VGHVI Minecraft: September 28, 2017

Oct 21 2017

In the September Minecraft session I got too distracted figuring out what to do next on my building to take pictures of what other people were doing; sorry about that! But at any rate here’s pictures of what I was looking at; at the end of August my question was what to do with the chasm that my building was over. So I started out spending lots of time looking at that.

The door over the chasm in question

The view across the chasm

Further down the wall of the chasm – it’s pretty tall!

There’s water at the bottom

And a cave behind the water

I hadn’t actually realized how interesting that part of the mountain was: the top part of the chasm is just stone, but when I got to the bottom, there was a rather lovely tree, waterfall, and cave. So that made me think that the bottom of the chasm was a strong center of its own, and whatever I did had to acknowledge that.

But first: explore the cave.

There’s light at the other end of the cave, it’s actually a tunnel

The view when I exit the tunnel

The mountain near the exit

So that’s not just a cave, there’s something really interesting going on there. I think that, ultimately, I probably want to build out the interior of the tunnel, with small buildings of some sort near there, and then have more buildings by the exit? Probably a train station, too: the tunnel exit is on the side of the mountain towards the spawn point, and it’s not that far away from the spawn point, so if I built a train between the two, it would help bring the world together.

 

Which just makes the problem bigger, it doesn’t actually answer the question of what to do with that exit over the top of the chasm. I wandered around a while thinking about that:

The building at moonrise

The sun is going down on the other side

If you wander further down the chasm, the top slopes down and there’s a notch

This is the water off the end of the green area behind the building

There’s a cave here too! (But it’s not as interesting.)

I can’t remember where this water is

Looking around near the tunnel exit, this is probably the best place for a train station

The water inside the tunnel

A few torches so you can see the inside of the tunnel better

Returning to the doorway

 

After all that wandering around, I basically had two options. One is go straight down the chasm from the doorway; the other is to go along the edge on the right side of that last picture, until you get to a gradual slope. I might actually ultimately end up doing both of those; for now, I’m going to concentrate on the former, but I am also going to establish the area on the right as worthy of its own, in a nod towards the latter.

Putting a railing in towards the front of the mountain

A higher up view, so you can see the viewing area I’ve created

Starting to build a path down, but regular stairs are a little steep

Half blocks work better, though these ones are the wrong color

Let’s go with this

Done with one row

Almost done with a second row

Going back to the top, adding railing on the inside

Here’s the third row

I’m actually not sure what to do next

After three rows of steps, I was starting to reach trees. And I’m honestly not sure what to do next: I can build a fourth and fifth row, which should get me to the bottom, but I’m not sure it will gracefully merge into the bottom area with the tunnel entrance. Or I can start crawling around the back of the chasm; that will let me avoid the need to solve that problem directly, and will instead give me a point of entrance in a second place in the bottom of the chasm? I’m tentatively thinking the latter sounds better, because it seems easier and gives me a hint in how to turn the bottom of the chasm into a space of its own, but I’ll need to look harder at the details next time, I seem to recall something about the shape of the walls made that not entirely straightforward either.

While thinking about that, I decided to add a few more safety features to the path:

Let’s add a railing in front of the door, so people don’t step out and immediately plummet to their doom

Here’s the other side of that new railing

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VGHVI Minecraft: August 31, 2017

Sep 04 2017

In the August Minecraft session, the next question was what to do with the surroundings of the building I’d been working on.

Approaching the mountain

Getting closer up

At the back of the building, looking towards it

There was a green area behind that I was thinking of a sort of garden; I had a vague idea that I might fence it in? But when I started wandering around, that didn’t work: it was too large, and it was also hilly enough that a fence didn’t feel like a natural boundary. So I looked around, trying to figure out what I could do.

Around one side of the building, I saw an area that just didn’t look good; when I cleaned it up a bit, though, it actually did turn into a nice coherent area. So I started out emphasizing that, which ended up turning it into a patio.

