Minecraft – Introduction to Redstone

If you have spent any length of time within the Minecraft world, you will be familiar with the common mineral, redstone. Redstone is the “wiring” in Minecraft used to connect one contraption to another, your power source within the game.

How do you get it? Naturally, of course! You can mine for redstone ore underground as with most materials in Minecraft. That ore will turn into redstone upon breaking it with an iron pickaxe or better. However, you can also acquire it from killing a witch, looting a temple in the jungle, or trading with a villager.

Once you have your redstone in hand, you are ready to experiment with its’ possibilities. At the most basic level of gameplay, if you need a little portable light within the game, all it takes is redstone and a stick to craft a redstone torch. Want to provide constant light to your Minecraft home? Combine redstone and glowstone to make a lamp, keeping the darkness at bay… and all of the creatures that come with it.

Redstone is used for powering various sorts of gadgets. You’ll want to be familiar with several fundamental items. In the trigger category you find buttons and levers, as well as pressure plates. Buttons send a redstone signal upon being pressed, while levers function more like light switches. A pressure plate each side of a door can allow it to open as you enter and then close behind you, triggered by your weight as you step on and off again.

Two kinds of pistons also exist in the Minecraft world: regular and sticky. Regular pistons push a block one step forward and then leaves it there, whereas sticky pistons attach to the block and can thus push or pull it. You can use those to make doors, elevators, secret entrances and so on.

Repeaters, as you might guess, repeat the redstone signal: one placed after the first fifteen blocks of redstone will extend your signal’s reach for another fifteen blocks.

So, what can you do with all of these buttons, levers, pressure plates, pistons and repeaters? The sky is literally the limit. You might decide to make piston-controlled waterfalls, secret trapdoors, music machines, clocks, and even rollercoasters. If you want to get really fancy, try assembling a number of gadgets and contraptions into a Rube Goldberg Machine. Feeling lazy? Redstone can even power up automatic farming and mining machines as well.

Redstone can also enhance the brewing of potions. Combining redstone dust and a water bottle will give you the Mundane Potion, while adding the dust to a number of other potions (e.g. Potion of Night Vision, Water Breathing, or Invisibility) will increase their duration.

As you can see, redstone will provide the power source for many of your Minecraft creations and adventures. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination!

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Getting a Job As a Game Tester

For those who were born in the late eighties and early nineties, you’ve probably dreamed of getting a job as a game tester, especially when you were younger. The birth of the computer during this era could have influenced that way of thinking. Also, the opportunity and privilege of playing video games to earn money doesn’t even seem like a hectic job at all. In fact, it’s like the perfect employment opportunity for most. Just think about it, don’t you want to earn while doing something you love?

Though, just like what they always say, not everything in the garden is rosy, and that applies on game tester jobs too.

So, if you’re here because you’re thinking of being a game tester, it’s important to be aware of the real deal– not personal fantasies, myths, and what you want to believe in. With that, here are some of the rarely discussed facts about game tester jobs:

1) Your experience in playing video games is just a small component.

In order to get through this field, it’s important to have a formal training and continuous experience related to game testing. If you’re thinking that the experience you’ve gained in playing video games will be more than enough and can help you become successful, you’re wrong.

The experience you get from playing has some value, but game testing is more than that. Thus, this is an introduction that will give you an idea on what you’re supposed to do.

2) Your ability will define you.

As a game tester, you should be capable of performing your job efficiently. Your long list of accomplishments way back in college, or being a programming whiz at the age of 15, would mean nothing to your superiors. Why? Even if you’re a programming genius at the age of 12, this doesn’t mean that you also have the skills needed to track down the bugs in a game.

In this situation, if you want to prove yourself, you must show your superiors that you are capable of pinpointing the bugs that may arise within a specific segment of the game.

Likewise, don’t expect that you’ll be assigned to the whole game. Instead, you’ll have to deal with a certain segment that you must work on and observe if there are any bugs on this segment. This is how you’re going to be scrutinized.

3) A certificate says a lot.

If you’re really determined to work as a game tester, then it’s advisable to take courses related to it– so that you’ll have something to support your ability once your apply. You cannot impress the employers by simply telling them that you’ve spent half of your life reading books about game testing. The harsh reality is that, no one will even pay attention to that, and even if it’s true that you really did, there’s still a high chance that you’ll go home feeling rejected and incapable.

So, as a precautionary measure, be prepared.

4) Being a professional is not enough.

Lastly, if you’re really determined in making your superiors impressed, here’s what you should do: Aside from being a professional game tester, you must also convince them that you have a true passion for video games. This will help you rise in ranks as a game tester.

Overall, being a game tester is not really a promising job, especially in video game production. For one, the supply in this position is quite high, that if someone resigns or gets fired, finding a replacement will not even take a week. So, if you’re really dreaming of standing above the rest, better show your everyone, especially your superiors, that you’re more than just an average game tester.