Tuesday, October 12, 2010

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Other World Notes: Man Makes 8 Mile Minecart Rail in Minecraft & Beautiful Timelapse Machinima to Show It Off

One day a young art student named Brett started building a minecart rail in Minecraft, the beloved indie sandbox game, listening to podcasts as he went along. “I just started mining in one direction to see how far I'd go before I got tired of it or bored,” as he tells me. Thing is, he didn’t get bored. And after 22 or so hours of tinkering stretched out over a few weeks, he wound up with a course that’s 7.67 miles long. (“[I]f the Google converter is working correctly,” he notes.) Brett’s “Minecart Interstate” actually takes 27 minutes to traverse, but in a gorgeous timelapse video he made that was praised by Minecraft’s creator, Markus "Notch" Persson himself, you flow through his course in under four lovely, hypnotic minutes:

As Brett tells it, he actually spent more time making the machinima: “Each frame of the video took about 6 seconds to process on my quadcore,” he says, “Mostly due to the specific motionblur blending type I used. It's closest to how a camera picks up light, and actually reduces eye strain and motion sickness from my personal testing on many other projects.” As you might have guessed from that, photography and video editing, not gaming, is actually Brett’s main hobby, and he’s using Minecraft to play with timelapse recording:

Minecraft Video Minecart

“I seem to think of myself almost as a timelord in reference to video. A timelapse compresses time and gives you a new sense of a place or world. And while that may sound rather philosophical, I find enjoyment in changing the spectrum of time in various areas, and making it look good at the same time.” In this, he finds the building tools and the platform of Minecraft to be an excellent canvas: “While blocky and lacking in resolution,” as he explains, “the world of Minecraft is rather realistic in its oceans, rolling hills, forests, et cetera.”


His advice to other Minecraft builders, interested in making some as grand as his Minecart Interstate? “I'm not a veteran of Minecraft construction,” he qualifies first, noting that the Interstate is his first real big production. “What I can say, is that if you're finding yourself lacking creativity or simply don't want to finish something, set a goal and take a break. For me, my goals were, ‘OK, next mountain, next hill, let's get to the other side of the river/ocean’ ... Setting up your project into chunks or sections is a nice way to progressively develop your project.”


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Little Lost Linden

One thing I noticed in the video, Minecraft must not have sim crossings...

Metacam Oh

Minecraft looks horrible graphically why on earth is it getting so much attention? It looks like the level editor from Duke Nukem.


Minecraft looks horrible huh? Why is it getting so much attention?
Probbaly cause people finally realized that Graphics actually don't matter that much.


Metacam Oh:

Because fun != graphics.


Why is Minecraft getting so much attention? Because it's the gaming equivalent of crack!

Until you've played it; until you've started digging and building and digging some more; until you've survived night after night of mob attacks; until you watched a finely crafted construct blown to pieces by a sneaky creeper; until you've experienced these things you'll never understand!

Adeon Writer

"Because it's the gaming equivalent of crack!"

To quote Penny-Aracde:
" I have heard him suggest that the game is crack, but it's more like all of the ingredients and equipment that you need to make crack, which I'd say is worse. It's like: give a man some crack, and he'll... but if you teach him to make crack, and then... There must be a saying that explains all this, surely."

Metacam Oh

I guess I will have to see what all the fuss is about

Hamlet Au

The graphics are decidedly old school, but look at the dynamic lighting and shadows, they're extremely good. And the physics of course.


Minecraft is brilliant. Despite the fact the graphics are crappy. Despite the fact that the lighting and shadows are hardly dynamic. Despite the fact that the physics are basic to non-existent. Despite ALL that, it's an incredibly fun game. One of the best to come out in the last couple of years.

Eggy Lippmann

I played Minecraft for a fair bit of time and I was instantly addicted to it, but ultimately I found that it gets old really fast.

It will undoubtedly get better with the passing of time but right now, well, it's not hard to permanently defend yourself - just wall yourself up into a tiny hole and wait, or build a tiny pillar and stand on it, or simply put up some torches.

Mining gets repetitive and I've found Iron to be a little too scarce. It's annoying to have to lug around a dozen picks and they break easily. It doesn't seem to involve a lot of skill and there's way too much grunt work.

I'm dying to see the Halloween update though! Biomes sound like fun :)

I wish someone would hook up Notch with the Bay 12 people, this would make a great Dwarf Fortress frontend - and DF actually has FEATURES!!! :)

Imagine being able to hire assistant miners and crafters to remove some of the grunt work from Minecraft, being attacked by coordinated bands of cubic elephants, firing ballistas at them, putting the rooms you build to some actual use, taming animals to fight for you, selling the stuff you craft, etc.


Being an older gamer and growing up, playing some of the best games ever made (Sentinel, Elite etc (In my opinion)), it makes me die a little more inside, when I see yet another game come along with pretty graphics and next to nothing in gameplay. Then Minecraft comes along and makes the world realise there is more to gaming than graphic, the game actually matters.

Projects in Minecraft like this, just serve to push the point further.

Great job!


am i the only one who think minecraft looks good?!?


No dude, I think Minecraft looks gorgeous. Especially the vistas. My god. And Minecraft isn't about survival, Eggy (even the Survival mode). It's ultimately about building. If you can't have projects in-world to make it worthwhile, then it's your loss, man.


I think minecraft looks awesome and the halloween update make it HEAPS better in my opinion

I am starting a project like this myself (almost the same but with a few suprises)

and also keep in mine minecraft is still in alpha not even beta. Barely any games are open to the public or to buy even when they are in beta, so i think this game will get alot better in the future


The best views offered in this game are from a high altitude. Build a small fort up to the ceiling height and have a look around, and you will change your mind about the bad graphics. From a high viewing angle, the blocks fit together and look much more "realistic". Or if you think a fort w/ staircase is too time consuming, get a ton of blocks and then jump and place them under yourself. You get to the ceiling height really quick, its just a bit tedious to get down if you don't want to die :/

PS: once your up top change the draw distance to its max.

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