Thursday, December 22, 2011

Getting Serious

For a while now I've been goofing around. Learning some new things but not really being productive. Today I decided to break that pattern and start progressing toward my Minecraft goals. First up, establishing farms.

My wheat farm was completed a couple days ago. One water block is all that's needed to make all this farmland viable.

Being by a swamp biome, there are reeds everywhere! I decided to set up a simple farm, where I plant a long line of them on the coastline my house faces towards. It only takes a day for reeds to fully grow, so this will be easy to harvest and have tons of wheat, sugar cane, paper, and eventually books and bookshelves.

In the upper left corner of the previous image you see a desert. That is the location of my new cactus farm. Cacti need not water or specific light levels to grow. Just plop it on sand (or, from what the wiki says, even clay) and they grow-albeit a much slower rate.

Last but not least, my first stab at breeding animals. As it stands, I find cows to be some of the more useful animals. They drop beef which can be cooked or eaten, as well as leather for armor. This simple pen is 10x10 on the inside and located a little distance from my house, in order to make things less cramped. I took a row of wheat from my farm and went into the desert/grass area above. Only two of the cows there were wooed by me, but that's all I needed. Passing through a river, I enclosed them in the pen and gave them wheat. After a moment they saw each other and... poof! Babby cow!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Storare Room and Automatic Seed/Flower Harvester

I have been doing a lot of mining under my base over the past couple days. There have been huge amounts of iron that I'm continually smelting in a furnace near the entrance to the mineshafts. Thanks to Millenaire, I have an incentive to keep the huge supply of cobblestone that accrued. When I'm filled up I just teleport or run to the village and trade it for money.

In that same legit world, I also began making an underground storage room like my 1.7.3 map did. The two double chests in my base were getting very full and very disorganized. Below ground, where I began hallowing out the area for my storage room, there was mostly dirt and I decided to keep the theme by making the walls out of dirt. The problem was, there were small caves on either side of me:

My solution was simply to place dirt where these problem spots existed. Eventually I got a nicely organized set of chests, signs, and workbenches established. I moved the vast majority of the junk upstairs to these things. I didn't realize just how many iron ingots I had until this was done!

Of course, one block had to be different. Somehow, I had an actual grass block form.

Not to mention the neighborhood spiders, poking their noses where they ought not.

Now, I have a creative world that is non-legit. One of the things I'm wanting to do, as practice toward the automated city, is make a system that uses water currents to harvest seeds and flowers. It utilizes a piston, redstone, and bone meal. Here's an overhead glory shot:

On the bottom right you see a dispenser atop a wood block which has a button. When you press that button, the dispenser will shoot bone meal to you. When you right-click a grass block with bone meal it will generate wild grass and flowers. On the bottom left you see a button connected to restone wiring. That will activate the piston, causing it to retract its arm. When that happens, water will briefly flow from the source block above the arm. The water, confined by the Netherrack fence (which could easily be any other type of block, even pressure plates), will flow and cause all the wild grass and flowers to break. This will drop flowers and seeds. Then, once the signal from the button dies, the piston arm will extend and cut off the supply of water. This leaves the loot in the area to be collected.

I wanted to use another couple water streams so that items will flow right toward me instead of requiring me to walk around and collect. Unfortunately, water mechanics are strange and the harvesting water will not flood the entire area. Here's the wiring:

This is only a model and could be optimized greatly. The wire wraps around and the signal is inverted at the plank and redstone. The repeater was originally meant to extend the signal but, given the inverter, is not actually required. That wire charges the wood it runs into, turning off the torch on top of it. That torch actually activates another torch, which is hiding behind the wood above it. This activated torch powers the piston, keeping the arm extended.  When you turn on the circuit, everything reverses: the first half is on, the inverter turns the normally powered section off, and the pair of torches reverse states. With the top torch off, nothing is powering the piston and it retracts, letting water out. Because a button is used, the signal lasts just a few moments before reverting to normal. Here's a picture of the harvester in action. Don't mind the pumpkins on sticks - those are part of an ad hoc archery range.

If I ever include this in my legit map, I want to utilize water currents so that the seeds and flowers flow into a collection point somewhere in my house. Manual usage of bone meal will always be necessary, of course; but with pistons and restone, harvesting could be much simpler.