Minecraft: The Basics by Shane Hamelin

Shane Hamelin, CompuQuest Tech ExpertMINECRAFT 101 “The Basics”….

The two most asked / common questions I get from parents and others are:
What is this Minecraft thing that has my children hooked and playing every day?
I’ve heard so much about it from friends, what is it and how can I play?

Now remember, these questions come from men, women, old and young. Seems this is the new “Hot” game for the moment.  I say new but Minecraft has been around for a while, 3 years to be exact.  It’s gone through several stages of alpha and beta testing over the last couple years.  Ok, don’t want to get to “geeky” for you, alpha and beta testing are game developing stages that take the current game build and put it out to the public for testing before release. It’s a standard practice for all games before release, free public quality testing and feedback? GENIUS I TELL YOU!

First thing, before we go forward… This is going to be as short and sweet as I can make it.  There is just way too much to learn about Minecraft. I will hit the key points and then set you lose upon the blocky fields of Minecraft.

Minecraft is available to several formats, iOS, Android, PC Desktop, Xbox 360 and finally Raspberry Pi (Linux). This version (Raspberry Pi) is for educational uses, people that want to open the game code, learn and play with making changes. Minecraft will set you back around $30, which if you think about it, probably the cheapest entertainment you can find.

Gameplay in most game modes of Minecraft consists mainly of adding and destroying a variety of different blocks in a randomly generated world. With these blocks, players can manipulate the world around them, building and destroying structures. Gameplay in Minecraft is so open and unguided, players often set their own goals and play the game as they see fit. There are several game modes available and most can be played either single-player or with friends on a multi-player server.

Survival: Players have to gather all their materials to build, craft and gain experience points. There is a health, hunger and armor bar, an inventory and, when underwater, an oxygen bar.

Adventure: Players can interact with objects such as levers and buttons, and can interact with mobs. However, they can only break blocks with the correct tools, making this mode good for adventure maps.

Creative: A player will have access to an infinite amount of all blocks and items available, and can destroy them instantly. Players are invulnerable and do not have health, armor, or hunger, and can fly.

Hardcore: (not recommended for new players) In this mode, which plays in the same way as Survival mode, the difficulty level is permanently set to “Hard” and the map must be deleted upon the player’s death.

I’ve listed the gameplay modes above, but trust me… There is much more to this little gem then just that. I found a very cool description on “How do I explain gameplay to people”

“ It’s a game that half exists in the users own imagination, as such screen-shots and
videos can struggle to give you an accurate representation of what it’s like playing it.

It’s like this; Right now I’m spelunking caves in a newly generated world, and I plan to link them up via tunnels to create a huge underground dungeon where I can store all my loot. Later I’ll probably set up a mono-rail station above ground so I can travel by train to the various points in my underground network.

However at any point I can decide this is boring and build a concrete spider 80 foot long looming over my base. Or I could get bored of that and decide to see how much TNT I can stuff in to a mountain and detonate all at once. Or I can later decide that huge explosions are not for me and instead I will set sail at the first Lake I come across and start new buildings on its shore. Or maybe half way through the lake ride I could get bored and decide to pile sand in the middle to form my own personal island. Or I could change my mind and… And do whatever I want to do.

It’s impossible to get bored playing, because you can decide at any point to do anything else in the game world. However Minecraft is unique, because unlike other games where you have such a grand sense of freedom it is still quite challenging. At night monsters roam the world, and to get rare materials you have to dig down in to caverns containing unseen terrors. And unknown to you, that diamond seam you’re happily digging in to contains a sizeable pocket of lava on the other side…”

Credit: TheBeast “tomusher” website: giantbomb

In conclusion, you might see a “FREE” version.  Do Not use this version. It’s the very first release of Minecraft, in its original form. This is not what people are playing. Go ahead and drop that $30 to a small “Indie” game company that put out so great work with Minecraft and a few other games. You can find them here: https://minecraft.net

And make sure you check out the Minecraft Wiki , it’s a wonderful website with everything you can read, kind of a Minecraft “all you can eat” buffet.  The two areas you want to read most about? Crafting and Furnace.

Enjoy!

Shane
Internet Advisor Show

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