You’ve seen fan skins of games, fan skins of comics or movies, and even fan skins of other players – but what about a fan skin of…  The skinner himself?  Self portraits have long been a highly appreciated subject in the history of art, so why not in Minecraft as well?  Let us meet the established and incredible skinner, darkjames, in Minecraft form.

 

james_inline

 

You may remember darkjames from two previous skins of his which I reviewed, the Pale Man skin and the Monk 2.0 skin (which, if I may say so myself, houses a fantastic pun – see if you can find it).  James is known in general for creating video game and fantasy fan skins, with a decent collection of League of Legends skins.

 

James has yet to post a photo of himself, so let us instead focus on the technical execution of this skin.

 

As usual for James, the shading and detail is exceptional.  The slight asymmetry to his hair and shirt are true to the daily chaos of life, which makes this skin more believable.  I appreciate the deviation from the norm in how he made his eyes, as well.  The shirt has a sufficient amount of wrinkles to give it some character.

 

The only facet of this skin that I dislike is the shading on the pants.  For the most part, it is great – except for the inside edge of both legs.  I am not sure if it is meant to be a seam, but if it is not, then there is some misunderstanding of light direction here – the light source would have to be on both sides of the skin for this shading to make sense.

 

Otherwise, the skin is fantastic – it is a small detail (literally a single line of pixels) and doesn’t really make me love it any less.  Hats off to you, Sir James – and nine out of ten academically justifiable selfies as an award.

 

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.

 

What do you think of skin “self portraits”?  I have always loved the artistic self portrait and think it is one of humankind’s greatest methods of self expression.  I have a BFA degree in fine art and art history, so I won’t get too into it unless someone is genuinely interested (else we’d be here all week).  Post your thoughts on the matter in the comments below!

With the release of Destiny still fresh in the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere, it is no wonder that fan skins of the game are starting to pop up.  This Warlock skin by Dguy was posted the day after Destiny’s launch date and is a great skin for anyone who plays both games!

 

warlock_inline

 

For starters, as always, let us take a look at a reference of the Warlock.  Despite this game only being out for a couple of days at the time of this post, it has been hyped up for quite some time, so chances are if you’re a fan you have seen this image before.  Nonetheless, here it is:

 

warlock_ref

 

In comparison, the skin is a bit more saturated than the original concept.  All of the colors are more vibrant, and the strap is not the same color.  I do not mind this – vibrancy is definitely something that fits with Minecraft’s visual style, and as always, I accept – nay, encourage – artistic license.

 

Points for this skin:

 

  • It is detailed – as any fan skin should be.

  • Destiny is awesome – if you love the game (and love the Warlock) this skin is for you.

  • It is accurate – instantly recognizable as the Warlock for those who have played.

  • It is dimensional – makes great use of layering to give the model more volume.

 

Points against this skin:

 

  • The shading is not very intricate or smooth.  Edges look a bit too jagged because of this.

  • Detail does get a little cluttered at some points, largely again due to the shading.

  • You can’t actually be a Warlock – you can only look like one.

 

My final verdict on this skin is that it is good, but could use some touching up.  Nonetheless, it is a great way to celebrate the launch of Destiny when you are not playing it.  I award Dguy seven out of ten highly anticipated on-schedule launch dates.

 

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 Destiny?  If so, for what platform, and which class is your favorite?  Let us know in the comments below!

Secure.  Contain.  Protect.  SCP Containment breach has become one of the most popular indie horror games on the internet and has spawned a significant following.  This texture pack was based on an SCP mod that was created and discontinued years ago.  It functions fine independently of it.

 

User deadpanaden has crafted this pack with surprising skill despite the fact that it is his first and only functional survival texture pack.  As one user noted in the comments on its Planet Minecraft page, it is quite dark.  That is not a negative point, however – SCP is a dark game, so it is only fitting.

 

scp_inline

 

This intersection is one of the most iconic areas within the game.  It has been around since the earliest incarnations of SCP: Containment Breach, and hasn’t changed much over time.  It is replicated here using blocks within the game modified by the texture pack.

 

You can see the wood paneling of the wall and floor, as well as the new fence – all of which may look normal on their own in good lighting, but in combination in this dark interior (especially for those who have played the original game before) they give off a sense of dread.

 

For the more common and contained areas, this useful tiled floor has been added:

 

scp_stone

 

These screenshots seriously look like they were taken from the actual game – I love this pack already.

