I build an unfinished room, then build off of that. Eventually I'll have a huge mansion that didn't require hundreds of block to be collected at once. After the building itself is complete, I decorate the interior.
Don't like Sphax, too modern looking and the flowers are cartoony
Sphax is terribly overrated and I honestly don't understand it's popularity. Groupthink, I suppose. In addition to being cartoony and generally kind of ugly, some of the textures are way overworked and it creates lag like crazy. Don't listen to people who tell you you have to use this or that texture pack, especially Sphax.
As for a house, if this is like a starter house I'll often just camp out in the open in it's very early game, just taking my bed with me and placing it down as soon as the sun starts going down with torches all around. if I'm not playing on Peaceful (which I usually do nowadays as i'm tired of the hassle with hostile mobs), I'll dig a hole in the side of a hillside or right into the ground if I'm in an area where mob spawning in a problem--although i hae a wonderful knack for picking a place to make a start hovel near a mob spawner or a underground ravine or something like that. The last game i started in Normal difficulty, I ended up making my hole-in-the-hill in what turned out to be an extreme hills biome, very close to a zombie spawner and a large overhanging cliff that spawned mob during the day too. That was fun. I died when I left my shelter to get wood and a skeleton that spawned under the cliff ran into my shelter to get away from the sunlight, and I was unsuccessful in evicting said squatter.
I could go either very fancy or simplistic but all my houses have the same basic style with a roof made of half slabs (bottoms only) or stairs to prevent mob spawning. Light sources are usually every 4 or 8 blocks to prevent spawns or I use bottom half slabs again on flooring to make the lighting more darker but mob free.
Doesn't matter, I don't like cartoony resource packs, if I wanted such a pack I'd just play with default. Not to mention monster's pack is absolutely amazing in creative when you can use it's full array of textures
I'm not trying to tell you to use it. I'm just pointing out that the point of it is to give a cartoony feel to Minecraft. I understand some people don't like the look of it.
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My new survival journal is out! Come check it out here! All readers are appreciated!
Alot of people, me included - play survival but go into creative to take ariel shots (Admittedly alot higher than those ones though.), get over it.
I generally like to build big houses, they don't have to be nicely sized with plenty of rooms. I like to build things in survival for purpose over aesthetics however. so a room has to have a reason for me to keep visiting it - not just be there to look pretty. I can leave that to creative builds if I so desire.
I have to be inspired by the land to build some where so here are a selection of homes over the years, with a few explanations:
Main world (Alpha 1.2 - present)
Resource pack: painterly
When I first approached this mountain from the back I saw a waterfall coming out of the back of the mountain, of course it was only one block wide back then, but I was inspired. I got an idea to make a room just inside the mountain and create a window hole just behind the waterfall but with no glass so the water ran in front of said window hole. A water window - if you will. That became the secondary reason though, when I went round the front the front part of the mountain was hollow with a single width lava flow pouring down. Before the mountain top was another smaller hole (Now the bedroom.) I looked up in the hollow and thought - if I build a level floor half way up , behind the lava flow, I could have a little home here, and that's how it began. Almost 4 years later and I'm renovating and have made significant developments, improvements to the world as my building style changed.
It remains my main world to this day and I can't say that will change any time soon.
World #1 (Alpha 1.1.2_01 - present)
Underground home. Originally, I built homes on top of mountains and built sky mountains from one mountain top to another, building a home on each - that was the original premise. After three I got bored and left it for several months. In 2011, I transformed what your looking at a huge crater sized cave that went very far down (Keeping in mind this was Alpha terrain generation) between mountains 1 & 2 into an underground home.
There are several floors and it goes right down to the mountain core but that would be far too many pictures if I posted them all.
World #3 (Beta - present)
resource pack: original - painterly, new build - Soartex Fanver.
Area before building:
This became the first and only "Fully planned" home back in Beta. I could've leveled off the sand pit and built on it or just built in the sand but did neither. I straightened out the edges then built my self up with dirt and took a screenshot, in one direction was low mountainous area, the other a snow biome. Anyway, I took a screen shot of the sand pit below and went into photoshop and carefully cut around said sand pit and added it as a new layer with a partial color overlay. Effectively, in photoshop I made floor plans of where the rooms would be on both floors. Details of which are: Here.
The original home:
When I completed this home I started another project further away but got bored and left this world for a long time. In 2013 I started adding mods and began trying to modernize it but I didn't get far when 3 ogres did extensive damage. (Half-way down.) Although I had a back-up of this world like all the others, I took the opportunity with this save to knock it down in late 2013 and rebuild in a completely new style.
Originally in Beta 1.9.5 I was looking for somewhere to build a "Base" on, but when I spawned above I knew I had to build something up there.
Obviously would need a lot of renovation these days.
I have also tried to build homes just on the ground, in ravines, strongholds, in a mega taiga biome, on small isolated islands (The current of which in the latest snapshot has a twist - it's on a mountain but I set myself the rule that I can only build on top of, and outside the mountain not inside, so any other rooms I need have to be platforms of the mountain!) and I'm also trying to build one in an amplified world if I ever find somewhere I like to settle.