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Building A City: The Ultimate How-To Guide


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#1

Createmaker

Posted 27 December 2011 - 08:26 AM

How to make a city of your dreams

Ever felt that you've finished in Minecraft? You've mined a ton of resources, and diamond blocks aren't extremely expensive? Well, there's one last thing for you to do.
Build a city.
I don't mean anything like a small mining village or town. Sure, those may be appealing to you because of the small amount of time needed for you to create them. But the creation for you to build now is a major metropolis. Train, canal system, everything.

Before you start

Before you even start thinking about the type of city you want to build, there is a few tools that would make your life much easier.

Creative Mode. Well, you may have guessed. This IS in the "Creative" part of the forum. It would give you infinite resources, to make your ideas infinitely creative.

TooManyItems. This probably is a old favorite of many people. Yes, for the new guys, it is a MOD, and has many functions, such as infinite stacks of items, power to set your weather and time, and some "Unbreakable" tools. Some may prefer Creative mode instead of TMI. But it will make work a lot easier that Creative.

Single Player Commands. Well, this is essential. It has almost infinite functions, such as brushes, no damage, even in survival, and flying, much easier to control than Creative mode. It also comes with WorldEdit, which proves very useful in the steps to come. I prefer using SPC + Survival Mode, as you can make a variety of devices more than Creative mode. Oh, and by the way, I am a redstone geek, which means many of the things I teach you to build here is redstone devices. Be warned.

MCEdit. I suppose this is useful, I tried using it and gave up on it 30 seconds later, but many people think it useful. Again, it is something of a choice between SPC and MCEdit. I prefer doing things in-game, with TooManyItems.

Planning

You can't just jump in to building buildings. (No pun intended.) You need proper planning. First, generate several new worlds, and use a map. Then, go around the area of the map to get basically most of the land inside the map area known. The best city creation spots (in my opinion) are large islands/continents, where you can imagine a invisible square that includes all of the island/continent but no other land. I'll get to that later.
Do this for several worlds and select the largest (or most fitting) continent with no infringement of the imaginary square. This will be your main world. Delete all the others; you won't need them.
Now, I'll do a tutorial for SPC, not for MCEdit, as you may well know. Look at the MCEdit webpage for information about that.
First, to make the "imaginary square" real, open the command window and enter
//wand
This gives you a wooden axe, the basic tool for WorldEdit. Next, go to one corner of the square and go to sea level. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE ABOVE THE SEA, NOT LAND.
/platform
Now there should be a glass block underneath you. Now, use some random block (I prefer dirt) to raise the blocks up to sea level and one above. so the block should be here.

______[]________        (_______ = sea, [] is dirt/glass block)

Now select that block as first selection, and then go to the opposite corner of the imaginary square. Perform the same thing, the only difference being that you must platform HIGHER THAN THE HIGHEST MOUNTAINS IN YOUR CONTINENT and select it as second selection.

Finally, you do
//set 0
which flattens the landscape within the 2 selections. If there is a "waterfall" in the sea, that means you placed your first selection IN the water, not one above. Do //undo and try again.

Prepping the area

That might take some time. As written in the Hitchhiker's Guide, DON'T PANIC. Just quietly wait for your computer to do the action needed.

After that, you will see a flat and barren landscape, littered with coal, iron, stone, maybe a dungeon, gravel, dirt and grass. You probably don't want a cave 1 block underneath your houses. So you fill them in!

Place your first selection at sea level. NOT one block above, but IN the water. Then, at the opposite corner, go to the seabed. There is probably a good 10-20 blocks from the surface. Again, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE DAMAGE AS OFF OR YOU WILL DROWN. Then, select as second selection.

Now, as you wish to fill the caves, replace all the air with grass! Like so:
//replace 0 grass            (0 is air)

Do the same for all the materials that's messing up your landscape. Most of the time you can just do
//replace gravel grass
MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT DO
//set grass
as it will replace your water with grass. We don't want that.
But in some cases, like iron ore/coal ore, for some reason you cannot do
//replace coal grass
This is where TMI comes in. Look at the block ID for coal/iron,
//replace 15 grass
//replace 16 grass

Now you should see a green, flat landscape where you can start building!

