Threat Meter Gauges Risk of Creeper-Assisted Suicide

If you’ve played even just a few minutes of Minecraft, you know what a creeper is. For those not familiar with the wildly popular sandbox game, a creeper is a monster that creeps along silently until it’s close to a player, whereupon it self-destructs by exploding. Sometimes it kills the player outright, and other times the explosion blows them into lava or off a cliff, or off a cliff and then into lava. Creepers have no friends.

But now there’s a way to avoid creeper attacks, or at least get a little heads up that these green nasties are lurking about. With [John Allwine]’s creeper detector, Minecraft players can get a real-world indicator of the current in-game creeper threat. The hardware end is simple enough — it’s just a SparkFun RedBoard and a small strip of Neopixels in a laser-cut plywood case. The LEDs lie behind a piece of etched acrylic to diffuse their glow — extra points for the creeper pattern in the lens. The detector talks over USB to a Minecraft mod that [John] wrote to interface the game with the real world. The closer a creeper gets to the player, the brighter the light. — and when it flashes, watch out. See it in action in the video below, if you can stomach watching someone dig straight down. Never dig straight down.

If interfacing the Minecraft world and the real world sounds familiar, maybe it’s because we featured [John]’s SerialCraft mod a while back and admired the potential for using Minecraft as a gateway for getting kids into hardware hacking. We agree that this is a great project to work on with kids, but we may just order the parts to do it for our own Minecraft world. Creeper hate isn’t just for kids.

21 thoughts on “Threat Meter Gauges Risk of Creeper-Assisted Suicide

  1. Got to agree with you. I never got into mindcraft for the same reason. The graphics look crap. Just worth me getting a 30 year old Commodore 64 out with better graphics. Don’t see the point in having a power pc to play a game with these graphics. Sorry I just don’t. My boy plays it and I think it looks horrible.

      1. What’s that mean ? Yes I have used the c64 that’s what got me into computers and programming all them years ago. I was only saying that the graphics on Minecraft look 8bit and if I wanted to play 8bit looking graphics I would rather use a c64 then a power pc that is design To run high res games. This is the point of having comments so you can share and see if people can put back better points on something to see if you see it in a difference way or if your misunderstanding things. You not use a computer and for the rest it’s no lost.

        1. The point is that if you think any “8bit” machine is capable of rendering Minecraft, then you either aren’t as experienced with them as you claim or are simply trying to stir up controversy in the comments.

          Minecraft is intentionally designed to have a blocky “retro” look, but it’s far beyond the capabilities of any hardware from that era to actually run it.

          1. Yeah I know mindcraft is not a 8bit game but that’s what the game reminds me of and I don’t think that’s great. I don’t pay out shit loads of money on a power pc just to see a game like this running on it. People on here are so full of it if you disagree with something. Mindcraft is crap but if you like it then good for you. Don’t care what people say the game looks like a old 8bit game of blocks plus it’s boring too.

    1. Are… Are you trolling, or did you just wake up from over a decade of sleep? Macs haven’t used Power PC CPUs in over a decade, and Minecraft’s graphics and a C64 don’t even come close to comparable…

        1. I though wonder how they managed to contain the typical render distance that is used within Minecraft. This being roughly 7 million blocks, each one with a handful of bytes of information, so in total, around 50-100 MB of RAM would just be needed to even remember the blocks in the current location, not to mention everything else…

          Seems the C64 might have a hard time doing that with its 64 KB memory.

  2. Guys, It’s not about the graphics…. I think this MOD is great ! I play Minecraft with my kids and I think this would have saved us many times. Nothing like the unknown instant death from a creeper explosion. When will we ever learn “Don’t mine at night !” Might just have to build this to impress the kids.

    1. There are games with relative poor graphics I like. But this is so horrid and depressing..
      And its a pity if the gameplay would appeal more to many people, if so many would not be turned off by its graphics.
      But in the end it doesn’t matter since there are so many people who really love MC as it is, and who can complain when millions have genuine fun? Innocent fun too. (where we will ignore the MC griefers for this discussion, those will show up at any noticeable gathering where people enjoy themselves and don’t count.)

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