Monsters are usually supposed to be scary, but this one by Althestane is just adorable!  Meet the Sad Little Monster, an entry into the Planet Minecraft Emotions contest, and a misunderstood angsty monster who just wants someone to listen and be there when he/she/it needs a hug!

 

monster_inline

 

Most skins are humans for an obvious reason – the model itself is a human, and the default skin is as well.  As such, it is always refreshing to see a non-human; in this case, it is a…  Lizard…  Fish thing…?  I’m honestly not sure, but whatever it is, its sad little eyes are melting my heart.

 

For the originality alone, this skin trumps most others in the Emotions contest for me.  Aside from that, it genuinely looks sad.  It may be sad that it didn’t get to slaughter Steve earlier, or perhaps truly because even the Creeper won’t hug it – I don’t really know.

 

One thing I do know, however, is that the shading on this skin is fantastic.  It suffers slightly from what I shall henceforth refer to as dark-butt syndrome, or DBS for short – the area at the bottom of his backside is inexplicably much darker than the rest of his body, which would normally indicate a significant change in depth.  This is a problem many skins face.

 

Other than that, there really are no shading errors.  The detail is balanced as well – not overwhelming, but enough to give us a sense of physical texture and keep the model looking interesting.

 

Ultimately, I award the Sad Little Monster Skin ten out of ten sahagins.

 

Installing the Skin

 

For online play, skins can be installed by simply uploading the file to your profile on Minecraft.net.  Skins posted on certain websites can be uploaded directly from their page, including this one; click on the button on the right-hand side labeled “change my skin” to be taken directly to the appropriate page.

 

For offline play only, the process is similar to installing mods:

 

  1. Download the skin’s .png file;

  2. Hold Windows key and press R to bring up the Run… dialog, or go to Start > Run.

  3. Type %appdata% and press enter, then navigate to roaming/.minecraft/versions.

  4. Open the folder containing the version you use for offline play and view the .jar file using WinRAR.

  5. Create a backup of the meta.inf file contained inside the .jar and store it in a separate folder.

  6. Navigate within the .jar file to assets/minecraft/textures/entity.

  7. Rename the image file titled “steve” to anything else (such as steve_backup).

  8. Change the name of your skin’s .png file to steve.png and insert it here.

 

Remember to keep your meta.inf and original steve texture backed up somewhere just in case.

 

Which skin from the Emotions contest is your favorite?  Post a link to it in the comments below, and I may review it!

Sometimes the best plugins are those which add simple, purely aesthetic functions to the game that provide a sense of originality for the player using them.  User Nageek of PlanetMinecraft brings to us one such plugin called ColorWalk, which functions exactly as you might think.

 

ColorWalk changes the color of the ground beneath your character as they walk by turning the block into a random colored wool for several seconds.  Once the timer for the block is up, it will return to its normal state.  The path looks like this, when the player is walking diagonally:

 

color_inline

 

One must not worry about ruining precious ores or useful blocks, as once again, they will change back into the original block within a few seconds (five to be exact, may be customizable – not sure).  The blocks are shown client-side, meaning that any mod or plugin that might be affected by changing or losing certain blocks will not cause trouble for other players on a server.

 

Finally, players can be given or revoked the ability to use these trails by simply changing the permission node colorwalk.use.

 

Uses for ColorWalk

 

Now that you’ve seen what the plugin can do, let me share with you a few uses I thought up for ColorWalk.

 

  1. Special rewards on servers – some players could be given ColorWalk for donating, completing certain objectives, or otherwise being awesome (as determined by the server operators).  Could also be something bought with in-game currency.

  2. Use in a mini game – perhaps to make the target of Capture the Flag or Assassination more obvious.

  3. Disarming TNT – I have no idea if this works (will have to test it later), but it may be possible to disarm a TNT block by walking on it to change it into wool briefly.  If you test it before I do, let me know and I’ll credit you here!

  4. Use a texture pack that changes the top of colored wool to be something special, such as cracked stone or desecrated soil – then give ColorWalk to a powerful or important player!

 

This plugin is nothing incredibly monumental, as I have said, but it is nonetheless entertaining.  Some things I’d like to see in the future are in-game commands to enable/disable the effect, customizing fade time and possible colors, and adding the ability to choose which blocks (even blocks that are not wool) are used.

