Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Jeepers Creepers

Today we have a rather creepy tale of misfortune and mystery!



1
The air was cool, much more so than Steve preferred, especially when he was caught out in the rain as was the case on this night. His altitude didn't help things much, being as he was up above the frost line where snow wouldn't melt naturally.

2
Steve knew he could survive the rain and even the cold. Such things never really bothered him, but the monsters were a problem. Zombies, dozens of them followed him up onto the mountain. Steve had raced up here hoping many would fall to

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their deaths as they tried to follow him up and some had. But with every dead zombie 3 more seemed to replace it. Steve's armor had broken long before as the night had first begun to fall and his sword had shattered even before that leaving

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Steve unprotected and unarmed. "Ahrrg!" Steve shouted involuntarily as a zombie he hadn't seen got his arm and took a small chunk of his exposed flesh. Steve punched him with his other arm knocking the zombie back and sending him tumbling

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away down the mountain. "I can barely see in this rain," he said to himself "I need to get to some cover so I can see these guys coming." Zombies typically weren't a big deal for Steve; he'd dispatched many in his day, but with the rain

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came reduced visibility and a constant distraction of movement on all sides that created a sort of "white noise" that gave stealth to the foul undead currently chasing him. Yet there was hope. It was only a brief moment, little more than a misty

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glimpse, but Steve thought he saw a forest off in the distance, maybe 100 meters from the foot of the mountain. Sure it was a lot of open ground to cover in the dead of night, but Steve was confident that he could manage it and come out

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unscathed. Steve began to move down the mountain side more quickly, hazarding longer falls and moving ever in the direction of what he'd come to believe was his salvation. The ground began to level and flatten, going down more slowly

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and spreading into an open plain. Unfortunately the plain was easily three times larger than Steve had originally thought, but what did that matter now? He had a plan and he had little choice but to try and attempt it. The rain intensified and

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it seemed to get just a little darker, if that were even possible. Then the worst turn of luck so far that evening occurred, which was saying a lot considering what events had led to this moment; a lightning strike off in the distance. It

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was a thunder storm. The chances were low that he'd get hit, but it could happen and that would end his adventure rather quickly, not to mention he was now in the middle of an open field and soaking wet. Steve took off running in the direction

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of the woods, sprinting as fast as his legs would carry him despite the ever worsening visibility. Suddenly Steve found himself face to face with a thick tree trunk! He tried to stop but ran face first into it. The tree caused no permanent

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damage, but caused considerable injury to his pride. "If I live to write about this I'll just leave that out," he said to himself. Steve had crossed the distance much faster than he'd anticipated and with far less resistance. "Finally a break,"

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he said to himself as he evaluated his new situation. The zombies were still out there and coming this way, meaning the best course for his safety was likely deeper into the woods. Very little of the rain was making it to the ground as most

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was being blocked by the thick leafy canopy held aloft by the many dark trunked trees that made up the forest. Steve had never before seen trees like these, but they appeared to him to be a darker version of the oak trees he was already

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familiar with. So far as Steve could tell the way ahead seemed clear and he knew the path behind him led to death, thus Steve began to walk deeper into the forest picking his way around trees and avoiding those few gaps the rain could find to

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breech the canopy. Steve felt as though he'd been walking for ages. He needed to get his bearings, figure out which way was home as the whole of the wood now surrounded him and went on as far as he could see. He pulled out his map and began

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plotting a route back towards home... Hissssss... Steve knew that sound all too well; without even thinking he sprinted away switching to where his sword should be as he did so, realizing too late that his sword broke some time ago

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BOOM! As expected there was an explosion behind him throwing him further forward and making his ears ring loudly. Steve didn't so much feel the impact with the tree in front of him as he did the effects of it. In a moment the majority of his

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left side was lit-up with pain like a Christmas tree is lit with lights. Several ribs were cracked making breathing more difficult and his left arm no longer seemed to move without intense levels of pain. Minor cuts and scrapes covered the

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the whole of his side and began to bleed and swell, and Steve was certain he'd rather seriously injured his knee as well. However, he was alive and even with the pain he felt he could keep going, especially now that he had an idea where home

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was. Steve limped further on, his path taking him deeper into the woods. He knew it was a risky move, if there was one creeper here, there were bound to be more, but Steve felt he had little choice. Injured as he was, he needed to find home

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as soon as possible, so natural healing could do its work and so he pressed on. Steve couldn't relax though. Maybe it was the blow to his head or maybe it was just nerves, but Steve was seeing creepers around every corner and behind every tree.

