Red Line

Last post I showed the track leading from our first permanent settlement in our new Minecraft world and so this post I’ll show you where it ends.  After we settled there was a lot of exploration to find new places to settle, interesting geography features that begged for settlement.  And there of course were always plans brewing in the back of my head.  We had very VERY successful Egyptian and Norse style cities/villages before so those would be repeated, but we also wanted to try a Southwest/Mission style and as you saw there was the start to a city in the trees.  We also made an attempt at an Asian village, which though successful was never finished given the impending update, and we tried a Mayan village too, but again, interest faded quickly.

In this new world though, while exploring, I came across a site for a new city.  And it was great, high in the mountains, a valley cutting deep.  A perfect spot at the end of the rail line, for this:


I think that this is one of the largest (most blocks) structures I have built, probably only rivaled by the lighthouse an Stonehaven castle of the last world.  It definitely is if you count the walls, towers, and gates associated with it.  And though it was a massive undertaking, it was the first thing I built in this new city.  You can see the valley and river below it and the mountains that extend behind it, there was just enough flat space for this.  When you arrive by rail you end up coming in on the bridge to the left in the picture above, you go under the large palace and come out crossing the bridge into the train station.  Being one of the last buildings I built, it had some features that were included in others.  One change I happened across while building was to add supports to the upper corners, it gave the rooms more dimension and a touch of detail.  And experimenting while building is what helps make the game more interesting.


And of course, I am a builder, so I build, build, build.  I leave the interior decorating to Bocat and Lyss.  But for me it’s the shape of the buildings.  Small buildings get repeated because there isn’t much room for variation, but once you start with larger two story homes and such, you have more options.  Just adding a balcony or widening the base by a few blocks can make all the difference.  Here are some of the buildings around town.

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As you can see, there are few buildings that look alike.  There are also a few buildings that have purpose.  Most I just build as housing spaces, just empty buildings as homes.  But some have larger plans.  Of course we had to repeat the pagoda style building in the center of town.  And pictured below that is the large great library.  And across one of the bridges we made a small farm.

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The valley and river cutting through this area allowed to play with some bridges and to separate the palace from the city, which I liked.  The bridges I think turned out nice too and added another decorative element.  And lastly, added in after all the other structures were completed, I put in a garden behind the pagoda.  This large garden is a place to relax and enjoy mother nature, I don’t think there’s a single type of flower missing from it. The final picture below shows it’s location relative to other buildings.

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So this was my first great project.  I then got distracted again by World of Warcraft and holidays, as well as finishing up some long over-due transmog stuff.  So I am working on that and a post about that.  But before I leave you from Minecraft for a little bit, a few parting shots of the new city, at night, because I love the way things look lit up at night.

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Oh, and I guess one close up picture of the palace.



The End of Stonehaven

It’s been over two years since Jele and I first started the Stonehaven server in Minecraft. And it’s amazing how much it’s changed and grown to include Norse, Egyptian, Medieval, and Asian style architecture and buildings. I never would have imagined it. But even though I’ve done posts highlighting the cities around the world we called Stonehaven, there are many other things that aren’t necessarily associated with cities around the map.

In Stonehaven, there was a sheep emporium. It raised sheep of every color for constant access to the wool. Built by a friend from WoW, this allowed us access to add some color to the extremely stone colored first city of Stonehaven.


Next is the Anubis Rollercoaster of Doom in the land of Egypt. Completely self propelled, it would start and stop after one loop, taking you up and down, around twists and turns, and into a little temple of doom. 😛



The Norse village also had a few surprises. One of the buildings had a train departure that would take you to the beach. There was this weird area near the village where there was a beach lake and it would rain and not snow there. It was an anomaly and so Bocat turned it into a beach area. Because who doesn’t love a winter beach?2013-10-24_01.38.37


Also near the Norse Village there was a big surprise. I had left for a week of vacation and when I returned, I read the new message board that Bocat put up in the Norse Village which claimed that villagers were disappearing! Upon further exploration, I saw this.


Yes friends, that’s a massive UFO. An amazing project by Bocat and the interior reminds me much of the halls of a Star Destroyer or Death Star in the Star Wars movies!


Mentioned a few times was the land of Canada. It started out as an exit portal from the nether. We didn’t know where it would exit, but it did on the edge of a snowy zone. Since we had just been working on the Norse village, I plopped a couple similar buildings to make a sort of trading post. This connected back to Warlock City and Chinatown eventually by rail. There wasn’t much to it besides the portal and a resting point, until one day someone added a flag…EPIC.