 

How to Install ColorWalk Plugin for Minecraft 1.7.10

 

  1. Download the latest version of the ColorWalk plugin.

  2. Place the .jar file from step 1 into your game or server’s plugins directory.

  3. Run the game or server and wait for it to fully load.

  4. Restart your Minecraft game or server, or login to your admin account and execute the /reload command.

  5. Run the server or enter a world again.  The plugin should be properly loaded.

 

Can you think of any other interesting uses for ColorWalk?  Leave your ideas in the comments below!

This skin by HazelOrb is of the Orange Knight from the game Castle Crashers, published by The Behemoth.  This game, created by Newgrounds.com founder Tom Fulp and artist Dan Paladin, features adorable but deadly little knights, each with different abilities.

 

orange_inline

 

An interesting problem arises with this character.  First of all, its source material features a very small, condensed figure, which would normally be easy to convert into pixel form:

 

orange_ref

 

However, due to the size and shape of the Minecraft model, features must be extrapolated and exaggerated.  As such, this Orange Knight skin may not look exactly like the original from the game, but nonetheless is immediately recognizable

 

HazelOrb seems to have quite an understanding of how to properly shade the Steve model.  One of the first things I look for in most skins is whether or not the back of the model is awkwardly shaded, as this is a common weak point among less experienced skinners; Hazel has no problem here.  In fact, the shading all around is perfect.

 

I have no complaints for this skin.  It’s a great choice for anyone who loves the game, or simply likes the color orange and wants to look awesome.  The Orange Knight is awarded ten out of ten clocks.

 

Installing the Skin

 

For online play, skins can be installed by simply uploading the file to your profile on Minecraft.net.  Skins posted on certain websites can be uploaded directly from their page, including this one; click on the button on the right-hand side labeled “change my skin” to be taken directly to the appropriate page.

 

For offline play only, the process is similar to installing mods:

 

  1. Download the skin’s .png file;

  2. Hold Windows key and press R to bring up the Run… dialog, or go to Start > Run.

  3. Type %appdata% and press enter, then navigate to roaming/.minecraft/versions.

  4. Open the folder containing the version you use for offline play and view the .jar file using WinRAR.

  5. Create a backup of the meta.inf file contained inside the .jar and store it in a separate folder.

  6. Navigate within the .jar file to assets/minecraft/textures/entity.

  7. Rename the image file titled “steve” to anything else (such as steve_backup).

  8. Change the name of your skin’s .png file to steve.png and insert it here.

 

Remember to keep your meta.inf and original steve texture backed up somewhere just in case.

 

Do you play Castle Crashers, or are you a Newgrounds fan?  If so, who is your favorite character (from either the game or the website as a whole)?  Leave your answer in the comments.  Mine would have to be Spike Valentine’s Lucy.

Food is one of the least covered topics among the Minecraft modding community.  Why?  Well, there really isn’t much to do when it comes to food, I suppose, other than simply add more food.  User MrSpring, however, developed the impressive Ktichen Mod: Modular Sandwiches, making food more fun and more customizable!

 

kitchen_inline

 

This mod was originally developed for Modjam 4, and is to my knowledge the only mod of its kind (at least in its primary function).  With this mod, you can build sandwiches piece by piece to your liking, with more ingredients yielding more food as one might expect.

 

While such an option may seem trivial, it actually makes the game quite entertaining and interesting.  In order to create a sandwich, one must go through several steps.  Step one is creating the necessary equipment.

 

Kitchen knife – used to slice ingredients:

 

kitchen_knife

 

And cutting board, used to hold the sandwich while it is being made:

 

kitchen_cutting

 

Once these two items are created, place the cutting board on a surface by right-clicking with it in hand.  Then, combine the knife with an ingredient to create a sliced version of the ingredient.  You will need at least sliced bread (or toast, which can be made by putting sliced bread into an oven or furnace), though of course other ingredients are recommended (who wants a bread sandwich?).

 

Slicing any ingredient looks like this:

 

kitchen_leaves

 

Some other ingredients that can be sliced include cheese (made by crafting a single bucket of milk), any meat (you can make bacon!), and carrots.

