About a week ago, I decided I was trying to play too many games at once.
I was running two accounts on EvE, getting to level 80 on WoW, trying the open beta of Final Fantasy XIV and playing nightly bouts of Team Fortress 2. It might not sound like a lot, but playing three MMOs, and trying to make decent progress in all three can be quite wearing.
So I decided to add another game to the pile. What harm could it do, eh?
I’d been after buying Minecraft for a while. I had first played it a few months back, around the Easter hols. The lovely people over at PC Gamer had pointed me in that direction, and ever-loyal dog that I was, I happily padded to it, wagging my tail all the way. Ten minutes later, I had convinced friends to try, and we spent a few happy hours constructing useless things, trying to reach the top of the map, getting lost in the huge levels, and removing blocks from under peoples feet so they fell to the bottom. We built a giant wall and write our names on it. One guy stayed up until 4am finishing it off. Much fun was had by all.
And the next day, we forgot about it and never really bothered to go back on it.
In the months in-between, I was aware of a certain quiet busyness coming from that quiet corner of the web. Again, PC Gamer kept me updated and I slowly began to feel interested in the game again. I heard of a survival mode, where the objective was to build a house during the day, and fend off hordes of ravening zombies at night. I heard of a multiplayer version of this. I heard that it was only available to those people who bought the game.
Starved for cash, as any student is (especially one with such a thirst for MMOs), I scornfully threw it aside.
Later, I returned to the site at looked deeper. I found that it would be cheaper to buy now than at release, not to mention that I would get everything released for it in the future for free. Vague movements began to start from my trousers – my wallet, of course – and I began to seriously think about buying a game in the alpha stages that looked like it was from the wrong end of the nineties.
And being so easily distracted, I bought it. I knew I had many other games to play, including the limited time open beta for FFXIV, but I didn’t care. I wanted to play Minecraft, and I thought it’d be a game that filled small gaps between MMOs.
How wrong I was. I played a few hours on my first sitting, and it only got worse from there. The first day was spent just exploring, wondering when the zombies turned up. The preceding night was spent running from said zombies, and dying to the skeletons with unexplainable crossbows. You learn to weave in Minecraft. After that I learned about Creepers – creepy green penis-looking things that explode if you stay close to them for too long. Jewish psychologist, much? Oh, and lets not forget the spiders that are the fastest fucking things in the world. Apparently, you can come across skeletons riding the evil hell-spawned arachnids, but I haven’t had the misfortune to come across them. Yet.
My first night complete, I set to constructing my legacy! Armed with nothing more than my fists, I started digging into the earth, gaining many bricks of dirt in the process. Oddly, even though I found stone, I couldn’t seem to gain any blocks of stone to build with. After some confused Googling, I came across the Minecraft community wiki, Minepedia. If you’re looking towards getting Minecraft, bookmark that page. It is invaluable. The crafting system is simple, but unintuitive. But once you have the trick of it, you’ll wonder how you couldn’t figure it out to begin with.
So, wooden pickaxe in hand – not gonna bore you with the details of how I made it, or why (read the wiki page, you lazy bums) – I set about constructing my first building. One problem; wooden pickaxes don’t last very long, so I was back before long, looking for materials to make a new one. Now armed with several, I went back to my mine, now a comfortable distance underground. Ten minutes later, I returned with a few stacks of stone and a plan. Unfortunately, the sun had set and an opportunistic zombie who couldn’t believe his luck got to bite my head off. But no problem! I respawned a few feet away and got to reclaim my booty before outrunning the poor decomposing soul. I spent that night running around, dodging arrows, spiders, and the occasional explosion before the sun rose (sunlight kills zombies and skeletons, and makes spiders non-aggressive). With the sun fully up, I could begin my construction. A two stone high wall was all that was needed to keep the beasties out, and a fetching wooden door sealed my entrance. A glass roof constructed from heated sand finished the job, and I basked in the glow of a job well done. I had survived my first few nights (sort of), and constructed my house all on my own (sort of).
I had some stone left over.
So I decided to build a statue of myself as a tribute to the great builder that I obviously was.
Of course, the next day, I was working on it, and a Creeper got close enough to blow me up and half of my statue. And then another got the side of my house.
So I made a sword. Some bitches needed telling whose land this was.
“Get orf moi land!”
Minecraft is available now for the low low price of €9.95, (or about £8 or $11) from the website. Don’t forget, it’s 50% off during alpha, so although you’ll have to live with the various bugs and glitches, you’ll get it for cheaper than when it finally gets released. Happy mining!