Minecraft Level 3: Programming Turtles

 

Skill Level: Level 3

Badges Earned: Minecraft Level 3

Description: Level 1 & 2 barely scratch the surface on what is possible with Minecraft. In level 3 you will explore Minecraft Computer Science capabilities using the ComputerCraftEdu Mod.

Background Info: ComputerCraftEdu expands on ComputerCraft adding a Beginner’s Turtle which is simpler to use.

Installing the Mod:

What are Turtles: Check out the trailer below for an introduction to these little robots. Think of them as Spheros for Minecraft!

Programming the Turtles: Click here to view a tutorial series on Beginner Turtles.

NOTE: On video 5 “Taking It Further”, the video mentions the coding editor. This is a preferred method for the more advanced coders as it can be faster to type commands than drag and drop. If it sparks your interest and you want to experience what “real” coding is, you can find a reference of commands available (API – application program interface) by clicking here.

What’s it going to be?

Your job is to brainstorm and find innovative ways to solve a problem using Turtles. As a starting point, think of how we use robots in the real world to solve problems. Then share it! Create a YouTube Screencast of your demo, using Screencastify for Chrome.

As Always, Fill Out a Challenge Proposal

Ideas:  Think outside the box. Who is your audience? Has anyone done this before? If so, how is your idea different? Could this be a service learning project or idea?

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your final project, and get an instructor to visually check out your project, if you can. Create a video “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

 

Minecraft Level 3 Badge

Minecraft Level 2: Create Your Own Texture Packs

minewars_preview
Image via http://www.minecrafttexturepacks.com/

 

Skill Level: Level 2

Badges Earned: Minecraft Level 2

Description: In level 1 you created a world to solve a problem. Can the user experience be enhanced in any way? In level 2 you are going to create a custom texture pack that enhances a user’s Minecraft experience.

Background Info: There are several type of image files including .jpg, .gif, .png formats (next time you download an image, check which format you are saving). Minecraft maps .png images onto the blocks essentially giving them their look. This means that if you want to change how a block looks in Minecraft you need to modify the .png file(s) that maps to that block. Below is the grass block and it’s default side and top texture images.

2016-02-04_17.16.52 Grass Block Side Grass Block Top (x4 magnification)

Contrast with a grass block with custom texture images (Dragon Mount).

2016-02-04_17.17.59 grass_side grass_top (64px)

Notes: The default texture images shown above are magnified x4 to show detail. All default texture images in Minecraft are 16×16 pixels (actual sizes grass_side grass_top). Note that the Dragon Mount texture pack uses images that are 64×64 pixels, 4 times larger, which allows for more details. So why are the default textures only 16×16 pixels? Smaller file sizes take up less hard drive space, but more importantly, load much faster and there is less of a chance that the computer will lag. Those are definitely things to consider when designing you own texture pack. But feel free to experiment with different sizes. And though there are texture pack up to 512×512 pixels, those texture pack may require a more robust system to play on. The only requirement is that the images are square and .png.

Getting started: Sometimes a good way to start is to get inspiration. Click here to check out some texture packs created for our current version of Minecraft. After a little bit of exploration, don’t forget to fill out a challenge proposal.

Starter pack: One way to get going on your own texture pack is to edit a copy of the default texture pack. Click here to watch a tutorial on where to save, unzip, and rename the starter texture pack. You will need this link during the video.

Editing the pack: Use your preferred image editor such as Pixlr Editor or Photoshop for example. In this video you will see a tutorial on editing the texture pack using Photoshop.

Ideas:  Think outside the box on this one. Think about audience. Who is this world for? Could this be a service learning project or idea? Your job is to brainstorm and design that texture pack. Then share it! Create a YouTube Screencast of your world using your texture pack, using Screencastify for Chrome.

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your final project, and get an instructor to visually check out your project, if you can. Create a video “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

 

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Minecraft Level 1: Build Your Own World

Image via http://superminepod.com/
Image via http://superminepod.com/

Skill Level: Level 1

Badges Earned: Minecraft Level 1

Description: Can a Minecraft world solve a problem? Your job is to create one that does. Does it re-create an ancient civilization? Does it recreate a locale that could help firefighters or EMTs find escape routes? Could your Minecraft world use invention to create a solution to a third world problem? 

What’s it going to be?

Your job is to brainstorm, design, and build that world. Then share it! Create a YouTube Screencast of your world, using Screencastify for Chrome.

As Always, Fill Out a Challenge Proposal

Step 1:  Go to MineCraft EDU on a PC, go to the C: drive Minecraft EDU Folder. Start Launcher.

Step 2: From there, click Start Minecraft Edu. Login Mode: Minecraft EDU. Put in your name. Direct Connect.

Step 3: Build! Have fun and ask questions!  You can use circuits in this version of Minecraft- so the ability to be really creative is at your fingertips.

Ideas:  Think outside the box on this one. Think about audience. Who is this world for? Could this be a service learning project or idea?

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your final project, and get an instructor to visually check out your project, if you can. Create a video “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

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