Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Thoughts On: Minecolony

Dungeons and Colonies is basically made up of 2 mods to Minecraft.  Better Dungeons and Minecolony.

It is an absolute shame that Minecolony ceased updates after 2.5.  I debated on how much "history of Minecraft" needed to be here.  I think some people do not realized that after update 2.5 the whole of Minecraft changed.  No longer was there separate versions for Multiplayer and Single, there is only one version of Minecraft.  This is why you see so many innovative and home made projects cease after 2.5.  Minecolony is one of those tragedies.

Now, I am not a fan of Anno 1602 or whatever it is that Minecolony was trying to be based on.  I am a fan, however, of being able to create your own villages.  If my Minecraft world does not have a couple of near by villages, I will not play in that world.  I need something more than myself to at least give myself a narrative.  I would have liked to seen someone take this "make your own village" part out of Minecolony and leave the rest of the more complex stuff out.  Tale of Kingdoms was another "build your own" thing that stopped development after 2.5 and so there are few that still do it.  There are village enhancement mods, but few that let you build your own functioning town yourself.

That said, Minecolony has some problems that leave me scratching my head.  I set my goal of 30 posts after I found out I can not effectively run a farm in Minecolony.  Till then I was just going to keep playing till I got bored with it.  It is ridiculous that the wives run around killing all my cows, sheep and pigs if they are fenced in.  Double fence it with no door, and your hunter runs in murdering them.  This was the biggest flaw and disappointment of the entire mod.

Aside from that, I loved having my own villagers that I met day after day while making my colony.  I became quite attached to my builder and my farmer.  Whenever I would go adventure, the thought of "ignoring" them always made me come back and check up on things.  The buildings were adequate in design, and if you didn't plan on upgrading any time soon, you could always make adjustments after they were done.  Some might think that the material requirements were a bit steep for things, but it did turn harvesting into a game.  My only problem, again, was the lack of ability to farm sheep for wool.  So much wool is needed beyond the 2nd tier of any building, that I largely gave up on upgrading things early because I could not farm sheep.

Having automated farming and baking was pretty cool too.  I never had to worry about where to grab a stack of food.  I didn't get a storehouse attendant to way later, but it really was not needed, because the baker(even at his slowed rate) keep a huge stock of bread at all times.  I would have liked to have blacksmiths and miners that worked together like the builder and lumberjack.  Minecraft is a game about giving yourself a story, and the village is pretty much a drain of resources with little benefit inside the game, but outside the game, in your own mind, it can be a great boon for crafting your story.

Wishing for changes is moot at this point unfortunately, because this mod is over with, and seems to have been eclipsed by more popular mods.  It is unlikely that it will be picked up by anyone and completed to a further extent.  Which is a real shame.

If you had a hand in making this mod, I would like to send a thanks.  Generally my posts have too much negativity compared to positive feedback, so hopefully my last message here will remedy that.  I had fun.  I had a great experience, and most of all I'd like to say that all your hardwork, at least for my part, is very much appreciated.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blog news June 20th, 2013

I like things with beginnings and endings.

That's just how I am.  I generally do not read a book series until it is completed.  I do not watch TV shows with an ongoing story, unless it has ended on a good note(dodged a time wasting bullet with Lost).

With that in mind, I loved my work on Dungeons and Colonies.  It felt like I began something, progressed in it, and finished it.  The only thing is, just like when I finish a long JRPG, I kind of want a break.  I had some prospects about what game I'd go with next.  I do keep personal journals about many games that allow room for me to form my own narrative, but most are too long to fit into a 30 part series.  Morrowind is something I am playing, and I'd guess I'm only about 1/2 way done, if that, and it would span probably 90 parts by itself, so that's out.

Gamedev Tycoon.  SimCity, FTL and a few others have crossed my mind as well.

I can't say when inspiration will come, D&C was a blast and actually got me a lot of views, and I'm happy if you enjoyed it.  I hope you come back when I do start something new, but I am not really a content provider.  I don't take advertisement money, I don't do this as a job like some Youtube people do, and so I will not force myself through a new series just to keep revenues up.  I see this on many Youtube channels now.  Earlier content was full of joy and happiness, they loved doing it, but now, 2 or 3 years later, it IS their job, and you can tell by their lackluster commentary, or their frequent skipping around games trying to find something that ignites their enthusiasm.

That is not my lot in life.

Till you come by my fireside and listen to a new story that I tell, I hope you are successful in what you do, and most of all, I hope you find ways to have fun and escape from this world for a while.

