Cave Time: Feeling Safe In Minecraft

By John Walker on September 27th, 2010 at 2:00 pm.

That's a new home, that is.

Perhaps you’re a bit like me, and when you hear about everyone else getting obsessively stuck into an obscure indie game you assume it’s not your sort of thing, and wait for the fuss to die down. I know I’ve been like that about Dwarf Fortress, never even giving it a go so sure I am that I won’t like it. And I was dangerously close to adding Minecraft to that list. My housemates were playing it, my colleagues were playing it – everyone in the universe was banging on about it. At a certain point it becomes tempting just to be an iconoclastic prick and not play it so you can say you haven’t. The noise is offputting. But during a recent RPScursion to London, Kieron showed me his Minecraft world, and despite needing to stay for another seven or so hours, I really just wanted to get on a train back to Bath and start playing. Because Minecraft, I realised, comes incredibly close to being a game I’ve wanted to exist my entire life. So I, eventually, have a request.

One of Minecraft’s most remarkable features is how different people approach it. Some see it as a giant Lego set, and set about constructing wondrous things. Others see it as a combat game, letting you create armour and weapons and fight your way through the nights. Me, I see it as an exploration and home-building game.

If you’ll forgive a strangely personal diversion, I’ve long suffered from anxiety disorder. It’s not a lot of fun, but you develop certain techniques for feeling safe in the midst of your irrational fear. One of those, for me, is to revisit the books of Enid Blyton. An absolutely abysmal writer of prose, but unmatched in her ability to create the spirit of adventure with a knowledge of what made children feel safe and yet excited. Mock me if you will, but there’s something protecting about those tales of kids making shelters in mountain caves, underground rivers, or remote islands.

In Quintin’s excellent diary series about the game last week he wrote, “The entirety of MineCraft taps directly into that part of your mind that made it so fun to build forts out of sofa cushions as a kid.” That’s precisely it. Because building a fort wasn’t only about construction. It was about sitting inside your creation, feeling safe and contained, in your own space within the larger world. That fort, whether a pirate cove, underground military bunker, or smuggler’s den, was sealed off from the rest of the world.

I’ve always wanted a game that was about surviving. But no game that I’ve played has ever gotten it right. Most, of course, focus on combat. Even if the rest of the world is aggressing against you, and you’re in a constant state of defence, it’s still about the fighting. Or they are about crazed time management, forcing you to juggle events in a constant frantic panic to not fall short in any area.

Most guilty of the latter is the DS game, Lost In Blue. I’ve only played the original, and neither of the sequels, but this was a game that presented itself as being exactly what I was looking for. You play a boy stranded on an island, who discovers a fellow strandee, a blind girl whom you must look after. Aside from being a game that ignored all notions of emancipation (the helpless blind girl sits in your cave and cooks for you), it was really a game about seeing how long you could last in its maniac panic. Making no attempt at realism, your characters were so idiotically hungry and thirsty that exploration was rarely an option, instead being forced to prepare a vast banquet of food for every meal, and sleeping like a hibernating bear. Rather than offering any notion of safety and adventure, it was instead about constant pressure. Fail.

What I’ve wanted, and wanted for so long, is a game that focuses on exploration and realistic basic needs. This does not mean no threat – in fact, if it’s to work, if my sofa fort is to mean anything, it requires a degree of threat. But not a world where you can be clobbered to death in most instances. And wow, does Minecraft come close.

Nothing has offered such a wonderful sense of fort-based safety, surrounded by the thrill of adventure.

Quintin has already thoroughly covered why the game’s cave building and crafting are so magnificent, so there’s no need for me to repeat that here. Just let it be said that I’ve spent most of the weekend, including hours more normally devoted to sleeping, with this game. Tunnelling, crafting, and nest building. Occasionally getting caught out a night, and deaded. Sometimes not being able to find the spot where I died, deep within my labyrinthine tunnels, and thus hopelessly searching for special equipment I’d been carrying. At one point falling into a pool of lava, and losing absolutely everything, and feeling so despondent I went to bed, and never loaded that world again. I’ve been decorating the mountain that contains my current home with so many torches that it glows like a beacon throughout the land. And leaving myself breadcrumb trails when prospecting deep underground, in the form of upright torches stuck into the ground. In four worlds, each time I’ve played I’ve refined my movements further, making a more secure, more permanent home, and then venturing outward in carefully planned routes.

The game offers a lot of what I want. Get injured and you need to heal. And this tends to involve work. Find some pigs, chop the poor squealing fellows up, and then roast their meat on your stove. That’s rewarding itself. Also, why not try penning in a chicken. If it can’t go anywhere, all its eggs are yours. A chicken coop of your very own! And of course that most important element: being scared of the dark. Darkness means enemies spawn, and enemies tend to mean death, unless you’re quick with your sword.

But it’s not quite there. So this is my request: someone, please make exactly the game I’m after.

The difference is slight, but important to me. It’s slightly more of the basic needs. What I want is Minecraft, but with a need to eat, drink and sleep.

Adding this element in seems to send most developers completely stark-raving bonkers, either offering day/night cycles so fast that the Earth gets dizzy, or requiring your character eat enough for a village at every meal. They also have absolutely no comprehension that most people can get by on a few hours sleep for a couple of nights, before needing to catch up. I don’t want to rush. I don’t want to panic. But I do want to have to do some basic tasks in my day.

Knowing I need to find food before night time arrives – that’s not a crazy pressure, but a simple responsibility. Ideally I’d like to see the day/night cycles slowed down a good deal too. There’s no reason for night to come around so frequently, and adding in sleep would see pass a lot of that added downtime sensibly. There’d also be lots of excellent new reasons to craft – water filtration systems, perhaps even irrigation from the rivers to your home. You could build larders for food, and of course a bed. Build a better bed, get better sleep, perhaps even need less of it.

I don’t want the Sims here. Goodness knows because it’s more guilty of incessant nagging and panic than most. Just enough to make my fort feel all the more important. If I could hole up for the night, eat my evening meal, and curl up in bed, I think that would make waking up to a new day of mining and exploring all the more thrilling.

So could someone make that for me, please? I don’t want elaborate multiplayer. (Although I’d be very happy to see an Animal Crossing-style option for having friends come visit and spend time in my world – I think I’d set it so they had no block-destroying ability, or goodness knows it could be awful.) I don’t want extra combat, or more challenging enemies. I don’t want to have to budget my time so I can’t explore as much as I’d like. I want the utter freedom that Minecraft offers, but with a little bit more need to have a home. And sure, if you’re caught out by the sunset, dig a quick shelter for the night. It wouldn’t be as effective for rest, but it would do.

