What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noobs)

CalebJ
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What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noobs)

by CalebJ » Mon Jul 08, 2019 01:59

This is mainly inspired by two interesting topics: https://forum.minetest.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=22764 and https://forum.minetest.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9172

First, I think that Minetest has *EASILY* beaten Meinkrampf (Yes, I mean the M-word) for many reasons. Mods are extremely hard to make at Meinkrampf, but here, we have easy modding (well, semi-easy :D). Then, we have amazing building compatibility, such as mymillwork and moreblocks cuts. We just have too many mods that Meinkrampf doesn't come close to. When you find a server you like, its great fun, perhaps even more than other clones.

So, what's the big problem? The problem is, the current minetest_game is too boring. The textures are severely outdated IMO. There is not even a mobs mod that is packaged. There is still only two games when you download it initially, not even MineClone2 or Hades Revisited have been added.
Noobs don't usually visit the Forum and they don't even know there are other mods until they expirement. Yes, I said that. So imagine you are a noob, you download the latest version of minetest, start a game and play. You're on an iPhone so you can't figure out the "Servers" page, LOL :D There is trees. There is snow. There is some weird burnt jungle trees. There are some dark caves with nothing in them. There is an ocean, maybe a river or two. Then there is a huge patch of sand in the middle of nowhere. And then ... "You died. Respawn".
For us modders, Minetest is endless opportunities. Yes, endless. But noobs don't know a thing, most don't even know there are mods available.
But then, Meinkampf is a well-done world from the start! The bundled game is very playable, unlike Minetest Game.
IMO, Minetest Game lacks a few things:
Colorful Caves
The current caves are all dark except for lava, when you get very deep. There are also very few ore types which is IMO okay. But, the caves need some realism. Like, stalactites and stalagmites. Bats. Glowing Fungus. And the list goes on.
Reworked Jungle
If there is one thing I don't like about Minetest, its this for sure. The jungle trees are sooo ugly. They look more dead than alive, like a forest fire just swept through. And think that only one tree in the jungle, when there are thousands upon thousands of plants in the Congo, or the Amazon. This is a major flaw. Also, there is barely any food in the jungle, and barely any rivers (!!!!).
Mobs
I respect the developers decisions to leave this one out, but I don't understand why. Kids are fascinated by animals in sandbox games, and it just seems ... well, needed.
Many other trees, plants, biomes
No use to explore when everything you'll ever see is right in front of you when you first start your world :P
TEXTURES!!!
The default textures are the most boring thing. Meinkrampf has very well done textures IMO, but Minetest Game has just the opposite. I mean, this is perhaps the most boring part of Minetest Game.
Not enough challenges/things to do
Okay, so you start out, you collect some wood, build a house, mine a bit, and then what? I've only played Meinkrampf for 6 hours of my life, but there are a LOT of things to do. And a lot of challenges if you play in survival mode (i.e. dragons was one). If Minetest Game doesn't give things for players to do, then what is the point?
Tools are a bit lacking
This one is minor, but still, players can get really bored looking for wood to break stone, then stone to break iron, and finally 2 hours later they have a bucket to farm with :P
Transport If there is a boat, there should at least be a bike or a rickshaw! Minor, though, I don't think its a big deal.

Obviously MTG gets a lot more life with mods like HDX Textures, plantlife, underch, and others. But noobs don't know they exist :( This is one reason, I would request to add a redirect to the Forum, right on the main screen of Minetest, maybe on the right-side of the "Games" list on the bottom.

As a last thought, an easy way to fix this, would likely be to just pack some neat Games with Minetest, as rubenwardy has suggested. MineClone2, for example, is perfect for noobs. Of course, the noobs could just look at the servers, but some prefer to play alone at first (including me, I first played a while in singleplayer before checking out servers), and that time playing Minetest Game might kill the whole fun.

Now, I want to say that the developers have done an excellent job and given us, and especially I, many joys. So I'd like to thank them for all their excellent work. This is supposed to be a constructive conversation, to try to help the developers, or others, make the game better -- and not a place to rail on what the developers have done. So please, keep your tongue in-check.
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Re: What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noo

by Wuzzy » Mon Jul 08, 2019 06:26

I completely agree with your criticisms of MTG, they are all true. I have been calling out MTG for years.

About “Noobs don't usually visit the Forum”.

Yeah, that's why Minetest needs a high-quality default game that is actually enjoyable OUT OF THE BOX! This is clearly not the case with MTG.

I respect the developers decisions to leave this one out, but I don't understand why.

