Things to do on Summer Holiday Island

Things to do on Summer Holiday Island

We have spent all year thinking about fun things we can do this summer, and we’ve come up with a whole heap of activities you can spend your time on in our newest release: Summer Holiday Island – available now on the Minecraft Marketplace.

Use the map below to explore the Island with us, and share some of your favourite images of your own Minecraft summer holiday to @podcrash on Twitter! Now enough talking, let’s get into the fun stuff!

1) Dive into the Aquarium 🦈

Near the centre of the Island, our Aquarium is full to the brim with Minecraft sea life. Be surrounded by the sea in our fish domes, watch some exotic crocodiles, penguins, and sharks roam their enclosures (although hopefully not together!), and see what really goes on under the sea! A perfect attraction to visit with friends, can we come along?

2) Putt a few hours away in Mini Golf ⛳

Make your way around our 9 hole mini golf course located in the Island forest. Challenge your friends and see who is able to go through, round and over the various obstacles one each course. Holes get progressively harder as you make your way through the forest. Hole 8 is my favourite! Which is yours?

3) Visit the beach 🏖️

There’s sand in my shoes!!! But at least we get to play on the beach. Chill out on a sun lounger, or get a drink and paddle in the ocean. The island is surrounded in beaches, so you’re never short on a place to kick back and enjoy the sun. What’s your favourite thing to do at the beach? Can’t beat a good sandcastle if you ask me!

4) Under the sea 🤿

As a wise little crab once said “Life under the sea is better than anything they got up there” – and whilst I will say our island is pretty cool (okay I am a little biased) when you put on some scuba gear and go for a swim you are likely to find all sorts of interesting, weird, and colourful animals and plants. Grab some scuba gear from the diving instructor and jump in!

5) To Yacht or not? 🛥️

Ever wanted to just grab a speedboat or a jet ski and feel the breeze in your hair and the sun on your face? No… Just me? Oh alright. Well, you should totally try it out! Around the island, there are loads of different boats that you hop in and take for a spin. If you’re playing with friends, why not challenge them to a race around the island? We can neither confirm nor deny that this was a large part of our team’s playthrough of this map!

6) Feeling a bit lazy? ⛱️

Boats are cool but sometimes they are just too much speed for one person to handle… if you want to slow the pace down a little then jump in a float, put your legs up, and float through the lazy river. Its bending, narrow stream wind through the entire island and allows you to really see the sights. That’s if you don’t relax too much and fall asleep!

7) Jump to it 🏃🏽‍♀️

If boating and relaxing really isn’t your thing, why not take a run along the water obstacle course and tackle the challenging parkour that awaits you on your journey to the top! We can confirm that there are some great views once you get there.

8) Cart Race? 🚗

Scattered around the island, these golf carts are here for you to get between attractions easier. It’s your holiday, why should you be made to walk everywhere! While you’re at it, why not get a few friends together and see who can find the quickest route to one of the destinations!

Warning: We take no responsibility for any injuries caused in golf cart crashes that happen on our island!

9) Become an adventurer! 🔭

You are on your very own island so why not make use it! Become an adventurer, and explore the island’s many ancient mystical statues (that totally weren’t built only a few years ago when our island became a tourist spot). If you’re feeling brave enough why not climb the huge volcano, but don’t touch the lava, it might burn!

10) Walk the plank ☠️

What sort of island would we be if we didn’t have our very own Pirate ship and crew! Cannonball off the ship and swim around the boat, talk to the crew, or explore the decks of the pirate ship!

Be warned though: Any gold you decide to take on to the ship may not leave with you!

11) I can see my house from up here! 🎡

Take a night time visit to our humungous ferris wheel (you can’t miss it) and watch our island famous firework show! We guarantee that you will love over second of it, and what a view over the island you’ll get once you’re up there! This is not an attraction for those who are afraid of heights, but we really recommend it as a way to end a long day.

12) Get your very own Cabana 🛏️

All that exploring gets tiring, and after a long day of playing, exploring, and relaxing you’re going to need a place to relax and sleep! Well, we know just the place! After locating your ideal cabana on the map, you can start decking it out with furniture available from our island staff – who you will find around the island on your adventures. Get creative and make it your very own cosy place!

That’s all from us for now!

That’s it! Our tour of the island is over, but should you ever want to refresh your memory: you can visit our tour guides at the entrance where you will receive your very own map to help you find your way around! Enjoy your holiday on our Summer Holiday Island (available now on the Minecraft marketplace)!

Final tip: If you’re still a little unsure, why not check out our trailer below!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuWFAdOEq3A
COVID-19 and our community response

COVID-19 and our community response

Hey!

