A donkey! A donkey! My kindgom for a donkey!

Videogames today focus too much on killing everything, so I decided to play with "Blockland"
Killing is fun
While this title may seems a little disturbing... we have to face it: killing is damn fun.
Would Carmageddon be so fun without the horde of pedestrians to ram on? Think about any RPG... get any The Elder Scrolls: what are these games if no just reaping thousands and thousands of creatures?
Even half the game of Minecraft is about killing.
I have one more example to share: the board game of Monopoly. While this harmless game may seems.... well... harmless... it is not! The goal of the game is killing!
Of course you don't hit your opponents directly (although it may happen sometimes): instead you destroy her/his business conquering the world with financial tactics. But the concept is the same: you kill your opponents.
There are very few exception in videogames. Usually puzzle or adventure games. I can recall just Portal or Antichamber as example.

I was in search of something else and I discovered there are very few opportuninites out there.
One kind is Minecraft: you build, you survive and... you build! But, in my opinion, Minecraft is going in a wrong direction: once you build your shelter you have very little option to decorate it's interior. Also the vanilla game is somewhat limited and while the modding comunity is large and full of project modding is limited and difficult.

Recently the game Blockland has been release on Steam and I almost immediately fall in love with this game. It's basically a game of LEGO! Infinite LEGO!

Me: "How will you manage your LEGO collection now that your daughter is about to born?"
Friend: "There will be enough LEGO for everyone."
Me: "There are never enough LEGO!"
A discussion between two nerds

This game is awesome, born way first then Minecraft and share a similar concept: building for a purpose. Think about your old LEGO bricks: you build a truck, or a castle, or an airport but after the building phase playing with it was fun, of course, but maybe with little meaning. Once you realize it you get a picture of your work then disassemble it and continue to create more creations.
On Blockland, but in Minecraft as well, you build not only for pleasure but also for a purpose: the wall to keep the zombies away in Minecraft, an kart track in Blockland, a pool or aqueduct of lava in Minecraft for water, obsidian or cobblestone, a tunnel full of traps for a Capture the Flag map in Blockland.

This is fun because you build things and your creations have a purpose. Which... most of the time require killing...
Anyway this is much better! Also you don't have to disassemble things, because you have infinite bricks!

Very few games provide fun outside of killing. This is something to think about because if you look back at the history of videogames there is a decreasing focus on the gameplay aspects in favour of cheap mechanics (like killing).

My castle
By the way here some screenshot of my castle. It's still uncomplete but I reached, so far, 11290 bricks for a total of 61 hours spent. It's my very first creation ever in Blockland.
If you want to join me I open my server to the public when I build. Look for "Arcades' Server - Building for Fun" form Blockland's server list.
(Note: I use a lot of mods. Joining may require sometimes and my internet connection really sucks).

The main entrance of my castle.
The castle ground is laying on those pillars because I plan to create some little caves or dungeon below it. It will be filled with some sort of vegetation and rocks.
I'm wielding an hammer, if you are asking. The best friend of every constructor.

A view from above my old throne room.
This is the main hall: the throne room. This screenshot is a bit old: above the throne room there is a tower now and the door has been replaced with a better one.

The entrance of the throne toom.
Latest version of my throne room. Still no roof: I had no inspiration for it.

A view from above the throne.
Above the thrones. I will decorate properly the whole castle but right now I'm focusing on the structure. Luckily Blockland can be easily modded (expecially thanks to Return to Blockland) and I have a lot of medieval items ready to be placed.

The upcoming library.
This pyramid-style roof is the fix or a previous spherical roof. When working generally with blocks, exactly as you do in Minecraft, you have very little options when drawing curves or spheres. Blockland, in truth, is plenty of ramps, curves and rounded objects (most provided by mods) but I found nothing really good to draw a large sphere.
At the begin I rasterized a sphere using 2x1 bricks, then I swapped those with ramps. The result was horribad. I tried with 2x1 and 1x1 plates and it was better but using transparent colours dropped the frame-rate to indecency.
This is the better result I've got so far.

A detail of an entrance.
One of the best feature of Blockland is that you can colorize any brick with any color you have in your palette. While the palette is limited to 64 colors, it is easily configurable. So, not only you have infinite bricks but also have (almost) infinite variations!
If this is not enough you can also add prints to printable bricks and add even more variations!

Complex stairs inside the tower.
This is the interior of the main tower, still uncomplete. Creating stairs is damn complex because the more fine and complicate you want to build them, the more space you eat. This game require a lot of planning of the available space because editing of what has been already built it's damn hard.
What I don't l like of this game is some lack of proper tools. Some mods give you and hand but it's not always enough.

Behind the main tower.
This is the rear of the main tower, opposite to the main entrance of the castle. I'm quite satisfied with the result but since I made some mistakes calculating the space this tower has been fit wherever was possible so it's not really clear at the sides.



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