Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Minecraft Creations: The Brick Mansion Chapter 1, Frontier Ho!

Well as I mentioned in my previous post, I had decided that I had had enough of multiplayer and wanted to do a sort of role playing back-to-basics adventure in singleplayer with little or no mods. I love starting from scratch in every game it just makes things more simple and fun, and getting back to basics with Minecraft is no different. I was pondering on going back to my old Domo-kun skin that I got from The Skindex which is a great place for Minecraft Skin inspiration I might add) and slightly edited by me. It was a skin I had for quite a while with first having a Gordon Freeman skin then changing to the Domo-kun skin which I kept for a long time possibly because it was humorous yet created the image that I wasn’t human I was some sort of mythical creature similar to the actual Domo-kun which is the mascot of Japan’s NHK television station. After that I decided to just be myself, I created a skin that roughly looked like me, well as much as you can with Minecraft, I even made a few different skins to match what I was wearing at the time. I’m currently deciding which skin to use but at the moment I’ll stick with my human skin, I suppose it makes more sense since the basic Minecraft player is human anyway.

That's me! believe it or not, I do look kind of silly though when I use the high-res texture packs
What i'm wearing here is similar to what I'm actually wearing at home in real life
I never really had any story in mind, just the usual one about you waking up in a strange world with rapidly changing environments (see biomes for that) and having find a place to live etc as you usually would, similar to the storyline in Nerd Cubed. I had a vision of making a huge house and property with farms and supplies to sustain myself through blood sweat and tears in survival multiplayer but I must admit it’s kind of hard sometimes especially without the use of mods to make things much faster, but of course that’s why I’m doing this in the first place though to be honest I think I’m going to have to have a strong will to make what I want to make without mods as I’m guessing it’s going to take quite a long time with all the resource gathering and such. I decided to do a slight variation on my usual Minecraft adventures post title and have this one called the “Minecraft Adventures of JD” mainly because the adventures have largely been multiplayer adventures and this time it’s singleplayer so I thought I’d make the distinction.

So anyway, here’s how it’s going so far…

I woke (yes I woke up that's how all Minecraft stories start) up in a Taiga biome, and decided to just have a walk and see what was around, I had decided that I wanted to set up my home in a grassy biome as I was kind of sick of trees and tree houses as you have probably guessed and this time wanted to make a proper brick house, I still might keep a few features from my previous brick house though, especially the lava feature. After searching around for a while I found a decent sized natural cave in the middle of a grassy biome with a forest in the centre and set about doing a bit of mining and woodcutting. I was thinking of using either birch or pine wood as the decorative other element to my new brick house, but depending on the colour difference between the logs and the wood I’m not sure, I’m definitely not going treehouse style and making the entire thing out of wood this time though, just the corners and around the windows and possibly some of the floor and well the whole roof, but that’s all! XD. The mining went ok I got a lot of coal and iron as usual as well as some gold, but unfortunately after running around searching various caves was unable to find much diamond. 

The hole I found
And the mine
 I then went searching for a better spot as I needed a bigger place for my grandiose house. So I walked and walked going through a huge desert (unfortunately I wasn’t riding on a horse with no name) and eventually came across an NPC village, which was pretty cool as I’ve never really come across one before, at least not when the villagers were actually in them. There was a large grassy biome nearby that seemed to suit my intentions and plus it was relatively close to the NPC village in which I could have at least some form of human interaction not like before where you basically seemed to be the only human around in a land filled with animals and monsters.

Almost fell into this damn thing
The NPC village on the edge of the desert and the plains
I got there and decided to dig out a cave in the side of a hill as a temporary residence and set up, I always seem to make the mistake of making a square cave then arranging all my chests, workbenches and furnaces all around the edges and end up having nowhere to make a bedroom or expand but I managed to work around it. I did a bit of looking around then found another natural cave and had quite an adventure, I hardly found any diamond but did manage to find an abandoned mine which always seem to have the cave spider spawners which are some scary sons of bitches I can tell you, they seem to be much faster and more aggressive than regular spiders and are a hell of a pain to deal with especially when there are other monsters around, oh and also monsters don't just blindly shamble towards you and fall in the lava pit yuor standing in front of anymore they actually walk around meaning that most of the time you have to kill them yourself. I just got as much iron as coal as I could then got the feck outta there the fast way, which basically consists of digging straight up and filling in stone and dirt blocks under you as you go.

