Speaking of Minecraft

Which I know we weren’t. But anyway. I’m thinking of buying Minecraft for the kids for Christmas, and know pretty much nothing about it except I want to throw DD’s iPod out the window because she’s always on it. :slight_smile: They are 12, 6, and 5, and I’m guessing they are all old enough. Biggest question is can they each have their own “game” or do they have to all use one world? And does whoever still have that safe server or is there a place to find kid-friendly ones? Or is there a place I can look all this up and not pester you all? :slight_smile:

My kids are Minecraft freaks. My 11-year old built a Minecraft hot tub. I shook my head…

I’ve been planning on taking one of the old computers I have lying about and turning it into their own Minecraft server. That way they have their own world to play in and I don’t have to worry about the (other) freaks. Something to consider…

I’m pretty sure I am incapable of building a server. Though maybe DH could…he IS a computer guy, after all. I never considered that. They never play with other people, so that wouldn’t be too much of an issue. Do they have to share a world? And is the only place I can buy the game on the Minecraft website? That seems to be what I can find…

Not sure about world-sharing being mandatory or not. My kids want to be in the same world which is odd, considering that they rarely want to be in the same room…

The Minecraft game is available on Xbox and other platforms, but for the Macs, I just bought it through Mojang. You can also get a gift card for Mojang (the publisher) at Best Buy.

I don’t believe the server would be too hard to configure, and I’m pretty sure the serve software is free. Like I said, I’m in the planning stage. It’s going to be a Christmas present.

This sounds like a very good Christmas present. As it doesn’t take up a billion areas in my house, or a million dollars. And maybe cheapo me can find the gift card at Giant Eagle so I can get FuelPerks too. I’m so cheap… But I will get DH right on it! Thanks!

The server is very easy. Basically you run a file on a box. There’s other stuff to it, but that’s it in a nutshell.

They can do both worlds too. You can create worlds locally and they can play in it or they can create a world on the server and invite people to come join. I think even the portable version for Android can connect to a server though I’m not positive of that. Either way, it’s easy to set up on a PC or Mac.

You buy Minecraft from their web site directly, and the kids each need an account—so you’ll need one copy of the game for each kid.

@Darktan’s got it as far as servers n stuff goes—the kids can play the “single player” version of the game on their own, or they can play multiplayer with each other in a shared world. That shared world requires a server, and the kids can either play on a public one (like the one I run) or you can set up your own. Setting up your own is really easy if you don’t need it to be heavy-duty and internet-accessible. If your hubby is a computer guy, he can totally figure it out!

I wrote a big guide about it on Ars, but that’s mainly geared toward setting up a big public server for lots of folks to play on. For a little private server for your kids, just about any reasonably-not-super-old computer will work without any problems. You can use Windows, OS X, or Linux.

Yea! I’ve sent that info to DH. I think his real title is infrastructure architect or something - he designs data centers, etc, and is finishing his Master’s in MIS. So I’m thinking it should be doable for him. :slight_smile: Thanks! I also told him to read the ArsTechnica website just for fun.

Also, if it’s private a private server… you could set it up on a Raspberry Pi…

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Hey, now THAT’s a good idea!

That was somewhat hard to believe, but I checked. It is possible.


Yeah , I didn’t do quite the in-depth stuff as some of those. Got the server installed and tested connecting with a client. Played all of 10 minutes then went on to other stuff. My PI is currently built as a MAME server. I’m still building it up and such. One of those ‘projects’ that will sit on a bench until I see it and want to continue it.

Status update:

Ok, so I got a model B Pi and configured it with Raspbian (only a slight pain) on a 64GB SD card. Then installed Minecraft and it works. unfortunately, the limited amount of RAM on the B Pi (512MB) doesn’t allow for very good performance. One or two players may be okay, but anything more than that and with the view distance set anywhere over 5 it’s a bit laggy. I’ve since installed a VM of Debian Wheezy using Fusion on my Ham Shack’s Mac Mini and it’s working well.

I’d like to add that the Raspberry Pi platform is very cool though. I’m looking forward to seeing what other neat stuff I can do with it. For a 35 dollar computer, it’s hard to resist!

It makes for a decent media box for a dumb TV. And the MAME emulation is pretty good. My current one is flagged for a streaming radio/mp3 system in the house. One of these days I’ll get back to it.

Okay so the Minecraft server VM has been working very well for some time and the boys are really digging it. Unfortunately I’ve been spending way too much time on it myself. I spent nearly three hours yesterday trying to figure out a redstone circuit to power a hidden door to a loot stash. Yes I did figure it out, yes it’s really well hidden, and yes it’s very awesome - but I digress. I have been forced to hide my really good loot, since the eleven-year-old has developed kleptomania and likes to steal all my in-game shit.

I’ve also caused myself another small bit of grief while trying to show Mrs. Boomer how to get around in the game (she’s got an account too). I accidentally killed her. Even in a game it’s bad juju to kill your wife, respawn-be-damned. I will surely be made to suffer for this.

Woe is I.


Haha, I couldn’t help but laugh after reading this!

As for me, the only thing I’ve been trying to get a handle on is getting familiar with all of the updates and how they affect the game (see what happens when you put it down for 3 months!). Apparently there’s horses to be found. Somewhere. So I did what any reasonably sane person did and created yet another world. From what I’ve seen, it’s almost a reason to ditch Biomes’o’plenty, which, while pretty, is pretty insane to get through. I’ve started out in a dark oak forest, which for those who don’t know, are trees on steroids. I have more tree chopping to do than I currently know how to handle. Honestly, I wish one of the kidlets was old enough to grasp Minecraft, but that’s a few years before that will happen. It just gets lonely on MC after awhile. :frowning:

My understanding is that once a biome has been created (by you traveling to it) it’s done. If you update the game but use the same world, you have to go to a previously un-seen area of the map, thereby creating a new biome with the new code. You’d need to get lucky enough for a plains biome to appear, and the horses would spawn in it at that point. Your older plains biomes will have no horses.

Yes, there are horses and donkeys aplenty on my server and you can breed a horse with a donkey to create a mule. There is also horse armor and saddles which can’t be crafted, but can only be found in chests in mines, strongholds, or villages.

Which has led me to constantly have to recreate new worlds. I’ve already created 3 since 1.4 days because I wanted to experience the new content. Truth be told, I wish I could import the buildings and stuff from one world to an “undiscovered” portion of a newer world.

I found donkeys before I knew they were in the game. I started Minecraft back up, and then I dropped it again because no mods yet.

That’s my other big issue. By the time I get my mods working again when I decide to play again (a feat of its own these days), Minecraft updates their stuff again. I was happily working on a 1.6 version after an hour or so fudging around with mods and Forge and then 1.7.2 came out a week later making the effort fruitless. No mod is ready and all are incompatible once again (including forge). 1.7.4 (or was it 1.7.5?) came out not much longer after that with a bunch of fixes to the code from 1.7.2, so any updates for that were null as well. I think we’re good for a bit, as far as I know though. Maybe I can get some working again within the next week.

BTB, does anyone know why I can’t give Minecraft more than 1GB of memory without Java crashing? Is it even necessary?