I think that would be thrilling. It would take Minecraft further in the direction that so enormously appealed to me when I glimpsed Kieron playing it. It would tap into all those safe-places of mine, those Blyton-esque adventures, the childhood den built out of household furniture and bed sheets, the sense of being in control in a wild world.

So someone get on with that please.

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191 Comments »

  1. RiptoR says:

    Amen, brother, amen!

    • BAReFOOt says:

      How can you say amen to that?
      What I thought, when I read the article, was:
      “My friend, if you want realistic eating, drinking, breathing, shitting, pissing, fucking, sleeping, and all that’s required for it… why don’t you get a life??

      Seriously. Games are not about realism. I thought we had learned that. They are about getting away from realism. And learning something magnificent anyway. Or even especially because of it.

      That game that he is searching, is called reality. And it’s the most awesome game ever! Just go out. Lay down all the false social conditioning… like “you can’t speak to random strangers” or “you can not do [thing X]”. Just remember that you only got one life. And do whatever you dreamed of in real life!

    • DrGonzo says:

      Reality is overrated. The upper classes are OP.

    • Mark O'Brien says:

      @Barefoot

      Spot on! As soon as I lost my false social conditioning and realised there was nothing stopping me from running over pedestrians for fun life became much more interesting!

      Seriously though, I think John is hitting on something.

      The only game-given purpose you have in Minecraft is to survive, and unfortunately surviving is trivially easy. All you have to do to survive is dig a cave one cell deep, one across and two high, place two blocks to cover the hole and suddenly you are the best Minecraft player ever – you will never die.

      What John is saying makes a lot of sense. Needing to eat and sleep etc means that surviving is not trivial. You _need_ to think of a plan. Do you build a farm? Do you hunt? Do you raid dungeons for supplies?

      It also adds meaning to the things you build. Many players build houses, beds, farms, etc, but they’re just aesthetic. How much more enjoyable would it be to make those things actually useful? For me at least, John has a point.

    • beefchief says:

      @ Dr Gonzo.
      If the the upperclasses are OP. does that make David Cameron a boss battle? :)

    • Guhndahb says:

      @BAReFOOt: The reason why it’s a good idea is not a quest for realism but because it’d make it more fun for some people. I’d find Minecraft more fun with John’s suggestions. Just leave it optional. We all have different tastes. I happen to find that doses of realism add fun to games for me. You don’t. There’s nothing wrong with either preference. And, frankly, I don’t even suspect that John’s suggesting more realism (the Hivemind has always been rather too anti-realism for me). He’s just suggesting another game play element because that element appeals to him. There’s no need to label it.

      The thing with which I agree most strongly is not implementing such a system in an overly stress-inducing manner. I dislike games that appeal to our sense of freedom but then apply unrelenting pressure on us (I’m obviously not referring to Minecraft here, I’m referring to some of John’s examples) thereby greatly limiting that freedom. For me, it’s fun to explore a world even if it brings no in-game benefit, use my imagination to supplement all the various things games cannot simulate for us, and try different things even if they fail. Far too many games sacrifice these player options for the sake of maintaining (an often escalating) challenge. The Sims is only fun for me when I use a mod so that time progresses much slower. It’s not that it’s too hard – I just enjoy it so much more when I can take my time.

    • MartinNr5 says:

      I agree 100% with John – the changes he suggest would make the game so much more fun.

      @barefoot: Feel free to go outside and leave the rest of us alone. I’m quite sure noone will miss you.

    • Sardaukar says:

      The STALKER games, modded a bit, come very close to what Walker wants here. When I play them (modded), I take the missions slow, and spend most of my time hunting wildlife for money to stock up on food and supplies, or finding a safe shelter to bed down for the night, before waking up to go searching for artifacts or a trophy kill.

      In Minecraft, however; Sleep is something I’m not sure how to satisfactorily handle. I’ve often thought how nice it would be to craft a bed and use it to accelerate time while sleeping, but how would that work in Survival Multiplayer? SMP is the real meat of where this game is going. You don’t have to cooperate with other players at all, but the fact that they’re there adds many new layers to the exploration. Claim your best finds, or discover the abandoned ruins of another player. Forge roads between settlements, and perhaps even establish a railway to trade goods. Throw sleep into that and it gets a bit wahooni-shaped no matter how you look at it.

      As for food, I feel hunger is already in the game, in the ways you constantly injure yourself. I must scarf down a piece of cooked pork every day I’m out exploring.

    • negativedge says:

      This entire thread of the conversation is dense.

      You want John to do these things in “real life?” Do you suppose he eats and sleeps in real life, or do you suppose he does not? I don’t know about you, but I suppose he does. Now why does he do these things? Chiefly, because he would die if he did not. Now why does he want to do them in a video game? Is it because he would die if he did not? Is it because he wants to die if he did not? Surely this is not the case. No, he wants these things because he finds the mechanic of weighing resources against exploration interesting. Because he wants to be presented with an actual choice with some meaning and some consequences. If I sit in my cave, my character is going to die and my game will be over. If I go out, I risk external dangers. If I stay close to the cave, I may run out of resources. If I go far, I may not be able to find my way back, or I may find myself unprepared for what I discovered. The pressure of time and the weight of death lends gravitas to the act of exploration. The immediate risk/reward scenario deepens the player’s sense of ownership. This is what we do in video games. Now, I suspect you, barefoot, being an idiot do not like to do these things. I suspect you play video games for the power fantasy and the story, because you are unaware of the strengths of individual mediums, and because your intellect limits your life to such a degree that you feel the need to “escape” from it by being told what to do. That’s great. Unfortunately, some people try to understand what video games are about.

      A little talk about “realism,” now. What does it mean? Can you tell me? Is Half Life flawed because you can die when you get shot? Because that is too real? What about gravity? Must we do away with that? How about characters with human feelings and motivations? I bet you read a work of literature only to find it unrealistic, while you read pop trash because you can “relate” to the “characters.” In truth, it is the “unrealistic” work that best portrays reality, because it understands that the human world is more than a pair of eyes and a sequential set of actions.

      Man, why type this, if I can go speak it in the real world? Why read Ulysses when I can live a regular day all the time.

      Christ, I have this all figured out!

    • malkav11 says:

      To me, a survival/crafting game really doesn’t seem complete without those basic needs to fulfill. I mean, I’ve carefully avoided the mods that amp up those things in games like Stalker and Fallout 3 because the survival element of those games is not, in my mind, the focus. Those games, it’s about exploring the mutant-infested ruins of civilization and uncovering the plot and cool little side stories and such. The central gameplay is killing and conversing and travel, not establishing one’s homestead. But in something like Minecraft, where the game hasn’t got a defined story or any preset goals, having simple spurs like hunger, thirst and exhaustion would go a long way to make things richer.