Why not just use a flatmap like Draghi's Flatmaps? Because most Minecrafters still want the feeling of mining and exploraration while hacking in blocks for your city.

What your city needs

You probably want something realistic, being tired of arrows and tnt cannons for defence. Well, here are some things any city or metropolis needs to function:

Town Hall. This is a essential. Place it in the middle of your continent, as it will be around the town hall that most great buildings stand.

Train Station/Railway. Because Notch has kindly placed a minecart in the minecraft toolbox, we shall use that as one of the most used ways of transport. You can just use a two station, button operated station, which has severe limitations, or a automatic system, where a detector rail picks up the incoming minecart, delay where you can get in, and the signal is transferred to the powered rail at the end of the track, or even a multiple station, three-platformed railway where the computer detects if a minecart is in a platform or not and automatically decides where the incoming minecarts go. Very useful if you plan to use the map in a SMP Server.

Bay. Some worlds have already generated bays, other times, you can just create a natural-looking bay and fill it in with water. This will act as a dock, you can build a pier, and finally you may want to build a channel across the land as a means of transport and will serve as a ferry line.

Of course, there is much more than that. Movie theaters, pools, shopping malls, of course houses, apartments and mansions, maybe a castle, everything is up to you.

Roads and buildings

Cities cannot function without roads. I recommend placing these first before building even your town hall. Well, maybe your station. But not anything else.
You can place redstone wire around the roads, and you can change them at a moment's notice without having to destroy your country. Once you are satisfied, go ahead.
Now we come to the main topic: buildings. Sure, you can make a giant rectangular cube and call it home. But if that is you, frankly speaking, that is devoid of all design.

First, when building, decide your main building material. The most preferred ones are Wood, Logs, Smooth Stone, Cobblestone, Brick, Wool, TNT (joking, though it may be fun to blow up a city. Realistically speaking, it will probably crash your computer first).
Next, find a secondary material. Perhaps Smooth Stone/Cobblestone (Depending on your primary one) Brick, Wood, Logs (these are preferred as pillars, especially dark wood), etc. After that, make patterns. Outlining the structure is well, and maybe checkerboard patterns at the bottom (as I have said, repetition ruins a perfectly good city).
This also occurs for houses. You may copy/paste houses to cover a great deal of time with color unity. That is all well, but decide on the ones you with to repeat: Houses are a regular, but streetlights, street texture/style, and even tower height. You city will look a great deal better by just shifting things around so the tallest buildings are in the middle.

Once you've done all that

Well obviously, you're finished. You may want to place it on a SMP server, use mods such as worldguard to protect your hard-made buildings from utter destruction. Let all the "Unruled" lands be the wilderness, for players to stock up on resources.
This is an updated version of How to make a city from Landmine, and I've added quite several ideas, so much I would be surprised if mine had 3 similarities with his.

Hope you can snap shut your minecraft knowing you've done the greatest accomplishment anyone can do in Minecraft.

Sorry for no pics, I've already made mine so I couldn't show the steps.

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#2

Corbiere6743
  • Location: The Nether
  • Minecraft: Corbiere6743

Posted 27 December 2011 - 05:46 PM

If you've 'finished' the game and nothing is very valuable any more, what's the point in using SPC? Most of that is just an explanation on why MCEdit isn't good and why WorldEdit is the best thing in the world.

The actually buildings ideas are useful though  :rolleyes:

#3

nobody118

Posted 28 January 2012 - 06:26 PM

Very useful building guide. It helped a lot to stimulate creativity.

#4

tormentor687
  • Location: Creation Bay
  • Minecraft: Tormentor_687

Posted 28 January 2012 - 08:48 PM

Unfortunately, my problem isn't the city itself, it's what to put in the buildings when I'm finished  :(
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Rank: Senior Guardian

#5

HappyPear
  • Location: United Kingdom
  • Minecraft: HappyPear

Posted 28 January 2012 - 11:22 PM

Very useful guide, pictures on buildings themselves could help though :)

