Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Minecraft Global Warming (github.com)
524 points by nsporillo 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 125 comments

While I like Minecraft a lot, unfortunately, in this game, it does no good. Minecraft is a game which completely ignores conservation of matter and energy, which is where you start with ecology.

I wish there was a game which would get the physical foundations right* so that the ecology could be put on as a topping. What I imagine is something like a Civilization, where each map cell would be like 1 km2 and you could define what industries would be in that cell (perhaps even design the content of each cell). Each cell would contain a little piece of civilization and/or nature. These cells would then exchange different materials with each other, according to conservation laws.

That could be used to educationally model ecology very nicely.

Most games of this type will focus on military and/or logistical challenges of civilization. But this game would focus on production chains, land/resource use and sustainability.

(*IMHO, the way to get the physical foundations right is to do proper accounting of materials. So in the game, you never really ever destroy anything, you just transform it. If you need to round a number for some reason, then it would become part of some global pool of "waste", from which it could be later retrieved by some industrial process.)

Sometimes when you make games too much like reality they become pointless because you could just take part in reality.

RPGs don't simulate pooping, normally, because who cares.

The Sims and Roller Coaster Tycoon?

I've always thought the fact that The Sims was fun was a masterwork of good game design. Especially early in its life when it had fewer of the more fantastical additions - it's a game that simulates normal life down to some pretty mundane details. I mean, the game even started out as an architecture simulator and not an actual game!

Yet, I sunk many hours into the first game as a kid and enjoyed 3 and 4 as an adult (2 was a bit of an in-between for me). Ironically, I think it's the life simulator aspect that makes it fun. It's an escapist sandbox where you can play out "real" life without consequence. Maxis was smart to realize that what was fun was the player's choices, and not so much the game mechanics itself.

Normally (i.e.: the vast majority of the time), games don't simulate pooping.

And Tetris isn't even that realistic.

I know the type of comment I'm about to make is discouraged here but...

That was really funny. Thanks for the laugh, needed that today.

Well there is a game called Eco, that does exactly that.

Mine a bunch of iron ore out of the ground? Your storage container has to be just as big as the amount of iron that you dug up. Oh, also all those rocks that you dug up to GET to the iron have to go somewhere as well.

You even create physical "waste" blocks that have to be stored somewhere, preferably underground and away from any running water.

While I agree with what you write, I am missing the sociological part. I mean, you can't retrieve anything back from waste unless you had some success researching some procedure to do so (and sometimes research 'fails'). But funding for such research isn't as cheap as one player alone could pay for it. So you might want to install some taxes and a government in order to manage your finances.

That would be even more educating but might stop being fun, as players would most certainly not agree on what to spend their money on. But on the other hand, if you would just offer the technology to extract valuable materials from waste at a cheap supermarket price you would just shift the realism gap to another part by giving them an easy solution to their problem.

There is such a game. Eco. I bought it. Did not like. The only way to ethically exist in the universe was not to play. I learned that long ago from a different game.

Also, just too many reasons for other players to write and enforce rules. Gave the impression that environmentalism is all about established players bossing around the new guys. Too many on-point messages kill the fun.

Would anyone play minecraft if they had to get permission from an admin before digging a mine?

While Eco is on my Steam wishlist, no, it doesn't. And please don't post further advertising for this game into this discussion, there is already plenty of people talking about this game.

Edit: HN is funny. I could have downvoted the PP, and nobody would complain. Instead, I explain what I think is wrong with it... and get downvoted. I really think downvoting motivates people to silently disagree, as opposed to having a discussion.

Have you considered that you have been downvoted because your response to a simple and clearly trying-to-be-helpful comment was quite frankly autistic bordering on aggressive for no clear reason.

Yes, I considered that, and it wasn't a personal attack, but rather a plea. This was (I believe) a new account and one should, if possible, to read the full discussion first before commenting. If I was on Slashdot, I would probably use -1 Redundant, which tells the GP same thing as I told him manually.

Not to mention, Eco seems to be quite different game to what I am proposing. It might also have the mechanic of exact accounting for resources, but it remains to be seen how rigorous that is.

I still don't know why Eco should not be mentioned. Please give a tldr reason. Haven't played it. Negative steam reviews seems to mostly highlight technical issues. And while that should be noted, does make it a reason not to mention the game when discussion games teaching ecology models.

