Aren’t weekends supposed to be relaxing?

What I’d intended today was to spend a few hours in a relaxing game of Minecraft with the nephews.  What it turned into was a frustrating afternoon struggling to get the server to play nice.  Still, it was a lot of fun for the first hour or so, until the server crashed…

Nephew #1 had spent most of the last year building a massive castle on the server – tens of thousands of blocks, and I’d hate to think how many hours of work.  But now that it was finished, he was bored with it, so he suggested that we stage a battle, with Nephew #2 and I attacking the castle and attempting to destroy it, and him defending it.  So we set a date for our epic battle, and Nephew #2 and I prepared by making as much TNT as possible (which is a slow and difficult job – you get gunpowder for the TNT by killing creepers (one of the most dangerous types of monsters in the game), and you have to kill a *lot* of them to get enough gunpowder for each single piece of TNT – all while trying not to get killed yourself) so we could blow a hole in the castle walls.  Between us we managed some pretty epic explosions which knocked a nice big hole in the wall, through which we stormed the castle and won the day.

But the castle was far from destroyed – the front wall had a big hole, but the rest of it was intact.  And Nephew #1 really did want to turn it into a ruin.  So, as we’d been having so much fun blowing things up, I used my secret admin powers to magic in a bit more TNT… just a few hundred pieces each 🙂   That was a huge amount of fun – we produced some pretty epic explosions, and there wasn’t much left of the castle when we were finished with it!

Unfortunately, we didn’t get much time to appreciate the ruins we’d created – not long after that, the server crashed.  Very badly.  So I spent the next several hours trying to get it up and running again.  It was a very frustrating process, because I don’t really know a lot about server admin, so it was a case of trying to guess which of the many error messages that were popping up was the relevant one, sticking it in to Google to see if anyone else had encountered the same error, try the fixes they suggested, ring the kids to tell them to try logging on again (because they were seeing different problems than I was, so we needed to test it at both ends), discover the problem is still not fixed, go back to step one and try again…  Eventually I came to the conclusion that our only options were to either restore the world from a backup I’d made two weeks ago (so lose everything that had been done over that time, including the destruction of the castle), or scrap the world entirely and start again with a new one.  The kids voted to start a new world, so then I just had to try and convince the server to do that, which proved remarkably difficult – for some reason, the old world just didn’t want to delete, and kept overwriting the new world I was trying to put in its place.

But eventually, another hair-tearing half hour or so later, I finally got it working, and we were able to have a quick game in our new world.  By which time I was so tired I really didn’t feel like playing anyway…  I was kind of relieved when I got a message from Mum to say that it was time for the kids to stop playing and go home for their dinner (they’d been playing at her house, because she’s got a better computer).

So yeah, not the most relaxing way to spend the day!