Baby’s First Twitch Stream!

screenshot from Minecraft with overlay at top for twitch streaming

So as a procrastination project from what I’m supposed to be doing until next weekend (I know) I’ve been working on this blog and also slowly setting up my Twitch channel for For Realsies streaming. I finally got all my ducks in a row and went live last night. As a test run, I noodled around ARBTServer and toured a few of the builds.

I’m pleased with how it came out. Aside from hating how my voice sounds outside of my head, lol, I think I did reasonably well for my first time, and I learned some things, like how there’s a 30ish second delay between capture and view, and that I need to really start paying attention to the chat channel so I can respond to people. And maybe need to slow down a bit instead of babble nervously. But despite the nerves and the “oh god I’m talking into the void” bit, I had a ton of fun and will definitely be streaming again. I will post ahead of time when I do!

A big hat tip to the folks at Black Gamers Revolution for their help, advice and support in getting this done!

One more quick map post

I hit a little bit of a snag with regard to maybe bringing the browser interactive tool to the site – namely that the javascript is still looking for huge files instead of the reasonably sized cropped one. Stay tuned for alternate ideas.

Anyway, one more map, this time an enlargement of our densely packed spawn area:

Home Sweet (272, 65, 12)
Home Sweet (272, 65, 12)

Since on the previous two maps it was near impossible to label everything in the spawn area, I decided to crop it down just to Spawn and the area around it. There is… a lot here, some of which I didn’t recognize/remember, and even at double the size I still had a couple of places where I had trouble fitting in labels.

I mostly wanted to have a spawn map so I could visualize the border of the building/modification ban, and the good news is I’m taking it from 200 blocks back down to 100, which is more than reasonable. Possible exception being that area in the lower right corner, as that space is empty – the other 3/4s of the square is quite full. So yeah, outside the red box please.

Stay tuned.

More Maps

When we last left your fearless leader, I was gleefully sorting through oodles of generated maps of ARBTServer and squeeing about finally having a world map after waiting a year and a half. I haven’t budged much from there, really. The interactive tools are really informative, since you can browse the maps by dimension, depth, etc once MCPE Viz crunches out all the pictures it’s capable of making. I really want to share ours, but unfortunately this means I’ve been spending large portions of the last couple of days cropping the generated overworld graphics down to a manageable size, because as generated they were well over 10000 pixels to a side and also well over 10MB a pop. Not exactly feasible – hell my husband’s brand new computer could barely handle browsing through these giant images and they were local to his machine. So I’ve been cropping them. The maps I’ve been showing around/ uploading skirt the dimensions of the known world; I figure when the builds edge farther than those boundaries we’ll start cutting it wider.

The other thing I’ve been doing is rotating the images 90 degrees clockwise, because according to how they come out, the sun rises in the north in Minecraft. (Come to think of it, that does explain why coordinates nver did quite make sense to me.) I’ve gotten used to orienting myself according to how the sun behaves on Earth, so I’ve been flipping the images on their “sides”. Cheating perhaps, but my world my rules, and if I want North to point upwards, by the Pants of the Server Mama it will.

The cropping and flipping process is tedious and slow because of the sheer whopping size of these pictures though – as it is I’ve only gotten from bedrock to “sea level” (lvl 62), though that may have been due to me looking at the level 62 map and thinking “ooh, continents.” Or at least very large islands separated by rivers?

Anyway long story short, there was a complete gear shift in what I was doing, and after tweaking colors, labels, edges, typefaces and various Photoshop effects, I came out with this.

Yar yar fiddle dee dee.
Yar yar fiddle dee dee.

When I was in middle school (back in the stone ages, practically) projects for history class often involved making maps or old fashioned letters by “aging” whatever paper we’d written or drawn on by first soaking it in old coffee, crumpling and smoothing it like 20 times, and then for that extra old document look, burning the edges with a match. That’s what I sorta wanted to evoke with this as well as it being a way to cover up the areas of missing/unexposed chunks. It didn’t quite mask it entirely, but it did work enough to get the suggestion across… and it looks awesome. BRB, changing my Facebook cover photo awesome, which says something considering the last time I changed it was when I finished Grand Central. But seriously though… I kinda want to get this printed and framed.

More map stuff later in the week!

A map! Finally!

Hey ARBiTors!

The blog’s been kinda neglected lately, I apologize. Too many irons in the fire lately, and too intimidating of a backlog of server pictures and posts to do. A quick update before I get to the big news.

We’ve been 24 hours for a little less than a month! Well, I say 24 hours, lol. I will admit the time has certainly had its share of wonkyness between my internet doing its best impression of a yo-yo and the occasional crash. For the most part though, the happy little tablet has played happy host to the world and seems to be working out well aside from a few hiccups.

I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t get mods really working on it, as apparently blocklauncher doesn’t work on Intel tablets at all, so right now we’re strictly vanilla MCPE. I’m kinda of dimply amused that right now the best tool I’d found for running the game like a server was Plug for PE (once they’d bug fixed it anyway – and you still can’t TP grrr) for iThing, which considering the Android mod and customizability hype was a little disappointing, but live and learn.

We also have another world! (ohh, gotta add it to the world page…) well, sorta. I started Survival Sunday, where I rebooted the server from seed and build in survival move with no mode switch cheating. That seems to be working quite well also, and certainly gave me a chance to dig out another one of my famously labyrinthine underground bases. Pictures sometime! (Maybe…)

So the big news today:

Map of ARBTServer

This is a composite of three overhead views generated by MCPE Viz. I strongly suggest checking this out if you want a visualization tool for your world, it is pretty freaking awesome.

MCPE Viz also generates a browser visualization tool, and I may upload that to the site at some point (it also maps the Nether!) but first I have to go through and crop/rotate all the generated images because… um, they are huge. Like 18208px x 16208px, 10MB a pop huge. Yeah, you thought that map above was huge, yeah that’s the center section, lol. I apparently did a lot of flying around and exposing the map.

GTG, off to finally find me some strongholds. I’ll probably post a few more map shots and talk about them in the coming week. And yeah, I’m going to try to post more often.

Featured Build of the Month: A cottage near spawn

August is drawing to a close and comes with several new faces from WSE, a blip with the website domain, and many amazing builds being built or just getting started on. Today I would like to highlight, a cottage near spawn. The cottage was built by BatMan3054 and the farm was built by Swarmhut.

I like the use of bricks as part of the path material, because it really pops against the green of the surrounding grass. I admire how the windows of the building are irregular and somewhat mismatch. The windows of the house make it feel quirky.

wp_ss_20150824_0002
The inside of the cottage

Stepping outside to the garden area features your basic crop setup and a outdoor shed.  I like the use of the dark oak and the quartz as the retaining wall holding back the hill.

wp_ss_20150824_0003

The best part of the build in my opinion is the roof. The roof looks worn down and has a very natural slope to it.

rroof

Well that’s it for this FBoM, until then keep on building.

Update: Due to some miscommunication, I incorrectly identified Rudie as the builder. If the builder would get in contact with me, I will update it to the correct person who built this.

 

General server news

So things have been a little slow around ARBTland, mostly because I haven’t been online much in the past few weeks. (Stupid real life.) That said, over the past couple of weeks there have been a few changes of note.

First of all we got another visitor from WSE – Rudie! Always glad for the cross pollination between the two servers.

In terms of build news, the monument behind spawn keeps on expanding as new people come in. Rate we’re going that things going to extend into the sea. In addition to adding Rudie, FatalDeath and Billybob decided to silly up their statues by giving them tongues.

FatalDeath has been working on a wizard tower, and Rudie has also been building a very fairy-appropriate home in a large artificially created stump.

I’ve been busy too. Started working on a new skyscraper not far from Wacker Tower, loosely based on a building from SimCity BuildIt, which I’ve been also playing some on the side.

Lastly 5 has been working on a secret project under the Rainbow Balloon. Did I post pictures of that since I refinished it?

One thing I’ve been irked by since a few game updates ago – when they changed all the lighting, the ocean lost its translucency. It’s now REALLY hard to see underwater, which is a pain if you’re building something really deep under, and impossible if you’re trying to take pictures of said something, so the best I can do is sorta present a vague blob under the water taken from the surface.

In server improvement news, I’ve been waffling on transferring the game to an external server for a bit, weighing pros and cons of each platform. I’ve all but decided that I want to move the game to Pocketmine, as I have some experience with running it and it offers the most flexibility and customizability right now. But on the downside, it’s lagtastic, and mobs don’t work yet, which is a bummer; I like having random creatures roaming the world. It gives what can often be a lonely game a little bit of life. I supppose I could treat the missing mobs as a temporary problem, as the goal of PM will be to eventually replicate the full experience of the game, and its main programmer now works for Minecraft proper. The other major problem is that transferring/ MCPE worlds to PM is still an ordeal thanks to the leveldb storage format being a pain in the butt to work with/translate. I and others have put so much time and love and work into this world, so its pretty important that we continue to be able to play with it.

“And that’s Numberwang.”

The Back-From-Hiatus Runs

OMG y’all I am SO behind on posting LOL. So a quick recap on what is New, Improved and Different on the ARBTserver:

  • We had a new face from WSE visit on Monday: welcome Kyster!

  • There is now a road extension from the Pyramid, through the huge desert biome and ending at the village Hachi discovered a few runs back.

  • The ARBTServer monument has been extended, with two more spaces added for statues. May shove it out two more spaces just so ARBT lines up in the middle evenly again, haven’t decided.

  • I’ve finished reskinning the hot air balloon. It is now a riotous rainbow. And the inside jungle has been growing nicely.

  • While scouting coastline for a Mystery Build, I stumbled across Village #4 southwest of spawn. More roadbuilding in my future, no doubt.

  • I have also started a Mystery Build a ways from Spawn. Lets just say last weeks’ trip to Martha’s Vineyard left me rather… inspired.

Speaking of which, the downside of the Nether coming in the next update is no more nether reactor. 🙁 I’m going to have to find a few spots for random netherrack spires just for the hell of it before it disappears entirely.

Meanwhile on Worst Server Ever…

Since /r/WorstServerEver started up a new map last month I’ve been hanging out over there whenever I’m not running game. It’s actually a really nice, laid back Survival server where people hang out, chill, build stuff and complain about chunk lag (which, being a pocketmine server, is kinda expected). I like the regulars there quite a bit, and there’s been a lot of cross-pollination between players there and players here, as DoublePositive, Batman5024 (? don’t know if I got the number right) FatalDeath, Hachi, and Umbrella_Hermit play there as well.

Well. First thing one tends to do is find oneself a bit of unclaimed land and make a base. Except the area around “spawncano” is pretty densely developed/populated so I decided despite the chunk lag to walk pretty far out along one of the overpasses until it ended in a hill, then I walked down some of Skribe’s dirt paths until THEY ended, fell into a ravine (thankfully not a deep one) climbed out, walked some more, and found a hill at the border of a jungle biome and a desert to dig out a home for myself. I think I managed rather adequately.

ARBT'S base!
ARBT’S base!
My not so secret far far away base!
My not so secret far far away base!
Inside room.
Inside room.

I’m not anywhere near done – I want to punch through the hill I’m colonizing eventually and build a log cabin style house above the main room, in similar style to Spawnhouse on my world, which got built almost exactly the same way. I also plan to continue with the layers of cobblestone basements, which hearken back to similar dig-out-and-redecorate-in-cobblestone style mines I tend to make on almost every server I have.

Level B1
Level B1

It actually doesn’t quite look like this anymore – I decided to expand each of the basement outwards after I took these pictures.

Anyway this is all very nice but it was near impossible FINDING it every time the server rebooted – there was a lot of wandering around, getting lost, and trying to figure out which acacia tree at the border of an unloaded chunk was the one I had to pass. So eventually I got annoyed with it and decided you know what… I’m going to dig a tunnel back to spawn area so that I can just run that way to my base. So I took some coordinates, changed my job to “miner” and got busy digging, and once I’d dug a path all the way through, I lined it in cobble, torches and gravel, because y’all know me and uniform tunnels.

So starting with this tiny cobble building on the shore of the swamp a ways behind Hachi’s house (you know the place)*, here is my weird and wonderful path home.

Entrance.
Entrance.
Just inside.
Just inside.
It's a long way down.
It’s a long way down.
At the bottom looking back
At the bottom looking back
This server has a lot of ravines....
This server has a lot of ravines….
Hi Batman!
Hi Batman!
A crafting corner.
A crafting corner.
bridge of glass
bridge of glass
Staircase down into the ravine
Staircase down into the ravine
another view of the ravine stairs
another view of the ravine stairs

 

Featured Build of the Month: Hachi’s Base

As July is coming to a close, with it comes exciting news from Minecon, a redesign of the subreddit and many of fun server runs.  FBoM is in its 2nd month and is here to highlight Hachi’s base. The first thing I like about this build is the bottom floor with the checkered pattern used on the bottom floor.

The bottom floor
The bottom floor

The diorite fountains are a nice touch, because they contrast well with the blue stained clay.

A closer view of the fountain
A closer view of the fountain

Going up the large staircase we enter the main room that houses the bedroom, a living room and a small bathroom. A nice detail that is present is the small canopy above the master bed.

Going up to the top floor opens up into a rooftop balcony great for watching the sun rise/set.  wp_ss_20150720_0004

If you want to check out Hachi’s base for yourself, it is located near spawn, behide the farm. You will need to go past my base to locate it.

Server news, and the Eating of Us by Hai.

I ran back to back Sunday and Monday this week, though each run had its own problems to contend with – Sundays was entirely beset by external factors (a movie mid afternoon, a cable service disruption) while Manday’s (what few they were) were entirely game related. But more on that later.

Over the two runs, 576875 continued working on Troll Village improvements, namely working on adding a tavern to it in the same style. Henry10030 added an good exchange tent over his underground base near spawn. Double Positive experimented with his DATS roads. We were visited intermittently by Batman3054, Hachi and Umbrella_Hermit. Swarmhut, as far as I could tell, first mainly flitted around assisting people before leading the remaining players in some rousing sign-language Disney karaoke.

And then there was the fire, lol.

Batman swears it was an accident, and I believe him, having had several fire/lava mishaps myself in the past. I think he was trying to clear a bit of land away and the fire got through the wall he put up to block it and ravaged about in the forest next to Spawn. between the fire spreading and the water needed to contain it lag was a major problem both for the players and for the firefighting, so I made an executive decision and booted everyone out so I could take the fire down quicker. It did indeed get handled after a frantic ten or so minutes and came within catching distance of the log cabin in my last post, but ultimately once the mess was cleaned up no builds were lost and not much was destroyed other than tree cover, which can be easily re-seeded. I don’t think I’ll build a memorial tower to this fire, especially as Bat felt bad enough about it as it was, but i note it here for server news posterity.

Lastly I mentioned this on Reddit, but have yet to here: ARBTserver is on official hiatus until August 3rd due to impending vacation with the family. There is some good news aside from that – my desktop was been partially resurrected tonight and I hope to get it mostly recovered and running before I leave. I probably won’t have time to get any kind of hosty situation going, but it does mean that I’ll be able to work on it immediately on my return, so wooooo for that!

ARBT out.