June 4th, 2015 by dad

Dorje has got me interested in lots of activities so far (lucid dreaming, pokemon), and the latest is a game called Minetest. Or rather, he was interested in Minecraft first, and I came across Minetest as something that runs natively on Linux (as well as Windows, Mac, BSD, Android), is free and open source, and runs far quicker than Minecraft, making it usable on relatively old hardware.

Minetest is heavily based on Minecraft, but it’s not a clone. In good Unix fashion the vanilla game is relatively empty, and it’s the mods that add all the action. There are no mobs (creatures) in the vanilla game, but there are numerous mods that add them, such as the Mob Framework, which turned the world from one where I blissfully roamed around hacking at things with my pickaxe, to one where death lurked around every corner (at least until I figured out that I should hide indoors at night).

Although Minecraft obviously has far more users, Minetest, being open source, is much more open and easy to enhance. Mods are written in Lua, also used by another of his favourites, Battle for Wesnoth, so I can already guess Dorje’s first programming language.

So far I’ve probably spent more time updating their wiki documentation than actually playing the game, since I’ve never played Minecraft and have no idea what I’m doing.

Although I have created this impressive fortress.

OK, all I did was dig some holes in it so I have a place to cower inside at night, and add a few doors and windows, but it’s home!

Here’s a picture of a slightly more comfortable environment someone else created (from minetest.net screenshots).
Screenshot from minetest.net

If Pokemon nationals wasn’t in two weeks, I think Dorje may have been tempted to stay home this Saturday for a Minetest session!

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