Rough Book

random musings of just another computer nerd

Category: Gaming

A Minecraft Stargate

I’ve been playing Minecraft for a while now. It doesn’t look like much at all, but it’s a really fun game. I love the fact that you can build whatever you want. It’s like legos, really. Anyway, I built a Stargate in Minecraft. I originally wanted to use the portal blocks, but if you stack two or more together, they just vanish. So I decided to make inner part of the Stargate out of glass and water. This means that you can’t walk through it, but it still looks kinda neat. I figure that I could make a wall of water if I had a trough that ran through the middle. But this would mean that you would fall into the trough every time you stepped through the Stargate. There might be other ways… I’ll see if I can figure it out. I used lightstone for the chevrons. The gate is bigger than it would be normally, but that was the only way I could make a circle that looked decent.

This is with the default texture-pack in Minecraft. It would probably look better with a better texture-pack.

A Stargate in Minecraft

A Stargate in Minecraft

A Stargate in Minecraft

A Stargate in Minecraft

A Stargate in Minecraft

A Stargate in Minecraft

I’ll try to build a DHD next. Probably won’t be able to make it look as nice as the original, though.

UPDATE

Here are some better pictures. I’m using the Minecraft Enhanced Texture Pack 256×256. I also noticed that I had placed one of the lightstones in the wrong place. I fixed that.

A stargate in Minecraft

A stargate in Minecraft

A stargate in Minecraft

A stargate in Minecraft

Here is the world file (it’s a zip) if you want to check it out. It’s from my multiplayer server and so there are a bunch of other creations on there, that my friends made.

The XBOX is a piece of shit

Thanks Microsoft. I have a console that’s barely over a year old and I already have an open tray error. I bought a new console because my old one died after I sent it back to you TWICE. It also had an open tray error. Thanks a lot Microsoft for MAKING SUCH A SHITTY CONSOLE. I have seen retarded monkeys make better console. Honestly, just what kind of shitty racket are you douchebags running? Are you guys so fucking stupid that you can’t even make a DVD drive that WORKS? Are you seriously THAT DUMB? Not only that, you want me to pay $99 to get it fixed because you retards are too damn stupid to make it right the first time? Fuck you.

Why the Wii wins

WiiI bought myself a Nintendo Wii in February. I really wanted one because it looked like fun, and I also really wanted to play The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I tried to get one in December, which didn’t happen because they were all sold out. In February, I went to Best Buy to get one and they were sold out. I hung around for no particular reason and ended up playing the Guitar Hero II game for about half an hour. I suddenly noticed store personnel walking in with a bunch of white boxes. I swear, as the guy reverently placed the box on the shelf, the clouds opened up and a single ray of sunlight fell on the box (there was a hole in the ceiling). I also heard a chorus of angels.

Wii ControllersI used to game a lot, but then I stopped because it got too expensive. Also, graduating and getting job was a huge factor. I simply didn’t have the time to play a lot of games. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy them. The first thing that got me about the Wii, of course, is its revolutionary interface. The first game I played was Tennis, from the pack-in Wii Sports game. Of course, the graphics weren’t mind-blowing, but playing it was fun above all else. That is what made the Wii a success. It is an excellent family console that targets the casual gamer. In a paradoxically Zen manner, Nintendo managed to be a gaming success without targeting gamers.

I got firsthand experience of the how much fun the Wii can be, when my parents came over to visit. My parents don’t play games as much. My dad will occasionally play but more often than not, they’re usually telling me to stop playing. But both of them found the Wii to be a lot of fun. My dad especially enjoyed Tennis and Bowling. This last weekend, I took my Wii over to California, so that my sister, my cousins, and I could play. My uncle, who never plays games had a whole lot of fun playing Golf and Tennis on Wii Sports. The fact that a console can generate interest in a demographic that doesn’t typically play games demonstrates its success.

I hear a lot of comments from Xbox (360 and the older one) and PS3 fanboys. They seem to be peeved that the Wii is a success (PS3 fanboys seem especially peeved). I’ll address their points here:

