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Turning Vanilla Minecraft into a realistic-looking survival simulator has been a dream of every Minecraft player. From realistically flowing water to granny sand physics created from blenders, Minecraft can be made realistic while keeping the blocky aesthetic the game has always been famous for.

We will not only make Minecraft look realistic but feel like a living world by overhauling the biome, texture, and ambiance. 

To make Minecraft look realistic, you need to have a beefy computer. Your PC will take a heavy load running all the high-resolution resource packs and shaders. 

What Are Shaders, Resources-packs, and Mods?

Shaders will give you dynamic lightning from the sun’s setting to the burning of lava. It will also make the torch in your hand glow without placing them. It can be very handy while mining because you don’t have to stop every time and place a torch to light the way. 

Resource packs are the texture of every block in Minecraft. You can change the texture of sand, wood, and cobblestone from pixelated to extremely detailed blocks by giving them HD textures. 

The basic vanilla texture block is 16×16 pixel resolutions, but we can pump those resolutions up to 2048, but that would be too power-consuming and unnecessary. 

Mods allow you to change the core physics of Minecraft or include additional creatures and items in the game. It can change the gameplay mechanics, and it is needed to add physics-based realism into the game, like audio cues, dynamic trees, and many more. 

How to Make Minecraft Look Realistic

You can either make Minecraft visually and aesthetically pleasing or use mods that will somehow keep the dynamism of real life, like the falling of trees, realistic dropping off items, or shattering of blocks while mining. I will provide you with the best of both options by keeping all things in balance.

Install Shader, Mods, and Resources-packs

By installing Forge in your windows, you will have the option to store and use mods directly from your windows folders to the game. Make sure to install java on your computer since the game we are modifying is a Java version of Minecraft. 

Once you install Forge, you can see the Forge in the installation version of Minecraft beside the play option. Select the Forge option and enter the game. 

You can now see the Mods option inside the game main game menu. The mod button is now available for you to select or deselect from the list of mods you download. 

Shader, Mods, and Resources-packs You Need For Realistic Minecraft

There is a lot of Content that completely describes how Minecraft looks and plays. Some are based on a fantasy that brings back dragons and dinosaurs, while some are more cyberpunk aesthetics. 

Our approach is to change vanilla Minecraft into a more realistic experience where you can emerge into the ambiance and sound of nature. 

Fresh Animations Mod

The mod gives fun and fluent animations to many of the static creatures. You can now see goats and other animals jumping and leaping with joy. It feels like the creature is more lively and has more personality to them.  

Terraforged 

Terraforge is a close-to-life-size terrain generator where you can view high hills that will take you the most time to reach their peak, unlike vanilla Minecraft which will take you a minute or two to climb small chunks of hills. 

You can experience the massive terrain of the mod while exploring all its biomes. I first installed biomes o’ plenty, but the mod has more variation to terrains generation, whereas Terraforge is more suited to real-life terrain generation. Every terrain is scaled up to massive-looking hills and mountains, so you might want to extend the render distance to max. 

 Dynamic trees And Better Foliage

You don’t want a floating tree when breaking its stump? It might take away the illusion of realism, so I suggest you add a dynamic tree that adds variation to trees, including branches sticking out. Trees also fall realistically like other survival games once you cut them.

Better Foliage will bring out the little shrubs from blocky grass, making them more dynamic in shape. The combination of both makes the forest biomes dense and realistic. The trees are no longer just above your head. Instead, they are way high above in those branches where they are supposed to be. Leaves fall from trees gently, which adds realism to already beautiful trees. 

Realistic 3D Item Drops 

Now no more picking up rotating floating items like booster packs or health kits. Every item you drop will react to the real-world physics of the game. If you throw any block from the top of the hill, it will stumble all the way down to the flat surface. 

Items are also non-stackable when dropped. You will have a cluster of blocks and items laying down individually, creating realism to the mess. 

