Sonny is showing me his B&Q truck in Minecraft PE – it has a load of bricks, coloured lights front & back, windows & seats. All on his own without help or a plan. What a lad!
Monthly Archives: February 2013
First off, let me sat that despite my last post on Survival Craft I’m really enjoying the game. It offers a subtly different experience than the mobile version of Minecraft as it really is more about survival than mining. Yet for a game that is so much about survival, once you have built a decent shelter and gathered enough supplies (something that can be done in a couple of hours) there isn’t much left to worry about and outside the Creative mode you are left with nothing to do bar explore.
And there is the problem. Exploring is both hard and dangerous.
Hard because the sheer size of the world means it’s far too easy to get lost thereby potentially reducing your attempts to consolidate a stronghold from which to weather your enforced isolation pointless because you could all too easily lose the lot and have to start again. There is only so many times building a mud hut and slowly upgrading it can be fun, let me tell you. On top of that, once you do decide to explore and are lucky enough to find a mineral-rich cave system, do you know how ball-achingly maddening it is to then lose it again just because you can’t recall if it was left at the tall tree and right after the double hill out the other way around? This alone is enough to make me falter before I leave my lovely, comfortable house and head off blindly into the hills and that is not a great play experience.
Dangerous because the penalty for dying is too great. When I rage quit a couple of days ago it was because I was killed by wolves near my house and by the time I returned to the scene all my stuff, including a diamond bloody compass and a crapton of precious wood, had vanished. Why? Am I led to understand a wolf ate it all? Why did that stuff need to vanish? I’m the only person on the bloody island so I doubt it was stolen! This more than anything else puts me of exploring and again doesn’t give a great play experience.
Now don’t misunderstand me, I really, really like this game. Other than Minecraft Pocket Edition, it’s the only game I actually play on my tablet. Also you have to remember that the game hasn’t reached beta yet and is still in alpha so there is a hell of a lot of development still to go into it (not that you’d know it – I’ve seen major studio betas that aren’t as well developed & supported). Honestly I have no hesitation in recommending you download this game immediately because it’s not just another cheap MC rip-off but a riff on that excellent idea (in itself inspired by other titles).
But having said that, and given the fact the game is in alpha, here’s what I’d like to see changed or added to make my time playing even more fun…
1) A map and waypoint system. I wouldn’t want to see these given to the player from the start, but they should be crafting options. The map should come from growing and processing a certain type of plant. Waypoints should come from crafting radio transmitters that you drop in key locations. The two would interact meaning one without the other would be useless and neither would unbalance the game but together meaningful exploration would be possible.
2) Items lost at the point of death should not de-rez. Period. Aside from being more logical (wolves and bears do not eat stacks of wood, iron or stone, let alone diamonds!) it would add a much needed exciting mechanic to the game whereby the player has to struggle and fight to get their stuff back
3) There really needs to be an end game. Currently there is no purpose to the game and beyond building a house and digging a mine, no progression towards something such as escape or revenge. I’d love to see a goal, or a series of goals, that I had to work towards as this would give me more reason to explore the island and expand my operations. Maybe certain goals can only be completed in certain areas meaning players have to set up more than one base, more than one farm or mine.
In conclusion, as my old English teacher said I should never end an essay, this is a really good game but with these additions & changes I know it will have something of the huge replayability factor Minecraft has. Now go and download it, Kaalus has a FREE demo version as well add a dirt cheap full version you know :-)
UPDATE: If you are interested in my thoughts on Survivalcraft developments since I wrote this post, you may want to read this post: http://headburroantfarm.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/the-top-8-or-so-things-i-want-to-see-in-survivalcraft/
My phone was on shuffle as I got dresed and in between the Kate Bush & SoM tracks the theme for Divinity’s Reach started and I had a gut-deep longing to return to the city one more as my mind replayed the sights & sounds of my long-ago wanderings there. Most peculiar.
After I had dragged the wolf carcasses away I set to completing my shelter with renewed vigor and by mid-day I had finished the roof and added a door.
I began exploring the area around the beach, gathering wood and searching for food. Amid the trees I found a pool flowing into a small cave and glistening in the rocks there I found coal! As I dug it out I knew I’d not be cowering in the dark this night!
In my ongoing Survival Craft adventure “Antland” I’ve been building a new house to replace my rather depressing mud shack…
I’ve been diving for clay, baking bricks, carving stone floors & planing wooden planks by the cart-load to make a much bigger HQ from which to explore the island. I’ve added lots of windows, electric lights and an outdoor balcony so I can defend myself from wolves in safety!
Here’s a shot of the nearly finished product :-)
Dear god! There were wolves everywhere! I spent most of my first night on the godforsaken rock Hamshank had abandoned me on cowering in the corner of my half-built mud hovel scared out of my wits. Until, that is, the howls came closer and closer and a pair of gleaming eyes appeared around the edge of the hole I had left ready for a door.
The rest of the night until the sun rose is a blur, a series of desperate fights to the death with so many of the wild beasts that when the light of dawn crept over the stout mud walls, it found a terrible scene littered with dead wolves and piles of ruined tools.
If I was going to survive long enough to find Hamshank, I was going to have to finish my shelter fast! I couldn’t live through another night like the last one…
Kaalus, the developer of Survival Craft, has released another of his teaser videos and revealed there are more animals coming to the game, including… SHARKS! My lad is super excited! :-D
After Captain Hamshank of The Rotten Nag dropped me off at what he’d sold as a “5-star opportunity to experience nature up close and personal, like” I began to suspect that Rip Off Rotten Tours was not a bona fide holiday firm after all…
That cod-stained cad Hamshank had not only marooned me, he’d left me as food for the bloody wildlife! If it was the last thing I did, I would survive this night, this island, and get back to Port Ansherry to kill that swindling swine and get back the £6.50 I paid for this sorry excuse of a weekend city-break!
Although I’ve had Survival Craft for a couple of months now, I’ve never really explored it as fully as it deserved. In the main this has been due to the all-persuasive influence of Minecraft but after the flat-out effort of building the bloody underwater base, I’ve been looking for a slightly different experience. This is where all the “Meanwhile in Survival Craft…” posts have come from but in doing those I began to realise that the world I was playing in had been created before Kaalus overhauled the terrain generation code to allow for huge cave systems so today I took the decision to start again in a new world :-)
Welcome to Antland 1.20.2! Over the next few days & weeks I’ll cover my trials & tribulations as I explore my new home and hide from what feels like all the wolves in the bloody world!