My son was off work tonight which meant it was time to play Minecraft again. We've been exploring this massive underground cavern that has yielded nearly 10 stacks of coal, 6 stacks of iron ore, and a whole bunch of gold and diamonds. We stripped off what we could carry, not at all guilty with what we took since there was so much left behind. I find that when I'm playing Minecraft, not only am I looking at what I'm doing, thinking about what I still need to do...I also consider other possibilities such as what I'd like to see added to the game.

Don't get me wrong, I think the game is amazing as it is, but I've always been a fan of those blogs that offer up recommendations to make a particular game better in future updates or sequels. I've never really done that until Minecraft. Truth be told, most of my ideas are borrowed from a game that is very similar to Minecraft, and that's Sim City. Funny, they are both games that people thought would never be successful because, "who wants to sit around and just build stuff?" Clearly a ton of people want to. I know I do.

I've only recently started playing Minecraft on the PC, and it's my understanding there are a ton of mods that greatly expand the capabilities, but I've never seen any of them and don't know what they include. So if I suggest something that already exists, please feel free to let me know and I'll check it out.

Anyway...the first feature I'd like to see is...

1. Natural Disasters

As frustrating as it was responding to it, I was always enamored with Sim City's natural disasters that would wreak havoc on your cityscape. And as protective as I am with my property in Minecraft, how cool would it be if a hurricane, earthquake or landslide randomly threatened your structures (or the landscape in general). I suppose the way I envision this is as follows: I always seem to climb the tallest mountain and build some sort of keep at the top, right on the edge. It would be interesting to wake up and find that an earthquake cracked the foundation of my castle and my great hall is now two much smaller halls separated by a big gap that opened up in the night. Or perhaps a mudslide, which seems like it would be fairly easy to incorporate. Imagine if a fair portion of dirt blocks dropped like the sand and gravel blocks do...and anything above them dropped down too. A sink hole could open up and swallow your whole building. Man, wouldn't that be something.

2. Pre-Fabricated Structures

I enjoy constructing buildings from scratch, but I've seen what some users build and am fascinated with their artistic talent. For those of us who aren't as gifted with the eye of an artist or hand of an architect, how about a selection of pre-fabricated structures. Click a button and a menu pops up - select what you want to build and as long as you have the pre-requisite components, it is available for you to construct. With it selected, move it around on the site location and once you have it where you want it, click the button and it is constructed. I'd like to see houses, castles, bridges, mine cart trestles, pirate ships, and everything else under the sun. Part of the joy of the game is obviously building these things from scratch, but I wouldn't mind a utility that helps me build a small village in no time, instead of me building each unit brick by brick. Think of the real time strategy games that use pre-fab units, and add it to Minecraft. Or better yet, like Halo's map editor.

3. Smaller Blocks

The blocks in Minecraft remind me of kindergarten crayons. You know, the big thick chunky ones. When you're a kid, you don't mind. Heck, you don't even notice, because frankly, you don't care about staying in the lines. You don't even know what lines are. But when you get older and you care about staying in the lines, it's almost impossible with a big fat crayon. Once you get that new box though, filled with small, sharp tipped crayons, you cast the big fat crayons to the side and never use them again. That's kind of how I feel about Minecraft's block selection. If you could break the blocks down into quarters, I could stay in the lines so much easier when I build (and could build things that look a lot more lifelike).

4. Rapid Placement

I don't play in that free mode that gives you unlimited resources and the ability to hover. I play in the regular ole mode that has you do everything - you need cobblestone, mine it. You need food - hunt, fish or grow it. I don't mind any of the daily routine type functions, but when I'm building something massive, it would be kind of cool to have an ability to select a large area and place multiple blocks at once - sort of a drag and drop mode.

5. "Going to need a bigger boat"

Minecraft has boats. They are small one man boats that remind me of the boats Curious George built out of newspaper hats. They're about as durable as that. If you accidentally bump anything, they disintegrate. And if you're in the middle of the ocean that is literally the size of the Pacific, you have a lot of swimming to do. A lot. As far as things that float, I think this simple little boat is it. My Minecraft world is huge. It's like Earth in that most of the surface is covered in water. What a shame; what am I going to do with all that openness? Well, if wooden blocks could float, I could make a big boat and sail it around this world that is predominantly water. It could be powered much like the powered mine carts are.  I could use a dispenser to launch arrows, or heck...just make a new item - the cannon, some iron ore and a TNT. Yeah, that would work. I want a boat that really floats in my Minecraft, don't you?

Well, I'll leave it at five ideas. Besides, it's late...both in time and with me getting this posted and I have to work tomorrow.

P.S. Member Herding has been delivered and should be posted soon; I also have another surprise I am working on that I think a lot of you might be interested in. Stay tuned. Thanks for your continued support and have a great night.