This... is an amazing thread. I'm thinking of doing this in creative with 1 Town, 4 Villages and 16 Hamlets. Inspired me back into Minecraft. Can't believe this thread was made in 2010 and is still going.
Dude this is awesome i have started making a large town based on this. I plan to have multiple towns cities and a bunch of small countries. It is largely unrealistic with large stone walls. I will enter snapshots and if anyone can explain how to put worlds up for download. I have plenty of small intricate guard towers some small hovels with stone floors that can house 5-7 people. There are also some stone houses that can house 4-5 people and there is one walled centered farm along with a dock a world map a stable a windmill and a few boardwalk type stone paths around a mountain near the town there is also a mine beside the town and a small peer with a catapult overlooking it and a few armor stands dressed as archers. The bordering walls are constructed from ardite smooth stone and stone bricks for crenelation. There are a few galleon style ships in the harbor and surrounding area 2 fishing boats and 1 schooner. There are two large stone towers defending the town. There is also a fully man made river running past the town. There is a loggers outpost on the original edge of town but after extensive development there is just a clump of trees around it. It is in a savanah biome. there is a quite amaturish water fall coming from the mountain into the man made river. there is a large watchtower over the river and a bridge leading to the boardwalk. There used to be a wizards floating island above the ocean but i had to remove it for frame rate reasons with water and slime block contraptions
I just read this. yes, all of this and am genuinely glad that there is this much info about building more realistic medieval towns and so on. So far, my Minecraft use has been limited to MCPE (yes, eww, but it's what I've got for the time being) and have made a few small towns from scratch with my most tedious project being to build a giant wall around one settlement. Once I've upgraded to something that can support the minimum specs for full Minecraft, I'll probably go about trying to make something similar to what is described here, but probably only up to about 64 hamlets and the higher level settlements associated with that many hamlets.
Hope others keep this thread going. Keep punching that wood my friends!
I'm going to take issue with the OP - not for the quality of the work, which is outstanding (and a terrific read!), but for this comment:
Even the largest minecraft "cities" I have seen would house only about 500 people, making them just a village by this systems standard.
The thing about MMOS - and Minecraft fits for this purpose - is that much of the world is conceptual, rather than literal. In WoW (World of Warcraft), there's a very telling comment from an NPC in Northrend, which states (paraphrased) that the companion outpost on the other end of the continent is hundreds of miles away. You, of course, never see that, but it's there. What's presented to you, the player, are the essentials.You can see the same thing in the generated structures in Minecraft - to an item they're all far too small to be realistic, but then, so are the biomes, even when using the large biome setting.
The fact of the matter is that you're getting a filtered view of the world for convenience sake, for programming and to make the game world accessible to as many players as possible given the technological medium to play it. After all, a typical render distance is 16 chunks - only 256 blocks. At 1 meter per block, you can only see, taken literally, about 768 feet. But, with the scale of the game, it doesn't feel that way when looked at from the nominal world boundaries (specifically, Y < 256).
And even though you were told there'd be no math...here comes some math.
The day is compressed into 20 minutes - 10 for the day, 10 for night. That's a compression ratio of 72 to 1: 12 hours * 60 minutes, divided by 10. Each minute in Minecraft is a conceptual representation of 72 minutes in the world. When talking distance, the horizon of a 2-meter tall person is about 5 miles. At 256 blocks, the compression is about 34 to one. That is, every block in Minecraft is actually representing the most interesting meter of a grouping of 31 - in other words, a conceptual expression of the larger world.
So when you see a generated village, from your perspective, it looks reasonable, even though technically it's far too small even for my kin up in Appalachia. But when you accept that you're looking at a conceptual representation, it's possible to build some very nice things that fit into the scale of the world, without having to engineer and micromanage the entire game arena. * - this applies more to survival than creative, of course.
*Opinion follows, YMMV*
So when you're building, you don't need to worry about making it a 1 to 1 scale for Earth; you may have the room, but you'll never, ever have the time to make it happen - even in SMP. You could get a few towns, and maybe a city if you had enough really dedicated people for a few years, but the scope would be so small, just an isolated dot that was a jarring interruption of the rest of the generated world, and nearly all the projects I've seen like that have been mere facades - empty inside, no life or purpose. IMHO, you'd be better served building more representationally, so there's time and motive to fill the interiors and get some villages in place to make things 'alive' (you can work wonders with glass and perspective to keep the little buggers in place).