Friday, December 3, 2010

Apologies for the lack of new posts

I feel I have to offer some apology for the lack of activity on this blog for awhile. The holidays, family, and financial hardships have sort of collided to form a "perfect storm" that has left me with a lack of blogging enthusiasm. I'm currently sorting things out however, and am attempting to hit the pavement looking for work and trying to get back into the swing of some normalcy. I'll do what I can to update a bit more frequently, but I can't promise too much.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Renovations and The Nether

My recent Minecraft time has been spent not mining fantastic new depths or discovering uncharted landscapes, but rather doing a little interior managing and cleaning. As it was, in my haste to dig deeper and find new minerals, I had left my home mine a terrible mess of sloppy caverns and nooks that lead nowhere. So little by little, I've been sorting things around, closing off dead ends and sprucing my stairways for ease of travel. I'll put up some sign markers as well just to make sure I know what's what. All these steps are part of the bigger plan to link together several different mines and islands together in one more unified feeling network. Through hell or high water I want to bring order to my Minecraft world.

And speaking of 'hell', I decided to take a break from what I was doing in order to take a little vacation to just that place. Although in Minecraft they call it The Nether instead of Hell, it's basically the same miserable place. After some trial and error, I concocted a nice Obsidian portal in one of the little nooks of my home.

Look at the pretty colors!

Making sure I left behind many of my more important items and was traveling light, I stepped inside. After a nice trippy screen wobbling effect, I found myself here...

The cure for the Winter Blues

After taking some time to soak in my hellish surroundings, I walked forward a bit to see what I could find to bring back. After mining a few of the local rocks, I noticed some of The Nether's less than friendly inhabitants (known as the Ghasts). Being that I was on a small island surrounded by lava, I had few options when it came to hiding, and once he started shooting fireballs that sounded like they exploded behind me, I knew it was time to head back.

Once I rushed through the portal back home, I breathed a sigh of relief. Considering though I could still hear the disturbing noises of The Nether on the other side of the portal, I didn't want to hang around there much longer. Safely back in the depths of my home, I cooked some Pig meat and pondered what to bring on my next trip to The Nether.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The guy who makes his living being a badass

Came across this story here about Max Hardberger, the guy who makes his living stealing back boats stolen by pirates. Pirating pirated ships is like being a double-pirate, therefore that makes him pretty much awesome already, but reading some of his exploits should have Hollywood lining up to get this guys life into a movie.

Over the years, he's distracted crews with prostitutes and witch doctors, bribed officials to look the other way, conned Russian mobsters and hidden from naval radar by riding out thunderstorms at sea; he's even taken a 10,000-tonne freighter out of Haiti while the 2004 revolution was going on around him. 

Here's a guy you'll never be as awesome as

All that and he's never failed to take a boat back. 

Oh and he also has an English degree from the University of New Orleans, an MA in poetry and fiction from the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa (one of the best creative-writing programs in the US), has a law degree from the University of Northern California, and has taught English and history at high school.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Holographic character Hatsune Miku performs at sold out concert

In news that could make human musicians sweat a bit, a hologram is having great success on stage in Japan. For those not in the know, the software Vocaloid allows users to create synthetic singing voices for music tracks. Someone took this to the next level by having a holographic avatar of the fictional singer Hatsune Miku perform live on stage. Whether you find this creepy or enticing, the result is undoubtedly fascinating.

And for those possibly aroused by the above video, again in Japan we had the recent news that holograms you can touch are becoming a possible reality. At the University of Tokyo, researchers devised some clever methodology that can allow one to feel the images being displayed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hungry? How about a tasty beard?

In the category of "so absurd you just have to believe it", comes this story here about a man who was forced to eat his beard after an argument. Naturally the battle royale was over something important like a tractor, and sadly for this fella, it escalated to where he had to have a hairy snack.

"Troy offered to buy it from me for $250 dollars. I paid twenty bucks for it. He thought I was trying to cheat him," Westmoreland told WLEX-TV. 
"One thing led to another, and before I knew it, there were knives and guns and everything just went haywire."

