survival craft

Meanwhile, in Survivalcraft… PITFALL!

It’s no secret I wasn’t stoked about the last couple of big updates in Survivalcraft. Despite all the amazing & dedicated work by Kaalus the developer, I just wasn’t bothered about the things he added. Yes the terrain tweaks were nice, but they didn’t answer my need for some level of the finite in the infinite and then all the extra hunger & sleep mechanics just didn’t interest me. In the end I drifted away from the game. I took up with Minecraft Pocket Edition again, but even that faded out as my son stopped playing it in favour of spending his summer holidays outside in something called fresh air and sunshine. Freak.

But today’s blog post from Kaalus has me all excited about SC again. In 1.23 he’s adding the start of generated structures! True it’s only hidden grass traps for now, but should the experiment go well we could see NPC villages and even abandoned mine systems in the already impressive caves! All the things that Mojang are still umming and erring about for MCPE.

If Kaalus could just add multiplayer, even just wifi multiplayer for now, Survivalcraft would quickly replace MCPE as my ‘go to’ mobile game, mainly because I could play it with my son and we both prefer SC to MCPE as it offers a more comprehensive and enjoyable building experience. Sorry Mojang, but SC is years ahead of the cute MCPE 🙂

 

Meanwhile… in Survivalcraft, my archipelago idea seems to be going down well…

Thanks to Rudedog it seems my idea of a world of infinite islands in Survivalcraft is being well received over on the SC forums. This surprises no one more than it does me because 99% of the time I’m convinced that I’m spouting total rubbish and no one ever reads this blog, so it’s nice to know I’ve struck a chord with fellow SCers 🙂

Hopefully Kaalus will like & implement it and my SC photo album can look like this…

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UPDATE: If you are interested in my thoughts on Survivalcraft developments including my thoughts of the island generation system added in 1.22, you may want to read this post: https://headburroantfarm.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/the-top-8-or-so-things-i-want-to-see-in-survivalcraft/

More thoughts on things I’d like to see in Survivalcraft to improve my gameplay fun… The Landscape!

Since my last post on this subject I’ve been giving more thought to what aspects of Survivalcraft I’d like to see altered to improve my gameplay experience. Let me just start by once again reminding any readers that I am really enjoying SC and noting that SC is still in Alpha and that Kaalus, the developer, is incredibly active in moving the game forward. I feel I need to state this not just to be fair to Kaalus’ game but also to placate some of the fans of the game who have found their way to this blog and, I am guessing due to their age, can misinterpret the tone of my humour and see my posts as a criticism: I don’t mind telling a commenter to piss off for being a knob, but even I tend to feel a little bit mean when I find out they are only 10 years old o.0

Anyhoo, let me begin. Exploring, as I have said before, is hard & dangerous. My decision to lay signs and construct hard boxes has helped make it safer but also duller. Well, it hasn’t made it duller so much as shown up a weakness inherent in a world as big as Survivalcraft: there is no point in exploring because there is simply nothing to be gained. Of course you may need to find new resources and supplies but other than that there is nothing out in the world for you to see, locate or just plain stumble across. For me, the world needs more ‘stuff’ in it. Kaalus has done a great job re-working the underground generation to give us impressive caves but I’d like to see overground structures too. How great would it be to find a village nestled in the safety of a valley, or strung high in the bows of a jungle? What about a shipwreck off the coast? A stone circle atop a mountain? A huge jungle stretching for miles? But all there is is an endlessly repeating cycle of sand, grass, snow, plains, hills, mountains, trees, flowers, cactuses. All very pretty, but all very empty.

Which brings me on to my next observation. The landscape varies a lot between the main types of ground cover (grass, sand & snow) but it does so in small, often repeating patterns that don’t really make any sense. You can, for example, regularly find a thin strip of snow blocks running through a desert region right next to the sea and that just looks wrong. What I’d like to see is the landscape handled in a more natural way, either much larger areas of continuous terrain to avoid this patchwork quilt feel or a more realistic island layout with jungle surrounding mountains topped with snow only at the highest elevations.

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Desert, plains, mountains, lakes and snow together at last!

In short, I would dearly love the landscape of Survivalcraft to give me a reason to not only explore but to get lost. 🙂

The schizophrenic progress of Survivalcraft’s design…

I had planned this post before the latest news from Kaalus came out and showcased the redesign of the main player avatar away from a very Minecraftian blocky guy to more defined 3D model and I can’t help thinking this confirms my thoughts that there is a schism at the heart of the game.

But Burro, old chap, what is this schism of which you speak, I hear you ask… Well let me tell you!

Blocks. The works is made of blocks. The earth, the rocks, the sand, even the hero (until now) are made of blocks as are the animals. Except some aren’t. The birds and bears are blocky (and cute) but the wolves and sharks and rays are not blocky (and I would argue less cute, but that is purely subjective) and this is the schism that points more than anything else to an almost schizophrenic tension in the game’s design.

