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Minecraft Social Experiment

Firstly, as many people love videos more than lots of text, here’s a little trailer I threw together back in 2014 to show my friends where I was up to on the project:

 

Many disregard Minecraft as a game for children without looking more deeply. Take a moment then, to consider the possibilities.

There is a large community devoted to producing modifications to the core game to add new functionality. My favourite of which adds electricity, computers that run LUA programmable code, lights, machinery, and other interesting modern things.

A while back I heard about a new mode coming to the game, in which if your character dies at the hands of the cruel world around you, that’s it. You don’t come back, you lose it all. It got me to thinking….

What if you got a group of people together, and gave them this one, single life? Would they work together for the good of the group? Would they steal from and murder each other? What social dynamics would come to light?

So, I set out crafting a world for them to live in. The Compound is a large iron structure surrounded by a protective forcefield, and designed to keep the monsters and other dangers at bay. The down side of course is that to do anything worth while, you will have to leave the safety of the Compound! I’ve not given them everything they need to survive however, but have written a loose story and hidden a lot of interesting things in and around the Compound to encourage players to explore.

The Compound may look incomplete, but that’s because I want to give players the ability to build for themselves upon these foundations:

compound_3

 

Besides the surface area, there is an underground network of control rooms, power generators and storage, security systems, tunnels, and more. The Compound has as its heart for example, a forcefield system that has a dedicated power supply with backups, and an array of dozens of forcefield emitters to surround the entire Compound in a protective field. Here is a small portion of this system, the core itself:

compound_4

 

The last thing of note to mention here now that we’ve gotten past the scale and complexity of the build, is the software that monitors the Compound. I have written programs using the LUA language that monitor forcefields, power levels, and more, and warn the users within the control room of issues. In the below screenshot for example you can see a large wall monitor on which I have written a program to display the status of all of the Compound’s forcefield emitters. For the purposes of this screenshot I have disabled multiple emitters (with explosions!) to demonstrate the usefulness of the readout. The Compound is so large that a central monitoring location is the only way to know what’s going on with your systems at all times:

compound_1

I continue to work on perfecting the build and software of the Compound, and it is now nearing completion. Once complete, I will host the server on a quality Linux Virtual Machine along side a VOIP server and a website dedicated to the Compound, with community forums, news and status information.

 

Project Details

  • Multiple sections coded in LUA
  • Complex interconnected electronic systems
  • Fun social experiment
  • Engaging content for exploration
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