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"They can't all be real..." he said to himself hopefully. Even so he found himself running from the slightest noise and jumping every time he thought he saw bright green. Finally he could take no more. "Alright Steve, that's enough! Get a

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grip man. All of these creepers can't be..." Boom! Steve was thrown to the side with a force that felt like being hit in the face with a shovel tossing his body unceremoniously into a small, barely exposed underground lake. The water cushioned

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his fall and though it ruined his attempt to dry off from the rain, Steve was thankful for the soft landing. He swam, as best he could to the surface of the water and checking himself over quickly realized with horror that he had come a hair's

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breadth from being killed. Had he not landed in the water he certainly would've come to a different end. Steve crawled out of the pool and tucked himself back into a small corner. He pulled out a piece of now very moist bread and ate a bit to

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recover his strength. It took a few moments but he began to feel like he could carry on and he looked for an easy way out of this hole. The simplest way seemed to be to dig out a couple blocks to make a small staircase to climb out of and so

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Steve did just that. He poked his head up and seeing no creepers or other mobs crawled the rest of the way out and started back along his course home. Something wasn't right though. It had been long enough for the sun to have risen, but the

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storm ragged on and the canopy blocked so much light that it was like constant night beneath its boughs. He had to get out of here and back to his home. Steve ate a little more as he walked and eventually found the strength to run in short

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bursts, stopping only to find his way around a tree. But finally something forced him to stop and wonder if these woods were really a natural thing or if they had been created by someone. A large clearing stood before him with a raised stone

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outcropping at its center. The clearing was covered in a swarm of creepers, more than Steve thought was even possible. As he stood in mixed awe and horror at the sight before him Steve saw another creeper rise up from the center of the stone

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protrusion and walk down in amongst its many siblings. "What is this?" Steve asked himself. He moved closer to get a better look and as he approached many of the creepers noticed his presence and moved toward him, thankfully there was a

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fence in the way. "Better not get too close," Steve thought to himself. Suddenly as he examined the creeper pen a bolt of lightning cracked down from the raging sky striking the fence on its way ground ward. The fence splintered and broke into a

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million tiny pieces as it gave way under the lightning and creepers began to pour out of the pen and rush toward Steve, but these were different somehow, the ones nearest the fence had been altered by the strike in some way and now glowed

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with an ominous blue aura. Steve wasted no time and bolted away as he struggled and searched for something in his pack. The creepers seemed able to keep pace and chased him ever further through the woods. He looked back quickly, "There must

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be dozens!" he said to himself as he finally found what he'd been groping for in his pack. He pulled it out, a small bit of flint with a small steel striker for lighting fires. He tossed his pack back on and turned to face the oncoming swarm.

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Steve pointed his flint and steel at the ground to light it ablaze as a trap for the creepers but one of the glowing ones moved too quickly and got in the way. Steve looked up suddenly with horror on his face and just stared at the creeper for

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a second that seemed to stretch into hours. The creeper suddenly stopped even as its cohorts moved around it to kill Steve. There was a confused look on the creeper's face as it began to hiss and expand. "It's gonna blow!" Steve realized

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and jumped back with all he was worth. The creeper exploded with more force than Steve had ever heard of before, breaking blocks with ease and bones, just as handily. The creepers that had followed the glowing one were killed instantly leaving

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nothing but a massive crater and a number of items scattered around on the ground. Steve woke with a start. He was in his base, standing next to his bed. He felt healthy, well fed, and well rested, but still found himself unsettled. With his

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awakening he found that it was late morning and the rain had ceased. Steve grabbed a little food, some armor, and a new sword and ran out to the woods were he'd died. He'd actually not been far from making it home. It was crazy to think that

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these woods had been so close all this time and he'd never known about them. It wasn't hard to find the spot where the creeper had exploded. The crater was so large you could fit several horses in there comfortably and many, many more if you

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crammed them in. Steve gathered his stuff, noting a couple lost items, but nothing of serious consequence and found a small stack of curious items he'd never seen before. He picked them up and found them to be... creeper heads? There were at

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least 7 scattered around and in the crater, grim reminders of the previous evenings events. Steve knew he'd have made it if it hadn't been for that stupid pen and he was going to make sure it was never a problem again. He hadn't come far from

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it when he died and he knew right where to look. He stormed up to the spot with righteous anger bubbling up within him until he realized with some confusion that the pen and the stone protrusion were gone, as were all the creepers. "What?"

