My country, your country – Week 9

One of Minecraft’s greatest features is the constant update and upgrade of the game and its tools coming directly from the developers working at Mojang. These updates keep the game always fresh and introduce new ways to interact with the world and the other players. Our students are always super excited when even the simplest of updates arrives because they know that something will work better, in a different and unique way. That is why they usually update the game as soon as a newer version is available (some of them even have the game configured to automatically update whenever possible).

On the other hand, this makes our work as server administrators that much more complicated because the server has to always correspond with the game’s version in order to be playable. Until now it was enough to update the .phar file of the server with the latest version (Phar being the archive file used to distribute our application) and the server would be playable. But just like Minecraft, Pocketmine has come a long way too, and in order for Pocketmine to accompany all the features offered by the game it had to receive a complete overhaul.  At some point during the last week Minecraft PE received an update so important that Pocketmine could not accompany anymore using the current PHP5 protocol (PHP being the scripting language used to communicate with the web servers) and had to be updated to the latest PHP7 version. This new protocol would eventually make the server much more stable and make available all the tools and features of the original game to the users. But for this to happen we had to reinstall Pocketmine, re-configure the server properties and update all existing plugins, which in turn had us searching for compatible versions of our plugins all over the internet and the forums. Eventually we were able to get everything working with the latest version (with new warp points, since the previous ones were deleted from the update) and after testing the server it was obvious that the whole system was much more stable and stronger, with the world rendering faster and smoother.

Unfortunately the EssentialsTP plugin that allowed users to warp to different points, even though it was working for the OP, it was not available for use by the students, This meant that for the time being they had to travel from one area to the other on foot, and we had to arrange for a new one as soon as possible. Nevertheless, even without fast travel options, the students still managed to produce a lot of work.

In Sagres, the southwest point of our world, the lighthouse was completed and it was observed during nightfall to see how it worked.

There is something magical about lighthouses shining in the night, even in Minecraft.
From dusk till dawn, the lighthouse endures.

The Alentejo area was expanded significantly with the help of the new students, now reaching Sagres and all the way up to Lisbon.

Not much longer now before this region comes to life.

In Lisbon, the 25 of April bridge was connected to the highways leading to the city and beyond, while to the east of the capital a mountain was being raised.

Still missing a very crucial part, the never-ending traffic jam.
That is one big block of  dirt.

Although the students did manage to work very well this week, it became obvious that the ability to warp around the world is a very important one, making the search for a functioning plugin a priority for next week.


My country, your country – Week 9

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