    • ET says:

      Isn’t this the second time Barefoot said something along these lines concerning the joy of exploration in gaming? Perhaps that’s not your intent, but it’s starting to feel a little bit preachy. And actually not very realistic. I mean : you can use the same argument with just about every military-themed FPS. If you want to pewpew at enemies using state-of-the-art weaponry in a physics engine with super-realistic modeling, go enlist with the army.

    • littlewilly91 says:

      @Barefoot.

      I see you have the fear. But we don’t want realism. Minecraft’s world is made of cubes and you knock down trees with fists. These are great mechanics set in some twisted version of reality, and this helps us to relate, at the same time as escape. If it was all fantasy, really weird stuff, the game would be totally inaccessible. As it stands it makes sense that your character should need to sleep. As far as we know he is a hunter gatherer. He could be some super immortal, but at the moment not being able to play blockhead going and having a snooze just seems like a missing feature.

      @Whoever else
      I don’t much like the shooting down of ideas that is going on either. Just, “no it wouldn’t work because I can’t see it working”, is not a fair outlook. Sleep for example. Perhaps your character could have an energy rating, and after a day or so this would appear frazzled, you might stumble and trip up more, and move slower, and eventually, after a month or so of hard labour with no sleep (you are playing a manly man remember) you’d have to fight off the sleep phantoms or something which would make you fall asleep on the spot if they get you. And falling asleep at night in the middle of nowhere could mean a respawn, or waking up with hypothermia.

      In survival mode it could still work in some form. Time fast forwarding couldn’t work but maybe you just wouldn’t need so much sleep in this mode. It makes sense in survival and could be a damn cool feature. Imagine in real life defending against zombies for months in some outpost. Sleep and good health would be essential and you’d have to come to some arrangement.

    • littlewilly91 says:

      Oh maybe whilst they’re asleep & dreaming you could access the minecraft wiki through like, telepathy, (I’ve wanted the wiki to be tied into the game for ages, it’s the only bit the breaks play and makes things inaccessible) or maybe you’d just be able to spectator camera for a while.

  2. Cat says:

    I think someone needs to make a representation of the island in LOST on Minecraft, then show it here in all its glory.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      I’m not sure there’s a way to logically recreate the Lost island. Dimensions or an areal shot have never given.

    • Cloudgazer says:

      Recreating Lost would be easy. Just put Minecraft in a jar, close the lid, shake it up, drop a few animal toys in there, shake it up some more, empty the jar out onto the floor and voila, you’ve generated all of Lost just like the creators did.

    • Cat says:

      Haha, no spoilers though, I’m nearly 3/4 through of the final series.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Richard Beer says:

    A lovely read, John. Perhaps as a short-term compromise to keep you in your safe place, Notch could add “Lashings of ginger beer” as a craftable item.

    • westyfield says:

      What’s the crafting recipe for Potted Meat Sandwiches?

  4. Fred Zeleny says:

    Somewhere between the exploration and creative freedom of Minecraft and the simplified community and daily rituals of Harvest Moon, there’s a game I want to spend two hundred hours playing.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      The math on that isn’t surprising, considering I’d play either of those for 100 hours.

    • ZephyrSB says:

      I’m currently acheiving this by alternating between the two…well, Rune Factory anyway. A dash of Monster Hunter doesn’t go amiss either. Genuine creative freedom, gentle daily rituals and thrilling, careful combat if you want it…

      The truth is, as we all know, Minecraft on its own is so almost there. Once it’s no longer 100% dragon free, the MH bit will be covered, so it’s just the daily necessities to go.

  5. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    Tried it out during the “free” weekend and I am definitely in the waiting-for-the-fuss-to-die-down camp – this website feels like Rock, Paper, Minecraft lately.

    • Sander Bos says:

      +1

      I bought it after the onslaught of posts over here, already fearing what I found 2 hours later, not only do I not like it but don’t understand why others would be so affectuated by it. Then again, I did spent some hours in the 90′s zooming and zooming further into a fractal, which I have the feeling is sort of what some people like about it.

      At least we got a brilliant video out of it, that I don’t think was posted on this site yet?:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnjSWPxJxNs

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Because they’re pointing out a game alot of people find fun? Lighten up, there’s plenty of other posts to read.

      And are you sure you didn’t just play the free version by mistake? I have trouble believing a gamer would play full-version Minecraft and not at least understand why so many people like it, if not like it themselves.

    • JWill says:

      @c-Row

      “Tried it out during the “free” weekend and I am definitely in the waiting-for-the-fuss-to-die-down camp – this website feels like Rock, Paper, Minecraft lately.”

      I’ve played Minecraft since February, and feel the same way. Back when VG Cats made that comic, it was exciting. Now you can’t read five articles on gaming related sites without stumbling over something about minecraft.

      Not to venture into hipster “I verbed noun before it was cool” territory, but this is getting a bit tiresome.

      And on topic… I for one would like hunger and whatnot. And about ten hours after mod support is added, you’ll be able to choose between dozens of different implementations. However, this hunger idea has been suggested to Notch for months. He says he doesn’t want to add hunger because it punishes players for playing… doing nothing wrong. See this recent twit: http://twitter.com/notch/status/25909193419

  6. Santiago says:

    I, sir, do not concur. For me, the magic in Minecraft is that you can sit there doing nothing and you´re perfectly safe, and bored. Should you come up with an IDEA to do something (like building a nice windowed jacuzzi to relax watching the monsters burn) you need to get out, and get to work.

    • LintMan says:

      When I was exploring deep in a cave system, quite a bit lost, I remember thinking to myself “Thank god you don’t have to eat and worry about starving while lost down in these caves.”

      I think that adding eating/drinking/sleeping requirements would really impact that ability to explore and get lost in the world.

      To make it exploration reasonable while having those requirements, I’d want to see more and better ways to mark your trail and/or reliably find your way home – such as a way to mark walls or a compass that points to your designated home rather than spawn point. I’d also want to be able to carry an extended amount of food/water without using up a ton of inventory space.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      And why couldn’t Notch eventually make this an integral part of Survival mode? Or have options available for this in any mode?

      The thing is Minecraft is a learning process for him, too. He’ll learn more tricks as he goes along, so there’s no reason this won’t come to pass JOHN WALKER, said the bear.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      But they can solve that by doing what they do now with monsters, just include the no eating or sleeping requirement in the Peaceful mode. Then you can just screw around whenever and wherever you want.

    • Army of None says:

      I’m with John on this one. I love minecraft, but it’s very easy to set up a “safe” base. Food/water/sleep requirements would add a ton to the world, I think. I know that in my current base I have an underground farm, fresh water pipes, waste disposal systems, etc, but that’s all me pretending that it’d be useful. Just a bit more survival elements would make this game even more amazing.

