Saturday, June 29, 2013

Race Track Map - Ticket Booth and 1.6 Release Date

I was short on time yesterday and knew I wouldn't be able to properly work on the stables, so I began work on the entrance to the races. That worked out to my advantage, as I now have a neat idea for the stables when I get started on them!

This first image is the ticket booth, complete with a villager to greet you. To the left is the entry to the spectator stands, while the doorway to the right is used to access the stables, track, and VIP booth.

This pic here shows some of the extra decoration added to the path leading to the stands. I decided to add the iron bars to make it feel more like a security wall, and I think it turned out pretty well.

This last shot here is the walkway for the VIPs and jockeys. I wanted a path texture that you don't often see, and ended up using furnaces. It's definitely something you don't see everyday as a walkway and looks neat.

I believe the stables are next on the list. One of the reasons I've been putting them off is that I wanted access to the horses and hay/wheat bales without having to proxy them with mods. My initial information was off by a week - the 1.6 pre-release is already out, with the official version out on July 1st!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Race Track Map - Stands Finished

I finished the spectator stands today and put some more touches on the paths leading to the other areas inside the track. Including the VIP lounge, the number of viewer "seats" for the race comes to 400!

The picture here shows off some of the work. As you can see, banners were added to the winner's circle (and other areas not pictured) and the lamps to the sides of the winner's circle were changed. I decided to do the roof of the stands in different colors of wool (with matching doorway markers in the back) to easily mark off each section of the stands.

Next up, I think I'll be tackling the stables!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Race Track Map - Stands and VIP Box

Work on the race track map continues. Here's some shots of the VIP box, situated just a stone's throw away from the finish line.

The first picture shows off the fully-stocked automatic refrigerators (droppers with pressure plates) with all the foods vanilla Minecraft has to offer.

The second image here gives you a look at the seating, plush carpeting, wall decor and trim. Invite your top ten friends/admins to kick back and enjoy the race! Pretty posh, huh?

Here's a look at a sampling of what the typical spectator stands will look like. The pic to the left are the stands proper, facing the track, while the last image is an early look at the entry to the stands. Things have already changed somewhat from these pictures, but this is the basic idea.

I'm still trying to determine how large I want each section (designated by colored wool), but when I'm done it should be enough seating for even the largest server community.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Race Track Map - Pond and Fountain

The hardest part of the track (redstone wiring) was completed long ago, and now I'm just adding in the decor and landscaping. Here's a few shots of a pond and fountain added to the inside area of the race track.

Also, the Minecraft 1.6 pre-release will be publicly available July 1st, meaning I need to get this done quick! The pre-release and official updates are typically identical and released about a week apart, so time is short.

I still feel I have a lot yet to add - I want a full stables area as well as some leisure/fun buildings, perhaps with some minor minigames or something (which might mean more redstone, ugh). I'm currently working on the spectator stands, with more pictures on the way soon!

Spotlight: WgdVids

Here's another dose of Minecraft machinima for you, brought to you by WgdVids on YouTube. My current favorite is below, a spoof of a popular TV show appropriately titled "Minebusters". Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Spotlight: The Minebox

If you like entertaining and humorous videos about Minecraft, check out The Minebox channel on YouTube! They have over 50 hilarious skits for your viewing pleasure! Here's a sample of what they have to offer.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Minecraft Test Video - WIP Race Track

Here it is, my test run of in-game Minecraft footage on my aging computer. It's not the best quality but it gets the job done. Also, it's a sneak peek at the Horse/Pig Race Track I'm working on. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Funny Pic and Possible Upcoming Vids

Apparently Minecraft zombies prefer slapping you with a trout before eating your brains.

I found this pic stashed away in the folder of some random instance I made to test something using MultiMC.

I'm not sure of the circumstances that led to what you see here, but at some point I believe a fish (from a mod) was killed, a zombie (wandering about in the daytime from somewhere) ended up in the river (thus not burning), then picked up the raw fish to attack me with.

In other news, I think I corrected a system problem that was stopping me from recording in-game sound when trying to get game footage. If so, this will allow me to make decent videos of projects, tutorials, "let's plays", machinimas, or whatever else I need in-game footage for. I'll be testing that out again shortly - fingers crossed!

