Tuesday, March 4, 2014

California Missions, Redesigned with Minecraft EDU Part 2

California Missions in Minecraft Part 2, Constructing El Camino

While easier than building a real life El Camino Real, crafting the base world for the Minecraft EDU mission project was challenging and rewarding. In a bulleted list, here are my steps, some changes I would make, and some difficulties I ran into:

  • To start I chose to create a randomly generated world. I turned off day and night as well as PVP and fire and TNT.
  • Originally I decided to build the road out of yellow wool, think Wizard of Oz. However, then I realized that some kids could simply destroy my road if they wanted to. So I decided to remove that road I had already crafted and replace it with the red x blocks which would prevent students from destroying it and thus losing their way between mission sites.
  • I created missions sites by using placing a simple sign post with a number to mark their area. Then I switched to a stacked block approach so the tower was more visible. From top to bottom: Number Blocks, Information Block, Type Block, Base purple block.
  • At first, I wanted to make a full day pass in between mission locations to mimic the days journey between missions in California, but I noticed that as I spent time laying the road it would take me too long to construct. Thus I simply made them “generally far” apart. In retrospect, some of the mission plots I made too close together. I would make sure that the sites have ample area so that the students do not intrude on neighboring plots.
  • Some of the sites are placed in heavily forested areas due to the generated world. I am a bit worried about how students will fare in this terrain as well as desert terrain, but I am looking forward to seeing how it pans out.
  • I am wondering if generating a flat world would have been better for the project as a whole. If it were flat, students could focus completely on building rather than clearing their area. Pros for choosing the randomly generated world is that it is more realistic in regards to settling a new land.

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