    • LintMan says:

      @Arthur Barnhouse – In peaceful mode, you can’t watch the monsters burn at sunrise from your windowed jacuzzi (as Santiago desires)

      @frightlever – The concern here is that someone else’s “ideal” 20% has a negative impact on our own “ideal” 20%, by changing the gameplay and focus to be something different.

      In particular with the eat/drink/sleep requirements, I worry that if mild requirements along those lines are added, people will begin complaining how “easy” they are and demanding tougher “more realisitic” ones and won’t be satisfied until death by thirst/starvation is a constant looming threat.

    • Santiago says:

      The point I was trying to make is that adding eating/sleeping constraints is a major change in core gameplay, however small they might seem. It´s a totally different game.
      I also missed this when first playing, as in “what´s my purpose and motivation?” but soon realized that purpose and motivation are entirely up to you, and you´re trading “creating stuff” for “work time”. This is for me an absolute novelty in gaming. I don´t really *have* to do anything, yet can´t resist because my mind is the limit.
      I fear that with eating and drinking constraints the game will immediately turn into a production optimizing game, where in the end you´ll be looking to minimize the work required to get food and water. In the end you´ll have an atrociously complex farming system, and when you have plenty of food, remember your population will always be 1, the question will come back, “what am I here for?”. I much rather prefer the shortcut the game takes.
      I also fear that with the current game timescale, 20 mins per day but realistic (i.e. 1:1) walking and working speeds, sleeping becomes a fun breaker. The need to take shelter during the night accomplishes the same purpose (giving you a constraint) but lets you work in your mine/building during that time.

      P.S. I actually built the windowed jacuzzi and after a long night´s work at the mine, believe me the relaxing is absolutely real.

    • Huggster says:

      Eating etc. would tie well into SMP

    • Devenger says:

      LintMan: can I recommend you use torches in a two birds, one stone style: as you dig or explore further, place torches on the walls to your right; except at unusual junctions, this means you will have an unbroken path of torches on walls to your left whenever you want to return to base. Signs can prove useful for labelling paths from your base, or clearing up confusion around junction points, but generally carrying about 100+ torches with you when exploring will cover all your route-marking needs.

  7. Crittias says:

    I like your idea. I could definitely get behind a Minecraft with more survival requirements built in.

    • Warduke says:

      I’ve found myself wishing for a bit more too. I didn’t go as far as sleep but I’ve mentioned to a minecrafting buddy a couple times I wish food and harvesting played into the game. I think it would add another layer of depth to it. Plus there is something kinda neat about having a garden/farm to manage. I’ve only put about 20-30 hours in on MC so far but for as much fun as I’ve had it does feel like it’s missing something to keep me playing for months to come.

    • Spectre-7 says:

      @Warduke

      Oddly enough, it already has farming. I have a lovely wheat crop in front of my house that I use to make bread.

      You know how to make a pick-axe? Use the same pattern, but remove either the top left or top right block, and you have a scythe/wheat-thresher. Equip it and right-mouse to prepare soil, or get seeds out of grass.

  8. Tei says:

    I think with Minecraft may fit a style where if you don’t eat of drink water, you get weaken, and you can’t run some task, like breaking rocks. And a button to “sleep”, so if you get weak beyond some level, you can end it there.

    If notch able modding, something like that will probably be implemented. This is somewhat a big IF because making the game moddable don’t seems high on notch priorities.

    • SpinalJack says:

      Yes it is, he said in his blog that he is adding mod packs into the game so that people can load custom skins, it’s not a big stretch to add other features from there.

    • Tei says:

      But is a big strech. Loading images is simple compared to a API and a plugandplay system, or whatever notch may have in mind.

    • cs says:

      I would imagine Notch would open up an API for mod writers eventually but mods are already being written by some people smarter than me who decompiled the java and figured out how to put their own code in there. So far it’s been fairly simple things like someone who wanted grass slopes to have no exposed dirt, but I would imagine the complexity will ramp up quickly.

      There’s also now a python library for manipulating maps, so we’ll start to see rogue-like generators soon or more expansive adventure mode stuff like Skylands.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I find Minecraft way too time consuming already. I would like a mode where everything is a bit easier to do and quicker.

      It seems to be an easily modded game. By the time it’s released there will be a gajillion mods for it that turn it into almost any game you could possibly want.

    • Tei says:

      Modding Minecraft will be the logical evolution to me.

      And I want to make a “Arrakis” map. One where water and dirt is replaced by sand. And spice is hard to find, but replace wood.

      The way Minecraft is made, if you removes a block, and sand is nearby, and has nothing below…this will trigger a collapse, so you have instant sand traps.

      Others simpler mods:
      Luminiscent fungus, and underground ant hives.

      And… combining maps.
      Take the unnoficial RPS server, and add a layer of 20 blocks of sand, and make some type of erosion (to avoid sand colums), so the end result is like a abandoned civilization, a lost city in the shahara.
      Or the simpler combining tool: take map A, take map B, put map A in map B. Get maps from SomethingAnwfull, QT3, RPS, GarrysMod Forum, etc.. and combina all the maps in a single map.
      Get a creative map, and add again the sand layer, another lost civilization.

      Randomizer… tool that have a “library” of cool stuff from some servers, and mix then at random, at underground caverns.

      The posibilities of modding minecraft, can make one man crazy.

    • Tei says:

      New types of explosives: nuke’s, planetcrackers, acid lava explosion, … volcans, ..tsunamis, floods,.. AAARGGH!!

    • sassy says:

      Notch stated in the newest indiegames podcast that he plans to implement mod support into beta. Also states that he wishes to one day open source the games.

  9. Igor Hardy says:

    I never understand why some players like having daily routines in their games (or that some games are entirely based around them). I’m sick of daily routines and mundane pressures in real life already. Minecraft is perfect to me without them.

    • poop says:

      if survival are done well then they are a fun extra bit of strategy and immersion in a game, especially when you fuck a routine up and have to improvise by desperately hunting food or putting up a camp for night.

      the FWE mod for fallout 3 does this really well

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Daily routine at your house, and daily routine in the jungle aren’t really the same, despite superficial similarities. One of them is also more thrilling.

    • Igor Hardy says:

      I still prefer to pretend that I don’t have to eat, drink or go to the toilet. Not to mention bathing and changing clothes, I hate that!

  10. dzabb says:

    what i really see is mixture of minecraft and nethack.

  11. skudfisher says:

    Haha, you have inadvertently highlighted what I have noticed about this game. Everyone I know who’s played it goes, “You know what would be cool?! If they added X/Y/Z!” The game captures peoples imagination in an interesting way that I think leads to everyone imagining new and interesting ways to interact with the fascinating little world that Notch has created.