BSL Shaders 

I use a BSL shader all the time. It adds atmospheric effects like real-time shadows, ambient occlusion, volumetric bloom light, cel-shading, depth of field, and many more. You also have various customization in terms of graphics. 

Patrix Resource Pack And SEUS 

The combination of both shader and resource-pack makes the game look realistic in its own way. Patrix Resource-pack three texture resolutions that balance performance and graphics. 32x , 128x, 256x. A higher number means better details in graphics but low on performance. 

SEUS (Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable Shaders) perfectly suits the Patrix resource pack. However, you can use both separately but using them together compliments one another. You can also tweak shadow quality, ambient light, and other shader options to make it more realistic. 

Conquest Resource-pack

It’s one of those resource packs that will take you back to the medieval age. Its grim and rusty texture makes the scenario of you in an old tavern. Torch and fire animation is also tweaked to match the realistic fire effect. 

If you have played Skyrim, you will feel at home with the Conquest Resource Pack.

There are a plethora of mods, resource packs, and shaders you can add to make it as realistic as possible. It’s up to you and the limitations of your computer that will determine how realistic you want your Minecraft game to be. 

These are my favorites. You might have your taste for realism. Experiment with everything until you come across something that suits your play style. 

Fancy Block Particles

This mod will make particle effects more realistic by adding more details to bland particles such as campfire blocks while breaking. If you combine this mod with the Physics mod, then it looks like breaking real blocks as the pieces scatter once you break a block. 

Dynamic Surroundings

The mod will add a whole new depth to your game experience by adding a bunch of sound effects and visual effects that make the surroundings more realistic. 

You can now find fireflies at night glowing around the grasses of open plane fields, an aurora above the sky in colder biomes, fire steam coming out of blocks near lava, and other many little details. 

Each biome will also have its own set of sound effects. You can hear birds chirping in forest biomes and the wind blowing at a high altitude. It’s a pleasant audio experience to immerse players where audio and visuals are matched together in a perfect sense. 

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How To Make A Chest In Minecraft

Minecraft is all about resource collection. Whether you are exploring the amazing Minecraft biomes or gathering materials to make a Minecraft house, you will encounter a huge number of items and blocks. Now, you can place most of them in your world and pick them up again. But, if you know how to make a chest in Minecraft, all your items can be safely placed in a single location. Except for beginners, most players already know about the mechanics of this item. So if you want to join the masses, learn how to get and make a chest in Minecraft.

How to Find a Chest in Minecraft

Chests are one of the most basic items in the game, and they spawn throughout the world of Minecraft. You can find a chest in the following locations:

Dungeons

Strongholds

Villages

Jungle Temples

Desert Temples

Nether Fortresses

End Cities

Igloos

Woodland Mansions

Shipwrecks

Ocean Ruins

Buried Treasure

Pillager Outposts

Bastion Remnants

Ruined Portals

Ancient Cities

While the loot of each natural chest is different in Minecraft, you can pick any chest by breaking it with or without a tool. If you break a chest without emptying out its contents, the stored items drop alongside the chest.

Items Required to Make a Chest

8 Planks

Crafting Table

You can use any type of wooden plank to make your chest. They don’t even have to be of the same type of wood. The final chest always looks the same. Though, if you want to challenge yourself, we suggest you get the new bamboo wood for your chests. To get planks, you can place log or wood blocks in the crafting area to easily turn them into planks.

Minecraft Chest: Crafting Recipe

Follow these steps to easily make a chest in Minecraft:

2. Then, place the wooden planks in all the cells of the crafting area, except the middle cell. You can use any type of wooden plank here.

How to Make a Double Chest in Minecraft

The crafting recipe we just covered will get you a small chest. It is useable in a variety of ways but many players rely on a large chest as their main storage option. But there is no crafting recipe for a large chest in Minecraft. Instead, you need to make two small chests and place them horizontally next to each other.

The game automatically turns the two small chests into a single large chest. This mechanic doesn’t work with more than two chests. But you can use this method to create as many large chests as you want.

