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Postcards from Minecraft

By Shamus
on Monday Oct 18, 2010
Filed under:


Minecraft is the exceptionally rare sort of game that can bridge the gap between myself and my kids. Most titles are a compromise of some sort. I can enjoy a bit of Mario Galaxy, but it doesn’t resonate with me the way it does with my son. They liked watching me play Half-Life 2 or Civilization V, but I don’t think they would have taken interest if not for the fact that I was playing. But Minecraft is just as fun at nine as it is at thirty-nine. And I think it’s the first time we’ve been able to really play together in a multiplayer setting.


A statue constructed by my daughter and me. It was an interesting challenge. We’re both very glad for the fact that you’re invincible in multiplayer. If we had to do a corpse run every time we slipped off the scaffolds, this would have been a lot less fun.


I notice most people like to build a lot of buildings. They build one, they move on, build another. But I keep tinkering with the same building, and improving it gradually as I learn.

For a long time I had a lot of brick in my house. But the mixture of gray stone, brown wood, red brick, and glass block ended up looking too cluttered and unfocused. So I removed the brick and replaced it with stone.


But now it looks too dull. I tried adding some white blocks (wool, actually) to give it a bit of texture. That helped, but it didn’t solve the problem. And you can’t get wool in multiplayer. (The wool I have now is from when I was playing single player. I copied my SP map to seed my MP server.) So now I’m playing around with tiered gardens.


My house used to be a hill. I built into the hill, then on the hill, then around the hill, and now I’ll bet I’ve replaced every one of the original blocks. Foolishly, I removed all the grass. You can’t build grass, only dirt. Grass spreads on its own, and it does not spread quickly. So now I’m building all these dirt steps up the side of my house to get the grass to propagate to the upper floors.


A beacon. When you create a new map, its common to wander around for a bit until you find a spot where you’d like to build. The downside is that if you wind up back at the respawn point later, you might not know where your house is. There’s no in-game compass, no way to know your current position. You just have to navigate by landmarks. So it’s pretty common for people to build a huge pillar and light a fire on top in order to lead them home.

While you can’t die in multiplayer, it’s still possible to get into a position where it’s easier to use the /home command to escape a predicament. For example, if your last pick-axe breaks while you’re down in the bowels of the earth. If you were foolish you might find yourself with no digging tools, no wood to make tools, and no torches. (Always keep a small stack of wood if you’re going deep!) While it is possible to dig free by digging with your hands in the dark, it’s a pretty time-consuming process.

Comments (195)

  1. Drue says:

    Er, you can actually make a compass that alwyas points to the spawn. It is redstone in the middle with four bits of steel around it if I recall correctly.

    Of course if you die you would drop it….

    • RichVR says:

      Yeah, I was wondering about this. I haven’t done a lot of multiplayer, but I figured that you could make compasses in it.

    • Shamus says:

      Yeah, I was always puzzled at the uselessness of the compass. I mean, you can ALWAYS find the spawn. That’s the one spot in the world you can always reach, no matter what. But getting home FROM the spawn… well, I guess there’s a reason we all build beacons.

      I’d rather have a compass that just points north.

      • Drue says:

        Well, if you have a device that reliably points in one direciton then you can navigate based off that. Just as a real compass. Don’t you know the earth’s spawn point is the north pole?

        • Zukhramm says:

          The problem is, if you are at the north pole and want to go in a specific direction, a compass won’t help, because they’re all south.

          • Ouchies81 says:

            The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

            The clouds always move north to south.

            Hope it helps.

            • Kale says:

              Is this for Minecraft or the real world? Because clouds have a lot more options in the real world than north-south.

              • Swedmarine says:

                Lies! The clouds only ever move horizontally or diagonally in the propaganda of the evil Space Crabs.

                • SolkaTruesilver says:

                  If I had to create beacons, I’d create 3 towers. One with only 1 layer of lights, the other with 2, and the last with 3.

                  With that, I could always know my rough positioning in the world.

                  Or am I over-thinking that?

                  (Fun Fact: It’s so easy to orient yourself in Dubai, since they applied Video-Game logic to their city design, and built a tower so high you can see from anywhere in town!)

            • Zukhramm says:

              Not if the direction the compass points to is considered north.

            • Cyanide says:

              Pretty sure the clouds move from the south towards the north, actually.

              As for navigation, I’m hoping for a sextant at some point. Maybe part iron, part glass?

              • MrWhales says:

                That would be amazing, it would save some code if the stars were “fixed” in the sky at night. I’m not sure if they already are, but it couldnt hurt to suggest it to Notch

            • larryboy114 says:

              Actually, while everyone says the sun goes east to west (which would make sense) if you use Cartograph, the sun actually goes north to south
              I like using Cartograph to check on resources in the area so I always end up with signs pointing to directions and labeling them “Cartograph relative”

              • acronix says:

                Depending on how you see it, that´s either a nomenclature problem or a perception one: east is wherever direction the sun rises from, and west wherever the sun sets, no matter what Cartograph does to convince you.
                At the same time, if we go with perception, then you are interpreting Cartograph as saying “Sun comes from the North!” because the western parts of your maps appear at the top of the image, and most of us relate “up = north”.

      • Cerapa says:

        You can use it to build a road to the spawn.

      • Mr. Wizard says:

        When I have the compass, i make a mental note of its orientation when I am facing the sunrise when in my house. Once you know that get sent back to spawn, just move around the spawn while facing the sunrise (or moon rise) until the orientation is the same. Then just keep the arrow pointing at your rear as you move and you’ll end up back at your camp every time.

      • Neil Polenske says:

        I’d rather have a compass that shows me where stuph is, CAUSE I AINT FOUND SHIT! [/spaceballs]

      • Nasikabatrachus says:

        I’m usually far away enough from the spawn point that it does point to one of the cardinal directions. It’s useful for underground work and not being forced to walk in straight lines in order to make your way back “home” without getting lost and having to hug a creeper.

        • Will says:

          You can actually navigate from the spawn point quite easily with the compass, you only need 1 fixed point to navigate, it doesn’t matter where from.

          Because the compass in your inventory is ‘fixed’ in that south-west on the compass means the spawn point is south west of you, it’s actually pretty easy to line yourself up so that you’re facing the direction you want to go, so long as you remember which direction you were in the first place :P

          The map generator also often generates pretty unique looking chunks of land that work well for landmarks. And if all else fails, dig yourself a tunnel to the spawn!

          • Sumanai says:

            Actually, I think you can find out your absolute position, though not precisely, with the compass and visibility of the sky. Since clouds (and the sun and the moon) can be used to find out North, you can find out what direction you’re from the spawn point with the compass.
            Then by moving around and measuring how much the compass changes, or how much you have to move for a certain amount of change, you should be able to find out how far you’re from the SP.
            Using information from this it should be possible to navigate between two points far away from the spawn point without much wandering. Assuming you can remember the estimates, they are, or can be, accurate enough and they’re not so far away from the spawn point you have to move quite a lot just to get the needle to react.

