Thursday, February 1, 2018

Chickenfest 2018



Hey everyone! It's been awhile, hasn't it? Interest in the server has been steadily dropping still, and now it is a bit up but still not great. We needed ideas to bring interest back... how about a festival?


For those who have been following us for awhile, you may have heard of a little something called Chickenfest which is a tradition dating back to the server that predated Superstes Noctis. That old server was mostly in Creative mode, so Chickenfest (which started very spontaneously) was seriously just a large structure way up in the sky that was repeatedly and rapidly spawning chickens to fall on the ground below. Needless to say, things got a little out of control.



Chickenfest 2016
Since then, we've celebrated Chickenfest on an extremely irregular basis. The first Chickenfest was in August 2013, and there is no concrete record (that we can find) of when the follow-ups were... apart from an adventure involving Chickens last year on Superstes Noctis which we jokingly dubbed "Chickenfest 2017" but was really just Angie and Timothy spamming Miranda's restaurant/bar build with chicken eggs. That was definitely the most lackluster iteration of the festival to date, but it was still entertaining for the three of us involved with it... however, the plan to bring back Chickenfest this year is going to require more planning and a larger scale to attempt to bring back Superstes Noctis, at least a little bit.

Chickenfest 2018 is currently scheduled for a full week: Monday, February 26 to Sunday, March 4 with a finale event on the last day of the festival.

 What's the plan for Chickenfest this year? Right now we just have preliminary ideas, but the core of the festival is obviously... poultry. The plan is to fill the week full of chicken-themed activities, a few of which include:
  • A temporary chicken exhibit (with live chickens) in a fenced-in area in Noctis Square.
  • A special chicken shop (with cooked chicken) next to the chicken exhibit in Noctis Square.
  • Chicken-themed events at community builds at or near spawn, such as the horse track and bumper boat arena.
  • A massive Chickenfest sign atop Noctis Manor.
  • Chickenfest decorations on several community builds at or near spawn.
  • An egg booth for aquiring chicken eggs that are to be thrown every which way in the festival area (spawn and surrounding areas) to enhance the hilarity and insanity of the festival.
  • A special guide to all official Chickenfest activities, their locations on the server, and the times they are available if applicable.
Again, to clarify... Chickenfest is still early in the planning phase. Work on those above bullet points is to commence shortly to ensure readiness for the festival, but other ideas are still being formulated and the final design and experience of the festival is yet to be seen.  There will hopefully be videos (or livestreams) of Chickenfest as well, over on Timothy's YouTube and/or Twitch Channels... for news on that, stay glued to his Twitter account. This post may also be updated as time goes on with more details, and hopefully the Chickenfest guide when that is completed as well.

If you're a member of the Superstes Noctis server, we hope to see you the week of Chickenfest and would love your input on the planning process as well. If you're not a member of the server, we hope you'll enjoy the content created regarding Chickenfest and would appreciate any constructive feedback you may have for us as well. In the meantime, we wish you (and your chickens) the best of luck in your continuing battles to survive the night!

Friday, July 7, 2017

SN Resource Pack Version 2.4

A new version of the Superstes Noctis Resource Pack is available now, bringing support for Minecraft 1.12! Version 2.4 of the SNRP can be downloaded from the "Resource Pack" page on our blog, or by clicking here.


New in version 2.4.0 for Minecraft 1.12:
  • Updated modified glass textures for 1.12's new, brighter color palette
  • Removed custom Bed texture now that Beds are available in all 16 dye colors
  • Modified cloth texture on top and side of Enchantment Table
  • Partially desaturated texture of books in Bookshelf for more realistic color
  • Modified Dropper front texture to remove face and reshape opening for consistency
  • Modified Dispenser front texture to remove face
  • Modified Observer front texture to remove face

The full text changelog for the resource pack has been updated as well; it's hidden from the site's navigation bar, you can find the link to it on the blog's "Resource Pack" page or click here to go directly to it. As future updates are released, the changelog will continue to be updated as well so you can see everything that has changed in the pack and when the changes were made.

If you try out the Resource Pack, let us know what you think of it! We encourage your constructive feedback on the pack to make it better in the future. Switch to this new version of the Superstes Noctis Resource Pack and let it aide you in your continuing efforts to survive the night!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Now Running 1.12

After a record number of delays, Mojang has finally finished and released Minecraft 1.12! Unlike 1.11, this is a really exciting update packed with great new things (also hideous Glazed Terracotta blocks) and is a huge change for the game that we are really excited to have on Superstes Noctis!

