Drakcraft: Seal of the Great Lake
Darkcraft is my attempt at a Minecraft adventure
map. It is inspired by the fantastic visual design done in
The VictoriaVille Insane
Aslyum and the excellent puzzle design in the Escapecraft series
takes its own unique approach to design and gameplay.
This is an incomplete map, missing large sections. Do not download Darkcraft unless you are:
- Interested in how adventure maps are made / work
- Okay with spoiling the epic ending for yourself (which took 3 days in MCEdit to build)
Since the map is incomplete you will need to read this whole post, which details the workings of the game. If you
are only interested in playing a polished, complete map please stop reading now (spoilers ahead).
This map is designed to work with most texture packs, but has been designed around
Eld’s for optimum viewing.
Download Darkcraft: Seal of the Great Lake (4.9
This is a “walkthrough” of sorts that details what has been done and ideas for incomplete sections.
The Great Lake
You begin at the temple ruins in the centre of the lake
The player could perhaps start at the lake shore and I could build a small dock as a starting place. There’s no
other entities above ground and no secrets to be found, so I want to discourage the player going walkabout since
there will be monsters up here. They need to make their way to the lake temple entrance.
The player falls down the hole into a pool in a room deep underground. This room is an introduction to the player
that this is a puzzle / adventure game, and that a basic understanding of Minecraft mechanics are required.
The game was originally designed so that when you died, you would spawn in the prison cells. Unfortunately, notch
“fixed” the ability to spawn below layer 64 so now the player spawns up at the temple entrance. I have had to
reroute the player so that they go through the prison room each time they enter the temple.
This game features a unique checkpoint save system. At the end of each level, you flip a switch to open a door,
which activates a control line that runs to a circuit above the prison cells. When you die, and return to the prison
cells this causes dispensers to give you back the equipment you had earned before! The diamond block on the floor
and the sign “Payment upon death” are indicators to this. We’ll get to the checkpoint areas later.
This game is heavily influenced by Zelda games, where dungeons are usually designed around a central room that you
cross many times, opening new paths as you gain more equipment. This room consists of a tall obsidian tower with a
moat of lava and various bridges coming into and out of the tower.
The stairs going up at the end of the prison cells lead to the checkpoint rooms and bridges. You cannot enter those
yet. When you complete each “level” in the game and win a prize item, you go over the bridges and into the
checkpoint room where you can open the doors, so that should you die, you can then just walk up the stairs from the
prison cells and return to where you were before!
For now, please refrain from entering any wooden doors into service areas. The wooden doors are there to provide
access to the circuitry and to get to rooms in an order you usually can’t. To avoid massively spoiling the game
for yourself, please play through once without accessing the service areas. You can look at those afterwards to get
an idea of how it was all done.
The entrance to Level 1 is at the floor, to the left of the obsidian tower.
Door Puzzle Room (Lower)
This is just a corridor (which needs some decoration) which leads to the second puzzle (and the first in Level 1).
You will arrive overhead after completing this puzzle, so for now please do not use the ladder, which is provided
only to skip the puzzle, and will not be there in the final game. Proceed through the locked door into the water
Water Jump Room
This is a simple puzzle to test your jumping skills and to teach you the type of jumps Steve is capable of.
Door Puzzle Room (Upper) — Incomplete
This room is supposed to be a matrix of small rooms that act somewhat like a lights-out puzzle. However, after a few
iterations and several rewirings, the concept is still not right and at this time impractical.
What is planned is to re do this puzzle so that pushing the button in the centre of each room only opens (or closes)
a particular door in some other room (rather than reversing all doors). This should allow for a puzzle that presents
Level 1 Prize Room
Walk over the bridge to enter the obsidian tower. Inside the tower is a chest containing a piece of equipment that
you will require in future, more difficult puzzles.
Level 1 Checkpoint
You have completed level 1. Flipping the switch to the right opens the double doors (allowing access back downstairs
to the main room), as well as enabling the drop of a fishing rod into the prison cell, should you die.
