The Good Life: Minecraft’s Life In The Woods Reborn

American trucks and the open road may be The Official RPS Escapist Fantasy right now, but in 2014 we did have a nice few days dreaming about seeking a life of solitute, contemplation, creativity, exploration, and self-sufficiency in the wilds.

Inspired by the writings of Henry D. Thoreau, Life in the Woods was a collection of Minecraft [official site] mods turning the build ’em up towards those feelings. Now curator Phedran has followed up with a new release adding multiplayer support and tuning the feelings to a slightly different direction.

The new version is Life in the Woods: Renaissance, and you can download it over here. Phedran explains on the site that as earlier releases mirrored her own struggles in life, this new one reflects how she’s improved her life and wellbeing since. That’s lovely. She says:

“Life in the Woods is still all about survival, exploration, and beauty, and there are new dangers to face, but the focus is now more than ever on creation, personal expression and discovery, and shaping the world around you, and now with multiplayer, while still holding true to your own ideals.”

Changes to this newest version include a wider variety of environments and vegetation, more creatures, improved recipes, more crops and trees to farm, more fish to catch, and more creative building options.

Isn’t this a nice life to dream of?


  1. brucethemoose says:

    Looked through the modlist… Not impressed.

    I hate to sound like such a skeptic, but this is pretty basic as far as Minecraft modpacks go. For example, while not bad, there better worldgen mods out there than BoP/ExtraBiomesXL:

    link to
    link to
    link to
    link to

    It also uses a pretty old build of Forge from last year, and it’s missing some of the better animals mods, as well as the “vanilla enhancement” type mods. They also re-invented the wheel by using their own launcher for some reason.

    Admittedly, I haven’t run it myself yet… But I’m too spoiled by the world of modded MC to go back to a vanilla-ish experience.

    • Veav says:

      Is there a modpack you’d recommend for a similar enjoy-the-solitude experience, then? I don’t have a good understanding of what’s out there so this is all I have to go on.

      • brucethemoose says:

        Honestly, I know a lot about the high-tech packs (think nuclear reactors, big factories, space, technomagy… Not very Thoreau), but not the vanilla-ish ones like that. But if you’re interested, I can poke around tonight when I’m actually on a desktop, not a phone.

      • brucethemoose says:

        Also, packs are generally hosted on FTB, Curse, or ATLauncher. Making your own launcher is highly unusual, not sure why this project does it.

    • LTK says:

      I never really thought the custom terrain generation (if there was any) was the point, it’s mainly that you can explore alternate playstyles that focus more on terrestrial living. In vanilla Minecraft it’s imperative that you get underground to make any progress, and since that’s what I usually play, I liked the variety that more plant life gives you.

      I’d love to explore some places with additional terrain variety though. Are there any mods that include flooded caves? I’ve always wanted to have those.

      • brucethemoose says:

        To the default caves?

        Cave Biomes is what you’re looking for. It basically themes caves (ice, lava-rock, mossy green green caves and so on), but AFAIK there’s no under-water specific one.

        Some mods add underground dungeons with water sections or big constructs under the ocean. Cant remember the names off the top of my head, but I’ll look it up later if u want.

    • rexx.sabotage says:

      what mods are in the pack aside from Pam’s Harvestcraft and Biomes o’ Plenty/ExtraBiomesXL?

      • brucethemoose says:

        link to

        That’s 40 mods, including dependencies. For reference, packs typically top off at ~200 before performance/stability REALLY starts tanking… But it’s actually a better selection than I saw at first glance.

        • rexx.sabotage says:

          Yeah, that is a super light pack, all really basic stuff. However, NEI is excluded almost as if to say, “Whoa whoa whoa, we don’t want any minds blown!”

          I guess it’s a good place to start if you’re new to modding but, does it really need it’s own launcher? As if the world needed another Minecraft mod launcher. If the packer ever gets around to uploading a standalone pack, I’ll check it out to see if the actual experience is great than it’s description however, I suspect I’ll be dropping in more mods before too long.

          • rexx.sabotage says:

            oh j/k, NEI is in there, Hunger Overhual too! You’d think Forestry’d be in there too but yeah, that bee struggle is really freaking real

    • nukularpower says:

      What mods were used to make those pics? Why say there are better mods and then not give the names? :P

      • brucethemoose says:

        Realistic World Generation, Alternate Terrain Gen, Biome Bundle does most of the lifting, but there are mods that add little things too like trees, rivers, boulders, bushes, ruins and so on.