 

After slicing ingredients, right click on the cutting board with a slice of bread to start the sandwich.  You may then add ingredients as you desire, up to a maximum of eight plus one more slice of bread.  Shift-right click to remove the sandwich from the cutting board, and there you have it!

 

You can see the ingredients of a sandwich after removing it by hovering over it in the menu:

 

kitchen_hover

 

One of the greatest things about this mod is the level of interaction involved in it.  You do not simply craft ingredients together to create a sandwich – it is truly an enhancement of gameplay.

 

The Oven

 

Moving on, I must explain the oven to you.  Though a secondary part of the mod, it is still significant, useful, and almost necessary for creating sandwiches efficiently.

 

kitchen_oven

 

Ovens are used to cook large amounts of food in a shorter time and for less fuel.  To use an oven, right click it to open it, then right click to add food, close it, and fill it with fuel.  A total of four different types of items can be cooked at once, up to stacks of four in each slot.  When the food is done, the oven will begin to emit smoke; be sure to remove your food before it gets burnt!  Burnt food is completely useless.

 

See what I mean about interaction?  Awesome!

 

Other items

 

Also included in this mod are the mortar and pestle.  In case you are not familiar, this is a combination of items used by cooks and scientists to grind items into more useful powders.  In this mod’s case, its primary function is to create flour from wheat.

 

The Kitchen Mod also brings plates to the game.  Plates are different than what you may expect – instead of allowing the player to eat off of them, they act as a display unit to show off your glorious bacon-bacon-bacon-bacon-bacon-bacon-bacon cheese sandwiches.

 

kitchen_plate

 

Several items can be placed on a plate, allowing for interesting home decorations that also serve as convenient storage.

 

Useful ideas

 

Now that you have seen how awesome this mod is, let me run through a couple of interesting ideas I had for it.

 

  1. The Deli – instead of providing this mod on a server for all to use, perhaps limit its use to a single player or a few players who choose to work at a deli!  Players could choose ingredients from behind a glass window – possibly displayed on plates – and have sandwiches made for them.

  2. The Butcher – could go hand in hand with The Deli.  Players could bring ingredients to a butcher to have them chopped into usable portions; essentially only one player is given a knife.  Simple and interesting.

  3. The Diamond Chef – obviously has a limited number of applications, but it would be quite interesting to have a Minecraft competition in which players create plates for a panel of judges, as in the television series Iron Chef.

  4. Miner Dash – and finally, you had to see this one coming.  Who wouldn’t love a little player-made (or automated, with the right skills) minigame in which customers request specific sandwiches from the cook, who must deliver them to the proper tables in the allotted amount of time?  For further difficulty and amusement, perhaps speed up player hunger rates drastically!

 

Such a simple mod, but so many possible applications.  I absolutely love this mod and will definitely be playing with it.  I can only hope it is updated to 1.8 as soon as the official release is out.

 

I award The Kitchen Mod ten out of ten bacon strips.

 

How to install The Kitchen Mod: Modular Sandwiches for Minecraft 1.7.2 / 1.7.10

 

  1. Download and install Minecraft Forge mod loader

  2. Download the latest version of The Ktichen Mod.

  3. Hold Windows key and press R to open the Run… dialog, or go to Start > Run.

  4. Enter %appdata% and navigate to your .minecraft/mods folder.

  5. Drag and drop the .zip file downloaded in step 2 into this folder.

 

Can you think of any other awesome uses for this mod?  It is so expandable and creative that there are bound to be tons.  Leave your ideas in the comments!  If any of them are particularly creative, I’ll include them next time I review this mod (when it has a major update).

User Pinky4341 has created a wonderful resource pack for those who had the pleasure of growing up with early 90s video games, played and/or made RPG games with the likes of RPG Maker for the PC, or simply like retro graphics.  Dreav 32x RPG is slightly less pixelated than the original graphics and closely resembles the look and feel from SNES-era titles.

