Tag Archives: creative

Minecraft Redux

I’m not very creative. I wish I was more creative, sometimes, but the fact of the matter is, as much as I want to be, I’m not very creative at all.

Which is kind of funny, because I’m playing Minecraft again, a game that demands creativity when you’re building stuff.

Only in creative mode, mind you, because I want to build stuff. I see things all the time that inspire me to build their equivalents in Minecraft, and creative mode is the only way that happens within any kind of suitable timeframe.


There’s a scene in Inception where Cobb explains to Ariadne how in the dream world, our minds create and perceive the world simultaneously, allowing us to get right in the middle of that process by taking over the creating part.

That’s kind of what Minecraft in creative mode is like. Kind of.

At first I thought creative wasn’t the way Minecraft was supposed to be played, but then I realised that if you just wanted to build stuff, it is the only way you are supposed to play. Survival Minecraft hampers creativity to the point where you’re just doing meaningless work for the sake of being able to create; even the smallest project (say, a 64×64 inverted glass pyramid) takes weeks of in-game time.

Survival Minecraft is kind of like adding people to Circles in Google Plus — lots of work for very little return. I’ve come to realise my time is now becoming more and more valuable, and the less I waste on bullshit work like farming wood to make glass or digging out an entire desert worth of sand for that glass then sitting idly by while I wait for that glass to be smelted, the better.

If you just want to build stuff in Minecraft, play creative mode where resources aren’t an issue. Anything else is just a waste of time. Building epic structures in Minecraft is great — less so if you have to admit you spent days or weeks in-game just to build a small glass pyramid.

Anyway, I’ve been building stuff, most of it inspired by stuff in real life. I find cool stuff on the web occasionally, and bookmark it to build in Minecraft. One thing I’ve built recently is the smaller enterable apartments from ARMA 2’s Chernarus map, the ones that look a little like so:

arma 2 apartment

I made a similar thing in Minecraft, which doesn’t actually look too bad compared to the original. Most of the design elements are there, and even the interiors of the apartment are similar, even though I’ve added my own spin on things here and there.

minecraft apartment

And as much as I want to create my own original designs, I’ve been drawing heavily from other games, too. There’s a building that looks strangely reminiscent of Dr Bryson’s lab from Mass Effect 3 (complete with auto-opening doors and automatic lighting that turns itself on at night and off in the morning), a castle design that I’ve ripped off from a different server I played on, and even the famous Rostiger Nagel, a famous German landmark.

For now, my creativity mostly encompasses building Minecraft interpretations of real-life things. I wish I was more creative, but that’ll have to do.

The Chronicles of Ghost, Chapter I

Ghost tells me he still remembers his first kill.

It’s very late at night. If there was a definition of pitch black, this would be it. He’s run across wide open fields to reach the outside of the south barracks of the north west airfield, a place notorious for bandits and murderers — no easy task when you’re in a gillie suit and carrying a Remington, but he manages.

He begins to make his way towards the barracks, when he sees it. Light. From inside the barracks, presumably from the flashlight of a bandit, murderer, or perhaps even both.

As he watches, there are more flashes of light. Again, and again. In this dead of night, each flashlight cuts trough the night like a spotlight; the bandits/murderers are either inexperienced or just plain dumb, Ghost tells me. At this point he’s perhaps 50m away; close enough to make out flashlights, but far away enough so that he can’t ID targets.

He calls it in, speaking into his throat-mike. This was supposed to be black-in, black-out; no one was supposed to be here, for starters, let alone two fools with flashlights lighting up the place like they own it. Naturally, Overlord tells him to eyeball the targets, and terminate if necessary. Backup is too far out to be of any use to him, because the precious cargo now has an expiry date — if these two goons with the flashlights were here, you could bet that they were also looking for the precious cargo. Why else would they be raiding a barracks in the dead of night?

Ghost inches closer. Crawling along the forest floor in his ghillie, he’s nothing by invisible. The tangos with flashlights are still doing their thing, waving their flashlights around like they’re re-enacting a scene from Star Wars.

Meanwhile Ghost inches closer. 20 meters. He’s moved away from the cover of the bush line now, and he’s out in the open. No matter, no matter, as his ghillie and the darkest of night gives him all the cover he needs. 10 meters.

Silently, sneakily, closer. 5 meters.

He’s right along the wall of the barracks right now, and if the fools with flashlights were paying any attention, they might even be able to hear him breathing. But no, they’re still acting out Episode Two.

At this point Ghost weighs his options: on one hand, they’re bound to discover the precious cargo any second now, no matter how inexperienced they are. On the other, bodies leave a trace…

He calls it.

Popping up right underneath a window — the very window with a perfect view into the room the tangos are in — he squeezes the trigger on his Remington. Two slugs later, and one of the bandits is on the floor. The shots don’t seem to have altered security, but what about the other tango?

Apparently, nowhere to be seen. Ghost starts checking the rooms one-by-one, peering into each one from the outside. Nothing in the first, nothing in the second… No, wait, there! Crawling around on the floor in the adjacent room, like his buddy had just been taken out by one of the best operatives to ever roam the rtowns of Chernarus. Another two slugs, and he’s down for the count.

The rest of the mission is uneventful. Ghost tells me he loots the barracks, finds the precious cargo (a missing arms shipment to a Ukranian druglord,  you know the story), and high-tails it out of there.

Black-in, black out.

Now THAT’S creative! (Resume Infographics)

infographics resume

Many people ask me advice about their portfolio and CV and I always tell them to be creative to stand out of the crowd. This doesn’t apply to all kind of jobs, but when you’re talking about creative jobs, there are simply no rules on how to present yourself.

Don’t mention the name of your kindergarden school, don’t mention you’ve been working at McDonalds during summer break. Believe me, nobody cares. And if your future employer does care, then he’ll select you on the wrong criteria. You don’t want to work for such a company.

So get creative and make something awesome from your portfolio. Take the above portfolio as an example. Michael doesn’t show any of its works and still he succeeds in showing off his talent. Not only he can create great graphics, he also proves to be able to turn ‘boring’ facts and figures into something exciting. Well done Michael!

via Resume infographic on Flickr – Photo Sharing!.

Now THAT’S creative.

Click on the image for the full sized version.