Because of the nature of some of the changes made for this update, there are some additional tasks to complete now for Superstes Noctis that 1.12 is out. These include:

  • Updating the Superstes Noctis Resource Pack (SNRP) for the new blocks and changes to coloring with some existing ones
  • Custom JSON Advancements files to customize the Superstes Noctis experience
  • Custom unlocking of Recipes so everyone doesn't have to craft everything in the game all over again from scratch (there's no single command for that... seriously?)

With life being busier and more complicated lately, these changes may not happen as quickly as desired... but they will be done, and should hopefully greatly enhance gameplay! Of course, once the new SNRP version is ready it will be available to download from the blog's Resource Pack page for everyone to enjoy... even those who don't play on the Superstes Noctis server.

With how stale vanilla Minecraft had gotten lately due to lack of updates, it is refreshing to finally have some new content and for this major update to actually be one worth getting excited over. Hopefully there will be some new videos from the server to enjoy soon too, focusing on the new content added in this update. In the meantime, we once again wish you the best of luck in your continuing battle to survive the night.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Advanced Advancements

Minecraft 1.12 is nearly upon us, so I've taken the time recently to experiment with it (1.12-pre2) in a single-player world and see how things have changed. My conclusion? Parrots are cool and should be used as sentries to detect danger, Glazed Terracotta is hideous, and the recipe and advancements systems are pretty neat. Let's focus on that last point here, especially advancements.

The new version of the game includes a new "recipe book" in your Survival Mode inventory and in Crafting Tables, which shows recipes you've unlocked and uses your inventory to autofill a recipe in your crafting grid to simplify the crafting process. (This is great for recipes you don't use all the time, such as certain redstone components, and for new players or those who don't commit Minecraft recipes to memory) Usually, players unlock recipes as they collect the ingredients used to craft such things; for example, collecting a wood log grants the recipe for wood planks. However, for servers and worlds that have existed prior to 1.12 many of those recipes should already be unlocked, and doing so is possible with commands. I've put recipes to a vote in the server Facebook Group; since they can be granted on a per-player basis, members of Superstes Noctis can choose if they want recipes unlocked or if they'd rather earn them by scratch.

Achievements were a big deal in Minecraft up until now, but in 1.12 they're replaced by Advancements. It is my understanding that Achievement progress will not translate to Advancement progress, and it will all need to be done again; this makes sense, because there is more depth to some of the Advancements than the Achievement system ever was capable of supporting. Similar to recipes, I put Advancement unlocking by commands in the hands of the members of Superstes Noctis with the option to opt-out of pre-unlocking them if they wish.

Screenshot of SN Advancements (early progress)
The really cool thing about the new Advancements system is that it is customizable (Mojang says the recipe system will be too, likely in 1.13) meaning you can make your own additional Advancement trees on a per-world basis using JSON files. When I heard this I got very excited, so I began looking into it and doing some coding; I only know basic Java, so it involved a lot of research and a programming tool to assist me along the way. The result? Five custom Advancements for Superstes Noctis -- three of which appear to be working as planned -- specifically for the Superstes Noctis world file. (The file on the server itself, not a Resource Pack or anything. It's embedded in the world regardless of what RP players use while on the server)

Over time, I'm hoping to make even more Advancements (and get the two buggy ones I've made already also working alongside the three functional ones) with ideas from the members of Superstes Noctis. Organizing it in a tree like the system is can be a bit confusing for nonlinear advancements, so I'll need to make sure the tree doesn't get out of hand and end up looking like out-of-control vines branching all over your screen.

{
"display": {
"icon": {
"item": "minecraft:clock"
},
"title": {
"text": "Superstes Noctis","color":"white"
},
"description": {
"text": "Survive the Night","color":"white"
},
"background": "minecraft:textures/blocks/red_sand.png",
"show_toast": false,
  "announce_to_chat": false
 },
"criteria": {
"tick": {
"trigger":"minecraft:tick",
"requirements": [
["tick"]
]
}
}
}
That code mades this, the base Advancement in the SN tree.
That's the base Advancement for the SN tree, simply titled "Superstes Noctis". It may look relatively simple, but ask yourself this: how would you know what to type out like that? Even if you know Java, there is custom code from the game that you need to reference to get things done. This Advancement unlocks after a single game tick on the server, by the way, to get players access to the SN Advancements tree right away so they can start working on the other custom ones beneath this Parent file. Creating Custom Advancements is not for the faint of heart [or coding skills]. My current struggle is with some Advancements relating to killing and cooking rabbits... so yeah. Sorry Angie.