    Read ANY comment thread on his development blog and try to go 2-3 posts without someone suggesting some new item, gameplay mode or monster… haha

    It was also my understanding that “Survival mode” in the game will eventually be very close to what you want, although I’m not sure about sleeping. I have to admit that personally I’m not sure how excited I could get about having to sleep in the game but I certainly like the idea of having to eat regularly.

  12. kyynis says:

    Dude, give UnReal World a go. Winter will kill you without home to live in.

    • kyynis says:

      And here’s the link I forgot: http://www.jmp.fi/~smaarane/urw.html

    • Tyler says:

      Seconded. It’s amazing.

    • Quirk says:

      Yeah, this.

    • psyk says:

      Yep was going to post about this as well sounds like what your after.

    • terry says:

      Yeah, URW is absolutely brutal (I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been gibbed by a rogue badger) and although I love it, it’s a very different experience from Minecraft. It’s entirely possible to screw yourself early on through the need to constantly monitor your needs. I think there certainly is a need in MC for more external threats but I’d prefer more environmentally based things (storms!) for that reason.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    I’ve actually not gotten around to playing Minecraft despite buying it months ago, because of the crappy goddamn ATI Mobility Radeon drivers (Amnesia and a handful of other games won’t start either, so I guess it is the OpenGL parts that are the problem) –
    but what I’m hoping to do when I start playing it is to fulfill my unrealized dreams of being an architect.

  14. NieA7 says:

    I could see those changes working. I’d like to see more agriculture in there so needing to eat and drink regularly would be nice, more of an incentive to get a proper little farm going. Sleeping’s not so exciting, I already get that nice secure feeling in my snow-capped mountain greenhouse watching the zombie bonfire every morning.

    My overall impression of minecraft single player is how incredibly melancholy it is. Its the prettiest post-apocalypse I’ve ever seen, but there’s something about being the only person in all the world that tinges everything I build and do with sadness. I’ve got plans, but even now I realize that if I ever finish them I’ll still be the only person to see them completed. Makes the whole thing a little touching somehow.

    • SpinalJack says:

      Unless you post videos and screenshots online for people to gaze at. Or post the save file for people to roam around in. I think going online with friends would be a similar experience without internet dicks messing up your house… just need some friends who like the game…

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      You’ve just nailed what I wanted to say beautifully.

      Me and my housemate were discussing a game we’d like to see the other day, a game where the human race has vanished from the earth and nature has begun reclaiming the cities. The PC would be dropped into this empty, decaying apocalypse and simply have to survive the ravages of this bleak, green, new world. Sort of I am Legend meets Robinson Crueso

      Then Minecraft came out and pretty much gave me the prototype for my ideal game. So thats nice.

    • NieA7 says:

      @ SpinalJack – the only person in the game I mean. I can show other people online or over my shoulder, but showing isn’t the same as having them there in the “physical” space at the same time as me. It’s like sending a photo of your house to your friends back home verses having them over.

    • cs says:

      @Tom

      I had a similar idea for a game. I was thinking along the lines of Canticle for Leibowitz, where the game starts off in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and it’s pure survival at first. But there would be a tech tree that people could follow somewhat slowly, until eventually gleaming cities could be built again and ultimately people would build the bomb and the cycle would start over.

    • Tei says:

      Re: A Canticle for Leibowitz, I am Legend, Robinson Crusoe

      The dude of “I am legend” is already like a succesful Minecraft player, that has build the perfect fort, but is starting to ponder is surviving alone is worth it. He start making mistakes… like having a clock that is broken,…

    • Jhoosier says:

      I found this too. Now that I’ve been playing on the unofficial server, I rarely go back to single player. The last time I did was to try out my own version of Towards Dawn, and I got bored after 3 days and logged back in to multiplayer.

  15. D says:

    Bought minecraft on reputation, played for 30 minutes. Meh, not for everyone I guess.

  16. The Snee says:

    I’m pretty sure you can get a lot of that from Oblivion Lost, for the first stalker. Needing to eat on occasion, needing to sleep to stop you from hallucinating, having to find safe zones in the (pitch black!) nights and during blowouts.

    The zombie survival game Survival Crisis Z covered some of the bases too, but that was real heavy on the combat.

    • El Stevo says:

      Survival Crisis Z is a great game. Sad that it never received the attention it deserved.

  17. Re2deemer says:

    The daily needs thing don’t really attract me. What I’d really feel fascinated by would be a feeling of….what STALKER: Call Of Pripyat offered – the feeling of being a part of a living, changing and working world. That the world doesn’t wait for you to do something, it has its own life. I know that somebody will yelp “Mobs!” and ” Cows!”, but I do not agree. Think floods or earthquakes and you’ll be closer to my train of thought

  18. Urthman says:

    I think very modest and realistic needs for food and sleep is a brilliant idea and would work great for Minecraft.

    So maybe you could go for days without food, but you’d lose one heart for each day you didn’t eat.

    And sleep would be a perfect solution to the short day-night cycle. Double the length of day and night but let you sleep through some of the night, but not all of it, and only an hour or two if you wanted. Let you pull an all-nighter with no gameplay penalty but maybe start to give you distorted graphics if you went more than one night without any sleep at all.

  19. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    Oh gosh, you could spend all week making a big meal for everyone when you invite them round, like Come Dine With Minecraft! Squeeee!

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      This is a splendid idea, because as well as food, you’ll be able to design the dining room. Minecraft is perfect for that kind of ritualised showing off.

      KG

    • Heliocentric says:

      Come mine with me. Amirite?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Helio: I will wager RPS will use that as a title line before we’re through with Minecraft.

      KG

    • EthZee says:

      It wouldn’t be the same without Dave Lamb making jokes at everyone’s expense. That said, though, that could be entertaining.

      First, it needs chairs and tables, though.

    • Huggster says:

      SMP would be great with hunger etc. as you would get economies set up where gold miners can buy food etc. and rent rooms.
      So a bit like Deadwood – who is going to be Al Swearegen!?

  20. RoTapper says:

    There is a game called Stranded, that requires you to survive on an island crafting and using things picked up off the ground.

    I’d personally like to see the survival stuff merged with some sort of STALKER mod. Looking for artifacts, avoiding anomalies, hiding in your bunker from blowouts and mutants. I know comparing every game to Stalker is overdone, but I kind of get that vibe from this when I play it.

  21. Clovis says:

    Before you go to bed, I’d guess you’d have to be really careful to light up every possible corner of your house (or, just add a door to your small brightly lit bedroom). You wouldn’t want to wak up with a creeper hissing at you!