            I think I’ll have to run some tests.

            • Sumanai says:

              Tested once, severely inaccurate. I went down to a cavern, checked compass movement. Then went back to the surface, roughly the same movement dropped in at a different part of the cavern. Since it’s a large cavern it was given that I’d hit it somewhere, but apparently nowhere near my intended position.
              Note: both areas dip into lava-level and therefore I know that I’m at the right depth.

  2. Marty says:

    My seven year old son is OBSESSED with Minecraft. He spends any time that we will let him watching YouTube videos and playing with the Classic version (the Alpha crashes every time we try and run it on my old laptop that he uses). When he’s not playing or watching videos, he’s TALKING about it. Incessantly.

    And I understand why. His other great obsession is Lego. Turning him loose in minecraft is like giving him all of the Lego blocks he could ever need or want.

    • All three of ours are obsessed as well. And since we only have 2 computers that run it every waking hour SOMEONE is playing minecraft (except me– I don’t have time for a time sink game and I don’t have the energy to fight the children or Shamus for my turn at a machine that will run it.

      And our 9 year old is also Lego obsessed and Minecraft scratches that particular itch perfectly. Most conversations turn randomly back to Minecraft, which at times makes for much confusion.

      • Rosseloh says:

        Just let me add another bit of evidence to the “Lego influence” pile here…

        I’m 21, and can’t put Minecraft down, because I have always loved lego.

        • KremlinLaptop says:

          Same thing, loved Lego as a kid. I mean hell… I still like playing with Lego given half a chance. (Who am I kidding, given space, time and blocks I’d build some obscenely huge Lego contraptions.)

          • krellen says:

            Just last weekend, I had a conversation with some geeky new parents and among the things the father was most excited about having a son around for was the ability to pull out his Legos again.

            He tried to couch it as being excited for giving his son the chance to play with Legos, but I called him on it and he admitted the truth: geeks have kids so they can play with Legos again.

            • Will says:

              Minecraft and Lego hit the same vein; building stuff. If you like making things then you will love Lego and Minecraft. Geeks often have a little engineer in them (even if they don’t admit it), which usually makes it’s way out with an obsession with making things. Some, like Shamus, channel that towards programming, others channel it towards other persuits, but at the end of the day so long as you are making something, that itch gets scratched.

  3. Setsuhen says:

    I am flaberghasted by this. I don’t think I’d have the patience to build such a monstrosity. Well done, Shamus.

  4. Mumbles says:

    So, I figured out how to make waterfalls and such on an unmodded multi-player server. Basically, you drop a bucket of water and then pick it up as fast as you can and if you wait a second, it’ll appear. I’m not sure how buggy it is, but Saturday night I managed to finish the farm and a waterfall.

  5. X2-Eliah says:

    One thing that always puzzles me – on multiplayer servers, don’t you have tons of griefers who blow up/crash/build through your creations?

    Also, this is not Spoiler Warning. I am confused. Is the next SW in Minecraft? (If so, is it Unspoiled Notice?)

    • Shamus says:

      Spoiler Warning is normally Tus & Thurs, but we’re taking this week off. I might announce the game this week though. We’ve recorded a couple of episodes already.

      • Supah_Ewok says:

        Aw. Part of my prediction on Rut’s website is already proven wrong. I guessed that you would be showing episodes without pause this week, and that the game would involve Josh spending lots of time in the character creator. And I felt so smart…

    • kmc says:

      Also, you can run your own private multiplayer server. That’s what my husband and I do; it’s just the two of us and my mom. We have a great time and no griefers!

    • Ernheim says:

      Yes, I was wondering that as well, how bad is griefing on public mp servers? I’ve only played alone so far and it’s kinda lonesome. But I don’t want to get drowned in lava every 5 minutes because some jerk thinks it’s a laugh

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        I’ve had problems with griefers in some servers.

        The first Rock, Paper Shotgun server, I built a huge Q-bert style pyramid, out of four different materials.

        Then, some f**kwit decided to drop TNT all over the place (god knows how he was spawning it), which blew everything to hell (not literally, hell isn’t implemented yet).

        A huge work that took me many hours, reduced to rubble in less than a minute. Knocks you back a bit.

        Now I’m mostly on the Good Old Games (unofficial) server, run by a fellow member of GOG. Much better, and we have far more control over what happens.

        Consequently, we’ve made vast buildings and a road network, amongst other things, and an underwater city.

        Multiplayer is far better than single player for me, the shared experience makes it rather special.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        If you’re on or running a public server griefers are bad. And I mean seriously bad. I’m playing on a rather small public server with a relatively tight knit community. But this is because we have building rights now, at first our owner wanted to make it completely freebuild and no whitelist whatsoever (for those unfamiliar with Minecraft lingo: freebuild means that people can build whatever, wherever as long as they don’t interfere with another’s construction, as covered by the “no griefing” rule; whitelist is a list of names that are allowed on the server, normally people not on the whitelist can’t log on but it also sometimes refers to other mechanisms that prevent random people from building). After having to reset the server two times because of the massive grief (huge fires, lava spillage all over, entire neighbourhoods torn down to the ground or turned into Swiss cheese…) we had to change it to people getting building rights, and even now the TNT doesn’t work and only admins have the ability to carry liquids around so we have to ask for their help when we want to set up a waterfall or a pool.

        If you’re hosting a private server, like only for a group of friends and only they know the address, then obviously chances of getting a random griefer are minimal. Though, since you know who’ll be trying to log in anyway, you might as well set a whitelist just in case somebody gives away the address by accident or something. Either way, most of the long standing servers have some forms of griefer control, though it’s sometimes annoying to ordinary players as well (like: not being able to carry liquids, or having to wait for building rights, I know one of the largest servers out there has like a panic mode every time you try to break a glass block).

    • eri says:

      I hope you realise that Spoiler Warning is not the sole purpose of this site, nor is it a project that runs without delays or breaks.

  6. The f0nz says:

    I am absolutely loving this game! I hadn’t heard of it until about a week back, and since then I’ve been a little bit obsessed. I managed to spawn a map which is extremely mountainous and riddled with hundreds of caves!

    I’ve currently connected about 10 caves within one mountain to make a house, and built a tower into the side of the mountain. Out of that tower I have a water causeway 4 blocks across, facing north south east and west, and spanning off into the distance! Currently made it about a mile long approx. I’m having fun just adding to this waterway when I’m bored :P

    Also, why waste so many resources on a huge beacon? I was lucky enough to get an awesome spawn point, but if I travel anywhere to establish something, I usually leave a little torch trail (I make sure I have a few torches first, or at least build a little house as a waypoint)

    The possibilities of this game are staggering o_o


    Also, if you’re worried about getting stuff into your inventory, why not use INVedit? Check it out. Pretty nifty little piece of work. You can get those grass blocks too on it.