  • The graphics on the Wii suck! It’s not even that much better than the Gamecube!
    It’s not about the graphics. Nintendo didn’t try to make a console with breath-taking graphics. They tried to make a console that was fun, and that everyone would enjoy. From the looks of it, the gamble paid off.
  • I’ve played the Wii and it’s ok for a while, but now I play my Xbox/PS3 while my Wii gathers dust.
    Good for you. You must be a serious gamer. Nintendo didn’t make the Wii for you. The market consists of two kinds of people: hardcore gamers and everyone else. Nintendo went after everyone else. Guess which group is bigger?
  • The Wii is not a serious gaming console. It’s just for kids and it’s mainly for fun.
    Fanboys say this like it is a bad thing. It’s not. The Wii was never meant to be a serious gaming console. It was meant to be a fun console. I remember watching my dad play the Sinclair ZX Spectrum when I was really young. It was a home computer created by Sinclair Research Ltd., a UK-based company. It had very simple games which were fun. I think this was probably the last console that my dad played games on (not counting FIFA 97 on the N64, and Prince of Persia on the PC). He played those games because they were fun and simple. Most casual gamers, or even non-gamers don’t really enjoy complicated RPG’s (Role-playing games) or FPS’s (First-person shooters). They like to jump in to a game and play without learning complicated button-sequences, or even figuring what each of the buttons do. The Wii offers them that in an extremely innovative and revolutionary form.
  • The Xbox and PS3 are technologically superior to the Wii.
    So? Technological superiority has nothing to do with it. Don’t you get it? This is not about the serious hardcore gamer. Yes, the hardcore gamer cares about photo-realistic graphics. The hardcore gamer cares about specifications. The casual gamer doesn’t. Despite the Wii not being “up there” with the Xbox and PS3 as far as technology is concerned, it still is a raging success.
  • The Wii controller is lame! The motion-sensing is not that precise! It doesn’t even have that many buttons!
    I forgot where I saw this gem of an argument… Anyway, the Wii controller is simple. You move your controller, and your character does the same. Someone was griping that the Baseball game on Wii Sports wasn’t like actual baseball. Ok, so you’re telling me that pushing a button on a regular controller is more like actual baseball? Casual/Non gamers don’t want to take on the learning curve of complicated button sequences and button assignments. The Wii even hearkens to the days of the Classic Nintendo Controller, when things were much simpler. So understand this: Simple = Easy = Fun.
  • The Wii sold more only because it is cheap!
    Yes, this is true. But that’s not the only reason. Yes, many customers balk at the $500-$600 price-tag of the PS3. However, why shell out that much when you can get a more “fun” console at half the price? I went to Best Buy a few weeks ago and saw a customer asking one of the employees if they had any Wiis. The employee’s response was that they were all sold out. I went up to him and asked him about the sales of the PS3 vs. the Wii. He said that the Wiis were getting sold out almost as soon as they came in, whereas the PS3’s were still sitting on the shelves.
  • The Wii games are lame! There are not even that many games!
    This also falls into the “Wii is for fun” category. Wii games are for fun. It is true that the Wii doesn’t have that many games, but neither does the PS3. Another important point to realize is that many developers are scrambling to develop titles for the Wii. Many developers ignored the Wii, and laughed it off as a console that was doomed to fail. After the console’s success, many developers are now rushing to release titles for the Wii. This further highlights the success of the console. Also take into account that development costs for the Wii are between $2 million to $3 million versus the $20 million to $30 million for Xbox 360 or PS3 titles.
  • Wii is for losers and pussies!!!!PS3/XBOX RUELS!
    I suspect that most of the people who make these sort of comments are frustrated 14-year olds who’s moms didn’t buy them a PS3. Or people who bought the technology-laden PS3 to compensate for some part of their anatomy. I can only say this: most people who buy Wiis, buy it for casual gaming. Casual gaming probably means that they have other things that are more important. Like for instance, they may actually have a life.

Let me categorically state that I don’t consider the Xbox or the PS3 to be “bad” consoles in any way. I am also not saying that the Wii is the “best” console out there. I have played games on the Xbox 360 (Gears of War is one of them) and I have seen the PS3 in action. Gears of War is a fun game, and the graphics on the PS3 are mind-blowing and gorgeous. It all comes down to your needs. Do you want a technology-heavy gaming-powerhouse? Then you might want the PS3. Do you want a fun console that the whole family can enjoy? Then you might want the Wii.

Nintendo made a brilliant (and risky) strategic decision to target casual gamers, and it paid off. There’s no reason to be mad at Nintendo because of that. All I know is that I enjoy playing my Wii, and so does my family. This is more than I can say for any previous console I have owned.

Wii Sports Twilight Princess

Wii Sports and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

India

I am in India right now. It’s been great!

I got here on the first. The very next day, I left at 3:30 am for Trivandrum. I got there at around 8:00 am. I got myself a hotel room and met up with Sadhana, Vibha, Rachna and Prakash (Suraj’s brother). It was weird meeting them there – “incongruous” is the right word. Kerala is so far away from our usual haunts in Arizona.

