Recently another thread about books popped-up, so I feel the need to revive the discussion that lies herein.
A summary of the discussion so far:
This thread outlines a proposal to add the written word to Minecraft in the form of user-editable books.
Addition of books is important to add a narrative to adventure mode as well as for enabling the keeping of journals of your travels, manuals of your contraptions and maps of your world. Besides user-editable content, specific predefined books can be added such as tutorials, crafting recipes and player and game statistics (e.g. blocks mined, zombies killed and similar).
In my own opinion, any book should consist of multiple pages. When reading, two pages are shown at a time with curls to go to the previous and next pages. Each page contains either text or a picture, but never both. Naturally, books contain a mixture of pictures and text on different pages. This allows e.g. one page to show a picture of the world, a machine or custom image and the other page to annotate it. Screenshot taken by (F1+F2) can be placed as picture content, but any picture of the right format can be used as well as long as it is placed in the right location (this facilitates beautiful hand-drawn book pages for adventure mode).
The content of books themselves should probably be stored independent of a specific game world as you might want to download or copy books from friends or Minecraft gurus to add to your own collection. Furthermore, you wouldn't want to retype your manuals in each and every world you create. To make collecting books easier there should be a mechanism to add, remove and print books from a players collection. A printing press is likely the proper tool to utilize for this.
Aside from gameplay practicality there is a technical reason as well for storing books like this. Book content is way too large to store in metadata fields of blocks and items and you do not want to duplicate it. By storing books separetely a much shorter reference can be used instead. Book content probably need to be stored locally for each player as well as per server. How to properly handle references (uniqueness) and book download is a non-trivial problem to be solved (perhaps a lazy download is best, i.e. download & cache on read).
Solutions which are consistent with the current way Minecraft functions and which introduce as few new concepts as possible are to be preferred. Hence, books and bookshelves will remain unchanged. Each bookshelf will act as a container for a fixed number of non-stacked books (e.g. 3). A newly created bookshelf will contain three empty books, which are identical to the books currently in the game.
To change content of books, an ink and quill needs to be crafted. This is done by combining a feather, ink sack and optionally a wooden bowl. Recipe:
Now there are three main options for the mechanics:
a) Books can be placed on the ground as blocks (like cake) and will look like an opened book (also nice for decorative purposes). While placed, a book can be read by right-clicking it and edited by using the ink and quill on it. Edited books do not stack unless they are identical (i.e. have the same reference).
The ink and quill will consume some ink for each usage similar to the current flint and steel. Each use of the ink and quill will allow editing until the interface is closed. Another possibility is to limit editing to a maximum number of pages, but I believe simplicity is to be preferred.
b) Any written book can be opened by using it (right-clicking) while it is selected as active item. Any book combined with an ink and quill consumes the ink and quill and adds an ink-level to the book. When the book has a positive level of ink an edit button is available at the top of each page which allows changing of the content of that page and consumes some ink each time it is clicked. Reading will always be possible.
c) A combination of the previous approaches. Any open book can be crafted into a closed book and vice versa. Open books behave exactly as described in a. Closed books can be read as in b, but not written.
The community needs to select the preferred approach or provide an alternative.
Sometimes the need for copying of books arises. To this end a printing press can be crafted. The basic functionality of the printing press is to copy the content of a written book to one or more empty books.
The printing press interface is similar to a furnace. It takes ink for fuel which copies 1 book per ink sack. It further has two slots. One slot takes (a stack) of written book(s) (only identical ones stack) and the other slot a (stack of) empty book(s). A progress arrow similar to the furnace will fill, consuming and empty book and an ink sack and adding a book to the stack of written books.
There are several open issues which still need to be resolved. First, a proper interface for editing the book content is required. This holds for selecting a picture from the screenshot directory to show on a page, as well as the text editing interface. Should simple markup be allowed (bold, italic, underline) and if so, what kind of syntax would be used for this (Wiki format)?
Second, an interface is required for adding/removing/printing books from your local collection (You don't want to store each book you encounter but only the good ones). This would probably best fit with the printing press, but the proper way eludes me at this point.
Third, the optimal mechanic of the ones described above need to be selected or improved upon.
Next, some people mentioned the idea of having an in-game picture editor or map drawing tool. While I personally am against it for the sake of simplicity the idea has some merit. I prefer to take screenshots from a high vantage point or import cartograph images or other external pictures).
Finally, the predefined books (if any) and their content and recipes need to be identified more precisely. A proposal for this can be found in the better books thread.
I still feel strongly that this idea deserves to be considered seriously by the team. Please add to the ideas described and show your support. Apologies for the wall of text, but we are discussing books
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This would be great to have, especially if you could make maps and other sketches in them. The printing press thing would also be neat to have, but it should be difficult and expensive to craft, since it gives such a huge improvement over copying books by hand.
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"They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea."
Sir Francis Bacon
I think writing down recipes is wrong, it takes the challenge of finding new stuff out of the game, and kind of to easy.
Writing down made up, or not made up, stories of adventures sounds awesome to me, or find in dungeon chest books written by the programmer/somebody else and just added by the programmer too.
I don't really see the point in mapping. When you can't find the way to somewhere build torches along the way or mark it with something. or build a compass and orientate yourself from your spawn point. or orientate yourself on landmarks like houses, mountains, lava pits, creep spawner etc.
And if all that doesn't help write a was description on a sign and place it at a place you don't loose, like your spawn point.
I like the idea of having a book with my statistics. But how would you set it up so that everyone has one. When I die really often I wouldn't want other people to see it, so I don't make a book. And if I have a Book I gonna hide it in a chest. lock it in an obsidian room. flood it with lava and place traps around it.
You could write "quests" in books. So someone is setting some kind of dungeon/level up and writing a description to it in a book. Than hide the book somewhere and when someone finds it he can go and find the promised treasure in the end. If there really is one depends on the guy who has written it and if someone was there before. But you could also write it on a sign, but in a book it would more fun
But I think all this is making the game a little to complex
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"Die vernuenftigen Menschen passen sich der Welt an
Die unvernuenftigen versuchen sie zu veraendern
Deshalb haengt jeder Fortschritt von den unvernuenftigen ab"
You could also have it show stats, such as:
Blocks Placed -
Times Killed -
Arrows Shot -
Total Hearts Lost -
But if not that, it just sounds like a good idea to chronicle your adventure, especially going back to read the very first entries after a very long time.
Stats is a good idea. It could look like this...
Mobs killed: -
Creepers killed: -
Wolves tamed: -
Blocks placed: -
Blocks removed: -
Items crafted: -
Players killed: -
Diamonds mined: -
Dungeons found: -
Times killed: -
Spider Jockeys found: -
Obsidian mined: -
Times suffocated: - (This does not mean that they died of suffocation)
Seeds found: -
Crops harvested: -
Gold mined: -
Blocks burned with flint and steel: -
I'll write some more later, gotta go. Oh, here's the last one...
Times they helped a player: -
Now think about it. Have you?
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I have a Youtube channel! Go visit SappedIntelligence on Youtube and watch a video.
I think being able to read books would be very helpful in the MineCraft custom maps. I have been watching The Yogscast Minecraft videos and from time to time they do a custom map. Many of them come with notes and when you find a sign that says read note 01, 02 ect, you need to tab out and read the note.
when i created this thread, god only knows how long ago expected a couple responses and then death of this thread. but now seeing this makes me ecstatic we need to keep this going and get all the amazing things this thread contains put into minecraft.
now thats outta the way...
maybe adding the maps we can make using compasses into books somehow...