    Load up all of what you need, store it in a bunch of boxes. Enjoy! (Uses it for all of the stone for the bridge to nowhere!)

    • Shamus says:

      Yeah, this was our main problem. Our spawn was horrible, but I didn’t know enough about the game yet. It’s ocean on one side, lots of low hills on the other. With no trees.

      I’ve since built a lance landing area at the spawn and constructed a bridge / path leading to the inhabited areas, but I’m still regretting making our home here. If I sail across the ocean I find tons of spectacular natural formations that would be great for building. But where we’ve built is bland.

      • 10Kan says:

        The tree problem can be partially alleviated by getting the branches that sometimes fall from clearing a tree’s foliage and planting those in a more convenient location. Unless I’m mistaken, they eventually grow into mature trees.

        • acronix says:

          You can even plant them underground as long as they have at least a 3x3xZ (not sure about the needed height) and a couple of torches close.

          • KremlinLaptop says:

            Incredibly useful when your mines go deep and long — especially underneath ocean — and you want to have a source of wood without going back to the surface. Keeping forests sustainable is sort of fun, not sure why, but renewable resources are just as rewarding as finding deposits of gold and diamonds.

            Seeing a forest growing in a vast underground hall is very neat.

          • Shrikezero says:

            I believe the height needs to be at least 6 high, more if you are trying for large trees. (which can be had by stacking two cubes directly next to the sapling)

            • Will says:

              It’s 4 high actually. And they only need 1 x 1 x 4 with 1 adjacent torch and 1 dirt block below them to grow (although ovbiously you won’t get many leaves.)

              Also note that leaves don’t count for the height, so you can put a sapling right beneath a leaf block and it will just grow right through it.

              If you plant your dirt block, stand on the block and then mine upwards until you can mine no further, you’ll have mined out 1 more block than you needed to for the tree to grow.

      • SatansBestBuddy says:

        The obvious solution is to build in those interesting spots then connect back to the spawn base with a railway.

        • Sumanai says:

          Boosters highly recommended over the powered cart. Sure, the boosters will stop working some day, but the powered carts the last time I tried couldn’t reliably push me up a 3-step climb (two horizontal tracks, then one climbing, 2 even, 1 up etc). And I walked faster. I made one booster at the bottom and now I get up as fast as down (~21 seconds, I had to make a booster at the top as well).

      • Superkp says:

        Dude, you didn’t get a bland spawn, you spawned on BEACH FRONT PROPERTY!!! Now you can open up your server with a digital travel agency and get a bunch of people to visit your house/beacon for money!

        Except…even in the real world, the only reason that most people love the beach is that it is not ‘home’. Beaches are just a bunch of flat land and a bunch of flat ocean, with a strip of sand in the middle.

        I have never understood the desire for beaches, unless they are particularly interesting (cool fish, consistent amazing waves, black sand, sharks to punch, etc). I would prefer Yellowstone Nat’l Park over North Carolina any day. Probably has better fishing, even.

      • Friend of Dragons says:

        Yeah, bland spawns are an issue I’ve had, start up a spawn and find it on some island in the middle of nowhere or else just have no interesting formations nearby. I kept regenerating the world until I got one I liked… Now I’ve made a home out of a section of a waterfall cave just a short walk from my spawn. And the cave is great, too, I’ve already found 26 diamonds just exploring it without almost any mining.

    • Zukhramm says:

      INVedit seems like cheating to me, I get a lot more interested in building if I can’t get everything I need.

  7. Dovius says:

    Seriously, how much does this game cost, I really wanna play this after everything I’ve heard.

    Must….make….full-size model…of…Moria

    • SolkaTruesilver says:

      You mean Khazad-Dum?

      Or you actually want to also re-create the orcs and Balrog?

      • Dovius says:

        Just Khazad-Dum, and then nail ironforge and Orzammar next to it.
        Then, the people!
        Seriously, what about the part with Gandalf fighting the Balrog, with a still being rebuilt in Minecraft!
        But hell, I’ll try classic, I is broke ATM

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          I think you could make a decent Balrog with good placement of obsidian and lava blocks, might take some experience or at least guesswork. Gandalf would be hard though, unless you’d like to build a big scale model (obviously the more blocks a model has the more details you can put in). If Gandalf was life size, as in your size, he’d have to be 2 blocks tall, but if you built a big Gandalf statue than Balrog would have to be gigantic. Or you could make a Gandalf skin (problem with the robes though) and pose for a picture with the statue in 3rd person view.

    • The f0nz says:

      €10 (£8.88 or $13.88) for the alpha version (That’s currently half price, and the developer -Notch- is saying those who buy alpha now will get further updates free)

      Classic mode is free, but won’t get updated


  8. poiumty says:

    Hey, Half-Life was one of my favourite games when i was a kid. Dunno why your son doesn’t like the second. Kids these days *sigh*.

    Also, nice beacon you got there. How long does that take? (in game time)

  9. grag says:

    I’ve been thinking about setting up a multiplayer server at home. Might end up shelling out another 9 euros so I can play with my son.

  10. Jarenth says:

    Yeah Idunno. I got really hooked by Minecraft during that free period a while back — I’m fairly certain I played the first Saturday till sunrise — but I sort of got broken out of the trance when I realized that

    a) Playing Minecraft single-player gets old, for me, because the whole building aspect only really shines when you can share your stuff with friends,

    b) None of my real life friends are really susceptible to the Minecraft bug, and

    c) I don’t really *know* anyone online who plays Minecraft, beyond the occasional blog comments.

    So yeah. To me, Minecraft seems like it’d become *really* addicting (i.e. the game most other people seem to have been playing) with, you know, a persistent online place to hang out. Log in, check out / admire what your friends have been up to, work on your own projects, chat, hang out. That’s the kind of game (‘experience’) I’d want to play.

    This is also why I brought up the topic of a Twenty Sided server recently; I know the idea has plenty of problems — lag, finite world space, griefers — but damnit, a guy can hope.

    • SolkaTruesilver says:

      Did you ever tried Dwarf Fortress?

      Currently, my video-game crack is in the form of Fall From Heaven 2. I just can’t stop playing that Civ 4 mod..

      • Jarenth says:

        Tried it, got confused, found The Complete Newbie’s Guide, tried again, got less confused but still pretty overwhelmed, and decided to try this stuff ‘another time’.

        Whenever that will be, I can’t tell you.

        • I felt the same way with DF. I hear it’s an incredible game, but the learning that a “n” is a pet and a “*” is something else just … didn’t sit right with me. The control scheme was off as well..