Skypp a.k.a. Rick

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dungeons and Colonies 1 Chapter 30 Finale

(editorial notes): I'd like to thank everyone that reads this.  As of this typing, I have 7,000 views.  Nothing for some, pretty cool for me.  If you come across this without reading the rest, here is a link to the beginning:

Dungeons and Colonies Chapter 1

Now, enough with the delay.

Chapter 30


Beyond the river, and through the forest, I made my way to the palace.  By the time I had gotten there, it was night.  Some would say that this was the wrong time to continue, but what I have observed is that these undead have no respect for the sun and do not fear the light.  There is a front door, but I'm no sucker.  Again, the weapon of my enemy would aid me.  I reach into a leather bag, and pull out one of the glowing orbs that I obtained from the evil scholar.  I had seen the pirate captain make use of these to appear behind me.  I took one in my hand, and lofted it high into the air.

A small crash like breaking glass, a whisper of wind later, and I was on the rooftops.  Up here I see several towers and domes.  It looks like something ancient out of the old world, and nothing like the colony walls from before.  Whoever built this place really had delusions of an Emperor or Pharaoh.  I wonder if my colony should have feared this deity sized ego more than any of the undead living here now.

Looking down the shaft, I see that the towers were not completed yet.  There are no floors or stairs leading to them.  I notice that there are some glowing stones that are definitely other worldly.  What manner of demon did this man conspire with?  It was only a matter of time before this man called down the wrath of the divine.  I take my axe and I smash the window open.  Looking down, I take another orb and I toss it down.
I land on the 2nd floor of a massive, open grand hall.  The second floor is also not quite finished, there are no rooms nor connecting pathways to the rest of the second floor.  I am kind of thankful, because I look over the railing to the first floor and I see an infestation of undead.  The zombies are former servants, dressed in tattered maid and manservant rags.  There is no way I would be able to fight through this crowd.

This place was ruined and corrupted beyond redemption.  I set explosives along the sides.  The zombies looked up and howled at me, but I had broken any way for them to reach me.  They followed and growled as I set more explosives.  I then lit each bale of TNT, and cut the rope that was keep them suspended.

And I saw him.  He was where his empirical seat was to be constructed.  Clad in richly decorated vestments, I saw the man whose greed lead to many to ruin.  The man that was, like me, a founder of a colony.  He had made a bargain for himself, instead of doing what was right for his people, and the people suffered.  He was rewarded with a rotting palace and a dynamite plaster against his walls.

The morning did not add opulence to this place of woe.  The one side without blemish may trick some, but one look inside and you would know the price of such greed.  It was made of stone and so I could not burn it down.  I would come back again and erect signs of warning, though I think the palace is warning enough itself.  I had one last task to do before I went home.  I looked for and found their quarry.  An ancient temple of an ancient people.  It was quiet in the day light, though I could hear curses to my ears.  I produced the block of diamond, and was allowed to pass unharmed.

In the heart of that sacred place, I restored the diamond to its rightful home.  A breeze of relief flowed through the temple and I felt a great weight lift from my shoulders.  On my way out, I blocked up what I could of the entrance so that maybe no one else would make the same mistake again.

I went home.  It was sunrise when I made it home, and I made no grand entrance.  I made my way to the church and I lay my trusty sword next to the book of enchantments.  I came out and placed the key back to its guardian in his grave.  I was recognized by Jim and he asked to speak with me, in the mansion.  He told me that the town had elected him Mayor while I was gone.  They did not like that I disappeared from time to time and would not be a good mayor for running a city.  "Bullshit" he said, but I agreed with the townspeople.  He said he would abdicate if I would speak and ask for the role.  I told him that I agreed with the colonists, and I wished him good luck in his political career.

It took me weeks to recover.  I told my story, and sailors came into port and told tales of ruined cities and cursed palaces.  The towns people thanked me and vowed to make a monument, to which I really did beg them not to bother.  Through it all, every day, someone brought fresh bread and ripe fruit to my room at the inn.  She checked my bandages and stayed with me, talked to me, and made sure I did not over exert myself in my anxiousness to get out of my confined little world.  Within a few months of my recovery, my penthouse was sold to some rich merchant.

