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  • Bioxx

    Before I get down to the subject of this post I want to say that I love the passion that TFC creates. I've seen so many people from all different walks of life joining our community and sharing their knowledge and love for TFC, that it's truly been epic. We have so many die hard fans that it has truly been an awesome experience to be at the helm of this community for going on 3 years now. To think that the very first reply I received on the TFC MC forums thread was someone saying "This might be going places" and then to end up where we are today still gets me excited. So even though we are still 2 months away from the official 3 year mark, I want to say thank you to everyone who's been along for the ride.

    Now down to business.

    It's been a while since I've done a post on something other than strictly update news, but I decided it would be a good idea for me to update the definition of 'believable' for everyone. I've seen a few threads come and go that challenge a particular feature as not being believable because 'insert reason here'. Most of the time, these arguments are made because the user has extensive knowledge of said topic and cares deeply about us getting it 'right'.

    Dictionary.com defines 'believable' as: "To have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so." I like this definition, but I do not feel beholden to it. I find that narrowing down what is and isn't believable is too complex of a matter to definitively say for each and every person. We all come from different places in the world, filled with our own life experiences and holding to many different ideologies. As a result, what makes sense for each of us is slightly different.

    So how do I decide if something is believable? First of all, I tend to read quite a bit about the topic. Obviously some things receive more research than others but I try my best to get a good handle on the subject. More often than not, my initial plans for a feature are crazy in depth. Then I have to take a step back and decide how to best translate this into a game. Everything in the universe is incredibly complex, no matter what the subject is, that you have to decide what to cut. Sometimes I don't cut enough detail and the feature is overburdened with needless invisible complexities (the old system for heating/cooling which used math that approximated specific heat), or has little detail at first but needs more details to make the entire thing feel complete (Food taste). At the end of the day I have to ask myself if the player could take the knowledge that they've gained from playing with this feature and apply it in some small way to the real world and be successful. If the answer is mostly yes, then it passes my meter. I always want players to be able to learn something when they are playing TFC. Education in gaming is incredibly important to me.

    However, there are times when believability and accuracy is sacrificed because we are dealing with a game and with players that will exploit anything if given the opportunity. It's human nature. Thatch is a perfect example of this. I am fully aware that a thatch roof is very solid and could easily hold a mans weight. However, for so many reasons, allowing players to walk on thatch is just terrible in a game such as TFC.

    Another example would be tomatoes being classified as a vegetable even though they are technically a fruit. If TFC were attempting to be textbook accurate, this would be a grievous mistake. But we aren't, and tomatoes are vegetables for two specific reasons. First of all, if you've noticed, there are no fruits in the standard crop system. This is by design. I prefer the idea of fruits being seasonal and out of the players control. This encourages an interesting aspect of exploration to make sure that you have fruits all year long. Secondly, the average person doesn't think about the tomato as a fruit. Do you believe that most people really think about the fact that they are pouring fruit sauce on their spaghetti?

    An important subject that I should address here is the aspect of fantasy elements and how they mix with TFC as a whole. Fantasy is perfectly fine. I've never wanted TFC to be based completely in reality. As awesome as real life can actually be sometimes, fantasy aspects provide convenient ways to make a game better. I love having Skeletons and Zombies in Minecraft, I've just always wanted Minecraft to be grounded, which I feel TFC achieves. Obviously we have more work to do for everything to mesh well but its coming along.

    The last thing I will say before I end this article is directed at those who know a whole lot about a particular subject in real life and find that TFC isn't accurate when it should be. Before you spend the time to type up a long post and get into a heated discussion, I ask that you first try to put yourselves in the shoes of someone who doesn't have your extensive knowledge. Then ask yourself if the basic idea is sound. If it is, then we've achieved believable. Remember, TFC is not a simulator, its a game that encourages people to want to learn new things without the boring drudgery of school and textbooks.

    Ok I'm done typing now. I started this at like 4am so forgive me if my thoughts don't translate into text well. It makes sense to me so hopefully it will to all of you as well.


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    This is what I have always loved about this mod. Me and my 8 year old son can play, and discover things about metallurgy and geology that he would never see in school. While a game, it really opens his eyes to a much more broad appreciation for the real world as well.

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    "Do you believe that most people really think about the fact that they are pouring fruit sauce on their spaghetti?" ahahahahah Bioxx you're awesome :D

    Beside of this, yes, your thoughts were surely understandable to me, and english is not my first language since i'm italian, so don't worry about it :)

     

    Oh and to let you know, TFC increased my knowledge of geology since i've started playing it 2 years ago :D Thanks for your work, this mod has rendered Minecraft into one of my most played and preferred games of all times :D

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    the best part? tomato sauce on cardboard pizza counted as a veggie in school lunches for a long time.

