Oh wow. If you thought last week's snapshot changed how you play Minecraft, wait until you see snapshot 14w18a. Despite this being a three-and-a-half day week in Sweden, Dinnerbone and the other Mojangstas have slipped an amazing new feature into the game - the ability to move things around with slime.
What's even more impressive is what the community has built with it. Cars, cannons, hidden base entrances and all sorts. I've also got a seed for an amazing extreme jungle world, some fantastic monster illustrations and a link to download Denmark. Yes the country.
The titanic change I'm talking about is innocuously listed in the changelog as "Pistons now interact with Slime Blocks in cooler ways," which rather underplays the significance of what's going on. Essentially, you can use a slime block to make several things stick to a piston at once - pushing and pulling them along with it.
That's great on its own, but if you stick slime blocks to the slime block then anything attached to them will also be moved. Here's a gif of that in action, so you can get a better idea of what I mean, but you can essentially push up to 12 blocks at any one time -- allowing for far more complex machines to be built.
Like an actual car. The chiselled-stone wheels are a nice touch, and while it can't reverse, turn, or cope with any slopes (who needs to do that?), it's still mightily impressive. I give it less than two weeks before someone creates Conway's Game of Life in Minecraft and the whole thing becomes self-aware. It was coded by the Zipkrowd, so perhaps we can blame them?
If that wasn't enough, objects now bounce if they're on a slime block that's being pushed upwards. This means you can teleport huge distances using ender pearls, or build beautiful mexican sandwaves, water-free TNT cannons, undetectable hidden base entrances, or even huge arrow-shotguns like this:
Making these contraptions has occupied a lot of the community's attention over the last couple of days, but there are a few other things worth sharing that I've spotted. The first is an extreme jungle world, built using last week's new world generation features. Click through to the Reddit post to find the seed and preset details.
I'm not normally a huge fan-art enthusiast, but these drawings of Minecraft's monsters are amazing - particularly in how the artist, Russian-born Dmitry Burmak, has managed to capture their blocky origins while still making them adequately horrifying. Great work.
Finally, you've probably seen this reported elsewhere by now but it's worth noting that a pair of Danish geologists have recreated their entire country in Minecraft, at 1:1 scale. Woah. It consists of about four trillion blocks, and occupies more than a terabyte of disk space. If you don't have that spare, you can download it in ten square-kilometre chunks. Use Google Translate to grab it from the Danish-language download site here.
I'll call it a day there. If you've seen anything in the Minecraft community that you think I should be highlighting, tell me about it by dropping me an email. I'll be back with another roundup this time next week.