I thing i did hear about this game a while back and apparently decided it wasn't something for me, even though i liked Factorio. But cannot remember why.

I agree Eco should be mentioned, my point was it was already mentioned in three another comments in this discussion (outside this thread) at the time I wrote the OP.

In any case, I think a game with first-person focus (like Minecraft or Eco) and a game with civilization focus (like Civilization or Sim City or Transport Tycoon or even Factorio to an extent) are very very different style. They might touch same topics, but the challenges are different.

If anything is similar to what I propose, it would be Block'n'Hood (which also has global warming, I believe). But again, the scale is different. What I would like to see is something that would really put, for example, Vaclav Smil's books into a game.

There used to be a game along those lines, back in '92 on the Amiga, called "Global Effect". I doubt it got the physical foundations, though my hazy memory is the concepts were there simplistically.

I'm surprised there hasn't been more in this genre.

More info and a download at: http://www.old-games.com/download/413/global-effect

There is Factorio, which does have an important pollution-based game mechanic, although I’m not sure if it’s Conservation of Matter based.

I'd love to play that! Where can I track the development progress of this game? ;)

Great idea for teaching in schools. I wonder if this works with Minecraft's Education edition? [0]

Its nice the readme goes into detail on some lesson plan ideas. Global warming is such an abstract problem and if you can tie it to individual's behaviors inside a (small) simulated world, it can be a very powerful teaching tool.

[0] https://education.minecraft.net

Unfortunately it does not support Education Edition, but you make a good point in that this could be a great teaching tool. I have a good bit of Climate Change related content that I can try to integrate more into the game play itself.

I'll add education edition support to my roadmap. Thanks!

Great to hear! Another suggestion is to provide some kind of setup guide or easy way to spin up a remote server. Just created an issue for that. I've spent the last hour trying to get up to speed with this and haven't yet got it set up.

As you bring this project to maturity, if you're interested in the education context, you'll want to optimize for setup time. Educators and techs that help them are hugely time constrained in a school setting so the quicker they can get a lesson running the better. If setup takes considerable time (5-10min?) or domain expertise, it's a nonstarter.

Really cool idea!

Would you consider making a Minetest version?

Wow I havent checked up on Minetest in years!

I'll consider making a Minetest version, but I'd have to review their Lua modding api to see if it'd be feasible.


Is education edition open source at least?. Because I don't think teaching proprietary software to kids is a good idea.

I tend to agree with you that there are problems with teaching kids how to use proprietary software like Microsoft Office, but this is a bit different.

It's not like Minecraft is a business tool that you're teaching to school kids, who will then go on to use it when they graduate. It's an educational tool.

This would be like complaining that Carl Sagan's Cosmos or Bill Nye the Science Guy are copyrighted videos.

> This would be like complaining that Carl Sagan's Cosmos or Bill Nye the Science Guy are copyrighted videos.

No. That would be like complaining that we don't have a license to inspect the details of and fix errors in those videos. Free software is usually not in the public domain. To be honest, it would be nice to have that option with videos (or text books!) that you get. I've worked as a teacher before -- I would definitely have exercised that option if it were available (Especially as I was teaching English as a foreign language -- I would have loved to do voice overs for some of the material I had to present). As another aside, you have no idea how much I would have loved to use assets from textbooks that we were forced to buy rather than write/draw my own from scratch -- Over 5 years, I practically had to write my own text book.

But both the point you are making and the one you are trying to refute are quite valid. By putting software in the school system, you are effectively training people to use that software. Sure, it's not software that people have to use, but it's still software that people will choose to use.

On the one hand, it's great to use Minecraft in school, because a lot of kids already play Minecraft. In this case, that's really the point. If you put in a free software project that is similar to Minecraft, it probably won't be as engaging to students.

Free software, on the other hand, opens up opportunities that you won't have with non-free alternatives. It allows people to use the software for any purpose as opposed the the purposes allowed in most educational licenses. It allows people to study and learn from the source code. It allows people to modify the code and to help their friends by sharing their modifications.

In short, both for motivated teachers and students, free software licenses are dramatically better than most academic licenses for software. I agree that you might still choose something else, but ignoring the value that a better license gives you is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Maybe I exaggerated a little bit, Minecraft is a good/decent idea, but it would be much better if it was free software.