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    I still just can't wrap my head around this. Using believability for something such as magic makes sense. But using believability on a mod that’s attempting to portray realistic survival elements throughout, is very conflicting. I don’t even think that’s the real way of using believability when it comes to gaming. I mean you’re either realistic or fictional. You’re either accurate or inaccurate. If you’re portraying something incorrectly, that means you correct it rather than say its fine because it’s believable. If some of the survival elements can be improved on with realism and it doesn’t impact the game negatively but rather positively, what purpose does believability serve in that instance?

    Yes realism does make things more complicated, but it’s exactly what makes a better gaming experience. That’s why I’m playing this mod rather than vanilla Minecraft. Obviously too much realism can affect gameplay negatively, which is why some things need to get dumbed down a bit. However dumbing things down doesn’t mean you should start making things inaccurate, that’s senseless. Instead you keep it accurate but make it less tedious and more simplistic. For example, there are crafting systems where once you have all the resources for a tool, you can craft it with just the click of a button. Yet in this mod, we need to manually put together each tool piece by piece. Both systems are equally accurate but one is more realistic than the other. In the end, it’s impossible to have a fully realistic game anyway, because only reality is truly realistic.

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    For the most part, I agree with what you've said. I won't get into any sort of debate because I feel that would warrant a separate post if you would actually want to bother with that. I am surprised to see what is implied to be a plan to preserve minor fantasy elements into the game. I was under the impression that we would one day see the death of the infamous "skelekiton", zombie, and giant spiders and see these things replaced with various animals that would inherently behave in a hostile manner to humans. If they are kept, I can still enjoy the game, but I feel that some tweaking might be in order.

    As for those who will say that this game needs to be more realistic, I feel that is where TFC based mods will come into play. Though, that might not even be needed, as quite a bit can be changed in config files with the recent edition of build 79. I also feel that more often than not, the game is hindered greatly by it's engine. Only so much can be done with somewhat of a pitiful engine to work with. I guess that's why I'm not as complacent as most of the people I see who dislike elements of this with such passion. I know enough about the development of a game and a mod to know that mods are far more hindered than the game itself. One can only hope that Microsoft might actually do something good and give the engine some very much needed refactoring and optimization.

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    There is a term in literature that i believe best describes TFC.

     

    magical realism is a genre where magical or unreal elements play a natural part in an otherwise realistic (often mundane) environment. Although it is most commonly used as a literary genre,magic realism also applies to film and the visual arts.

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    Guest CouchSurvivor

    Posted

    Go on this way of game-creation. My children and myself play the mod since B76 and we feel like the first hours we played vanilla.

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    I've always loved the way your brain works, man. The systematic approach you've taken to rebuilding minecraft from the ground up has produced something really incredible. Its awesome to see you and this mod going strong three years down the line!

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    "with players that will exploit anything if given the opportunity".... This is a crucial point! IMHO the challenge (and the fun) of a game is to win (whatever this means) following the rules and the ideas behind that rules; if someone does not like them, it is not a problem: there are plenty of other games in the world!

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    I found this mod from Spumwacks youtube channel. I thought the idea of this mod was amazing and ive been playing it for almost about 2 years now. I introduced my Fiance to the game and its just got more and more fun.

     

    I want to thank you for this post because ive grown even more appreciation of what you're trying to bring to this mod. Its like where Minecraft was supposed to go before all the generalized 12 year olds got a hold of it. A lot of stuff in here is (IMO) very believable. The ability to gold pan and sluice for ore, to have more than one kind of bed, to start out as basically a caveman and work your way into something awesome (given you dont go into GM1)

     

    Just want to make this short so once again thank you for this experience and i look forward to many more awesome updates.

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    love this mod ill be glad as soon as the night hordes are gone then it does not matter if thatch isn't solid maybe you can even add tiles made of clay that need some kind of metal tool to make to give alternate roofing for advanced players who are not making village huts

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    I think I've played TFC more than any other game in history. It's an excellent balance of believability and gameplay.

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    I don't believe caveman can't sleep like a year before he finds freaking sheeps to make a "comfortable" bed.

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    The thing you fail to understand is that believability is an entirely subjective idea, while realism is not.  While complete realism is not fun in a game like this, it is objective, and can be determined on a axis of 'less realistic to more realistic', whereas, again, believability is an entirely subjective idea, and what is believable to someone ignorant on a subject is not believable to someone knowledgeable on the subject.

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    I'm going to approach, what you've done, in the new release, from a different aspect. In real life I have issue's that make playing this mod much harder, then for other's that don't have my issue. I hate to have to bring that into this but for me to keep playing your mod I must.  I have to use a map, even more so now that you changed torches, or I'd never get back to my base. because I suffer short term and long term memory issues, I get to where I want to go and I can't remember how to get back, or even where it was, at times. So I play this mod using Opis.