Speaking of the nether, we didn’t ever really show shots of it.  We didn’t do too much in the nether, but we had portals in all the major cities which were connected through the nether.  We built structures around the portals so at least you wouldn’t die immediately.  Below is the first portal to the nether from Stonehaven.  We learned that glass does not hold up against ghast attacks.


There were so many great things we created, from the most recent Pagoda to the first massive project, the castle in Stonehaven, we’ve come a long way. I’ll miss the world but look forward to the new world we’ll start this weekend given that patch 1.7 drops on time. The Viking ships, the Cat Temple and Lighthouse, and Warlock City…all amazing projects. I’ll never forget them and am glad that I now have screenshots of them, I’ll need them to reconstruct a few of the buildings or at least the building styles. We learned a lot and became much better builders! I’m looking forward to the patch and the new biomes and blocks and how this inspires us to create new cities. We have a few new players on the server too who have built some amazing things, so I look forward to their creativity too!

So with this final note, I say good-bye to the world of Stonehaven. So many amazing memories and laughter. So many epic projects. But alas, it’s time for a fresh start. I’ll leave you with one last picture of one of the best things in the entire game we created, that’s the Cat Temple. What makes the Cat Temple extra special is that Bocat did it 99% in normal mode. It was no small feat and I remember her working on it. Fighting away zombies and skeletons at night and working out the details of the cat on top. When it was finished, we were all totally amazed. I can only imagine what the “Queen of Egypt” will build in her next world.


Back To Minecraft

I might have mentioned that Patch 1.7 for Minecraft will change our world, literally, and everyone elses.  It’s a huge biome update and will make the world flow better as well as adding a bunch of new cool things and easier access to some things.  I’m especially interested in seeing the Redwood Forest Biome (I’m certain I will make Grizzly Hills) and the Mesa Biomes.  But we’re not there yet.  But when it comes it’s likely that Stonehaven, Egypt, Warlock City, the Norse Village and everything else will be archived and a new world started to capture the new Biomes.  We’re quite excited!  Prior to that though, I wanted to make sure I captured more of the things we worked on that have now been abandoned as Patch 1.7 nears.

Our latest project was a new building style and themed city, however, it sadly never finished because of our learning of Patch 1.7.  But I have no doubts that this building style will make it into our new world…just as the Norse Style will…and probably Egypt…etc.  I have recently been treating this like a practice world, and the new world in Patch 1.7 will be the real deal.  Anyways, I babble on.  Here’s some of what we started but never finished of the new city we never named…though I kind of named it Mulan, and yes, that’s probably totally politically incorrect, but…meh.  Instead of walking you through things, I’ll just post some pictures of our Asian architecture style buildings in Minecraft.  We did build a large Pagoda style and then many of the other buildings mimicked this building on smaller scales as residences or functional buildings.

We’ll start with the Pagoda.

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The pagoda of course at day and night since I’m a big fan of how things look at night.  We also constructed an Asian-themed boat as well, this was the second boat we ever made after the Viking ship and prompted the addition of boats at Warlock City.

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You can see how we used this similar style throughout all the village.  The tower structure at the end, intended to defend against zombie swarms, uses a stone structure bottom which would be more impenetrable.  For most the buildings we used red stained clay and marble.  Regular oak planks and stairs are used for the roofs.  We used a lot of fencing for details as we did with the Norse Village.  We used them differently though.  The fences were used around the tops of the building and then half-slabs placed over the top half so that they stuck out to give a detailed effect while hiding the fence shape.  Some of the buildings look a little “candy-cane” so that’s something we could fix in the future.

Lastly, we made a little green plaza area for the villagers, and invading zombies, to enjoy.

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We never did finish this city.  I envisioned some beautiful city walls and some other larger palace type structures.  Bocat did a great job with the farm pictured above with crops out front, so I also imagined we’d see more of those similar structures around an agricultural part of town.  It was a good start and I’m a little sad it never reached it’s full potential, but as I mentioned at the start, this is kinda like practice.  I’m sure the new server we start will have equally, if not better buildings!

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Warlock City

There are often projects that get started in our little world of Minecraft, but sometimes due to the undertaking, they don’t move slowly, or nearly get abandoned.  Sometimes though, there will be a renewed interest and then it all fires up again, and a forgotten project becomes a priority and sometimes reaches new heights you never imagined.  Recently, we had a few more friends join our Minecraft server and as they explored the world we have modified and created, they came across some of our old structures and projects.