We went over to Gouri’s place and hung out there for a while. We had ambitious plans to see all kinds of stuff. A waterfall in Tamil Nadu and a Dam where we could feed fish. Eventually we ended up just going to Kovalam Beach. My driver is not very familiar with Trivandrum so it was kinda hard for him to figure out where these places were. He did know where Kovalam was though. We made my poor driver go all around Trivandrum. I am sure he thinks we are all positively insane. We had a ton of fun at Kovalam. We waded in the water and got drenched. After we got back to the car, I was appointed the foot-dusting-person. Mostly because I didn’t want sand in the car. Ani (my driver) handed me a duster, which I used to dust Sadhu, Rach and Vibha’s feet. And to think I wasted my time getting a degree in Computer Engineering.

The next day was Gouri’s wedding. Sadhu, Rach and Vibha took a million years to figure out how to wear their saris. Eventually we made it to Trivandrum Club (where the wedding was supposed to take place) and an aunty there fixed the saris for the girls. Prakash and I sorta hung about sticking out like sore thumbs. The wedding itself was a very short affair. Malayalee Nair weddings always are. The sadhya (feast) was awesome. Gouri was looking positively resplendent in her outfit. I have pictures and I will post them as soon as I get back to Arizona. That won’t be until early September though.

After the wedding, we went back to the hotel to change into more comfortable clothes. I then had to get Sadhu, Rach, Vibha and Prakash to the train station so that they could catch the Anandhapuri Express to Madras. This proved to be easier said than done. What followed was a veritable drama which involved Kerala Tourism, the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation – similar to the FBI of the United States), the local Superintendent of Police, the Assistant Director General of Tamil Nadu (or more affectionately known as “Santu Mama”), the conductor of the Train, and of course Your’s Truly, and his friends Sadhu, Rach, Vibha and Prakash. You see, Kerala Tourism booked Rach’s train ticket for the 4th at 4:00 pm instead of the 3rd. To correct this, we had to involve all the aforementioned people. Eventually, Rach ended up on the train. I had to wait in the train with Vibha while all this was sorted out. We wondered what would happen if the train left with me. I would have to explain to my mother and my grandparents what I was doing on a train to Madras instead of coming back home. That would not have been a very pleasant conversation.

I was a little depressed on my way back home because it was kind of a downer. We had hung out a lot over the past two days and had had a lot of fun. However after I came back home, I felt much better.

I haven’t been doing much at all in Chendamangalam. I’ve just been hanging out, playing with my dogs, and watching TV. I brought my Gamecube here, but I was an idiot and I blew up the AC adapter. It has an input voltage of 120V and everything here runs at 220V. The result wasn’t pretty. My Gamecube is fine. I doubt the adapter works though. It was pretty dumb of me to overlook that rather significant fact of “voltage difference”. You see, my camera adapater works over a range – 110V to 220V. The Nintendo Gamecube adapter doesn’t. Oh well. I am exploring other avenues. I found a site that ships the adapter to India. I am also going to check out stores in Ernakulam.

Other than that, nothing much is going on. Just chilling and relaxing and enjoying great food. My access to the internet is pretty limited. I have to drive (or take an auto-rickshaw) a little ways to get to the Cyber Cafe. But it is worth it! They have broadband at 512 Kbps! That’s awesome!

Anyway, that’s it. I will be back with more updates as soon as I can!

America’s Army: Operations and Soldiers

I read about this while I was at Ft. Lee. It’s a game that the US Army developed, using the Unreal Engine. Now that’s just totally kick-ass! Check it out! It’s a free download!

Metallica Sucks

Hey! How’s it going? My exams get over tomorrow… actually TODAY!!!… YESSSSS!!!! HAHAHAHA! Free at last… three glorious weeks of doing what I like most – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Except playing StarCraft and watching TV and partying and stuff like that… Oh yes… So Metallica has gone and tattled on Napster. Publicity stunt. Well, a certain someone I know, got banned because of that. But I there is a way to get around it. I believe Napster has banned people based on the IP/Username combination. If you have a dynamic IP then I guess you should have no problem. First of all, uninstall Napster and then re-install it (Beta 6 is out). When it asks you if you want to use the existing user, click “No”. Now use a different name. It should let you log in. This certain someone I know, couldn’t at first so he unplugged his DSL modem (yeah… he has a DSL modem too) and plugged it back in so that he got a new IP adress. That got him through. As a disclaimer, this information is for educational purposes only and you agree that you will not hold me responsible for the legal consequences (if any) that might arise from the use of this information. Well… I guess that’s it. So I’ll see you all after the exams… I’ll put stuff here… If I’m not having too much fun that is! 😉 Adios!

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