"(Then) they cut my beard and forced me to eat it," he said.

So remember kids, beards are dangerous, and should only be handled with caution and by professionals. Otherwise you might end up like this poor guy.

Facelifts and island building

While it's been awhile since I could devote a serious chunk of time to Minecraft, there has been progress to be made. Some time ago I decided to embark on a building project that would include bridges connecting the various islands around me, and a tower over the ocean. Well it wasn't long into my construction that the first blunders occurred. This one started as a result of building a ladder to reach the surface of my home island quickly. In my haste, I hadn't properly enclosed the exit hole, so one morning when I went to the surface I was given a greeting by two Creepers who wanted to give me an explosive hug.

One death later, and I was taking the long trek back again. I knew for this building project I needed lots of two things: Stone and Glass. With that in mind I went about putting my furnaces to good use, pumping out ample quantities of both. I finally felt like I was putting my resources and efforts to a unified use now, and with a spring in my step, I went out and began making my first bridge.

And this was where I started to see the bigger picture, and realize the challenges I'd face. The first island I would approach wasn't much of an island to begin with. Barely more than a sandbar, I contemplated just building my bridge over it and ignoring it. But then I decided that if there wasn't much of an island there to begin with, I could just build it up. So slapping dirt on the ground, I began to expand and eventually raise it up. I'm planning on this island to have a greenhouse of sorts.

Also during this timeframe I began to experiment with different texture packs, as the latest Minecraft patch offered quick and easy swapping between them. I'm fairly pleased with the one I'm trying now, although some of the textures I might look for alternatives to.

The bridge to nowhere

To see this through to completion will take much time for sure, but I'm ready to tackle it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Open source PC driver for Kinect already?

Hot off the heels of the story that there's a $2000 bounty out for an open source Kinect driver, we've got some results already surfacing.

And this was just 3 hours after the European launch of Kinect. Personally I'm curious as to what sort of apps and uses we could see utilizing a Kinect/PC setup.

In other news, I apologize for the lack of updates and such recently, as I've had company from out of town the last few days. I'm working on my next Minecraft progress report, and I'm considering a few other things like revamping the visual layout of the blog.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jim Morrison might finally rest in peace now

Looks as if The Door's singer Jim Morrison's spirit could possibly breathe a little easier now, as outgoing Florida Governor Charlie Crist is considering a pardon for him over indecent exposure charges that were levied against him in 1969. From this story here, Crist is quoted as saying:

“Candidly, it's something that I haven’t given a lot of thought to, but it's something I’m willing to look into in the time I have left,” said Crist. “Anything is possible.”

Truly a relief, considering that those pesky charges have really been a drag on his career. I mean it's not like The Doors are some legendary band of classic rock history or anything. In any case, Jim Morrison's ghost could not be contacted for comment on the developments, although I'm sure someone is going to attempt a séance to change that.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

War nearly breaks out over Google Maps

Came across this story here, which in hindsight now is amusing but could've ended up far more serious. Basically what went down was a Nicaraguan military commander was attempting to utilize his Google-fu to discern where the borders of his country were.

Nicaraguan troops are accused of crossing the (hotly disputed) border into Costa Rica and setting up camp for the night. But the commander says it was all a mistake caused by shoddy Google Maps.

Turns out, the error was caused by incorrect border data from the State Department. In a blog post, Google says they've now corrected the error.

While I've lost track of the amount of times Google Maps have saved me from getting lost on trips, I have to say I would probably double check with other sources if my route could essentially lead me to WAR.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Just got these classic Nintendo Power magazines

Talk about a blast from the past. Recently I was given a stack of over 20 old Nintendo Power magazines, assorted issues ranging from the 20's to the 60's. It's like a rush of pure nostalgia reading through these, hearing the games of my youth talked about when they were brand new.

