Programs and Problems
The next step in my research would include attempting to mod Minecraft to suite my needs. While I was doing research on different texture pacts and different worlds that can be added to Minecraft I learned that the edition I had does not allow the kind of modification I am attempting to perform. According to a few online sources that I found Minecraft Education Edition can have different worlds, but only a small specific amount, and the texture packs were the same. To go to the extent that I wanted to mod I would need the full version on the game. As I only have the PS4 version at home, which is unmoddable, I would need to go into the History Departments computer lab which was equip with the full game and software I would need. Thankfully I was given access to the History Departments computer lab and everyone was very accommodating with letting me in early in the morning. I had the lab to myself and thankfully I did. I had never used a Mac desktop computer before and I was a bit loud as I fumbled my way to working it. My first attempt to get onto Minecraft and its modifying tools was a bit slow going. Dr. Graham had told me that he had placed the programs Minecraft, Worldpainter and MCEdit in a folder on the desktop the night before, so it should be an easy start. However, after looking at a blank desktop, trying the applications folder and doing a search, I could find nothing related to Minecraft. After emailing Dr. Graham, sending some screenshots (after a quick search on how to do that on Mac), and struggling with my lack of Apple knowledge to describe what was going on, we concluded that the programs that Dr. Graham had placed in a folder on the desktop had somehow gotten wiped. After many more emails we finally realised what had happened, and Dr. Graham made his way to the lab to help me. The computer had updated, and because it was a shared computer, and I was only able to sign in as ‘student’, the whole desktop was wiped. When we got it sorted out it had already been two hours, and I had to leave for a meeting, so I was only able to explore one of the editing programs briefly.
I opened Worldpainter so I could get a feeling on how it would work. I had never used modding programs before, but Dr. Graham had told me that Worldpainter along with MCEdit were some of the most popular and widely used. Worldpainter is exactly as the name implies, a program used to ‘paint’ landscape in Minecraft. There are tools, just like in other paint programs, for creating any of the world blocks, trees, water, grass, sand, and tools to raise or flatten the land. This program is the basic in world creation and would be perfect to recreate any sort of topography or landscape. I had a bit of time left so I was also able to download a world to load into Minecraft, as I wanted to make sure that I knew how, and that it worked. The world, Midgard, was a fairly large world. I was only able to load it up for a few minuets before I had to leave, but it worked, and I was confident for the next time.
I had made solid plans for when I came back to the lab, but I feel like it will be slow going while I get used to programs and what is available for me to use as well as the problems that inevitably happen. However, I feel like this is an important part of the process if we want this to be useable in a classroom setting. The students would have to go through this process as well, and if I encounter and solve some of the issues they may have, they can fix it in 10 minutes rather than two hours. Next I aim to download and actually play one of the roman worlds!