You generate seeds (like little countries) which are covered in resources. You build shelters, mine, plant crops, build houses or anything you like. Tristan likes to explore the internet finding interesting islands that have been designed by other users. He likes to download "mods" to change what things look like and what he can do.
Working with Minecraft gave Tristan an idea for a project. He has been thinking about starting a computer club at our local library. He wants to meet other kids to play games with, especially Minecraft. In multiplayer mode many people can play in the same world. He thought that he could meet other kids at the computer club and then play with them in the virtual world when they are not together. He could also share ideas for building, servers and mods (and so on) and get ideas for other games.
To get started we used a mind mapping app called Simplemindsfree. It is an easy to use tool to organize thoughts and keep a record of your ideas.
Next we had a meeting with the children's librarian at the Wilton library and explained what Minecraft is. Tristan thinks he can design a seed for the library. On the seed he could "build" a virtual library (and the buildings in the vicinity of the library). The librarian was enthusiastic about the idea.
Designing a seed is a fun, creative process. The first thing Tristan did was to take photos of the library from all angles.
The second thing was to use Google Earth to get a map of our town center to design the layout.
Next Tristan is going to use Google Sketchpad to try and create the library (the post office and Village Market ) in 3D.
This is a great project for Tristan as it has him out in the community creating something very meaningful for him. I am happy that he will meet other children that share his interest and that he will know who he is playing with.
Tristan has a new blog called Ready Set Click also where he is documenting his progress. He is 9 and active. Progress is slow but as we continually come back to the project every week I am confident that he will get his little program off the ground.