     

    But your chanes in animal husbandry has me killing sheep now, something I never had to do before and I don't really want kill them but when I have the tool to shear them and I get note telling me that the animal won't let them.  its dead.   It happens to be good for a sheep and lambs to be sheared, they don't know that and they'd never let you,anymore then the 90% of the dogs that hate to be trimed, they have to be forced into it.  You don't offer a wolf food and try to pet it, it would bite your arm off.  Horses are not tamed by feeding them, as Minecraft would have you do, they are run down put in a chute saddled up and rode and re rode unilt they are broken.  But back to the sheep, most of the time it takes me a minium of 3 months to even find them, now and then I get lucky and find some after a week.  But having no bed that allows you to sleep nights turns Terrafirma into one huge time sink of wasted hour upon hour, especailly if the world you started in is ore deficient in the starting area. I'm stuck every night either in hidey hole or my base, because I have no means of really dealing with the mobs at night. yes I know you can pan for ore, but that was changed too with this upgrade.

     

    Since I upgraded to this newer version, I've even had starts with NO fresh water,  I find reeds near the shore of oceans, but now your sandy beachs are excessive, that means that reed water in not drinkable, next to those shores.  But the worst thing is that no fresh water start was an island and no land to be seen in any direction, I've had an island packed with willow trees, tons of mobs and a nice sandy shore all around it,with no stones on the shore just sticks, great  no fresh start , I swam until I died of thrist.

    I always restart with a fresh world and random seeds,when an upgrade comes out, but I guess  your going to break me of that habit, because I want to enjoy my time playing in the world you made, but when you changes things sometimes those changes, kill the fun of playing this mod. It would be nice if you actually weighed in how much new down time will this change add to the game, down time is wasted time for anyone that plays this or any game that have added time sinks,they weren't fun when EQ started using them and they aren't fun when they are added in here.

    Thanks for a great mod, its not as fun as it was but it's still fun..

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    I'm going to approach, what you've done, in the new release, from a different aspect. In real life I have issue's that make playing this mod much harder, then for other's that don't have my issue. I hate to have to bring that into this but for me to keep playing your mod I must.  I have to use a map, even more so now that you changed torches, or I'd never get back to my base. because I suffer short term and long term memory issues, I get to where I want to go and I can't remember how to get back, or even where it was, at times. So I play this mod using Opis.

     

    But your chanes in animal husbandry has me killing sheep now, something I never had to do before and I don't really want kill them but when I have the tool to shear them and I get note telling me that the animal won't let them.  its dead.   It happens to be good for a sheep and lambs to be sheared, they don't know that and they'd never let you,anymore then the 90% of the dogs that hate to be trimed, they have to be forced into it.  You don't offer a wolf food and try to pet it, it would bite your arm off.  Horses are not tamed by feeding them, as Minecraft would have you do, they are run down put in a chute saddled up and rode and re rode unilt they are broken.  But back to the sheep, most of the time it takes me a minium of 3 months to even find them, now and then I get lucky and find some after a week.  But having no bed that allows you to sleep nights turns Terrafirma into one huge time sink of wasted hour upon hour, especailly if the world you started in is ore deficient in the starting area. I'm stuck every night either in hidey hole or my base, because I have no means of really dealing with the mobs at night. yes I know you can pan for ore, but that was changed too with this upgrade.

     

    Since I upgraded to this newer version, I've even had starts with NO fresh water,  I find reeds near the shore of oceans, but now your sandy beachs are excessive, that means that reed water in not drinkable, next to those shores.  But the worst thing is that no fresh water start was an island and no land to be seen in any direction, I've had an island packed with willow trees, tons of mobs and a nice sandy shore all around it,with no stones on the shore just sticks, great  no fresh start , I swam until I died of thrist.

    I always restart with a fresh world and random seeds,when an upgrade comes out, but I guess  your going to break me of that habit, because I want to enjoy my time playing in the world you made, but when you changes things sometimes those changes, kill the fun of playing this mod. It would be nice if you actually weighed in how much new down time will this change add to the game, down time is wasted time for anyone that plays this or any game that have added time sinks,they weren't fun when EQ started using them and they aren't fun when they are added in here.

    Thanks for a great mod, its not as fun as it was but it's still fun..

    I wish it were possible to make everyone happy, unfortunately its not. You make some good points and as always I look to improve things with each build. Sometimes changes hit the mark, and other times they need more work. All I can ask is that you stick it out and maybe you'll get your fun back.

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    On the topic of tomatoes, tomatoes are a fruit in terms of botany. In botany, there are no vegetables.

    However, in culinary terms, a tomato is a vegetable. That's the only place the word even exists.

     

    In the same botanical terms that tomatoes are vegetables, so are cucumbers, bell peppers, chili, eggplants and avocadoes. Meanwhile, potatoes are tubers, carrots are roots, beans are seeds and broccoli is a flower.

     

    In no context ever where "vegetable" is used at all, is there any need to separate tomatoes from vegetables as a fruit. Most vegetables are either roots or fruits (okay I have no statistics but most in my fridge are at least :P).

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