It's been a while since I featured Celeron55's Minetest project on GameBlaster64 and that's because it was quite an early version and I wanted to give it some time to grow in features and stability. I'm very happy to report that in that span of just over one year, Minetest-c55 has become a pretty solid game.
Still, there are a number of improvements that should be made to make the experience much more enjoyable for gamers.
Three (small) Things That Minetest-c55 Needs
1. Holding right-click should continue to place blocks
In Minecraft, when a player holds the right-click button on their mouse, it places the block in the next available spot on the ground until inventory of that block runs out. In Minetest, holding the right-click button places one block and stops.
This is my number one issue with Minetest because it has a direct and substantially negative effect on building things in the game. Minecraft's initial popularity was due in a large part to the social impact of sharing screenshots and videos of your coolest build. Because it takes so much longer to build in Minetest and because it is so much more frustrating, this very important aspect is left in the dark.
I don't expect a game that's under heavy development to have a polished soundtrack, but without even the most basic level of sound, the game is boring. There need to be footsteps, splashes, and rustling sounds while you're exploring, mining, and collecting. And, when you're placing, a simple sound needs to play as a reward for placing blocks.
3. Inventory UI pop-ups on hover
The current texture/interface graphics pack is workable, but some of the items are simply hard to parse. Is it an apple or a tomato? I suppose it's an apple since it came from a tree. Still, I shouldn't have to use the science of deduction to figure out what I'm holding.
Speaking of holding things, why am I holding a rat?
Some simple, clear UI pop-ups would go a long way to help players understand the opportunities they have mixing ingredients together in the crafting area, which I can only assume is the top 9 blocks since I've played Minecraft. If a player plays Minetest first, they have absolutely no way of knowing that the top 9 blocks are for crafting.
Minetest is progressing well programming-wise, but from a usability standpoint and from the perspective of a player, it has a long way to go. Perhaps Celeron-55 should consider partnering with an aspiring pixel artist to help bring some design to Minetest's solid foundation.
Do you, dear readers, have any ideas that would make Minetest a better game? I wanna read 'em!
I put together a video this evening showing how to get up and running with a Bukkit server in Windows. A good number of subscribers were asking me how to do this, and if you're unfamiliar with the Java JAR format or running a server, it can be a little confusing.
The second Game Music Bundle is available for purchase in the now-standard pay-what-you-want scheme. Included with this bundle are the soundtracks to the following games:
Sword and Sworcery
To The Moon
Even cooler is if you pay more than $10, you also get amazing music from Module (of Shatter fame), Virt (one of my all-time favourite chip musicians), Disasterpeace, and a few others! Too cool!
As a neat bonus, if you're looking for a nice treat for your honey on Valentine's Day, you can pick up the second Game Music Bundle for $5 if you pay at least $10 on the first one. I have to admit, though, I'm not sure how much sense this makes when most couples share their music collections, especially after moving in together.
Something that I love about these bundles besides the great price: they tend to add value over time by supplementing their collection with more games (or in this case, soundtracks.) As of this writing, there will be another soundtrack added to the package if they make just under 2,400 sales. I think that's do-able and it's a nice surprise when, after you've purchased something, you receive even more.
I just learned about this title today. Have I been living under a rock? Apparently it's been in development for nearly 10 years. First on the NES, then on the PC. Yes, you read that right.
No release date has yet been announced, but the developer has made it known that big news is on its way February 20th. Will it be a release date announced then? Or will the game launch that day and take us all by surprise?
Retro City Rampage mixes fantastic 8-bit tracks (including some done by one of my favourite chip artists ever, Virt) with Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2 gameplay with River City Ransom graphics. How can you beat that?
The recent upgrade to eveonline.com brings many new changes including a fresh, easy to use design, new content such as videos and screenshots, and an online ship viewer where you can actually see and rotate in 3D any ship in the game. This is awesome and it's the sort of thing that keeps putting CCP Games ahead of the pack compared to anyone else out there.
Another neat feature that's built into the interactive ship viewer is the ability to take a look through the more than 5,000 star systems in the game using the map viewer.
Take 20-30 minutes and comb through all of the new stuff on the site and you'll see that a lot of awesome art and coding wizardry has gone into bringing Eve players and potential Eve players this upgrade.