While I haven’t been posting Minecraft updates, it’s not because I haven’t been playing. Oh, no. It’s because I was finishing a PhD and doing my best not to descend into insanity brought on by extreme anxiety. Playing Minecraft was a big part of that effort, even though blogging about Minecraft wasn’t. Now that the PhD is over with (I wrote a pretty darn good thesis, if I do say so myself), I feel like blogging again. So much has happened in my various Minecraft worlds that I think it’s best just to focus on highlights for now (the last time I posted was prior to the 1.5 update, and we’re already nearing 1.8!!!).

The coolest structure I’ve built would have to be, by far, two versions of Castle Grayskull. The first version was built completely in survival mode and, from the start, was my base of operations. I built it with non-mossy cobblestone and stone brick with the intention (largely realized, eventually) of replacing all or at least most of that stone with its mossy equivalents, produced using Forestry’s moistener, and then using Thermal Expansion’s fluid transposer (which still seems a little cheaty to me). I built it in an ExtraBiomesXL snowy mountain biome (Aspen, I think it’s called?). The picture below uses the SoartexFanver texture pack.


The interior, of which I have not posted any pics here, was fleshed out with lots of cool stuff, including a mob spawner, a sorting system and processing center, an enormously OP’d (for a single-player game, anyway) energy production system, a subterranean throne room that attempted to replicate that of the 1980s Filmation He-Man cartoon, living quarters, and rooms for most of the mods I was using (Factorization, Thaumcraft 3, RailCraft and others). I abandoned this world once it became clear that Redpower2 and XyCraft were not going to be updated for 1.5. I recently went back to this game only to discover that the world had somehow been corrupted, and I can’t open it anymore.

So when I saw that a lot of the mods I enjoyed using were updating to 1.6, I decided it was time to have another go at Castle Grayskull. There were aspects of the design I didn’t like, and I thought I could do better. This time, though, I chose to build Castle Grayskull (the exterior at least) in Creative Mode, even though the world was ultimately going to be a survival world (I always play with cheats on, in case something weird and glitchy happens, which it usually does in Minecraft, especially in a modded game). I took as my more immediate inspiration, this time, a recent version of the action figure playset.


The interior has not been finished out (nor even the exterior to the point that I have in mind), but I am a lot happier with the exterior. It is slightly larger (taller, certainly) than the earlier version and is totally made of mossy cobblestone and stone brick, except for certain sections that I chose use other materials on. The mouth and face are minimally dependent on microblocks (using Forge Multipart instead of Redpower2, now) which makes it all the more amazing, to me, that I find them so much more satisfying as replicas of the playset. The JawBridge now operates using Tinker’s Construct Drawbridge blocks (which I have not yet disguised) operated by ChickenBones’ wireless redstone, whereas the earlier one used Redpower2 frames operated wirelessly by ComputerCraft and Redpower2 redstone logic blocks (I was pretty proud of that setup, actually).

So what do you think? Which do you like better?