Level 2 — Incomplete
What follows now has nothing to do with the final game. It is merely a tunnel that takes you through where Level 2
will be once built. Level 2 will consist of a variety of puzzles that utilise the fishing rod (which can be used as
a pseudo-hookshot). When you complete Level 2, you will obviously come out at the bridge one floor up to receive the
Level 2 Prize Room
At the moment, you are given a bow and arrows. However, this may not be final, since dispensers cannot “drop”
arrows (they fire them), there’s no elegant and controlled way to give you ammo again should you die. I could
provide a chest in each room that requires arrows, but I find that a bit ugly.
Alternatives could be that you are given a sword and armour, or torches, for solving light based puzzles and
nullifying spawn cages.
Level 2 Checkpoint
As before, the checkpoint opens the doors and enables the prison cell to drop a bow. I will require the user to open
the checkpoint in order to continue into the next room, which
doesn’t have a door yet .
The Grand Foyer
This is the first room in level 3. There is no puzzle here at the moment, but it may involve having to flip four
switches on each side of the room.
Due to the roof falling in on one side and the floor collapsing on the other, you cannot simply walk around the top
floor to get to the exit, you have to drop down into the foyer with all the mobs! (At the moment, there is a way to
avoid this, but the intention is that this would be blocked up once the game is complete)
Unfortunately, this room is a bit of a failure and may have to be removed :(
The idea is that mobs should come out of the paintings! I have set up hidden passages behind the paintings and
mob-spawners hidden behind the walls. I tried with doors first that opened when you entered the room, but the
zombies got stuck on the doors. I've switched to using signs, but the zombies don’t seem to be forthwith with
walking through them. I've tried a stepped exit so that the zombies can only walk forward, but also no success. If
anybody is able to get this room to reliably cause mobs to exit through the paintings when you’re in the room, it
would be greatly appreciated (one posibility is to use water).
Level 3 - Under Construction
The middle section of level 3 is missing, and is replaced by a simple tunnel to cover the distance. There is a long
way to walk, so a number of puzzles will have to fit in here. After the zombie paintings room, my plan is that there
will be a room that requires you to shoot down four large paintings hanging on the walls to open the door.
I would also like several rooms that arm the player with torches and requires them to battle mobs and nullify their
spawn cages in various configurations. This however, may go into level 2 instead.
The Lava Run
Possibly my favourite room. This took some time to construct and test. When you enter the room, there is nothing but
a void ahead of you and some water (squids tend to spawn in here).
After a few seconds, the ceiling begins falling in and lava pours down! You had better run like heck!
A pathway is cut through the sand so that as the lava reaches your head, you can stop on a safe spot and continue
the rest as a maze with lava walls!
I think the lava run needs to be a bit shorter so that it is less of a nuisence if you die and have to do it again,
and so that if you’re really really quick off the mark, you could reach the end safely just as the lava settles.
Level 3 Checkpoint
In a break from tradition, you find yourself in the level 3 checkpoint room, instead of going over the bridge first,
to get to the checkpoint. Ahead of you lies a bridge and the final prize inside the obsidian tower. However, there
is no bridge out the other side. This is a one-way journey.
It is here that I am tied to secrecy. Discovering the ending is up to you. :) It’s better than
anything in the rest of the game. Try not to die :) You may want to switch to peaceful if it gets too
hectic (I need feedback on difficulty).
I’ve run out of steam on this. Notch has “fixed” a number of things that I was relying on when I designed
this. Stair lights are used throughout to give ambient lighting (and to prevent mobs spawning) without having to
cover every square inch of the level in torches. Since stair lights can no longer be placed in-game (I’ll have to
edit them in with MCEdit), this is going to slow me down and is rather disappointing. I may have to wait until the
additions of lanterns, or better options for adventure maps.
Mob spawning is unreliable and cannot be limited to just what you want. How I wish there was an option to not spawn
any mobs in the dark, except for mob cages. That way I could control exactly who spawns and where. In the areas that
are dark, all sorts of extras can spawn, making the game extra difficult. I am still troubled as to how to balance
the difficulty of the game. Certainly the player will have to be armed with a diamond sword and armour, but I have
not yet incorporated this into the checkpoint system.
There are large areas left to fill in (all of level 2 and much of level 3), so I’m publishing what I have in order
to get some feedback and hopefully some help in finishing it off (if it’s worthy).