I’m one of those gamers who never played Minecraft… until last week. Of course, I knew some things about it and saw other people play it here and there. But I didn’t have a copy for myself.
I started getting interested in Minecraft by reading some of The Ancient Gaming Noob’s posts over time. Being that I enjoyed sandboxes, there really wasn’t an excuse for me not to try it, though I wasn’t sure if I could get used to the blocky aesthetics.
When Minecraft released on Wii U last year, I kicked around the idea in earnest. I came pretty close to picking it up a few times, but always hesitated because I wasn’t sure if the Wii U was the version I would get the most out of in the end. So, I kept putting it off, mulling it over, doing some research, and just never made up my mind.
Well, Jeromai wrote about the Minecraft: Regrowth mod last week and it got my interest. The idea of bringing the land back to life through your own efforts just sounds super cool. So I poked around looking at that mod, which led me to looking briefly at other mods. No too much because I wanted to leave some discovery for later. I knew I’d made up my mind. I was getting the PC version.
I decided I wanted to play and learn about vanilla Minecraft before adding on other stuff. I’m sure there’s plenty of fun in the base game itself, and knew that later I could always expand to something else. I think this was a good choice, because there still feels like there’s a whole lot to learn.
Going into this, I knew just a few things about Minecraft:
- You mine
- You craft
- Creepers are bad
- Night is dangerous
And that’s it.
So, I fired up the game, set up my first little vanilla map, zoned in and instantly went to work putting together a quickie shelter for the first night.
I’d played games inspired by Minecraft before, and can certainly see where the inspiration touched 7D2D, Starbound and Terraria. So, I had a sense of what I could do and what I needed to do. Thankfully, unlike 7D2D, Minecraft doesn’t have a physics engine that brings things down on your head. 😄
I was a little lost at first. I figured out how to make planks the first day and discovered this made the wood I harvested go much further for building. I noticed there was an Achievement section on the main menu, and looking at that, it gave me hints about what I should be crafting in what order.
The second day, I got my Workbench built. But I didn’t know how to use it. I tried everything that other games taught me to do – click it, push “C,” push “E,” etc. It didn’t occur to me to right-click to “use” the item. 😄
I’ve also learned that while I tried in the beginning to figure out recipes on my own, I just don’t have the patience for it. I’ve played too many of these crafting games, and most of them don’t require you to put resources in a memorized pattern to craft. 7D2D used to, but now it doesn’t anymore.
So, I quickly dumped the crafting exploration for the wiki just so I could make progress. Of course, that didn’t mean I didn’t still have a lot to learn!
I knew I needed iron, for example. But I didn’t know what iron looked like. I just noted that when I mined things with my wood pick ax, I didn’t always get anything from it. The turning point came when I hit bottom and found a lava cave under my house. I found this redstone ore and what I thought was diamond, and neither gave me anything when I mined it up.
So… doing some research, I discovered you have to have a stone pick ax to mine iron! And you have to have an iron pick ax to mine diamond. Oops!
I’m such a noob. 😄
The blocky artwork is actually much prettier than I expected it to be. I got used to the style pretty quickly, and it didn’t bug me at all.
I’m having a lot of fun exploring and learning about resources and the world. But daytime seems far too short. By the time I’m starting to enjoy myself and get a little away from my base, it’s turning night! I’m sure there’s a way to tweak that, if I knew how.
I learned from TAGN about the Minecraft Overviewer. I figured it out last night and made a map render of my little world. It seems awful small, though, compared to some of the maps I’ve seen other people show. Is that my settings or is there more map out there, I wonder. I know this is showing me much more than I’ve actually discovered — such as that little village up there. I’ve not gotten that far north yet.
Anywho, I’ve learned to put up fences. I tamed a chicken and I’m growing wheat… so it’s a start! 🙂