          Now if they made a Minecraft interface for it… I’d be all over that.

    • Mumbles says:

      Wait until the Halloween update comes out. A lot of people will be playing it then. Single-player in Minecraft is just so damn lonely and if it wasn’t for a friend of mine having a really well populated server, I probably would lose interest.

      That said, someone burnt down the Lost Woods (complete with a Deku Tree) I had grown with my BARE HANDS. It’s a pretty grief-free server, but someone managed to find a fire block and use it against us.

      • SolkaTruesilver says:

        A philosopher would say that, in order to truly become attached to a thing, you need the fear of losing it.

        You never truly realise how genius your creation was until after you lost it.

        But I say, screw that. Hunt that punk down, and upload Vista into his mainframe. That’s a fitting punishment!

      • Jarenth says:

        I should clarify that I don’t really enjoy playing with completely random people, either. It’s the experience of playing with people you know (if even barely) that attracts me in multiplayer. Pretty much all of multiplayer, actually; I’ve never joined a random Starcraft II match ever, but I can waste entire evenings teamed up with friends.

        Still, if any of you know of any good places to hang out (and a way to get the address to me without every griefer on the Internets finding out, I guess), I’m more than willing to come visit. I promise not to destroy stuff myself because I’m cool and not a jerk.

        • acronix says:

          That sounds like what a jerk would say!

          • Jarenth says:

            *That* sounds like something someone who is trying to hide the fact that they are the jerk would say!

            • Mad Flavius says:

              Jarenth, email me at [my name above minus the space] at gmail dot com. I’ll send you the IP for my semi-private server which I have been using with my friends for the past few weeks. I think you’ll have a chance to enjoy yourself, and see at least to a small extent how much fun it is to have a collaborative world in which others can see, comment, and enjoy your creations, as you have the same opportunity for theirs. Instead of just building for your own amusement, you’re helping to build a whole city.

              Also, once multiplayer health gets fixed (probably the Halloween Update), we’re going to start having regular sessions in survival. Basically, hardest difficulty, working as a team to survive in a very Locke-ian state of nature world. ;)

        • Felblood says:

          No matter what game I’m playing it’s always better to play with friends and family than to play alone, and better to play alone than to play with random (probably jerk) internet people. So, my opinion of public multiplayer should be taken with a grain of salt.

          That said, the majority of the conflicts in open servers seem to grow out of people trying to build in spaces that other people already have staked out, rather than outright malice. For example, I once saw a section of highway that had been converted into a waterslide. It doesn’t matter how cool your waterslide is, the highway engineers aren’t going to be pleased with you, if you do things like that.

          If you find a well moderated server, with communicative players your only fear should be roaming trolls, which usually don’t bother people in obscure servers with decent moderator traffic.

        • Mumbles says:

          Which is even more reason why there should be a D20 server.

  11. kmc says:

    One thing we discovered in multiplayer right now is that, if you throw down a tool and pick it back up, its durability is fully restored. Hooray for diamond picks that don’t break! I don’t know if this is going to be fixed in the halloween update, but for now, it’s pretty nice. Also in multiplayer currently, it’s true that you can’t kill enemies the normal way, but you can light them on fire. We always carry around flint and tinder, and you can farm spiders for string if you really need wool blocks–8 or 9 string make a cloth block. Just a couple of tips! Oh, and, did you know about sneaking? If you hit left shift while you move, you won’t fall off the block you’re on. Makes high-altitude building less scary, at least for people like me who still cringe even though the fall won’t kill you…

  12. Kdansky says:

    We should make a d20 server, and have regular backups on it against griefers.

    • Dourhand says:

      i would love it if there was a twenty sided server. Shamus how hard would that be to do?

      • Mephane says:

        I would also love to join that server, however I am currently stuck with the free version. All I have heard so far about the new Minecraft makes me not wanna play it. Go around farm, mine, craft stuff? Hell, I’ve spent many hours just building stuff from the unlimited inventory in Minecraft classic, I can’t even imagine how long it would take to achieve any of that if I first had to realisically produce all raw materials. *shudder*

        • Andy_Panthro says:

          It gives you an immense sense of accomplishment though.

          On the GOG.com (unofficial) server, we took the top off a mountain and built a massive castle on it… and that was just the start!

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          For me it’s the whole “hunting for raw materials” that makes it. I never suspected myself of Dwarven blood since I’m more magic, arcane and all the elven foppity aligned but I find that in Minecraft I like nothing more than having a mountain to level, or tunnelling down to bedrock in search of diamonds, or cleaning up a 20x20x20 room underground… I’m not that much of an architect but I do love to provide people with raw materials. With unlimited inventory or spawning of resources you might as well draw the thing in paint IMHO.

          As for a D20 server, I would totally join it even at the expense of my current server ><;

    • Mad Flavius says:

      If anyone is interested, I am currently running a public-ish server off my computer, based in the Western US. It is running the Runecraft mod , which is a lot of fun, but really doesn’t change gameplay if you are building stuff (merely makes life easier with things like teleports and the “chrono trigger” which changes the time of day upon usage). Currently, the server is running a world called Subterranea, which is basically an epic aboveground/underground city that bears a lot of resemblance to the word of Dinotopia (if anyone else remembers the first awesome book in that series).

      Here are some screenshots of the world, and I’d love it if some d20 folks came and visited or even helped build! The server is up basically 24/7, and I’ll give you the IP to connect if you email me at madflavius (at) gmail (dot) com. Hope to see some of you there!

  13. hewhosaysfish says:

    I liked the old look of your house, Shamus. Sure, it was made of lots of different materials but they weren’t all mixed together in a hodge-podge; instead the separate sections reminded me of a big, rambling old house that started out small but had many extensions added to it be following generations. And apart from from the “following generations” bit, that’s exactly what it *was*. It had character…

    EDIT: Also, a question about Minecraft: Those flat, square clouds I see in the sky? Are they reachable? Are they mineable? Are they build-upon-able?

  14. Ian says:

    I wound up getting pretty lucky in my current “world 2,” having a treasure trove of resources and a nice, tall mountain to put a workshop slash landmark on right near the spawn point.

    So far, the only thing I’ve actually used the redstone compass for is finding the spawn point on my “world 1” map (which is the world that I use for survival) and building a shack on the spawn point if a monster were to kill me. So, uh, yay optimism?

    Other than that, if I found myself lost the only way I’ve been able to get back on track is by watching the sun and following (and building!) landmarks. A couple of the ones that I’ve done so far was to plant a forest (it’s kind of cool to walk through it), building a well-lit wooden workshop with a tree on its roof, cutting a valley into a large hill, and building little spires throughout the world.

