MineTest Youstubes

So I like to watch videos of the games I play; maybe learn something, maybe just recognize "oh, I do that too". Parasocial but shared-ish experience.

The problem with a free, open source, often Linux-based game is, nobody has working sound. And they really don't have working mics on their broken dumpster-dived Thinkpads, or video editing software. So the MineTest youstubes are mostly divided into:

  1. No audio, sub-5-minute, incoherent flailing around.
  2. [CRACKLE DIGITAL SCREAM] FREE FRAPS quality audio/video, mostly children on PVP servers, and I like none of those things.
  3. Germans. And I'm not usually one to pick on anyone's appearance, but… maybe leave the selfie cam off if you fill 90% of the view. From across the room.
  4. Handful of good youstubers; some are non-English but I can muddle thru Spanish, a few words of Portuguese, or French.
  • New: SteleCat: Just started
  • Dee23Gaming: Modded, building series
  • duckgo: Author of SurviveTest, Portuguese but either little speech or the CC will actually work on some of it.
  • Richard Jeffries: Long creative/peaceful building series

There was another one, professionally done but rather boring where he just dug tunnels in his mine, laid down glass slab floors, and rarely came up to add to a kinda artsy tower, 100+ episodes… and it's gone. He's vanished, taken down his videos? And I'm drawing a blank on his name now so I can't even find out what happened.

If you have other suggestions, that are not 1-3, comment/tell me on fedi.

MineTest SurviveTest

One of the games (modpacks) for MineTest I've been trying, is SurviveTest. It's much closer to vanilla MineTest Game, but with a good selection of mods to make a survival/mining game, and the developer is updating it regularly, and making youtube videos (in Portuguese, but you get the gist).

The Awards panel is pretty good at driving you thru the game. Some things are less obvious, tho.

  • Fishing: Every videogame expands until it can do fishing. Put your fishing rod in a slot, and bait in the slot right of it. You can get worms by left-click hoeing ground, then right-clicking the worm as it comes out, or rip up bread (in crafting area) to get bread bait. Then left-clicking water with the rod places a bobber, and in some time it may go under and right-click will pull a fish! It's not very visually friendly, but works.

I mostly just swordfight sharks that jump fences to get into my garden every morning (that is a sentence nobody sane would ever write).

You can also combine signs with fish to make trophies, and for servers there's a fishing tournament UI.

  • Gardening: Apparently now most crop seeds can only be got from traders (for gold) or dungeon chests? But I find a lot of wheat seeds at least digging grass blocks, and apple trees grow apples, so you won't starve. Cotton bushes drop seeds, and cotton can be made into string or wool. Water only hydrates land 3 blocks away, not 4 as in Minecraft/MineClone2. But kindly reeds grow up to 3 blocks away from water. Chase crows away from your farms, they will steal from you. I dunno if scarecrows actually work, but I put them up anyway to look cool.

Bread is more realistic: 4 wheat make 1 dough, cook dough and it becomes bread. The pies & cookies are fun, but take much more resources than they're worth, and I haven't been able to reliably farm chickens for eggs yet. Soups are a pain, they don't stack.

  • Fruit Juice: Barrels are W-W-W, I-x-I, W-W-W (Wood, Iron), slightly expensive. Place them out, right-click TWO fruit (strawberry, apple, or melon) into each; it'll take all your fruit for nothing. Wait for an intolerable length of time and the barrel will change color. Make some bottles G-x-G, G-x-G, x-G-x (Glass), 10 bottles per 5 glass. Put ONE bottle in your bar, because if you click with multiple bottles they will be destroyed. Right-click one bottle on the barrel, and you get fruit juice. You can restack the bottles of fruit juice, and use them as a stack and it'll only consume one. Seems one of the higher value foods, out of otherwise very cheap food, and it's just a fun little farming activity, other than the bottle bug.

The bottle rack W-W-W, B-B-B, W-W-W (Wood, empty Bottles) gives an OK-looking shelf for 2 rows of bottles, no indicator as to how full it is but it looks nice enough next to a bookshelf, which holds a similar number of books.

  • Traders: Currently they spawn on "special jungle wood floor" wood, which you can steal from villages and put in your local trading hut to make them spawn. They'll trade gold for items, often pretty good items, or rarely crops & such for gold. They don't move, they don't do anything except vend goods, which is kind of a relief after dealing with MineClone2 villagers.

  • Mining: Mineral levels are much deeper down, see chart below. Stone tools suck when you dig hundreds of blocks down. As soon as you can, start making bronze tools from the extra tin & copper you get, I just carry a stack of bronze with me now and craft more tools as I go (I also bought a nice Mese pick from a trader). Then every 50-ish depth, I make a little mineshaft grid, get some of that level's minerals, go further down. I'm finally at diamond and below, looking for the Dungeon Master. A lot of MineTest players do ladders and falling, but I prefer a staircase so I can safely get off.

Coal = 0
Tin, Copper = -100
Iron = -150
Gold = -200
Mese = -350
Diamond = -500
Dungeon Master (Boss) = -600
Mese Monster = -350
  • Storage: Drawers work mostly like Storage Drawers mod for Minecraft. 1, 2, or 4 chests & wood between makes a drawer, right-click places materials in it, left-click withdraws. Make "upgrade templates" (a one-chest drawer with sticks around it), combine with steel, gold, obsidian, or diamond, to make an upgrade, right-click the border of the drawer, and put the upgrade in the arrow slots, to get 2x or more. Sadly this mod doesn't show upgrades visually, or have a redstone fill indicator, or such, but it works fine for the vast amount of junk you accumulate. I just keep chests now for loose things I won't need more than a stack of, or tools. Hm, some of the MC mods add shelves for things like tools, that might be a good idea.