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Steve said to himself. "Where could it have gone?" Steve looked frantically for it. The large clearing was there, but everything else was gone, even digging down revealed nothing. "How could it just disappear?" Steve wondered out loud.

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Even as he did this a creeping fear began to claw its way into the back of his mind. Was it possible that he'd actually imagined the pen and that his death had been just an unfortunate run of bad luck, or was it possible that someone else was

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out there, hiding and biding their time until they could find a way to end Steve, permanently? This final thought led Steve to but one question... "Who?"

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The End?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Eve B4 Christmas

Here's a Minecraft spin on a classic Christmas Poem!


1
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the base not a creature was stirring, it just wasn't the case. The chests were placed near the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Notch soon would be there; The children were nestled all

2
snug in their beds; while visions of carrots danced in their heads; and mamma in her white robe and I in my brown, had finally found time to simply lay down, when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what

3
was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, peering out worried there was some mob to bash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, gave a luster of midday to objects below, when what to my wondering eyes was so funny, but

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a craftable sleigh and eight tiny white bunnies, with a little old driver so unlikely to botch, I knew in a moment he must be St. Notch. More rapid than horses his white hairs they came, and he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

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"Now Dasher! now Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the Wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" As leaves that before the iron shears break, when they meet

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with an obstacle, to the skies they did take; So up to the housetop the white hairs they flew with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Notch too - and then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof's fresh snow fall the quietest padding of each

7
little paw. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Notch came with a bound. He was dressed all in leather, from his head to his toes, and his clothes were all dyed red like a rose; A bundle of toys he had stashed

8
in his pack, and he looked like a peddler just opening his sack. His eyes - how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and beard on his chin was as white as the snow; He had a broad face and a

9
little round block belly that shook when he laughed, like a bowl of slime jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; a quick crouch of his body and nod of his head soon gave me to

10
know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the chests; then turned with a jerk, and raising his hand to the height of his nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his

11

sleigh, to his team gave a call, and away they all flew like a bat down the hall. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight - "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Minecraft Academy Lesson 5 - Caving

Today we learn about caving; what to look for, how to do it, and how to survive it.


KSP Career Mode Episode 2 - EVA Vectoring

We take a break from the program to talk about an emergency orbital maneuver called EVA Vectoring



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nether or Naught

Here is a story about a nether portal malfunction and a surprisingly loyal boat



1
Today was similar to most days, the blocky sun rose in the east, the animals roamed about the land making various noises and I set off down the ladder that took me from my bed to my mine. But there was something different about today. An event

2
that made the day stand out from others; made it special. Today was the lighting ceremony for the nether portal! Perhaps Ceremony was the wrong word, as the only attendee would be myself, but still it was a big deal. This world’s first nether

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portal and subsequently my first trip into the nether... It was an exciting day. I had decided that I wouldn't explore much this first time in. I had gathered enough obsidian to just make the portal, but had no extra so I was going in merely

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to grab the corners of the connected portal in the nether. By my calculations that would be enough for an enchantment table and for now that was enough for me. Armed with only a stone sword and wearing un-enchanted iron armor I

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raised my flint and steel to activate the portal on my end for the first time. With a couple clicks on the inner frame of the obsidian doorway a flame was born and soon turned from the comforting yellows, reds, and oranges of a normal fire to a

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almost mystical purple as it spread to fill the whole frame swirling and making a buzzing magical sound that I can't accurately describe in words. I stood starring into the portal for a few moments wondering at the power behind this device

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and hesitating slightly about the prospect of jumping in to a portal that I knew to be forged in fire. I had done my research however and I knew it to be safe and so with a quick reminder of that I took a final step forward into the

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portal. My senses were suddenly on fire with a warm buzzing sensation and the world began to twist and contort finally fading completely into solid purple before finally starting to fade the world back in; not the one I'd left, but a

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hellish landscape of red, black, and fire. I stepped out of the portal feeling a little disoriented from the experience. As my senses returned I was struck with just how hot it really was here. The heat came in wave after wave and was