 

And finally, SCP would not be SCP without our beloved not-so-secure friend…

 

scp_creep

 

There are more textures to explore, but I will leave them up to you – be sure to give this pack a download, and make some terrifying environments for yourself, your friends, or your server!

 

Installing SCP Containment Breach Texture Pack for Minecraft 1.7.4

 

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

  2. Load Minecraft.

  3. Click on Texture Packs (or Options > Texture Packs).

  4. Click Open Texture Pack Folder OR press WindowsKey+R and type %appdata%\.minecraft\texturepacks

  5. Place the texture pack in this folder and wait until it shows up in your client.

  6. Select the texture pack and click done.

 

When did you first hear about SCP: Containment Breach?  It has become an interesting long-term work in progress, and it gains more and more followers each day.  Leave your response in the comments below.

Mods are wonderful.  They are loads of fun and make Minecraft a much more interesting game.  However, sometimes dealing with switching between mod packs can be annoying and ultimately limiting.  Additionally, getting less computer-savvy people into mods can be tough.  User Knight65 has graced us with a simple and clean Forge Mod Manager to address these issues.

 

There have been a few tools like this before – some of which had debilitating issues, and others which are much more robust.  I particularly like this one because it is simple, performs its intended task gracefully and without hindrance, and is easy to understand.

 

The interface is simple:

 

fmm

 

The first field shows the directory of the game.  This is extremely important to have set correctly.  If this is not your first time using the tool, it should be set properly.  Otherwise, read the setup instructions at the end of this post.

 

Second is a field to add a new mod profile.  Mod profiles are, simply put, quick ways to switch between packs of mods.  These can be extremely useful when switching between single player or LAN worlds that have different mods to cater to different players.

 

For example – my girlfriend and I prefer to play with more building and customization oriented mods, while my Minecraft bestie and I prefer to embark on epic and dangerous journeys.  As such, we play with different mods.  Profiles can be selected in the third field.

 

The two large boxes are lists of mods.  Just as the text states, the box on the left will contain a full list of all currently used mods in the selected profile, while the box on the right contains a list of all mods currently in the Minecraft mods folder.  The double arrow button will put all mods in the selected profile into the mods folder.  Keep in mind that this WILL delete any pre-existing mods in that folder.

 

And that’s all there is to it!  See?  Simple and easy to use.

 

Forge Mod Manager Installation and Setup

 

  1. Download the tool from this page.

  2. Unzip the file and run setup.exe; follow the instructions on-screen to set up the tool.

  3. Run the program.  If it gives you an error, click continue; this is simply because it was preconfigured to use the wrong directory for Minecraft.  You can set it properly by checking the box marked “change” and putting in the correct directory.  If you had to do this, restart the program.

  4. Type a profile name and click “add profile” – this generates an informational file in your Documents folder within the Forge Mod Manager folder that was created during setup.

 

With that, you are ready to start making mod profiles.  You can share these profiles with other players by going to the folder mentioned in step 4 – perfect for getting your friends and family set up with the program to easily switch between mod packs.

 

Before this, my system for switching between packs of mods was to simply create various folders containing said packs and manually swap them out when necessary.  This is of course tedious, and requires lots of unnecessary fishing through folders.  Do you find this tool useful?  Why or why not?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Ever wanted musical notes to fly around your head or explosion particles to shoot out of your feet?  If you didn’t before, chances are you do now!  Welcome to my review of the Player Particles plugin (say that ten times fast).  This plugin by Techdoodle makes a few commands available that allow players to use any particle as a personal decoration.

 

ppp_inline

 

Upon successful installation, the following commands will be added to your server:

 

  • /pp list – this prints a list of all particles available for use in this plugin.  This list includes every particle natively used in the game, so it is quite lengthy.

  • /pp none – removes particle effects that were previously set via this plugin.

  • /pp (location) (particle) – this command sets the particle to emit from either the head or feet (replacing ‘location’ with ‘head’ or ‘feet’ respectively).  The word ‘particle’ must be replaced with a valid name from /pp list.

