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Adventures in Minecraft Paperback – Illustrated, November 6, 2017
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From the Back Cover
Learn valuable programming skills while building your own Minecraft adventure!
If you love playing Minecraft and want to learn how to code and create your own mods, this book was designed just for you. Working within the game itself, you'll learn to set up and run your own local Minecraft server, interact with the game on PC, Mac and Raspberry Pi, and develop Python programming skills that apply way beyond Minecraft. You'll learn how to use coordinates, how to change the player's position, how to create and delete blocks and how to check when a block has been hit.
The adventures aren't limited to the virtual―you'll also learn how to connect Minecraft to a BBC micro:bit so your Minecraft world can sense and control objects in the real world! The companion website gives you access to tutorial videos to make sure you understand the book, starter kits to make setup simple, completed code files, and badges to collect for your accomplishments. Written specifically for young people by professional Minecraft geeks, this fun, easy-to-follow guide helps you expand Minecraft for more exciting adventures and put your personal stamp on the world you create. Your own Minecraft world will be unlike anyone else's on the planet, and you'll pick up programming skills that will serve you for years to come on other devices and projects. Among other things, you will:
- Write Minecraft programs in Python® on your Mac®, PC or Raspberry Pi®
- Build houses, structures, and make a 3D duplicating machine
- Build intelligent objects and program an alien invasion
- Build huge 2D and 3D structures like spheres and pyramids
- Build a custom game controller using a BBC micro:bit™
- Plan and write a complete interactive arena game
Adventures in Minecraft teaches you how to make your favourite game even better, while you learn to program by customizing your Minecraft journey.
About the Author
Martin O'Hanlon (Birmingham, UK) describes himself as a professional geek and amateur snowboarder. Martin blogs about technology, Minecraft and Raspberry Pi at stuffaboutco.de.
David Whale (Essex, UK) is a professional software engineer. He regularly volunteers for The Institution of Engineering and Technology, which provides support at many schools, public workshops and tech camps.
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Top international reviews
The book teaches the Python programming language building knowledge of the program in stages. You have to download and buy Minecraft first of all (Cost me £17.99 at time of writing) and download and install Python as well; I didn't find the process easy. It is also difficult to get the program to running with Microsoft Edge. ( I had to reinstall Java on my laptop as that is a requirement of running the program).
The book introduces the Python programming language in a sereis of self contained 'adventures'. Every chapter of the book is a different adventure and the authors advise to go through them in order to build up programming knowledge.
The first adventure shows you how to download everything you need and starts by writing your first program called "Hello Minecraft World". Then it tells you that its time to test it and says that "Hello Minecraft World" is now displayed in chat! But the authors don't realise that a total beginner has no idea where 'chat' is. I have looked all over and still can't find it so I don't know if the program is running correctly or not. (makes me feel like a real dummy!)
The first three adventures are supposed to be written for complete beginners (I still had a problem with them) There is a companion website to find a starter kits that you need to start programming and the book says that video tutorials can be found there but I searched and couldn't find any.
I am disapointed that the authors are so knowledgeable in the Python and Minecraft programming that they have forgotten that absolute beginners need to have everything explained to them in clear and consise language (With pictures if possible especially for grumpy OAP's like me). My 13 year old grandson is going to take the book and try to create his own Minecraft world (without my input. He will probably be better at it than me).
I write (boring grown-up) software as part of my job so I already get the concepts behind what’s going on, but I wouldn’t want to use this as a “first programming book”- there are much better books for kids out there that will introduce them to the ideas behind things like variables, loops, and so on, in a simpler and more accessible way. There’s only a little of that introduction-to-concept stuff, and by necessity some of it is complex- for example skipping any of the usual 2D ‘x’ and ‘y’ concepts since Minecraft is of course 3D and it’s necessary to bring ‘z’ into it straight away. Thankfully there’s a very high proportion of screenshots and diagrams, which is much more understandable than text blocks- but there’s no getting away from the necessity of code blocks, of course.
But what it has in its favour instead, of course, is that it’s about Minecraft. Children who already understand the world of Minecraft and how it operates, and who might relish the idea of being able to control their Minecraft worlds in a very powerful way, will have the enthusiasm about it to really want to get stuck in and understand it properly. Potentially it might appeal much much more to them than some dry stuffy “hello world” program, or the usual 2D character-on-a-flat-screen stuff you get with Scratch which never quite lives up to the 3D game environments they’re already used to playing in.