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oppressive and unrelenting. Fires burned sporadically around me and showed no signs of stopping and a lake of lava boiled and bubbled off to my right. I heard a noise behind me, like a grunt and I turned around to see what I can only describe

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as some sort of undead creature with the head of a pig and the body of a man, like a zombie pigman. He carried what looked to be a sword forged in gold, but thankfully made no hostile movements, so I decided it'd be best to leave the creature

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alone. Everything seemed quiet for the moment and as such I figured I'd best get to the task at hand. "Time to get what I came for and then be off," I said to myself pulling out my diamond pickaxe as I did so. Normally I wouldn't risk that kind

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of equipment, but I needed it; diamond is the only material durable enough to collect obsidian. I mined the lower corners of the portal without incident, but as I moved to grab the two upper corners I heard something that made my blood run

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cold. It was some kind of screeching sound unlike anything I'd ever heard before. It reminded me somewhat of the enraged wheezing of some sort of demented cat, but still unfamiliar and terrifying. I looked toward the sound, but saw nothing.

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Whatever the thing was, it was close, but not yet upon me. I redoubled my efforts and quickly mined the two corner pieces of the portal and without looking back I jumped back into the swirling purple doorway to return home, hearing one last

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screech as I did so and hoping beyond hope that nothing would destroy the portal while I was in route. The hellscape faded into purple and began to resolve back into the world that was familiar to me, as it had before, but this time in reverse.

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As it did so I emerged into darkness, a faint glow from the portal providing the only illumination. I stood there for a moment, dumbfounded. My portal was in a well-lit area, deep underground, safe from the creatures that haunted the night

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and this clearly was not it. "Where am I?" I said to myself as I stepped out of the portal. Unfortunately I didn't have time to even ponder an answer before being violently thrown forward by an explosion! I landed hard on the ground, ears

19
ringing and wincing from what I could only assume was a number of cracked ribs. "Was that a creeper?!?" I exclaimed. The only answer I got however was the sound of rattling bones. I rolled over quickly and just barely saw my enemy move out

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from behind the now dark and unlit portal frame. It was a skeleton staring at me with a demented toothy grin and raising his enchanted bow to fire. I raised my sword just in time to deflect the first arrow, taking only a glancing blow from the

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razor sharp flint on the tip of the arrow shaft. As the skeleton drew back his next shot I leapt forward sword pointed straight out in front of me to skewer the bony menace. He fired his second shot scoring a solid hit on my left shoulder,

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causing me to wince in pain, but not to drop the sword which, still held in a stabbing fashion in front of me found its way into the skeleton's chest and struck the spine, turning it to dust and causing the rest of the foul creature to fall in

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a heap on the floor. Hearing nothing else I threw a few torches down on the floor, to gain some context for my situation. I was in a small spherical room made of stone, the nether portal frame sitting in the center quietly, the portal having

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been destroyed by the creeper's blast. There were no entrances or exits and having dispatched the other creatures that were present on arrival I was now alone in this small, dark cave. I took a moment to tend to my wounds, removing arrows

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and eating some bread I had with me to restore some strength. The light of day didn't reach here at all and not having a clock with me I had no idea what awaited me on the surface. I had little choice but to dig my way out and figure out what

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to do from there. I pulled out a stone pick I'd brought with me as backup and I started digging to the side. I wasn't sure how far down I was, but I knew how the land in my world worked and that I'd emerge either into air or water and I'd make

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my way from there. Thankfully it didn't take long to break through the stone to the free and open world. It was day, a fact for which I had never been so thankful, but the area was completely unfamiliar and the mountains that were around

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were too tall to see around and far too steep to climb. My only choice would be to swim through the valley trying to find some outcropping or detail that was familiar. Worse yet was the realization that I couldn't see the sun which meant it was

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either very early in the day, or very late. Either way I had to get moving immediately. I jumped down into the water; swimming being the only reliable method of travel I had available to me. The water was freezing in comparison to the

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hellish world I'd just left, but actually very temperate by normal standards and after a few minutes in the water to adjust I found it to be a welcome relief from the sweltering conditions in the Nether. Not knowing where to go I began to

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swim south, hoping that this direction would lead me to something familiar. As I swam I looked around evaluating the landscape and searching for some sign of home. I don't know for how long I swam, but I eventually noticed the light giving

