National Geo Graphics: Minecraft’s Biomes O’ Plenty Mod

By Nathan Grayson on September 26th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

All that's missing are the tiny, box-shaped tumble weeds.

If I’m being honest, my favorite part of Minecraft isn’t the mining or the crafting or the building or the rampant chicken-punching. Instead, my truest joy is simply wandering around an ever-expanding world, taking in the often awe-inspiring sights and sounds of blocky nature. One day, I will venture to New Zealand and go on a trek for the ages. Until then, I have Minecraft. But after a while, even those procedurally generated delights start to lose their luster. Enter the brand new “Biomes O’ Plenty” mod. It adds just about every geographic configuration you could possibly imagine – short of outer space and the inside of David Bowie’s mind. Details after the break.

Biomes O’ Plenty adds a whopping 33 new environment templates to Minecraft, ranging from cherry blossom groves to murky marshes  to dusty red mesas to ominous woods to what I’m pretty sure is actually just Proteus. There’s a full gallery of every last one with descriptions here.

You also get 14 new object types (including lots of dirt, mud, and dead plant – for that authentic post-apocalyptic feel) and a few new crafting/smelting recipes. A word of warning, however: this one’s not compatible with other biome mods, and attempting to alter it yourself is inadvisable.

Still though, it’s really quite a package. And as Jim recently pointed out, PC games are all about terrain. Jim only speaks in absolute truths (and the occasional wisdom-bestowing riddle), so you can trust him on that. At any rate, give Biomes O’ Plenty a try for yourself here.

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35 Comments »

  1. pistolhamster says:

    It looks absolutely stunning. Perhaps if the villages are more fun now, I’d give it a go. But most of my games I explore little and dig a lot. What is the point of exploring a fractal random landscape?

    • Premium User Badge Harlander says:

      If you want fun villages, try Millenaire and MineColony.

      • Darth_Pingu says:

        How’s the situation relationship between MineColony and bugs these days?
        (Tried it ~1 month before the first vanilla village patch)

        • Premium User Badge Harlander says:

          Hard to say. I expended my minecraft kick a while ago after much playing with the aforementioned mods, Thaumcraft 2 and other funky stuff – and I couldn’t put that in a timeline with other Minecraft official releases anyhow.

      • zbeeblebrox says:

        What would be cool is if someone made a mod that actually made the *buildings* as procedurally generated as the terrain. With a “mix and match” setup where each base-class structure comes with its own defined sockets that are filled in with a randomly chosen element from its category, it could work pretty well. And the vanilla village solution to fitting buildings into the environment seems pretty straightforward – I don’t understand why no modder bothers to utilize it, and instead goes for an ugly terrain-breaking solution.

    • Universal Quitter says:

      From what I understand, different people can enjoy different things.

      I know, crazy witchcraft, right?

    • running fungus says:

      I’m really surprised to hear you say that (about exploring a fractal landscape) because my reaction to Nathan’s statement was basically “Well, of course — people love that about Minecraft.” I haven’t actually encountered many people for whom wandering the landscape isn’t a favourite part. You can get some boring landscapes, mind, and I’ve gotten over the notion that I need to build on whatever world comes up. A few restarts and I’m always much happier with what I get (great, Utah-esque arches, plus waterfalls, typically, or anything in winter). I don’t think I’ll ever stop settling down in places where the view is particularly fine.

  2. Flukie says:

    When I bought this game in early alpha, I assumed the money would go towards gathering the best modders around, bringing them together and creating the most interesting game packed full of content, to beat out any professionals out there.

    I’ve just been disappointed that development has crawled at a snails pace and we’re left with a slowly updating half finished feeling game. Sure I’ve got my hundreds of hours from such a small investment but the potential for this game is so large that it really hasn’t met what it could be.

    I know a big budget studio out there is working at that potential that could of been met, but I’d rather devlelopers reap the rewards from this type of thing rather than publishers.

    • skinlo says:

      What is that big budget studio?

    • Emohawk says:

      So you’re main complaint is they didn’t charge enough to be able to do this?
      Maybe I measure value differently from you, but value for money for me is the amount of time/enjoyment I get from a game for a price. I can’t put a price on the amount of time/enjoyment I’ve got from it but it faaaar exceeds the £10 or so I paid for it.

      Perhaps it’s the development time? I too brought the game in early alpha and was wholly frustrated by the erratic nature of the development process. They’ve streamlined the process now with incremental updates that are far apart enough not to annoy when a new feature is released.
      Before they were banging out game changing alterations at quick rate but these were often buggy and frustrating as you’d be constantly starting a new game to take advantage of a new biome or new ore.
      I like Majong still have that indie flare about them with the structure of a proper games studio..

