Hey, they said, play this Minecraft game. Yeah, it's solo play for now but they'll make it into an mmo later and you'll for once be ahead of the learning curve when they do... hey. Play Minecraft.
Well I've been ignoring Them for years so I did not. I took a look over someone's shoulder and saw a kind of Legolike world and blocks being put up in endless rows of walls and went meh. Not For Me. I don't care if there are flowers and trees and crafting and it's browser based... NFM.
But you know that I can't resist the charms of a persistent yet witty friend, even if they are urging me towards my doom. I finally went to the site and downloaded the trial version. Tiny download - seamless install. Very rudimentary screen and a few vague choices about what kind of environment I want to create and I pick at random and start the game. Suddenly I'm in a small house, 2 torches flaming away on the wall and that's it. One hole in the wall that serves as the door. Meh.
There's a bar across the bottom of the screen and that's it as far as the interface. I hit the E key and a popup shows up - inventory. I can drag things apparently onto the bottom bar via the inventory - and there's a set of 4 squares at the top of the popup window for crafting. After coming from a frenzied EQ2 raid I was more than meh... I mean.. where was the cool skill bar and uber popup windows?
It's a sunny day outside and I wander out into a rather engaging landscape. Trees, flowers, grassy hills, water, sand, stone, cliffs, pigs, sheep... and everything is made of blocks it seems. It's a pretty easy world to immerse yourself into in spite of the square nature of things and I meander a bit looking at this and that and then decide to hit something since that is pretty much all I could do at the time. Being the kind, gentle soul that I am, I hit a flower. POP. The flower goes kaboom and when I move close enough there's a pop and it appears in my inventory.
OK - so that's kinda fun.
I hit a tree. POP. Wood in my inventory. Dirt gets kapowed - POP. I'm running around giggling and hitting everything POP POP POP and ignoring my friend tapping me on the shoulder and saying "Save.. hey save... listen.. save." every 2 minutes. Suddenly I notice that there's a definite lessening of light... it's getting to be night! I'm still happy and kaboinging around - my friend is now sighing and shaking his head. It gets dark and this sorta moon thing rises like a bit of undigested .. yeah you get the picture. I start hearing this crunch crunch crunch sound....
And I'm dead. Kaput - screen asks if I want to load a file or create a new one. Of course... I had not saved so no file to load. Create a new one... random selection again and this time I walk out the door of my two torches house and I'm on a large island floating mid air - and I start hollering cause clearly this one I need to save. Amazing experience walking out of that house and finding myself in a floating world. Saving apparently means plopping a file onto your own drive - very smart.
So... about that dead thing. Wha? This time I actually listen to my buddy and go inside when night falls. I block up the door opening with dirt and then stand there, listening to the crunch of footsteps all around the house and realize I've no idea when it will be light outside because I can't see out. All I can do is listen to the relentless patrolling of evil that is going on outside and feel my unease mount. Can they dig? Do they know I'm in here? How do I get out without them mobbing me? What if they find my now quite clearly dirt doorway? How many are there? What do they look like?
Will I ever kaboom a flower again?????
(to be continued)