How to Use a Chest in Minecraft 1. Storage

The most obvious way to use a chest in Minecraft is by placing it on the ground and putting your items in it. A small chest has 27 item slots, each of which can hold one stack of any item, totaling a maximum of 1,728 items. Similarly, a large chest has 54 slots that can hold at most 3,456 items.

When it comes to interaction, you can use a piston to push a chest, but this mechanic only works in Minecraft Bedrock edition. Further, lava and water can move around the chests without affecting them. Even if fire shows up on top of the chest, it doesn’t burn it down. All chests in Minecraft are fire and lava-proof. However, they can still be destroyed by blasts of any kind.

2. Transportation 3. Crafting Other Items

As a crafting ingredient, you can use chests to create the following items in Minecraft:

Trapped Chest

Shulker Box

Hopper

Boat with Chest

Raft with Chest

Minecart with Chest

4. Christmas Chests

To celebrate the Christmas spirit, every year on December 24–26, the texture of chests in Minecraft changes into wrapped presents. The small chests turn red and golden in color, while the large chests turn green, white, and red in color. This change happens across all editions of Minecraft.

Moreover, you can trigger the Christmas chests by manually changing the date of your computer to December 24–26. However, do keep in mind, this change is only visual and doesn’t affect the mechanics or functionality of chests.

Now that you know how to craft a chest in Minecraft, you can stop worrying about storing items and start collecting them throughout your world. However, if you are playing on one of these best Minecraft survival servers, creating a simple chest might not be enough. Any player can break or steal your chest and its items. If that concerns you, you should make an Ender chest in Minecraft instead of a regular chest.

How To Make A Chiseled Bookshelf In Minecraft 1.20

Before the announcement of the Minecraft 1.20 update, all the bookshelves in-game were purely decorative. They looked like bookshelves but had no feature to store books in them. The only practical purpose of these bookshelves was to power the enchanting table in Minecraft. Now, things are about to change with the upcoming update. As silly as it might sound, you can finally store books on bookshelves in-game. All you need to do is figure out how to make a chiseled bookshelf in Minecraft and bring your home library to life.

How to Craft a Chiseled Bookshelf in Minecraft (2024)

Note: The chiseled bookshelf is only available as an experimental feature in Minecraft 1.20 Beta and Snapshot 22w46a at the moment. Everything from their texture to their mechanics is subject to change in the final release.

What is a Chiseled Bookshelf

The chiseled bookshelf is a storage block in Minecraft that allows you to store “book and quill”, written books, regular books, and even enchanted books. Each bookshelf can hold up to six books at one time. The number of books is visually displayed on the chiseled bookshelf, even though there is no visual indicator of the type of each book.

Moreover, unlike utility blocks or other storage blocks, there is also no unique UI available for this block. Instead, you have to directly walk up to the chiseled bookshelf and place books on it. But more on that later.

Items Required to Make a Chiseled Bookshelf

6 Wood Planks (+ 3 to make planks)

3 Wood Slabs

Crafting Table

You can use any type of wood in Minecraft to craft the chiseled bookshelf. The planks don’t even have to use the same type of wood in this crafting recipe. Now, for those unaware, you can easily get planks by putting wood logs in the crafting area. Though, if you want to use bamboo wood in Minecraft, you will have to first create a block of bamboo by combining wood. Then you can turn it into planks. Check out the linked guide for more information.

Meanwhile, you need to place three pieces of planks adjacent to each other in any row of the crafting area to make wood slabs. Three wood planks will give you six wood slabs. We only need three slabs to make a chiseled bookshelf in Minecraft.

Chiseled Bookshelf Crafting Recipe in Minecraft

Once you have collected all the materials, follow the steps below to craft a chiseled bookshelf in Minecraft:

1. First, fill the middle row of the crafting area with wood slabs.

How to Use a Minecraft Chiseled Bookshelf

Using a chiseled bookshelf is simple in Minecraft. Follow these steps to quickly familiarize yourself with this new item in-game:

1. First, equip the chiseled bookshelf in your inventory and place it on a flat surface.

Other Uses of Chiseled Bookshelf

Redstone Signal: The chiseled bookshelf sends a Redstone signal based on the slot that is filled. The top left slot sends the weakest Redstone signal and the bottom right sends the strongest. Meanwhile, the signal strength increases in the remaining slots while going left to right and top to bottom.

