"There are two ways of spreading light:
To be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."

(Edith Wharton)


Posted by: Steffen in Fun, Game, News, Review

Recently, Minecraft, a Java-based game by Mojang reached it’s first final release (1.0) state. With currently more than 4 million players it is one of the fastest growing communities in the world. Understanding the objective of Minecraft¬† is quite simple: Explore and build within a huge 3d-simulation, that consists of countless cubes. This can be done alone (single player mode) or as part of a team in multiplayer mode.

There are also animals, NPCs and monsters, populating the surface, which by default comes in a retro-graphics look. Texture packs can be applied to give the game a much more fancy appearance, if you like to do so. Some people say, Minecraft looks best in it’s original way (16*16 pixel textures).¬† The game can be run directly in a webbrowser, due to it’s Java architecture. This also makes it compatible with all major operating systems, such as Linux, MacOS and Windows. Adpatations for handheld devices (Android, iOS) are under development.

While playing, you’ll experience day/night change, weather influence, a fully functional lighting (through the sun, natural effects from lava or fire, or self-placed objects, such as torches), realistic physics and you can combine a large amount of elements, in order to construct tools, weapons, machines, furniture or many different building materials. As long as your avatar doesn’t die, the simulation runs indefinitly. You can play in “peaceful” mode, which means there won’t be hostile creatures that try to kill you. The vast world of Minecraft offers many interesting surfaces, ranging from moderate climate zone, to tropical, desert, swamp, beaches, forests or arctic surroundings. You can climb trees, mountains, travel through canyons, deep caves, swim or dive in rivers or oceans, watch sunsets and waterfalls or see the landscape getting changed by volcanos.

You can build houses, fortresses, use explosives, create bridges, streets, pipelines, even towns and if you play long enough – civilizations. The game needs a little computing power in order to run smoothly. If you experience stuttering gameplay, visit one of the many Minecraft forums on the Internet to learn how to speed things up. A good advice also is to take a look into a Minecraft tutorial, available in many languages. I personally think Minecraft has great potential and is the most innovative product in many years.

(personal rating 10/10)

Canucks fever

Posted by: Steffen in BC, Blog, Fun, Vancouver

On June 1st, late afternoon, I spent some time among the Canucks fans, here in the heart of Vancouver, BC. Whenever there’s a hockeygame, Granville Street gets partially closed for car traffic. Those guys are crazy about icehockey, and I absolutely love this insanely fun atmosphere. I’ve shot the scenes between corners Granville and Davie to Granville and West Georgia Street. Watch this little five minute video that I made, if you like. For fullscreen (or at least full sized) playback in 720p (1280×720 pixel) High Definition simply go to my Youtube channel on www.youtube.com/novaspero