Basically because our mob APIs we currently have are all pretty bad. Also, Minetest's entity system is pretty bad, which is probably the source of most evil here because all mobs are based on entities. A lot of groundwork still needs to be done.
MTG devs want to add mobs eventually.

I do not recommend to distribute MCL2 as default game, at least not at this stage. MCL2 is still in alpha stage and has many bugs. MCL2 is definitely NOT perfect for noobs. There is no tutorial of any kind yet, but it would be very important indeed! There's some help system in the game, but you first have to find it.
IMO a better candidate would be Pixture, but this game is currently broken and needs repairing.

Frankly, I don't think we currently have ANY game of a real high quality or at least any game with decent polishing that we could really use to show off Minetest. We have completely failed as a community.

All games have at least some ugly problem somewhere, or game-breaking bugs, bad design, etc. and just overall are just amateurish.
MTG just feels like a big empty world in which you can't do much. It feels like an incomplete game but pretends it is complete.
MCL2 is laggy as hell and full of bugs and the mobs suck completely. The textures are … controversial. But at least the game is in alpha, so there's a huge excuse as well. :P
Pixture is currently broken in 5.0.0 and even before 5.0.0, its crafting system makes the game completely unplayable! I believe it was never officially released anyway.
The Legend of Minetest is riddled with game-breaking bugs and is just crushed under its own complexity. It's a shame because it has very decent ideas.
CaptureTheFlag uses MTG textures and looks like crap. The worst part is that gunfight is laggy, as all gunfight mods are laggy in Minetest. Minetest cannot be used as a shooter game, apparently.
I have also found many bugs in Farlands, but at least it gets the biomes right. The monster fights are also not always well-balanced yet.
The interface in Minetest Saturn is just confusing and the game is not something to present to newcomers as well. It really shows the limitations of the engine.
Minetest Hades is too confusing for newcomers and still needs much more content and polish. Same for Hades Revisited. Multiplayer is also completely broken. But at least these games are in alpha.
All games by 2048 have interesting ideas, I gotta admit, but the execution is very amateurish. The interface and graphics are just ugly because they use default textures.
Lord of the Test has potions that completely break the game if you drink too many of them.

I could go on and on and on. Don't get me wrong, there are some really nice and complex games already there, and you can actually play them right now, but you have to be willing to expect brokenness or just lack of polish. It's in the details when everything falls apart. There is always something, some big problem or a little detail that just ruins everything. Therefore, none of our major games is actually ready for prime time, and we developers should all feel ashamed. We could do better. Much better.

And remember, many of these games do appear in the Content DB ...
Even the players who actually understand they have to click on the Content tab to get started, they will just be flooded with broken or incomplete games and none of them are very good.

The best we devs could do is at least admit our games are incomplete and just put them into beta or alpha stage until they have been actually fixed and polished and made ready for prime time. The Content DB and Minetest games in general are in DESPERATE need of some serious quality control.

And I believe that's the true reason why MTG still has not been dethroned yet. That's the best we can do, folks. We have to try harder.

It seems the only actually high-quality game with decent polish is Inside The Box, but I have to disqualify it immediately because it cannot be played in singleplayer mode. For a PUZZLE game! I still think that dropping singleplayer support was the worst decision the developers could make, but otherwise the game is perfect. It's a real shame this game cannot be used to showcase Minetest.
Yes, it is (finally!) free software now, but the version you can download just has all levels stripped away! And not even the empty shell of a game is actually working right out of the box, you still have to do lots of manual labor and it's only meant to run servers … So still a LOT of work needs to be done to make this game truly singleplayer-ready. The hardest part will be the levels. The original levels are all copyrighted and cannot be used.
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Re: What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noo

by Eran » Mon Jul 08, 2019 07:56

Noobs don't usually visit the Forum and they don't even know there are other mods


MTG has a communication problem. It calls itself a game but it's intended as a modding base. It sais that it's moddable in the content tab and on the downloads page of minetest.net but for a noob that information is extremely easy to overlook. It doesn't say that mods are basically a requirement either.

This would be my approach:
A seperate mod is added to MTG. On startup it uses minetest.get_modnames() to check if there are non-default mods installed. If there are none, a translated message is sent into chat along the lines of
Minetest Game is meant to be modded.
You can find mods at content.minetest.net or find out how to make your own at rubenwardy.com/minetest_modding_book


This problem is not the biggest one that MTG has but along with better textures it's among the easiest to fix because it can be done without messing up all the mods that depend on it.
 

