As the father of a 10-year-old boy, I am constantly learning new things about the world around me. For example, I learned these trivia facts from him:
- Only the most highly skilled monster truck drivers can earn the Double Down Award (for winning both the racing and freestyle events in a single show).
- The state of Texas gets the most tornadoes in the U.S., with an average of 150 per year, while Oklahoma and Alabama have had the most F5 twisters since 1950 (7 each).
- Justin Bieber is reasonably talented, but he gets far more radio airplay than he deserves.
And in the world of video games, one champion reigns supreme: Minecraft. No doubt many of you (with or without kids) are familiar with this hugely popular block-manipulation adventure game, which has sold more than 70 million copies since Markus “Notch” Persson first released the beta in 2009. And it has inspired hundreds of thousands of people (many of them kids and teens) to learn Java™ programming so that they can develop Minecraft extensions.
Naturally, when a program inspires so many people (and even 10-year-olds, no less!) to acquire Java skills, we’re going to pay attention and see how we can provide supporting resources – which is why we rolled out a four-part tutorial series, “Minecraft and Bluemix.”
Authors Kyle Brown, Joseph Kozhaya, and Srinivas Cheemalapati show you how to develop, extend, and host your own Minecraft servers using Docker, Eclipse, and Bluemix®. You’ll also learn how to build Minecraft plugins, test them locally using Docker, and use Bluemix to host Docker containers on the Internet.
You can also find out how to connect to IBM Watson™ from Minecraft to add greater depth to your game play.
Here’s how we divided up the series:
- Part 1 — Set up your local Minecraft and Docker development environment, and see the power of Docker for building custom servers for Minecraft.
- Part 2 — Set up your local development environment in Eclipse, then develop, build, and export your own server-side Minecraft plugin into a local Docker image.
- Part 3 — Deploy Docker images to Bluemix and run them as Docker containers that are accessible through the cloud.
- Part 4 — Extend the Spigot server with a plugin that uses Watson cognitive services to add a little science to your game play.
Okay, so my son isn’t quite ready to take his coding skills to that level, but if you’re reading this I’m guessing you might see this as a fun development challenge. Because anything that has to do with Minecraft is, in the words of someone I know, “totally sick.” (And yes, that’s good.)
Learn more about Minecraft and gaming:
- Visit Cognitive Computing’s page on Minecraft for more info on IBM and games.
- Enterprise games and gamification with Bluemix
- Read about David Conover’s experiences teaching game-based learning to high school students
- IBM and Medical Minecraft