Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I am a sentimental sissy

We have recently started a new Tekkit map. For those of you who don't know it, Tekkit is a popular mod, or rather a compilation of mods, for Minecraft that includes advanced machines useful for automation and very powerful alchemy stuff. We have always mainly used the alchemy part in the past, so this time Jacob decided we'd try working with the machines instead.

The beginning was pretty standard. We punched a few trees, wandered away from spawn and found a place to start mining. We set up a camp in a cave on a small island near a larger continent, which we later upgraded into a house on the island's surface. We mined some materials, created a portal to the Nether, crafted a Philosopher's Stone and a few basic alchemy machines, just to make getting materials for the IndustrialCraft machines less of a hassle.

This is when Jacob started branching out to the Industrial District, as I have named it, first placing a few Coal Coke Ovens there, but later adding a Blast Furnace and an automated Quarry. I have meanwhile started experimenting with the Automatic Crafting Tables, ultimately designing an assembly line for Low Voltage Solar Arrays (a nasty piece of work, that requires about eleventy zillion other crafted items just so you can get the components for one array).

It was at this point when we split the work between us. After installing a protective forcefield in the house, Jacob has taken over the Industrial District, eventually renaming it to Industrial Wasteland, as he slowly constructed giant concrete buildings to house our machines, and I have stayed at the headquarters to supervise the production of building materials. The two outposts were connected by a long railroad track, so at first we drove a minecart whenever any of us needed something from the other place, but then I figured out it would be much easier to just send a chest cart back and forth. Using Skype to communicate also helped. As Jacob noted, it was almost like doing actual work, but I thought it was fun.

But eventually, the headquarters became obsolete. Most of the hard work was being done at the Wasteland, and the parts that weren't were easily movable, so after Jake finished the housing for the machines, he came back to the headquarters and we started to gather the materials to at least upgrade our machines while we were moving them. That part was very hectic, particularly obtaining 10 diamonds, even with the help of our alchemical equipment. But eventually, that was done and we started packing up everything from the headquarters to move it to the Wasteland.

I think it was me who first noted that it felt like leaving home to go live in a different city. And even though it didn't have any right to, it did feel like that. We took the pipes and cables from the basement, we took the beds from the master bedroom, we took the torches and the chests and everything that was in them. In other words, we took everything we would need so that we wouldn't have to come back for it later. We turned the forcefield off for the last time, not just the projector, but also the core. We were ready to leave for good. We exited the house, got into our minecarts, said one last good-bye and embarked towards the Wasteland. And then a skeleton ruined the moment when it shot me on the way there.

Jacob later commented, or rather complained, that it was a genuinely sad moment, and I can't help but agree, although I'd say it was the good kind of sad. And I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it has something to do with what a TV Tropes page that I can't currently find says, which is that "the worst thing a piece of fiction can do is to make the viewer feel nothing", and it was the feeling of feeling that made this "work" for me. Maybe it was the fact that the sadness signified a major step forward. Or maybe I'm just a sentimental sissy. All I know is that I'm glad I've gone through this. It just goes to show that even games like this are capable of producing beautiful moments.

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