Minecraft is a fun game and The Hunger Games are a fun series of books – put them together and you get a digital Battle Royale. It’s actually called Hungercraft and it’s a popular enough idea that a few places are hosting Hungercraft games as you read this.
Like in the books, you’re given a time limit on game length (in Hungercraft it’s a clear time limit) and only one person can come out victorious. Unlike in the movie, a forced love story is not required.
The people at Minecraft Hunger Games sell kits (equipment, food, or some combination) that will help you win the competition. Just like the sponsors could buy support for their district’s champions. Games are happening all the time on their servers.
At HungerCraft there is a whole community with regular competitions. They even track stats from one game to the next.
A few times I’ve wanted to explore my Minecraft server maps in third-party applications (like MCMap Live) and have had to deal with .MCB files.
After fooling around with this a few times I feel the need to document this for my own sanity.
1. Download the free Stuffit Expander (I found this to be the only app that worked)
2. Rename the extension on your downloaded Minecraft file from .mcb to .zip
3. Unzip the file using Stuffit Expander. You may have to right click the .zip file and select Open With…
4. You should now see a folder that looks like this:
TL;DR The only way that worked was to change the .mcb to .zip, unzip it then use Stuffit Expander.
This might be the neatest experimental Minecraft mod that I’ve seen: AMEE mod, essentially carbon emissions in Minecraft. The mod tracks what you burn and then contacts AMEE to figure out how much carbon to toss into the atmosphere.
This might be a good way to teach about ecosystems and Earth’s atmosphere.
Of course, it’s not just wood. Loads of things burn, and not just in furnaces. The hack supports combustion of almost anything in minecraft; wood, planks, coal, tree saplings, and so on. I even put in some calculations for setting fire to cows (as any Minecraft player knows, an effective way to quickly get cooked beef). Even the hostile mobs like creepers have their emissions mapped (mostly to generic biomass calculations). I also added redstone (like electricity) emissions using AMEE’s realtime UK national grid data.
Minecraft is awesome and everyone should play it – there I said it.
One of the things that makes Minecraft so appealing is how Notch (the main brain behind the game) and the rest of the team at Mojang engage with their community. They are active on Reddit and elsewhere, but what caught my eye recently was a blog post of Notch’s.
Notch mentions that he spent the weekend coding, which is not the most fun thing to be doing during the weekend, but he finds some joy in it. He then goes on to mention that what he was working on had some unexpected side-effects that inspired more game development.
I really enjoy how open he is to acknowledging the serendipitous things that occur while fumbling along designing a game.
Here’s the part I’m referring to:
I was exploring a forest biome, hit upon a river cutting through it, and walked over a small hill. On the other side, a wolf was chasing a sheep, but the sheep was running away. I didn’t have this in mind when I wrote the code to make mobs flee, but it ended up giving me an unexpected experience of having some kind of echo system of competing behaviors in various animals, and it just felt.. nice. It made me realize we should explore more mob to mob interactions, and have more chaotic competing behavior.