Monsters and Mob Traps

This assortment of screenshots are all monster-related.

I know this one's dark, but well-lit areas typically don't spawn monsters, so deal with it!

Anyway, if you look in the center of the screen, you'll see a skeleton mounted on a skeletal horse (courtesy of the Mo' Creatures mod). Kind of cool, but Spider Jockeys already exist, so a mounted skeleton isn't too big of a deal.

Now from the center, look up and to the right just a bit. Up in the air there is an evil pegasus... upon which also sits a skeleton. Give that a moment to sink in while I explain it to everyone else. Undead guy with a bow, riding on a flying monster. If you think those are bad in a desert, imagine finding that in a ravine while you're on a thin ledge. Yeah...

I was wandering the ever-expanding village when I heard the crack of thunder and squeal of multiple pigs from the newly-built pen. As I neared the farm, I heard the unmistakable grunts typically found only in the Nether...

I found the pen overrun with zombie pigmen, who were literally transformed from pigs by the lightning strike. Let this be a lesson to you all - pig farms NEED roofs!

This is a skeleton decked out entirely in golden armor. He's drowning in a slightly modified version of Etho's famous mob trap. For those wondering what a "mob trap" is, think of a machine that spits out monster loot, then think about how one would go about building something to accomplish that.

Basically, you create some nice flat, enclosed (and ultimately pitch black) rooms. You dig channels around these rooms and carefully place water so that it all flows to one point. Once the lighting is removed, monsters will spawn and wander around, eventually falling into the water channels and get swept away by the current. Using the water (and careful placement of other things) you create an area that not only drowns monsters, but carries their loot to a safe drop point for you to pick up at your leisure (or better yet, attach a hopper to a chest for automation)!

I'll end this post with another poorly-lit area; my apologies on this one as I didn't have a better image. Looking at the ground, you'll notice a muddy looking area. Don't step into that, it's quicksand! Fear not, quicksand naturally appears only in the Mini Jungle biome from ExtrabiomesXL... but when you find it, be careful! It will drag you down from a mostly inescapable death via suffocation.

What at first seems like a deathtrap can be used as a weapon. Grab a shovel and harvest some of this stuff. Go make one of those "rooms" that purposely spawns monsters (check out the Ethoslab videos on youtube for details, they're very well done), and drop the monsters off into some quicksand! Built correctly, you can get the loot from the monsters, because items slowly fall through the quicksand as well. Perhaps in a future post, I will show you how it's done. Either style of mob trap is pretty fun to watch... in a sadistic, mad scientist kind of way! Muah-ha-ha-ha!

Mountain Sunrise and Lava Spill

I'm still digging through my oldest Minecraft screenshots for the best to share.

This one was taken on an impressive co-op SMP game where my friends and I had built and dug to a point we started exploring the option of each of us having our own personalized places.

While mining, I broke through to the outdoors again and saw this amazing view (minus the ice). Heading outside, I discovered I was digging through a tall spire of mountain that looked like a natural tower. I claimed this as "my spot" and transformed the spire into a tower made of snow, following the original shape of the mountain.

I struck a deal with a friend to have him mine some ice with his Silk Touch pickaxe, which I used for windows. While working on my snow fortress, I snapped this pic as the sun was rising behind the neighboring mountain.

This shot was taken while exploring when I noticed a huge, lit up patch of lava on my map at night. It was day before I finally got to it, and found this.

Notice at the top that it all begins with one little square of lava coming out the side of the land, but due to the terrain it spreads to cover a roughly 12-space wide triangle that even hits the river bank, creating stone. I'm sure there's a life lesson in there somewhere if you think about it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Zombie Rehab Center

Here's a few screens I found of what was fondly named the "Zombie Rehabilitation Center". During SMP games, we'd explore around villages until we found a nearby zombie spawner dungeon. We entered the dungeon, slayed the zombies, took the loot from the chests, and put torches on the spawner cage to temporarily disable it.
From there, we built a short staircase leading from the spawner towards the village. At ground level, we erected a containment facility using gates, iron bars, levers and redstone. Another room in the facility held components for making and storing splash potions of weakness and golden apples.