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Re: What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noo

by TumeniNodes » Mon Jul 08, 2019 08:10

CalebJ wrote:Noobs don't usually visit the Forum and they don't even know there are other mods until they expirement.

May be a good idea to add some sort of pop-up either right after the game loads or when the user clicks quit (or something) which directs their attention to the forum, or can even redirect them to a sign up page for the forum.

Then again... maybe it's not such a good idea. [all those small sub-humans... --_-- (shivers)]
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Re: What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noo

by CalebJ » Mon Jul 08, 2019 15:06

TumeniNodes wrote:
CalebJ wrote:Noobs don't usually visit the Forum and they don't even know there are other mods until they expirement.

May be a good idea to add some sort of pop-up either right after the game loads or when the user clicks quit (or something) which directs their attention to the forum, or can even redirect them to a sign up page for the forum.

Yes, this is a very good idea. A few years ago I played a similar sandbox game which, after you loaded the game up, there was a popup directing you to the main page. This worked very well afaik.
Wuzzy wrote:And I believe that's the true reason why MTG still has not been dethroned yet. That's the best we can do, folks. We have to try harder.

Well, yes. Exactly. There aren't enough quality games yet. But look at the server list, each and every server has different stuff, some have private modding, private textures, etc. The problem is, a lot (most?) of players prefer to play in singleplayer.
As I have a good experience with noobs in servers, here's an example of a few noobs I was managing at a few periods. I won't name them for privacy's sake.
Noob #1 Really social, but quits in a week. Too boring (but he didn't try other servers!!).
Noob #2 Tries to ruin the server's economy and crown himself the richest. After he sees that he's failing, he goes back to Minecraft.
Noob #3 Plays with a friend ... but the friend gets bored so he quits too.
Noob #4 Finds the serverlist ... clicks on a server and joins ... gets into trouble, starts yelling "HELP" into chat ... gets banned an hour later. I think he probably left MT but I don't know for sure.
Noob #5 Tries a few servers to look for a realistic mapgen. He couldn't find it. *delete MT*
Noob #6 Joins a server but prefers to be alone. Then if anyone teleports to this noob, he/she gets very angry and threatens to leave. AFAIK, he/she is still playing though.
Noob #7 Tries out a few servers, gets hooked on two of them. Since the servers have endless things to do, and this kid has an infinite amount of MTE (Minetest Energy), he sticks and he's stuck. But of these 7 noobs I managed, only two are still playing.

I don't think the games situation is as dire as you make it out to be. I think, rather, that the situation with people making games is a dire situation. We have sooo many mods, but sooo little games. I mean, you could make a very playable "game", just with a mod like aotearoa, combined with moreblocks and plantlife, then add a few basic tools, farming stuff, and some New Zealand mobs. I actually did this in singleplayer and found it a very fun world. But ... noobs *could* actually do that, but they don't know how to, they don't know such things exist. So I think, MT's main problem is communication as noted above. If we had direct links to the Forum, like a pop-up window, then people could actually find mods that they like. Since one size doesn't fit all, this gives the user their own choice, then they can make their own game (sort-of :D).

EDIT: Also just taking all of runs mods, throwing them into a world, would be plenty of fun ... :P
DOUBLE EDIT: I found it. Bogart! viewtopic.php?f=50&t=21712
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Re: What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noo

by Hume2 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 05:53

I think, many MTG elements were designed so their occurence can be easily tested. That's why resources aren't rare at all.

Many of those issues can be solved using mods. However, as you said, none of the noobs are going to download them. A pop-up message advertising the forum might not help either because the noobs could consider it as a silly ad and they would just ignore it.

It's really a shame that there is only one working and polished game: Inside the Box. The new game doesn't have to be full of content from the beginning. For now, a game with a non-trivial target might be sufficient. Mobs are a must and I think, they should be explicitly supported by Minetest engine.
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Re: What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noo

by voxelproof » Wed Jul 10, 2019 16:07

Forget MC. MT is born for higher destiny. BTW according to some definitions neither MC nor MTG are 'games' but as a matter of fact 'toys'.

Maybe the key is to make MT games more game-like, with more reward moments and chains of smaller achievements, which make players enjoy it and have fun. Permanent comparing MT to MC makes it just a shadow of the latter, it's time to find MT's own paths to glory :)
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Re: What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noo

by CalebJ » Wed Jul 10, 2019 16:40

voxelproof wrote:Forget MC. MT is born for higher destiny. .... it's time to find MT's own paths to glory :)

That's exactly it. Minetest is so good, so moddable, so unique, but also so lacking in some areas - games. I can't see why somebody can't throw some of the current mods together and make an interesting game.
Hume2 wrote:Many of those issues can be solved using mods. However, as you said, none of the noobs are going to download them.