Redstone Trigger: Expanding on the Redstone functionality, the chiseled bookshelf gives out a triggering signal on each interaction with a selected column. So, for example, if you trigger slot A, it will continue to send a Redstone signal until you trigger it or any other slot. Triggering another slot increases or decreases the signal strength.

Make and Use a Chiseled Bookshelf in Minecraft

Make Dark Rooms Look Brighter By Choosing Colors With High Lrv

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Learn how to choose paint colors for dark rooms to make them look brighter! You might also be interested in how I picked the perfect white paint for a dark room!

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You know how sometimes you get on Pinterest to search for a specific subject and before you know it, three hours have passed and you’re looking at completely unrelated information?

That’s exactly how I ran across an article about choosing paint colors for dark rooms. This article blew my mind.

I’ve been painting rooms for a while and I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about paint and choosing paint colors. I know all about colors leaning towards green or red. I know that not all whites are the same. I know all about color theory.

However, my current house gives me trouble and I’ve never been able to figure out why until now. Now that I know, I want to scream it from the roof tops: this is how to choose paint colors for dark rooms!!!

I live in the forest, surrounded by trees. We have pockets of sunshine, but for the most part, we have a lot of shade. This is lovely in the summer when our house is 10-15 degrees cooler than everywhere else, but it sucks for picking out paint colors.

This whole time, I have been thinking that the green of the trees was reflecting weird and making the paint colors look dark.

Living room, without color correction to show how the room looks and feels in real life.

You’re probably thinking duh! Paint the rooms a lighter color. But, the first floor of my house is painted in Benjamin Moore Galt Blue and Wickham Gray. They’re both very light colors that I would describe as pastels. So why do they suck up so much light?

This post by Kylie M. Interiors shed a lot of light on the subject (pun intended!) Kylie’s post was the first that I had ever read that mentioned LRV.

What is LRV?

LRV means light reflection value and refers to how much light is reflected. The scale is from 0-100 with 0 being dark and 100 being bright. She recommends colors with an LRV of above 65. I think for my house, I need at least 70.

Without even looking it up, I knew that my beloved Galt Blue was lower than that. It’s barely lower, but it does make a difference.

Wickham gray on the other hand has an LRV of 68, which is pretty impressive for a gray. Gray is made from white and black, so most grays have low LRVs.

In other words, just because a color is a pastel, doesn’t mean that it will make your house feel brighter!

What Color Reflects the Most Light?

Technically, white reflects the most light. But all whites are not equally reflective. 

Choosing the Best Paint Colors for Dark Rooms

I have a lot of rooms to repaint in the next few months, so I spread out my collection of paint chips. I collect these like normal people collect pottery (except I collect that too.)

All of the major brands are represented here, but only the Sherwin Williams Paints from Lowes have the LRV clearly listed on the back. I knew there was a reason that I loved that line.

Choosing a paint color with a high LRV can help make a dark room look brighter.

Here you can see how low the Navy blues are.

Naval has an LRV of 4, which means is sucks up all of the light in the room. I have this color in my basement. 

Here are some light grays.

And some aquas, which are all too dark. These are just colors that I already had in my stash of paint chips. It looks like I’ll be collecting a few more.

I found this information incredibly helpful and I thought other people might too. Choosing paint colors just got a little easier for those of us who have small, dark rooms.

Check out this post about how to choose white paint!

Other Ways to Brighten a Room without Paint

Mirrors places across from windows or light sources

Light colored decor like rugs and curtains

Shiny surfaces to reflect light

Add more lighting. This can be complex light adding a new light fixture or it can be as simple as changing out the bulbs. I really like these daylight LED bulbs for really dark spaces. (In tiny spaces, they’re a bit overwhelming, but they’re perfect in a basement.)