Before there was even the land of Egypt, there was another city.  We just called it “swamp city” because it was built in the swamp biome.  It was just a few structures on stilts in the water SE of Stonehaven.  It was intended to be a trading post of such.  But It never got much attention, since we were still actively working on Stonehaven and then moved to Egypt.  In fact, it pretty much sat there, untouched until just a week or so ago.  When we undertook the massive Great Stonehaven Railway project, which I will highlight in another post, we were attempting to connect Stonehaven to “Canada” as we called it.  But since we discovered Canada by running through the nether and opening a portal, Canada was REALLY far away.  So the rail project would take some time.  Laying rail across massive continents takes time, especially to add the boosters and light the track, and build bridges and tunnels where needed.  So I decided to connect the first leg at least, to connect to the “swamp city”.  This was actually the first time I had been back there in ages, and it was just as I remembered.  Small, and not much happening.  I added new building for the train depot, and then spruced it up a bit so that should anyone actually show up there, it wasn’t too bad.

Our lovely lady-friend from WoW joined us on the Minecraft server and we had told her we were working on a new project.  She found the swamp city and thought that was it.  It was not (yes, another post coming on the actual project) and I told her she was to do with that city as she liked.  She started to spruce up the place and to build some defenses because zombies were a problem.  She also filled in more of the boardwalk so that fewer villagers would fall through.  I came by to check out this new improved city, and somewhere along the line, we actually named it.  Because our friend plays a warlock, we named it Warlock City.  It actually made sense.  A temple with a portal to the nether, swampy gross trees, and undead everywhere…Warlock City, it was.  We decided to give Warlock City a purpose, being built on the water and our recent interest in adding boats to cities, we made Warlock City a port town, that also seemed right as it would attract unsavory types.  So without much further chatting, I give you, Warlock City.

The humble beginnings of Warlock City are still present.  Wood houses on boardwalks make up most of the city.  They are fairly small and not much in them.  Below you’ll see the entrance on foot to Warlock City, some of the street views of the city, the Temple, and the farm.  Note that it’s raining.  I swear it rains there more, it’s appropriate.

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You might have noticed the flags and the boat in the background.  I started to tinker with flags back in Stonehaven, and to separate Warlock City from the main Capitol, I gave them different flags in blues, green, and grey.  You see that on the boat from Warlock City too.  A port town of course would not be a port town without a tavern and a hotel.  Bocat built the tavern and though I demanded prostitutes, none of the villagers in there will trade me anything but gems for chicken flesh…perverts.  She always does a nice job decorating, with carpet…and cats.  The first three images below are the tavern, and the last three are the hotel.

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Okay, enough with the buildings.  This is a port town, show us some boats!  I’m on it!  Of course there’s a lighthouse needed as well, I tried to give it it’s own style different from structures we’ve seen in other villages.  And of course, used flames to light the top.  The first boat is that of Warlock City (note the colors), and middle image is of the Viking Ship and behind it one of Stonehaven’s boats.  The Vikings were excited about opening trade…though they brought snow, ice, swords, and human heads in their chests…

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After doing the lighthouse, I was looking about the city and decided that the city needed some sort of military defense.  I decided to build a keep.

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The keep turned out great, and as you can see since the Castle Stonehaven, my building skills have hopefully improved.  There’s a lot of detail on this keep and it kinda also looks like a mansion.  I figure it’s dual purpose.  When building the keep, I noticed that at night, mobs would spawn inside it because I hadn’t gone back to add lights.  So, I didn’t.  The only lights are outside the front gate and inside the prison in the basement.  It turned into a haunted mansion of sorts rather than a keep.  I figure it’s an old military keep that has long since been abandoned to this lawless community.  Below are some pictures of the inside, and the prison.

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Maybe one day, we will reclaim the keep.  Or maybe it will stay a source of vile undead at night.  The Warlock City has made some drastic improvements.  It was not however “our current project”.  We haven’t finished that yet either, and now that I have learned of patch 1.7 and it’s potential release date before the end of the year, I am not sure it will get done.  But there will still be a post on it and there will be a post on the Great Stonehaven Railway too.  And hopefully one last post featuring some of the smaller projects that never finished.  But for now, I’ll leave you with one final picture of Warlock City.  It’s lovely, for a place of villainy.


Norse Village

Yikes! Work had me so busy again that I forgot to do the post about the Norse Village. At the end of the last post, there was a teaser photo of our boreal/tundra village. The bridge that the rails pass over on their way to the village.

