The ramblings of Minecraft addict VladTubaka

A Medieval Smithy

I’m spending quite a lot of time right now developing a nearby NPC village. Since I’ve been trying to replicate rural European styles in the buildings on my main base, leaning towards late medieval and early modern period designs, I decided to expand this NPC village into a bustling late medieval town one might have seen in Elizabethan England. Wanting the buildings I build to be functional at least in role-playing, the first building is a blacksmith’s shop and home. Continue reading

The Groundskeeper’s Cottage

A small British cottage. It’s almost like Kinkade in Minecraft!

This week, I want to show off a small cottage I’ve built near my medieval British barn. Continuing my attempts to focus on provincial British and European architectural styles, this cottage is inspired by small houses I saw throughout rural Scotland during my time there. Continue reading

A Medieval British Barn

A new barn in a completely different style – 14th and 15th century English.

I know Minecraft agriculture and animal husbandry don’t technically need a barn, but I just don’t feel like I’m doing it right without one. In my most recent vanilla game (the one in which I built the Dutch Windmill), a couple of weeks ago I got to the point where I could think of no building project more pressing than a barn. Continue reading

A Dutch Windmill and a Footbridge

A not-so-simple Dutch-style Windmill, using a limited palette.

I really like it when I can combine function with aesthetics. That’s one reason I like mods, especially ones like Rotarycraft and Immersive Engineering that go to great lengths to simulate real life technology and mechanics. With mods like these, you can make a turbine that looks like a turbine and actually does something.

Sometimes, though, the limited realism of Minecraft (especially vanilla Minecraft) makes it so that either function or aesthetics have to give way. One the one hand, you can make a purely functional piece of Redstone automation, like my Automatic Chicken Farm, which bears no resemblance whatsoever in look or function to real chicken farms. Other times you make something that resembles a real life structure for purely aesthetic reasons. My Water Wheel is a good example.

This project is another example of the latter category: a Dutch-style Windmill. Its turbine doesn’t turn, and no millstone processes wheat into flour at the bottom, but darned if it don’t look spiffy. Continue reading

Hopper Cart Gathering for 9×9 Farms

A peek underneath my 9x9 farm at the Hopper Cart system that collects all the wheat and seeds.

A peek underneath my 9×9 farm at the Hopper Cart system that collects all the wheat and seeds.

Last post I showed how you could use the new Observer block to create a wheat/potato/carrot farm that automates everything but the planting. I use a Dispenser with a water bucket to break all the wheat plants, but that still leaves the gathering of the wheat and seeds that are left on the ground by the water. This I do via a Hopper Cart system directly under the farmland. Here’s how you make one. Continue reading

A Semi-Automatic Wheat Farm Using the Observer Block

Welcome to my semi-automatic Observer-based wheat farm.

Welcome to my semi-automatic Observer-based wheat farm.

Quite a lot of Minecraft farm automation depends on different mechanisms or exploits to detect changes in conditions or status. For example, automatic sugar cane farms rely on a block update detector to trigger a line of pistons once one of the sugar cane plants has reached a particular height. Auto pumpkin and melon farms often use the fact that pumpkin and melon blocks transmit a redstone signal to connect a broken line of redstone once the plant produces the pumpkin or melon on a specified block.

Up until Minecraft 1.11, however, it was impossible to automatically detect when a wheat plant had matured, because changes in the wheat plant’s development for some reason did not constitute a full block update. Instead, one had to rely on a long term timer to approximate when a field of wheat would likely be mostly mature. This method worked, but I never really felt it was ideal.

All of that has changed with the introduction of the Observer block in Minecraft 1.11. Continue reading

Minecraft Birthday Party for a Grown Man? You Betcha!

My wife is objectively, quantifiably, irrefutably, and without any qualification, the best. The latest evidence of this was our small family celebration of my birthday, themed after Minecraft in a manner any 10 year old would envy.

Creepers and Endermen everywhere, blocky food on the menu, even my own Nether Portal.

Creepers and Endermen everywhere, blocky food on the menu, even my own Nether Portal.

Continue reading

Destressing With Minecraft: The Ugly Vanilla House

Of all the things I dislike about this build, the roof is number 1. I had intended to try to construct a clerestory style roof. What resulted was just weird and awkward.

A monstrosity such as this is probably what I should expect when trying to improvise a house while stressed.

I made a big mistake.

I’ve been spending more and more time recently playing Terraria. Being still relatively new to the game, I had not yet defeated the Wall of Flesh and made the jump to Hard Mode. This was intentional. Being the compulsive completionist that I am, I wanted to make sure that everything that could be done before Hard Mode was done. I had the best armor you can get before pre-Hard Mode, the best tools and weapons, trophies from the bosses, and all the NPCs. Moreover, I had all but eliminated one of the areas of corruption and dug a big trench around the other. My wife told me (with complete justification) that I was probably overly prepared for Hard Mode. I really don’t know what else I could have done to be ready for it. Continue reading

Terraria Mansion, Phase 1 Complete!

Phase 1 of the Mansion is done, for all intents and purposes. Phase two will involve the finishing of the side towers as well as an upper keep (you can see the beginning of the walls).

Phase 1 of the Mansion is done, for all intents and purposes, so I thought I’d share a little update to show in more detail what I’ve built and to talk about a couple of improvements I’ve made since I posted about this last. Continue reading

Principles of Design: The Suspension Bridge

This is the middle tower. The two outer towers are built on a 7x7 foundation, while the middle tower is on a 9x9 foundation.

This image shows off every aspect of my suspension bridge that, in my opinion, makes it aesthetically appealing.

Last post I showed off a suspension bridge that I built in a 1.10.2 modded survival game. In this post, I want to focus on a handful of details that, I think, make the build a visually interesting one. These details illustrate six principles I have discovered that contribute to good design: wall texturing, limited palettes, symmetry and asymmetry, roofing, lighting, and non-straight lines. Continue reading


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