Tag Archives: Minecraft

If you love a Minecraft construct, set it free

I spent a bit of the weekend consolidating most of my Minecraft constructs into a single world with WorldEdit, given some tentative musings around setting up a home server. You see, my eldest has been going full-tilt into creating fantastic worlds of imagination and recently wondered aloud if we could build in the same world.

In doing the move, it occurred to me yesterday that surely there’s a web-location where peeps share their minecraft schematics. Lo and behold! Minecraft-schematics.com.

Doesn’t seem that popular at the moment, but never-the-less there are some stunning consturcts already up. So, you’re now free to take copies of the things people build and post to this site. As The Culture so elegantly put it, “Superiority through Redundancy!”.

There are a few more to go yet, but so far I’ve uploaded those that didn’t need much love:

And here’s a gallery of the schematics embedded in a test world:

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So, if you have some Minecraft schematics you’re looking to house remotely, and are happy to share what you’ve built, consider joining me in populating Minecraft-schematics.


Minecraft Sticky Pistons For Effective Boat Docking

I’m on holidays! Hooray.  To celebrate I’m going through a bunch of to-do things. Most not fun, but some (like this) quite enjoyable.

Recently, I’ve been taking my favourite Minecraft home and propelling it through new biome generation maps as the releases of Minecraft come thick and fast.  I’ve been meaning to get around to building a boat dock for the home, but haven’t been that fussed until a couple of ideas were posted on my youtube channel.  I was keen to try the ideas out, and the following tutorial/walkthrough video of how to make a simplified boat dock with sticky pistons resulted:

For some deeper thinking on why it looks the way it does, here’s the original post that this design is drawn from.

The texture pack used was SphaxPureBDCraft.

And now for a little Minecraft Housing

Yesterday I learned that the latest PiTiVi has a bunch of effects editing added to its base release, thanks to Google’s Summer of Code. I just needed to take that dope for a spin today.  It’s been a fun learning curve, but I’m not quite where I want to be just yet in terms of high-quality output (when I crack it I’l blog in excruciating detail).

Still, right now I can brighten up Minecraft night scenes (notorously poor if Youtube is a good sample-set), and do some fades, etc.  All very nice.  Here’s the end-result of the learning process.  Two house designs that have their roots in my Sandstone Islet Getaway:

Here’s “Cobblestone 11sies” (built twice on two defunct multiplayer servers *sniffle*):

And “Fletcherholm”:

The wonderful thing is that the editing is nearly invisible.  If I’m not looking out for the transitions I miss them, but they certainly make a vastly better final result than what I could have previously pulled off with PiTiVi.

Minecraft Piston Cobblestone Factory Revisited

[Update:  Stop! Don’t care how it works?  Do care to have one?  Here is a WorldEdit/MCEdit schematic of the “latest evolution” of the cobblestone generator.  It’s smaller, has a reset button, and a very safe way to insert/remove the lava.  You’ll need to be familiar with WorldEdit to make use of it.]

Directly after Mojang pistons were released in Minecraft 1.7, I did a blog post showing an automated cobblestone factory. I thought I could do better though. So here it is, my cobblestone factory revisited:

Also, after seeing a few search terms around the concept, you need to mine the cobblestone out of its hutch once it is generated with your favourite pickaxe.  There is currently no way for the “vanilla” Minecraft to pop the cobblestone off as a floating block that can be picked up. I’ve seen mods, but have no interest in introducing that kind of dependency for my cobblestone generating needs.

Fundamental differences between my first attempt and this one:

  • the cobblestone spawn point is surrounded on 3 sides by lava blocks, maximising the chance over a sequence of spawns that I’ll get fast cobblestone generation.
  • The toggle circuit has been pared back to its bare minimum, and set to a much faster rate given the higher change of cobblestone spawn.
  • I’ve had to orient the piston facing upwards to allow for 3 lava blocks and one water block to meet.
  • To stop the cobblestone from climbing to its full 12 block height, I place an obsidian block at a “farmable” height above the cobblestone. You can farm as high as 6 blocks from where you’re standing, so a practical limit is 7 blocks about your standing level.
  • The chosen “blocking obsidian” height allows a degree of wiggle-room for piston mis-fires. If a cobblestone isn’t generated, I can farm one of the other blocks while I wait. A blocking height of 4 seems just fine.
  • The rest is decoration or put there to show how its working.