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#6

VaginosaurusRex
  • Location: Connecticut, US

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:40 AM

gah! dont flatten a continent; it makes cities look awful. depth is always a huge part of my cities. some areas are raised, some lowered; there HAS to be variation in elevation. same goes for a good house or large building. a big flat area looks bad. also, you may not want to lay out *all* the roads before building. nobody is that good of a planner to predict how large their structures will all be. idk all in all this is a pretty bad guide and i wouldnt recommend it to anyone Posted Image

ousire said:

Nothing is impossible if you have vision, determination, and an endless supply of slave labor

#7

drunkenmaster

Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:30 AM

hhhmmmmm......I got some questions to the city building guide.....first....Is it normal to put a MASSIVE statue in the city near the city hall?
second.............How about making a military base WITHIN THE CITY so that it is like defended?.......that's all i ask please reply Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#8

ZanzibarOne

Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:27 AM

View PostVaginosaurusRex, on 11 April 2012 - 02:40 AM, said:

gah! dont flatten a continent; it makes cities look awful. depth is always a huge part of my cities. some areas are raised, some lowered; there HAS to be variation in elevation. same goes for a good house or large building. a big flat area looks bad. also, you may not want to lay out *all* the roads before building. nobody is that good of a planner to predict how large their structures will all be. idk all in all this is a pretty bad guide and i wouldnt recommend it to anyone Posted Image

this..

i also wouldnt recommend using the copy/paste thing, it makes things look too generic..

#9

cratycreeper7
  • Location: In your base killin ur dudez

Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:20 AM

This is an awsome guide.very useful info. I would add more things though, such as waste plants,factories,airports,police and fire stations and stuff like that


#10

Edgenaught

Posted 17 May 2012 - 03:12 AM

Perhaps a variation in flat and elevation?
That's what I'm doing in my *Hopefully* soon to be server map.
Have a certain space that's flat, Then the wilderness.
Incorporate a storyline and then, You have yourself a somewhat realistic city, no?

#11

ChainsawYorA55

Posted 17 May 2012 - 04:27 AM

Good read, although I'm not on the PC, I have been building a lot on the MC knockoffs on the 360.   As far as roads go, there is some sense to making at least SOME of them beforehand.  Like the main drag, just a straight stretch that will get you started is how I usually proceed.  That way, properties can be as wide or narrow as you like going down the street.  Once I've got a row or two filled, I just make a street around the back of the properties leaving a similiar amount of free space for more buildings.
_______________
........1.................l
..........................l...2
____3__________l

Build road 1, place buildings, anticipating road 2, build 2 & 3 together leaving room for more buildings in empty lots along road 3.

If you choose to build the roads last, at least know the exact size of your roads so that you can anticipate the space you will need.  For some creative inspiration, and more general tips, check out my city on youtube.  http://www.youtube.c...s?v=RaVATsbss6g

#12

Frankincense
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Minecraft: Frankincense

Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:56 PM

Hey Createmaker, to me, who's built A LOT of complicated cities indeed, it doesn't sound like you've built any yourself but that you're writing a guide based on what you *think* is the right way. Because placing the roads and flattening the landscape? No. Nonono. Also, this guide contains none of the tips actually needed for advanced city planning.

Proove me wrong by showing some screenshots of your city builds, please.

#13

Minseo2000
  • Location: Somewhere on Earth, where else, Mars???
  • Minecraft: Minseo2000

Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:47 PM

View PostCreatemaker, on 27 December 2011 - 08:26 AM, said:

MCEdit. I suppose this is useful, I tried using it and gave up on it 30 seconds later, but many people think it useful. Again, it is something of a choice between SPC and MCEdit. I prefer doing things in-game, with TooManyItems.
From what I can see from these sentences, you are NOT a master builder. Someone who REALLY can build SHOULD know how to use MCEdit or else you will spend a lot of noob-time. MCEdit has WAY much more abilities than SPC, TMI or WorldEdit. Besides, there are custom filters for MCEdit to make your map WAY much better. Even though SPC, TMI and WorldEdit is more user-friendly, they lack alot of things that MCEdit has. Also, you forgot to mention another great software for making maps (including cities); NBTedit. If you want, you can use NBTExplorer, which is actually better than NBTEdit but you can use either (I use NBTExplorer). Also, you do NOT need to flatten out the land. That is not neccesary, sometimes, it looks prettier with the terrain. Also, NEI is actually more usefull than TMI.
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