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way and yielding its reign over the world to the night. I knew there was no way I'd ever find home in the dark. Visibility would be so poor I could swim right past it and never know, not to mention that soon creatures of the dark would begin to

33
appear and try to kill me if they had the chance. I'd heard that my people, players as they were sometimes called would find themselves safely in bed in their homes if they were to be killed, but I didn't want to find out and I certainly

34
wasn't interested in losing my diamond pickaxe or the obsidian I'd gathered, not after going to so much trouble to get it back home. I resolved to stay the course and push on, hoping that I was close to home and just didn't know it. I kept

35
swimming and the darkness continued to close in, casting the world into shadow. I saw a couple zombies pop into existence no more than 30 meters away. They of course noticed me and began to swim after me, but I was much faster in the water and

36
had no trouble evading them. Further off I saw a creeper carefully inching his way around a mountain ledge, I gave him a wide berth and thankfully went unnoticed. Then I saw something I hadn't expected... A boat, floating along the shore next

37
to a small stone outcropping. "I must be close to home!" I thought, excitement bubbling up inside of me. I had lost a boat while exploring some time ago, but I had thought it destroyed, never had I anticipated finding it along the shore,

38
awaiting my return, and ready to carry me home in my moment of need. I still didn't recognize the area, but I knew where I'd lost the boat and I knew I couldn't be far from there. I swam over and was about to jump in when an enderman

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teleported directly in front of me startling me so badly I swung my sword striking the tall dark creatures legs. He let out a terrible shrieking moan that would chill the bones of even the boldest warrior and charged right at me. I was tough,

40
but with only a stone sword certainly no match for an enderman and so I ran over to the stone hiding in a corner and awaiting the end, but it never came. Looking up I saw the enderman trying to reach me, but it seemed my hiding spot was

41
too small for him to get into. I took a few cautious experimental swings striking him twice more without being struck again myself. "Thank goodness" I said with a relieved sigh and proceeded to make short work of the enraged enderman

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clawing at me futilely from outside the hidey hole I'd lucked into. Sadly the enderman carried nothing of value on him, but the experience of defeating the odd creature was a treasure in and of itself. Checking to make sure the coast was clear I

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sprinted over to the boat and hopped in steering it toward the center of the valley and far enough away from either shore to avoid any more close calls. I was making good time as I moved ever further south until finally I heard something that

44
filled me with hope. The bleating of a sheep not far to my right. I turned quickly to see if I could find the source of the noise and there on a small grassy peninsula were three sheep happily munching away and unconcerned with the lurking

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threats of the night. I smiled to myself as I saw them because they stood upon the eastern boarder of my home. I'd found it against all odds. Instantly a wave of relief washed over me removing as it did the pressure of the stressful situation

46
I'd just emerged from. I turned my boat east and headed straight for my base. As I pulled up to the shore of the tunnel leading home the boat ran into hard stone and broke, sinking into the dark depths. A trusty boat it had been, but its time

47
was done, its purpose having been served. With a moment of silent thankfulness for the boat's part in the tale I returned to my home, deep underground to where the story had first begun. The portal I'd made what now seemed a lifetime ago stood

48
before me, still swirling with the same purple flame from before all this had happened. Then with a moment of consideration I struck the portal with my sword causing the flaming vortex to dissipate into nothing. I knew I'd need to return to the

49
nether at some point, which would mean fixing the portal, but not tonight. Tonight I was simply thankful to have made it home.

50
The end.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Minecraft Academy Lesson 4 - Farming

Today we talk about growing wheat, carrots, potatoes, and what animals you can breed and get food from


Kerbal Space Program Career Mode: Episode 1 - First Launch

Welcome to Kerbal Space Program Career Mode! Today we take our first steps into a larger world


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Minecraft Academy Episode 2 - Settings and Achievements

This lesson focuses on getting your game set up and explores achievements as an early guide of what to do.


Oliveen: Episode 2 - The White Tower

In this episode we construct the tower that will serve as a home for the time being and the setting of Minecraft Story Time!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Minecraft Academy Lesson 1 - Why Craft? and World Creation

This being the first in a series about how to play Minecraft addresses the question "why play?" and looking into your options for world creation 


Oliveen: A Mountain Madness Survival LP - Episode 001: Announcements

I'm back and I've got some great ideas for the channel so sit back, relax and enjoy the first episode of my new LP as I announce what's coming up!