Once 1.12 goes live and Superstes Noctis is updated with it, these Custom Advancements should hopefully make gameplay more interesting in a unique way to the server. I personally am extremely excited to see how this system can be used to help, or hinder, our continuing efforts to survive the night.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Optimizing Server Chat Groups

Since the beginning of the Superstes Noctis server, we've been using a single group chat to communicate. This worked just fine at first, mainly because there were only three people in that group and discussion unrelated to the server itself was separated into a different chat group... but as the server began to grow toward our current number of twelve whitelisted members, things got out of control again and recently it was decided that a change needed to happen.

Superstes Noctis member chat is now divided into two groups to fix these issues we had been facing with group discussion:
  1. "Superstes Noctis" is a new chat group that is restricted to discussion directly related to the Superstes Noctis Minecraft Server and special group gaming activities that happen from time to time away from the main server. This includes chat about activity on the server and sharing ideas regarding it, server maintenance tasks such as server crashes or other issues, scheduling time to play together, and various other topics that may come up with the day-to-day running of the server.
  2. "Off-Topic Superstes Noctis Discussion" is the existing chat group, renamed from what is now the name of the new chat group, that is open to off-topic discussion for the group. Server discussion is not banned from this chat group, but is encouraged to be posted in the new chat group for increased clarity and less confusion.
These changes were mostly necessary because I had found out that at least half of the group that uses the chat has muted it indefinitely due to the immense amount of messages causing countless notifications on their smartphones. (I was one of those people) Because of this, and the abundance of other discussions in the same chat, messages regarding the server were going unseen... either buried in a ton of missed messages, or missed because notifications were off for the group. With the new setup, members should be able to mute the off-topic discussion group and keep the main one's notifications on without experiencing a huge volume of notifications; if needed, members can temporarily mute the main group, and mentioning members directly (for example, @Timothy) can notify users despite the group itself being muted.

This is how I plan on doing things personally, and I hope this works for the other members as well. If there are any issues, or if any members have questions regarding this new system, it can be brought up in the main chat or sent directly to me alone for discussion. Hopefully separating out discussion into two chat groups in this manner will enhance member experience with the chat groups and the server in general, and make it easier to continue surviving the night.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Superstes Noctis Twitch Server

A few months ago, a "server" was created in the Curse client for Superstes Noctis. While it was useful, we found it too unpredictable to rely on... but now Twitch owns Curse, and the Curse client has become the Twitch app... so it's time we invite you all to join us there.

The Twitch app allows members of Superstes Noctis, Noctis MC, and anyone interested in either to communicate in a centralized location. The Superstes Noctis Twitch Server is linked to Timothy's Twitch account since he occasionally streams content (and hopes to do so more often in the future) and as such that stream is also available in-app when he is live as well, directly within the Superstes Noctis Twitch Server itself. There are multiple communities on the server, with some available for everyone and others restricted to certain groups of people (for example, the Superstes Noctis voice chat channel is restricted to members of the Superstes Noctis Minecraft Server) depending on the context. If you are interested in Superstes Noctis and/or Noctis MC, we encourage you to check out our Twitch Server and join the community! This should be a great way to communicate going forward and we hope to use it to really start a community.

Click here to download the Twitch App or here to join the Superstes Noctis Twitch Server. The direct link to our Twitch Server is limited to twenty invites, so if that link doesn't work for you please let us know and we will replace it with a new one. We look forward to you joining us in the Twitch app so we can all work together to survive the night!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

SN Logistics Center

With the recent new additions to our group of members, new paths have been built to provide easy access to their homes and, eventually, their other builds on the server as well. We've had a centralized path system on Superstes Noctis for awhile now, but the past few months it has been expanded multiple times for new members and new build areas from existing members.

Enter the Superstes Noctis Logistics Department (SNLD?) which now has an office located in the basement of Noctis Manor. This provides a place for members to come and fill out request forms for additions to the logistics network on the server, meaning roads sharing the single design of the centralized path system. If a member builds something new, needs a path rerouted, or if there should happen to be any accidental damage to an existing path system, a request can be made at the new building in Noctis Manor to adjust the path system accordingly. This is a simple build that simply functions to keep the server logistics running smoothly... just one less thing to worry about as we fight to survive the night.