Some are in protective plastic

The quality is pretty good I think, with some wear on the covers but most interior pages being fine quality. Many still feature the fold out poster insert if I recall correctly. As for the content, I dig the in-depth guides offered inside, but for me the best pleasures are stuff like the little comics they'd have inside.

Back when videogames = Nintendo

I've gotten a huge kick out of reading these, and part of me is considering simply keeping them. However, my financial situation isn't exactly in the best of shape, and sadly I'll likely have to part with these via eBay or something. In any case, it's given me a nice dose of nostalgia.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Progress and The Plan

Since my last recounting of the many failures I'd accumulated, I figured it was time to hunker down and get to work on rectifying the mess I'd left myself in. Brooding over the lumps of Obsidian that were seemingly taunting me, I started mining around the area just hoping to gather come more minerals. It was during this effort at expanding the lava cave chamber a bit that I made my most startling discovery yet.

Diamonds aren't just a girls best friend

My face lit up in the biggest and dumbest grin I'd had in some time as I mined the Diamond, and when I found 2 more blocks just like it in the area, my wish was granted, and I now possessed in my hand a Diamond pickaxe. Nothing could stand in my way now, and I gleefully began harvesting the Obsidian in the region. Now this was where my lack of common sense bit me in the rear.

I was happily mining away when I sort of forgot that there was some lava below me. One little molten bath later and I was running away on fire while hoping against hope I could get in some water to put out the flames. Of course I was not so lucky, and of course I had to die at night, so I respawned literally in the middle of an army of skeletons/creepers/zombies with nothing but my fists and my wits. After a harrowing trip, I managed to make it back to the safety of my home. It was then that I really started noticing how haphazard and disorganized everything was. Nothing was pleasing to the eye, and the layout made me cringe. I thought about things for awhile, and after considering it, I decided on a new course of action:

First, I'll mine what Obsidian I can. Then, I'll make a network of covered land bridges to the surrounding islands. After that I'll pick a spot over the ocean waters and try to and make my fortress tower. I am considering doing a run or two through "The Slip" (the hell zone) in the meantime however, just for the sake of laughs and many deaths.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I won't look at this movie the same way ever again...

Hey all, sorry for lack of updates and such the last couple days, I've been a bit busy. I'll have a more proper update a bit later today, but in the meantime I thought you might enjoy this snippet of video from a cheese-tastic movie. I'm talking about Cliffhanger, and when I first saw it years ago I never noticed this little oddity:

Check out the insane grin from the one guy on the helicopter. Sort of throws the whole movie in a different perspective.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The fails keep on mounting

Well the much anticipated Minecraft Halloween update came the other day, and I took my time to play around with it. I didn't venture too far to see some of the nearby Biomes, but I have noticed what seems like even more monsters around now. This was a blessing though, as it allowed me to hunt plenty of Creepers and gather a decent amount of gunpowder.

This brought me to one of the biggest frustrations I had, which was figuring out how to actually use the stuff. After trying combinations of all sorts, I was at my wits end. It was then that my friend who also plays Minecraft finally clued me in. Sand and gunpowder. That was NOT what I was expecting, so after a proper facepalm, I went ahead and crafted 3 TNT. Excitedly I went down to the Obsidian and placed my block.

This has to work...

Lighting the fuse I ran like the wind out of the way and heard the BOOM behind me. Turning around, I was greeted by this...

...Well that didn't work

After dealing with the immediate letdown, I told myself that maybe I just didn't use enough TNT to blow up the Obsidian. So, blocking off the lava, I placed my last two TNT blocks down. This was when things got a little hairy. One of the blocks caught fire on its own, and I was left burnt and scrambling to escape before the two blocks exploded. Luckily I got away in time, but unluckily the Obsidian was still standing.

