Diary of a Minecraft Blockhead
An intrepid GameSpot editor and friends play Minecraft for the first time. This is their story.
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Entry One: Of Caves and Fire
In the past year I've seen a fair share of Minecraft videos on YouTube. Some were cool, many were boring, and I'll be honest: watching Minecraft videos was a pretty helpful sleeping agent whenever I wanted to bore myself to sleep. I understood the appeal, though, but I didn't have a burning desire to play.
It wasn't until I received the code as a gift recently from my partner in crime--who graciously set up a server for a group of us to play--that I realized how easily I was able to get sucked into this world, especially when there are several people in a game, goofing around. I love how the crafting system is set up, so I'm always looking for new things to make. I don't think it would be as fun if I were playing on my own, though. Mining is so much faster when you have someone helping you. I don't spend too much time down in the mines because I get kind of claustrophobic in the tunnels, so the boys dig while I stay up top trying to make cakes (wait, since when did I become a stereotype?).
What's hilarious is that something goes wrong whenever we play. Mainly, it's because we're all still very new to this, and we're exploring and messing around. I usually end up luring a creeper (green monsters that explode) near or into the house by accident, and it takes out chunks of the house. It's pretty funny when the guys come up and ask why there's now a skylight and half the walls are missing. Oops!
So this is the path leading up to my first house ever. OK, it's a cave home, but it's a safe cave home! And it has a waterfall! And flowers! My friend Brian decided to leave a message on the side of the mountain. If you're wondering what that big tower is, it was a marker that Kim put in so we would know how to find our house again in case we got lost. Of course, it didn't help when I wandered too far and couldn't see it anymore and had to get teleported back.
Brian thought doing some controlled burns was a good idea to clear out the foliage. Then he decided to build a lavafall outside the house.
He also came up with the bright idea of building a lava moat to keep the enemies out. Except that it was too close to my wheat farm and caused my fence (and some random tree he planted) to catch on fire. That's Brian running away, and me with a bucket, thinking I could put it out with water.
Then things really started to get out of hand when Brian decided to replace his lavafall with a waterfall. Lava and water were just spewing all over the place.
I decided to move my farm down a little and protect it with glass. Someone thought it would be funny to call it "Sophia's Pot Farm," but it was changed.
While the rest of the group tried to keep the fire under control, I was doing a little redecorating indoors. Paintings are randomly generated, but eventually we managed to get the ones we wanted. Can you tell what games those paintings are from?
That's it for the first entry. Back to more wheat harvesting. I'm trying to make bread and eventually make a map so the guys don't get lost when they're wandering.
Entry Two: An Explosive Situation
So I told myself that I wouldn't cheat in Minecraft (cheating means using admin powers to get items). It's like giving yourself an unlimited amount of cash in SimCity, but cheating in Minecraft also gives you more time to focus on building your empire, bypassing the need to find the materials first. If you look at all of those crazy Minecraft houses out there (see video below for an example of Minecraft crazy), I doubt that all of that wood was farmed to make the mansions, but if it was, then kudos to you. I don't have that kind of time, unfortunately.
I have been using the teleport ability to save time instead of walking, and it comes in handy when someone in our party needs some immediate saving from the perils of our Minecraft world. I was getting tired of tracking down sheep, dyeing, and then shaving them. I did manually harvest the wool for the most part, but cyan wool takes a lot more time! You know how it goes. Once you decide to go that route, there's no turning back.
I checked the item list a while back in the Minecraft wiki and noticed that there was TNT. I've never collected enough gunpowder (and likely never will) to actually make this stuff, so why not just use my magical admin powers to get some TNT?
Right before we decided to blow up the mountain, we realized that it would kill us, so we should build a long fuse line. This was it. Also, I clearly don't trust my friends, so I built this tower and decided to watch from here. This is the before picture.
Obviously, this is the after picture. And here is some video of the whole thing.
There are some benefits to blasting the world to smithereens. I have a much better view of the sunrise now.
And you can create cool waterfalls (I almost died here, though)!
So this is what my shelter looked like before that side wall was partially obliterated. See that full bed in the corner? Yeah, that became a twin after the TNT went off.
While my friends were busy trying to blast a path straight down to the center of the earth, I tamed a few wolves. This guy came to my rescue when I was ambushed by a zombie on my front lawn. How it even got in is anyone's guess, but my friends have a tendency to leave the front door open. At any rate, my poor wolf died, and even though I had tamed several of them, he was the only one who showed up. Rest in peace, poor wolf.
That's it for now. Stan wasn't on, so we thought it would be wrong to blow up his place while he wasn't there. Instead, we left a surprise for him.
At this point, we're thinking of starting a GameSpot Minecraft server where the fine folks of our community can jump in and build a world with us. What do you think?
Entry Three: A Hole New World
After destroying pretty much all the usable land around our spawn point, we decided to just blow up the rest of our buildings and start anew. No cheating. But in the meantime, we had some TNT to get rid of!
