Man, the only two days I had off and I spent it in bed. What a drag. I’ll be making some time in the week to put together something. I’m thinking of rolling out the .dat files every week with updates so others can play with the ship. I’ll post it up in the forums.
For those who haven’t read the ArsTechnica article about how the Minecraft framework was created, originally I was creating the 1:1 scale model in a program called Google Sketchup. I imported the decks as a framework and went about extruding the decks into 3D space and just had a ball of the whole thing. Sadly, I lost almost all my work in a hard drive crash. Six months of work and the 5 decks I created were lost.
I bring this up because I’m beginning to see limitations with the Minecraft Engine. First of all because we are playing in the older “creative” mode, we do not have access to blocks such as ladders, signs, and stairs. (He have half-blocks not not really used). More distressing is when we fill out the decks with computer-generated walls, the Minecraft client becomes really unstable. (I’ve had it crash a few times.) Unless you set your fog distance to “near” it runs like a mess.
As development has moved on to Alpha, the likelihood of Notch backporting things like ladders and optimizing the server for Creative will most likely not be happening. Alpha, however has height and light limitations, making the ship impossible to import into that version on the game.
Did I bite off more than I could chew?
This is why I’m eyeballing the Sketchup project again. Taking what I know, I can probably make a better render of it anyway. However, I don’t want to abandon the Minecrafters who enjoy what I started. Two projects? Do I have time? I’ll repost this in the forums too. I think this is a roundtable worth discussing.
Between two jobs and the upstart of a community, I really seem to have neglected the front page. It’s been a lack a free time more than anything. Working two jobs is a beast of a discipline. It’s compounded by the fact that my main employment is 3rd shift, with the bulk of it over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This is rather soul-crushing to my social life. The second job kicks in on Saturday, which means what you may consider a “weekend” is completely obliterated for me. My Weekend starts by going to bed Monday morning and having the next two days off until I have to show back up at work Wednesday afternoon. Thus the week begins again.
So please do not confuse my silence with neglect. You will notice in the forums, I’m very quick to pick up a question and barely a post escapes my eye. I am nearing the beginning of my weekend now, so a flurry of activity will be starting for the next few days.
The forums came back up a few hours ago
Boy, I picked a heck of a time to start a new forum. They just took it down for emergency maintenance. Just in case you guys are wondering.
If you look at the top of the page here, you will find a brand new link called “Forums”. There is where you can chat with others and download the decks and original plans for the Enterprise. It’s pretty bare-bones right now. I’m in the process of fleshing them out. Feel free to move in. I have a few tutorials to make in Youtube right now. Feel free to give me a shout if you need anything.
A direct link to the forums is below.
The little server my buddy gave me was next to useless. I was hoping to install phpBB on it as a sweet mini forum for everyone, but DocumentRoot was all screwed up and when I straightened that out, discovered that he was running a copy of Redhat from 2003.
Still looking for solutions.
I’ve been taking what little free time I have to come up with a game plan to finish this project. I have come up with a pretty good idea of how to get things rolling.
The idea is to set up construction in three phases. Cleanup, Decking, Merging, and Skinning. This will allow me to chuck the ship up into little easy projects for others to help with. I’ll explain each phase below.
When I converted the deck plans into two-color bitmaps for the framework, it was done as a big batch. This resulted in a lot of artifacts all over the place all over the ship. What first needs to be done is to clean up all the cruft, text, “scaffolds”, and the like so it can be as clean as possible. The halls need to be wide enough to fit a character though, and the turbolifts need to be lined up deck-to-deck. (I tried to get it close enough). This means phase one will be the release of raw decks in bitmap form. Here, people can pop it into their favorite graphic edior and finish up the framework
This is where each clean level is individually imported into Minecraft as a single level and the floors/walls are built. There will be a particular way the decks will have to be built to maintain an ascetic throughout the ship. I video will be posted about that. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of spaces on the ship where a little creativity will be needed badly.
The completed decks will placed into the ship proper. Here the inter-deck work such as shafts or multiple-floor decks well be merged and sealed.
This is where the outside of the ship is completed, and the windows placed. This will probably be the most tedious, but also may be wrapped into “Merging”. I will probably be posting Youtube examples of each step, along with vids on the general architecture of the ship.
In other news, I’ve been looking at the micro-server I got and think it will be a wonderful place to put a forum on. Looks I’ll be playing with phpBB soon.
I have free time coming up so stay tuned.
Well, here is my attempt to get something together. Yes, I know it’s a Tumblr account, but if it’s good enough for Notch, it should be good enough for me.
Here’s what’s going on with the Enterprise-D in Minecraft.
I got a server, but it’s a factional T1 (About 300k), and I have to share it with my friend’s 12 year old son. I have a feeling this is a sub-optimal configuration to start a community with. Sadly, I have about $25 to my name until payday, so bootstrapping a social network of like-minded individuals may have to wait. In the meantime, I offer you guys this page to get updates and other musings. Right now I’m concentrating on putting together guidelines for ship construction. It’s one thing to have a framework, bu there are other things to consider, such as the aesthetics of the walls, decks, and what building materials to use.
Another one of my projects is to clean up the decks and split them into individual creative levels and flat bitmaps so you can edit them, A tutorial on how to set up your own creative server would be nice.
In the flip side, I need to get a Real Server (TM). Like I said, I don’t think a factional T1 is going to cut it. My ISP I have for home is only a 3M DSL service that blocks all ports under 1024 and aggressively changes my IP every 1 to 7 days.
On the work front, because of the two jobs, my “weekend” doesn’t start until Monday morning. (3rd shift FTL!) . You won’t see a lot of activity until then. Until that time, I’m open to suggestions and some help. Also if you have any questions about who I am or this project, I’ll answer them as best I can.
Sorry about the mess, I have a lot more work to do. My online presence is pretty much in the same framework state as my ship :)
Oh, and you can catch me on twitter (@halkun) or you can find me as a moderator for a Final Fantasy 7 reverse engineering community located at http://www.qhimm.com