I would go on many more adventures.  Instead of coming home to an empty room and a quiet town, I would come home to a bustling city that I helped found, and a caring pair of arms that always waited for me to return.  In time, I too would take my turn as mayor.  Often I would get frustrated with the politics, hear my sword calling on Sunday morning services, and wish I could leave again.  That time in my life has passed, and now I was just an old man remembering youth, but wisely realizing my life now was good.  I would often sit under Jim's statue and ask him for advice.  No more dungeons for me, I could hear him say.  Leave that to your children.  You have a colony... no, a city to run.  Let the young make their own legends, yours is coming to an end.  Be glad it ended happily ever after.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dungeons and Colonies 29


As soon as I swam up the fountain, I was assaulted by a hoard of undead.  Even with my faithful sword and sturdy armor, I was forced to retreat to a less accessible part of town that forced the enemy to come at me in lower numbers.  I fought hard, but the undead just kept coming.

I fought hard and eventually cleared the courtyard.  The buildings were still full.  It looks like the church and several of the homes are infested with them.  Even on the rooftops.  I broke through the door with a crash and found four skeletons in the living room.  I shattered their bones and rendered them lifeless once again.  With the room cleared, I next saw the ladder to the roof and what awaited me at the top.

There was no way I'd be able to get to the top of this ladder quick enough to not get my head chopped off at the top.  Several unholy enemies were up there, and I swear they were grinning at me, daring me to try.  There was only one thing I could think of that I could do.

 It scared me a little.  Yes.  Because while I was in this town destroying all the undead, many of them were dressed in regular clothing, the kind of clothing a colonist would wear.   I started thinking, what if someone had to do this for my colony one day?  Going from John's field to the town hall, killing former colonists in large numbers.
Would someone have to do this to my own place one day?  I mean, I really only lived in a hotel room, but it could be stuffed full of evil one day, and one day someone might be leading a line of black powder up my stairs.  Besides... the colony, the whole thing kind of felt like my home... Would anyone see my ruined room and think "someone lost something precious to them today"

With that dealt with, I next cleaned out the church.  On the second floor I found something very familiar.  Another book of spells and enchantment!  I was in the right place, the evil pirate wizard had to be here somewhere.  The long threat to the colony that started the day I saw the pirate ship off the shore would finally end this day.
Next I went to the walls and found the last open resistance against me.  Several archers were walking the walls, and several times they almost shot me off.  I ran and I dodge arrows and was able to send them over the edge and crashing to their death.  Looking for more, I saw him.  The evil wizard.  He was in the town hall, on its highest floor, and he was looking at me through the window.

I came up the stair way with sword drawn.  As soon as he saw me, he threw corrupted ender eyes in my direction.  They would hit me tremendous force and break into thick shadows that crackled as they coursed over my armor.

I shrugged aside the pain, and the adrenaline pumped through my veins allowing me to come at him with full force.  He opened his robes and threw bones out upon the floor.  As we fought, the bones assembled and grew, what was just a knuckle bone suddenly was a full skeleton!

He cursed and he spat at me, but I never stopped.  He was beaten down and lay slain at my feet.  The wretched evil that he was would be finally gone.  This was the town's most well defended place, whatever was drawing the undead here would surely be in this room.  I looked around and found a stone out of place. I pressed the lever near it and soon a door opened in the false chimney.

Among the riches, I found it.  A giant diamond, easily the size of 9 diamonds put together.  This was a sacred thing and I could feel the energy inside it.  Removing this from its rightful place probably awoke the evils that now invaded the town.  This was not all though, one more thing had angered the spirits.  The Palace.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dungeons and Colonies 28

Assault Part 1

I was not sure what this book could do, but I was able to read the notes and findings of its former master.  In his notes, he explained that it would take the knowledge that surrounded it and be able to grant grand powers to those that said the right incantations.  Those incantations were jumbled in speech which I did not know.  I took my diamond edged sword, placed it before the alter and recited some lines.  The book swung open by itself, flipped through pages and stopped upon a holy symbol.  Books on the shelves flew open and in the air, and formed in the symbol of a saint.  In the distances I heard the shriek of a thousand undead, crying out in terror as they knew something had happened that will cost them dearly.

Across the blade's length were etched runes, and even though I could not read them, as my eyes moved across them I heard whisper "Hand of God" in my mind.  I climbed from the secret chamber and found that outside all the villagers were coming out to see what was going on.  I asked them all to go to bed, and to meet near the shore at noon, and I would have news for them.

In the morning I gathered my belongings and stood out on my balcony to take one last look at the home I had helped made.  I was sure that it was in capable hands.  Jim would soon be elected Mayor, and he would lead to continued success.  The wives that once barely had enough material to patch their dresses now clothed themselves in fine dresses that were only matched by their own beauty.  Homes were no longer hovels, they were finely made with carpets and feather beds.  What was once but a small inland beach was now a grand town of commerce and join.