Our compatriot Stan wanted to get in on the fun, so he started redecorating his interior. Also, this was his house, so it is only fair that he do it.
I helped with the outside.
Meanwhile, fellow Minecraft adventurer Brian decided to blow up the rest of our structures, but somehow he managed to light the TNT by accident, and the whole thing blew up…while he was still inside. And here's a video of that right here.
Anyway, Stan was ready to light his place up, and Brian volunteered to be the one to light it on the roof since he died anyway and lost all his stuff. Here's the before picture.
And here's the after picture.
This is where Stan's house used to be. I fell down this hole by accident.
Once we got all that TNT stuff out of our system, we decided to start a new world--start fresh, no cheating, just us and our bare hands. Wait, is Stan still holding some TNT?
There was some debate as to what we should keep and what rules we should play by. We tried to establish some form of government. After all, this is technically Kim's server.
Negotiations went south, and then things got out of hand when our other members started hitting each other--a mutiny was afoot!
I decided to stay out of it, but as soon as the sun started to go down, I looked up and saw that everything was on fire.
Then this guy showed up. Uh oh.
Note: GameSpot is hosting a Community Game night on Friday, August 12 at 5pm PST. Please join the chat room listed in here and we'll give you guys the IP when it starts. Come join us! And play nice! Who knows, you might even end up in the next entry!
Entry Four: Extreme Makeover - Home Edition
Previously on Diary of a Minecraft Blockhead, there was some "debate" on how we were going to start over on this new island. Well, we all agreed to dump our items and start over--no armor, no diamond pickaxes, and no TNT!
Kim had a hard time letting go of his armor, but I let him keep a gold helmet because it's his server.
With that, we were off to build our new civilization from scratch! As we ventured out from the safety of our compound, we discovered that our new location was bustling with life, including plenty of livestock on our front lawn. Unfortunately, when nighttime arrived, the zombies, spiders, and creepers came out in full force. But most of us built our homes relatively close to each other so we could help each other out in the event of an emergency. It turned out to be a good idea because the first night was eventful. Several of us huddled together in this tiny shack because we were being attacked by just about every enemy that exists in Minecraft.
I went outside to check the damage from that night's assault. Luckily for us, nothing was blown to bits, but there were a lot of arrows sticking out of the side of the house.
I know this doesn't look like much...alright, so I live in a shoebox, but I just wanted to get some kind of shelter up. The expansion will come later.
I tried to get wheat and sugar cane farms going. Someone thought it would be funny to label this as an "Opium Farm."
Brian, a fellow Minecraft adventurer, is the real-life designer of the group and is always coming up with interesting housing ideas. This is the beginning of his floating pyramid.
We had another friend, Aram, join the server. His goal was to build an arboretum upstairs.
Mike and some guy by the name of portabello also joined our server. They built a modest wooden home across from my farm. There's a creeper problem in the area, though, and I've lost count as to how many times they've had to patch up their house and their front lawn.
Eventually, my shoebox turned into a giant H! I honestly don't know what I'm doing here, but trust me, this will get better.
Minecraft Game Night Recap
Last Friday, GameSpot hosted a Minecraft Game Night, and it was a resounding success! There was only one minor mishap that involved missing jack-o'-lanterns, but it was resolved and everyone continued. For those who missed it, I'm sorry you couldn't make it, but I'll be sure to host another one soon so you can join in on the fun. The server has been saved, so for those who are interested in returning to their homes or mines, you can do so.
I thought I'd share some photos from that evening and highlight some of the interesting things that I came across.
Most people were Minecraft veterans so everyone had their own custom skins. Although just be warned, when these guys put up "NO TRESPASSING" signs, they actually mean it. But still, be considerate to others, and if someone is bothering you, tell me and I will handle it.
I don't know what cracks me up more--the fact that this guy is in a secret agent outfit and is mesmerized by a tree or that Jody (xpcaligirl) has two pork chops.
This guy wanted his picture taken, so here you go KaptanCarros69!
This was Jody's first time playing. She got the hang of planting flowers really quickly.
This was my favorite skin of the night. I love Raphael. [Editor's note: Raphael is cool but rude.]
We had a lot of people come and go throughout the evening, but I wanted to get a group photo. It's hard to get a large group of people together in Minecraft. It was like herding cats.
That's me, trying to take a good photo.
The final shot. Wait, what's up with that sheep?
Creepers also decided to make an appearance.
I've never actually played in a snowy area before, so I was enjoying the evening view from the top of a mountain.
TechnoStanczyk made a cute little home for himself.
A lot of us spent a good amount of time on the frozen lake. Someone even dug a hole all the way down to the bedrock! As you can see here, there were several projects going on, so it was pretty busy. In fact, there were times when I'd camp out on the lake and then switch to another window. When I came back, some people tried to drown me. Thanks guys.
Despite that, I had a great time and hope to do it again soon!