This is a rather different post than the sorts of things we do on this blog. A lot of times we talk about new games, new things coming to Minecraft. We never thought we would actually do a serious blog post… However, we cannot deny that over the past few months of building this we have been very lucky to pull some decent viewership on our blog, reaching 50,000-100,000+ people an article in some cases, and so staying silent didn’t feel right.

Podcrash also operates a lot of gaming communities, and as countries prepare for more and more isolation and containment we want to do our best to provide a safe space for you and friends to play games and communicate without putting yourself or others around you at risk. We have therefore started upgrading our services, and opening new opportunities for you to continue playing.

Online Servers

Podcrash gamemodes are still relatively popular, we see around 1000 downloads a day on old and new maps for Java edition Minecraft. We know that as more and more people become isolated it will become harder to spend time with friends and family. We are opening our game servers to everyone, and encourage you to hop online to our free java server to play a rotation of Cops and Robbers maps, if you want to change it for another map, jump in our discord and one of our team will come help swap it over. You can get the server IP from our discord

If you don’t want to play on our servers, or don’t fancy playing Cops and Robbers, we recommend checking out StickyPiston Hosting’s trial service that offers a collection of some of the best maps new and old (including ours) you can view all available maps here

Podcrash+

We are aware that both Mineplex and Hypixel are preparing for larger than normal traffic surges throughout the coming days and weeks, and we are aware that a lot of players enjoy using Podcrash+ to add to their game experience on those servers. Podcrash+ is a free mod and our servers that authenticate the user and help provide a lot of the functionality you use and enjoy on the mod is provided completely for free by us. We are unfortunately preparing for the worse and we expect that during this period our servers will face some severe performance issues at peak times.

In an attempt to help this, we are building emergency protocols into our workflow, as of today we are increasing the player limit our server can handle at any one point, although this will come at the cost of a loss of some features and service for our Discord bot, so if you notice a player struggling with a question, please help our teams and help them by finding the answer. If you aren’t sure then direct them to staff.

Podcrash Status will also be monitoring all services at a 1-minute interval and if it notices any issues our development teams will be notified to step in and attempt to mitigate the issues before it becomes severe. Alongside this we are building more internal monitoring tools and looking into how we can optimize our server performance with short term fixes before the full relaunch later this year.

If you need help, think there are issues or want to keep updated with Podcrash+ make sure to join their discord

What can I do to help?

The truth is, we are a community of young people, and, barring any underlying health issues, we are classed as one of the lowest at-risk groups, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful, listen to your local authorities advice and make sensible decisions and choices with that information. As gamers, there are a bunch of causes you can join in on at no cost to you, for example, [email protected] is an international network that you can link your gaming PC up to, and help provide some processing power to a global network available to organisations currently trying to find answers to the COVID-19 virus. GPU’s are particularly good at doing this, who said gaming never helped! If you want to read more about how [email protected] works, and what they are doing, you can find it on Reddit and if you want to get started straight away then you can download [email protected] from their website

From everyone at Podcrash, we wish you and your families the best, and we hope you stay safe in these trying times.

How Minecraft became a platform for free thought

How Minecraft became a platform for free thought

What is Minecraft?

Since its inception, Minecraft has been a game tailored around the idea that the imagination is the limit and that nothing is too big or small to achieve. When Minecraft’s official trailer first launched on December 6th 2011, the words rang out to millions of players. Think of a world, where the only limit is your imagination. Most notably Minecraft is used as a place for games like Cops and Robbers to exist, but every so often something changes that.

So what’s happened?

Well, Reporters without Borders and our friends over at Blockworks Uk came together to take that to a whole new level. On the 12th March, the world’s day against cyber censorship, they released a collaboration that takes the work of censored journalists and authors around the world and uploads it in one place for everyone to view, read and share.

The center of the Minecraft library uniting the world with every countries flag flying in the center.

Minecraft is one of the few games with global representation, even in oppressed or authoritarian countries. The creation of The Uncensored Library becomes more than just a Minecraft build, but a genuine library. Containing censored news articles from five of the most censored countries in the world, where freedom of the press is non-existent, and articles that go against the governments are blocked, and the journalists responsible are exiled, arrested, tortured or worse.

Each country has its own room in the library. Each comes dressed up with sculptures and statuary that speak to each country’s specific censorship campaigns. Mexico’s wing wraps rows of books around a small cemetery at its center. Gravestones depict independent journalists murdered for covering sensitive political stories or investigating organized crime rings, like drug cartels. Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow independent journalism, so its wing features a singular cage at the center, symbolizing the journalists arrested and likely tortured for government criticism. All of this done within Minecraft

It’s not clear if Reporters without Borders plan to keep the library updated. We can say though that it is definitely worth checking out and spending a bit of time in.

