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Idiot's guide to Minecraft for the technically challenged

(28 Posts)
chicaguapa Wed 11-Jul-12 21:09:43

We've finally relented and said DD(10) can get Minecraft. But I'm completely confused with it all. I've tried googling and it's all teenage geeky speak that I don't understand. So I thought maybe we could start an Idiot's guide to Minecraft to help us more technically challenged parents set it up properly and safely for our DC.

My questions are:

I get that you need to register and then download the game. But can you only download it on one PC or several?

Also what's with the 'servers'? Can you make them safe? I searched previous threads and saw that someone was being bullied by two older children. shock

I'm sure people have other questions too and it's not just DH and I who are completely lost with it all! [shame] Thanks.

mrscumberbatch Wed 11-Jul-12 21:44:05

You can't 'make a server safe'. It's an internet game being used by millions of people so it's quite open ended as to who your dd will be playing with.

Inevitably groups of young people gravitate towards each other but it's worth supervising and taking an interest. Expect a bit of interesting language

if you don't mind paying extra she could host a server and so choose who gets access to it?

If you register you can access the game on any computer that has Minecraft downloaded via your login.

She can also play offline in build mode as well.

It is mostly nerds and kids, it's quite unthreatening but there's always going to be bad eggs out there.

Playingwithbuses Wed 11-Jul-12 21:50:04

DS 15 advises that it ccan be downloaded onto any Pc buy you will have a log in.

Servers are minecraft worlds where you can play with others, you can compare servers on website Planet minecraft and you can turn off chat if need be.

On the PC single player option you make your own worlds that are completly private.

If you want to go onto multi player server you need to find the I.P. address for that server on their own website, easy enough for a geeky 10yr old but stops you just stumbling into worlds.

For playing instructions and tips best place minecraft wiki.

Playingwithbuses Wed 11-Jul-12 21:55:02

There are some servers which are basicly moderated, DS recons hosting own server would involve an actual dedicated server running in your house and extra soft ware.

DS recommends playing single player for now then find a 'nice' well hosted server once she is ready to meet other users, but plenty playability in single player mode.

chicaguapa Thu 12-Jul-12 07:56:36

Thanks. DD will probably understand. wink

niceguy2 Thu 12-Jul-12 21:44:33

As with all these things, the best way to ensure they are safe is simply to make sure they play in a communal area.

My son plays it on the xbox in the lounge. I can hear whats going on and step in if I had to. So far, I've had to tell him to tone it down a bit when he gets a bit animated and shouts at someone.

ZZMum Thu 12-Jul-12 22:03:07

1. When you buy the game, you will get an option to pay for user or computer. If you pay for user you will be able to download it for as many computers as you like.
2. A server is a World but you play it with freinds. If you trust these freinds then you are fine, but public servers tend to have "foul-mouthers". Owners of the server have the power to ban people from a server.

sunflower Fri 13-Jul-12 22:45:46

I wish I understand it better. My DS and all his friends love to play it. I've helped him a bit - installed a few mods etc, but what he really wants is to host his own server so he can play online with his friends. I think that sorting this out is probably beyond my abilities, but have watched a few online tutorials and wondering about giving it a go. At the moment he plays on a few public servers (with me peering over his shoulders), but I'd rather it was just him and his friends. Dunno whether our computer it up to it though.

garlicbutter Sat 14-Jul-12 00:14:22

Butting in here - I know zero about Minecraft but it's very, very unlikely you would be running a server from your house! (Sorry, Buses Jr.) The servers will be owned by whoever owns the game - they'll have a warehouse full of the things, where they will interact with the game software and each other as needed. By 'owning' a world you're actually renting time on a hard disk in a server.

Reasons why you wouldn't run it from home:
Internet connection too small & winding to interact with the other players in real time. Data centres have 'pipes' which are hefty fibre-optic connections leading directly to the internet's 'junction boxes'.
Server must be constantly connected to the game mainframe. Makes more administrative sense to house it in the same shed.

garlicbutter Sat 14-Jul-12 00:24:49

For Buses Jr. Always keen to encourage geekery, me smile

madeupstuff Sat 14-Jul-12 00:50:36

Partially repeating other comments but some slight adjustments...

You pay for a Minecraft username/account - this lets you download the game to multiple machines (many PC's at least, not sure about the xbox edition and if you can cross-over 'tween xbox and PC). You should only really be playing from one PC at a time (don't share your username/password around).

The game lets you have single player worlds stored on the PC that you're playing on - in these worlds you are basically alone and free to do your stuff all by yourself.

The game also allows you to connect to servers run by other people - here you're in a shared world. There's no in-game talking (text only chat (again, I'm thinking PC here, xbox is probably different as niceguy2 notes)).

Unlike other online games you can download the game server software and run it yourself - while 'proper' hosting (rackspace, as already mentioned, is good - but never cheap) is good for lots of players connecting, it's perfectly possible to run it on a PC at home over a decent cable/DSL connection.