Is Survivalcraft now trying to move further away from its Minecraft inspired roots by making as much of the world look more realistic that Minecraft does? If so, where will that end? A total make-over? How will a world built on the cube look when it is full of rounded creatures? Personally I suspect the answer will be ‘odd & confused’ but I could be wrong. Whatever plans Kaalus has in mind, I’ll enjoy seeing them unfold as he bridges the design schism looming before him.

Why I’m writing more about Survivalcraft than Minecraft…

Am observant reader will have noticed that since the end of the mahoosive underwater base project I haven’t been writing much about my time in Minecraft PE and much more about Survivalcraft. Well there is a couple of good reasons for that, namely…

1) The base burnt me out. It was such a huge effort & time-sink I pretty much had to walk away from MCPE for a while.

2) Survivalcraft offers a virtually endless world whereas MCPE’s world is a wee square and exploring it is pretty easy. True, it’s easy to get lost in SC but at least you *can* get lost in SC.

3) OK, there’s no ‘end game’ in SC but to be honest the one in MCPE isn’t anything to write home about is it? In the meantime SC has some really cool systems that MCPE is missing, such as:

i) An electricity system that allows for some really complex building options.

ii) Fire! MCPE had fire in once, but it caused the game to crash so it was removed so there is a flint & steel that does nothing.

iii) Buckets for moving water & lava, something MCPE still hasn’t managed and is actually needed in MCPE more than SC right now to allow farms to be set up.

So although I really enjoy MCPE I’ve just found that SC has more longevity and interesting things to do so for the foreseeable future I’ll be writing about SC simply because that’s what I’m playing. Maybe when MCPE has its next update something will be added to drag me back, but given how long it seems to take Mojang to update the game I wouldn’t expect me to switch back soon 😀

Meanwhile, in Survivalcraft… WEREWOLVES!

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Just after I’d set up the first emergency shelter the need for these hard boxes was proved when first a bear and then a bloody pack of werewolves attacked me! The bear was easy enough (at the moment the creature AI is not great, if I’m honest) but when four bloody lycanthropes dropped off my roof I had a real fight on my hands – hell, I only just won o_0

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Beware the moon…

Survivalcraft: Emergency Shelters!

I’ve documented how in Antland, my main Survivalcraft world, I’ve struggled with becoming lost and not feeling comfortable with exploring too far from my base. Well, in a sudden flash of inspiration when wondering what to do with the rapidly accumulating piles of basalt rocks (40 in a pile, pile after pile and no ruddy recipes for them!) I had the brilliant* idea of constructing ‘hard boxes’ or emergency shelters a day’s hike apart. Genius! I could go exploring and as the sun started to set I could slap up a shelter and then the next day go another full day away. Rinse & repeat, a voilà!

Once this bolt from above had hit, the next step was to design a hard box using the last amount of materials possible whilst still using up all the bloody basalt cluttering up the chests in my four ** deep mines. If each construction could use a full stack of 40 I could have around 20 shelters and some seriously empty chests 🙂

It took a few attempts, but I eventually perfected a small box that uses exactly 40 blocks. It has a door, three windows, five torches, a crafting table & chest. The floorspace is nine blocks square so even with table & chest there is room for a furnace and more storage should it be needed, hell I could even share each one with another player should the game ever get a multi-player option. Come to think of it, another three walls & a roof would double the space – these things are modular!

Anyhow, here are a few pictures of my final draft 🙂

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And here is why they are needed – I’ve built one a day’s match north and within minutes of finishing it I was attacked by a ruddy great bear!

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This is why they are called Emergency Shelters, folks 😉

*Possibly…

** For now…

Meanwhile, in Survival Craft… Trees at long bloody last!

Growing trees in Minecraft Pocket Edition is as simple as plopping down a few seedlings and coming back after a few night/day cycles (or tossing some bonemeal about, of course) to harvest all the lovely wood for the endless number of bloody sticks you will need.

In Survival Craft, apart from the constant need for sticks, things are a little different. Saplings don’t automatically root & grow where you place them, oh no. For them the temperature & moisture content of the surrounding air & soil have to be just right, the picky little bastards. If either are even a fraction out then the saplings wilt to a dry twig and die and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laid out a full stack of 40 only to find kindling littering the ground the next day, even when I’ve used the in-game thermometer & hydrometer! I’ve even followed the designers own advice and planted saplings in the same place I harvested the trees I got the saplings from in the first place and still every ruddy one karked it!

So imagine my surprise when, after planting 40 pine firs on a whim outside my latest deep mine, I came back to find a veritable bloody forest on my doorstep! God knows why it worked this time over all the others, but if it works again here I rather think I’ve just found the location for my first lumber farm 😀

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Survival Craft: A Tasty Haul

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Look what I found deep in the depths of Deep Mine 2’s number 4 & 5 shafts… Oh momma, put the pan on cos daddy’s got the bacon!

Survival Craft: The Lostening – part the last!

I’ve started a new system of signs and torches so I shouldn’t get lost again. The signs have 4 lines each so I can cover four directions using these characters as arrows: (^) (v) (‹) (›)

Here’s one of the several I’ve left leading from my house to the fabled Deep Mine 2 🙂

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Let’s see if this works, eh?