ARK Survival S2 Episode 6 - First Nether Expedition Part 2

We finish up our expedition and evaluate the results 


ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!


Skyblock Episode 28 - Slime Deck

Today I show off the first completed cell of the slime farm and slime proof the roof-top deck! 


ARK Survival S2 Episode 5 - First Nether Expedition Part 1

We venture into the nether to find potion making resources, but can we survive to bring back what we need? 


Skyblock Episode 27 - Slime Spawner Continued

We build, we chat, we glass, today in skyblock survival! 


ARK Survival S2 Episode 4 - Enchantment? Enchantment!

Today we strive to finish our enchanting set-up! Can we do it? Find out! 


Skyblock Episode 26 - Slime Spawner

Today we work on the spawning area for the slime farm! 


ARK Survival S2 Episode 3 - Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

Today we take a break from the base and make a waterfall not far from home 


Skyblock Episode 25 Slime Traps

today I show you how to set up the traps for the slime farm 


Skyblock Episode 24 - Viewing Platforms

Today we build viewing platforms for the upcoming fireworks display! 


ARK Survival S2 Episode 2 - Back to Base-ics

In this episode we do some early base building 


Skyblock Episode 23 - Happy Fun Pyro Chat Time!

Today we chat a bit as we prep the non-slime chunks for their fiery fate! 


Skyblock Episode 22 - Finishing the Slime Finder

Today we finish the platform we started last week and prepare to find those slimes! 


ARK Survival S2 Episode 1 - Strange New World

Welcome to Season 2 of ARK Survival! We've revamped the series, we're on a freshly loaded server, and we're ready for some exciting new projects! 


Evelution Episode 10 - My First Data Site

Today we explore a data site; my first one ever! 


Skyblock Episode 21 - How to Find Slime Chunks

I teach you to find slime chunks while we start our slime farm project 


Evelution Episode 9 - A Combat Site and Plans for the Future

Another combat site bites the dust and I talk about my plans for the future... 


Skyblock Episode 20 - Giant Mushrooms and Last Minute Surprises

Today we build platforms for growing giant mushrooms, set up a small mycelium farm, and get an unexpected surprise 


Evelution Episode 8 - Ships, Fights, and Combat Sites

Today we finally see some action! 


Skyblock Episode 19 - Mooshrooms and Random Cats

today we upgrade the cow farm and encounter a few unexpected guests! 


Evelution Episode 7 - Exploration Take 2

In this episode we take another shot at exploration! 


Skyblock Episode 18 - Villager Trading

In this episode we do some villager trading with all the resources we've been farming! 


Skyblock Episode 17 - Automatic Melon and Pumpkin Farm

At long last we tackle automating the melon and pumpkin farms! 


Evelution Episode 6 - Mining Missioning

In this episode we do some more missioning, mining style! 


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Skyblock Episode 14 - Reaping the Rewards

In this episode we take a look at what we've built so far and talk about what's to come


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

ARK Survival LP Episode 3 - Dig this Plan!

In this episode we dig a hole! a big hole! We also talk about future plans and have some fun on the way.



Friday, March 7, 2014

Magic Management 101 Class 3 - Creature Removal and Planeswalker Rant

In this class session we take a look at some options for getting difficult creatures off the battlefield and I rant a bit about planeswalkers, enjoy!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Skyblock Episode 10 - The Lower Roads

In this episode we move back down to the main part of the island and finish up our road-building project


Monday, March 3, 2014

Escaping Ender

The latest in my series of Minecraft themed stories. Please read and enjoy "Escaping Ender"



1
The sun began to rise in the east, its radiant beams of light penetrated the large window dominating the eastern wall of the bedroom and lit upon the skin of the player, rousing her from her slumber. Waking up was never hard, not even after a

2
longer than usual night of building and planning for the future. A quick glance at her journal containing a "to-do" list for the day reminds her that farming was chief among the tasks that needed doing. She always liked farming and took extra

3
special care of her crops. Each crop was arranged in a long row adjacent to similar rows with dissimilar crops buried in the freshly tilled soil. Water was never far from any crop and bone meal was applied liberally so crops would grow quick

4
and strong. Today was harvest day and there was much to be done. The player bounded down the stairs to the ground floor of her base and practically sprinted out to the carefully laid out beds. What made today so special was that it'd be the

5
first harvest of her carrot crop. It had been only a few days since the nearly disastrous zombie attack that had almost claimed the player's life. Had it not been for the iron armor and weapons she had equipped herself with and the good sense

6
to quickly jump atop a hastily crafted pillar the attack would no doubt have gone much differently. Still when all was said and done she was alive and the slain zombies had dropped a single carrot, from which she would soon grow many...

