Thursday, January 31, 2013

Minecraft, ComputerCraft and CreateSpace Self-Publishing

I have just finished a project with my son Matthew. We started it as something to do in the Christmas holidays. We decided to write a book on the Minecraft mod ComputerCraft. This extension to Minecraft allows you to do all sorts of really cool things with Computer Blocks within your Mincreaft world. These computer blocks can be programmed in the Lua language and can control things that move or lightup in the Minecraft world.

You can have computers, external monitors and you can even have wireless modems attached to your computers to build networks. There are also mobile computers, that you can also program, then send off to do your bidding, or even remote control from a panel of buttons (one of our projects).

We also made a project that uses the Twitter API to listen for Tweets for you and then carry out some action in your Minecraft world to signal the arrival of the Tweet that you can then go and read on your computer screen. Another project was a Morse code translator.

Having made some interesting projects, we wrapped it up into a book using the Amazon CreateSpace self-publishing platform. This was very easy to use, you even get an ISBN for free. The book is published as Print On Demand from Amazon, which means that when someone orders one it gets printed and a cover put on it. Even in full color, the price is pretty low.

We also made a separate version for Kindle - the files are automatically 'converted' for use on Kindle, from the same PDF that you upload to CreateSpace, but we found that the conversion did not really work and I reformatted it specifically for Kindle.

The book versions both go live almost instantly, despite dialogs warning you that it might take a week.

Anyway - if you are interested in the book, then you can buy it here. It is available as color (paperback) and Kindle, on most of Amazon's territories.

About the Author
These are my books. Click on the image below to find out more about them.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think your son is pretty lucky :) I was just saying today to my girlfriend that sometimes I wish I had been born 15-20 years later!

Also, CC is amazing, and perfectly demonstrates what an awesome environment Minecraft is and how many creative geniusses are out there in the world.

I've followed the opposite route and have come from MC modding and am now looking at Raspberry Pi/Arduino and some real life modding, which is how I ended up on your site. Imagine my surprise when the first new blog entry I see is about Minecraft! :)