Bankrupt of TNT, bankrupt of pride, I was left with the sinking realization that I was going to have to man up and find some Diamonds.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

MGM to declare bankruptcy

Stumbled across this story here. So MGM studios is going to declare bankruptcy this week in a deal with creditors over its multi-billion dollar amount of debt. It's sort of amazing when you think about how long this studio has been around, this quote from the article sums it up nice:

Insolvency amounts to a humiliating comedown for a studio with a back catalogue of 4,000 titles holding 205 Oscars between them

While I'm sure their attorneys are hard at work trying to push through the process quickly, it's already caused a hold up of production on some titles. Now in a perfect world this bankruptcy proceeding would be a wakeup call not just to MGM but to other studios as to how mismanagement, bloated budgets, and lack of creative thinking can lead to this financial situation. A wakeup call that would turn them away from tired sequels and remakes with overpriced stars and more focus on simply making good films.

Sadly however, we all know that we don't live in such a perfect world. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The 11th hour, and no costume for Halloween

Well it's essentially Halloween, and here I am without a clue as to what to dress up as for the get together I'm having with friends/family. I'm notoriously wishy-washy about this sort of thing, and I usually end up just having to improvise at the last minute. One year I took a garbage bag, poked some holes for the head/arms, padded it out a bit by sticking newspapers inside, stuck some banana peels to it, and went to a Halloween party as a trash bag. I was hoping to avoid such a scene this year.

Anyways, drop me some suggestions and tell me what you're dressing up as if you're doing that this year.

The hunt begins

With a bow in hand, I hiked my way up to the surface and was greeted by a moon in the sky and stars all above.  Knowing the time was ripe for a monster hunt, I made my way over to a larger landmass in the distance. Quickly I found a Creeper bouncing along. I was giddy as I safely plucked arrows at it from a distance, not needing to fear an explosive end to the evening. I noticed it dropped a grey lump of something, which I quickly picked up. I had one like it it in my pack for some time, and had been wondering where it came from.

It was then that I recalled the words of a friend I know who plays Minecraft, who spoke of getting gunpowder from Creepers. Now I had a lot more drive and initiative to keep hunting. This initiative was almost brought to a screeching halt when one of those damn skeletons starting sniping at me from a distance. A little fancy footwork later, and the archery battle was won by myself. Dawn broke, and on my way back home, I noticed something off in the distance. Heading over I found it was bamboo.

Note the hairless sheep in the background

Pleased with this little discovery, I grabbed what I could and went back home, killing some pigs along the way for meat. After tending to my wounds and playing around a bit with the bamboo, I found I could craft paper with it.  The day went by with arrow crafting and flint mining, and once the next night began I started my next hunt. This time however, the situation did not look so good...

If you look close you can count 7 skeletons

Skirting the coast for awhile, it seemed it was just skeletons everywhere. I eventually did manage to snag another gunpowder off a Creeper, but it was a disappointing night overall. The dawn did bring this satisfaction though...

I love the smell of flaming skeletons in the morning

Some things came up which cut my play sessions short, but I overall feel like I have a better plan now than I did before. Another thing I'm considering is seeing if I can manage an animal farm perhaps down below. Corralling them in there though might be easier said than done, but an animal/tree farm could help keep me more self-sufficient.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Woman picked up her own head after horse riding accident

Just came across this story about a woman who fell off a horse and suffered a severely broken neck. Instead of being in shock or saying "ouch" like most of us, she went and just grabbed her head and got out of there. From the article:

She tried to get out of the animal's way as it galloped around after the fall, but when she tried to pick herself up, the horrified 26-year-old found her head stayed where it was.

Realising she had to move to avoid being stomped on, Ms Maxfield cupped her hands around her own head and lifted it into place to avoid damaging her spinal cord.

"As soon as I came off the horse I knew something was wrong. I went to get up but my head stayed on the floor,"

Crazy enough as that sounds, she's actually recovered and is back riding horses again. Awesome for her I say, but I'm still having to suppress the nausea from the thought of having to lift up my own snapped neck.

Discoveries and downfalls

After my efforts at taming lava proved moderately successful, I chose to expand my flood operations to encompass some other nearby lava pools. After some trial and error, I managed to ensnare a few other lava pools and convert them to that much darker looking material. Satisfied that it would be mine once I either had the correct pickaxe or some dynamite to blow it up, I went back to my little home nook.