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or so she thought. All of a sudden the player stopped dead in her tracks as she saw the empty space that had once been the planter for her lone carrot. It had been just a small bit of dirt raised up above the rest of the land by a container made

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of stone brick laid out in a tiered pattern that wrapped all the way around the makeshift pot. A special source of water sat once concealed under the dirt for hydration; the dirt that was now missing! The player began to panic; the

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carrot she'd nearly died getting was now gone! She began frantically searching for it amongst the other crops, questioning herself as she went... "Did I plant it somewhere else? What if I left it in a chest somewhere? Carrots don't just vanish!"

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Then without warning came a rush of wind and trail of purple glowing particles followed by a slight "pop" and the deep guttural vocalizations of an enderman. "How did you get in here?" she asked more to herself than the dark entity looming

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in front of her. Suddenly a terrible realization dawned on her... "Did I leave the door open last night?!?" A quick glance back from where she had entered just now confirmed that the door stood there hanging wide open. "I don't remember opening

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that..." The previous night began running through her head... She had come back from exploring a bit late, as the sun had just begun to set. She needed to store her freshly acquired resources but first she wanted to check in on her new prize

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crop. The carrot was so richly green she knew it had only a short time before it was ready for harvest. Then she left to store her latest finds, forgetting entirely to close the greenhouse door! "NO!" she shouted as she spun around to see the

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enderman standing there, staring down at her as he held aloft a single dirt block. "You MONSTER!" She screamed at him as she lunged with her iron sword putting behind her attack all the rage that suddenly sprung forth. Of course she was angry

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at the enderman for violating the refuge that was her greenhouse and for destroying her one and only carrot for which she had nearly died, but she was even more furious with herself. "How could I be so foolish!" she thought to herself "how

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much effort does it take to close a door? How many times have I reminded myself that I need to keep doors closed? I can't do anything right..." It was as this thought occurred to her that the swing found it's mark and struck the enderman full on

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on his left side. The enderman immediately teleported several meters away and let out a ghastly, angry howl that could be heard as clearly as if he had been standing right behind her. Still clinging to the block of dirt the enderman stared back

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at the player with it's cold purple eyes and then without warning it teleported away and out of sight. Overwhelmed by this whole experience the player hung her head and trudged back into her home to write in her journal and mourn the great loss

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that had befallen her. It wasn't just about losing a carrot. The player knew she could get another carrot eventually. It was the knowledge that her best efforts to protect herself and her home weren't good enough. She felt like a failure. "If

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I can't even protect a carrot..." she thought, "how am I supposed to protect a whole village of people? How am I supposed to protect myself?" These thoughts hung upon her and drug her down like an anchor far too heavy for its ship. As she

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thought about all this the player stood by her window and stared out at the land before her, watching as the sun set and the whole of the land fell once more into darkness. The next several days passed one after another, spent toiling in the

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mines; all sense of time lost to the persistent glow of the many torches strategically placed along the walls. Even with several loads of resources gathered, the feeling of hopelessness did not go away. Still she kept on digging, deeper

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deeper into the depths of the world. There was some redstone on the ceiling of the path she was digging and compelled by habit she dug away at it before she realized it was right above her... the block broke raining redstone down upon her and

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intense light and heat spilled into the room. There was no time to even look up; she reacted on instinct alone jumping backwards into a recently opened cavern and up onto an outcropping of stone as lava poured down from the hole she'd just
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made and spilled into the natural tunnel system leaving her but one avenue of escape... She had to go deeper into the cave system, but she was nearly out of torches, and the caves were not safe... The player began to move down a side tunnel,

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unobstructed by the lava flow, placing what few torches she had as she went, being careful to space them as far apart as was possible. They'd at least serve as a trail back if she got lost. The tunnel took a sharp turn... suddenly without

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warning there was a rush of wind and purple particles followed by a soft pop and a familiar guttural sound. She knew she shouldn't but the player couldn't help but stare long and hard at the enderman that had just teleported in front of her

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holding a... "Could it be?" she thought. He was holding a single dirt block! Before she knew what was happening the enderman was upon her striking for all he was worth. Purely as a reaction the player hastily grabbed her bow and launched an

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arrow straight for him, but he was prepared and teleported away, letting loose with his unnerving howl as he went. Somehow she got the impression that this enderman had a long memory for grudges and he didn't seem too keen to give up this one.

