Minecraft Taskmaster volume II

January 24, 2021 - Uncategorized

My last blog post was about a few CS-Women socials we’d held in Minecraft. These were pretty good fun, and after 3 events organised by the women students we decided to go large and organise one for the wider student body. Our first was held just before xmas: we had 8 teams of 3-4 + a team of 5 organisers; around 30 people in total. We held the second last night with 6 teams of 3-4 and 3 organisers.

The general idea is inspired by the TV Show Taskmaster: set the players (in teams) a series of silly challenges, which they have to complete in exchange for points. Each event has 4-5 challenges, silly scoring and (hopefully) quite a few laughs.

santa and his sleigh, one of the creative builds from our pre-xmas event

Now I’ve been involved in running 5 of these I can share a list of tasks, and further down this blog post, some more administrative tips about how to run a successful Minecraft Taskmaster event. First – task suggestions

  • Build the most amazing X – where X is either something festive (an xmas display or a halloween thing for example) or just something fun – last night, I got teams to make me the best underground lair. Judging for this is entirely arbitrary – last place is usually obvious as one team will have run out of time, and sometimes first place is obvious too. In between, just make it up :)
  • Waterslides! Waterslides are awesome fun to build and also to play on. If each team competes to build the best waterslide you can guarantee that the other teams will all want to play on them for a bit.
  • Boat race – boat handling is hard. We record the time for the slowest team member so all team members have to get round, and send off two teams at a time so there’s a race element. You’ll need a stopwatch, and it’s best if they’re in survival mode to stop them from flying.
  • Foraging – find the largest number of different types of flower, or meat, or find one of each mineral type… This also has to be done in survival mode (obviously).
  • Obstacle course/parkour – set this up in advance and try not to make it too hard.
  • Second deepest hole – this is a proper Taskmaster style challenge, as they can’t see how deep other people have dug and have to try and second guess the strategies of the other players.
A waterslide: another of the creative builds

Here are some more tips to people who might want to try and replicate the events:

  • Set up your zone in advance – chests with armour dyed in team colours, any food that might be required, etc. and then if you can back this world up. That way you only have to do the setup once.
  • Turn off PVP (player vs player). This wasn’t a problem with the cs-women socials, but with larger mixed-gender groups there was a tendency for some players to get a bit stabby.
  • Switch between modes as appropriate – you can do this using /gamemode creative @a to make everyone in creative mode, or /gamemode survival @a for survival mode. If you’re switching from creative to survival be nice and tell people in advance so they don’t fall to the ground and die.
  • If someone slows up the server by spawning lots of animals you can kill them all using /kill @e[type=!player] which will get rid of all non-player entities.
  • Once the event is over, either take the server offline, or expect the players to trash it by spawning 4,000 pandas (or whatever).
the morning after the night before. safe to say it didn’t start out like this.

› tags: nerdery / teaching /

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