    Since it is called “Survivor” mode, I’m sure that Notch will eventually add hunger and thirst. I doubt sleeping will be a requirement anytime soon though. You would want time to speed up while you sleep right? That obviously wouldn’t work in multiplayer; you’d have to stare at yourself sleeping or go make a sandwich or something.

    Whatever happens, as long as Notch is the one making the decisions, I’m sure the game will continue to improve. Minecraft is quickly becoming the most important PC game since… I don’t know, Portal?

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Tetris.

      Its that good.

    • Devenger says:

      Could just make insomnia permissible without penalty on multiplayer servers, of course. Quite like the idea of midnight hunting parties anyway.

  22. Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox says:

    No worries, John.

    We’re on it.

  23. RQH says:

    It really is amazing. Surviving Minecraft is so easy, and yet I still died and lost all my armor and stuff last night because I didn’t want to go back inside at night-time. For me, it’s quite a bit of what John’s said, but also, there’s something mythical about it. I’m building tools and discovering fire and slowly but surely imposing order on a chaotic and hostile world. I climb out on top of a mountain and behold everything and know that it’s mine to make into what I want.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      That moment when you see the lights and the outline of your home, YOUR HOME, through the glooming. Its beautiful, every time.

    • RQH says:

      @FunkyBadger: This. Last night, when I died, the only thing I cared about was being able to find my home again. It was, indeed, the most glorious sight.

    • Tacroy says:

      In the main world I play, I can start heading in almost any direction from the island on which I spawn and get that feeling – I’ve gotten lost and built bases in basically each of the four cardinal directions. It’s to the point now where I’m building a giant overground rail system to web them all together so I never get lost again goddamnit.

  24. olemars says:

    I absolutely love minecraft, and have been playing it almost obsessively since I bought it two weeks ago. There is another game in a similar vein however, with much of the requested survival elements you want added in. It’s called Stranded 2, and is a bit unknown and overlooked, but well worth spending a bit of time on.

    You’re alone on a tropical island. You have to eat, drink sleep, gather materials, build a home and protect yourself from wild animals and the elements. It’s not frantic or stressful like in many games, but the needs are there and you have to fulfill them, while trying to figure out how to get back to civilization.

    I recommend taking a look at it.

  25. Dozer says:

    I agree completely with what John said. I got bored with Minecraft while waiting for the grass to propogate up the dirt ladder to the roof of my floating house – I couldn’t find enough iron to complete my midi-project (much smaller than a mega-project) – to build a booster-driven tramway between the house and the spawnpoint. There is a sense of purpose in building that tramway, because it’ll save precious seconds getting from the spawn to safety, which there just isn’t in digging for gold or whatever. The game needs more “sense-of-purpose”, in my view, and needing to find food and shelter (better shelter than a single block of dirt, to be honest) would deliver it.

  26. Muzman says:

    Agreed on the request. That seemed the one thing missing for me as well. All these guys you watch like X making farms and greenhouses etc, but only for wool and timber and so forth.
    I’ll be another to mention Stalker. That with eating and sleeping switched on, as in AMK, plus hunting gives a tantalising glimpse of that ultimate self reliant adventure from the other direction.

    I’m sure Notch could add it in. He seems to be doing everything else.

  27. offcrcartman says:

    Wow, no mention of wurm online?

    This is probably as close to what you are looking for as anything. I love this game because you have like skills that you can level up. But you don’t just magically unlock stuff with levels. You can affect the environment around you completely. Everything in the game is player made and I mean everything. You have a hunger and thirst bar that go down over time. These affect how fast your stamina recovers when you are standing still. And your stamina is used up doing tasks, and when you run out it just makes you do things slowly. These don’t go down that fast, and after awhile you’ll be able to make high quality meals that replenish a lot, and plant a well by your house.

    I encourage you to go give it a try, but there are probably some things you want to try first. Get a friend to go in with you, look up some stuff about it. They cap the skill level at 20 on all your skills, but it will take you awhile to notice this.

    So they drop you in to the starter village, where there are some tutorial teachers that help you learn the basics. For the first 24 hours of your in-game time, you can go to the bartender and get free food and drink which is really helpful. Starving for awhile doesn’t kill you because you have layers of fat. So after you go hungry for awhile your hunger bar goes back up but you lose some fat. You can starve 3 or more times.

    Anyways to the main part of the game. You start off with a set of basic tools, a shield and sword. With these you can make everything you need, and you have to make it. You go find a tree, and start chopping it down with your axe selected. It takes more than one chop, and each chop takes time. After some chops, the tree will disappear, and depending on it’s age you’ll see nothing, a log or a felled tree. You can chop these up into logs, and turn the logs into planks or shafts. You turn a shaft into a mallet head and attach the mallet head to the shaft and you have a mallet. Save your wood scraps for later. You head off to find the mine and find an iron vein, after you mine some ore, pick it up and take it to the forge, where you make some kindling from the scraps and light the forge, stick your ore in there, after 30 or so minutes, the ore will turn into iron lumps which you can work with a mallet.

    • Bob Bobson says:

      Seconded, I was scrolling through the comments going, wait no mention of Wurm yet? Seriously? I don’t think it is John’s perfect game but I’d love him to play it and tell us how his perfect game differs ever so slightly from Wurm.

      Also I;’d recommend the premium servers though the nastier critters do add more of the danger element than John might want. But the worlds are soooo much bigger and thus better suited to exploration.

    • mwoody says:

      Notch was actually one of the creators of Wurm before he moved on to Minecraft.

    • mwoody says:

      “But the worlds are soooo much bigger and thus better suited to exploration”

      No, Minecraft’s worlds are much, much larger.

    • Torgen says:

      I left Wurm because I was spending all my time trying to make things to sell to other players in order to pay the subscription with in-game money instead of using real money. I felt pressured to do “productive” things in order to justify the subscription.

      I wonder if my cog, house and tree farm are still there?

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      The hivemind has touched on Wurm (oo-er) before: linque

    • Bob Bobson says:

      @mwoody, sorry I was unclear. The premium Wurm servers are sooooo much bigger than the free Wurm server so I recommend premium to John while he tries Wurm to compare and contrast it to his “perfect” game.

      I make no comments about the size of minecraft worlds.

  28. WFL says:

    I’ve spent a huge chunk of the weekend playing Minecraft online on a friends’ server, and needless to say, I’ve never been sucked in quite like this.

    Online is spectacular, and it’ll be even better once you can actually.. you know.. die. Still, it’s a blast collaborating with friends to build giant stretching roadways & tunnels, massive towers, underwater cities (not joking here – someone built there house under water), etc. I just finally finished the roof on my house, and am now moving on to the task of decorating it. Two stories with a balcony, basement, roof access, and a jacuzzi (with an honest-to-goodness waterslide).