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Still, there was but one way out. The player continued her trek in the dark having just placed her last torch. The darkness was all encompassing and the player had to feel her way through the tunnels. There was a noise behind her and she

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spun to face the threat her sword slicing through the air, but connecting with only a few faint traces of purple particles still hanging in mid-air. There was a sudden rush of air to her right followed by another swing, and another miss. Only

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those faint particles left behind told her that the enderman had been there. They hung there in the air, taunting her efforts to defend herself. Suddenly she was hit hard from behind, knocking her off balance and causing her to fall down

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into an underground ravine she hadn't known was there. As she fell the moments seemed to stretch into eternity leaving her to seemingly hang there like a bit of paper caught in a breeze and frozen in time. She knew that this was surely the end,

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that the enderman had finally bested her... that she had failed. The player accepted this and embraced the idea that very soon, this nightmare would be over. She felt the cold air rushing past as she plummeted to the bottom of the ravine,

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wholly unable to save herself from her fate. Then the air stopped rushing past and she was embraced by the cold and dark and... wet? "Is death supposed to feel wet?" she wondered to herself before realizing what had happened. She'd landed

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in a pool of water at the bottom of the ravine. "Finally a break!" she said aloud, as she realized she was still underwater! Frantically she began swimming to the surface. Thankfully it wasn't far and as she emerged the player gulped

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down several lungfuls of the cool, crisp air. The player evaluated her surroundings, barely lit by distant lava flows. Three different waterfalls cascaded down from separate locations on the ravine's walls and collected in the pool of water

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she now found herself in. As she took it all in, the player couldn't help but realize how beautiful the setting was, despite the near death experience that had brought her to it. So relieved was she that the thoughts of the enderman's

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attack and his inevitable return were completely pushed from the player's mind for the briefest of moments… and then the beauty of the scene was ruthless crushed by the wave of overwhelming fear and worry. Doubts about her ability to survive

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and find her way out of this mess leapt into the forefront of her mind pushing all thoughts of escape... of hope aside; burying them deeper than she knew how to reach. So violently did the torrent of hopelessness flow that she couldn't stop

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her knees from giving way under her dropping her ingloriously to the ground where she instinctively began to curl into a ball and sob. "I'm going to die here," she said aloud. The sound of her own voice saying these words rang in her ears like

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a dull bell, droning out the world. But something broke through this barrier and yanked her out from the mental shelter she'd created within. A guttural chortle that was unmistakably enderman... In an instant all her sorrow turned to anger

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her doubts burned in the fires of a newly stoked rage she had never known was there. The player jumped to her feet and looked for the source of the noises. There he was, dirt block in hand skirting the edge of the pool of water the player

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had landed in and now found herself at the center of on a small outcropping of stone. There was no timidity about the player now. She stared directly into the enderman's eyes, hers boring into the entity's very soul challenging him to

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attack. There was the eerie howl, echoing off the walls and sounding as though the very stones themselves were screaming with the enderman, then a rush of air and purple particles followed by a soft pop... but the player was gone; nowhere to

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be seen in fact. As the enderman turned about, looking for the player a few small bubbles began to form in the water that had not been there before; then a splash as the player leapt out of the pool and slashed the enderman across the chest

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knocking him back into the nearest waterfall. The enderman let out a tone of pain and distress as it teleported back to the edge of the pool staring daggers at the player now perched, wet and defiant on the stone outcropping. "I will fear you

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no longer enderman!" The player screamed at the entity holding her sword aloft and pointing the tip directly at him. "I am stronger than you! I can defeat you!" She continued. "When this day is over I will stand over your corpse and hold your

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pearl in my hand as a trophy!" She shouted her monologue reaching a crescendo, "Today I become what you fear! Today I become your nightmare!" and as she screamed this final word the player leapt forth from the outcropping straight at the

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enderman and brought her sword down as hard as she could dead center on his skull. With a final cry of mixed terror and pain the enderman fell. The player collected the entities pearl and as she stared at it she whispered "I will survive."