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.

Minecraft 2011

Was searching for another file, and found my Minecraft screenshots from my first real world. I bought it 2010-09-29, just before the Halloween update, but didn't really play much until the next spring; Alpha was buggy as hell, you can't imagine. Beta 1.3_01 was much more stable, and I settled down. I'm 90% sure WORLD 1's file is lost, but some images remain:

The "castle" was built up around a little gravel-floored valley, which I then walled up and paved over except the pond at the center. So the walls were a weird natural shape. I dunno if I thought cobblestone looked better than smooth stone, or just didn't have enough coal to make it; stone bricks weren't added until Beta 1.8.



There's no overview or underview showing everything, but these glass walkways and stone balconies were a sort of maze, a complex loop going up to the tower exit and around. The cave area below I just kept tunnelling down, not very methodically. I built a bunch of redstone wiring down there, not just the noisemaker/"stereo" up by my bed.






Sadly not visible in any of these, the farm area where I took a natural "river" (a single source block up in the hillside), let it flow through a bunch of channels I dug to irrigate my crops, with a fence and door (no fence gates) all the way to the beach. I definitely didn't know how to make new water sources, water remained a frustration until some versions later.

Shortly after this, I got on the Shaftlands and Yogscast servers, and did a lot there, so my single-player world languished a bit.

I still do a little Minecraft many mornings when drinking my coffee, currently building a little mountain village (haven't converted villagers yet):


Minecraft Aquatic Update

I've been playing with the many betas and pre-releases, and Mojang's software quality is… job NaN as usual. Each version would break something that worked before, add new completely unrelated bugs, as if (and in fact we know this to be the case) they don't have any tests, they don't even have a "feature", they just hack on the source at random whim until they feel like dumping it, and people report bugs and sometimes those get fixed.

Anyway, this "official release" is somewhat stable, but today's new bug is: My chicken farm dies out. I use water flows from the corners of a 5x5 pit to put all the chickens and their egg drops into a hopper in the center, but in this version baby chickens drown in even a thin stream of water, probably due to Mojang "fixing" zombies not sinking & becoming aqua zombies.

The Fall of Silly Bunny

For the last couple weeks, I've been playing Minecraft again, maybe half an hour a day at lunch or evening. I set up in a desert village at the corner of plains and savannah biomes, fortified it, then headed out looking for an End stronghold. A bit ago, I noticed a desert bunny had wandered over into the plains, and it was bouncing around; I didn't get too close and it was fine.

When I came back recently, I noticed a wolf which had somehow travelled a long ways from the nearest taiga, and realized it'd kill the bunny, so I tamed the wolf, brought it into camp and sat it down; I don't really like to haul them around, they get into fights and die quickly.

Today I went out, and apparently got too close, "spooked" the bunny, and it hopped right down into a ravine, with that horrible death cry YEEEEEeeek! Well, that sucked. I dug down and retrieved the hide, and made a grave at the edge.

2017-12-08-silly bunny

It's just some pixels that were there, somewhat out of place by random chance, that amused me until they made me sad, but it's got me pissed at Mojang again. The bunny AI is still awful; they routinely jump down tall hills that hurt them. It's been 3.5 years since bunnies were added (and the killer rabbits added and then removed because someone got scared a survival game might fight back), and nothing's been fixed.

The rest of the AI in the game is similarly still broken and awful. As noted, I don't use tamed wolves because they leap to their deaths off cliffs, into lava, under water, fight burning mobs, charge into skeletons firing arrows, or wander aimlessly as creepers blow up. Golems constantly get stuck spinning in circles between two or more goals they won't choose between; so I have to fence off villages, I can't rely on the golems to do anything. The polar bears look impressive, but are passive, the AI can't figure out how to attack when you do start a fight, they're super weak, and easily pillared out of reach (try that with a real bear and they'll climb up or knock over what you're on). Monster AI isn't too bad, if all you want is roughly pathfinding towards you regardless of hazard.

There's some amazing stuff in modded Minecraft, my favorite being Life in the Woods Renaissance, and things like the old Feed the Beast mod packs, but Mojang still slogs along adding trivial nonsense that doesn't work, or redesigning the file format so everything will break, instead of getting someone from Microsoft to help them with AI (maybe Microserfs explode if forced to write in a real programming language?), or adding some of the modded level of detail.

I simply don't understand their lack of development priorities on Java/desktop edition, which ought to be the hardcore version, the one where everything amazing is thrown in and "Hard" difficulty is actually hard.

The pocket/"Bedrock" edition's terrible in different ways, the controls are unusable for survival, the mobs seem even dumber, and exploration rapidly fills all flash storage, but I suspect nobody on pocket's ever played survival, they just stack blocks in creative mode. The half-billion or whatever customers playing that don't need smart mobs, just a cash shop full of bland skins instead of making their own.

MineCon without the Con

So, no convention. No social aspect. Can't meet anyone there. As previously noted about Kids Today™, it may be that you can't get anyone to go "outside" and "meet" people's faces with their faces. They hide in their bunkers and 'Zon all their shopping and never see the light of day, so streaming's the best they can do.

But this sucks. I only went to one: The Las Vegas MineCon 2011. Lines were already insane, merch was ridiculous, but there were people there I wanted to see. And I got an awesome red cape in game.

Also, the video is shockingly amateurish. Lydia/Minecraft Chick's not seen in this, just Jeb and fake-Notch there with the beard, ill-fitting clothes, and stupid hat. Microsoft paid Notch $3.5 billion for these bozos?