    Minecraft is too much fun. Seriously. It’s been cutting into my WoW time. :x

  15. Ham08 says:

    It’s not very difficult to change the spawn point to a spot right inside your house. Check the official forums for instructions on how to do so.


  16. Nathon says:

    Grammar police, since you seem to be too busy playing Minecraft to proofread more than once:

    “A statue constructed by my daughter and I.” should be “my daughter and me.”

    “…and glass block ended up looking to cluttered and unfocused.” to->too

    • Cerapa says:

      That second one is spelling not grammar.

      • Moridin says:

        “to” and “too” are both correct words, so technically it could be either.

        • Taelus says:

          Nah, he’s right about the “too” thing.

          He’s got the other one down too, though that’s always tricky. If it had been “My daughter and I constructed a tower” then “my daughter and I” becomes the subject and the use of “I” is correct. The sentence as written has the tower as the subject and “my daughter and I” as the object of the verb “constructed” calling for the use of “me” instead.

          Also, I have no idea why I felt the need to clarify any of that but I suppose it makes me feel special to get to post something…

        • Veloxyll says:

          To relates to performing an action. I’m going TO press post. I’m going TO London.

          Too relates to something being excessive. This post is TOO much information.
          It costs TOO much.

          Here’s both to and too in a sentence:
          Walking TO London would take TOO long.

          I’d never heard the me one before. It feels weird to say.

  17. Shrikezero says:

    Random lessons learned in Minecraft. (plain vanilla SS)

    The abyss in the center of the world will leave nothing behind when it eats you.

    A water door (dive to enter a keep) works great… provided you make sure the current won’t pull in every pig, cow, and creeper that wanders by.

    Water makes an excellent down elevator.

    It really isn’t fair that when you forget to put a up a torch and leave a dark corner inside your keep it spawns mobs while you aren’t looking.

    When strip mining, cover it with glass. No more pesky falling to your death and the sunlight keeps the mobs away.

    Even if you survive a creeper blast, it will easily toss you up and over your keep wall and into your very deep open strip mine.

    Sheep have no morals. And they’re mean. They’ll push you off a ledge given half a chance.

    • Ian says:

      I think I’ve been having more of a cow problem in my current game. I was, uh, “terraforming” an island last night to use as a building ground for my next architectural masterpiece and those damned cows kept nudging me away from the block that I was trying to dig up. The worst part is that every time I would switch to my fists and punch them in the face to drive them off, they would come back with renewed vigor. I finally decided to construct an iron sword (on peaceful difficulty, no less) after I got nudged into a pit and had to dig my way out.

      Damned cows.

      • Shrikezero says:

        My post was funnier with Sheep (IMO), but the cows and pigs are just as jerkish.

        They’re like Dr Who’s Weeping Angels. Everytime I turn around there’s a pig 2 squares away staring at me with those black, dead, 8 bit eyes.

        I spent 2 hours chasing livestock all over the map and slaughtering them with my cobblestone Sword of Gratuitous Smiting. You’d think after the Livestokalypse word would have spread about the horrors that ocurred at the Keep of the Lonely Avatar.

        You’d be wrong. They’re still there. Still staring. Oinking and waiting for me to turn my back.

        • Shrikezero says:

          Apparently the sheep have broadband access and like to read Twenty Sided. Last night I came up from my mine and there were no less than 9 sheep standing around my workbench.

    • Kdansky says:

      I wonder if we could actually make a current that collects spiders and zombies and delivers them to a deadly area (cacti?) where they are killed and can be looted for easy access to string and feathers?

      • Mumbles says:

        Yep, I know someone who made a spider farm. I’m not sure if they have all the kinks worked out, but apparently it’s functional. All you have to do is find a spider spawner and put a waterfall underneath it. The spiders die, drop string and then respawn.

        • Ian says:

          There’s a YouTube video where someone made a pork processing plant in Infdev (the first pre-Alpha version to feature “infinite” worlds): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCupMnuMDeY

          I found it rather amusing. I’ve been considering trying to do something similar in Alpha just to see if it can still be done (it will require inventory hacking, since you can’t pick up mob spawners anymore, but other than that I think the mechanics are similar enough that it’ll be doable).

      • acronix says:

        There´s a ton of that kind of “mob-farmers” in the fora. You don´t use cacti, though, since whatever item that touches cacti is destroyed. What all this traps do is basically use a current to drown them, then have a 1 block height opening from which the water can flow to a “retrieval” area. That way the mobs drown but the items are filtered to the other side.

        • Andy_Panthro says:

          I accidentally made something similar…

          In my current single-player world, I have a rather large and deep quarry (open pit).

          Anything that falls in dies. I always see random things in there when I go to extend it.

          • swimon says:

            Yeah most of those traps seem rather overly elaborate. I made one by mistake. Just make big waterfalls of lava somewhere and you’ll find feathers hide and pork all the time (presumably silk, arrows and gunpowder too but I run peacefull).

            • acronix says:

              No! Not lava! There´s the chance that the item will ricochet into it and be destroyed. Drowning or killing the mobs from height is much more efficient. Lava is, however, more effective if you just want to kill them.

  18. JohnAdams says:

    Unfortunately, I spawned around a bunch of islands, built up my area, decided to go Columbus and sail across the ocean in a boat, and got completely lost. So I decided to build a fortress just above the water line (complete with diving pool). I found diamond while mining for materials, so I wanted to go home, but I didn’t want to lose my new home. While attempting to make a lava pillar to find my way back, I fell off the tower and died. Now I am trying to rediscover that treasure chest…

    (I doubled the size of my world while exploring, btw, so finding it is going to be a pain)

  19. pffh says:

    Have you tried setting warps where your house and other stuff is?
    Write /setward nameofwarp in the chat and then you can warp to that spot by going /warp nameofwarp

    You can also set your home with /sethome and then you can warp to that spot with the /home command.

    • Lochiel says:

      That’s a function of modded servers, and isn’t available in Vanilla SMP.

    • Shamus says:

      That’s not actually part of the vanilla server. I tried it. Apparently you need a mod, which needs a Java IDE? I read that far and concluded this was a bigger project than I had time for.

      • Sumanai says:

        I don’t know if it works for this particular type, but there is a Minecraft mod installer. I know it makes installing and removing Painterly Pack easier.


        In case anyone is interested.

      • Lochiel says:

        Actually, it’s easy to mod your server. Instead of the .exe server, get .jar server. Open the .jar with 7zip or something similar, and copy the modded files over to the .jar.

        I’ve modded my server with Illamacraft’s chat mod (colored chat, ftw) and bucket fixes. I believe the /setwarp mod is in hey0’s collection of mods, which I’ve never tried but have heard a lot of good things about.