Uneven territory right next to one side window

There’s a pretty sharp edge right past that tree

Creating a fenced-in patio

Here’s the view past the tree

And here’s the view off the side next to the building

The view of the whole thing

Looking at it from inside the house

That was pretty successful: I’d started with something that looked actively bad (as opposed to the main part of the forest back there, which was fine on its own), cleaned it up, and turned it into a nice little area of focus. So maybe I could repeat that idea elsewhere? The next question, then, was how to connect it to the door out the back of the building: just being adjacent via a window seemed a little funny.

Looking along the back of the building towards the patio (which is around the corner)

Maybe a wood path would work?

Here’s what the end of the wood path would look like

Stepping stones are a better fit

The stepping stone version at the patio

Later I came back and made the border more uniform

At this point, I had a bit of a design language: I’d try to find spaces that particularly stood out (and I’d clean up spaces that look ugly), I’d use fences to enclose them as appropriate, and I’d have stone paths between them, with spaces between the stones reflecting that this is a loose federation of spaces rather than a tight and dense neighborhood. And I actually had another immediate place to put this into action: the area right outside the door was a bit of mess, so I cleaned it up too.

These lumps and holes don’t look good

We’ll start by leveling it out more

Next, fence it in

Looking straight out the back; and we don’t need fences everywhere, the dirt on the side is a good boundary once it’s been made a bit less lumpy

Wandering a bit further afield, I found a relatively empty flat area that was overlooking the chasm in the middle: it had a nice view, but needed a bit of punctuation. This time I decided it didn’t need a fence, but maybe a fountain in the middle would look good?

Here’s a potentially interesting spot with a good view

Starting to construct fountain walls, but this doesn’t really look right

I like it better built into the ground

Here’s the end of the path to the fountain; and stone stairs seemed like the best way to handle the change in level

Finally, I started going further back looking for one more spot to emphasize; I found one area with a steep drop over a nice view under a tree.

Looking back towards the house partway down the hill

I think we can do something with this view under this tree

Fencing it in and trimming away some dirt

Here’s the path leading back there; you can also see the branch off the left to the fountain

Let’s add in a wood floor

And a table and chair, to make it easier to enjoy the view

That was enough for the back of the building; my next question was what I should do with the door over the chasm. I’ll work on that in September!

What should I do with this doorway?

That’s what I was doing; Pat was finishing off the latest addition to his city, in the mean time.

A purple carpet

More purple upstairs

A tree and flowers in the middle of the courtyard

The vestibule behind the entrance

The street right outside

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VGHVI Minecraft: July 27, 2017

Aug 19 2017

In the July Minecraft session, I wanted to continue working on the building from June. I had one floor of an L-shaped building, unfurnished except for a placeholder carpet; so the current questions were how I wanted to furnish it, and how to add a second story.

In one half of the room, I put a dining table

I don’t really see a good place for some stairs, though

The view up top

I didn’t see any place where stairs would really fit. So I decided to go with a sort of military theme, with a sort of watchpost on top instead of a full second floor, and with an idea that maybe a ladder would make more sense in that situation? (Because, of course, it’s really easy to carry armor and weapons up a ladder?)

Notches around the roof edge; conveniently, all the sides were of an odd length

Trying to figure out if I want the corner notches to match the corner pillars or the other notches; dark was clearly better

Placing an arch, at sunset

I extended that into an entire covered area; it looks a little odd with only pillars at the corners, though

The balance is better with a pillar in the middle

Here’s what it looks like from the roof

Adding a second one for the other half of the roof

Here’s what it looks like from farther away

So now the building is pretty much in place; I needed to add more military decorations up top, and fill out the other half of the downstairs.

Here’s some armor

Anvils and a chest for supplies / repairs

A first stab at the other half upstairs

Putting in a ladder

The top of the ladder

Making a research area downstairs

Here’s the view towards the table

A compressed red carpet under the chest

Adding in a record player

A stack of records next to it

A broader view of downstairs

The magic table fit better downstairs than upstairs, so let’s put a furnace upstairs instead

There’s some snow nearby on the mountains, so let’s add some on the building, too

Some more snow

Snow on the rooftops

The building with snow

That was a good stopping point for the building; the questions for next time are what to do with the garden on the back, and what about the chasm in the middle.

