Archive for May, 2012

Gaming

House!

Right, that’s all the Hugh Laurie web-searches sorted (and bingo fans). But rather than a post about the cancelled medical drama (or two fat ladies, for that matter), this post is all about Minecraft, of course.

Usually, I try to make my builds a little more interesting than typical multi-player server builds. While everyone else is busy constructing houses, mansions, castles and (ugh!) ‘pixel-art’, I’ve tried my hand at large fish, ships and taps, balloons, airships and skulls. But just like wondering whether the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about – if building plain old houses was somehow fulfilling in ways I couldn’t see. So I gave it a bash.

This is the home away from home I eventually created. Its construction was a little more freeform than usual, and my only real plan was to build a structure over water, next to a cliff face so that I could add a waterfall alongside it.

Did it change my mind on houses? Am I now a house building fanatic? Uh… not so much. It’s easier building something that is essentially four walls, a floor and a ceiling but then you have to fill the interior and rather than the functional storage/crafting vibe my other builds share, I feel you’re expected to make the interior of a house look a bit, well, like a house interior. It’s not easy with Minecraft and so all your furniture tends to be built from steps and wool blocks. There’s a degree of ‘use your imagination’ in Minecraft right off the bat (see that huge stack of cubes? That’s a mountain!) but furniture asks the viewer to crank their imagination up to 11.

I will be building more traditional structures in the future (and I am currently) but I still prefer the rather loopy flights of fancy I’ve grown accustomed to.

Gaming

No motion in motion

After the relative non-failure of uploading and featuring two of my Minecraft build videos on the site a couple of days ago, I thought I’d add my third. It’s of the Airship I built, the tour that never happens. More background info can be found in my screenshot post, here.

I’m getting a little more confident putting these things together. It’s a bit longer and it has more cheesy transitions – who knows what the future will hold?! Get ready for star-wipes and checker-boards, maybe! *groan*

This is actually the second version of this particular video. I did one the other day that was incredibly quiet for some reason. I hadn’t (intentionally) faffed around with any of my settings but somehow all the sound clips came off almost inaudible in the final edit. Well, a little tweaking here and a little amplification across the board and hopefully you can hear the narration now.

Hmm, on second thoughts, is that really a good thing?

Update: A schematic of the Airship is available to download. Check out this post for more details.

Gaming

YouTubular!

Just under two years ago, I signed up for YouTube, got my channel all set up and then… well… nothing.

Not exactly sure what I was planning to stick up there but I guess I thought what-the-hey!, just in case. Roll forward to earlier this week and I finally got round to using it. Naturally, I did something Minecraft related.

My big plan was a lot like the screenshot posts I’d made here over the last few months – to archive my builds. This time though, it’s in motion and has me droning over the top, putting people to sleep. I’ve done two so far, with more planned. They’re not too long and I’ve probably dun goofed on these first outings so be gentle.

The first one is of my Clipper Ship.

The second video is of my Tap.

If you’ve visited my site before (of course you have!), you probably noticed that the two builds are from an earlier post I made here. Like I said, I’ll be doing other videos as time goes by. Probably the airship next. Since I’m starting out, any advice is welcome. Feel free to leave a comment on the channel, drop me a note by email or through Twitter.

Note – ‘Tubular!’ was a popular slang exclamation with ‘the kids’ in the 80s, borrowed from surfing culture of the 70s. Don’t worry if you’re scratching your head right now. It just means I’m so very, very old.

Update: A schematic of the Clipper Ship is available to download. Check out this post for more details.

Update 2: A schematic of the Tap is also available to download. Check out this post for more details.

Gaming

Up, up and away… again

My third build on the new multi-player Minecraft server is another in the sky-bound vein. Having already built a hot-air balloon on the old server, I wanted to make something a little more grand. This time, I decided to try building an airship.

Minecraft Airship - TallI wanted to keep my few first builds together so the spot I picked for my airship is located behind the Clipper I’d constructed earlier, floating over the same ‘lake’ it is moored in. Building up means space isn’t really an issue but still, I didn’t want everything to look too cramped so the base of the build is off to the side, on a little outcrop.

The first thing I needed to do was build a staircase to reach the airship. It had to be tall but not excessively so – I wanted to keep my sanity while constructing the thing plus it was just the starter and I was itching to move onto the main course. Despite that, the staircase required a large amount of fences (and, of course wooden stairs) so half a forest had to be sacrificed in order to build it. Don’t worry, I replant. :)

Minecraft Airship - SignClimbing the stairs to the top takes an age so I added a ladder to the centre of the structure to speed things up. Purists can still walk to the top of the staircase going round and round and round if they so desire… and have screw or two loose.

The bottom of the staircase is quite simple with a plain stone base and a sign informing visitors that the airship tours have been suspended for the time being (there is a problem with the airship’s engines – turns out they’re made of wool).

Minecraft Airship - InsideOnce you reach the top of the staircase, and cross the gantry to the gondola itself, you’re presented with great views of the surrounding area and can relax on the oh-so-comfortable wooden-stairs-standing-in-for-seating that you see in so many ‘great’ Minecraft builds. What’s a few splinters in the backside between friends, eh?

Don’t worry about the roof of the gondola being made entirely of stone slabs. The two woollen balloons it’s attached to manage to somehow keep all that weight afloat.

Minecraft Airship - GapThe gondola has two exits – one that leads back to the gantry, the staircase and ground level and one that… doesn’t. Be sure to leave the gondola via the correct door. In case you’re unsure, the wrong door has a helpful sign to warn you that the first step is a doozy. Luckily, what with the airship being temporarily moored over a lake for these repairs, even if you do make a mistake, your landing will not be fatal. It will however be rather damp.

Hmm, maybe someone should lock that door.

Minecraft AirshipAt the back of the gondola are a pair of ladders that lead to the roof and allow access to the balloons themselves. As with all large structures, you save a hell of a lot of wool by making the things hollow and so a pair of doors lead to the their interiors. I haven’t built anything in there but they’re both pretty roomy and would make for great little bases of operations (or just a really excessive amount of storage).

I enjoy building structures in Minecraft that defy gravity in some way or other. With the build height limit of the game being increased by another 128 blocks recently, there’s an awful lot of real-estate to claim up there so it’s daft not to take advantage. I won’t be building any pointless 180-ish block tall towers any time soon but these minor outings into the sky make me happy.

Update: A schematic of the Airship is available to download. Check out this post for more details.