Friday, December 7, 2012

A Great Many Things

Since my last post, I've done quite a few things in different places. I've made progress on my single player Nether hub, and have also done things on three servers.

Single Player
Just about everything I've done in single player has been about setting up the Nether hub. It's way bigger than I anticipated.

Before doing any of that, I had to find the fortress I'd been using to get my Nether brick from. Let's just leave out the details and say that was about an hours' time traveling in wrong directions, risking my Minecraft life. My laptop just is not a gaming machine, even with Game Booster (which I recommend in addition to Optifine), and the Nether lags something nasty. So I was playing on Peaceful, to no avail. What's worse, toward the end of my tunnel digging, my pickaxe broke! So I had to punch through Netherrack.

Part of my path to the fortress goes right over my former portal!

After that foolishness, I loaded up on XP using my zombie farm and enchanted a new diamond pickaxe. Remember the one I sacrificed a post or two ago? Yeah, that thing's history. But its replacement is pretty nice.

Back to the fortress, where I proceeded to mine out a bunch of Netherrack while listening to a podcast (or was it Internet radio? It's been a while).

Now I've been digging out the area my portal formed in, and laying out the skeleton of the hub. Mostly I've just been using stone pickaxes because as slow as they may be (0.05 seconds slower than anything higher than them) they are essentially infinite in supply for me and better than expending iron or diamond. Here's just a fraction of the hub's location dug out.

A couple shots of the first rail station in place. These will look better eventually.

This is a huge project and to be honest I'm getting a little bored of it. I may take a break with it and move on to something else, coming back to it in little periods of time.

Hydrocity Gaming
A couple weeks ago I tried doing a let's play episode, but things just haven't been working in my favor. I've hardly had enough time and motivation to do anything. All I've really done is work on a wheat farm room inside my underground base. I like to stand there and let it run.

From another angle, a few days later:

Shear Survival UK
I was getting irritated with the immaturity that I kept seeing in Hydrocity's chat ("can i live with you?", "can i join ur faction?", and a whole ton of grammatically incorrect swearing) so I went on the Minecraft forums and browsed the servers section. This one caught my eye. It's styled after the Mindcrack server and the people on it are pretty mature. Being a let's player, that's an excellent environment. I hopped on and found they were working on the Nether hub. They'd already established an Enderman farm in the End. Server had potential.

The next morning I hopped on and started off for a place to call my own. Given my loner habits, I decided to go a fair distance from spawn. I ran across a ton of trees.

Also experienced a bit of misfortune.

Not to mention a bit of terrain generator silliness (that's a floating wildgrass over the water.)

Initially I found a spot in the forest to settle in, which had some nice hills not too far from it. But I grew discontent with it and instead moved on until I found a nice plains. I knew that if I stayed with the server I would be a strange combination of Etho, Pakratt0013, and Kurtjmac. But presently I have two servers I play on, a third isn't something I need. Hopefully I'll stay on the whitelist in case I ever decide to become a regular member.

Friend's Private Server
When I went home for Thanksgiving Break, I was able to meet up with some friends and the owner of the private server I was playing on a few months back. The server IP had been changed and I didn't know what it had become. This is part of what got me back at Hydrocity Gaming. Now I know what the IP address is, and I spent some time working on it.

My first house, a bulky, incomplete wooden structure was alright but frankly I found it unappealing. Thus I decided I wanted to find another place and start something new. I tried going in east (I think) to find a relatively uninhabited place, but I came across building after building, including a friend's sand village. So that wasn't going to work. I returned home and started heading in the direction that I originally went to settle in this home (north, I believe) and about 500 meters later ran into a swamp biome. There's just something about those biomes, I constantly find myself settling down in either those or plains. It was nice and spacious, with some hills not too far. I investigated the place and fell in love with it! That was going to be my new home.

I was thinking of what I would build there, and an idea came to mind: ditch the practical builds. What I mean is, almost everything I build has some functionality - they revolve around doing something, be it farms, enchanting tables, and so on. This time was going to be different. I figured I would make a circular building. I have a basic design in my head, which fits the following requirements:

  • The building itself will be circular at its base. I used a circle generator site to figure out how to place blocks.
  • The walls would  be made of sandstone, with pine wood at key points acting as "supports."
  • There will be plenty of windows at eye-level in the walls.
  • There will be three iron doors to get in and out of the building: one at the front of the house, and one on each side. To get out I just need a pressure plate, to get in I need a stone button.
  • The main floor will have five rooms. The center room is my bedroom, which is decorated to look nice. At the center of the room, and thus the center of the house, is a simple ichthys (I've been rather obsessed with using that symbol lately) embedded in the floor.
  • The other four rooms are five blocks wide and each take up about a quarter of a circle around the bedroom. The rooms are a wheat farm, reed farm, furnace room (smeltery) and brewery.
  • At the back of the building is a ladder that takes you to the basement and upper floor.
  • The basement is round, like the main floor. It will probably be made with stone bricks and has a bunch of chests to store things. In the center, a block into the floor, is an enchanting table surrounded by a full set of bookshelves. There is a stair, perhaps stone brick or Nether brick, to get down to its level. I'll also put an Ender chest and anvil down there when I can make those.
  • The main floor won't have an actual ceiling. The rooms will be four blocks tall. Instead of a ceiling, there will be iron bars overhead.
  • The upper floor won't really have a floor, except a ring of pine slabs along the circumference. Then a sandstone wall, and at eye level the entire circle will be glass.
  • The roof will be conical in shape, made of stairs.
That's insanely precise. For the time being, I'm living in a little hole in the ground, which just so happened to be under my building. At night the Slimes and spiders are all able to track me, despite being underground.

Some early outlining work. The wood has been replaced with stone bricks.

You can tell in the last picture where the wheat farm is intended to be. I didn't realize it at the moment but that farm land was actually a block lower than where I needed it to be. I rectified the situation and secured more materials to continue building.

I realized that at some point in the construction of the outer ring, I was off by one block. I don't know exactly where, so most of it's been torn down. You can also see that the three paths leading outdoors have been widened to three blocks. I'm using wood from the swamp right now; if I ever find a snow biome, I'll use the darker pine wood instead.

A couple (real life) days later, I've fixed the incorrect placement of segments and am now ready to work on the inside, but first I needed a design for the main entrance. This took about a half hour of experimenting, but I think I'm happy with the result.

I don't know when my next blog post or let's play episode will come out. Finals week is coming up and after that I'm heading home, where SMP won't be an easy option. Recording will be a challenge too.