        Having said all that… I prefer to keep my server as Vanilla as usabley possible; Mega-projects are that much cooler when you have to put :effort: into completing them.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        If you’d like something more IC than the /warp commands there is an awesome thing called runecraft that lest you set “magical” teleports, hidden doors and runes to change the time of day to name a few. I like it much more because I can actually imagine my character “doing” the magic rather than typing an “OC” command into the chatline. You need to learn the runes of course, not that hard and there’s a good guide on the wiki, and a few are rather destructive but they can be disabled, plus it’s not really a problem on a private server.

  20. Adamantyr says:

    I’ve been playing Minecraft for a week, and having a blast. An awesome game! I’ve been building in single-player survival mode mostly… having some zombies gnawing on you while trying to finish up a road just ratchets up the tension and makes every building more worthwhile. I used my single-player maps as a seed for multi-player; my brother was impressed with how much I’d accomplished (multiple buildings, roads, bridges) with monsters turned on.

    I spawned on a beach of a small island. To the west is a sea with small islands scattered about, and to the east is a large mainland area. I started out by going through the islands, because I was just beginning and didn’t realize that trees were the key to tools. I found a small island covered in cows, and tried to build a dirt wall house there. A creeper managed to jump over the wall during the night and killed me and blew out a large area of the ground, so I started over by going east instead to the mainland, where a large stone cliff under a dirt overhang proved a much better place to build a fort.

    A few complaints: Iron needs greater availability. It only occurs in small amounts, and while it can be found at any depth, it’s not really that common. I’ve stopped using iron for anything except pickaxes and swords. I haven’t even tried doing mine carts yet, for fear of using it up. Diamond is EXTREMELY rare, while redstone is oddly easy to find; I have over 300 piles of redstone dust without any real hunting effort.

    I do worry that with the Halloween update, Notch may be headed in the wrong direction… I don’t particularly want a “parallel” world that resembles Hell, and I certainly don’t want to have to visit it for materials. Has he considered that parents who are playing with their kids may also have objections to such an idea? What’s wrong with just adding more content to the existing world?

    • KremlinLaptop says:

      Go spelunking for iron. I wander off to find unexplored caves, setup shop and then go spelunking. If it’s a very vast cave system I’ll end up with perhaps four or five stacks of iron, more coal than what I know what to do with, some gold and if I’m lucky a few diamonds.

      Doesn’t take very long and you don’t use up resources, much at least, since the caves are already there.

      • Sumanai says:

        The problem with that is that your mileage will vary. I’ve never had good luck with iron and caverns. Well, luck worth mentioning. Personally I recommend efficient mining.


        The forums get overwhelmed occasionally, so have patience.

        • acronix says:

          I ussually go very deep, touch the bottom of the world, then go up 22 blocks or so (to the “diamond level”) and start making a branch mine. That way, I get tons of iron and coal, but almost-none diamonds. They are nearly worthless beyond making the two-hit-kill-sword and the armor, anyways, so it´s not that terrible for me. If diamond (and iron, let´s add) tools were more efficient they would worth the rarity, but it´s ussually most effective to lug around a ton of stone versions: you´ll have tons of stone anyway, so you will never run out of them.

          • Adamantyr says:

            I have done many spelunking trips, that’s my main iron source. I just notice that I walk away with 5-7 stacks of coal and MAYBE a partial stack of iron. This is exploring natural caverns, mind you, not mining horizontally.

            Nice link on elite mining, confirms some of what I thought! I’m just glad you can move fast enough to dodge lava should you inadvertently mine into it from below…

            • Sumanai says:

              Not only is more coal dropped per block but the veins are larger, so you’d end up with quite a bit coal while mining horizontally as well.

              I’ve actually built by “casting” obsidian (make a “cast”, fill it with lava so that no point is filled by lava pouring from another point, pour water on it, obsidian). A couple of times because of bad planning I’ve had to cast right under another block of obsidian without removing it. This means that I’ve put sand/gravel/dirt blocks below, behind and to the sides of the block being cast. Then I’ve emptied a bucket of lava into it, quickly switched to water and poured it right next to the lava.

              So yeah, lava thankfully flows slowly.

          • Sumanai says:

            I went down to level 10, so just above lava (well, I checked it according to the level of the lava, so I might be level 11 or 9 and not know it) which makes mining less of a hassle since I want some diamonds for storage. I don’t use them for anything but mining Obsidian and I’ve survived with just one pickaxe for that so I’ll most likely just end up making blocks out of them just for the heck of it.

            I have been thinking about going mining right above Redstone levels (>19) since I only really need coal and iron (coal just so I have it in store for when I need it, iron because I’m planning on, among other things, making proper railways around the map). This means I’ll be picking up gold as well, but I’m attracted to the prospect of building a vault.

            Note that Iron pickaxe is needed for mining gold, redstone and diamond. Diamond pickaxe is needed for mining Obsidian (still takes ~15s/block), which I used for my spawn point building. Both can also endure more uses than Stone tools, although Diamond is too rare and Iron isn’t common enough to use for everything.

    • Eldiran says:

      Well, it is a Halloween-themed update… I’m certain afterward he will focus more on just adding more regular content.

    • acronix says:

      The problem you have with redstone is that it has only one use:wiring. If you are not a big wiring user, then you´ll stockpile lots of it. Iron, on the other hand, has a lot of uses: buckets, tools, carts, tracks, doors, armor. ..
      You may also want to stop using iron pickaxes and use stone instead. Iron shovels are OK, since they are more efficient than the stone counterpart (they just consume 1 iron, which isn´t much for doubling their uses) while the pickaxe consumes 3 and has only the durability of two stone pickaxes.
      I, however, agree in that veins should be made bigger and a bit more localized. That way, if you find iron in a place, you know there´s got to be more around. Then you make an iron mine that mines iron instead of coal+iron+redstone+the odd diamond.

      On the halloween thing: I don´t see how parents would object to a “hell” that is only named like that because it´s dark and is on fire over objecting on animated skeletons, creepy suicidal monsters, moving corpses, giant spiders (all of which want to kill you) or objecting about the capability of making traps to slaugher tons of those to get their loot.

      • Adamantyr says:

        Yeah, I just think iron should spawn in larger amounts in a tight area. As far as adding content, he should expand the amount of metals to have a bit more variety… copper and bronze tools, for example. Then again, thanks to MMO’s, those are SO overdone. :)

        Notch has inferred that the Halloween update will be permanent, not just for the holiday. For example, making torches only last a limited amount of time and introducing lamps as permanent light sources, but requiring material from “Hell” to make them.

        I’m not all that keen on the idea of portals to “another” world when you already got an infinite one. Maybe it’s part of a plan to introduce portals to connect multi-player servers, I don’t know… If the worlds were like Myst, where they’re small finite microcosms, portals make more sense.