I imagine the disappointment in the face of the bright kid of the class when he asks the teacher to see how the game actually works. Still, it's better than no game at all, I guess.

The modding community definitely has a very good idea of how the game actually works, and there is a fair amount of documentation to that effect. The Forge sources are also pretty enlightening.

Thats an interesting ideological argument, whose practical effects would be negative. Vast majority of the high quality education software out there isn't open source.

Err, what is the point of the educational edition if not to hack on it?

Hacking IN it :)

https://www.minetest.net/ would probably be your best option.

There's a number of mods around education for it: https://wiki.minetest.net/Mods:Learning

And here's a somewhat elaborate discussion on using it in class: https://forum.minetest.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9482

It also has a really good modding API in Lua, which you could probably get middle school students to have fun with and actually create something in a video game.

By that argument, children shouldn't be writing their documents in Word, nor their presentations in powerpoint, nor using computers that contain proprietary intel micro-code in any classes.

The reality is two-fold:

Proprietary software is used universally, so learning some of it will make you more marketable later on and help you in life. Knowing excel / word is valuable because many companies run on those pieces of software to some large degree.

Secondly, it's pragmatic; there's no real viable option to using proprietary intel or amd hardware while using any computer, so we must use them.

Micro-code, I don't care about. As you say you'd have to ban the use of computers entirely, but having to write your documents in Word etc., I do not think is good.

As a student, you should be able to install the software that you use in class on your PC at home, without having to jump through infinite hoops or asking your parents to buy it for you.

Sure, Microsoft Office, you can sort of expect to need and need again in the future. But with other software, you can hardly guess how often you're going to be using it. So, you're not going to buy it just to play around with it at home. You might even skip doing homework, if it's too much hassle to install.

A required internet connection can also be particularly inpairing, depending on your situation. I was for example provided an educational version of Matlab in university, but ended up mostly learning in GNU Octave (which was thankfully fantastic), because I traveled to university by train and so did most of my learning in the train, where I had no internet connection.

Another example is me having to pirate an outdated version of Delphi in middle school, because we were writing a program with that in school, that I wanted to continue at home. The teacher did not intend for anyone to continue working at home, so we weren't provided an educational version or similar. The version of Delphi we used was also so old that you actually couldn't buy it anymore.

Lastly, if you can't transfer your LibreOffice knowledge to Microsoft Office, I don't think you should claim any particular computer skills on your CV. We're not talking about rocket science being done in Excel. You generally only need the most basic of features, which function almost identically even in Gnumeric.

> By that argument, children shouldn't be writing their documents in Word, nor their presentations in powerpoint, nor using computers that contain proprietary intel micro-code in any classes.

Actually, I don't think that's an absurd consequence of the argument: maybe children shouldn't be writing their documents using proprietary software; maybe their computers shouldn't contain proprietary microcode.

In the case of Word, one might make the counter-argument that it is very powerful; another might then make the counter-counter-argument that alternatives to Word in 2018 are more powerful than Word was years ago, and yet somehow we all managed to write well all those years ago. I'm a bit weird, so I think children should be taught to write longhand, and then typeset their papers with LaTeX.

In the case of proprietary microcode, I think it's pretty obvious that the world would be better if we could all trust our CPUs.

Imagine public schools buying minecraft licenses just so kids can observe that "when you use the furnace too much, the world becomes more like hell."

I think kids play minecraft too much already. I would much prefer it if we gave students shovels and let them dig up an empty plot of land in _real life_.

Hey, that's a good idea. You give the students actual wood stoves, and they'll cause global warming, and then they'll die when they're adults. That'll help illustrate the concept in a way that a simulated world can't.

Wood stoves are carbon neutral.

> Wood stoves are carbon neutral

Not compared with not burning the wood, but using it in something like construction, where the carbon dioxide remains locked up [0]

[0] https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/wood-not-carbon-...

Diamond stoves lock up even more carbon, and are much harder to break! (Minecraft joke! ;)

Their lifespans would actually be prolonged by the obesity they don't have. The atmosphere will even out because of the computer power they're not using.

Their lifespans would probably be shorter because breathing in that much smoke causes cancer at significantly high rates.

