those of you not into minecraft can safely tune out now.
*waves to the three of you remaining*. ;)
soon after i've had the idea of making a new server for the paramour, the poing, and a couple of other friends, the idea has been taking on a life of its own. we all play on a vanilla server now, but i am dissatisfied with that because what i really want is to play OUR game, but our game is so far away still. so i've been pondering how to turn minecraft as much as possible into our game. it's actually a useful exercise because it shows issues we might otherwise not discover.
the way the three of us play is different for each, but there is enough overlap to make building a server fun instead of frustrating. i've been looking for mods that'd work for all of us (and that will play nicely together, which is harder), because we all have played vanilla minecraft (vMC)for a long time now, and have kinda of worn it out. we want more blocks to mine, more recipes for things to build, a better tech tree, more epic terrain. i'll leave the handwringing about how hard it is to get various mods to work together for another post. for now i have settled on CraftBukkit (CB)
as my server platform because it is the most mature and has an actual API (something vMC is as yet missing).
one of my favourite things to do is to explore -- whichever game i play, that's the first thing i do, and oftentimes that'll remain my main character's "profession". so of course that's what i do in minecraft too, when i am not building. vMC's terrain generator is getting better, but it's still a far cry from great, so i've played around with in-game editors such as WorldEdit
. and i've been looking at world generators, with an emphasis on those that allow me to guide the generation to some degree. there's WorldPainter
, which is great fun for precisely editing sections of terrain from outside the game, complete with 3D preview. i will definitely use that. but for generating the bulk of the terrain, i'm opting for procedural. the most flexible by far is the little-known TerrainControl (TC)
. go ahead, gaze at the epicness. awesome, isn't it?
so i'm in the process of creating the base world map now, the outlines of which i am borrowing from various real-world islands. even though some of the terrain will be epically impossible in real life, i still want the whole to seem possible. it looks like WorldPainter might import heightmaps, which would be awesome -- i could get google earth terrain or interesting dem files for special spots on the map.
something that's becoming clear to me is that real-world distances won't work, for several reasons. one is that one can't see very far in minecraft even on a clear day. the other is that even with interesting terrain, it still has limited interest because it has so little life and few things to find other than caves and ores, even if i populate it with extra tree types. i think i will need to create an ancient civilization that has left ruins, so people wandering can find something unexpected. and i'll need to compress the oceans, because while they'll look great when looking at a print of the map, in-game those distances become huge swaths of unrelieved, blue dullness.