How can I join?

You can join by loading Minecraft: Java Edition version 1.14.4 and connecting to the IP visit.uncensoredlibrary.com

Discord Bots – How we use them to help protect you

Discord Bots – How we use them to help protect you

Recently there have been a lot of questions regarding what our Discord bot’s can and cannot do. In this post, we want to address exactly what the PDCL bot and what the new bot “Praetorian” will be able to do, what permissions it has, what permissions it doesn’t have and most importantly who in Podcrash has access to them!

What’s the difference between the PDCL Discord Bot and the Praetorian Discord Bot

The PDCL discord bot has been discontinued since the PDCL disbanded in December 2019. We have maintained the basic functionality of this bot whilst Praetorian has been in development but once it goes live the PDCL bot will be fully discontinued and turned offline. We made this decision as the PDCL bot relies on a lot of old code, some of which is outdated and some just now completely redundant. We decided that to make a better bot, one that integrates with the new server, and has access to player statistics, news and more.

What Permissions does the PDCL Discord Bot have

As of right now, the PDCL discord bot has basic chat moderation features, that can delete inappropriate messages, warn users, mute users per discord of globally and logs punishment history for the BCL, CCL and MSCL discords. There is a rumour going around that the bot can also spy on your discord and logs all messages you send in private team discords. This is not the case, the PDCL discord bot has no spyware built-in.

Where this idea has a grain of truth is that Discord themselves allow any bot to read messages from channels through their API, and you can find more about that here

From the PDCL Bot a very limited amount of people can run an “eval” command that gives full access to the Discord API and therefore it is theoretically possible for only a handful of developers to access these messages, however, from an audit of the bot’s logs this has never been done.

What is Praetorian

Praetorian is the name given to the new server’s discord bot. It is still under development and is not on any production servers as of yet. Praetorian is primarily a moderation discord bot with integration into our server network so you will be able to manage your team roster, see in-game stats such as how many kills you have in a certain game, how many hours played etc.

The current feature list is:

1. In-game Stats for Players and Teams

2. Chat Moderation, by default Podcrash official servers, will have strict moderation, currently, all Partnered servers are required to have minimum moderation, which means it will filter hate speech (Racist Slurs, Homophobic & Transphobic comments and other similar slurs and insults). The leagues can individually choose to filter more if they wish but are not required to.

3. Chat Logs for Official and Partnered Servers – All official and partnered servers will have chat moderation logs, so if a message is edited or deleted, we can see it in history. This by default is disabled on Public servers that wish to invite the discord bot.

4. Voice Channel Logs – On Official servers (not partnered servers) voice calls will be recorded by the discord bot to allow moderators to make sure that any abuse can be checked and monitored, these recordings are securely stored for 7 days and only opened in the case where a report is made. If no reports are made then they are deleted. These will also be used for official tournaments to make sure that only the correct players are participating.

5. Music – All servers will be able to use this as a Music bot. Simple, choose a song from Youtube and it will play it in the call.

6. Levels & Rewards – The discord bot will level players up the more they interact. XP gain will be limited to Official servers & partnered servers.

7. In-Game Verification – Players will be asked to link their Minecraft account with their discord account on Official servers, and that information will be accessible to Partnered servers, but you will not need to have a verified account to interact on them. If you have an unverified account on an official server, then you will not be able to type in any channels or join any voice calls.

What controls do you have over Praetorian

Praetorian is being built with a full control panel at the center, so you can invite it to your own server, and manage what’s active, what’s inactive and know exactly what is happening on your instance of Praetorian. If you wish to have no automatic chat moderation, you don’t have to, if you want to enable music you can, if you want to allow players to view their own in-game stats in your server, it’s all up to you, and enabled or disabled by you. We cannot override that and we don’t access your server without you explicitly knowing about it. An example of a case where we would access your server is if there were a bug report, and we need to see logs to see what went wrong, we would pull discord bot logs for your server to see exactly what went wrong. We would not access your data to validate a report of abuse.

Who has access to the Discord bot (except the server owner)

We intend to keep a public record of who has access to the Discord Bot behind the scenes, and this will compromise of only a few senior developers for Podcrash who have all signed and agreed to non-disclosure agreements that mean even if they see a reportable offence, if they aren’t there to look specifically for that, they are required to not disclose it to any partners or moderators unless it falls under a serious threat to life.

Where to go for news about the Praetorian or the new server?

Recently we noticed that a lot of incorrect news and rumours have been popping up about the server, as such we have opened a section of our blog, which you can find here, that will provide any updates regarding Invicta or services related to Invicta (such as the Praetorian Discord Bot!)