Declutter. Sometimes removing stuff has the ability to make a room feel bother larger and brighter

You might also like: Pin for Later!

Emy is a vintage obsessed mama of 2 DIYer who loves sharing affordable solutions for common home problems. You don’t need a giant budget to create a lovely home. Read more…

Top 9 Most Realistic Fps Games

Realistic FPS shooters make you feel the thread and the weight of each bullet. The thrill of the hunt and survival becomes real.

These kinds of games are few and far, though. Even though most developers prefer going for “realistic” graphics, most shooter games are, well, games.

But there is still hope, my comrades. We scoured the web for the most realistic FPS games with insane attention to detail that still manages to make your blood boil in action.

Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical and challenging shooter.

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Ubisoft

Release Date: December 2024

Platform: PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows

Genre: Multiplayer FPS, Tactical Shooter

Ubisoft’s tactical shooter adds a certain level of fluff, but overall, it’s reasonably realistic.

The game features real-world settings and scenarios, realistic damage, complex reload mechanics, and weapon recoil. In particular, reload times are different if you reload with zero bullets compared to one or more bullets.

Gameplay revolves around two times of five players acting in a defensive or offensive role. The “terrorist” is the defensive team, and they must guard an objective. The “counter-terrorist” attack with specialized gear like shields and smoke grenades to infiltrate the site.

It all requires extreme caution. There’s always something hunting you down, and you could die in seconds. Thus, teams need information, the information they can later use to implement tactics.

The not-so-realist element is the “Operators,” which you unlock as you play and progress. These come with potent abilities like burning projectiles and deployable machine guns.

CoD: Warzone is the franchise’s best-seller game.

Publisher: Infinity Ward, Raven Software

Developer: Activision – Blizzard

Release Date: March 2023

Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows

Genre: Battle-royale, FPS

The Call of Duty saga doesn’t shine because of its realism but because of its entertainment value. Still, we believe CoD: Warzone is their most realistic game yet.

I think the main appeal of Warzone is how the weapons feel real. There’s a fair recoil system for each weapon that requires players to hone their skills to play.

Another thing players take into consideration is aiming speed. Larger weapons take longer to aim, so it’s best to aim and shoot immediately.

Either way, as the most popular battle-royale game, Warzone has grown non-stop-. It features several maps and several game modes, and each game mode requires different tactics and strategies.

The strategy starts at your loud out, where you choose your initial weapons and tactical gear. It should vary depending on your own skills, the map, and what your team requires.

Aside from tactics, it also requires dead-on skills. For example, if you die, you can spawn in the Gulag. You need to defeat an enemy player to return to the battlefield; otherwise, it’s game over.

Overall, Warzone is not very realistic. Characters are super fast, swap weapons in seconds, reload in a flash, withstand bullet sprays, and survive 3-floor jumps. Still, believe it or not, it’s perhaps their most realistic CoD game.

But Warzone is famous for a reason. If you haven’t tried it, I bet it’s because of its 100 GB download size. Once you get past it, you’ll discover massive PvP battles with up to 150 players on a map.

theHunter: Call of The Wild is a first-person hunting simulator.

Publisher: Avalanche Studios, Expansive Worlds

Developer: Avalanche Studios, Expansive Worlds

Release Date: April 2009

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows

Genre: Hunting Simulator

The Hunter: Call of the Wild is a hunting simulator game. It offers breathtaking realism with its open-world design.

Call of The Wild is immersive and offers a single-player campaign. The gameplay revolves around first-person hunting across a vivid open-world island. The animals you’ll find include deers, rabbits, hares, and pheasants.

To enter the game, you create a character, which allows you to connect to other players and share in-game clips.

Once you’re on the island, you must track the animals and use cover and stealth to hunt them. If you don’t want to shoot the animals, you can take photos with your character’s camera.

