Saturday, December 22, 2012

Some Work around The Cave

Single Player

Spent the past couple days back at the cave base, where I did two things of notice.

First, I moved my enchantment table. If you recall, the table was originally in the basement of the cave base, which was accessed by the stairs in the central room. This position was actually a bit inconvenient. In order to get to my zombie experience grinder I need to take the spiral stairs to the surface, then drop down at the collection point. Once I've built up 30 levels I would usually jump down the water drop and enchant in the basement. This was a bunch of excessive moving around, so I figured I would move the table.

This is how I first had it arranged:

That turned out to be too big, and the highest enchant level I could muster was 8. So I moved the books in a block.

Much better. The only annoying part is that the entrance to the room is right where the ladder to the place is, so it takes me a few tries to get in without being hoisted by the ladder. Still, it's much more convenient than having to run back to the cave and in fact, I can reach the table without really moving from the spot I normally stand to hit the zombies.

One of the zombies apparently had chainmail armor!

(I'm using the Mindcrack texture pack. The pinkish reddish mobs are regular zombies. Those slivers of blue? Those are zombie villagers. I could set up a sorter to generate villagers in the future.)

Finally, I reclaimed the bookshelves. I'll store those for later use.

The other thing I did was set up a simple carrot farm. For the first time in about three months I actually played Minecraft on my desktop. The laptop I've been using is woefully troubled by sounds. Whenever the game needs to load a new sound file, such as a Creeper hiss, the entire game will lock up for as long as a few seconds. This has on more than one occasion led to a Creeper exploding in my face. That's what happened today. So I took a copy of my map and put it on my desktop. The game experience was wayyy better. On to the carrot farm.

My first possible location for it was the stone brick road, next to my resupply room. I discovered there wasn't enough room there, as my wheat farm ever so slightly interferes. Instead I placed it in the tunnel that led to my former Nether portal. I cleared out some space and set things up:

Then I cleaned up the area and used a little bone meal to advance carrot growth.

Easy as pie. Though maybe not carrot pie.

The final change that needed to be made for the time being was a way to get up there. I opted to use wood slabs to make a simple staircase. Not the prettiest, but it works.

My preferred method of growing mushrooms, by letting them just sprout all over the place, is working nicely. I have an abundance of brown, but not much red, so those are mainly the ones I've been planting.

As I was working on the carrot farm, I started to question the future of this base. Granted, it's only been a little over six months since I first settled down in the cave, but things have changed since then. As a player, my ability to design things has improved dramatically. The game itself has gained a lot of new things which weren't around at the base's start - carrots, potatoes, beacons, and Withers to name a few. Most of it is in an incomplete state of some sort. There's frequently a mob, usually a Creeper, roaming the area because I haven't lit it up well enough. My laptop can't handle my piston elevator. I also wanted to make a base on the surface, back when my creative skills weren't worth much, but that's never happened.

So at worst I might get my stuff and head somewhere new. I'm not one to create new worlds. Since I currently play in version 1.4.5, this map has seen no less than 10 versions of Minecraft since I made it in 1.0.0. I've made a lot of progress on this world and have no desire to leave it. I like living in the caves, but with my newly found building skills I also want to take a stab at surface construction.

Two Year Anniversary

Tomorrow marks two years since I started this blog! I want to do something special to celebrate that and the New Year. Last year I did a tutorial of sorts on making an airship carrier. I like ships, so if I did something it would be something else related to ships, although perhaps a spacecraft this time around. This circle generator has been very useful, so I now have the ability to make things that aren't blocky.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A House! Kind Of...

I spent a couple hours on the MC^3 server today, putting into motion my idea of an extreme hills village. Before I started making the house I chopped down some birch and pine wood. The iron axe I currently have is enchanted with an impressive Efficiency/Unbreaking combination which means it cuts through the wood like butter. I picked up a couple stacks of both types of wood, gathered clay to make flower pots, then went to where I would place the first house.

The house was free-formed, and when I was putting it together I didn't quite feel like it ended up how I planned. It meets the basic requirements for a decent-looking place, but it isn't quite what I wanted. There weren't any screenshots taken during construction, but here's how the completed house looks:

Once I added lights to the exterior, it began to look a bit nicer. I don't need torches on the inside, because the glass lets enough in.

I think I will need to look up hill villages others have made, get a feel for what a good one looks like. This seems a bit too disproportional. Also looks a tad like a squashed Enderman. My first official creation on the server... it's a start!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Spawn Village

The Nether hub has been progressing quite nicely. It's larger than I expected, but the shape is starting to form. But since mining Netherrack for hours on end was becoming quite boring for me, I felt like it was time to begin another project, something that would let me explore my creative side more.

My spawn point is located on a peninsula that doesn't allow for much building space. So I picked out a plain near it to be where the construction would take place. I knew there would be stuff in the area already, including an NPC village. Taking wood and coal with me, I set out to the spot. Along the way, I passed by houses telling tales of old.

Some time back I tried to take on the City Construction Challenge in an extreme hills biome. I ended up making a little settlement, although my creative energies left me quickly.

Looking at these buildings, I can tell my design skills have really come a long way. The last two buildings do show how I had an idea on how to make things look good, but it was a challenge.

As I continued toward the target, more landmarks of the past appeared. I used to use the mod Millenaire, which populated the map with Middle Age-like villages and inhabitants. I have not used the mod in a long time, so now the houses lie barren. These were surprisingly close to the plain I wanted to settle down in.

Instead of stopping in the plain where I wanted to build, I continued straight toward the NPC village. I was concerned that while I built my spawn village, the Testificates would be killed off by zombies. I wanted to light up the area and perhaps make some kind of fence or wall around it. I haven't really done much with villages in my world, mostly because I'm more interested in farms, redstone, and underground stuff.

This was the second village to form in my world, on the edge of an abrupt terrain transition. Evidently, the terrain generation changed in between some old versions of Minecraft and what was originally plains became a desert. The village is actually pretty impressive to me. There's a decent amount of villagers living there, so it wouldn't be too much trouble to try and boost the population size. It looks like your typical sand village at first glance, equipped with wheat, carrot, and potato farms.

But upon closer examination you discover it's in fact a sort of mutt, a fluke caused by the changing of terrain generation while it was just half formed. It has a weirdness to it that appeals to me.

There are two libraries in this mishap village. Neither one was completely generated.

After spending a couple in-game days trying to secure the village, I recalled that monsters don't always spawn unless they're in an area close to you. I looked it up, and the kind of creatures that harm Testificate and player despawn if they're more than 128 blocks from you. So as long as I stayed more than 128 blocks from the village, the Testificates would be safe from harm, preserved on my hard drive until I came over to experiment with them.

The place I selected for my spawn village is relatively flat.

Off in the distance there are a few buildings generated by Millenaire. And unexpectedly, I found this house on the outskirt of my line of sight:

That is the home base of my now-gone 1.7.3 world, which was rendered useless due to mods. I transplanted it into this map using MCEdit, but I never expected to run across it!

The first thing I will probably build is a Capitol of some sorts. It will be modeled like a governmental building, featuring a Senate room, a Governor's room, and a third room, perhaps a Treasury. It's going to be similar to the one building I made in the City Construction Challenge, although the design will be much different, not to mention the use of blocks - I'm going for a more stone-based feel.

This spawn village, which I might very well call Yusaria City - the first Yusaria City in a very long time - will have an established road system and assorted buildings ranging in shape and size. It's inspired by the spawn village of the Mindcrack server. I will also include a Nether portal, and there will be a line going to it.