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August 23, 2014, 11:16:15 AM
TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhallMineLands - Minecraft Clone on Facebook
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Author Topic: MineLands - Minecraft Clone on Facebook  (Read 4929 times)
spartacan
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« on: March 08, 2011, 11:05:33 PM »

Hi! My name is Matt and I'm new here. In fact, I'm relatively new to the indie game development scene. Here's my introduction on the "Obligatory Introduce Yourself Thread" (great idea, btw):

http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=45.msg525264#msg525264

Anyway, I just wanted to announce my first game - MineLands. As I mentioned in my introduction, this is just a clone of Minecraft Classic with multiplayer. Progress is saved on the server (just my home PC at the moment).

There's a lot more work that can be done with it, but right now I'm lacking direction with the project. I started working on the project just as a learning experience and never imagined going very far with it. But perhaps there's more to this project. I would love to take a different path from Minecraft, but I haven't put too much thought into it. Puzzle game? Adventure/RPG game? MMO? Or maybe this is as far as I should go with the project.

Anyway, here's the link:

http://apps.facebook.com/minelands/

Any kind of feedback is welcome. If anyone is interested in collaborating, I'd be interested in that as well! Thanks!
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Theon
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 07:58:11 AM »

I just tried it.
Seems pretty solid!

Personally, I don't like the preview blocks, and I know the water is going to be an issue for some; but add some Facebook interactivity (and a less depressing skybox) and it'll be popular as fuck.
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Nugsy
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 09:26:53 AM »

If you intend to take this in a different direction, i'd suggest renaming it. Also not referring to it as a Minecraft clone would help.

You'll probably meet far less negativity if you do these two things.

Hand Thumbs Up Left Smiley
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spartacan
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2011, 10:37:04 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions. If I do find a direction to take, I would certainly rename appropriately. As much as I'd love to have something different from Minecraft, the fact of the matter is I do have a Minecraft clone at the moment. I wouldn't feel comfortable referring to it as anything else until I have done something different enough with it. I understand that there might be some negativity no matter what I call/refer it right now, but with some direction and inspiration, maybe I can do something about that  Wink

So for those who play Minecraft, is there anything you feel could be expanded on or done differently?
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Chris Pavia
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2011, 10:53:12 AM »

So for those who play Minecraft, is there anything you feel could be expanded on or done differently?

Minecraft is a very sandboxy experience, so having your game be more goal/objective oriented could help it stand out.
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Nugsy
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2011, 11:09:05 AM »

Those who play Minecraft, is there anything you feel could be expanded on or done differently?

Actually know what you want to do with the game. Cheesy
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Triplefox
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 08:48:17 PM »

Make it more like a Facebook game. Make an item economy and have the player trade with others, share their worlds, etc. Then monetize through selling accelerators, unique items and terrain pieces. Allow players to price discriminate.

The MTX/viral combo is the way of all Facebook games Wizard

And get away from the "Minecraft clone" description. You won't please anyone by living in its shadow. You have a Minecraft-type engine, but you have to find your own focus. It's Facebook so complex, sprawling mechanics are out - they want to be able to get in and out and achieve something in under 5 minutes per day.

But aside from that, there's plenty of designing that can be done. Describe the game in terms of what you want the player to be thinking about. Come up with a set of high-concept gameplay loops describing what the player experiences - "first person movement," "placing and removing blocks to build structures," "explore a procedurally generated island" would be the ones you have currently.

Adding and subtracting loops will clarify the design and make it unique. The social stuff adds new loops; and it becomes much less of an overt Minecraft clone if you remove any of the three existing loops and find something equally strong to replace them with. So you can opt to build more on top of Minecraft, or diverge significantly. Once you've determined the core loops, you can dig down into some more specific mechanics that drive the player to interact with your design as intended.

In general, the more your loops can intersect with each other, the more fun it'll be.
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William Broom
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 12:56:28 AM »

Allow the player to place only a certain number of blocks every 24 hours, unless they pay cash money for a larger block quota.
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spartacan
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 07:47:43 AM »

This is great! Thanks for the suggestions. It makes a lot of sense to me to focus on making a true Facebook game out of my Minecraft "engine" (that sounds so much better than "clone" Smiley). I think that just might be enough for me to start exploring this path. I'll be revisiting what other successful Facebook games are doing, and identifying all the social channels I can take advantage of. From there, I think I'll be able to come up with some specific gameplay ideas!
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baconman
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 02:04:26 AM »

It's Facebook so complex, sprawling mechanics are out - they want to be able to get in and out and achieve something in under 5 minutes per day.

This kind of limiting thinking is exactly what keeps FB games from being real contenders; where it's a perfectly viable future platform in development right now. And one with a lot of good potential for both casual and core gamers alike.

I'd say look at every roaming/exploring and resource management game - heck look at EVERY game you enjoy - and find a way to either add a fun feature of it (and a means of deliberately creating that), or at least use the engine to set up a few demonstrations of it's already-existent potential.

Perhaps an additional focus on player-modification elements would help that. Like say, there's a food you can associate with faster running or higher jumping; so consuming it would enable that feature for a particular frame of time. Consuming more of that food would add or reset the time it's enabled for (but please, something like 15-20 minutes, at least! Not like a 15-second starman thing).

A slight focus on features like "friends and foes," or some degrees of coop and competitive play would be an ideal thing to include, with fb being the natural social medium it is. Just don't do a "MineVille" thing and force spampost-requests to every friend on somebody's list! Allow it, but keep it totally optional.

Finally, allow one player to travel from one's own world/playfield to a friend's; and from one friend's to their friends'. You don't have to limit yourself to realistic geography, here!
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spartacan
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 02:07:13 PM »

A slight focus on features like "friends and foes," or some degrees of coop and competitive play would be an ideal thing to include, with fb being the natural social medium it is. Just don't do a "MineVille" thing and force spampost-requests to every friend on somebody's list! Allow it, but keep it totally optional.

I've been thinking about the level of competitiveness that would be ideal, and my gut feeling tells me that the average Facebook user would welcome "friendly" competition, maybe in terms of some score or status. On the other hand, griefing or other PvP aspects might cause too much frustration for most players. I would enjoy creating some more directly competitive features, but I'm not sure it will work on Facebook. Your idea of having player modifications is perfect for my conception of Facebook competition, where these enhancements ultimately help players boost their score or status.

Finally, allow one player to travel from one's own world/playfield to a friend's; and from one friend's to their friends'. You don't have to limit yourself to realistic geography, here!

This is already possible in the current demo, but maybe it's not made clear enough.

Anyway, I'm off to PAX now! Hopefully, I'll find some more inspiration there!
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kidchameleon
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2011, 01:47:12 AM »

Looks good, keep it going...
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Drum
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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2011, 02:37:08 PM »

Call it Mineville.

I guess the ability to share resources with other players would make it go viral.  Like a Resident Evil-style chest linked between facebook friends.
Also, you could rip off Animal Crossing and fix it so you only get one type of fruit and to get more you have to trade with other players.

I should probably not be giving you ideas, because I am kind of down on the whole idea tbh.
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spartacan
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2011, 04:04:07 PM »

I should probably not be giving you ideas, because I am kind of down on the whole idea tbh.

I am looking for some help in various areas, especially on the art side. A game designer might help too. Let me know if you're interested.
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X3N
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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2011, 03:44:20 PM »

"The content was stopped because a fatal content error was detected"
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