Tracking the animals requires using the in-game GPS, the “Huntermate.” In essence, you need to find animal tracks and then use the Huntermate to see where the animals are hiding.

There’re other elements. Notably, there’re rules you must follow, like the weapons allowed to kill each animal.

Overall, Call of The Wild is the most realistic hunting game. It’s not exactly the crazy PvP FPS game you’re probably looking for, but it’s different.

Hell Let Loose is not available for older-gen consoles

Publisher: Team17

Developer: Black Matter

Release Date: July 2023

Platform: PS5, Xbox Series, Windows

Genre: Multiplayer FPS

Hell Let Loose is the most recent game on our list. It’s a WW2 FPS that offers various multiplayer modes across different historical settings.

In essence, the game emulates a 50 vs. 50 war simulation. Ingame features include proximity chat, real physics, ballistic calculations, weapon recoil, and lethal damage.

You join matches as part of a squad and pick a role within the squad. Then, you go on a historical map like Omaha Beach or the Western Front and participate in large-scale combat. Tanks, artillery, and supply chains are part of the game.

There’re 9 maps to enjoy. The developers created these maps with real-life satellite data. Across these maps, teams have to capture tactical locations on open fields, forests, bridges, and towns. Once a team captures a sector, they generate resources for said team.

Battefleids create 50 vs. 50 multiplayer battles. Moreover, there’re 14 playable roles to choose from, like Scout, Officer, Medic, Engineer, or Tank Commander.

The gameplay is hardcore and full of historical weapons, uniforms, and vehicles. The game replicates the brutal landscapes and the lethality of WW2, so expect a highly punishing game. So, for example, you can dismember an enemy player with heavy fire.

That said, you won’t win by defeating the most enemy players. Instead, Hell Let Loose offers a unique meta where victory comes from breaking into enemy lines.

You’ll require teamwork and communication to make large-scale tactical decisions about attacking and defending. These decisions include calling support, artillery bombing, vehicle attacks, and reinforcements. Similarly, you can build defenses to strengthen your position.

Insurgency: Sandstorm offers both co-op and PvP game modes.

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive

Developer: New World Interactive

Release Date: December 2023

Platform: PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows

Genre: Tactical FPS

The original Insurgency game started as a Source mod. The sequel, Sandstorm, delivers the exact lethal and highly competitive FPS experience.

Insurgency: Sandstorm is a team tactical FPS. Gameplay revolves around lethal close quarters matches. Winning requires teamwork and caution.

Additionally, Sandstorm has a complex ballistic system, vehicles, artillery, and HDR audio that helps you detect your enemies.

These elements allow for coordinated artillery strikes, vehicle attacks, high-speed PvP engagements. 

The setting is a fictional conflict in the modern Middle East. Death comes in the form of bullets and the overall challenge of the game. Most of all, though, bullets are scarce, so you have to manage and carefully navigate and explore the environment. 

The game also offers customizing options. You can create a character and customize uniforms, accessories, clothes, and voices. You’ll unlock further options as you play and progress. Among these options are weapon upgrades and customizations.

Lastly, Insurgency matches offer 14 vs. 14 or an 8-player co-op against the AI. 

Overall, Insurgency: Sandstorm is a brilliant game. From level design to audio and weapon behavior, it’s a top-tier realistic shooter game.

Arma 3 is the most realistic military shooter you can buy.

Publisher: Bohemia Interactive

Developer: Bohemia Interactive

Release Date: March 2013

Platform: Windows

Genre: Sandbox, Military-sim, FPS

Arma 3 is an open-world military simulator. Its plot delivers a lengthy single-player campaign where you play as an American soldier, Kerry. At the beginning stages of the game, you must survive independently, as your OTAN allies lie defeated.

As the campaign goes on, you’ll face plenty of challenges and missions. These include solo stealth, infiltration, and large-scale conflict with military vehicles.