The Norse Village was a project long overdue. I had seen some ideas on the internet long ago and finally got around to building the buildings in Minecraft. So I have to admit that the Norse Village is much inspired by what others had made. We just tinkered around and made it kinda our own. So again, here’s the bridge as you enter. The sign in the middle of the bridge indicates that the rail is leading towards the Norse Village as symbolized by the Ice Block sign.


The Norse Village consists of three basic building types and one tower style, though hard to see in these images, you can see the three main types, a standard small two-story house, a larger three-story, and the one level more study utility building, though the last style was also used in some more residential buildings.  These three styles are mimicked around the city with slight variation to shape and size.

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For example, the large barn and the monastery on the hill use the more industrial style (third style) building as noted below.  The barn ended up being a very large building complete with indoor beams to support itself.  Below you’ll find the barn and last the monastery on the hill.  Mixing stone block types as well as the use of fences for details made these buildings require more diverse block types for one structure than any others to this point in the game.

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The last picture above also shows the bridge leading to the monastery at night and the temple in the foreground.  You may have also noticed some of the larger buildings in the background in some of the above pictures.  The second style (that larger three-story structure) because the main model for the larger buildings in town, including the town hall, hotel, and library.  Those because massive works and ended up looking like glorious pieces of work that we were quite proud of!  These goliaths included up to five floors and many dormers and dragon-style roof ornaments of much larger proportion than seen on the smaller buildings.  Again the clever use of fences add much detail to the buildings that give them a really neat feeling.

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That last picture shows the train station in the foreground, that building was the first in the city and set the bar for all the others.  To the right and in the distance you see this villages monument, the large watch tower/lighthouse?  We’re not really sure what it is besides awesome.  The large tower on the water was used as a model for the other towers around town.  They all look beautiful, especially at night.  The detail seen on the buildings is carried even to these more military type buildings.

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You might have noticed something in the background of the night-time tower image.  Yes.  Your eyes are not playing tricks on you, that is indeed a Viking-style ship!  Bocat constructed this beauty one day and it was a complete surprise!!  It looks amazing!  She built that amazing cat temple and then this beautiful ship…I have a feeling we haven’t seen the end of her Minecraft structures!!

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It does look like those zombies love it as much as I do!  Of course we can’t leave you without a peek into some of these structures.  I’ll say this about the Norse Villagers, they certainly are more well read than any of the others!!

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So that’s our Norse Village, it turned out amazing!  Clearly we’re getting better at this as we go along, but then again, we did have some amazing inspiration from the internet.  We’ll leave you with a few parting shots of the overall village to get a feel for it.  We didn’t put a wall around this village like we did with the town of Stonehaven (Castle town) and Little Egypt, the hilly terrain would have made it very difficult, plus we felt it would have ruined the ambiance of the city, which by the way, is amazing when it snows.

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There are a few other surprises about the Norse Village, well the area near it, but we’ll cover those in another post.

The Land of Egypt

The great thing about the Minecraft server vs single player is that you can see your world, Google-map style. With this ability we were able to find great places to build cities. There was a great spot of desert near an Ocean biome that looked great for an Egyptian-themed city on the water. With a crude idea of what the city would look like, the first plaza was layed down and the city started on it’s way to majesty.

First Plaza

This first plaza, pictured above set the tone for the theme of the city.  Use of different types of sandstone and dark spruce wood.  You’ll also notice that in this first plaza we introduced the market canopy.  You’ll see these around different parts of the town.  The first color used was blue.  A few times we’d use them as ways to indicate where you are in the city.  Jungle trees were also planted to look like palms around town.

This city was definitely more about style than function.  It was about making cool looking buildings and there were plans for monuments as well…but before we got to that, we added some temples, a palace, and a windmill to pump water to the farms.  Though it doesn’t move, it did look nice.  It’s probably the wrong style windmill, but we didn’t care.  🙂

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In that last picture you can see how the city spread and how we continued to make use of the market awnings.  You may also notice the pyramid in the background, we’ll get to that.  But with this city, we also took a little more care to decorate.  We gave many of the houses little rooftop gardens or planters and spent time on the insides of the houses as well, noted below.

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After we got the main city down, we started working on some monuments.  Egypt was known for many great works so we couldn’t resist doing our own versions.  Doing a pyramid was a must, below is the outside followed by the inside.  It was a huge base and didn’t extend as high as I thought it might, but looked really great with the beacon of power coming off the top.