Minetest Mapping

The MineClone2 "map" is basically just a compass, it shows a picture of the local chunks but can't be resized. So… where have I been? Where are my bases?

There's a couple cartography mods, but they seem to only make small maps for use in-game. There's a minetestmapper.py in the base game's distro, but it's python2, requires an obsolete version of PIL, 2to3 didn't fix it.

So there is this:

SIGH, C++ and libraries. I actually have libgd installed with MacPorts, gd2, but it wasn't found at first, adjusted my env vars and now:


Grinds for half an hour, get a full white image, because all the MineClone2 nodes are unknown, so copied colors.txt to my-colors.txt, and add this to the end:

Make a script, my-map.zsh (change mapname, worlddir to wherever yours are):

worlddir="$HOME/Library/Application Support/minetest/worlds"
d=`date "+%Y%m%d_%H%M%S"`
./minetestmapper --colors my-colors.txt -i "$worlddir/$mapname" -o "$mapname-$d.png"

Repeat, half an hour… I still get 227 lines of unknown blocks, but the base map generates OK now, and looks good enough. I hate the sand color, and I dunno what the dark areas are. OOH, what's that structure at the far west? I'm planning to skyrail far west, then go there and the unexplored village W-SW next time. And I'll add more to my-colors.txt file and post that sometime.

Scaled down image:

MineTest skins

So I hate the default adventurer skins, even if it's usually covered by armor and I use first-person camera. I have my own skin. But MineTest has no built-in config for skins! Mods to the rescue.

On your world select, hit Select Mods, Find More Mods, and search for skinsdb, and smart inventory, install both.

Back to menu, select each of those and Enable. Save.

Now in terminal:

cd ~/Library/Application Support/minetest/mods/skinsdb/textures
cp ~/Pictures/My-Minecraft-Avatar.png character_whatever.png

This only seems to work with MC 1.0 avatars, even tho skinsdb says it works with MC 1.8; if you have multiple layers, remove those and resave without them. I tried installing the 3d_armor mod, which might enable that, and it has broken dependencies. 🙁

Play Game, and in game, open inventory, click the skin icon, and at the bottom of the big new Smart Inventory screen, skin icon. Select, done.

(The skin was originally a Spider Jerusalem skin, which I wanted a Nine Inch Nails shirt on, but there's only room for NI, which makes it even better.)

What I'm Playing: MineTest, MineClone2

So, ever since Microsoft bought Mojang, they've been boiling the frog, and finally with the "Xbox accounts" and 1.19.2 the Java edition has reached surveillance state nightmare (however ludicrous that sounds for a game… it's still a game we play) parity with Xbox Live Arcade (aka "NAMBLA") and the inferior mobile/"Bedrock" edition, and it's really time to look for alternatives.

One such is MineTest, which is an open source blocky game engine, with easy modding in Lua. The base MineTestGame is a very simple peaceful/creative mode, which isn't that interesting, but mods change everything. One of the mod packs ("games") is MineClone2; it aims to recreate MC 1.12.2 with some improvements, while MineClone5 (I guess 3 & 4 fell into a swamp) is a much less stable fork that chases current features. Other games aren't concerning themselves with MC-like-ness at all, I'll look at some of those later.

Download the client from the MineTest page, then at the bottom bar hit + and type in MineClone, hit + on MC2. Back on the Main Menu, select the 2-grass-block icon from the bottom, the screen should change to show a MC2 logo, hit New to make a new world.

When I started testing MineTest, it was very laggy, the Mac display & input was completely broken. In 5.4, it got up to usable but not fun, with a really horrible input lag. In 5.6, just released on the 4th, it's actually playable! FPS rate is a little low (15-30 instead of the 30-60+ I expect), picking up/moving inventory can be sluggish, but the game is on par with any older edition of MC now.

MineClone2 can have some remarkable terrain, tho there's something a little off, I get broken Nether portals every few hundred meters in plains. The mobs are dumb but as dangerous as MC and I'm less skilled here. Villagers work, I don't have a proper screenshot of the village I've started trading with, I need to clear some land and fence it off, after I set up my next base near it. Animals are a bit odd, they're persistent but spawn in randomly on grass when you enter the area, there's a river below my base, and it's constantly splashing with sheep & llamas that fall in; I should build a lava blade trap for them. I've made a map, but it's uselessly small and can't be resized, but does point back home. The built-in minimap (hit M, repeatedly to cycle views) is very useful.

By default there's no access to debug. You can open the console, but no command shows coords AFAICT.

So edit ~/Library/Application Support/minetest/minetest.conf (probably ~/.minetest on Linux, WTF knows on Windows):

keymap_console = KEY_F5
keymap_inventory = KEY_TAB
keymap_minimap = KEY_KEY_M
keymap_mute = KEY_F10
keymap_screenshot = KEY_F2
keymap_toggle_block_bounds = KEY_F6
keymap_toggle_chat = KEY_F7
keymap_toggle_debug = KEY_F3
keymap_toggle_fog = KEY_F8

Or whatever keys you like for those. Now I can hit F3 and get a teeny text status of FPS & pos, hit it again and get full debug/lag spike data.

What I'd like is a bit more of Life in the Woods, or Super Hostile type modpacks, make survival hard and more complex, but with a gentler introduction than Feed the Beast etc. There is Exile in the ContentDB, and I kind of glazed over looking at the wiki, my one test of it I punched some sticks but couldn't make anything, then got blown up, but I'll run at it again.

There's not a lot of Youstubes or Twitches of MineTest yet, but there's a few "punch wood" demos, and a lot of what you know about MC just works in MineClone2.