That's however, when everything went wrong. After hearing the plunk of arrows hitting near me, I took cover and tried to spot my foe.

I'm really starting to hate these guys

After spotting him, I did my best battle roar and charged at him. Despite taking some hits, I cut through him, feeling victorious. That feeling died about 10 seconds later as another arrow slammed into me. Before I could spot him, more damage rained down on me. With no pig meat on hand, the situation was bleak, and I had a feeling of inevitability in my gut. Mustering my courage, I rushed him, knowing full well what the result would be. Sure enough I dropped to the ground dead, and I glumly chose to respawn.

Deja Vu

Back at my original starting point with nothing but my fists and shattered pride, I set back out on the long journey home. The trip was quiet, and without incident. Thankfully, I recovered my lost gear in the cave where I had died earlier, although my nemesis was nowhere to be found. Putting that aside, I went and decided to mess around with crafting a bit. It was there I discovered I was quite the numbskull. All this time I had been taking the convoluted route with building stairs, when I could've crafted ready made ones all along.

Feeling the need to take out some frustration on some monsters, I went back above and ran over to another nearby island connected by a sand bridge. The moon was high in the sky, and I felt the thrill of battle pulse in my veins. Quickly I found my prey. Hacking down one of those green Creeper things, I looked around for more. Oh did I find more. About 3-4 of them milling around, with a spider there for good measure. Foolishly I waded into battle, and predictably I died quickly.

Deciding I needed a better battle plan, I trekked back and recovered my items and battered armor, and retreated to my home to lick my wounds. It was then, in the depths of my cavern that I finally crafted a proper bow and some arrows. A smile came over my face as I planned to exact revenge the next time I got on.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Playing with lava

Today's Minecraft exploits were more about experimentation than anything else. Some successful, some not so much. As I explained earlier, my OCD can spring up from time to time, and early on I tried to build a nice little stairway up to the surface. The result however, was less than successful...

Anyone thirsty?

After plugging up this little disaster, I went back down south and tried to find a bit more minerals. I managed to snag a few bits of gold to craft a little gold pickaxe. I had mistakenly thought it would help me with mining some dark deposits I found deep in my mine. That theory went out the window and I was left with a golden paperweight. Deciding to explore some of the nooks in my cave complex, I found a small amount of water flowing down from some of the rocks. Doing a little rough mapping in my head, I estimated that the water was relatively close to some of the lava I found earlier.

In what I decided would be brilliance or idiocy, I decided to see what would happen if I could get the water to flow down onto the lava. Thus began a long and winding effort at carving a path for the water to flow. After much doubt and almost getting swept away by the water, I busted a block open and could see it pour down below. Excitedly I rushed down to find the lava pool was no more, and after sealing off the water for the moment, I was left with this.

Now if only I could actually mine it

With that feather in my cap, I decided that I had better not risk fate and push my luck. Tomorrow I'm going to do a little trial and error research in finding out what I can craft. Yes, I know there's wiki's and guides out there, but I'd like to approach this as unspoiled as possible. I'm the type that values the journey more than the destination.

Shazbot! Starsiege Tribes MMO in the works.

Just got a blast from my past today when I stumbled across this. So much time years ago spent flying around with my rocket pack trying (and failing) to precisely take out people over my 56k connection. Now, this dev team isn't the same from back then, and it being an MMO could mean all sorts of failures and disappointments, but it still gave me a nostalgia rush when I found out about it.

Oh and Alpha signups are available here.

Please be good, please be good...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Obsessions on the side: MapCrunch

When I'm not punching trees or hundreds of feet below the surface looking for minerals, lately I've found myself going to a simple yet addictive site, MapCrunch. It's a basic concept, just randomly toss you to a Google Street View around the world. But that explorer spirit in me can't help but be fascinated by the lure of globe trotting. And they even have Antarctica on there, I mean how awesome is that?

A beautiful day in Switzerland

Monday, October 25, 2010

Somewhere, beyond the sea...

