Friday, 6 January 2012

Trophies and Gamerscore for Being Buff

It's still in beta but Fitocracy.com is about as 'beta' as Minecraft was before it launched officially. This means that is fun and it works well. Go to the site now and request an invite. Fitocracy is basically the Web's totally serious answer to this XKCD comic from a while back.

This is now a reality! Woop!

 The system Fitocracy uses is just as fiendishly compulsive and addictive as XBLA's Gamerscore or PSN's Trophy systems and I'm not even exaggerating when I say that this site has the 'nerdy athlete' in mind. Here's some proof for ya.

Tell me this doesn't sound like a LOT of fun!

See! Look at that! Quests, Achievements, Pokemon references and accolades (in the form of Titles) are there for the taking for various quests aimed at a satisfying range of exercises, levels and specialist sports such as Mountaineering and Climbing. There was even a quest for dancing for 2 hours on NYE and the site is very easy to navigate.

I'm already hooked and as a fully signed up member I am allowed to invite people myself so if you want that to happen, please get in touch at jakmarshall@rocketmail.com and I'll hook you up.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Jak's Minecraft Diary #1 - The Spawn Village (Reloaded)

click here for part 2

Let's all just accept the fact that Mojang's MineCraft went above and beyond being viral and is now has worldwide airborune status. Worse than that darned avian flu. So rather than enter a saturated market and make YouTube videos (I think Yogscast et al have that one covered) I thought I'd do an occasional series on how life in my MineCraft server is getting on. Here goes nothing.

The following graphic is a small part of the daily snapshot that our server takes of the entire world. It is of course limited to surface detail as it stands, so any subterranean views aren't shown on these graphics.  

Figure 1. Left to Right: "The Noom Complex", "Abandoned House", "Nether Portal" and "Jak's Hovel"

Diary #001 - Welcome to NoomCraft

Upon spawn in a world I will refer to as 'Noom', I realised that it was already getting dark. Fortunately, the server admin (merdian) was currently playing and kindly guided me to the only settlement in the world so far. Before he left, meridian informed me of some house rules. I've decided to record these Laws in what I will refer to as the Noomstitution:

The Noomstitution - 2011
  1. Thou Shalt Not Rob from Other Miners - (meridian)
  2. When Lodging in the House of Other Miners, Thou Shalt Not Leave the Doors Open (meridian)
  3.  No Griefing (meridian)
This all seemed legit and fair so I instantly started burgling from every chest in sight  (nothing heartbreaking, just some wood, stone and wool required to get a basic toolset and a bed going) and then constructed a hovel to live in (see Fig 1) which directly connects to my first mine. I also made a bucket and stone hoe and built a basic wheat farm adjacent to my house and got a good supply of bread going. I shall never go hungry and will continue to hope that constipation and anaemia don't become part of the game any time soon. 

Days passed, and I managed to mine into a complex natural cave system, which I instantly filled with stone walls and torches to block off the inevitable waves of zombies, spiders and skeletons that I could already hear coming from a a presumably nearby mob spawner. No sooner had I done this that a nomadic user called Extreme Tomato had come barging into my hovel to 'look around'. With the paranoia of a kleptomaniac I checked my chests to see that nothing was missing. As a matter of fact something had been added! A creeper face was peering at me from outside. 

Looking at the ruined remains of my front door I looked blankly at ExtremeTomato and before long he had fixed my house front complete with the double doors I had originally. I had to put the torches back where I liked them but he wasn't to know. After scolding the nomad for allowing a creeper to follow him to the village I instructed him to establish his own hovel for such crises. The 'Abandoned House' you see above is likely to be the paltry result of his efforts so far but at least he's trying. This explosive episode prompted some additions to the Noomstitution.


The Noomstitution - 2012
  1. Thou Shalt Not Rob from Other Miners - (meridian)
  2. When Lodging in the House of Other Miners, Thou Shalt Not Leave the Doors Open (meridian)
  3.  No Griefing (meridian)
  4. Thou Shalt Not Let Mobs Follow Thee Home At Night (Jak)
  5. If Thou'st Allow'st a Creeper'st to Blow'st up'st the House of a Fellow Miner, Thou Shal'st Repair'st said House. (Jak) 
Thus having laid down the law, I went to admire the large stone front porch of the Noom Complex and heard the sound of a lit fuse. Shit. With one heart remaining I ate my bread like a champ and practised what I had just preached. I hope it was to meridian's liking.

If you're interested in joining the server please contact my server request inbox. Thanks.