The grassy valley in which I chose to set up, part of a plains biome
Entrance to my hidey hole (I have to use iron doors now that zombies can break them)

My temporary abode
 
Cave Spiders!
I started creating a wall roughly using the natural embankment edges as a guide, I soon realised that it may not have been such a good idea as when you make a wall at the bottom of a hill you have to make it pretty damn high otherwise the enemies can just jump onto to it from the ledge, but I guess if you made it on the top of the hill you wouldn’t be able to see much over it from the ground anyway and when I make the fences they shouldn’t be able to get over.

The beginning of the wall
After mapping out the wall I mined out a large room to the side of my living hole for some more cobble I started on the wall, after doing about 2 levels all round I used my Rei’s Minimap mod to illuminate the area inside the wall  to make building at night a bit easier, it’s pretty cool the way to can see a top down view of the dynamic lighting to make sure no spots are missed and to be honest it looks pretty great when all lit up, monsters still spawn in there occasionally, but unless you turn the ground into a sea of fire it’s unavoidable.

Everyday I'm minerin'
Luminicious, makes it both easier to see and keeps monsters at reasonable levels
Knowing full well that I was going to need some more diamond to make this whole process easier, and thus I decided to start Branch mining, I’d never done this before though on the first “branch” I managed to find a diamond cluster, which was quite exciting though after that nothing happened for quite a while and mining like this isn’t the most fun thing to do in Minecraft I can assure you, it’s almost like playing the pokies which I have done a few times with limited enthusiasm.

                           X = Tunnel "Trunk" 
                           B = Branch
                           S = Staircase
                           Y = Outpost (for supplies etc.)
                           
                           
          B       B                 B       B
          B       B                 B       B
          B       B                 B       B
          B       B                 B       B
          B       B                 B       B
          B       B                 B       B
          B       B       YYY       B       B
X X X X X X X X X X X X X YYY X X X X X X X X X X X X
          B       B       YYY       B       B
          B       B        S        B       B
          B       B        S        B       B
          B       B        S        B       B
          B       B        S        B       B
          B       B        S        B       B
 
Branch Mining Diagram, simple and (supposedly) effective

So I decided to just take the diamonds I had and keep building, and build I did as I mentioned before I had to make the wall higher in some parts and even dig away at the hills that were too close to the edge. Once I had finished, I made a wooden walkway with stairs (because of the changing levels) around the top of the inner wall and then started lining the top of the wall with fences to give it that extra bit of height, as fences are 1.5 blocks high for monsters and players. I then picked certain points to put both ladders up to the walkway and create iron doors for exit and entry, the doors were controlled by pressure plates on the inside and buttons on the outside which monsters can’t (or just don’t) press. This was not by any means a player proof wall (which is actually impossible to do without server commands) but it would keep out at least most of the monsters and provide a nice little enclosure for my house.

The finished outer (guard) wall, I made a small wheat and reed farm as well as fencing off the chasm
Unfortunately while doing this though I found I was going to need quite a large amount of wood that was  and I also was sick of going back and forth from my main storage house in order to get more supplies, this coupled with the amount of items I was going to need and the long process of trying to find diamonds led to me eventually succumbing to using mods again, it’s not that I didn’t still want to have the authentic Minecraft experience, I still wanted to it was just that doing things the classic way you have to really draw the line between what you want to build and what you have the patience to gather all the resources for to be able to build. It all comes back to the point made by Zero Punctuation’s Minecraft review is what you get out of Minecraft depends on what you put into it, so if you want to put in the hours and find enough gold to make a golden statue of yourself or whoever else, you’ll love it all the more because you put in the hard yards to get the resources to make it,  though I spose you can still be proud of what you’ve done even if you’ve used mods to give yourself items, I mean you still have to think up and create the damn thing don’t you. I suppose I just like being creative in the Survival environment, I know I can get all of the resources the real way if I wanted to, it’s just that when I’m try to build something I don’t want to slow myself down with the actual collecting of the resources again. And there’s the other fact of using more resources, what if I wanted a room with a floor made of golden blocks? It’d take weeks to get that much gold and I’m not even going to mention doing it with diamond blocks.

I wouldn't think this guy farmed all those resources himself (From Minecraft Gallery)
So basically that’s what I’ve decided, I’ll try to play the game as straight as possible while still having fun, I’ll I still have health and hunger on and will try and limit my flying to just taking pictures, with my existing resources I’m not really sure what I’m going to do, I don’t know whether do use them as I go or keep them there just for show, but I’ll work something out.I still have to do all the achievements as well, I’ve never actually been to the end as yet and It will be exciting to finally finish Minecraft properly.

JD

My power has returned

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