You’re being downvoted but your idea has merit. Getting our kids outside in the world will be much better for their understanding it than sitting behind a screen in an air conditioned room playing a video game.

Now theres an interesting idea for a park, minecraft in real life!

Schools can both allow some educational gaming and real-world digging, it doesn't have to be one or the other.

> Currently, a tree growth will instantly reduce CO2 levels so players can commercially farm trees while still reducing emissions. This is not ideal.

This sounds right to me. Having trees which keep reducing carbon levels without any effort would mean that low levels of burning have no effect on CO2.

It's as if a unit of wood was gathering ever more and more carbon, but only released a fraction upon burning.

The CO2->O2 process of plants puts the carbon inside the plant. So plants can only reduce carbon in the atmosphere if they are cumulatively increasing in mass. So steady-state farming operations will not decrease carbon in the atmosphere.

[Edit] The tree farm in isolation does not help with CO2 - but using wood in ways that preserve it (e.g. for furniture) does.

The ecology of this issue seems more complicated than prevailing ideas about it, eg:

Study finds fungi responsible for most carbon sequestration in northern forests. [1]

"... they found that 47 percent of soil carbon found on large island samples came about due to fungi, as did a whopping 70 percent of carbon in small island soil samples. Thus far, the team is only able to guess why there are such differences in the soils, but theorize it's likely due to differences in decomposition rates.

The amount of carbon stored in northern forests and how, is important because such trees cover approximately 11 percent of the Earth's surface and recent research has calculated that they hold approximately 16 percent of all worldwide sequestered carbon. "

[1] https://phys.org/news/2013-03-fungi-responsible-carbon-seque...

I don't see how measurements of "soil carbon" could be counting the carbon that's sequestered in lumber.

Trees eventually fall over.

"carbon forestry" as it is known doesn't just sequester carbon in the lumber, soil is a significant sink dominated by fungal processes. Soils are also very valuable to biodiversity and potentially commercially valuable ecosystem services.

Right, so the tree absorbs the carbon as it grows, and it's released when it's burned. So having giant stockpiles of wood produced by a large-scale tree farm for the purpose of carbon sequestration sounds... well, that doesn't sound ridiculous, at least in minecraft terms. (I'm sure there's some economic reason we don't do this.)

Using the farmed wood instead of fossil fuels decreases the _net_ introduction of CO2 into the atmosphere.

But again - that has to do with how somebody acquires energy or materials (burning wood vs oil or building wood vs plastic furniture) - not necessarily (directly) with having a tree farm. The tree farm is a small part of possible carbon sequestration avenues - and without all the pieces, it is just carbon neutral.

the founder of greenpeace (the one that left when it become a money printing machine) advise that we use more wood. even trees growing for paper. the only down side of tree farming, acording to his manifesto, is the disturbance of original wild life and flora. but that can be easily resolved locally.

if left alone, a tree will produce over 80% of it's O2 in the first 3 years. even if it lives 1000 years. which is exactly how old they are when farmed. It's the best O2 for the buck you can get.

Profitable carbon sequestration by making useful products from trees (and eventually storing the carbon in landfills). Makes sense, at least at first glance.

How does the energy used to transport and process, say, paper compare to the energy used working with electronic documents?

Given that we're going to have internet regardless of what documents we use, due to the overwhelming advantage of instant long-distance communication, the amount of energy used by electronic documents is negligible.

Why not store the CO2 in limestone and build ultra-durable buildings with it (eg, the Egyptian/Mayan pyramids) instead?

Human activities released nearly 37 billion tons of CO2 in 2017. That would yield about 84 billion tons of limestone if it were captured as pure calcium carbonate.

Estimated mass of Mt. Everest: 450 billion tons (I went with the answer from the person who used terrain contour data):


It admittedly would be pretty awesome, if impractical, to build two Mount Everests per decade from CO2-captured-as-limestone.

Building things out of CO2 captured as minerals, building things out of CO2 captured as wood: they're fine ideas, but they are also grossly inadequate to offset current emission rates. That's why every plan for curbing AGW starts with deep emissions cuts. It's a lot easier to not emit CO2 in the first place than to capture CO2 that has already been emitted. Plans for negative emissions are still necessary but they can't deal with tens of billions of tons of CO2 per year.

