My purpose for this post is to address the diversity of ideas on this site. We can all share some creative, great ideas. However, not all of them can simply come together. Compiling such would make for something rather chaotic and something that is not Minecraft. Neither can one branch of ideas be taken over the other if it will deviate from the groundwork of themes Minecraft already uses. Here's a list for attributes to what defines the themes of Minecraft in and of itself, and what therefore has to be cast out for the sake of consistency and absence of obtrusion. This list comes from all the features we have in current and upcoming updates for the game, so this will be long and will cover a broad section (feel free to add on to it in the comments section if you feel I missed something):
What Makes Minecraft
• Rusticity: when the player wakes up, spawns, or enters their first game, they find themselves in a vast wilderness, full of herd animals by day, and full of surreal, rather classicized monsters by night. Eventually the player will come to learn how to craft medieval style armor and weapons, conjure magic spells upon them, and brewing defensive and offensive potions. All of which done while building forts, hunting and gathering, mining, and collecting as many resources meet for survival.
This classifies the game as being in a rustic time period and setting. There is much magic and medieval-like weaponry and armor, but there is a lot more wilderness than structure to count this as a civilization-motif game. The game doesn't have any features already that would match new additions like advanced-model catapults, sprawling towns or cities, wagons, or other such complexities. The neatness of Minecraft keeps balance between simplicity and complexity in its blocks, models, and themes. The game is about exploration in a wild world with sparse villages and settlements, using natural resources, as well as supernatural magic and potions that don't make the player all powerful, but are mysterious and trivial enough that they must be used accordingly and carefully as nonmagic resources.
*This is the theme of the game, even throughout the three dimensions!*
• The Mobs: There is no clear limit to how many mobs we can have, more life is all the better! But there is a line to be drawn as to what kind of creatures should be added. Again, Minecraft has made its own themes and limits as to what kind of real-life animals, monsters, and original-concept creatures fit best.
- Animals: tying back with the theme, the game is not a reality zoo. We can't have every single real animal for every biome. Yes, there are some biomes in-game that are at a serious lack of mobs to help set the biomes apart in style, unfortunately. But there is such a thing as adding a healthy amount or an unhealthy amount of animals to the game. One proposition for the healthy addition could be, to set a number of mobs equal or close to the number of herd animals we are all familiar with (cows, pigs, sheep, & chickens), and adding that number for new mobs to every biome that is different to the extreme but still lacking their feel of life and identity (savannah, swamp, desert, jungle, mountain...). As well as keeping the numbers controlled and even, the numbers actually tie in with how much resources can be gained from these mobs and how they tie into the game's crafting recipes. It's not just about ambience and looking cool, it's about usefulness and role in the game.
- Monsters: somehow the team behind Minecraft has been able to take classic monsters (zombies, skeletons, giant spiders), and combine them with original clever concepts (creepers, slimes, blazes) to give the game of survival a whole host of motley nightmares that are still well balanced in location, ability, appearance, & usefulness. It is art. Now, mythology can tie into ideas for additions to an extent; monsters are myth. However, the background and culture of the myth is important to consider when suggesting such. Minecraft can't have monsters that are quickly readable as a Greek monster or a Viking monster. The question to ask when brainstorming is, "What is the Minecraft mythology?". If you have a mythical creature in mind that you want to see in game, consider changing it so that more of its original culture is absent, and that it has more of the Minecraft mythology mixed into its appearance, behavior, function, etc.
• Minecarts, Horses, Boats, & Elytra vs. Other Vehicles or Modes of Transports: let's look back at Minecraft's rustic theme to see how the game's current "vehicles" meet the standards. Horses go back a long way, the wooden boats are very simple, and elytra wings are very much magical. Now with the Minecarts, this is where some debates may have risen over what kind of additional vehicles would be appropriate in un-modded Minecraft.
- It could be argued that minecarts are more of an 1800s type of transport than the rustic type, though it isn't necessarily true. It is argued such because the image could be commonly associated with locomotives and communal railroads, which are very much past rustic times in terms of technology. So when some discover Minecraft and see that the game includes minecarts and railroads, they may think "Oh, they've entered the 1800s." No, peoples before then have the access to metals and could and probably used minecarts without locomotives to push themselves. There is the minecart with furnace, but in terms of real-life thinking, believing that such a thing would work would term it a primitive device, much like Minecraft's redstone system.
• Creativity: this of course is a purpose of the game I live for. I put this at the bottom of my summary list because the themes are more important than the limits and availability of creativity itself. As I explained at the top, you can't put all ideas together for creativity by itself. That only fits in a game that is chaotic (or a movie that is chaotic like The Lego Movie :) ), and Minecraft is not a chaotic game. So if you want a creative game like Minecraft, but incorporates ideas like cars, rockets, shapeshifting, or others, you either need to use a mod or two, or you need to find a different game or ask someone to make a game that fills an empty spot (there are a lot of Minecraft copycats that have more modern themes to them).
I feel this summarizes the theme Minecraft has established for itself and is decent enough for a list (again, feel free to comment below on anything I didn't cover). I was going to add a section on dimensions, but that is a diverse topic on its own that can be covered in another post. To further summarize, here's a few of the ideas that just don't cut it in vanilla Minecraft, except with serious modifications in maybe a few cases:
- Mythical Mobs/Items/Blocks that are Culturally Distracting & Out of Place (Greek gods, sphinx, ankhs, three-headed dogs, etc.)
- Modern Stuff (cars, office chairs, appliances, planes, rockets, etc.)
- Disproportionate Modelling (micro-blocks, spheres)
- Mixing and Matching for "Consistency" & "Diversity" (village+end=Ender Villages, Nether Villages, redstone+random effects=Eating Redstone)
- Game Functions that are Already found and Meant for Other Games or Servers (dating villagers, having kids, running a restaurant, running a marathon)
- Culture/Fandom Mixing (superheroes, tv shows, music)
All of these are big no's in Minecraft without mods. Approval for ideas appropriate for Minecraft mods is found elsewhere. I hope this helps you in sharing creative ideas for vanilla Minecraft.
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