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    posted a message on Creole plantation build in Hardcore

    This is a Creole-style plantation house loosely based on the famous plantation house Laura in Lousiana, about halfway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge on the Mississippi river. Creole style building is rather different from the stereotypical "Gone With the Wind"-style plantation. Some of the creole features you can see here include an elevated first floor, a wide covered porch (or gallery) extending the length of the building, an open interior plan with many double doors for ventilation, and vivid colors even on the outside. Some elements I've changed include raising the first floor and making the first floor stone for creeper resistance; converting the upstairs windows to balconies so I could enjoy the view more; wrapping the gallery around the entire house because I wanted to, and a number of changes due to the constraints of minecraft. It ended up with something of a Caribbean feel but I'm still pretty happy with it.

    The idea for this build started from a need to collect some slime balls. I also wanted a mob grinder away from my main base as with the new zombie spawning I was concerned that zombies might spawn in my village during my overnight hunting and slaughter the villagers. Since slimes show up in swamps, I immediately thought of a Louisiana plantation. I decided to look at Creole style because I wanted to do something different but as soon as I looked at a few I realized it was a really good fit for a Minecraft plantation. The sloped wood roofs are easy to do with stairs, the open understory is perfect for a monster trap, and open floor plans are good when any wall has to be 3 feet thick (six if you want different wall colors).

    I had recently found an excellent location while digging clay for some thorn-themed towers in my main base. It was a largish land area in a swamp (sometimes hard to find with all the ponds and bayous). There are large swamps in two directions, so I'll be able to dig a lot of clay. There's an adjacent extreme hills with basically a ridge next to the site which provides views and settings for pictures. Finally, it's adjacent to water on two sides, one of which is a deep inlet from an ocean, so it's a good base for exploration.

    The first thing I built was an overseer's shack to sleep in during construction. This was based on the slave's quarters from Laura but I added a back porch and exit to the water for direct boat access.

    Next I started the plantation building itself on a small hill. I thought the hill would make for better views from the building and a more imposing appearance on approach. The views did come out great, but it turns out this building style is best viewed from the first floor level. From ground level off the hill you mostly see the underside and porch fence and miss most of the details. My west side views ended up being taken from a tree. Here's a picture of the east side under construction showing the dirt scaffolding.

    As expected the views are great. Here's a sunrise off an attic balcony over the ridge:

    Initially the attic balconies were open to the attic but that looked a little odd from the outside. Later I put in walls for the balconies. The attic looks like it could be made into a really cool room although I haven't had any ideas yet so it's unfinished. In practice it's a hangout to use up the last minute or so of the day once I'm done with what I want to do and am waiting to sleep. (I walk out to the balconies and enjoy the views.)

    The galleries have a nice shaded look with plenty of plants. My understanding is that the gallery shouldn't be spider proof but in practice spiders never try to come in.

    The first floor has the functional items. There's a furnace room disguised as a kitchen with eating area.

    A sleeping area. The blue area rug helps with color balance for all the brown and yellow.

    The crafting table is in a work desk with work chair and panels for a journal, maps, and a clock.

    This is a working plantation as well. This tree hides the trapdoor down to the monster grinder.

    The grinder itself is built as a fence spiral.
    I can snipe monsters to make them notice me and come into the spiral. Monsters navigating the spiral fall into a cactus trap. I initially chose a cactus trap because I figured I could live with the inefficiency and it won't kill me if I accidentally fall in (unlikely, but possible, and catastrophic in hardcore!) However, the disadvantage to a swamp with water access is that there are a lot of waterfalls in the caves underneath, plus it seems like there's even more than the usual number of caves down there. I'm not even close to lighting everything up down there and I'm not seeing many monsters, not even zombies. I may convert it to a drop trap with some shifting ledges for safety. OTOH, the only drop I really want now is string and this trap doesn't catch spiders so maybe I'll just leave it.

    And, finally, the money shot. Sunset from an attic balcony:
    Posted in: Screenshots
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    posted a message on Whats your favorite biome?
    I like swamps best. They're very atmospheric, I love weeping habit trees, they're flat for building, and the gloomy atmosphere makes coming home even more satisfying. But I also like desert for minimal nasty surprises, ocean for getting around, and jungles for the views (when you're high enough to get them.)
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Did the Terrain Become BORING? (UPDATE 6/5/13 - 1.7 is a biome update?)
    Quote from oCrapaCreeper

    I'm noticing those rocklands are next to the desert and fit decently well (Minus some sudden color changes) and the sand transitions with it. Maybe we won't be seeing them right next to a jungle or taiga biome. At the very least, I hope temperature system comes back. Sadly, it may just end up being a sub-biome for deserts, which is not what we want at all.