        It’s his game, he can do what he likes. I just think a lot of parents may find a hell world, even with monsters turned off, something they don’t want their kids playing in. At the least, they’d want to be able to turn it off.

        • acronix says:

          If the hell turns out like I think it will, then it will just another “world” with another theme. Not particulary scarier than deep black caves filled with creepers, mind you. And that´s the “normal” world.

          Also, where did you got the idea that lamps will need a material from hell? I´m sure he´ll add some new blocks and some recipes that require something from there, but going to hell to make a lantern seems a bit…exagerated.

          • Rosseloh says:

            The hell dimension is used as a “fast travel” for the “real” world. According to the advertisement for the update, you can go in in one place, walk a bit to the next portal, and emerge hundreds of meters away in the real world.

    • Falcon_47 says:

      Believe me, when the new hallowen update comes out you’l be holding to every red stone you can because regular coal torches will become finite, alas red stone ones will forever stay on.

      I bet we’ll see a lot more red dust torches being used in youtube videos after that update XD.

      • Will says:

        Nah, Notch is implimenting Lanterns, which replace Torches.

        In fact, now is the time to stockpile as many Torches as possible, because when the update comes, Torches will turn into Lanterns, while a new finite Torch item will appear in the game and be made using 2 sticks + 1 coal.

        • Sumanai says:

          Only placed torches from what I’ve understood. So I suppose you should light up forests and mountains?

          Maybe even go as far I have and start lighting up the sea (I’ve made three glass covered torches underwater and one with lava in it. The torch ones are somewhat unnerving while in a boat).

  21. 4th_Dimension says:

    Reading all this AND occasionally playing on Classic, makes me glad PayPal does not accept purchases from Montenegro. Or my already thick schedule will be wasted.

  22. Velkrin says:

    When I read the blurb and looked at the last picture it imminently made me think of the Return of the King. In response, I will quote from the Movies in 15 Minutes version.

    “The beacon sets off a chain reaction of beacons lighting across the mountains, all the way back to Rohan: the best scene in the whole damn movie, and it’s just stuff musically catching on fire.”

    And here’s a bonus bit for those of you unfamiliar with M15M

    ARAGORN: Don’t answer that Legolas.

  23. Rutskarn says:

    Your house is an opulent Shangri-La that puts mine to bitter shame. Saturday’s tour was disheartening–kind of like if the best Ferris Wheel operator in Wichitaw took a trip to Disneyland. It actually inspired me to pack up and start a new house in my current world.

    • KremlinLaptop says:

      Yeah, I’ve been playing far longer than Shamus and none of my cribs are nearly as bling.

      It’s like as a kid going to play with Lego with that one kid who is absurdly neat and good with them. There you are with your multicolour race car on which the wheels aren’t quite level and he’s built a monster truck with steering and a motor and all from red and black blocks…

      Disheartening, I tell you.

      • Sumanai says:

        So if I were to mention that I have built on two worlds a tower (one that goes over, and other that goes almost to cloud level) on top of the spawn point made out of Obsidian (the first one actually has me respawning on top of the tower), you’d feel inadequate?

        Notes: no modding (except Painterly), peaceful, only the first floor has all the walls closed for security, the rest open for view and the second, shorter one has a XOR/XNOR circuitry in the basement for controlling the double iron doors. I had to make the first tower with 18 buckets because I couldn’t find enough diamond for a pickaxe, and the latter was done with a single diamond pick axe plus five buckets. The latter was also helped by my new railway which sinks into the sea and further down to level 12, right into a cavern with lava (the aforementioned ~21 second minecart trip).

        Neither is finished (former because I never found more than one diamond and lack of planning caused mistakes that means I have to remove some; latter because I haven’t come up with a proper crown for the top and I’m still undecided whether to cut the insides for 4 or 5 levels + basement and how big windows to leave for those levels, and what to use for floors since obsidian is just too dark). Also I have to admit that neither is all that big since I went with the “wizard’s tower” thinking, so they’re only 8×8 (minus corners for appearance) at the first (and second for the latter tower) level. I mean, if I wouldn’t be so lazy I’d made them something like 12×12, and start from way below water level to make it look better (I prefer a slim look for towers that go slowly thinner as they go up before turning into a crown).

        And all that just because I ran in the wiki to the fact that Obsidian is explosion proof.

  24. ToastyVirus says:

    Is it possible to do multiplayer survival, and if it is, what do I download?

    • Adamantyr says:

      Yes, but multiplayer survival is busted right now. All players and mobs are nigh-invulnerable. (I say “nigh” because you can still set them on fire using flint and steel, and there are still monster mobs around spawn blocks in subterranean areas.)

      Right now, most multiplayer servers have monsters turned off because it’s not worth the hassle.

  25. Mr. Wizard says:

    Squeee~! I make my castles similar to the way you do Samus, stay with a single spot over a long period of time. Look at my little abode and how it progressed, link here and my website.


    It’s the castle I learned Minecraft with :D

  26. Gahazakul says:

    Don’t forget, holding shift makes you crouch and while you are crouching you cannot fall off a ledge! Go now, and build bridges to infinity!

  27. Falcon_47 says:

    “I bet you won’t even read all 109 comments before leaving your own.”
    Guess i’ll do just that…

    About the part where you say that you could have died alot because of falling, if you press the shift key (default for sneaking) you wont fall over the edge of any block ever

    Edit: k yeah someone posted the same thing just two comments up, now i feel dumb, anyway, Minecraft is super awsome, can´t wait for the halloween update (dragons ftw?)

  28. Nasikabatrachus says:

    Shamus, you might enjoy this “magic” mod for minecraft:


    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      Hah! I actually recommended it a couple posts above. And just to make sure nobody else already did I searched the page for “runecraft” first XD

      Anyway, yeah, it’s a great thing and I like it more because it justifies having teleporters IC rather than server commands.

  29. Irridium says:

    Eh, never got too into Minecraft. Played both the free and not-free versions. Just didn’t really appeal to me that much. Tried it with friends to. Just got bored quickly.

    Still though, I love how it does something no other game has. So I bought it. Because I’ll be damned if I don’t support something innovative.

  30. DaveMc says:

    I’ve not played Minecraft (and I’m not likely to, I don’t think I have the kind of itch that it appears to scratch), so can someone tell me: how much time are we talking about, to achieve these massive creations?

    I mean, from what I’ve been able to pick up, every single brick or block of stone (or wool, etc) requires some sort of exploration to find, then post-processing to combine them into new forms … and then you have to drag them into position. Repeat, what, *tens of thousands* of times? Millions? I know the jokes are all about how this game is time-consuming, but yeesh, that seems to go past time-consuming and out the other side!

