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Welcome to the Access 2020 Minetest Info Pages

Author: John Durno
Last updated: October 10, 2020

Here you will find some basic information about the Access 2020 Minetest Server, with links out to more resources.

Access 2020 minetest world

What is Minetest?

Minetest is an open source Minecraft-like voxel 3D multiplayer game world. If you have ever played Minecraft, Minetest will be easy to pick up, as many of the controls and concepts are the same. If you would like more information about Minetest, a good place to start is the official web site, http://www.minetest.net. There is also an introductory tutorial on YouTube that is not terrible (part 1 and part 2).

What do I need to play?

A computer with a keyboard and some kind of pointing device is required - ideally, a 2-button mouse with a scroll wheel, but you can make do with trackpads, etc if you have to. You have to be able to install software on the computer, specifically the Minetest client program (see below for more on that). You also need an internet connection.

How do I connect?

First, you will need to download and install a recent version of Minetest on your computer. Instructions for how to do that are here. Important: You really ought to install version 5.3.0 or above. Earlier versions in the 5 series might work but cannot be guaranteed. Versions earlier than 5.0 will not work for sure.

Once you have installed Minetest, click on the tab that says "Join Game". Type in the server address and port, a name and the server password. (If you don't have the server address, port and password, please contact John Durno, jdurno@uvic.ca.) Note that the name is something you choose for yourself. It is how you will be identified in the game, so choose something you can live with. You don't have to choose a personally identifying name if you don't want to, but it might be nice so other conference attendees know who you are.

labelled image of Minetest login screen

If you find the server is unreachable on repeated attempts, you may want to confirm whether your network supports UDP traffic. Not all organizational networks do.

It's probably worth mentioning, as an official Access 2020 conference space, the Code of Conduct is in effect.

I'm in the game, now what?

Press Escape to bring up a menu. One of those options is "Change Password". Choose a new password for yourself. If you do not do this, it will be possible for other people to log in as you. Why they would want to do that, I am not sure.

You may want to choose an appearance for yourself rather than staying with the default player appearance. Type "I" to get into the inventory and click on the "Skins" tab. There are approximately 400 skins to choose from, downloaded from the Minetest skins database.

The first time you arrive in the game you appear on a wooden jetty near a train station. You can either proceed toward the train station to enter the main game world, or cross a wooden walkway to "Exploding Thing Island". Before you do either one, however, please review the basic commands and building instructions

You can board a train by right-clicking it. (Trains come every 15 seconds, so if you miss one, you won't have long to wait). Trains stop at several stations, and you can get off at any of them by right-clicking once the doors open. If you stay on the train eventually you will arrive back where you started.

Exploding Thing Island

"Exploding Thing" is a tongue in cheek reference to, of course, "Burning Man." The idea is that Access 2020 participants will collectively build something - a structure of some kind, doesn't have to be anthropomorphic. And at the end of the conference we will ceremoniously blow it up. "Exploding Thing Island," where this will happen, is easily accessible from the place where you first appear in game (The Landing), along a well-signposted wooden walkway. Anyone can build anything there, no restrictions.

"Exploding Thing Island" references two bits of Access history:

  1. The Lego table at Access 2009 in PEI, where folks could build random things during coffee and lunch breaks
  2. Roy Tennant's article Where Librarians Go To Hack, wherein Dan Chudnov compares the 2003 Hackfest to "Burning Man"

If you'd like to contribute to Exploding Thing, but don't know how, see Placing Blocks - A Quick Tutorial.

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