Arma 3 is hailed as the most realistic military shooter available. It offers the realistic scale and feel of war. Moreover, gameplay mechanics follow the same idea to a degree.

Core game features include a comprehensive aiming system with your crosshair. In particular, your character has 15 different stances to aim the weapon, and each one has particular uses.

Another essential feature is the ballistic calculations for weapon recoil, bullet drop, bullet velocity, and similar. Overall, the game recreates a realistic military scenario that’s still fun. These are part of both the single-player and the PvP modes.

On top of that, a large Arma 3 community has created a ton of mods. These will either increase the realistic aspects or add fantastical stuff. This happens because Arma 3 is a sandbox, so players have a bigger leeway when approaching situations.

Squad offers 50 vs. 50 PvP battles.

Publisher: Offworld Industries

Developer: Offworld Industries

Release Date: September 2023 (Early Access available since 2024)

Platform: Windows

Genre: Tactical shooter, PvP FPS

Squad is an indie tactical FPS game. The Canadian studio published the game as the “spiritual successor” to their multi-award-winning Project Reality mod for Battlefield 2.

Similarly, maps have over 16 km in size. You can use vehicles like tanks and transport helicopters. Across the maps, the overall objective is capturing tactical locations or eliminating enough reinforcements.

Other elements include realistic recoil, stamina, and ballistic calculations. Moreover, there’s a complex health system that revolves around combat medics.

Overall, Squad is the most realistic military shooter. Offworld Studios made it alongside real-life military veterans. It’s still a game, though, so the 50v50 battles are enjoyable.

Escape from Tarkov is a reasonably popular survival PvP FPS

Publisher: Battlestate Games

Developer: Battlestate Games

Release Date: July 2023 (Early Access)

Platform: Windows PC

Genre: Survival FPS, Multiplayer FPS

Escape from Tarkov is the punishing and hardcore multiplayer experience avid gamers can enjoy.

Its core mechanic is about spawning on one of their maps for 30-minutes or so raids. You loot as much as you can and escape through the exit point. If you escape, then you keep the loot for the next raid; otherwise, you lose most of what you’re carrying. 

Now, 30-minute raids don’t sound realistic, but I haven’t said anything about the gameplay. The game is an FPS with localized damage, a healing system specific for each body part and each injury type, thirst, hunger, and complex weapon behavior systems. 

Gunplay is equally superb. Guns look and feel close to how they do in real life, down to the scopes and reticles. Also, they are costly, and ammo is scarce, so you need to approach every situation with strategy.

On top of this, your characters (the one you can customize) earn levels in various skill trees by doing the corresponding actions. These skill trees are broad, complex and include how fast you can loot a box, how high you can jump, or how good you can aim. 

Lastly, you’ll fight versus other human players, as well as enemy NPCs on the maps. Anyone can kill you in a couple of seconds. 

RDR2 is one of the best games in the last decade.

Publisher: Rockstar

Developer: Rockstar

Release Date: October 2023

Platform: PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows

Rockstar’s masterpiece uses a fictional place and fictional characters. However, the game stays true to historical accuracy by respecting culture, tradition, outfits, weapons, and the overall state of society. RDR2 is the ultimate Western simulator and one of the most realistic games ever.

One element that gives the game its realism is NPC interaction. Every character acts and reacts like a real-life person in a Western situation.

Then, you’ve got the proper historical weapons, modeled after actual weapons. They feature recoil, bullet velocity, and tricky aiming. As a result, gunplay is realistic, punishing, and highly dependent on your skills.

That said, many RDR2 elements simulate reality, even at the expense of playability. That means plenty of mundane tasks like cleaning and inspecting your weapons to preserve their quality. Similarly, players have to get their horses to swap weapons, as there’s no proper inventory.

On top of this, you have to master the various mechanics of the game to progress. These include exploring, hunting, packing goods on your horse to sell them, building relationships, and completing bounties.

Either way, the game makes you play as outlaw Arthur Morgan. You follow a bigger plot on linear scenarios, but there’s a big open-world to explore outside the main mission. This world is highly interactive and immersive.