Yeah, we have so many mods that make MT 5x better than MC. We have to have some way of finding them for noobs.
Hume2 wrote:A pop-up message advertising the forum might not help either because the noobs could consider it as a silly ad and they would just ignore it.

Well, maybe. Instead of a pop-up ad, I was thinking more of a icon on the main Minetest window which can be clicked on, and it redirects you to either minetest.net or forum.minetest.net. If it said that they could download mods, maybe when they get bored of singleplayer, they could check it out. In anyway, its a way for them to find the Forum more easily. But you might be absolutely right ...
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Re: What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noo

by Hume2 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 19:39

CalebJ wrote:Well, maybe. Instead of a pop-up ad, I was thinking more of a icon on the main Minetest window which can be clicked on, and it redirects you to either minetest.net or forum.minetest.net. If it said that they could download mods, maybe when they get bored of singleplayer, they could check it out. In anyway, its a way for them to find the Forum more easily. But you might be absolutely right ...

Well, the problem of any such advertisements is that people are flooded by ads. So they are filtering the ads and similar stuff automatically. If 10% of players clicked that thing, it would be a success. It can be there though. I think, deploying an enjoyable game would be good as a showcase of what Minetest is capable of.
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Re: What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noo

by Red_King_Cyclops » Wed Jul 10, 2019 20:17

There is a way to install mods, games, etc. from Content DB in game, but it is not an obvious feature. Novices should be made more aware of this feature.
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Re: What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noo

by TumeniNodes » Wed Jul 10, 2019 20:39

Red_King_Cyclops wrote:There is a way to install mods, games, etc. from Content DB in game, but it is not an obvious feature. Novices should be made more aware of this feature.


There are literally "install" buttons... how much more obvious can it be made? 0_o
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Re: What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noo

by Eran » Wed Jul 10, 2019 21:11

TumeniNodes wrote:
Red_King_Cyclops wrote:There is a way to install mods, games, etc. from Content DB in game, but it is not an obvious feature. Novices should be made more aware of this feature.


There are literally "install" buttons... how much more obvious can it be made? 0_o

Nothing is obvious.
To find install buttons you need to click the content tab and click Browse online content. These 2 steps require an amount of curiosity that a noob who downloads the game, creates a world and gets bored after five minutes doesn't have.

To communicate effectively, you have to put information right into someone's face.
If this is done with a popup it has to look nice though and not be an obvious ad for this forum.
 

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Re: What Minetest *game* is missing over Meinkrampf (for noo

by CalebJ » Wed Jul 10, 2019 21:14

Content DB is the best place because it is so colorful IMO. A direct link to CDB would be very good.

Eran wrote:To communicate effectively, you have to put information right into someone's face.


I also think that the servers.minetest.net could be greatly improved to put information in someone's face as you say. Here is my idea:
When you are shopping for a new car or real estate, you usually have too many options to merely look through. So instead, there is a dedicated search engine: for cars, it will usually be Brand, Year, Condition, Odometer, etc. A similar thing should be done for servers, so that noobs can pick exactly which server is best for them.
Currently the servers.minetest.net is able to fetch all the mods that each server has. So I propose, that a similar search engine be implemented. Only the best mods will be used, but it would work like this: There would be a list of mods, and you could 'checkmark' which mods you want the server to include. The names of the mods would be noob-friendly and more descriptive - instead of "advtrains", just make it "Trains", instead of "xtraores", just make it Extra Ores, instead of "draconis", do "Dragons", instead of "paleotest", make it "Dinosaurs". Also there could be groups such as "Cars" which include multiple mods since there are quite a few ;)

Then there should also be selections for starting privileges, and server information like "Damage enabled?", "PvP enabled?", "Creative enabled?", etc. If the search returns 0 results, then the noob tries again with fewer mods, maybe ones that he doesn't care about as much.

This would give the player more flexibility and it would explain how many mods we really have. It would also help them to find exactly the server they want quickly: in the current setup, you have to search for *DAYS*, or even *WEEKS* to find a server that is what you want. I remember, for me, it took 3 months to find a server I was happy with.

So IMO, there really should be two links: a server search engine and one that goes directly to the Forum and/or ContentDB.
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