    You do tend to get attached to what you build, though, and sometimes it becomes necessary to reset the world and start anew.

  29. Malagate says:

    That is a great article which is very close to my own thoughts on Minecraft, I really think it’s something that every player feels on their first night; the shared experience of needing to build somewhere to be “safe”. Even if it’s just digging a small hole in a dirt wall and whimpering at the zombie moans, it’s still your little safe area to keep away the nastiness of the outside.

    I also want food to play a bigger part, personally I would say 1 or 2 meals a day should suffice, also that sleep should either be toggleable (as in if you don’t like it, turn it off, automatically off for multiplayer) or you sleep at the same pace as game time but experience “dreams”. Dreams as in a randomly generated minecraft world with strange colours and odd geometries, just put in special dream items/ores to collect for extra bonuses when you wake up and include waking up early if you experience something nasty in the dream (a traumatic fall or encounters with weird dream mobs) with a malus for waking up early/upset/screaming.

    • Saul says:

      Dreams! Now that’s a wonderful idea.

    • John Walker says:

      Oh my goodness, this idea is spectacular. Lucid dreams where you can return to the same dreamworld each night, where different palettes and rules apply. Wow.

    • stahlwerk says:

      As a big fan of the snoozes, I wholeheartedly support this idea.

      Make the comfort/material of the beds a factor for how long you might dream. If you sleep on the bare ground you might not be able to accomplish anything in the short dreamtime, but if you’re sleeping in a diamond, queensize bed you can roam through the dreamworld almost unrestricted.

      Allow randomly glitching physics and color palettes in dreams, Green Flying Pigs for god’s sake! replace scenery when not looking, out-of-body experiences, flying dreams.

      But I guess that’d be another game entirely, then.

      Notch, please proceed doing as you damn well please with your fabulous gem of a game.

    • Muzman says:

      It’d be cool if it was some snowy CoD game with all the cheats switched on.
      …reminds me of something

  30. Max says:

    Absolute lashings :)

  31. CMaster says:

    Just to comment John, that you might want to try the GBC Survival Kids game. It’s the predecessor to Lost in Blue and while the first few days are pretty desperatley gathering food, water, tools, later on it becomes much more about exploration (with stocking up on food first).

  32. Mike says:

    Quite charming, John!

    The game’s forums have a healthy suggestions section, where food/drink/sleep are always being discussed. What I hope is that, whatever Minecraft becomes, it remains modular. Food and drink would be excellent, but like monsters I would want to be able to turn it off.

  33. Tyler says:

    Anyone get that same feeling from Zork? If you killed the thief in his lair…suddenly it was your lair, and you were safe from harassment in an interesting world. Always struck a chord like that in my mind.

  34. JuJuCam says:

    I like to spend most of my time in Minecraft spelunking and exploring, so I think basic needs would generally just get in the way of what I want to do in the world. Although considering the amount of time I need to eat anyway because I’ve fallen and hurt myself or been attacked by enemies, it probably wouldn’t change my gameplay that much. It may even mean I stay healthy for longer since my feeding is enforced.

    In any case, I can roleplay the need to eat, and in a way I can roleplay the need to sleep too, although building beds would be wonderful. In the end it would be best if these were toggleable options; I think a lot of people would consider them a nuisance.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      I’m the same.

      Indeed my main Minecraft “demand” would be the ability to change or maybe even add a new respawn point.

      I don’t know how best to implement it, as being able to make too many would wreck part of the risk that makes the game fun. But there has been certain areas ages away from my respawn point that I’ve wanted to revisit and have struggled to find again. Maybe make an item made out of gold and diamonds so that you can’t make too many which can act as an alternate respawn point? All I know is that I want another option to starting over in a new world when I get bored of my current home.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      There are third party applications that allow you to change your respawn point.

  35. noobnob says:

    I just want some NPC (zombie, goblin) villages to pillage :(

    I’m one of those that plays Minecraft to have a base, stockpile resources and then run into the night to kill monsters with my trusty bow and explore the land. That’s why I’m leaving SMP behind for a while, because there’s no survival at all. I guess having to sleep and eat regularly would be neat…and the night/day cycles. I really want those to last longer.

  36. Tony M says:

    I concor with Scudfisher. You can’t play this game without saying “wouldn’t it be cool if it had…”

    Please make it mod friendly. Pretty please.

  37. psyk says:

    Schiffbruch is short but fun.

  38. Boris says:

    Survival game eh? I heartily recommend Unreal World. Don’t let the name scare you off, no elves, no monsters.

    Finland. Bronze age-ish. Roguelike with graphics. Only downside is that it is not free, but the pricetag shouldn’t deter anyone who is interested.

    Check it out: http://www.jmp.fi/~smaarane/urw.html

  39. Birdman Tribe Leader says:

    As a seasoned adventure gamer, I assume you’ve played the Quest for Glory series, John? Those are games that require you to eat and sleep and (in one game) drink water, all within reason. In at least the first, second, and fourth games, I thought they really nailed the daily routine part of the game. You start out in the first game very weak and without enough money to buy everything you need, so every day you eat something, do a job for a little money and exercise (boosting your strength), wander around the forest to look for new puzzles or fight the occasional monster, and make sure you’re back to a safe spot at night (when the tougher monsters come out).

    Granted, once you know the game well you cease to really have any trouble getting food or money and the illusion of a somewhat dangerous world with safe places scattered about gets broken a bit, but it’s still the closest I’ve come to feeling I exist as a regular person in a world. Also, it’s an adventure game!

  40. omicron says:

    Capital post, sir. Capital.

    I am completely in agreement. In fact, I was thinking about just this sort of modification to Minecraft just a few days ago.

    Nethack/Rogue really did this mechanic first – and stand as an example of how to do it right. You don’t normally worry about food – you carry some around in your backpack, eat when “weak” pops up on your status bar, and otherwise just explore. But then comes a time when you eat your last food ration, sprig of garlic, and banana. Suddenly you’re foodless, at risk of imminent starvation and death. The game turns into a desperate race to find food, weighing the comparative value of avoiding possible poisoning versus eating that old corpse, and racing to the down staircase as soon as you’ve scouted the level adequately… and then at some point you’ve internally calculated the values of these things, and once again settle into an easy routine of play, with the only difference being you buy as many food rations as the shops have in stock.

  41. Snall says:

    Frankly if you haven’t played DF I will veto all your MC requests…also I built a glass tower over the clouds!! ….and some rock too for torch placement…stupid glass.