    Um, Arizona-style rock formations, like what Mojang is obviously trying to do with the Canyon biome, occur everywhere on Earth. Here's an example from a canyon on the Lena River in the Siberian taiga (check picture #5):http://baikalnature.com/tours/65918
    Posted in: Discussion
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    posted a message on Official Minecraft 1.8+ Update Notes and Discussion
    I like the idea of hardened clay being easier to get and I like the idea of non-sandy deserts but even the somewhat muted colors of the hardened clay palette are generally far too garish for a "painted desert" look. One of the good features of the current worldgen is that the terrain is passably realistic. Undyed, white, light grey, brown, and maybe pink and orange are the only colors I think you could use. Even that palette would be less realistic than a Road Runner cartoon.
    Posted in: Recent Updates and Snapshots
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    posted a message on Voxel's Guide To Building
    Fantastic guide and some great looking builds. One practical question - how do you count block distances? I frequently miscount my lengths by 1, which is generally not a big issue with the largish rectangular plans I use but which would be a problem if an arch came up short.
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Affenkatz's Buildings
    That's a great house. The mossy cobblestone adds texture even if not noticed explicitly. Very good job of curves on a small scale - I struggle with that a lot.

    Mayan temples were decoratively painted, had stone calligraphy, and often had additional wooden structures which haven't survived. So decoration, even extensive decoration, would be very appropriate, although making it reasonably authentic would probably be nearly impossible. Cobblestone walls would give you a third stone structure to work with, especially for pillars or stelae.
    Posted in: Screenshots
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    posted a message on What type of house do you have?
    I don't think the poll questions do a good job of covering options. My main house is a sultan's palace and is built mostly of sandstone. I enter and exit with trapdoors (drawbridges). Both safety and style are essential. I suppose I'd say I prioritized safety, because I won't put in anything unsafe, but I sure spend a lot of time figuring out how to make safety elements look good.

    The secondary house I'm building now is a plantation home loosely based on the famous Creole plantation Laura. It uses wood, stone, brick, and hardened clay, all extensively. I enter and exit via fence gates.
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on What food do you normally eat?
    I voted "no specific" because I don't really care, but I've been eating mostly apples for a while now. I'm getting them from villagers to unlock/reboot trades, and combined with all the drops from the many trees I've been chopping for a plantation build, it's going to be a while before I'm done with my current supply. I find once I'm established I have far more food than I can eat anyway.
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Hardcore Survival- Destination: The End

    Also, when is it safe to start exploring caves in Hardcore? Would I be okay if I went into cave systems now, or should I wait until I'm better-equipped?

    Caves let you get stuff faster, but at a risk of dying. Since dying is game over in Hardcore, I don't think caves are worth it.
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Steve, Probably the strongest human in the planet.
    Quote from BAW194

    He can carry 2304 cubic meters of stone in his pockets, that is pretty impressive.

    Roughly the weight capacity of a 50-car freight train. And he can still jump!
    Posted in: Survival Mode
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    posted a message on Horse breeding currently pointless and in a bad state
    Quote from Ouatcheur

    Actually, what the third random factor does is "drags" the new horse's stats toward the mean (on a sufficiently high umber of breeding trials). So yeah if you start off with 2 good horses all odds are the newborn will be worthless.

    Weird design choice as it makes breeding worthless unless it is to get all horse types, not good horses.

    For example, let's say you have 2 horses which are 90% of the maximum value in all 3 stats. (rare!), and let's say the random value is linearly distributed too.

    The odds of getting an even better horse through breeding are:

    Per stat: 1/10
    All 3 stats: 1/1000!

    Given that it requires nearly 2 gold per breeding (2 golden carrots), that is a LOT of time and gold.

    True, but the OP is incorrect as you would have to check 1000 wild horses as well to get a better one in all three stats, given your assumptions, so actually it's not easy to just find a better one. Breeding good horses makes you almost guaranteed to get a decent horse but unlikely to get a better one. The system is actually a passable model for a foal's characteristics given its parents. What the system misses from the real world is that selective breeding (generally) gradually changes the average over time as well.
    Posted in: Recent Updates and Snapshots
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