One of the most useful elements in Minecraft is the NPC, or non-player character. They’re very resourceful for characters that can’t move and only do what you tell them. (No jokes about husbands, wives, children or dogs here, please.) Welcome to Day 95 of 365 Ideas for Office 365– NPC’s.
NPC vs mob
In video games, the term NPC can refer more generally to any entities that are not controlled by a player. In Minecraft, the word for that is mobs, not to be confused with mods, which is short for modifications. NPCs in Minecraft Education Edition are specific mobs you can place and program when you are designing a world. They cannot move themselves (although you can program them to teleport, so you could make them teleport themselves.)
Placing an NPC
Place an NPC by getting an NPC spawn from your inventory. To place or modify an NPC you have to be a world builder. This is a status that you can turn on and off by typing “/wb” on your keyboard. When you turn world builder on, you can place NPCs and edit them. When you want to interact with an NPC like your students will while playing the game, turn your world builder status off by typing “/wb” again. You can toggle in and out of wb status to modify and test your NPCs.
Once you place the NPC, you right-click to get to the editing options. First name your NPC and choose it’s appearance. There aren’t as many options for NPC appearances as there are for your character, which is a shame, since they are characters that you deploy as part of the story you are building.
Next you can type or copy and paste dialogue. When a player right-clicks on an NPC, this is what they will see, as if the NPC is speaking to them. It really can speak, if you click on the Immersive Reader icon. Like all text in Minecraft:EE, Immersive Reader accessibility tools are available for the NPC’s dialogue.
This is also how players will access the weblinks and commands you program NPCs with.
Pretty much anything you can do with slash commands, you can do with NPCs. There are two settings. You can make commands happen automatically when the player stops interacting with the NPC, or you can create a button and the command doesn’t occur until the player pushes a button. Commands can be anything from giving the player an item, or giving all players an item, to changing the weather or the time of day, to spawning a mob, to teleporting one or more players to a certain location. This is one of several ways to provide players with specific items or materials in a survival world where they don’t get an unlimited inventory like they do in creative mode.
You can also create buttons that open a browser outside of Minecraft and take students to a specific website. That can be a YouTube or Stream video, an educational website like Nearpod, Quizlet or Padlet, or even a Word or Google Doc online, which you can share with read only or editing permissions.
Need a Windows 10 device for your Minecraft Education Edition?
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