        You’ll go crazy trying to track all the worldgen mods in a pack… I don’t even know them all, I just see them in packs.

  2. LTK says:

    Oh, this is perfect! After three months away from my computer, I was hoping to come back to Minecraft 1.9 but sadly that update has still not been released. I very much enjoyed playing Life in the Woods last time around so I’ll give this a shot too.

  3. AngoraFish says:

    Incredible! This is the direction Minecraft itself should have gone in, instead of shoe-horning ridiculous ‘adventure’ elements into a sandbox game.

    • brucethemoose says:

      Mojang doesn’t have enough resources to add anything at that scale.

      Yes, MS bought them, but they have no interest in pushing the Java version forward. It even helps their competitor (Oracle) in a way.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Mojang doesn’t have the resources, but modders working for free do?!?

        • brucethemoose says:

          Yup :P.

          The MC modding community is incredible. There are hundreds of really good coders all working with each other under the Forge umbrella… With every update, they churn out a lot more content than Mojang ever has.

          • AngoraFish says:

            Sorry, no. I am familiar with the modding scene, and the examples of mods that are objectively better and more extensive than professionally produced games can be counted on one hand.

            In any case, you completely missed the point of my original post, where I observed that Mojang had misdirected resources to the magic and adventuring systems, rather than simply adding blocks and resources to a game that is popular because of its sandbox.

  4. alms says:

    It looks pretty, I’ll give it that, but the constantly swaying (bending over?) grass and the copious amount of leaves falling everywhere was already grating.

    Then I saw the blossoming cherry trees, the music clicked and it all screamed cheesy anime bucolic at me and I stopped watching.

    • brucethemoose says:

      You can get rid of all of that by just leaving the shaders out, or switching them for another set.

      • alms says:

        That’s good to know, guess the real question is: is the modpack going for that aesthetic too or just the trailer?

        Because I really have a low tolerance for stereotyped anime stuff at this stage. Also that line about “vegan Minecraft” on the mod’s page is making me wary.

        • brucethemoose says:

          I know those mods. Take away the shader pack (or change it), and the swaying, the leaves, and the weird color pallet/filters will all be gone. That cherry tree biome never struck me as particularly animesque though.

          And it’s probably not a vegan pack. I don’t know if they’re disabled, but Pam’s Harvestcraft (one of the mods) has a cheeseburger and several other very meaty recipes.

        • Phasma Felis says:

          I’m sorry you’ve had such unpleasant experiences with anime that the sight of a cherry tree in bloom, absent any other context, makes you grind your teeth, but I don’t think that’s really grounds to criticize the game.

          As far as I can tell, the vegan thing just means that everything important can be built without resources from killing animals, if you choose to play that way.

          • alms says:

            It’s not an anime thing, it’s a Japanese thing. Except everyone who ever watched an anime and is under a certain age feels comfortable putting a lick of Nipponese paint onto their stuff, and though I’m not that kind of guy “anime = ewwww”, there’s little that is more formulaic than the combination of blossoming cherry trees with plinky plonky dramatic music. I know for a fact there’s an audience out there who can’t get enough of that stuff, but I’ve had my share.

            I have nothing about blossoming cherries, they’re beautiful. I just don’t want to be given the standard treatment.

  5. geldonyetich says:

    It looks pretty, but what I’m really looking for a good 1.8 modpack with some novelty, considering I played the major 1.7.4 modpacks to death.

  6. spacevagrant says:

    It’s nice to see this here. Phedran is good people and I know this pack meant a lot to her. I’ll have to give it a go one of these days.

  7. klownk says:

    Minecraft vanilla is pretty bad and useless. With technics mods it takes all his meaning.
    Try Feed the beast (link to modpack
    or Resonant Rise pack (link to

    • brucethemoose says:

      Unabridged is my favorite “sandbox” pack, if that’s what you’re looking for. Has a better much mod selection that Resonant Rise or FTB Infinite.

  8. Hyena Grin says:

    TerrafirmaCraft is still kicking along. I haven’t played it in a while. Every once in a blue moon I get the urge to jump back in and see what’s new, but Minecraft in any form is a lot less fun without friends. And, well, on the whole the Group What I Play Games With has long moved on from this kind of game. Sad, really.

  9. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Glad to see there are still articles about modded minecraft.
    There is a lot of good entertainment to be found here.

    Mod list looks like the pack was about farming and hunger a lot but I’m willing to give it a try, sure looks gorgeous.