Monday, August 13, 2012

Idea: Minecraft, Bases

I would like a mod for Minecraft that does the following...

When you create your world, you start next to your "base". The base is a obelisk of some sort, or maybe a magical tree, or something similar. Something stationary. Once built, it cannot be moved.

The mod would add a lot of monsters and animals, and maybe resources. Some of the monsters are basic ones, like the one's already in Minecraft, and the others will be more and more difficult.

Now, the "base" obelisk erects an area around it, stretching 200-500 meters or more, that gradually decreases the difficulty of monsters spawned in that area. The farther you get from your base, the harder your encounters will become (or, technically, the less decreased the difficulty of the encounters will be).

Also, the farther away from the starting point of the server you get, the encounters will get generally harder and the resources and treasures should be generally better. This gradient should stretch over several thousands of meters. Some resources might not be found at all around the very start. Base obelisks does not affect the resources, only the difficulty of monster encounters.

You should be able to build a "base" obelisk. This is a process. Let's take a magical base tree as an example. You first need to plant it using a special seed that you've found somewhere. Maybe you must enchant it as well, or something. When you've planted it, you must grow it. Using some sort of relatively difficulty-to-get-yet-attainable resource, you feed it either directly or through some sort of internal "inventory". With time and player presence, this will grow. The more it grows, the farther and stronger its "encounter easification field" will grow. However, before its become a real trunk and not just a growing sprout, it will even attract  a steady raid of monsters, so you will have to protect it while feeding it. The tree will then need both water and sun to not wither.

From time to time, there should be light enemy raids, even in the "safe" areas. The tree should be a main target for these raids. If it gets damaged, the remaining pieces of it will wither and the safe area will fail. How this will work with no players around, I'm not sure. Maybe it would feel Ok if the raids came only with players around. You'll probably want to be in the area a lot of the time, since it's an area of general safety for mining and building. The enemy raids should be fairly light. Nothing armageddon-like as that would defeat the purpose of erecting a safe area.

The Nether could be similar, but require another way (or no way) of building such a "base" obelisk. Maybe its difficulty should simply scale with distance from a portal, and nothing more, making it hostile as it should be.

A mod like this will make it important to get further away from safety if you wish to find good resources. More difficult monsters will yield better rewards when killed, but will hamper you if you wish to harvest the natural resources in the area. You will have to erect well protected bases here and there with a base obelisk if you want to make the area habitable and workable which will probably be worth it, but you'll have to travel further away from that safety in order to find the lucrative monsters. The mod would also make it important to work together. It could possibly even increase the density of encounters by a factor based on how many players are in the area or on the server.

Apart from the new monsters and resources, this should not be that tricky a mod to make. It would give the game a more tangible and acute sense of progression. Granted, the progression would still be limited in how many interesting monsters and resources you can throw into the system, but still. I seldom fight monsters when looking for diamonds in Minecraft. Or clay, or fine wood, or plants or anything. My biggest fear is falling into lava and as long as you don't mine downwards you're always fairly safe.

EDIT: Similarly, monsters could have their own bases that increase their numbers and strength in the area. If we use the tree as an example, they could have their own decayed and moldy version of it that they protect with powerful monsters. Maybe it doesn't even need sun to grow, to make it more interesting and hard to find. These bases are rare and generally just generated when the world is. They may, when destroyed, drop something extremely rare that does something arcane and awesome. Perhaps a seed to a giant bean stalk, or fertilizer that allows the players to grow a tree in the Nether, or something. Something really worth getting.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Counting Cheap cards.

I can't sleep. Naturally, because I've been awake since 5 and the time is now closing in on 1 in the middle of the night. Why not. And yes, that's in "military time". We don't do "pm" or "am" over here. 5 is five and can only occur once every 24 hours.

So, what did I do today? I went with my partner to look at a couple of apartments. A not so fantastic one and a pretty awesome one. It's located a bit off, but it's a nice apartment and has a lot of diverse cultures living in the area, something I personally feel is fascinating.

I also put an order for 2000 blank poker cards from The Game Crafter website. It was a sale, where each card cost 1 cent each, so I bought 2000 cards for $20, plus shipping for $25. Why would I buy 2000 blank poker cards? I'm a game designer. I've wanted cards like this for a long time to easily prototype stuff. I have plenty of ideas and an excel sheet with 10 different interdependent balancing tables to prove it. Soon I'll have prototypes to prove it, too.

Actually, I put in an order for 3500 cards, and the other 1500 cards and a fold-out gaming board were for a couple of friends who joined in to make the shipping less painful.

And also, work.

So I'm pretty exhausted. And I can't sleep. Clock rings in 4 hours. I went to bed... 4 hours ago. Oh, fun. Knowing myself I won't be able to sleep in another hour. Because, of course.

I wonder, what would be the harm in a cup of hazelnut coffee at this point. My "tomorrow" is fucked either way.