>"Human activities released nearly 37 billion tons of CO2 in 2017. That would yield about 84 billion tons of limestone if it were captured as pure calcium carbonate."

Assuming there is a goal is zero net CO2 added to the atmosphere, that 37 Gt emitted is an upper bound of what needs to be sequestered.

Apparently the total amount of construction material used is around 50 Gt per year. https://www.concreteconstruction.net/business/global-demand-...

So, that doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

Would plant die if the CO2 level is deprived to a very low level that plant could no longer photosynthesize?

I really like this. I've wanted climate effects in MC for a long time.

I'd like to see mod support. Different machines should have different CO2 output (eg coal coke oven, coal generators). It would change the incentives of switching to green energy production, like electric machines with solar panels.

Might as well add forest fires, in theory forests should get dryer (longer time under packed ice, hotter summers). Don't know if this mechanism exists on the game.

There are no concepts of seasons in MC, just day/night cycles. There is weather and some relationship of weather to biomes. I think that's it.

I wonder how it handles unloaded chunks.

It will be a challenge to efficiently implement all of the in-game mechanics, especially to unloaded chunks. My ideas so far are to apply most of the effects once a chunk is reloaded, but I could also queue some changes to be applied later - even reloading the chunk to make some changes.

Could you keep some running score of the entire carbon footprint of the current chunk? Then if the player moved into a new chunk, you would use the old chunk's last score as having some effect on the current chunk?

I guess that wouldn't account for continued tree growth or burning in the chunk you just left though...

It's been a while, but my recollection is that forest fires can get started by exposed lava flows/pits or by lightning strikes. What's missing is variation in how easily fires are ignited and spread, ie. there's no biome-dependent dryness factor being applied to the fire mechanics.

Forest fires would spread forever for a while back in Alpha:


We all burned at least one house down.

Might also be interesting to add a tech mod (EnderIO, Mine factory, etc) and make it so that every bit of RF (Redstone Flux, similar to kilojoules) generated from burning things causes CO2 emissions.

In a way it feels as though most tech mods are biased towards sustainable energy already. It's common for end game power to be impossibly efficient solar, or nuclear type power sources which produce conveniently not so dangerous waste. In the really ludicrous modpacks the end game is usually infinite everything in some form.

It is after all a game, if Thaumcraft's insanity mechanic drove your character to suicide or the Space mods actually left you adrift in empty space forever if you make the mistake of jumping off a space station that would not be fun.

I don't know, there is a small but noticeable audience for permadeath hard as nails games.

Forge mods don't generally play nice with Spigot/Bukkit plugins. Different ecosystems.

Really surprised I haven't seen Eco[0] mentioned anywhere here in the comments. It's a Minecraft-like built to focus on ecology and environment stuff.

[0] https://www.strangeloopgames.com/eco/

That's quite an interesting plugin.

Rather annoying it won't work with Forge, would be interesting to have to deal with this when your base runs on gigantic coal boilers from some of the Tech mods or using Magic to offset your CO2 footprint.

I might setup a server with this and limit resources to see how it turns out with a couple players (build a wall around 0x0, 256 by 256 blocks long, delete everything else) once some resources turn scarce.

This is pretty cool. And it could be the first of other climate changing effects, like changing albedo based on reflectiveness of the landscape, or humidity and atmospheric dynamics leading to clouds, leading to more scattering/trapping/etc. I guess it might get hard to compute at some point, since the serious climate models don’t run on cellphones, and they don’t even try to run at “Minecraft block” resolution, but still.

Wow. I can see a few other things to increase the scariness..

1. Boreal forests catch fire on hotter/higher CO2 (like they are in California now)

2. Temperate areas get terraformed to deserts if possible

3. Health heals slower, or not at all on high CO2 due to environmental effects

4. Sources of fire increase their sparking distance in which flammable things catch on fire easier. Encourages easier spread of forest fires and player-crafted fires.

5. Water turns acidic, and deals slow damage. (Like the coral reefs)

I appreciate the ideas, I will definitely look to incorporate them!

One of my current challenges is coming up with a balanced model, since I dont have any real server player data to analyze. Of course it will be configurable, but i'd like for the default models not spiral to a destroyed world quickly...

