Redstone is the material in Minecraft that makes circuitry possible. Last time we explored natural mechanics in Minecraft. Today we will check out the mechanics of Redstone circuitry. Welcome to Day 81 of 365 Ideas for #Office 365.
To complete a circuit, you need 3 things- an input, an output, and something to connect them. There several tools in Minecraft that serve as inputs, several different tools for outputs, put only one item serves as that connector.
Inputs are blocks that you can place in Minecraft that players can interact with to serve as a ‘trigger’ to cause an effect. Input devices in Minecraft include levers, buttons and pressure plates. Like pretty much every item in Minecraft, each takes up the space of one block. Levers and buttons may be placed on any surface, horizontal or vertical. Pressure plates must be placed horizontally, on top of another block.
Activate a lever by right-clicking on it. Deactivate a lever by right-clicking on it. Yes, levers toggle on and off. Once you turn it on it stays on until you manually turn it off. Contrast that with a button, which only turns on for a moment. You also activate a button by right-clicking on it. However, the button only stays “on” for about 1 second. No need to right-click it to turn it back off. Right-clicking on a pressure plate does nothing. Activate a pressure plate by stepping on it. As long as you stand on it, it stays powered on. Walk off of it, and it turns off after a second. There are a few varieties of pressure plates, so you can choose one that responds to certain weights only. Pressure plates can also be triggered by mobs, so a cow, horse, or villager walking across your pressure plate could activate it.
There are many outputs in Minecraft, including iron doors, Redstone lamps, pistons, dispensers and minecarts. Each responds to an input, like a pushing a button or stepping on a pressure plate. An iron door will open, a Redstone lamp will turn on, a piston will push, a minecart will move and a dispenser will, well, dispense an item when activated.
Redstone circuitry is what makes the magic happen. Each input and output needs to be connected by circuitry to create the effect. Redstone is that circuitry. Once you place you input and output, just lay a trail of Redstone dust between them to connect them. Consider it wiring.
Redstone follows “rules” of circuitry, so it models circuitry well. A signal will only travel so far, but here are ways to extend that reach. The signal can also be slowed down, so the time in between effects in a parallel circuit can be increased.
You can start pretty simple, but Redstone circuitry can get really complex. Check out the Redstone courses at Education.Minecraft.net if you want to learn more.