‘Minecrack’ – Hater to Addict

I have to start off by saying, “I was a Minecraft hater.”

My House in Minecraft

Yes, I was that guy. I always criticized my friends saying, “Oh you play that?!” I couldn’t understand why anybody could stand the atrocious graphics and the whole ‘mining/digging’ thing. Furthermore, I really didn’t understand why anybody would PAY for a beta. I mean now that part makes a little more sense since it’s like a pre-order perk, and the game is finally nearing release. Regardless I just couldn’t figure it out.

Then, I played the game…

My eyes were opened. It didn’t very long from when I hopped into the multiplayer version of the game till I built an Ubuntu box just to run our very own TBM Gaming Minecraft server. The gameplay is truly addictive. Sure you start with nothing and you have to punch some dirt and make some tools. Sounds exciting, right? No? Well I guess you’re right. The real fun comes from the open ended creativity that the game allows for. Think of it like a giant LEGO board. The possibilities are limitless. You can create anything that you wanted to. Sure you start with a house to protect yourself from zombies, skeleton archers, creepers, and endermen, but after that you’re free to go wild.

You have easy access to many types of building materials such as dirt, wood, stone, iron, and brick. You can use these to build your creation in a variety of different environments including swamps, plains, deserts, oceans, mountains, and snow covered biomes. Want to create that tiny beach hut? Go right ahead… or maybe you want to work together with some friends and create a giant skyscraper! The possibilities are endless.

Redstone Lighting System

If that wasn’t enough, one of the items that take the game to the next level is redstone. Redstone allows you to create circuits that can power doors, pistons, mine cart tracks, and other things. This can be used to create something as simple as a switch for a door, to a light switch, to a full blown CPU. (Search Minecraft CPU on YouTube to see what I mean!) Redstone helps bring the game to life and adds that extra layer of depth that makes it all the more immersive.

If the creative aspect is appealing but doesn’t fully convince you to try the game, there is an ever-growing adventure aspect. The game has monsters which spawn at night or in dark places, which will attack you. You can build armor and weapons to defend and fight back against these creatures. The latest patches have even added mineshafts to explore filled with poisonous spiders. The developers are planning on adding even more content including XP, skill ups, and NPC villages. There is even the possibility of having quests. (Note: some of these things are already included via mods that you can install on a server. We’re running McMMO which includes XP gains and skills.) Again, the possibilities for this game are pretty much limitless.

Regular vs HD Texture Pack

The graphics in the game are very basic and may be a deal breaker for some people. I understand the frustration of that, but luckily there is a solution. The game allows for custom texture packs, and with a few game tweaks you can even use HD texture packs! The difference is dramatic, and as long as you have enough memory to support it, I would highly recommend downloading one of the HD texture packs. If you don’t mind the retro graphics there are plenty of non-HD texture packs to download as well. I’m sure you’ll find one that suits your style.

HD Texture Pack vs Regular

It is important to note that there are two versions of Minecraft. The single-player version is free but does not allow multiplayer/online capabilities. If you enjoy just playing by yourself then you don’t need to spend any money. You can set it on creative mode if you want and you don’t even have to worry about collecting materials or fighting monsters. You can just fly around and build being as creative as you want. However, I do still highly recommend the multi-player version. It does come at a cost, but if you buy it before release you get a discounted price. The paid version allows you to play on multiplayer servers where you can team up with friends. I think the interaction with your friends in addition to being able to pool resources, work together, or even just show off your creations to your friends is well worth the money. I think the community aspect of Minecraft is one of the strongest points, and I find it very fulfilling when you finally complete a large group project. Choice is yours, but I strongly suggest the paid version.

Zelda Fairy Fountain

So there you have it. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, and I think this is a perfect example. Minecraft is way deeper (mining pun intended) than it appears. Once you start playing and experience the creative and adventure aspects of the game, you will be hooked. Don’t take my word for it, go download it for yourself and give it a whirl!

About Michael Wada

- Musician / Podcaster / Gamer