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.
I want to acknowledge up front that I have borrowed heavily from a design I found (via Pinterest) on minecraftforum.net. Check it out here. In particular, you will see under the screenshots for “Brizopolis” a single picture of a Blacksmith shop. I used this brilliant design a both for its basic floor plan and as stylistic starting point, but I have made some changes, especially to the roof and to the materials. The creators of this original design were using a texture/resource pack that is either “John Smith” or one of the many that are derived from it. I am primarily interested in using the default textures (or “Faithful 32x”), so some of my choice of materials is dictated by what looks good in default (which isn’t always the same as in “John Smith”). Also, the interior I had to make up entirely myself, since there are no screenshots on the forum thread detailing how they worked out the blacksmith building’s interior.
One of the major stylistic changes I made was replacing cobblestone as the primary filling material between the timber frames with a block that has only recently come available in the 1.12 snapshots – white concrete. With white concrete, I am now at last able to emulate European and British half-timber construction in a way that is mostly satisfying to me (not having to use white wool or the rather pinkish white stained hardened clay).
The building occupies a 13×13 area on the ground. The upper level extends out one block, and the roofing overhangs the upper level (meaning the building overhangs the road, slightly). The building consists of a blacksmith’s work area occupying one corner and a shop and living quarters occupying making an L-shape on the other three corners.
The first floor is dedicated to a shop and a small storage area. The second floor consists of three small bedrooms. A staircase occupies the interior of the quarter behind the blacksmith’s forge.
The roof is one place where I made a substantial change to the “Tales of Aeacus” design. Like the original, I used cobblestone stairs and slabs (lined underneath with dark oak stairs and slabs), but I changed the slightly hipped, relatively flat original for a pair of intersecting vaults. I also flattened the chimey and used cobblestone wall pieces for the smoke stacks. Again to emulate smoke clouds I have used white and light gray wool. It is really surprising how convincing the effect is and how much the effect contributes to my feeling of satisfaction with this build.
I am indebted to the builders of Brizopolis for some very cool stylistic touches. I am also happier than I can express that we finally have a solid white, texture-less block in white concrete. Future buildings in this village will continue to make use of this half-timber architectural style.
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
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
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
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
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