Really like the diagram[1] (which I found the source in [2]. Another one on Wikipedia[3]. What's not clear is how is this changing over time? Given the greenhouse gas narrative (which I accept), how has the "back radiation" changed over time? Over the last century is it +0.1%, +1%?

1: https://camo.githubusercontent.com/55b611b5709a0e90b7e9ee319...

2: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/trenbert/trenberth.papers/BAMS...

3: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_energy_budget#/media...

I'm not sure I like the concept of carbon offsets. In the real world, someone has to plant the trees, not just buy perri-air.

Yeah I think a good way to keep things realistic is for the offsets to be fulfilled by other players. If someone is too busy generating in-game currency, they can just pay newer players or those looking for money to plant lots of trees.

That'd be better. Now you have a currency and an economy. :-)

It's been a few years since I played, but IIRC it is trivial to quickly or instantly (?) grow trees with bonemeal. I'd expect you could pretty easily sequester enormous amounts of carbon in chests full of logs (or maybe even toss the logs into lava). Sounds like a fun + ambitious project!

Preventing industrial farm abuse is an outstanding issue. I think penalizing bonemeal usage might work, since keeping track of all planted trees and calculating their footprint is a very expensive task. If players have to sit and let the sapling grow on it's own, I think industrial farms might not be overpowering.

Eliminate the growth effect of bonemeal on trees. It would require more land to have a tree farm. When you plant a large tree farm you eliminate the need for bonemeal anyway. The probability of one sapling growing each second approaches 1.

I think you would have to reduce the drop rate of saplings as well so it averages 1 per 10 trees or something or you could just go out for 20 mins and grind saplings from leaves fairly easily. So it might take a few in game days to grow but you could grow hundreds of trees fairly easily.

Why not just keep track of all trees? If you destroy a tree, its carbon go back into the atmosphere. Just like normal trees; life doesn’t differentiate between planted or ‘natural’.

So the first step in reducing co2 is to cut down all the trees?

I understand the why, but limiting it to new growth breaks from reality. Co2 reduction farms will be barren fields of saplings, atop mob grinders to create feralizer.

First bug report. Haha, I did look at the screen funny when it said saplings reduce carbon immediately.

Better answer: eliminate coal. All furnaces run on wood. Carbon neutral. People can now grow and sell wood. But wont be many trees around. Ya, green energy!

This sounds exactly like Factorio's pollution dynamic. It's a good system actually. Makes you balance production in your factories vs enemies coming and attacking you.

Nothing 4-8 laser towers with walls around them can't handle though :)

I agree. Factorio pollution only really matters early game pre-military science even on death worlds.

I wish survival was more of a challenge.

This is incredibly cool and makes me want to play minecraft again.

Acid rain?

AFAIK acid rain and global warming are separate things. Global warming is caused mostly by CO2, while acid rains are caused mostly by SO2 and NOx.

SO2 and NOx are very nasty due to their tendency to form sulfuric and nitric acid, hence acid rains. However, they also cause global cooling by reflecting incoming radiation.

It looks like that mod is not really about global warming but pollution in general, which is fine, but calling it "global warming" does more harm than good IMHO.

Acid Rain was more of less one of the suggestions I've gotten from players on the server I frequent.

You are right though, we should keep things entirely factually accurate. I removed the acid rain section and scratched the plans to implement it.

Nitrogen oxides are naturally caused by combustion (and volcanism), so it makes sense to me to have it. It's dependent only on the heat of the burn so wood and coal fires create quite a lot. Coal also produces a lot of sulfur oxides.

Hydrogen-heavy fuels like light oil and natural gas are the only fuels that burn cool enough to not produce significant amounts of acid.

It would also be beneficial for Minecraft to teach children not to eat yellow snow.

I don't see anything about acid rain. I see ocean acidification, which is caused by atmospheric CO2 dissolving into ocean water as carbonic acid.

"Imagine Earth" [1] is a game about competing firms engaging in colonization of a shared planet which heavily incorporates pollution and global warming into the gameplay...I've sunk many hours. Players need to balance economic development with reducing emissions, and have to pay an emission fee if they exceed a limit.