Game servers (whoever is running them) only really connect back to the main minecraft servers to authenticate users as they connect - no constant connection is needed.

We run the server on my PC (where DS1(7) is also playing), DS2(5) on DP's laptop elsewhere in the house (hence on the local network, not over the cable connection) while their grandpa (who is also quite obsessed) connects to the same server from the other side of the country.

Servers can be configured with a whitelist of accounts that are allowed to use it - this could (as in our case) be a very short list of names.

You're never going to get 10's of people running to a minecraft server over a residential connection, but for a few it's fine.

I'm quite willing to assist with any Minecraft-ish bits if it's of any use to anyone.

garlicbutter Sat 14-Jul-12 01:14:49

Wow, madeup, it's a lot different from the games I know! Thanks.

sunflower Sun 15-Jul-12 00:01:32

Gah, I wish I understood it better.

madeupstuff, thanks for all the info! It's v helpful. I think I'll try and give it a go. I only wanted to do the server thing so DS can play with one or two friends, so hopefully OK. The only thing I am a bit worried about is security - will I be making our PC vulnerable by using it this way? I've looked at the tutorials a bit and understand I have to do something called port forwarding, but not sure whether this is a bit dodgy. Thankfully I'll be doing it on the computer that DP uses rather than my laptop, so at least I won't suffer if I bugger it up it goes wrong.

sorry for hijacking your thread chicaguapa!

jicky Sun 15-Jul-12 00:14:54

I am a minecraft idiot, but the dss are very keen.

We have gone for paying a hosting company so that they can have their own world and only invite friends to play. This was to stop ds1 installing it on a home pc as we didn't think he understood the security properly.

Also means I know ds3 and his friends can play in a safer world.

OctopusSocktopuss Sun 15-Jul-12 00:16:20

I'm getting to grips with this, and I'm a techie! I've set it up so dd can have his own server (took me several days) but it runs slowly as the laptop isn't up to it.

I can help with mods and texture packs if anyone needs it. I've got the hang of what to do for the windows 7 laptop but only have texture packs on the Mac. The ones they want seem to be too many items and dolucraft

You need an app that will read .jar files

timetosmile Sun 15-Jul-12 00:24:45

DS has bought/rented his own server and bans anyone who 'is mean' or 'swears' being a righteous kind of 11 year old

He and his friends have a 3 or 4 way skype conversation going on at the same time as playing, which makes it really sociable.

"Wooo, look out for that zombie behind you"
"Can you make me a diamond sword?"

And he now has a new e-friend in Sweden who has found his way onto the server..they compare the weather and what they are going to have for tea!

I have to say, it would bore me rigid, but a DS always plays in the lounge or kitchen I always have an ear on what they're doing, and they make it sound like a heap of fun for them

OP, I think the best answer is to get a tecchie friend of your DCs over to start/tweak everything for DC (that's what worked for us)

chicaguapa Mon 16-Jul-12 13:02:48

Ooo! Hasn't the thread grown since I last looked at it!

I will ask my brother, he will understand far better than me. I think he has his own server at home and he also works for rackspace so maybe can get a deal if DD wants to go down that route. The PC is always in a communal area, no matter how much DC beg to have one in their bedrooms.

Like the idea of having skype on too, it does seem to make it more sociable.

DD has downloaded it and then went online at a friends and was upset that her worlds weren't there. So had to come home straightaway and check they were on the PC and hadn't been lost.

She seems to be getting a handle on it all by herself. You know you've reach that age when your children's games flumox you, don't you! wink

lambethlil Tue 17-Jul-12 11:27:26

Grrr, I've bought this yesterday for 12 yo DS and we can't actually play- keep getting access denied. Googling suggests it's a problem with our computer- any advice?

madeupstuff Tue 17-Jul-12 20:51:27

What sort of 'access denied' message? Where? (can you post a screenshot somewhere)

lambethlil Tue 17-Jul-12 21:45:56

Oo thank you, I'll post tomorrow as I'm putered out now!

letseatgrandma Wed 18-Jul-12 13:40:53

Those of you that are on servers-can anyone recommend one!?

Pinot Wed 18-Jul-12 15:32:15

marking place

Mollified Wed 18-Jul-12 17:02:54

DS1 (12 years) also uses skype while on a server with his friends, they seem to police it between them as well.

Just one word of caution; DS told me that his friends set mines (TNT I think) all over one world and managed to completely crash the servers PC. I'm not a techy and most of this goes over my head so it could be a made up story but it was enough to refuse him a server.

Mollified Wed 18-Jul-12 19:41:00

I just quizzed DS about this and he says the TNT crashed the server not the PC so I suppose thats okay then

googlenut Wed 18-Jul-12 21:27:20

What kind of Xbox would I need for this- just the basic one? And if I got the Xbox version could all 3 children play on it together?

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