Here’s the garden and the house

There’s water behind the garden

Here’s the view of the house over the chasm

A nighttime view

Setting sun

Further away at night

Next I went to visit Dan; he’d built a modern art museum

The museum

Blue and green works

Green and white

A closer view of the white statue

Blue and purple

A top view of the blue statue

A view from higher up

Trees nearby

A view from a little farther away

There’s a tower further away; you can barely see the museum

Pat was adding another building to his floating city, a sort of sandstone and clay building with a large courtyard.

Inside the courtyard

A higher up view

A room around the edge

Looking into the middle of the courtyard

Looking up at the roof

The current state of the entire city

And Miranda was taking another swing at the Howl’s Moving Castle-inspired building. (It’s on a pretty small island, so it’s a little abstract.)

A mushroom island nearby

The back of the castle

The front of the castle. (Still in progress)

A side view

Looking at octopi through some reeds

Looking at the castle from the mushroom island

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VGHVI Minecraft: June 29, 2017

Jul 19 2017

For the June Minecraft session, I started off working on the house I’d begun in May. I was happy with the location, but I didn’t know how the back and side walls would work, and I hadn’t finished off details at all.

I’d ended May experimenting with adding colored columns; so I started off June finishing the columns. And then I moved on to the back and side walls, in ways that gave me access to the garden in the back and the chasm in the middle.

I settled on a darker grey for the color of the columns

Here’s the back wall and the back door, with smaller windows next to it

For the side door, a wider opening fit better

A view out the back at the trees

A different angle at the back, with more sky visible

With the walls and doors in place, I wanted to tackle the ceiling and floors next.

I had two ideas of possible wood colors for the ceiling

Looking at it on the inside, I like both colors, but I think the light color looks a little better; also, the ceiling is a little low?

Maybe move the ceiling up and leave in the dark as a support beam?

That fits together a lot better

It looks a little funny on the outside, especially since I’m tentatively thinking that I’ll add a second story: I’m not sure a light band fits on the outside

Let’s have the support beams go through to the wall but leave the floor inside the building

Light up the room a bit

Let’s use the same light wood for the floor

Here’s the other side of the room

Now the room felt good as a room. The doors seemed a bit plain, though, so I wanted to mark them off more:

Here’s my first experiment: I liked the red, but something didn’t seem quite right

The second experiment was worse

Ugh, this one didn’t work at all

Good color and texture

Here it is on the other door

Looks good from the outside, too

And it looks good through the trees

Here’s some placeholder carpet on the floor, though I’ll replace it with furniture next month

A random view down the middle; one future question is how I’ll build that up

Here’s a waterfall in the middle

A view from the distance; I do think the mountain looks better with the building on top than it did without it

I was pretty happy with that session’s work: I’d gone from sketched out walls to a first floor that fit well. But there’s still a lot to do:

  • Add in furniture
  • Add at least one more floor
  • Think about the garden
  • Think about the chasm in the middle of the mountain
  • Maybe put in some rails to connect it to the main city

So I’ll probably be working on this for most of the rest of 2017.

 

Miranda was starting construction on an island, making a building with a Howl’s Moving Castle / Baba Yaga vibe.

A full view of the current state of building

A mushroom cow sitting under the building

A whole mushroom cow family

A box

There’s something inside the box!

And then I went to check on Pat.

He’d started his next building, but hadn’t gotten very far

The finished attic from his previous building

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VGHVI Minecraft: May 25, 2017

Jun 18 2017

Pictures from the May Minecraft session:

First, the obligatory wandering around and glitch pictures:

The sky at sunrise

Lots of octopi waiting for the water to fill in

A pig is taking a swim

A loading glitch at the side of a mountain

Another loading glitch

I don’t think this is a loading glitch, I think this is a result of algorithm changes between when the segments were generated

A hole in the snow

Nighttime view of the roller coaster tower

Nighttime view of the megatree

A glass door in a hillside

Mountains in the distance across a field

An evening view next to a lava pool in that field

 

I decided that I wanted to start building something; I didn’t want to build completely from scratch, though, I wanted to find something in the environment that a structure would fit naturally into. And eventually I found a mountain with an oddly flat top, I thought a fort might fit well on top.