      Minecraft has lots of potential and I can’t see a small games studio filling all the gaps. That’s where the awesome community comes in with their amazing modding abilities. I’m fairly certain before long you could tailor the game to your exact specifications with just a few mods.

    • Reapy says:

      Yeah I kind of expected my 10 dollars would go to developing something like this in the game. Still, I guess it’s his money to do with as he wishes. Either way I was fine paying 10 for what I had at the time, and just vaguely wishing for more stuff to do in the sandbox.

    • zbeeblebrox says:

      “I assumed the money would go towards gathering the best modders around, bringing them together ”

      UHHHHH, that’s exactly what happened? Or did you not get the memo about the ENTIRE BUKKIT TEAM being hired on like ages ago?

      And PS: there’s a crazy, totally unlikely rumor going around that the piston mod may have been implemented into the vanilla game. I know right?? Like that’ll ever happen! Ha!

    • Premium User Badge Carra says:

      There was an article about modding on RPS not long ago.

      Minecraft has as many modders as all other games combined.

  3. FloorBelow says:

    That scrubland, in particular, looks great. Fantastic lookin’ groundcover, right there.

  4. Mctittles says:

    This looks pretty good. More like what I imagined the biomes originally promised would be like, which to me just made the game duller somehow.

  5. Barberetti says:

    Oh no. Oh nonono. The last time I dusted off Minecraft to check out a new mod, I lost another 6 months of my fucking life. Nice try RPS, but I’m not going to be caught out like that again!

    Seriously, I’ve been actually making some progress with clearing some of my games backlog over the last few months, and avoiding games like Minecraft is what’s made that possible. So yeah, as awesome as that mod sounds, it’ll have to wait a while.

  6. Firkragg says:

    ” – and the inside of David Bowie’s mind.”

    I want to Go there.
    And just when you got the minecraft monkey off your back, a creeper jumps you and pulls you right in again. As if we don’t have enough games coming out right about now :)

  7. Tiax says:

    Installing this mod gives me a black screen after login.

    Why does this always happen with the most fantastic-looking mods ?

    • Spoon says:

      That’s a common symptom of not deleting your META-INF folder in your minecraft.jar.

    • Marqaha says:

      You may be seeing the black screen because you might have failed to delete the meta-inf folder within the Minecraft jar file. Check that and you could see your black screen trouble disappear.

    • Tiax says:

      Damn, thank you guys, I read about deleting this folder but I thought I was to find it in the “bin” folder, not in the jar file.

  8. maicus says:

    As a New Zealander, I have to warn you – it is mostly cows out here. And sheep. And a bit of black power, but they’re mostly all good. For some awesome vistas hit the indian Himalayas – the lowest valleys are higher than most of our mountains.

    • maicus says:

      Well, I guess minecraft is mostly cows anyway. So go nuts!

    • Premium User Badge JiminyJickers says:

      South Island is nicer for trekking about.

    • Vesperan says:

      As a New Zealander I can also tell you that Maicus is being too modest.

      There are also a lot of sheep out here.

  9. hello_mr.Trout says:

    i’d love it if mc had proper seasonal type weather tho- would make the existing biomes more varied, and lend more of a sense of time/progression to the game perhaps. still, more biomes is always a good thing, perhaps it’ll be integrated into vanilla?

  10. d32 says:

    The linked page is full of spoilers!
    Fortunately, they are adequately tagged. I wouldn’t want anyone to spoil my installation process!

  11. d32 says:

    Also, grumpy old internet man here: so Minecraft still does not officially support mods? Shame on them!

  12. CKScientist says:

    It’s funny how people can’t appreciate things the things they see all the time. New Zealand is very beautiful, but the geography in North America is wonderful too, and much more varied.

    • Premium User Badge RedViv says:

      Well, big deal. That’s a whole (sub-, by some definitions) continent! :P

  13. TechnicalBen says:

    I have to agree with the article. The only reason I put money down on Minecraft was to have a terrain generator. Granted it’s made out of blocks, but it has ever bit as much charm as any other game vista.

  14. tomeoftom says:

    For those wanting to check out the slew of amazing Minecraft mods: you’ll probably benefit by using Magic Launcher – it means you can easily change in the install order and test the game without modifying the actual minecraft.jar. Makes sorting out mod clashes 20x easier.