The Diamond Hammer: Minecraft creations from the host of the Hammer Of Retribution Ogg-Cast



Project coordinates: X +406 : Y +63 : Z -8630
Date completed: 5 December 2017
Minecraft day completed: 7052

Minecraft 1.12, the World Of Color (sic) Update, was released on 7th June 2017. But, for all those reasons cryptically mentioned in the Colony project, I'm finally adding that extra splash of colour into the Sinclair's Foundry world six months late, with the 1.13 snapshots well underway. But still, better late than never, and it's not as if 1.13 is due to add anything visual to the game, just a lot of tweaks "under the bonnet". Making up for lost time, one thing 1.12 did promise us was some new, colourful pets - so let's go hunting for them now.


Throughout 2017, some of my Minecraft absence can be explained because I spent more time reconnecting with the ZX Spectrum in a way that's more meaningful to me - actually getting the real Spectrum out of its box, loading games from tape, and even meeting some of the members of the World of Spectrum forums in April. It's because at the end of the year I'll have owned my venerable old +2 for 30 years - and by way of a birthday present, I thought I'd make a combination of "modern" games (i.e. 1994 onwards, after the Spectrum's commercial era ended) to put on tape that I can load into the +2 and play as if it was still 1987, even though some of these wouldn't be written until we were past the year of Odyssey Two.

Doing an extensive amount of research to make sure this compilation was as good as it could possible be, I found a lot of games from Spanish developers that kept coming up on "best homebrew games of (insert year here)" lists that have spring up all over YouTube. Retroworks, The Mojon Twins and RELEVO Videogames are the three most prominent of these, following in the digital footsteps of Dinamic and Topo Soft, amongst others, who forged a path for Spain in the 1980s. After all, Spain was the biggest market for the Spectrum outside of the UK, and a fair few of their games found their way over here - some of them repackaged into different titles that'd make more sense to us (Codemasters, in particular, had a fondness for this).

One thing I'm reliably informed about, is that Spanish developers did their utmost to overcome the Spectrum's notorious colour problems - but rather than kick down the door of attribute clash the way that the Nirvana and Bifröst game engines have in recent years (which leave the Spectrum's critics slack-jawed in shock), they chose to work around the Spectrum's limitations and still deliver games that were awash with colour in a way that didn't usually happen with UK developers.

So, I thought the most appropriate thing to do here was name the parrots after these modern Spanish games. ¡Arriba!