 

For those who are not quite so familiar with the style, here is a screenshot of Breath of Fire 2 on the SNES:

 

dreav_snes

 

Before moving on, I should note that this pack is an early WIP and is Pinky’s side project.  Nonetheless, the content so far is fantastic and it is definitely worth following.  It is not yet released for download, but I will provide instructions for it so that when it is available in the future you may install it with ease.

 

Here is a sample of some of the blocks that are done, taken from the project page on Planet Minecraft:

 

dreav_blocks

 

Judging from the excellence of Pinky’s realism pack, I expect this one to be nothing short of mindblowing.  You can already see some advanced details starting to emerge, such as the randomly forming skulls and other debris.  I personally am a huge fan of SNES-era/RPG Maker graphics, so I cannot wait for this pack to progress.

 

In the mean time, I shall withhold my judgment – there is not yet enough content to award and number of arbitrarily determined items representative of points.

 

Installing Dreav 32x RPG Resource Pack for Minecraft 1.8

 

Remember – this pack is not yet available for download as of the time of this post!  Be sure to check back at the resource pack’s page frequently for updates as it progresses.  I may review it again when it is formally released.

 

  1. Download the latest version of the resource pack here.

  2. Press WindowsKey+R and type %appdata%\.minecraft\resourcepacks

  3. Unzip the file if it was zipped.

  4. Place the resource pack in this folder.

  5. In Minecraft, go to Options > Resource Packs and select your pack.

 

What is your favorite SNES RPG or RPG Maker game?  Leave your answer in the comments!  Bonus points if there is a Minecraft fan texture pack, skin, or mod of it!

With some fantastic entries from round 1, Oblivion_Gamer’s skin contest crests upon a second round with the theme “Warrior”.  As before, this calls for a skin, made almost entirely out of pure, solid epic.

 

warrior_inline

 

Before I continue, I wish to say that I truly respect Oblivion’s approach to this contest.  One of the most annoying things as an artist (at least, for me) is entering some juried contest or exhibition where the judges have almost no involvement and no display of personal ability or authority for which they have been given the right to judge.

 

This Warrior skin alone is testament enough to Oblivion’s ability.  If you have not checked out the rest of her skins, be sure to do so after you finish reading here.  She has steadily improved.

 

Moving on: as was the case with the Contest 1 skin, I cannot find anything about this that I dislike or disapprove of.  Shading is impeccable, detail is plentiful and interesting but not overwhelming, colors are well used and present pleasant contrast, and the helmet layer was used gracefully to add dimension to the hair.  What more can you ask for?

 

I thus award Oblivion ten out of ten awesome contests for this skin.  Be sure to read on below the skin installation instructions for more details on her contest!

 

Installing the Skin

 

For online play, skins can be installed by simply uploading the file to your profile on Minecraft.net.  Skins posted on certain websites can be uploaded directly from their page, including this one; click on the button on the right-hand side labeled “change my skin” to be taken directly to the appropriate page.

 

For offline play only, the process is similar to installing mods:

 

  1. Download the skin’s .png file;

  2. Hold Windows key and press R to bring up the Run… dialog, or go to Start > Run.

  3. Type %appdata% and press enter, then navigate to roaming/.minecraft/versions.

  4. Open the folder containing the version you use for offline play and view the .jar file using WinRAR.

  5. Create a backup of the meta.inf file contained inside the .jar and store it in a separate folder.

  6. Navigate within the .jar file to assets/minecraft/textures/entity.

  7. Rename the image file titled “steve” to anything else (such as steve_backup).

  8. Change the name of your skin’s .png file to steve.png and insert it here.

 

Remember to keep your meta.inf and original steve texture backed up somewhere just in case.

 

For those of you who did not catch the first round of the contest, here is a quick run-down:

 

  • Skins are being made based on the server Wynncraft’s four classes: archer, warrior, mage, and assassin.

  • Entrants must create completely original skins; no recolors, no remakes, and no using others’ palettes.

  • Entries are judged based on concept, technical execution, and adherence to the theme.

  • Prizes include a custom skin by the great Oblivion_Gamer, a feature, trophies, and an Optifine cape.

 

A complete list of entries from round 1 can be found here.

 

Who do you think had the best skin from round 1?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.  I will be covering this contest as it moves forward, and at the end, will review my favorite skin from each round.  Stay tuned!