Minecraft: Working on the Railroad

May 30 2011

First, an interlude: I was sick a week and a half ago; and, while I didn’t feel like doing any design, I was up for some mining. Some pictures of that:

Lava beneath the latest pool I'd found

Redstone and iron

Gold and lava

More redstone and iron

Yes, I got 223 bits of redstone dust from this mining expedition alone

My current total stash

I did find some time for more serious Minecraft work this weekend, however. And after finishing the first floor of my new house, the natural next step was to extend above it. My plan of record was to connect it to a train station on the other side of the hill that the house is against, and I decided that it made sense to work on that, since that would affect the design of the second floor. So I dug some stairs into the hill, planning to join up with the train station.

Stairs in back of the house

Looking down from the top of the stairs

Once I got up to the top of the stairs, though, it wasn’t at all obvious what I should do. I looked around in various directions, and eventually came to the conclusion that it would be a lot easier to design and build the station if I actually had train tracks entering it.

The view across the top to the stairs

The train station location

The train tracks are going to approach from this direction somehow

So I decided to get more serious about planning exactly where the tracks will go. But first, a couple of shots of the house:

This house really needs a roof!

The graphics glitch on the stairs is fixed, yay. (And I removed the wood logs above the door, though I may put them back.)

So I marched across the desert. And marched back. And back, and back, and back. I was pretty sure that I wanted a track going in a straight line from the hills, which meant that I had to decide: 1) What elevation should it travel at? 2) Where exactly should the line be?

Eventually, I found an elevation that I was happy with, at a location that went between the two hills in question. The next issue was: where exactly should the station part be in the home hill? The problem was that the end of the home hill was entirely made out of sand: and that’s not a stable building material to hollow out. Again, after pacing around a bit (and climbing up and down the hill), I came up with a tentative plan: I’d dig a (quite deep!) trench through the sand part, and then a tunnel through a part where there was sand on top and rock underneath. And when I finally came to where there was dirt on top, I’d hollow out the middle of the mountain, making a gloriously large station.

The trench approaching the home hill

Looking out from the trench

The tunnel where the tracks enter the hill

With that plan in place, I built the bed for the tracks. I built it out of cobblestone: in some places, I replaced sand with cobblestone to provide a firm building material, while in other places I ran the tracks through the air.

Looking down while building an elevated section of tracks

The end of the tracks at the station near my new house

A view of tracks from below, heading towards my home hill

Another view of tracks from below, this time going towards the station near the new house

A random sunset picture I took while figuring this out

Finally, I started hollowing out the train station inside of my home hill. I still haven’t figured out the details: I’ve figured out how far it will go (the first picture below is a tunnel at the edge, going perpendicular to my tracks, though I may eventually fill in that entrance on the side of the hill), but the details of the interior layout are still quite unsure. It’s not even obvious to me what space I have to work with: I want to use the existing shape of the hill as much as possible, but it’s hard to figure out how much space there is inside without digging until I hit the outside.

A tunnel going into the side of the station

Looking up at some of the space that I'm just starting to hollow out inside the hill

So I’ve got a lot of thinking ahead of me; in fact, it’s not clear to me whether I should work next on my home hill train station or the train station near my new house. (I now have enough context that I should be able to work on the latter, unlike at the start of this post.) And I’ve got an awful lot of digging ahead of me in the home hill! Fortunately, I recently moved my Minecraft folder to Dropbox, so I can dig away at the hill on the laptop downstairs while watching TV or otherwise occupying myself.


2 responses so far

  1. […] be starting to reach a point of diminishing rewards, so it may be the case that, after finishing my train stations, I’ll give that game a pause, […]

  2. […] the end of last post, I’d figured out where my first stretch of track was going to be, and where my first two […]