Lately I have been in the habit of reviewing simple texture packs – simple in the sense that they are not visually complex.  The gaming world is pretty evenly split down two sides when it comes to graphics – I am right in the middle, and I can appreciate Disco_’s oCd texture pack just as much as any hyper-realism pack.

 

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Each block’s texture in this pack is highly simplified into basic details and flat colors.  This gives Minecraft even more of a cartoonish look, similar to that of a classic 90s RPG or Nintendo game.  If you grew up in the 90s, this chipset will look quite familiar in style:

 

promoterrain_zps1f0ca072

 

While immense detail and complex shading is impressive, there is a certain charm in simple, nostalgic graphics like these.  This pack is a great download for anyone who wants a less visually active Minecraft experience, or simply wants to instill a heavy dosage of the 90s into their gameplay.

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This texture pack was reviewed previously in 2012 when it originally was released, however many updates have been made.  Some notable improvements are:

  • All blocks from 1.7+ have been updated
  • Many older textures redone to meet the current standard of the 1.7 blocks
  • Many blocks have been animated
  • Water and lava has finally been customized to fit with the pack
  • Biomes are now colored differently
  • Many, many items have been added and updated
  • The GUI has been updated to match the world’s textures

If you have this pack and have not updated it in a long time, you might wish to do so; the new textures are fantastic.  If you do not have it, however, be sure to give it a try!

 

Installing oCd Texture Pack for Minecraft 1.7+

 

  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.

 

This pack is actually quite old; Disco_ has been a member of PlanetMinecraft for years, and oCd has over 3,000 comments and 3,000,000 views.  Impressive to say the least.  Can you think of any other texture or resource packs that have a similar look to oCd?  Leave a comment below with some links to pages or screenshots – if I find them interesting, I’ll do a review!

 

If you’re dreading to go back to school, fear not!  This Back to School skin by OreoVal is perfect for the inner reluctant schoolgirl in everyone.

school_inline

This adorable new female skin texture features short, pigtailed blonde hair with a tiny pink bow on the back.  The front displays a white shirt and pink overshirt or sweater of some kind, while the back is adorned by a decent-sized blue backpack.

If you’re looking to capture the essence of pure innocence, this is the skin to consider.  The shading on both the skin and hair is well done; not too exaggerated, but not too bland.  You can actually differentiate the fingers and see where her knees and elbows would be, which is something rather rare in most skins.

 

I personally appreciate this skin because it is not the typical Japanese schoolgirl look; rather, it is what seems to be a genuine attempt to capture the appearance of the skinner or perhaps the general look of her peers.

Now – if you are observant, you may have caught something unusual about the image above.  The catch with this skin is that it’s backwards!  This may turn some people away (get it?), as it is a little unconventional.  The creator has not stated a specific reason for this, other than it being a simple complete-and-tag challenge.

 

Perhaps it was meant to display their unwillingness to be dragged back into the mundane routine of school.

 

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.

 

With school looming over the horizon, summer vacation is drawing to a definite close.  Do you have any plans for the remaining days of summer?  Post them in the comments!

I’m not usually one for cheap, juvenile humor, but it can be amusing once in a while.  Plus, this skin was so well done that I felt justified in making an exception.  Allow me to present Sir Dropshispantsalot by one of my recent favorites, OblivionProjects – you may remember this skinner from the recently reviewed skin, Heart of the Swamp.

 

pants_feat

 

Alright, yes, a knight whose armor went errant – hilarious.  Actually, I like this skin for a reason beyond its humor; it is one of the few skins that actually show the player being naked when they are “naked”.  Granted, that helmet can’t be taken off, but it is still a nice step in a different direction.

 

First of all, take a moment to appreciate the shading on the aforementioned helmet.  Each pixel is perfectly placed to produce a sense of dimension from all viewing angles.  Plus it is on the helmet layer, making it pop out even more (hey – a helmet on the helmet layer!  Now that is something you don’t see often).

 

Next, the shading on the body is just flawless.  I noticed that the image name was “knightcopy……” so I am wondering if this skin was copied from another that Oblivion did in the past and just edited.  Regardless, as a recent graduate from an art college, I am pretty picky when it comes to representing anatomy; trust me when I say Oblivion did great.

 

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.

 

How do you feel about this sort of humor?  Or are you like me, and do you recognize the gameplay utility of actually being able to TAKE OFF your clothes (not change them)?  Leave your answer(s) in the comments!

There have been a slew of small, interesting plugins and mods hitting the list on PlanetMinecraft.com over the past couple of weeks.  ShatterGun, a Bukkit plugin by TechDoodle, allows players to manipulate the world in an interesting way.

 

shatter_idle

 

We’ve seen portal guns before, and even gravity guns, but the shatter gun is unique.  With this gun, the wielder can “turn on” the gravity for any block or group of blocks, causing them to behave like falling sand.  They will plummet towards the ground and sink through water.