Thinking of putting a building on top of this

A rock/water/lava combo when exploring the ravine under the mountain

A top view that gives an entirely misleading notion of the height

You can see the height difference (including the hole in the middle) much better from this angle

Starting to place the outside wall

Looking through one of the windows at sunset

One version of window placement at an inside corner

Another version of window placement

The view to the outside, not sure which direction this is in

The view down the middle

Another outside view; I think this is towards the back?

The outside wall is in place

Looks way too bland from the outside, though

Seeing what it would look like with stone bricks instead

Experimenting with something different in the corner

I still need to figure out what to do with the corner, and then do the same to the rest of the wall. More of a problem is that I actually don’t know yet what I want to do with the walls in the other two directions: I don’t know how to handle the wall next to the central hole, or even whether I want there, and also how I want to handle the transition from the stone area of the top to the grass / tree area of the top. So I’ll try to figure that out next time. (And I hope I can find the location again! Maybe I should build a train there from the spawn point?)

 

Finally, some pictures from Pat’s latest addition to his floating city:

The ground floor of the building

Bookshelves and chair on the second floor

A bed on the other side of the room

There are books on both sides of the bookshelves, with an access passage between it and the wall

Stay away from the attic!

An outside view

Another outside view

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VGHVI Minecraft: April 27, 2017

May 20 2017

Pictures from the April Minecraft session:

A rising moon behind a world that’s still loading

Some strange underwater lights in the water; pretty sure the game generated these, we didn’t build them?

A closer view of some of the lights

And here’s a side view

I’m honestly not sure if this is a top view or a bottom view

A pretty island that I wandered across

Some unexpected fluid dynamics

This cave is why the water looks like it’s flowing oddly

And Pat is adding another building onto his set of floating islands:

An unfinished room in the new building

Looking out of a dark window

A lit but otherwise unfinished room

An outside view of the islands

A bedroom upstairs

A bookshelf and some blinds on another wall of the bedroom

Another window view, this time with flowers

Looking out at the street

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VGHVI Minecraft: March 30, 2017

Apr 22 2017

A few pictures from the March 30 Minecraft session:

A glass-covered shelter in the snow

Pat is adding another house to his floating island

Outside view of the top and side

View from the back

Looking into the ground floor

A sitting area on the first floor

Another view, showing vegetation near the door

Upstairs is empty for now

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VGHVI Minecraft: February 16, 2017

Mar 18 2017

Pictures from the February Minecraft session:

Not many pictures this time, mostly just wandering around.

lava- and waterfalls

a tower in snow

underwater tracks

a view from the tracks right outside the underwater tunnel

a pillar in the distance

a little odd to see jack-o-lanterns covered by snow

a closeup view of the piller

a tiny house in the trees near the pillar

Pat was continuing building on his floating islands; he’d started a new building but, if I’m remembering correctly, wasn’t particularly satisfied with it, so it may change significantly next time.

the frame of a building

a top view

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VGHVI Minecraft: January 22, 2017

Feb 12 2017

Pictures from the first VGHVI Minecraft of 2017:

Not sure if I’d seen this island before or not, but I didn’t remember it

Apparently pirates had been there before

A forest with lots of fire

The nether gate by pinetown

Returning to the balcony in my cave

The view from higher up the cave

The only new bit to take a picture of was an addition that Miranda had made to the pit she’s working on:

A dark corridor with torches

A circular room at the end of the corridor

Looking out from the room into the corridor

Looking up at the entrance to the pit

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VGHVI Minecraft: December 2016

Jan 09 2017

Pictures from the December Minecraft session. (This server has now been in existence for more than six years!)

A pool of lava in the snow

Still one of my favorite terrain generation algorithm change mismatches

Looking down at the podded building at night

A view across the water to the tower at night

I think this was a natural passage, not one I built?

When I exited the door, I looked right and saw this sign, and had completely forgotten what was so inappropriate about this door

Then I saw the other sign and I remembered: there had been some cliff-dwelling cows here

Pat finished off the floating island he’d been building in October and November, adding a restaurant:

The restaurant entrance

Inside the restaurant

Here’s what those tables look like from the side

The entrance to the kitchen

Inside the kitchen

The view across the roofs. (That’s the kitchen in front)

Looking down at daytime

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