My country, your country – Week 6

Lag. The bane of modern online gaming.

By definition, lag is a noticeable delay between the action of players and the reaction of the server in a video game. This can be caused by high latency or insufficient processing power from the source. In our case, lag was a way the server was letting us know that the version we were running was not stable, thus making gameplay and even login impossible.

At first we thought that the server was lagging because of the water blocks placed in the south of the world to create the ocean. Since water blocks actually contain movement and physics, we kind of assumed that too many of them could eventually slow down the server to a point that it becomes unresponsive. So we asked for only a handful of students to login to the server (since all of them at the same time was totally impossible) and remove all the water blocks placed in the ocean, in the hopes of recovering some of the memory we needed to all login and resume work.

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Filling a place with water is a very easy task. Removing that water though is torture.

Unfortunately that did not solve the lag problem not even a bit, which meant that we had to urgently search for an updated stable version of a PocketMine server. After an hour of research we finally had a new version installed, better and more stable than any other version we had so far. This was immediately noticed by everyone because the world now would render in a transition effect, just like it did in the very first version of the server six weeks ago. Needless to say, this stability gave the students a massive boost of confidence and enthusiasm and everyone were back to building in no time.

The Castle of Guimarães was completed and the group responsible for it moved straight on to new projects. It was now standing proud as the first monument a player would find when visiting the North.

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The Castle of Guimarães in all its medieval glory.

In Lisbon, a group of students began building the city’s most recognizable construction, the 25 of April Bridge, that connects the capital to the municipality of Almada on the left bank of the Tejo river. Another group decided that it was important to start connecting all the cities and regions with highways, adding another layer of realism to the world.

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The 25 of April Bridge with its distinctive reddish coloring.
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The lower deck train tracks under the bridge that carry passengers over the Tagus River.
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Roads and cars give the capital city an even more urban feel.
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Eventually the whole country will be connected via (no-toll!) highways.

One of the many advantages that the latest server version brought to our world is the ability to render the world in a very long distance. This made it possible for us to take beautiful aerial pictures of the map, as well as enjoy the view from a higher area point.

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The view from the top of the Cristo Rei Sanctuary is as stunning in Minecraft PE as it is in real life.

For the first time in three weeks we were able to conclude our work and feel confident that our server could handle it without any issues. Week 7 could not come soon enough!

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My country, your country – Week 6

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