  42. Moonracer says:

    It is interesting when players (myself included) decide to abandon a world and start over. If you fall in lava and lose all your stuff, worst case you are back to a starting setup anyway (though most likely with some constructions complete). There is something magical about the first maybe hour of a new game in a virgin world though. I think largely because after a certain point you start feeling too secure and settled in and the MOBs become a lot less threatening once you have good equipment and know your way around.

    That said, I agree with the need for more survival elements, in Minecraft or other games. I think a simple solution to food would be to lose half a heart a day at noon to force players to eat regularly. As for sleep I’ve read a lot about that on the forums and agree that it generally lessens the threat of night too much, ruining that part of the game.

  43. Dave says:

    I agree with this article completely. I love minecraft, but I have all these functionless buildings and I’m getting a bit bored of exploring. Having to have a bed, larder, kitchen etc. would be great additions. I would love to develop a mod that added these things, but until that happens, I’m working on my own version of minecraft that’s 2d, and subsequently quite shitty.

    Notch will probably add these things by himself anyway, just got to be patient and remember that it’s still in alpha lol.

  44. Drakkheim says:

    Lost in blue got better once you crafted a decent bed and got the pot shard to cook with and built up a decent supply of food. It was a bit of work though. Never did shoot anything with a bow or find out what that temple was all about….. dangit now I’m gonna be digging out the old DS an be up all night.

  45. Jakkar says:

    We’ve been hard at work on it for a while now John – Minecraft reminded us of what we love, but is a woefully squandered opportunity, an incredibly slow burn of development with utterly borked priorities.

    Engine is mostly done, fleshing out art and concept with some truly talented comrades, and should have some early footage and information up on the website soon.

    I’ll not name the project or include our WIP weblink here yet, I think the others might hit me, but I assure you, once we’ve got some respectable gameplay up and we open the dev builds to the public, I’ll be angling for RPS coverage.

    .. once it merits the attention =)

  46. Nyst says:

    Here’s how this could work gameplay wise.
    If you don’t eat, you start losing health. Not much, say maybe half a heart a day, and will max out at about 1/3rd health left. So not eating won’t kill you, but will make life a lot harder.

    If you don’t sleep, you lose vision and sound, i.e. you can’t look as far, or hear as much. Just a little each day capping out at a lowest point. Again, this won’t kill you, but make life harder.

    If you don’t drink, you get fatigued, and start to move slower. Up to a point where you’re only moving at half speed. You can see how that would affect you.

    Ideally, there’d be different qualities in remedies. water will quench thirst, but orange juice will do better. Grow grapes and wheat and turn them into beer and wine. Egg or bacon work, but a BLT sandwich will do so much more. And a cloth sheet will let you sleep, but a wooden bed with straw mattress and feather-filled pillow will let you sleep as a king.

    This all will let you easily survive in the wild, while rewarding you for putting in some work and leaving prepared. It also doesn’t impede much people who feel safe and just want to focus on building.

  47. Zinic says:

    While I agree with your opinion, I do think this should be an option, not a rule. Maybe make it depend on difficulty or just add an option to turn these things on or off.

    Adding an artificial need to a game for the sole reason of immersion and/or because it sounds cool, isn’t always a good thing. Especially when you find yourself in the middle of a cavern, lost, without food or drink. Especially when you just want to explore.

  48. datter says:

    I’ve only briefly played the free version of Minecraft as I fear the time sink it would no doubt become, but it sounds like what it needs is some additional tick boxes and sliders.

    Length of day/night cycle slider
    Require food : yes/no
    Require sleep : yes/no
    Temperature effects : yes/no (perhaps you move slower in the cold and need more water when it’s hot)

    etc

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Spiders: no

    • EthZee says:

      No, Badger, the options would be:

      Spiders – SOME | MANY | LOADS | OH GOD THE SEA IS MADE OF SPIDERS

    • FunkyBadger says:

      You know the bit at the end of Ravenholme? The mineshaft down to the cavern full of bastarding spiders/headcrabs?

      I just sat and weeped FOR AN HOUR before I even thought about trying to get through there.

    • Huggster says:

      Fucking Ravenholm.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Weeped, jebus. Wept.

      *shakes fist*

      Goddamn you, you eight-legged freaks. You cooked my past-participles!

    • Matt says:

      If you hate spiders that much, you probably shouldn’t ever play Dark Messiah of Might & Magic.

    • Dozer says:

      Ravenholdm, where the pants are dead. Get it right.

  49. Deficarna says:

    Adding a requirement to sleep (and thus, skip forward in time) would also negate the whole “Monsters come out at night RAWR!” aspect of the game – just make a secure building (or a hole in the wall) and sleep away the monster infested night.

    If you’re really interested in adding in requirements to eat/sleep, then self impose that aspect…

    • Fiatil says:

      As opposed to “dig a hole in the wall and wait 5 minutes”? What John’s suggesting would actually give more incentive to go out and night and deal with those monsters. If I’m starving to death and I’m forced to roam at night looking for food I actually have a reason to deal with the nasty skeletons and zombies and such. As it is now I have to conjure up reasons to leave my safe mining complex/house at night. Just build a wall or dig a hole and boom! no more monsters.

      Still absolutely love Minecraft, don’t get me wrong, but John’s definitely hit on something here. I love stumbling back to my home after a long excursion in the caves, but “home” feels more comfortable when it provides you with benefits that “not-home” doesn’t give you.

  50. crabbytap says:

    Wow, so that’s it! I had a suspicion that was the problem as neither game runs for me either, amongst others. Looks like new card time.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @crabbytap

      A reply to me I assume? Yeah, I recently got a new gaming laptop, so switching cards is not an option unfortunately.

    • sfury says:

      Is that with the Ati 4200 Mobility series because I was looking at a similar laptop for buying too? Shame if it is so, I really wanted to buy a AMD/Ati combo because they’re finally making headway in the laptops and even if they’re inferior I’d like to support them. But if they don’t make the effort to support them with good drivers – f ‘get-about-it…

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      @sfury

      I have an Asus G73JH which has the Radeon Mobility HD5870. It is an amazing gaming machine…. apart from the driver issue. I’ve read the 5870 is the card the most driver problems too. If I download the latest Mobility drivers the machine hangs after just a few minutes of usage (even if just browsing). So I have to use drivers from 2 generations back.
      :-(

      Highly annoying. I was defending using laptops as gaming machines on the RPS forums too recently. I’m really angry about the poor driver support overall on laptops.

      Once I get around to installing a Linux partition on that machine I will probably be able to play Minecraft at least, the Linux OpenGL drivers for ATI cards are supposed to be pretty good (ironic – installing Linux as a gaming OS because Windows works crap). Amnesia I bought through Steam, so that is more difficult. I may buy it again though, just to support them.