Cube Land

November 17, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments
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It’s been almost a year since I started working on this project, but last night I finally finished the Cube Land music video. I wrote this song after spending a full Saturday playing Minecraft. When I finally pulled myself from the computer I got to thinking a lot about escapism. I thought about all the different things people want to escape from… problems at home or work, anger, fear, sadness, loss, insecurities, painful things that happened in your past; all those inner demons we have. I thought about what I was escaping from. And I got to thinking that one of the most beautiful moments is when you finally break the hold those things have on you. I think it’s not something you do once in your life; it’s something you probably have to do many times.

It’s funny how certain projects materialize so quickly and can turn out exactly how you want them to turn out… whereas other projects won’t let you bring them to fruition for ages! In retrospect, I’m glad that this song and video took so long because I don’t think the ending would have been sincere had I completed it back then. Plus, releasing it now is my way of saying congrats to Notch and the Mojang team for finishing Minecraft, as well as sending a “thank-you” for making such a fun game that brings out creativity in so many people. I know this video might seem a bit dark or sad, but it’s really supposed to be hopeful. I hope you enjoy it:

Thug Santa Minecraft

January 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Posted in Video Games | 15 Comments
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A few weeks back Dylan introduced us to the wonderful world of private multi-player servers on Minecraft. It was the first time I’d played in months (I had previously sworn off Minecraft after losing several hours worth of goods to an untimely spider and skeleton related death deep in an unnavigable mine shaft). After deciding it was okay for me to play again, Dylan showed us around his private server (which was incredible, I can’t even imagine how long it took them to build that snow fortress), and then invited us to try out a separate server.

We start messing around and building random things when suddenly, in the midst of building a giant “Oooo Cocoon” statue, George starts getting attacked by some invisible force. It keeps harassing him while he’s trying to work, and finally manages to kill him and take all his items. Once George gets back from the spawn point, the invisible force then gives all his items back. We couldn’t figure out what was going on, so we started joking around in the chat window about how it was an invisible Thug Santa… he comes to kill you and then gives you presents. Dylan finally figured out that it was his brother Jordan, who was exploiting a bug that lets you come back as invisible once you die… So to keep him from attacking us, he imprisoned Jordan in an Obsidian jail.

Believing that we were now safe, I started building a house. But then I get the message from Dylan, “Jordan’s escaped, be careful!” At this point I’m a bit afraid because I’m expecting some invisible force to come and kill me in the dark… but when I turn around, I see this coming towards me (click to enlarge for full-effect):

Jordan actually went and found a Santa avatar so he could come and chase us with it. Believe me, getting chased by a freaky lego Santa Claus carrying a diamond sword in the dark is nothing short of frightening. When he finally caught up with me, he threw coal at me!!

And for those who have no idea what I’m talking about, I strongly recommend checking out this game. Remember how as a kid you could play with legos or blocks or dollhouses, and it was endlessly fun and creative? Minecraft feels just like that. Despite looking like a blocky cube world, it somehow manages to touch upon some fundamental aspect of human nature… and the interesting thing is that it seems to engage people in an amazing variety of ways. My one piece of advice is to watch this video before playing, it teaches you how to survive the first night:

As for the first screenshot, Dylan gave me a bunch of gear which I thought was for the purpose of defending myself against Thug Santa Jordan… it was actually so he could hold a 1-on-1 arena match in the pit he had just built.

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