    So, what, hundreds and hundreds of hours to make a house like Shamus’? More? Should we be kissing this site good-bye? (Of course, Shamus has been managing addictions semi-professionally for years, now, so actually I’m not too pessimistic. And I still get posts like today’s, which are like an inactive form of the Minecraft virus, building up my immunity to the real thing.)

    • acronix says:

      I wouldn´t go as far as “hundreds of hours”. He has probably mined up around too (and that deep chasm he showed us the other time), and made other buildings, not to mention exploring. It depends.

      However, you CAN and certainly WILL spend hundreds of hours if you decide to make a mega project of sorts. Big towers aren´t mega projects: eight of them connected by skybridges and protected with a moath of lava is.
      It depends on the materials you decide to use, too. If you go for smoothstone you´ll have to put cobblestone in a furnace and wait for it to “melt”. If you go with wood, then you´ll need to destroy a couple of forest at least (but it´s a renovable resource, so you can have a steady supply). Most materials are essentially cobblestone, really.

      So, basically, I´d say that you can waste something like…30 hours in the making of your first home, suppousing you go for a nice castle/keep/tower/spacious cabin and not a box, a hut or a lodge. That is not including further tweaks after your first “satisfaction” of how it looks/works.

  31. Spatticus says:

    Shamus, I’d like you to know that it’s your fault that I’ve gotten into Minecraft. If you hadn’t started posting pictures on your website, my interest would have never been piqued and I wouldn’t have read up on the game on TV Tropes and I wouldn’t have found a good Youtube series to really hook me and I would have never bought it and started playing. Also, You Twenty Sided people are cool. Multiplayer plz?

    Since everyone’s sharing their stories, I’ve tried four worlds so far. First was pretty good and balanced and had a really cool natural arch near my first how and I stared to built a tower home, but the save corrupted. World two was the most resource poor world I’ve ever seen. I found all of three coal veins for 3 or so blocks each and that was it. Also, I tried turning enemies on and found out Minecraft hates me, I go outside every morning to the wonderful sight of 3 spiders and 2-6 Creepers. Six. World three was kinda nuts, not only was there iron visible near the surface, but not to far from my spawn I found a lava spring. Natural cave, lava just two blocks before the dirt roof.

    Found a pretty good world now. I’m tripping over coal. I’ve also found a good hill to level down almost to the base so I can get started on my great fortress. Thick, Creeper-blast proof walls, massive tower keep that’s also proofed against Creeper explosions(I’m tired of them blowing up right on my doorstep), greenhouse, tree farm, skylit mining shaft that will illuminate the bedrock, and a Gothic cathedral(I saw a picture where someone used steps as a roof slope(not yours, sorry Shamus)) and it hit me that I could make buttresses work after all. It will also be lit inside and out to the point that nothing hostile will spawn inside and out. Is a man not entitled to the beauty of his property? No, says the Creeper that’s RIGHTBEHINDYOUDON’TTURNAROUNDNOSUDDENMOVEMENTS, it belongs to the enemy spawn! Well I disagree, Mr. Creeper. I disagree strongly.

    • Rosseloh says:

      Heh. For me it was the Saturday video he posted back in like, August. After that I was completely hooked.

    • Cyanide says:

      Just so you know, spiders aren’t hostile during the day unless you attack them. Only at night do they get mean. The creepers are easy prey if you can knock them back before they detonate, causing the detonation timer to reset. Actually, I’d probably consider skeleton arrows much more irritating.

      • Spatticus says:

        Uhm… with the spiders and daylight thing, I think that if they get set to “Mudertize me, Cap’n” during the night, then daylight won’t do anything. Or if you hit any of them first. Also, all the maps I get are very hilly, which doesn’t make for good running backwards, and hitting the Creepers usually isn’t enough.

        On the flip side of things they always seem to get hung up on something right before they explode, leaving me with a heart or two.

  32. Jjkaybomb says:

    Man, I know the feeling of seeing a sloppy house, knowing it could be sooo much prettier (like the amazing statue, that’s cool!)
    I tried to make a fortress out of glass and snow between two waterfall moats but it just wound up looking like a mess for how much time I put in it. My next project I’m actually mapping out on graph paper so I can get it to look right >>

  33. Sumanai says:

    I’m surprised no-one has suggested either iron or gold blocks for detailing. I mean I’ve only got like 3 iron and 2 gold blocks, but I’ve been lazying about with mining and many seem to have had more luck finding iron.

  34. Mad Flavius says:

    So I think I may have figured out what has been eating my comments. Of course, no one will read this now…but hey, worth a shot.

    If anyone is interested, I am currently running a public-ish server off my computer, based in the Western US. It is running the Runecraft mod, which is a lot of fun, but really doesn’t change gameplay if you are building stuff (merely makes life easier with things like teleports and the “chrono trigger” which changes the time of day upon usage). Currently, the server is running a world called Subterranea, which is basically an epic aboveground/underground city that bears a lot of resemblance to the word of Dinotopia (if anyone else remembers the first awesome book in that series).

    Here are some screenshots of the world, and I’d love it if some d20 folks came and visited or even helped build! The server is up basically 24/7, and I’ll give you the IP to connect if you email me at madflavius (at) gmail (dot) com. Hope to see some of you there!

    • Sumanai says:

      What visual mod are you using?

      • Mad Flavius says:

        I’m using a somewhat modded version of Brown and Bloom, where I modified the color of the water to my liking, and then added the Better Grass Mod, which makes hills look much better by putting grass on the sides of any inclines less than two blocks steep. It makes a very positive change to the general aesthetic, and I often ascend to the top of the “Tempus Shrine” (where my chrono trigger rune is located) to simple gaze upon the local landscape. It’s such a great game. :)

        • Sumanai says:

          Damn, like I suspected it’s high resolution and my machine is suffering enough as it is.
          Motivated by your comment I tested Painterly Pack’s grass block variant with almost full grass sides and at long distance it makes the view green enough and at close distance doesn’t look bad. Which is nice since it’s just a texture mod and I rather wouldn’t mod more than necessary while Minecraft’s still Alpha.

  35. Henebry says:

    Minecraft is getting play all over the net. Here’s a blog post over on nuklearpower.com, the blog site run by Brian Clevinger of 8BitTheater and Atomic Robo fame: http://www.nuklearpower.com/2010/10/24/minecraftery/

  36. jaz says:

    i think the best house is he first house and it has inspired me to create a mass awesome house my self

  37. Quaellen_Wins says:

    You should do a download for the world. I really like the statue, beacon and the house, the house espicially.

  38. Keko says:

    Can i download this world?? pleaseeee

  39. john greenwood says:

    isnt minecraft awsome i got it about 2 weeks ago it is litterly a blast i use dinamite alot ilove building thats my hobby buildind and destroying tip never put a pressure plate in front of a steel door if a zombie creeper and so on step on the pressure plate it will fly threw your door /you should rely try it

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