A Commentary About Blizzard Entertainment’s Recent Game Design Philosophy

Blizzard has been often criticized for making their games to be “unoriginal” and “watered down” versions of the other games in the genre. With the recent release of Overwatch, many people have been criticizing it for its similarity to Team Fortress 2. Hearthstone was widely criticized as a Magic the Gathering ripoff, Heroes of the Storm was labelled as a heavily dumbed down version of a MOBA, Diablo III was considered to be too simple by many Diablo II players. Despite all of these critcisms, all of these titles are still performing well and it is clear that the obscene levels of Blizzard polish is making their games shine. It makes you wonder how these so-called “unoriginal” and “watered down” games could possibly be successful. I won’t comment on Diablo III because I haven’t been a long time fan of the series however for the rest of the games, are these criticisms really justified?

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Building my first Minecraft Chunk House with a Modern Flair

A chunk house is basically a house built inside a Minecraft chunk, and one Minecraft chunk is exactly a 16*16 blocks in area. When building a chunk house, it can be as tall and go into the ground deep as you like however it must not step step outside the chunk you’re building in. With this simple restriction it gives you enough creativity to design  and build something inside  a chunk. I’ve never built one before, and I also  never used modern styling on any of my houses in Minecraft so it was time to change that.

I installed Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable shaders and Dokucraft: The Saga Continues Light resource pack and here’s what I came up with.

The Design of the House

Working with a 16*16 area is easy, there’s literally so much space I could use. I knew I wanted a modern looking house so I had a look at a few photos from google, and I tried different building materials. I was aiming for a house that felt open, close to nature, simplistic, has adequate lighting and easy to build. When I finally started, I laid out the foundations using stone brick with the house 12*12 in size in  the center of the chunk.

I didn’t want to use wool for the walls because it would be boring, and so I decided to use nether  quartz, however placing it purely vertically horizontal is too generic so I decided to make it a criss-cross pattern. This gave the walls a nice feel to it and the wall textures weren’t too plain at all thanks to the alternating vertical and horizontal lines.

For the edges, I tried using just pure oak wood at first, however it looked a bit strange, so I decided to switch to dyed clay which I ultimately scrapped in favour of oak wood for pillars and oak planks for horizontal edges which looked quite nice so I kept it. The wood and planks gave the house a bit of natural feel and it fit in with the modern styling.

The lower balcony is made of spruce slabs, while the inside flooring used acacia wood to imitate a varnished look, there’s also a a cobble stone path surrounding the rest of the house. The upper balcony uses dark oak wood for flooring. The use of different woods is an easy way to make a house look stunning without having to change to a different type of material.

For the lighting, I had to somehow integrate glowstone and since this was a modern house, I wanted to avoid using torches entirely. I broke holes in the wall, and filled it in with glowstone to light up the outside as well as the interior. I also broke holes in the roof and floor and also filled these with glowstone so I could light up the ceilings, floors and the top of the entire house.

With loads of glass, I used glass panes for small windows on the  lower floor and on the second floor I used  them for big windows and fences and there’s dyed blue glass for the balcony roof as well. Glass is mostly transparent so it gives an illusion of a  wide open space if used correctly. Speaking of wide open spaces, A high ceiling in the in the living/dining room gives the house a nice open feeling to it.

For decorations, I didn’t want to go overboard, I placed a few paintings, used book shelves, a couple of pot plants, sugar cane, and instead of a chandelier, I used leaves since I had no where to put them and I wanted  to use leaves somewhere. I added vines to the leaves just to add a bit of extra detail. With all those indoor plants, it gives off a nature vibe without too much clutter, and clutter always ruins the openness. I placed just enough  plants to give a good sense of nature without impeding on the openness of the house.

Finally there has to be a water feature somewhere, and so under the glass flooring I placed a pool of water which doubles as lighting. It has mossy cobblestone and it’s like a watery closed terrarium. On top of this is a glass flooring which supports tables made of fences and  stone pressure places, and chairs made of birch stairs.

I hope you like my modern style chunk house! Until next time.

Good  Luck, Have Fun!

~Neul