 

An example of what explosion particles emitting from one’s head (/pp head largeexplosion) would look like was shown above.  Here is an example of the aforementioned music notes also emitting from the head:

 

ppp_music

 

The musical notes are undoubtedly my favorite.  Here is a list of all available particles and their variable names, also available on the Minecraft Wiki, this plugin’s download page, and of course the /pp list command in-game when using this plugin:

 

  • hugeexplosion – Explosion

  • largeexplode – Small explosion

  • fireworksSpark – Firework trail and explosion

  • bubble – Water

  • suspended – Underwater

  • depthsuspend – The void

  • townaura – Mycelium

  • crit – Critical hits

  • magicCrit – Sword or Axe enchanted with Sharpness, Smite, or Bane of Arthropods

  • smoke – Torches, primed TNT, droppers, dispensers, End portals, brewing stands, monster spawners

  • mobSpell – Potion effects, trading

  • mobSpellAmbient – Beacon effects

  • spell – Splash potions, bottles o’ enchanting

  • instantSpell – Instant health/damage splash potions

  • witchMagic – Witches

  • note – Note Blocks

  • portal – Nether portals, Endermen, Endermites, ender pearls, eyes of ender, ender chests

  • enchantmenttable – Enchantment tables near bookshelves

  • explode – Explosion

  • flame – Torches, furnaces, Magma Cubes, monster spawners

  • lava – Lava

  • footstep – (no use in-game)

  • splash – Water, rain, wolves

  • wake – Fishing

  • largesmoke – Fire, Minecart with Furnace, Blazes

  • cloud – Mob death, mobs spawned by monster spawners

  • reddust – Powered Redstone, Redstone Torches, powered Redstone Repeaters

  • snowballpoof – Thrown snowballs, creating Snow Golems or Iron Golems

  • dripWater – Water, wet sponges

  • dripLava – Lava

  • snowshovel – (no use in-game)

  • slime – Slimes

  • heart – Breeding, taming

  • angryVillager – Attacking a villager in a village

  • happyVillager – Bone Meal, trading in a village

 

As noted by the creator, one prominent use for this plugin could be simply providing particles to donators on servers.  It could also be used for something like marking certain players (i.e. during events or mini-games), or perhaps just as an option for personalization open to everyone.  There are many possibilities!

 

How to Install Player Particles Plugin for Minecraft 1.7.10

 

  1. Download the latest version of the Player Particles 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.

 

Which particle effect is your favorite?  Post it in the comments below!

Recently (yesterday) there have been talks of Microsoft aiming to purchase the company that created Minecraft as we know and love it: Mojang.  The gains for Notch and The Gang?  An estimated $2 billion.  To put that into perspective, Minecraft costs $27 for the PC – about 75 million copies would need to be sold to match this number.

 

Economically, this move makes sense for Mojang.  Minecraft has no microtransactions, no expansions, no monthly fees – it does not gain money from its existing customers.  The game continues to spread, undoubtedly, but consider the fact that fewer than 17 million people have purchased the game for PC since it was first released.

 

That’s almost half of a billion dollars.

 

Of course, Minecraft makes money elsewhere.  Merchandising, guides, and probably other deals struck with third party companies must generate significant cash flow.  Those fifteen dollar foam iron swords seem to be popular, after all.

 

So why does Microsoft want Mojang?  Likely, Microsoft sees some opportunity to turn Minecraft into an even greater profit at the expense of something Mojang hasn’t been willing to do with the game still under their management.  This could be something like monthly fees, expansions, or simply more impactful marketing schemes.  Regardless, this is at its core a business venture.

 

This could mean many things for Minecraft, but one thing is for sure: the game we all love will almost definitely not be ruined.  When games and companies change hands, fans often become concerned that the new company will attempt to take the game in a completely new and unfamiliar direction.  Carl Manneh (CEO) and others of the company have confirmed their policy on generally doing what is best for the game and its community rather than selling out for what will generate the highest income – our worlds are in safe hands.

 

Now, something of this magnitude may seem scary for longtime players who have grown attached to the game.  Rest assured, however, that simply because Microsoft may be purchasing Mojang, they would be absolute fools to recruit a new team to manage and develop it – and the Mojang Gang has shown no signs of falling out of love with their masterpiece.  Microsoft will likely simply be calling the major shots, while the Mojang flavor and intimacy remains in Notch’s capable hands.

 

Nonetheless, most reports of these events transpiring cite that Microsoft and Mojang are close to striking a deal.  This means that Mojang is definitely interested in pursuing something with the company, though to what extent we cannot know until it has been set in stone.  Both parties have yet to release any public information, and what is known was leaked.

 

With that said – I will be sure to keep you up to date on this as I discover more information.  Stay tuned for more.  Until then, happy crafting!

 

How do you feel about this potential acquisition by Microsoft?  Do you fear they will monetize it too heavily, or perhaps ruin the game’s direction and charm?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.