As I suggested in my last post, I had decided to strike out to other mountains to mine in, as my long search downward in my previous home hadn't produced much of anything besides copious amounts of ordinary rock. Well today I decided to throw caution to the wind and simply pick a direction and strike out on it. That choice however led me to a rather large expanse of water. But alas, there was an island out there. Not much to look at on first glance, but I thought "what the heck?" and went for it. After a swim, I found my new island home to contain a rather fascinating hole leading into a cave. Taking the literal plunge, I found it to be curiously roomy, so I began my mining exploits.

I can hear them up there, waiting for me

I was quickly greeted by some Iron deposits, which allowed me to craft a few new items. After I carved out a new home space, I continued downward. Now whether it was coincidence or not, I could've sworn I heard an odd few musical notes play when I stumbled upon another opening. This one led to another roomy expanse, but I quickly followed my gut and mined downward, feeling as though I was close to something. What I was close to ended up to be something rather hot.

Sadly, I forgot to bring marshmallows

Excitement and a bit of trepidation hit me, as I knew I was peeling back another layer to the game. After finding my stone pickaxe to be rather ineffective at mining the reddish deposits nearby, I switched to my Iron one and began some collecting. With that done, I cautiously began poking around a bit more, ever careful not to stupidly bust open some lava lake that'll come spilling out onto me.

It was also around then that I had a run in with a literal room full of monsters. This was more by accident than anything else, as I traced the groans and spidery noises to a one block opening in one of the cave walls. Being the clever (cowardly) person that I am, I killed the zombie and spider from my relative safety. Before I could whoop in triumph however, another Zombie came to the opening, which was then followed by another.

This game is going to be the death of me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The creeping OCD

I tried to ignore it, I tried to say it wouldn't happen this time. But sadly, my obsessive tendencies kicked in and I stopped my descent into the mountain to nitpick over steps. I had simply been digging downward in a style that allowed me to hop back up if need be, but that nagging voice in my head convinced me I needed to retrofit all my past steps to be proper walkways down.

The view from the bottom

Now, this on its own doesn't like a major cause of concern. I mean in the long run I'm making it more efficient, right? But invariably I know this is probably only the beginning. Soon I'll be beating myself up over a stray block of dirt on the side wall looking out of place.

In any case, I managed to get my steps in order, and make a secondary path deep inside the mountain up to the surface. After stacking some blocks above the door to make sure I don't lose track of it, I decided to take a trip back to the first home nook I had. Even after only this short time, I was taken aback by how cramped and awkward it felt to move around there. After grabbing some things from the storage bin, I left to go see the sights around my newer mountain home.

Just a few nightlights.

Taking note of the visible surroundings, I determined that I need to check out some of the other mountains tomorrow. The current one I'm in just isn't offering up the diversity of minerals that I need. I'm sure if I go deep enough I'll hit better things, but I'd at least like to get some better metal for some armor and such. Especially since I've seen one of those green monsters hopping around the area just looking to ruin my day.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Got ancient computer parts in the attic? NASA might be interested.

Just read this over at the New York Times. Apparently NASA has been buying old computer parts like 8086 chips and such on eBay because those nearly 30 year old parts are still the type that are used in the shuttle. Crazy to think that todays wristwatches probably pack parts that have more beef than the sort that are used to help launch people into space.

Clocked at a blistering 4.77MHz

In any case, check those basements and attics and put that "junk" up on eBay, because you never know who might be interested.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting settled vs Exploration

As I literally and figuratively dug a little deeper in Minecraft, I quickly found myself torn between wanting to stick to a home base and wanting to just wander the land looking for that awesome sweet spot. After spending the night making my descent in my home cave a little more orderly and manageable (torches ftw), I decided on a strategy of little home bases scattered over the land, with markers to make returning back actually possible.

