Pockman's Tower:

Fifteen Floors Up

pmtow_pic010__outside_build.png

Introduction & Context:

I plan to make a whole game experience (with focus on game narrative and game experience) within a mod pack I will make for Minecraft. To me, this includes a developing story, fun/interesting gameplay, custom assets and code, unique functionality, and player choice.

The Plot of the Game:

The Main Character is in Pockman’s Tower: A large tower once home to many people, including Chief of Security Pockman, Head Supervisor Exovas, and his/her two children, Octavian and Vivian. Disease was spreading through the tower, causing many people to fall into a coma, including Exovas’ children.

 

Dismayed, Exovas put aside all other priorities, and spent much research developing a way to put one’s mind, and possibly soul, into an artificial gem. Pockman took charge and ran the tower well for a few years while Exovas finished their study (some failures became “the Shattered”: gem shards of test subjects that did not transfer correctly)

 

Exovas finished, transferring Octavian and Vivian into AI Gems (Ruby and Sapphire). Pockman, fed up with Exovas’ obsession, and seeing this as a way to get power over the entire tower, put Exovas into the same process against Exovas’ will. Exovas became the Amethyst.

 

Pockman chose a different version of extended life: becoming a cyborg: his brain still flesh, but his body becoming more and more robotic. Pockman saw the tower fall within itself, as the deep sleep took over all remaining citizens. By this point, Pockman was irreversibly immortal, his body impervious to all types of damage and destruction. As hundreds of years passed, Pockman became crazy and deluded and became obsessed with a game: a game of children versus parent. He put the Artificial Intelligences of the three successful transfers (which he called oX, Vi, and ERNo) against each other, designing elaborate traps and tricks as he passed time this way. ERNo = Exovas Robot Number]. ERNo is doomed to try and fail forever, oX is doomed to help a lost cause, and Vi is doomed to stop something that never stays down.

 

The Player plays as ERNo, taking over their consciousness: breaking the cycle by not having their memory reset every failure, as it should be. No… This ERNo can learn from its past mistakes… Maybe… Just maybe… This new ability might break the cycle.

Developing the Game: Phase 1

 

Phase 1: April 8th, 2020 - June 9th, 2020

Started with nothing but a video by TechnoVision on how to start making one's own Minecraft Mod using IntelliJ and Minecraft Forge.

Phase 1, Reflection 1: April 19th, 2020:

Until this point, I had just taken pen-on-paper notes and ideas. I am just about to start making the first level, just to have something to work with, as rough-draft like it will be. “Something” good is better than perfect “nothing”. I can always go back and improve when I have time.

Also, near the end of this period, I found something that will help me a lot for ease of creating this: https://minecraft.tools/en/spawn.php. It will help me with creating items with various things throughout this creation: but I will definitely have to become very adaptable and clever with this tool to use it to the full potential.

 

I feel this is a good path for me. It’s going to be like revisiting a very old work to show themselves how far they’ve come: Here’s an example of that. It’s going to be strange improving on myself, but I feel it’s going to be good for me. A good example of what I can do now.

 

So far, the goals and objectives I’ve reached are like the basic intro things. I don’t feel like I’ve stepped too much out of my comfort zone yet, but I feel I’ll be eating those words soon.

Phase 1, Reflection 2: May 2nd, 2020:

So it’s been about 3 weeks since I started thinking about the idea of re-making my old Tower from scratch, and learning/using built in Java commands, redstone circuitry, and a bit of my own created items added to the game

 

I decided it was time to flush out the full story based on everything I have so far within the test area of the current version of the game! (It’s going to be that big chunk-o-text below)

 

I feel much more confident in my Minecraft coding skills now, thanks the time I spent messing around with experimenting with code. “The Only Difference Between Screwing Around and Science Is Writing It Down” - Alex Jason. (In seriousness, I was able to become very familiar with the key mechanics this way: the commands /clone…, /execute if block… being the big ones). At this point, I feel like I’ve learned about 80% of what I’m going to need for the rest of the build. So, starting from a week ago, I’ll be building the Floors to the tower one by one! (in one of the videos, I have a demo of the 2/3rds done Floor Zero.​

Phase 1, Reflection 3: May 17th, 2020:

Two more weeks since the last update, and things are going swimmingly:

 

I’ve settled on a way to essentially copy-paste the blank format floor safely without compromising the original version: pretty handy!

 

Created and tested Floor 1: The glass door maze! The concept here is that it’s a giant maze, where going through the wrong set of doors could mean the player gets stuck with a death-reset is the only option: telling Players that it’s okay to restart/die, and introducing the concept of respawn if they haven’t discovered it yet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnUrXpK6dPY (NEW VIDEO!)

 

Outside the game, I started using Excel Spreadsheet to crunch numbers and store lines of code that might need minute tweaking: this way, I would not have to re-make a sign every time I came up with a new format concept (like having the designated colors of X and V be on their signatures (“-X” and “-V”) as well). (It also makes me very happy I am already very comfortable with using Excel that I can use it this way, no problem!!)

Phase 1, Reflection 4: June 1st, 2020:

Two more weeks since the last update, and no major issues since then:

 

Created and tested Floor 2: the Spider’s Library! The concept here is a question-locked door, where you have to flip the pages of the lectern’s book to the correct page, then press the lever to unlock.

 

At this point, I have many incomplete spots, mostly signs, and books (creating and editing signs is very tedious in Minecraft, as you have to make a new custom instance of an object every time)

 

Ran a fairly short and quick test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxk02xkfTOo (NEW VIDEO)

 

Excel Spreadsheet is very handy at this point: using it for multiple things now!

Phase 1 Photos

PMTow1

This is a texture done in GIMP 2.10: to make a personal texture into an item

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MY RUBY IS IN MINECRAFT (exciting personal milestone, seeing a personal creation in Minecraft)

PMTow3

This is what I call "my workshop": a completely flat, sterile, unchanging custom world, where I perform all the tests I want!

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This picture of the workshop was early testing of Minecraft's /clone command: I wanted to test (with a tiny room to start with) the limitations of the command. (what could and could not be cloned over)

PMTow5

Failures and quitted mini-projects are common and allowed by my pride: for example, this /circle command would not work for me for the build I was in. Disappointing.

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Another shapshot of that failed project: after this, I decided to stay with the simple square floor shape I had in the past, rather than be radical and decide to make the entire tower circular.

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Beginning to make the template of my Tower's floors: in past versions, I used Iron and Glowstone, but here, I use Smooth Quartz and Sea Lanterns

PMTow8

Showing a bit of how I use the /clone command to make back-up copies of successful things, along with how I can use the command to make life easier (I can clone entire walls, and can use the /fill command to fill entire 3D areas with a single block)

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(Time skip) Testing out signs: seeing what would fit within the Tower's current style: I decided to keep the feft option: birch signs (and birch wood overall)

Developing the Game: Phase 1