There are instructions for getting started using your Raspberry Pi, which can be extended to any Linux users pretty much, and instructions for Windows and Mac which revolve around installing the Python IDLE. Out of necessity this is probably the most complex section of the book, and it’s unfortunately necessary to go through a bit of brain-scratching to get this set up in the first place, before you can really properly engage with coding within Minecraft. Even though the instructions are clear and well illustrated, for younger kids, I’d recommend that the grown-ups do chapter 1 first and only bring their kids into being involved from chapter 2 on.
Don’t do what I did and underestimate the age range that this book would be suitable for, but if you’ve got a teen who’s already comfortable with a bunch of programming concepts and is really into Minecraft, this could be the winning combination you’re after, and it will definitely provide valuable skills if it helps them get a really strong coding skill in their head.
To be honest, this was beyond me and my daughter was also quite wary of attempting it. However, with the addition of my thirteen year old son, we tackled the book together. The book itself is very well laid out, with lots of advice on what you need for the projects, details of the companion website and other sources of help. There are things to download, so you need space on your PC, plenty of time when you won’t be interrupted and calm. It helps to have some experience in computer coding, however basic, or someone that can advice you. We muddled through the first two adventures and are keen to do more, but need a break before tackling more.
Overall, this is a very interesting book. It is fairly easy to follow, but some experience is useful, as the steps are quite complicated at times and can be frustrating. Still, this is certainly educational and different, but I am not sure I would buy it for under 10’s, unless they are very confident with computers.
Note: if you have a Raspberry Pi you will find both Minecraft Pi Edition and Python already available and installed on it and you won't have to buy Minecraft.
I will have to quote from the cover what the book is about because explanations are going right over my head. You can:
1) Write Minecraft progs in Python on your Mac, PC or Raspberry Pi.
2) Build houses, structures and make a 3D duplicating machine
3) Build intelligent objects and program an alien invasion
4)Build huge 2D & 3D structures like spheres and pyramids
5)Build a custom game controller using a BBC micro:bit
6)Plan and write a complete interactive arena game
The book is a quality paperback with colour illustrations and clear step by step instructions and will be great fun for Minecraft fans--although maybe not as young as 8 years as suggested. It's all too young for me, sadly.
This book attempts to teach coding - computer programming - using Minecraft as the hook. That means it's a proper grown-up coding book for children aged 11 and over who are interested in Minecraft. I make that clear at the outset because the "Adventures in Minecraft" title might make someone grab the book in a hurry thinking it will appeal to younger children when really it is likely to be too advanced for them. That said, the concept is good: tap into a child's existing love of Minecraft to get them to learn the exceptionally useful skill of being able to write computer programmes. The book is laid out clearly and covers the chosen topics in great detail and the incentive to push through the hard work of understanding how to write computer programmes is provided by the Minecraft theme.
For sale at the time of writing this review at £13.78 (RRP £14.99).
Young Minecraft fans are likely to find being able to manipulate a Minecraft environment a much more rewarding outcome of their programming efforts than some other educational programming packages.
We still need to work on becoming more familiar with basic programming, but hope to get stuck in to Minecraft programming in the future, with this book as a guide. It seems well-structured and set out.
If your children like Minecraft and If you want them to get into programming there is no better book than this one.
This really isn;t a mindcrat book, this is a Python book based on Minecraft.
The steps to get the python proraming environment running are very simple.
The book explaing basics of Python throught Minecraft so kids don't feel they are actually learning a programming language.
It's all very playful, easy to follow and fun.
My 11 year old son and I have spent hours wiriting small Python codes to build generic house and populating whole villages with them!
He did not want to touch programing and did not like Computer Sience at school - all is changed now!
Superb! I cannot say more - simply superb!
A good introduction to programming, made more relevant by the fact that you see the results yourself in a game that you play. Four stars.
You also need Python but that is a free download.
It's a good book though and could well entice kids into learning programming on the back of their attachment to Minecraft. But I wouldn't count on it; buy it if your child has shown an interest in programming already because this will give them something "real" to do with that interest.