For anyone interested, I show the (very small) circuit in the youtube video.

Once difference between this video and the finalised factory is that I put obsidian behind the cobblestone column area so that farmed cobblestone will always fall towards me as I go. Here’s a picture of it in its final form:

Cobblestone Factory Screenshot

Cobblestone Factory Screenshot

Minecraft Piston Cobblestone Factory

[Edit: I’ve since abandoned this approach in favour of something a little different.]

Ok, I’m on a roll it seems. Pistons are having me pretty much reconsider everything I’ve done to date in Minecraft.  This post involves me retiring my very basic cobblestone factory with a variant that uses a piston to make it all buried and stuff.  Here’s the obligatory video with a walkthrough of the redstone circuit employed to do it:

The basic principle is to allow lava to flow next to a water block, creating a cobblestone block (around the 40 second mark of the video), and to have the piston attempt to push the cobblestone out of the way to create another.  The piston is attached to a basic pulse circuit, with redstone repeaters to slow the piston down to a point where it gives the somewhat random lava a chance to flow again after cobblestone removal.

Here’s a rough and ready schematic of the “essence” of the circuit courtesy of Minedraft.net:

Piston Driven Cobblestone Factory

Piston Driven Cobblestone Factory Schematic

Again, as Minedraft.net doesn’t seem to have the entire set of craftable items to choose from, I’ve substituted the piston above with a furnace, and the redstone repeaters with basic stone.  The redstone repeaters are directional, facing southward. Three of them are set at their greatest delay, and the last is set at its second-fastest delay.  This cumulative delay seems about right for ensuring that the piston doesn’t fire until the lava and water have created a new cobblestone block.

The dirt block beside the redstone torch is a vanilla NOT gate (so any old block will do, so long as the redstone torch is attached to the opposite side to where the block receives its input).

The water is just a single bucket-full, starting ar the far-right of the schematic.  At the 8 block mark, it peters out just before flowing into what I’ll call the “cobblestone channel”.

I’ve also added a lever to allow me to temporarily stop the piston from firing for maintenance (not in the schematic). Also, I’ve added an obsidian block directly under the deployment area so I don’t dig up the block underneath the newly minted cobblestone, and as you can see from the video, the new block pops those I’ve just harvested right up into my inventory. Lazy cobblestone collection! Larry Wall would surely approve!

Finally, a word of warning.  There seems to be a bug around redstone repeaters where time is reset to 0 (or, login for a single-user game), the redstone repeater that was active upon time reset is where the circuit gets stuck. You can get it moving again by finding the zone of the circuit that is currently active, and just ripping up a square of the circuit, and relaying it.  As there are also a couple of other bugs I’ve not encountered yet, I’ve added a glass block over a block of the circuit to see whether the circuit is correctly toggling states. [Update, 2011-11-26: The single-player version of the bug was fixed with the 1.0 release of Minecraft]

That’s it! Happy cobblestone farming.

Minecraft Sticky Pistons For Effective Boat Docking (Obsolete)

[Update: I’ve revisited the boat design (it’s even simpler!). Check the block post out]

So, Minecraft 1.7 is out, and my week’s been an intense rush of bug fixes with little time to really consider what I’m hacking.  To de-stress last night, I thought I’d experiment with my suspicion that natively supported pistons in Minecraft might finally bring me joy.  Specifically, implementing a jetty for docking my boats that doesn’t well… suck.  Before getting onto the detail, here’s a small video of the solution I’ve currently settled on:

Three big things really, really irritate me about Minecraft boats:

  1. If I dismount poorly (which I often do), the boat sails far out from the shore. Retrieving it is an absolute pain in the posterior.
  2. If some pixelated animal or undead thing stumbles across the boat and touches it, the boat sails far out from the shore. Retrieving it is absolute pain in the posterior.
  3. They’re so accursedly easy to break. Building new ones so frequently is an absolute pain in the posterior.