The townsfolk gathered as I had instructed them.  There, on the beach, I showed them the weapon that was given to me.  They each said they too had visions of the saint in their dreams before they awoke.  I told them that I had a feeling I was supposed to destroy the invaders at the other town and the palace, before they came here.  I did not know if I would be coming back.  Jim wished me well, John had to be restrained by his family.  He wanted to go with me, claiming he had enough of farming.  He said his son-in-law could take care of the family and that he would rather go in my place, enough young people had died.  I said my farewells, and gave my will to Jim.

After two days travel by boat and stream, I found the town and the palace close to each other on the shores of a river.  The grand arches and doors into the town had been walled up, and sure enough, at night I could see the walls guarded by legions of undead in armors and armed with weaponry.  During the day, when undead were scared to come out, I looked along the wall for a place that I may put TNT and blow open a hole.  As I was looking, I found something else.

A door leading down into the sewers.  Maybe this would be a better way than trying to blow a hole in the wall...  Reluctantly I made my way down the ladder and found myself in dark lit water. 

Down in the dark, the undead are relentless.  Skeletons in the armor of the noble's guards.  They wield swords, they hold shields, they wear helmets.  The Hand of God strikes them as if were made of lightning, and the bones cleave with the crack of thunder.  I feel the sword is glad, it is happy to be doing what it was made to do.  For days I spend down there in the dark cutting down the undead until I am starving.  As my arm tires, the sword grows lighter, and it seems somewhat disappointed in the lull.

I find a quiet corner, and hide while I nurse my wounds and eat so that I can have the energy to go on.  Finally, on the dawn of the 3rd day, I come to where the town's fountain drains into the sewer.  The opening is enough for me to get through.  I prepare to ascend into the village.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dungeons and Colonies 27

The Beginning of the Ending

Time has passed.  Our Colony has been open to seafarers and explorers for a while now.  Wealth has come and Jim and I are knee deep in construction.  Many homes have been upgraded to stone to protect against storms from the sea and other hazards.  A garrison of protectors roams the town to keep citizens safe.  Our colony is known as a shining bastion of safety to all those that come to the New World.

Our first privately owned mansion.  It was built to cap the street in the 2nd residential area, and truthfully we had hoped some learned scholar would take up residence and be of some use to the colony.  I came back from an exploration expedition to find it occupied.  I asked Jim, and he had said he had seen a woman come and go, but that was basically all he knew.  I decided to leave a letter asking for a meeting with the members of the household.

I arrived in the reception room of the house early in the morning.  There was only one name on the wall, Linda B. Johnson.  The name was of no relation to anyone living in town permanently.  There was also no co-habitation listings.  Whoever she was, she was wealthy and she lived alone.

Linda entered the home after doing some morning shopping, and apologized for her late arrival.  She was shy, and a little flighty.  We talked for a bit about the colony and how she liked it, then I asked her where she was from.  Her expression turned to one of sadness and she looked out her window toward the frontier.  Her family was one of several that had been coaxed into traveling to the new world to live with a Baron that was interested in setting up his own colony.  The Baron created a walled estate with several homes.  The nobles brought money, servants and workers.  They were defended from the dangers by the great wall surrounding the colony.  Each day the Baron would take the workers and supplies that came almost daily, and set about creating his palace.  Soon though, the extravagance of it all drained the Baron's money, and much of the colonist's resources as well.  The colony was prepared to leave... until a stranger visited.

This stranger traveled with what Linda called "rough looking characters".  He wore long robes and and set of gold glasses.  He carried with him these strange orbs that pulsed and glowed.  Later I would show Linda one of the Ender Eyes I had gotten from the pirates, and she confirmed that it was indeed the same kind of orb this stranger had.  The stranger knew of an old temple near the colony and palace.  He said that the Baron could take resources from it and continue building his palace.  Indeed there would be enough even to double the size of the colony itself.  The baron took this advice.  Tragically, the Baron's men awakened something by desecrating the temple.  One night a wave of evil swept in, slaughtering everyone.  Only Linda and her husband were able to get away, due to them being on the beach.  Her husband died of wounds he sustained while fighting back the evil horde while they escaped.

Her Colony was only a short journey away from our colony.

It is time to call upon all my resources.

Time for old defenders to aid me once again.

For old secrets to be called upon.

and for the weapon of the Enemy to be turned against them.