Had I planned ahead, this post would be irrelevant. But me being who I am, and 1,000 mile inter-State moves being what they are, I just wasn’t able to get anything written, let alone polished and published, last week. I should be able to get back on schedule this week, though.

So, what are my blogging plans for the next several weeks? I want to continue to focus on Reika’s mods, especially Rotarycraft and (eventually) Reactorcraft. I did have a little time to play Minecraft last week, and I already had several projects to write about, just not the strength of will to write about them. So, coming up will probably be a look at ways Rotarycraft can be used to automate farming. After that, I want to talk about what things are needed to make the jump into the next tier of technology, specifically tungsten and bedrock dust. So be on the lookout for that stuff.

Secondly, while I had not ever intended my blog to be a replacement for wikis or videos, I had a couple of encounters this last week with young Minecraft players that got me to thinking about writing posts that explain and demonstrate basic Redstone theory and circuits. So coming up in the next several weeks will be a series of posts entitled “Simple Redstone Devices”. Some of these will tie into my Rotarycraft spotlights, as well. Now, I have never claimed to be a Redstone expert, but I do know my way around basic Redstone theory. Plus, if you’ve ever visited the wiki pages about Redstone logic, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that they are not the easiest thing in the world to understand. Moreover, introductory videos are hit-and-miss as to their usefulness and clarity. It seems to me that there is room for an intermediate introduction to Redstone in blog form, so I’m going to try my hand at it. Feel free to comment if you have any specific requests on this topic.

Finally, something that is not Minecraft-related. I like Linux, and I like video games. For a long time these were not really compatible interests. Gaming on Linux, while possible, was and largely remains kind of limited. This is one of the many reasons I like Minecraft (and Java-based games in general). But this limitation is changing. Not only is Linux usage on the rise, but Steam’s introduction of a native Linux client last year has been a huge step toward making Linux a decent gaming platform. A third interest of mine is driven by my unfortunate economic situation: I like things that are inexpensive and free.

So taking these three interests together, it doesn’t take a genius to deduce that I would enjoy browsing the free-to-play games on Steam that are available on Linux. Not wanting to disappoint all the sub-genius-level deducers out there, I was just yesterday browsing in this manner and came across a game made by indie developer Suspicious Developments that was released just two months ago called Floating Point. Floating Point is a casual game where, using only your mouse, you control a dot (the eponymous “point”) in possession of a grappling hook of infinite length. Casting this grappling hook in any direction, you use gravity and physics to launch yourself around the screen, aiming to pick up red bars that grow and shrink (along with their point values) based on your velocity.2014-08-04_00004

2014-08-04_00003There is no way to “die”, since when you fall you eventually cross a line into “the water” a realm of reverse gravity (“buoyancy”) wherein lie half of the red bars you need to pick up. This fact, along with the game’s overall aesthetic and ambience, make for an experience that is truly relaxing and stimulating at the same time. The graphics are basic and uncluttered but very well executed. The understated ambient electronica background music changes based on your position and velocity. In short, Floating Point is simple, elegant, relaxing, and addictive. Check it out on Steam, even if you don’t run Linux like I do.2014-08-04_00002