[1] https://www.imagineearth.info/

I'm trying to think of ways to "destroy" CO2 that aren't ruled out by the readme-description, ex:

1. Burn a tree in-place.

2. Harvest wood blocks, and destroy them (lava, fire, cactus, TNT or creepers, abandoned until disappear.)

3. Same as above, but throwing stacks of wood-derived items like sticks, doors, boats, etc.

4. A wood-derived item which is placed and then destroyed by item-specific mechanics (boat crash, tool breakage)

Yeah I think sequestering carbon in decoration, blocks, or items is okay.

Burning a tree however should incur some penalty, after all - wildfires are a positive feedback loop in reality and it'd be trivial to detect.

Might have to deviate from the idea that the global carbon score is the sum of everyones individual carbon score, since there will certainly be lots of events which contribute CO2 without player intervention.


Always happy to nitpick :P

In terms of minimizing exploits, perhaps the easiest approach is to pre-compute a carbon score for all blocks and items, and then focus on catching all the situations where those blocks/items can be destroyed. By default, assume 100% of the carbon goes back into the biosphere, and then write special-case logic for stuff like boats breaking into wood.

A few more what-ifs:

* If players toss wood-bits into the deep sea to disappear (as opposed to letting them disappear on land) should that count as sequestering it? Or would that almost be too easy?

* I forgot about trades -- if a villager provides/accepts wood, perhaps it is best to assume it was just freshly grown or is about to be burnt.

* Other dimensions. What should happen if players make a gate into a room in the Nether and do all their smelting there? Alas, we don't have that option in real life :P

There's actually a whole minecraft-esque game being built with sustainability / human footprint in mind.

It's much more complex than this mod I believe but still in early release.


It would be great if one of the "climate damages" that takes place at 14.5° C (and a little more at each higher temp) was desertification. I think grassland turning into desert would be one of the more visible effects of global warming.

That is certainly an option we'd like to support. The temperature thresholds and effects will be configurable, loaded from a file into memory.

The sample damages I provided are mostly for illustration so development can have some guidance.

> Allow players to purchase "carbon offsets" which instantly reduce their personal carbon score

I'd prefer buying carbon offsets doing exactly nothing as in real life. It is a cheat that's not benefiting anyone.

They do something, but I think it's not correct in Minecraft. In real life it increases costs which means lowering that cost has a benefit to the bottom line (i.e. a well meaning employee can justify this to people measured by profits/costs/etc.).

However, in MC where is the profit and does a carbon credit actually encourage players to try to do something seems interesting thing to see.

Well, one could make them arbitrarily unfair. Purchasing a carbon credit could reduce a player's own emission score but increase a random opponent's score by the same amount.

Planned Features list seems to omit the opportunity to integrate climate change deniers as a gameplay element...

Does this game even exist?

Democracy 3? You can have green policies and there is a "motorists" interest group which opposes them.

For another game where you need to deal with CO2 pollution in a very interesting way see Oxygen Not Included.

I'm not sure if I'm missing it here, but what are the negative environmental effects in-game?

From way down at the bottom:

14.0 C - No effects [Baseline]

14.5 C - | Minor changes |

15.0 C - | Localized Acid Rain | Some mobs spawn less | Some mobs spawn more |

16.0 C - | +1 Sea Level Rise | Tropical fish die |

17.0 C - |Global Acid Rain | Some trees no longer grow | +1 Sea Level Rise | Coral Reefs die |

18.0 C - |Noxious Area Potion Effect Clouds | Farm yields decrease | +2 Sea Level Rise | All Snow/Ice melts |

19.0 C - | All fish die | Random Forest Fires | Slower Health Regen |

20.0 C - "Devastation".. Highly polluted chunks get permanent severe area potion effects, forest fires, etc

Thanks, I didn't notice it tucked into the bottom there.

Yeah that was hastily put together. I updated the readme with a real table for readability.

I like how pollution is handled in factorio

how is it handled?

Looks like it attracts larger numbers of aliens to attack you: https://wiki.factorio.com/Pollution

This seems...not quite the right message to send people. (Though it's not exactly wrong when you take into account climate refugees and resource wars)

"Higher pollution values decrease the time it takes for biters to join the attack force."


I love this

This is how i dream to do!

I really liked the idea and encouraged me to look into Minecraft Plugin development as well. Cool Project!

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact