Brave New World Order

Screenshot from the game Minecraft, depicting a mostly empty landscape with a few buildings here and there.

I’ve been playing quite a bit since server reboot. Happily, I’ve had a few guests and a couple of brand new folks pop on and carve themselves a little piece of the server as well, which makes me happy. I’ve missed my server babies. <3

The server is mostly survival. I say mostly because I’ve been happily tooling about in creative mode building stuff. It is still surreal flying around the map and thinking to myself “ah yes, here is about where the Crystal Palace is” or “this is where the Four Guardians would be” and so on and so forth as I traverse the bare ground. Ghosts of Minecraft builds past. But I’m excited for what sort of structures may appear in Minecraftverse 2.0.

Screenshot from the game Minecraft showing a forested mountainous landscape with the top of a build visible in the distance.
View of a lake to the west of Center. In the distance the top of a build is visible. This is about where the Crystal Palace would be on the other map.

Spawn House and World Center

Obligatory first builds being obligatory, I built a nice little public house near spawn with some starter crops growing by the door and supplies in chests nearby. Due west of this at 0,0 is the first Tower. I like marking the center of my maps for some reason. Plus it’s a good landmark for folks to navigate by, depending on how far their render distance is. (Mine is cranked out to 64 chunks for the pictures, though I tend to play at maybe a quarter of that.)

Screenshot from the game Minecraft, depticing a large tower with a door at the bottom.
The eastern side of the Tower, viewed from ground level.
a view of the West Side of the Tower.

Subway 2.0

Because of COURSE I’m going to have one. Not really much to say about this, as it’s built in the same style as the old one, though between fill commands, setblock commands and a little typing/repeating help from autohotkey scripts, building them out takes a fraction of the time it used to. So far there’s only one length of track completed stretching from 0,0 to -1024,0) with a station at the midway point; hopefully soon I will have a bisected square of subway line built with a corresponding express track in the Nether.

Screenshot from the game Minecraft, depicting an unbuilt subway station space
An unfinished station shell at -1024, 0.
Screenshot of the game Minecraft, depicting a train station at track leve.
Station at -512, 0 at track level
Screenshot from the game Minecraft, showing the interior of a stone structure. at left, a staircase descends.
Station at ~ -512,0 at entrance level, interior
Screenshot from the game Minecraft, showing a stone structure with a doorway.
Station at ~ -512,0 at entrance level

There isn’t a station built out at -1024,0 yet because I haven’t quite worked out how it’s gonna work with the build I’ve started directly above it.

Huge Unnamed Build #1

So last week poking around Tumblr I ran across the below image. Further poking on the internet led me to more illustrations from a 1929 architecture book called The Metropolis of Tomorrow and an artist named Hugh Ferriss and oh my, talk about jabbing me directly in the Art Deco totalitarian dystopia feels.

a dark black and white drawing depicting an art Deco style towering edifice moodily lit from below
A drawing from Hugh Ferriss’ The Metropolis of Tomorrow

I feel like it would be hard to grow up in New York with an interest in architecture without loving some Art Deco style; goodness knows I did. Anyway I kept circling back to this particular image and thinking “I’m gonna Minecraft that building.” Started to do that yesterday.

Screenshot from the game Minecraft showing the top floors of a new building floating far above the ground.
A view of the floating top floors of Ferris tower from about -512, 0
Screenshot from the game Minecraft showing the beginnings of a building floating far above the ground.
The top four stories and the roof of Ferriss Tower take shape.

It made sense to me to start from the top and build it out from there, after a couple of hours with graph paper planning out the number of stories between building transitions. I’m excited as it’s going to be my first build that will cap out at the 255 block building limit, even if I’m vastly annoyed that Mojang still hasn’t raised the cloud level accordingly. I’ve tentatively named it Ferriss Tower after the artist, we’ll see if that name sticks.

Nether House

Not too much to say about this, as it’s just a tiny house in the Nether at the 0,0 mark. Mostly built it as a safe haven from the passing mobs and so that the nether portal in the Center Tower had a safe destination.

Screenshot from the game Minecraft showing the front of a small brick house.
Front of the Nether House at Nether 0,0. Pretty much a standard ARBT house in red brick
Screenshot from the game MInecraft showing the same brick house on an island in the middle of a lake of lava. Two bridges lead to it.
An aerial shot of Nether House, with the two bridges leading to it from two of the netherrack masses around it.

It feels good to be playing and building again, even if I’m neglecting some necessary life things to do so. >.> Hell, maybe I’ll start streaming myself again, considering this build is gonna take me a while to finish.

Starting all over

screenshot from the game Minecraft, depicting forested terrain with a house and a tower in the distance.

Typical Andee syndrome – I have so many things going on and projects in the fire that often things get neglected. Like my games for one thing. I’ve barely had time to deal with real life let alone play games!

A friend of mine was raving about the Minecraft Update Aquatic this week (it’s been out for at least three weeks now, shows you how out of the loop I’ve been) and so I decided to check it out, and oh my, is it pretty. This got me back into wanting to build things and tinker around with the new stuff I hadn’t really played around with, and I got to thinking about the main ARBTServer map and how I’ve exposed so much of it in the last few years that I’d have to hike quite a ways through the Nether to find any new ground to generate new stuff on. That and we have only occasional outside traffic these days… So I made the difficult decision to archive it. That map, which I’ll probably forever think of as the Main Map, I’m renaming V.2. The old survival map will be version 3, and the newly rebooted map, which is now live, is v.4.

Speaking of which, yes, the server’s back up, and I’ve completely rebooted the map. I played around with Mineatlas for a little while after deciding I wanted to start fresh, looking at other seeds to try, and after awhile I was just like… you know what… same seed. Just start from scratch. What with all the new stuff since the last time I’ve generated a new map with this seed I figured there’d be a few slight differences in the terrain, and there are, but it still looks familiar, if not quite the same. I’ve already put in a new Spawn House, and there’s a beacon tower already at World Center (0,0) that will eventually become the center of a new rail system, because you can take the woman out of the subway but you can’t take the subway out of the woman apparently.

I’ll miss the old map, but the beauty of archives is that there isn’t anything preventing me from bringing it back one day.

In other game news, I am not sure when I’ll be back to Twitch or just regular game playing, as again… too many irons in the fire. Hopefully sometime soon.

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.

Server and blog news!

Note: Written before update 1.1.0 when the direction of the sunrise/set was fixed. North here is now west.

I ran twice this week on both Monday and Tuesday nights. There have been some in-world developments. Mt. Servermore is now done (now with four faces and seekrit bat cave!), as is the Granite line of the subway – well. “Done.” It runs to Wacker Tower and stops there pending expansion. Also during Monday’s game DoublePositive (the artist formerly known as Mathguy04) first showed me and 576875 how to build mostly waterless boat launchers (two exist high in the sky above spawn) and built a steak/leather grinder near spawn house, which is weirdly fascinating. And hey, free leather and meat, right? 576875 also has built a community mineshaft around the corner from Spawn, so people should feel free to dig around in there during survival games.

The area around Spawn is about as full as I’d like it to be (more so, but nvm), so I made an official rule calling for a moratorium on building any new structures within 64 blocks of spawn in any direction. I want people to build stuff! JUST NOT NEAR SPAWN, OKAY. It’s a big world, spread out. 🙂 I made some minor updates to the rule list; please check them out before playing.

Other world news: Now that I’m hosting in Survival more often, I’m trying to keep various chests around stocked with various supplies. I’ve also taken a liking to fishing (unsurprising, I loved fishing in World of Warcraft too) and the lake base that 576875 built a while back is fantastic for it aside from occasional attacks from baby zombies. I’m also digging out the Brick line, which will terminate not far from Mt. Servermore when it’s done. (again, “done” until westward expansion.)

Just for a change of pace, I went down to the southern terminus of the Netherrack line, where there is absolutely nothing aside from a “budder” house Beastie built at some point, took a hard left onto an adjacent landmass, and switched the game into survival. Aside from the flights to and from the main continent, I’ve been playing pure survival at max difficulty in this area. I’d been stuck in Creative mode for so long that I’d forgotten what a challenge resource management and staying alive is, especially as my little island home seems to be absolutely plagued with creepers. >_< It’s a nice break from everything else though.

Post slightly edited September 2017

Tonight’s open run

Note: Written before update 1.1.0 when the direction of the sunrise/set was fixed. North here is now west.

Ah, nothing like the first week after a major update drops. It’s like having a picnic next to a frog pond – so many bugs, lol.

My main annoyance is that Plug PE is totally borked after the update. There has been an update this weekend which restored some functionality like coordinates, but due to some incompatibility with 0.11.x they had to remove teleporting. Ah well. Back to taking the long way places. Didn’t much matter anyway as plug repeatedly crashed out while running game to the point where I just gave up and quit trying to run it. I do hope that gets fixed soon.

Two more bugs that are making server runs a right pain is 1) a lot of times other players spawn in what appears to be the void (really just the terrain not loading in right away) with a really jittery, shakey view of the sky. People playing tonight disconnected, reconnected, couldn’t really get on and tried again for most of the night. 😛 Also I’m apparently invisible to some users. Gonna have to ask the Reddit crew what devices they’re using, as I suspect maybe a platform issue or a skin compatibility problem or something.

Aside from those irritating bits, it was a fun and productive run. Two new folk to the server today: welcome Henry10030 and pedro! Please stop by again.

In world development news, I’ve finished as much of the Granite Line of the subway as I’m going to bother doing until I start building stuff out east. As it is, it terminates at Wacker Tower. Also looks like the Brick Line may terminate at Mt. Servermore, which is coming along both in the faces and in the “mountain” I’m terraforming around it. I’ve been taking pictures of stuff, other players, and myself doing things because yay new skin. I’ll post those soon.

Yep, just another evening in the world of Minecraft.

News!

Ugh Fell out of the habit of posting here regularly. Going to try to fix that over the weekend.

Not too much new to report on the world front other than “Hey! I built some subway tunnels!” Because that’s what I’ve been working on: the two side south tracks, aka the Granite and Brick lines. They run about 12 blocks below the original subway line (mostly to get around some logistical problems – unsure whether I’ll be keeping that double deck idea in the other three directions). So far there are new platforms below the Wilshire Castle and Crystal palace lines, but the tunnels connecting the castle and the palace are nowhere near done yet. 

I’d post pictures but sandhogging, much as in real life, is pretty monotonous and grueling. Of course real sandhogs get tunnel boring machines… I’d murder a score of innocent villager children for a way to dig out 5 x 5 blocks at a time. or at least copy/paste sections of tunnel considering they’re all uniform. But… pipe dreams. Anyway the one picture I’ll post is of the section of abandoned mineshaft running parallel to the Brick Line tunnel; it looked so cool I opted to glass that part of the tunnel so it would be visible to passing riders.

In OMG FLAIL SO EXCITED news, Mojang submitted 0.11.0 to the Apple app store last night, so the update will hopefully drop either this weekend while the kidlets are visiting (whoooo) or next week sometime. Depending on whether its been made available to Android/windows/kindle by Monday I may hold off on that week’s open server until everyone’s versions get caught up, since due to Apple’s approval process iOS is doomed to get it last. But yes so excited! It will no longer be a bunch of Steve clones running around! I can look like me! And since 0.11.0 will have file sharing and gamemode switch i can finally back up and run survival games again, though I’ve been enjoying the collective building on creative a lot in the meantime. Cannot. Wait.

I also started a subreddit for this last Monday because I felt a little guilty junking up the MCPE subreddit with my “please come play” announcements. So far The_Swarm_Hut and 576875 have been doing a great job so far keeping it lively in there. Hoping I can pull in a few other reddit people who have visited as well. Link is on the sidebar.

Lastly I’m looking into ways to get this game off my phone and onto either a dedicated Android device or resurrecting my main desktop and emulating Android there via Andy or Bluestacks. Several reasons for this – despite a desperately needed battery transplant last weekend, this game is murdering my poor old iPhone. 😛 More than that though, there is clearly interest in a laid back griefer-free server, and people like tooling around my builds, so i want to find a way to leave it running more than Monday nights. I would also like more server controls (and less lag) that Plug PE offers, hence looking into jumping platforms. Ideally I’d love to run it on Pocketmine since php is my jam and I enjoyed running a server for me and the kids before 0.9.0, and the customizability of the gameplay experience was really appealling, but development on it seems to have stalled and there’s still no way to port LevelDB worlds into it as yet, so boo to that. Also it does look like someone’s developed a map tool for Android that works and y’all know how I’ve been wanting one of THOSE. So… hopefully I can get something more permanent set up by end of summer. More on that as it develops.

Take the train!

As part of a weekly challenge about subways on the MCPE subreddit I made a video of my subway. The video’s a little long, boring and dorky, but it does improve about halfway through when Beastie shows up and wants to know what I’m doing.

Seuss Library

I surf a lot of brutalism galleries. I find the architecture style hideously interesting. It doesn’t help that UMass Amherst isn’t too far from me, so I’m confronted with many intensely ugly buildings on a fairly regular basis. The other fun thing about Brutalism is that examples of it are really fun to make into MCPE builds. Weirdly enough, they do not look anywhere near as ugly within the cubed off aesthetic of a Minecraft world.

My second brutalist build is based on the Geisel Library at the University of California, San Diego. It looks quite a bit like a UFO crashed on campus and then people just shrugged and filled it full of books.

This is the inspiration for this build. Yes, that is a real place!
This is the inspiration for this build. Yes, that is a real place!

 

Just for the record I’ve never been to California, let alone this campus, so I had to improvise a lot of the inside. I do think I did a pretty good job approximating the outside though. Lets take a tour!

On the Road facing North.
On the Road facing North.
It's a long path from the road to the front of the library.
It’s a long path from the road to the front of the library.
There's the road all the way back there.
There’s the road all the way back there.
A peek at the front.
A peek at the front.
Welcome to the library!
Welcome to the library!

 

The librarians are busy tonight.
The librarians are busy tonight.

BTW it is a super pain in the ass getting villagers to stay in one spot. Hence all the glass panes on the ceiling. Good thing they compliment the info dest.

The guys at the Skull Cafe are not so busy.
The guys at the Skull Cafe are not so busy.

Nope. They just keep jumping on the stoves back there.

Such pretty work tables! And cozy couches!
Such pretty work tables! And cozy couches!

It was fun figuring out how to get “houseplants” inside without just having ugly exposed dirt blocks.

A flower shop? In a library? Sure, why not.
A flower shop? In a library? Sure, why not.

So lets go downstairs to the basement!

It isn't a proper library without a creepy basement of stacks
It isn’t a proper library without a creepy basement of stacks.
Lots of stacks. We might be searching awhile.
Lots of stacks. We might be searching awhile.

These pictures aren’t really conveying what a huge basement of stacks this really is. You’re seeing a glimps eof maybe half of them.

Because my stepkids got jokes.
Because my stepkids got jokes.

I really don’t know what is with them and setting random animals loose in my builds but at least the library cows are funny. Anyway…

Up to the "UFO" part of the library!
Up to the “UFO” part of the library!
Level 5 has some cosy reading areas!
Level 5 has some cozy reading areas!
It's much more inviting up here.
It’s much more inviting up here.
A peek down at the road.
A peek down at the road.
So much for no talking in the library.
So much for no talking in the library.

Because these guys will follow and aggressively HMMM at you.

Level 7 is the widest floor. Lots of work and read space.
Level 7 is the widest floor. Lots of work and read space.
So this is what an all-nighter looks like.
So this is what an all-nighter looks like.
No idea how the villager got outside.
No idea how the villager got outside.

Also whoops, forgot to finish slabbing over the ceiling – you can see the wool blocks holding up the table upstairs.

Looking up to the skylight on level 10. Quite a climb!
Looking up to the skylight on level 10. Quite a climb!
Top floor!
Top floor! Phew!

Level 10 isn’t part of the original library design, but a rooftop workshop felt somehow necessary.

The minions are super busy up here.
The minions are super busy up here.
Busy in the workshop
Busy in the workshop…

Okay, back outside.

A daylight view from outside
A daylight view from outside
a side view at sunset
a side view at sunset.
Looks really cool all lit up!
Looks really cool all lit up!
...this needs some sheep or wolves or something.
…this needs some sheep or wolves or something.

 

This took me maybe three solid weeks of work to finish up and furnish, but it’s the build I’m happiest with so far. I may go back and add more light at the base of the “UFO” at some point, as I’m afraid if I switch this to creative that dark area is going to be a ripe spawning area for hostiles. Also go back through and make sure there are no further patches of ceiling I forgot to slab over. and maybe give that poor cow a companion to roam the basement with…

 

World: Main
Location: from the road: (-1113, 69, -463) Library front: (-1137, 65, -526)
Build Mode: Creative
Build completed: December 14th, 2014