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Another one of the great works of Egypt was the Lighthouse of Alexandria.  With some help searching how others tackled this monument, we did our own version.  The lighthouse was build almost entirely by hand, no Creative-Mode, we only jumped to creative near the top to finish-up.  We think it turned out beautifully, set on the island just off the city.


The lighthouse was a beacon for the city and though there were not boats anywhere nearby, nor docks…it served if nothing else as a great way to view the city, especially at night.  While I set to work on adding more houses and expanding the ever-growing city.  Bocat was working on a project of her own.  And if you ask me, it turned out to be one of the coolest things in the city!  I present to you, the cat temple!  Are you surprised?

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The pictures don’t really do justice to this monument.  It’s hard to get a good shot of it to give you an idea.  But you can see above the cat sitting on top and below a reflecting pond.  The eyes light glowing slightly to provide an eerie feeling!  The cat temple caused one last expansion to the city and a larger plaza put in.  Below you’ll see the larger plaza, two pictures of the new storehouse, and the entrance to the city from the west.

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We love how this city looks at night.  It has a very different feel to it than the scorching feeling it gives during the day.  😛  Here’s a shot of the city at night.  As you can see, this city has a different feel to it and we worked a bit more on some fancier buildings and monuments.  A little more detail can go a long way.

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You’ll notice that there are two train tracks running in and out of the station in the lower center of that last picture.  One leads back to Stonehaven (Castle town) and the other leads to a brand new village, something we only recently finished working on!  I’ll leave you with a teaser shot of where that train line leads.  But after one more shot of the Cat Temple with Bocat standing in front, after all she rules over the Land of Egypt and all it’s citizens and allied towns.  She often tries to thwart the King of Stonehaven…but she hasn’t succeeded yet.

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I’m guessing you might figure out what’s coming next…and when I mentioned earlier that a little detail can go a long way…wait until you see what a LOT of detail can do!

Where I’ve Been

Hello all!

I haven’t been around the blogosphere in a long time.  I miss it on some level, it was therapy, it was journaling.  But life has changes and I needed to focus on my career (which has become awesome!) and things outside of WoW.  In combination with life happening, Mists of Pandaria was released.  And I can’t even remember if I commented on it before my last post, it didn’t really grab me like some of the previous expansions did.  I don’t know if it was class changes, or the linear feel to the game play, or the overwhelming amount of dailies, but I found myself logging in simply to show face.  The guild had many core members fade out, and what was once one of the largest social guilds on Winterhoof has become a quiet home for those of us that don’t really want to go anywhere else, and really just play alone with the perks of the level 25 guild.  The servers don’t feel alive as much as they used to despite the combining of the servers…they just feel…crowded though still empty.  Anyways, I found myself having gone nearly a month without logging in and decided that the guild needed someone who was on more than I.  I transferred ownership to Bocat.  And then…kinda vanished.  Once the patch dropped where leveling 85-90 was reduced 33% I played again…and had 3 more toons hit level 90.  I don’t gear them up really–dailies are something I loathe tremendously…I think because I feel the rewards aren’t great enough – at least the reputation part of them.  I miss rep tabards.  So now I’m a little more consistent in my play, but still pretty scattered.

I like many other games besides WoW and when I got my new computer last December, I could finally play some that I hadn’t been able to previously.  I got to try Diablo 3 and spent much more time playing Civ 5, Tropico 4, and though it was disastrous at release, SimCity.  All solid games.  I also took up playing DotA2 quite a bit – favoring the Witch Doctor.  I also kept an eye out for Steam Sales and found this cute little game called Magicka.  It makes me laugh and for just $7 I got 4 copies of it, giving one to my brother and one to Bocat.  Bo and I played and let’s just say…it was chaos – I died so many times, usually to fire or a rock falling on my head, but sometimes to Bo and her wild lightning!  But I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard.

I’ve also been playing Minecraft on the small 4-person server that I rent.  It’s a fun little pastime and with friends, like Bo or the kid I mentor (who now has graduated high school, by the way!) is always more fun.  Bo and I have actually spent a lot of time working on some awesome things in our little Minecraft world.  It all started by finding a village and expanding on that.  It was slow and painful at first, but with 3-4 people working at a time, we gathered resources quickly and soon built that little village into a city and castle themed town of “Stonehaven”.  I’ll do a separate post on that.  I’m going to have a few posts now featuring what Bocat and I have been doing, when we’re not playing WoW.  And if anyone else plays Minecraft and would like to harass us, please feel free to send me an email!