Once everything was in place, we ran back to the dungeon and removed the torches from the spawner, leaving just one or two torches in the corners of the room to keep other mobs from spawning (you DON'T want a creeper to pop up unexpectedly here!). Zombies then spawn immediately and climb the stairs looking for you or the nearby villagers.

Most of the time, the "cage" portion of the facility looks like the image to the right. You mostly get regular zombies, which you can either kill for XP and loot or drop them into an optional lava trap below. What you're really waiting for are those rarely-spawning zombie villagers.
You're looking for these guys.

Instead of using a number of other tricks (that we personally consider cheap/cheaty) for quickly building a villager population, we'd "rehabilitate" zombie villagers using the potions and apples. It is said that iron bars increase the chances of a successful transformation from zombie to villager, thus we used them as our main "containment area". Every attempt for us was a success, and we recreated this several times on different games.
Once we restored a villager from zombiehood, we'd check their trade offer. If it looked promising, he was sent out an iron door that led to a hallway with a minecart and track, which he had no choice but to hop into. Our new salesperson was then sent to our specially built market stalls and was given his own place to set up shop - complete with a sign hinting at his best offer! The other villagers were sent out sans minecart to go join the residential area of the village.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Natural Water/Lava Stream

I took this screenshot a long time ago in one of my first SSP games, I think before I was even using mods (gasp!).
It just struck me as odd how the water and lava flowed alongside each other, creating the line of cobblestone between them. Looking on the Minecraft Wiki, I discovered this happens naturally, albeit rarely.

Big Bad Monsters!

My previous addition to the Minecraft page made the game easier. This one makes it harder - much harder. Now included is a small but mighty collection of mods that add new animals, monsters, and critters to the game. Tame pets, ride mounts and fight the baddest monsters the Overworld and some strange new dimensions have to offer! Check it out here.

10 More Mods For Minecraft

I just added 10 more awesome mods to the list over on the Minecraft page. These ten focus on additional goodies to enhance your gameplay experience. Backpacks, parachutes, familiars, weapons, enchanted books, magic rings, siege engines, explosive arrows... and the list goes on! I guarantee you'll find something you like in this section - go check it out now!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A New "Crafty" Look!

I figured if the blog was going to start focusing more on Minecraft, I might as well make the site look a little more Crafty. Tell me what you think!

16 Links Added to Minecraft Page

Work continues on all things Minecraft. 14 more of my favorite mods focusing on terrain variety and aesthetics... pretty much a builder's dream!

Also included: a full map of World of Warcraft (Azeroth) and a video of a Ghostbusters rollercoaster, both done entirely in Minecraft! Click here to see the page.

Friday, June 14, 2013

New Minecraft Page!

I've added a new page to the blog specializing in Minecraft. While far from finished, it already has a list of my most-used mods, with much more to add!

The page will also soon feature my own projects/creations, screenshots, videos and anything else that's just plain awesome about the game.

Adventure Map WIP - Above Ground

These screens show some of what all that redstone is taking care of topside.

Adventure Map WIP - The Redstone Menace!

As I mentioned earlier, I'm working on a project that could be classified as a Minecraft adventure map. It's being made specifically for the new mobs coming in 1.6, but I found out it works for some current ones as well.

I'll start by posting some shots of the underground/hidden redstone workings that makes it all function. It's not nearly as complicated as most other adventure maps, but I'm a novice when it comes to redstone. This is a personal achievement for me!

RIFT Free-To-Play and a Much Needed Update

In case you haven't heard, RIFT has joined the Free-To-Play circus. I tried this game in beta and enjoyed it, though was admittedly confused by their class/talent system. That was a long time ago, though, and things have probably changed some.
Here's a link for more information and how to get started:

As for this blog, you can see I've been pretty lazy in posting. When you're not playing MMOs, it's hard to blog about them. Due to my aging computer, it's getting tougher to try out new games that it can actually support. While in a WoW guild last year, I was properly introduced to Minecraft and have never looked back. There's a lot to say about a game that can be almost infinitely modified and only requires a one-time purchase for full access.

So for now, this blog will cover what I AM playing, which is Minecraft. Thankfully, I'm working on a project for the game right now which I will be posting about very soon! HINT: It has to do with the new mobs coming in the 1.6 Update.