 

shatter_tree

 

Using the gun is simple.  To convert a single block, aim at it and right click.  Holding the right mouse button will convert subsequent blocks that come under your targeting crosshair.  Left clicking on a block will shatter a 10x10x10 field around it, causing a large group of blocks to fall (up to 100 blocks total).

 

Currently there is no crafting recipe for the gun; instead, it must be given to players with the /shattergun command.  This may ruin the survival experience of the game, but it can be worked around by creating a shopkeeper or villager who trades the gun.

 

This gun has two permissions in the mod:

 

  • ShatterGun.get – determines whether or not a player can use the /shattergun command.

  • ShatterGun.use – permits or denies a player the use of the shatter gun.

 

By using these permissions, one can protect their server from excessive damage.  The shatter gun can easily and very, very quickly destroy hours upon hours of hard work and planning.  It should always be used cautiously and away from other players’ creations.

 

Aside from destruction and just messing around with friends, there are some interesting uses for this gun that may change it from a fun, novel idea into a fantastic utility that you will never leave home without (even in creative mode):

 

  • Lay blocks over hilly terrain – for example, if you are making a custom fence or want to bury a town in dirt, you can create a huge layer of the desired material and shatter it using the mass shatter tool (left click with gun).

  • Quickly block off a tunnel – have you ever been running for your life in a cave, only to turn the corner and be ambushed by a pack of skeletons?  With the shatter gun, you could easily just left click the ceiling to drop a 10x10x5 rectangle of cobblestone and other blocks in the path of your pursuers.

  • Fill in pools of lava with ease – have you ever spent fifteen minutes trying to fill in a large pool of lava to make mining safe in a cavern filled with dense veins of diamond and gold, only to be shot into the last few spaces by a sneaky skeleton?  Once again – a few left clicks on the ceiling will clear the lava out quickly.

 

This is a lightweight plugin and is at least worth a try.  If nothing else, it acts as a great administrative tool for world owners.

 

How to Install ShatterGun Plugin for Minecraft 1.7.10

 

  1. Download the latest version of the ShatterGun 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 awesome ways to utilize this unique plugin?  Leave your ideas in the comments below!

Minecraft worlds can be rather huge.  In fact, there was a recent story in which a man began walking through the world of Minecraft every day in an attempt to reach the edge of the world – after three years he isn’t nearly there.  So why is it that two locations, several thousands of blocks away from each other, always experience the sunrise and sunset at the same time?  It just is not realistic!

 

The answer is actually quite simple.  It was not programmed into the game.  Perhaps it was not seen as important.  Well – FrostedSnowman disagrees, and has graced us with RegionTimes, a Bukkit plugin that allows for custom time zones.

 

While I love this plugin for its simplicity and introduction of a much-needed feature, it is lacking in two small areas.

First – it requires WorldEdit.  This is minor, but nonetheless an extra component that becomes inconvenient for those who do not use WorldEdit.

Second – transitions are not smooth.  I am not entirely sure what level of effort would be required to cast a gradient light between the boundaries of two time zones, but it would certainly polish this plugin.

 

One way around the second limitation is by primarily using this mod to change the time when using portals or going through long caves/tunnels using powered rails (or other systems).

 

How to Install RegionTimes Plugin for Minecraft 1.7.10

 

  1. Download the latest version of the RegionTimes 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 implementations of this plugin?  Leave your ideas in the comments!

With texture packs becoming more abundant every day, any aspiring creators must find some sort of niche to conquer if they have any hopes of making even the tiniest of splashes throughout the Minecraft community.  Stitch Up is a texture pack by Ignaf that stands out from the crowd.

 

stitch_inline

 

This pack is comprised entirely of textures that look like they have been stitched together.  It is almost like Little Big Planet in Minecraft form!  I may be somewhat biased because Little Big Planet is one of my favorite Playstation games, but this instantly also became one of my favorite packs.

 

What I love most about this is that it changes the flavor of Minecraft without being obnoxious or overbearing.  The game still has a light feel (perhaps even a lighter feel without so many pixels to digest) and seems a little more whimsical.

 

I absolutely love the snow:

 

stitch_snow

 

It almost looks like a comfortable quilt or blanket covering the dirt.  Or at least some kind of fabric, since it does look a little stiff.  The point is – it is adorable.

 

Even this towering construction looks harmless and soft:

 

stitch_tower

 

It is obvious that everything is going to look like fabric since you cannot exactly stitch stone or dirt, but I can just imagine how ominous this stone tower would have looked with any other textures.

 

Some people do not like “gimmick” packs like this one, as they feel that they lose their novelty after the first day or so.  In my opinion, that sort of thinking is self-instilled; people get bored of them quickly because they want to get bored of them quickly in order to remain a Minecraft “purist” of sorts.

 

Anyway, enough with the philosophical rambling – go support Ignaf for being awesome, and download this pack!

 

Installing Stitch Up Texture Pack for Minecraft 1.7.10

 

  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.

 

Congratulations, you now live on Little Big Planet!  Leave a comment below with some screenshots of awesome stitched-up creations you have made.