Minecraft Game Design Camp – 3DGameLab

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I am currently participating in the Minecraft Game Design Camp held by 3D GameLab. It’s a fascinating view into one of the most popular games of the past few years. My children play it on a regular basis and have completely modded out their experiences. I am less familiar with Minecraft but do know the basics. Through this particular camp I am hoping to increase my knowledge of both Minecraft and game design for a couple of reasons:

  • I want to incorporate Minecraft into my children’s curriculum. We currently homeschool our boys and this seems a logical move to help them understand a variety of topics that might not as easily be expressed in other formats.
  • Game design fascinates me, and this is one way to work on developing a game with a safety net. Other campers will play the map I create and give feedback on the gameplay as well as design of the map itself.
  • It’s fun. Really fun. Many times working on a new skill can be a drag, but I’m having a great time figuring it out. I find that it is a great deal like storytelling, which I love to do anyway.

One of the assignments of the camp is to come up with a plan. I’m posting it here for feedback or to give others ideas on what can be done in Minecraft.

Adventure Map Plan

Step 1 – Come up with a name for your Minecraft Adventure Map.

The name for my Minecraft Adventure Map is Bard Quest.

Step 2 – Write a one-paragraph description that will make other players want to download and play it.

Grand deeds of derring do are told in front of a roaring fire, preferably with a cold drink in hand, a captivated audience hanging on your every word, and a pocketful of emeralds jangling with each movement. This is the life for a bard! Unfortunately, you aren’t a bard. Yet. To join the greatest of storytellers and live the life you so richly deserve, you’ll need to keep your wits about you as you solve puzzles, overcome traps, and answer the greatest question of all: what, exactly, is a good story?

Step 3 – Write down any characters, including the player, who are involved.

Characters included, but not limited to:

  • the player
  • a helper of some kind, like a squire or a wizard
  • at least three bad guys, although I’m not sure how to include that in Minecraft
  • a princess
  • a guild leader
  • various villagers

Step 4 – Explain any challenges your player will have to overcome during the story – puzzles, traps, and other map features, but be sure not to give away too many details!

This particular adventure map is a way to help players develop storytelling skills. So, their adventure through the game actually becomes the final story which they must “hand in” to the guild leader for review to become an “official” Bard.

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