I got my head in the clouds

Daybreak came and I trekked up some of the local mountains, finding more than a few possible bases. There was no glittering "DIAMONDS HERE" sign sadly, so I had to just pick a path and stick with it. Finding one interesting looking cave in the side of the mountain ended up in a near fatal path that had me inches from falling. Thankfully after a blunder or two I made it somehow inside.

My relief lasted roughly two seconds though, as I heard the gurgling moan of something less than friendly deeper inside. Poking around with all the courage of a mouse, I stumbled upon my nightmare.

The face of fear

Mustering my courage, I swung my sword gallantly and bobbed and weaved back and forth in a less than elegant display of footwork. A deafening explosion that left me a cripple however was how this fight ended. Stuffing my face with some several day old pig meat somehow helped my health situation. I nearly had relaxed when I heard the same exact disturbing sounds from earlier.

Well hey, I wasn't planning on sleeping any time in the next few days.

Thankfully, my knowledge of the past fight and a little dumb luck left me the victor of the next battle. With that out of the way I started to explore my spacious cave that was situated on the side of the mountain. I can't say for certain what lies below, but I do know that I'm feeling a lot more confident in myself now.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fists of fury

Today I decided to take my first steps in my survival mode Minecraft journey. While indeed there is a multiplayer option, I'm going to start out with the single player for now, just to taste what's possible. I'm taking the step to handicap myself to an extent, by not digging too deep in the wealth of wiki's and guides out there for the game. I've only skimmed enough to get a basic understanding of crafting. How long before I break down and study every facet of the game in order to exploit things to the maximum remains to be seen.

I went ahead and generated a new world and was greeted by a bevy of hills. Immediately my mind sprung into imagining the wealth of minerals and such buried beneath, so I went on my way. But first, I had business to attend to. Punching business. Like most of you, the first thing I do when I find myself in a strange environment is to start punching trees.

I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok...

With my tree punching netting me a bit of wood, I went about scouting for possible habitats. Because one of the things I do know is that come nightfall, I don't want to be caught off guard when the monsters come out. Getting up on higher ground I noticed some good looking candidates in the distance. For the time being, I chose the little cave not far from me. It was bound to have some stone and be more defensible than trying my luck out in the open.

Home sweet home

My hunch was correct, and after a little more wood punching, I poked my head inside the cave. It wasn't much, but it looked like it had some decent stone deposits inside. So after setting up my workbench I made some ramshackle tools and starting mining. I'll admit my lack of knowledge about what items make what started to show a bit, but I pressed on. I found some flint a little deeper down as I was mining, so I considered making a bit of fire, but I was alright in the dark so far, so I collected some stone and made a furnace to start refining some things.

Soon enough it was night, and I quickly decided to cobble together a wooden wall and door to give me at least the illusion of security. I took the time to mine a bit deeper and use the furnace a bit more. Caution was the name of my game, as recklessly mining into a pit of lava wasn't the sort of thing I was too keen on. By morning I had some materials I hadn't a whole lot of clue what to do with, and some stone tools and a sword. With daylight also came exploration and animal cruelty. I wanted some new threads to go with my new cave home, and the poor blocky creatures that inhabited this world would have to suffer to appease that.

The death blow

And with that, real life called and I cut short my digital expedition for the day. I'm aware I didn't accomplish much, but it's a start.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The obligatory welcome

Hello all, and welcome to my little corner of the blog world. It's not much, but it's a home of sorts. You may ask, a home to what? And to that I'd say it's simply a home to what consumes me at the moment. I'd like to use this blog as a sort of journal for my adventures in Minecraft.

If you haven't heard of Minecraft by now from friends or others on the internet, I'll simply point you to its main website and let you explore from there. Needless to say it's a little game/experience that's gripped more than a few people with its simple yet appealing nature. Having dabbled a bit in the simpler, free version offered there, I decided to take the plunge and purchase the game to get my hands on the newer Alpha version that offers the more challenging "Survival Mode".

But this blog likely won't be only focused on Minecraft, as I'd also like to use it to bring light to other topics or stories of interest from time to time. In any case, I hope you stop by from time to time.