Now, items one and two I can cross off my hatred list if I build a little jetty for the boats that ensures they won’t sail off. The salient design characteristics were:

  1. As hermetically sealed an environment as I can, to stop others from pushing the boat off.  This was achieved with fencing, and some clearance at the mouth of the jetty to ensure that critters couldn’t jump onto the fence from a 1-block deep patch of water.
  2. A locking mechanism similar to an airlock, where I can bring the boat in, be certain that the fence is up before I dismount, and then pass through the fencing, which I can reseal with levers to stop critters accessing the boat.

As seen in the  video,  fencing attached to sticky pistons was used to achieve both aims.  There are a couple of known issues with the current design that I’m not that fussed about solving just yet. They are:

  • The two levers interact a little oddly.  Lever state changes will be occasionally ignored if the lever state (say on), is not aligned with the circuit state (say off).  With typical use, this won’t occur.  You have to use the one lever to both open and close the fencing when passing over the threshold. What I really need here is to expand the redstone circuits to make both levers toggle circuit state, instead of having to be in sync with the circuit before generating valid state change.
  • This solution will not stop spiders.  My typical answer to sealing out spiders is to create a fence “cage” with wooden half-blocks as eaves, but for my jetty I find the aesthetics offensive. Still, if I get a run of spiders messing up my boat docking I might just go there.

The redstone circuit buried under the sand looks a bit like this. Substitute the unlit redstone torches with levers above redstone wire, and the furnaces with sticky pistons (sorry, Minedraft.net doesn’t seem to do levers or pistons).

Boat Docking CircuitAnd that’s it. I can see a great deal more virtual boating on my blocky horizon.

Update:  I’ve been asked by a fellow youtuber to show the actual circuit, thusly:

OCPD? Who? Me?!?

So, I had an “umbilical hernia repair” operation last Friday to fix a hernia that has been with me since last September.  The operation has for the most part stopped me dead in my tracks from doing anything beyond sitting and sleeping. Well, I could read, but I’m just not in the right head-space for it lately.

This week, I’ve gotten a lot of daytime sleep, and a lot (alot  is not a word but, it might just be better than you at everything) of sitting done.  While I sat, I played computer games.  Quite a bit of the time was spent polishing this little Minecraft world:

I’m so sick of computer games (f**k, did I just WRITE that?!?)  that I decided tonight that I’d do that youtube video instead.  On watching it, I fear this may represent undeniable proof that I might be just a tad OCPD.

On a more work-related note, the idea of a video came out of a work thing I was doing just before the operation.  I was interested in trying differing compression codecs in video standards, because whatever is being used in camstudio AVI container, is huge.  Now, I love camstudio, and a nice little synergy-generating windows hack called Sizer, but I need to do something about that 10 minute video that needs half a DVD for storage before the boss himself demands it.

Right now, I’m leaning with using PiTiVi to do the no-hassle conversion, goofing off with codecs to see which best compresses essentially static desktop images, with a bit of cursor/menu movement between “frames” lasting several seconds long. I’ve failed yet to find a nice richly-featured video format converter under Windows that doesn’t cost well.. nothing. :-/ So, it’s a bit of fiddling between two operating systems, but I’m down with that.

Anyway, hernia repair is healing nicely.  I went for a walk in the sun for about an hour today, which was nothing short of fantastic given the week preceding it. Extended visits to places that can’t guarantee me a good lie-down are probably still beyond me, but I suspect not for much longer. If tomorrow is as good again as today, Monday will be a (possibly medicated) school-day.