looking to get your child Minecraft, its a great game for children, I will advise that you supervise them when they spend time online at different servers. There are certain people you might not want them exposed to. -
If you're interested in playing Minecraft Online and are a mature and friendly person. I recommend you join the server I play on: Veterancraft. IP: play.veterancraft.net
There are a few mods that you can implement into your Minecraft experience, while there are too many to go into, I'll cover the two types i personally love to use.
Custom Skins - There are database websites filled with player made skins, whether they be a famous character such as Cloud from Final Fantasy, and Spiderman. Or a custom made skin like a Minecraft Knight.
a favorite skin developer of mine on Planetminecraft is Xsheep, he creates tons of skins you might know from other video games, such as Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2!
Texture Packs - Texture packs are my favorite mods of this game. Texture packs not only change the textures of the game, making it look like a whole new world, they can also contain new sounds and different music for musics discs. These can be very useful mods if the default low resolution pixel textures hurt your eyes, or make it hard to discern things.
My favorite texture pack is BDcraft's Sphax textures. they make the game look crisper, and claim to make it look like a comic book. (I cannot really tell by that) But either way the mod makes my minecraft experience much better and easier to look at.
Optifine - Not sure what to call it, Optifine is a tool used to make Minecraft better optimized. With the help of Optifine, my Minecraft now sits at a solid 60 FPS for most of the time I'm playing it.
All of these Mods are free to use!
Example of BDcraft Sphax Texture pack
Will you enter the world of Minecraft?
Minecraft is a great game for sure, it brings many nice ideas to the table and can be seen as one of the first few games to be responsible for the genre of open-world/sandbox crafting games.
This is a perfect game for people who want to show some creative building, or like to just venture around and fight enemies. Or for people who like to just play something while they listen to music, or podcasts (like a certain Yahztee Croshaw)
I will say, that for players who want a bit of depth to their games, they will probably end up bored and without ideas for Minecraft. If, that'll be the case then I'd say check out Don't Starve/Together, Terraria, or Starbound.
You can find Minecraft at Minecraft.Net and you can purchase a digital copy or try out the demo.
It costs 26 USD or your regional equivalent.