Shooting games have been around for decades and cross many genres. There’s more to the genre other than third-person and first-person.

For example, there’s the Borderland saga, a fantastic first-person shooter-looter. You can shoot, you use powers, and you loot like crazy.

On the other side of the coin, there’re games like Escape from Tarkov. These are punishing, realistic, and hardcore FPS titles with little else to help you aside from yourself.

Realistic or tactical shooters are an essential subgenre of the shooting category. These simulate military situations. As such, they require faster reflexes and more strategy than your average shooter.

These games are tactical, brutal, and require teamwork. If you go in alone, without friends or a squad, they will become a respawning simulator. It’ll make you angry.

Some developers go as far as adding hunger, thirst, localized damage, weapon recoil, and bullet drop. In other words, real-life military elements are present in these titles.

Aside from these elements, the weapons and armor will make or break the realism.

How To Make ‘How To’ Videos

How to plan, create and market a ‘how-to-video’

‘How to’ videos are one of the most popular video types on the net, so should always be considered as part of your content marketing efforts. They are an accessible format that can be applied to marketing many types of businesses. Essentially what you are doing is explaining how to do something that your people in a business are skilled in and knowledgeable about as it relates to your products and services.

All ‘how to’ videos are different, but we have developed a formula that can be applied regardless of the subject. Work through these steps to get the best results with your ‘how to’ video.

1. Planning the video What do your customers need help with?

There is approximately no point in making a how to video about something that everyone knows how to do. In the planning phase you need to research and define the common problems your customers face. This will enable you to pitch a perfectly useful video to a perfectly interested audience.

Two birds, one stone: make connections

While you are researching common problems, make a note of all of the blogs, social media pages and websites you come across that relate to your ‘how to’ video. If you are particularly on the ball you will build some relationships at this stage. Tell them you are making this video and ask them if they are interested in seeing it and sharing it when it is ready.

Learn from other people’s mistakes

Look around at what other videos have been made on the same or a similar topic. Analyse what works and what doesn’t as well as what is missing. Use this information to inform how you produce your own video.

2. Production of the video Choosing an on-screen presenter

There are two main things to consider here. Firstly, they need to work well on camera and be approachable and easy to listen to. Secondly, they need to know what they are talking about and be confident and passionate about what they are explaining. If they are none of those things, your audience will disconnect.

Production quality

In the following video, we don’t have an on-screen face. It is a very short video, which gets to the point and skips over the parts that will be of no interest to the audience.

Pace and length

Pace is extremely important and you will determine the pace in the edit lab. Get it wrong and people will switch off. The pace will depend on the information you have decided to share in your video. Avoid stating the obvious. Cover the important bases and spend more time on the complicated elements. Skip over or increase the speed through the obvious parts – this will have a stylistic impact. We think that shorter videos are more effective, as long as you have covered all necessary bases.

I found numerous different videos on ‘how to tie a bow tie’. This was my favourite because it was shortest. Very DIY but it does the job. One video lasted over 9 minutes – needless to say I didn’t watch it all.

3. Marketing the video Testing on an audience

Before letting your video free into the public domain, test it on some small audiences for feedback. This will give you the audience perspective to work with. It will help you make decisions about which parts are adding nothing and which elements need more elaboration. You cannot underestimate the value of this part of the process – you might think your video is great but you are making it for other people to watch…

Distribution routes

Your obvious starting point is your existing network including your mailing list and your social media followers. Related blogs and websites are a perfect target audience and if you already have relationships with them this process should be a lot quicker and easier.

Video SEO

There are a number of things you can do to give your video the best possible chance of appearing in search engine results. These include a consideration of the page on which you embed your video, where you host it, keywords in titles and descriptions and also creating closed caption subtitles for the video.

For more information about video SEO see My Web Presenters guide to video SEO basics.

So there you have it. Tick all of those boxes and you should be on your way to enlightening the world with your ‘how to video’.

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