Minecraft: Stables

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Minecraft Stables Front ViewWhen you’re creating an entire sprawling Kingdom in Minecraft one thing to not overlook is an area for your outdoor animals: a stables! We created The Stables project on the back side of a mountain. Specifically the Castle East Mountain, so that it lies nestled between Castle East, the Wizard Towers (Castle West), and is contained within the Sea Wall. The above photo is a mostly finished exterior picture of the stables; keep reading to see how it was created!

Minecraft Stables In ProgressYou can see from the above in-progress photo how the area started to take shape. Dixon did most of the labor intensive beginning build for the mansion exterior and barn areas. Part of the mountain was shaved off to create the stables mansion front, and two barn areas come out from the house. When we started developing the area it was fairly sparse, so trees and decor were added as we went along to create more of a village forest feel.
The barn area is broken into two wings, each with the capacity to hold five horses each. The stables were eventually filled with beautiful horses I found and tamed from thousands of blocks away. There is a small horse staging area built out of fencing you can see in the above photo off to the upper left. The first few horses lived over there while we built out the stables for them.

Minecraft Stables In Progress from WindowAnother in-progress photo, but this time looking directly out the loft window of the stables mansion, toward the Wizard Towers (Castle West). If you look closely you can even see part of the village area that is mostly off screen on the left.
The small hill directly in front of the stables was larger at one point and was whittled down over time to create a small overhang area with trees. Stone was replaced with dirt to allow for tree and plant growth, plus animals don’t want to hang out on rocks all day.

Minecraft Stables and TreesAbove you can see the hill (with trees and a sculpted overhang) from a different angle. You can also see the fence line in the background that went around the entire Stables area. Keep the animals in, keep the monsters out!

Minecraft Stables Interior shot from Bottom FloorThe stables mansion was built on a sheer mountain/cliff face, so the interior was carved out of the mountain to create a multi-level room with a secret passage leading into Castle East.
The above photo is of the stables mansion entrance area from the bottom floor. This was prior to decorating, so it is a little sparse but we had completed the layout design. There are second floor loft rooms with windows that look out over the stables and village areas. On the left side of the above photo you can see stairs leading behind the wall, which led to a second floor area as partially seen in the below photo.

Minecraft Stables Interior shot from Top FloorHere we have the same angle, but from the second floor view. This was further edited to include a library and the secret passage to Castle East. You can see the ‘exposed beam’ finish throughout the mansion better in this photo; I tried to purposefully make the stables feel like a really big, grand log cabin.

That’s it for the Stables walk-through! Next time we’ll take a look at building an entire village, including an awesome darkness sensing light-up clock tower.

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Minecraft: Castle East

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Minecraft Castle EastWhile in the finishing stages of Castle West I started scouting locations for my next build, and didn’t need to travel very far before I found the chunk of mountain pictured above. Lava flows, connecting bits between spires, waterfalls, it was perfect.

I went to work on the bridges first and let them shape the building of the castle. The top tier bridge you can see barely changed from the raw to finished versions (above and below), while I added a middle tier bridge and a bridge/entrance to the main floor.

Minecraft Castle EastThe ground level bridge actually extends backwards so you can approach it from either direction (pictured below). Once the bridges were in place I started carving out the insides; a process that included many, many revisions and a lot of time. In the end, I carved three floors out of the western spire of Castle East and two floors carved out of the eastern spire.

Minecraft Wizard tower East on the backBelow is the grand entrance to Castle East; this is on the ground floor and is the only direct entrance to the castle, so I spent a lot of time tweaking it to perfection. In the picture below you can see a doorway (with torches surrounding it), which is a secret passage into the stables and village area. If you go up the stairs (on the right) you will gain access to the bedrooms (see the glass windows in the above few pictures? Those are bedrooms!) and throne room. Behind the central pillar is a ladder to the second and third floors, as well as the rail hub leading to Castle West.

Specifically for the decoration and lighting of Castle East I used a lot of lava; you can see here that it is behind colored glass and acts as my main light source throughout the castle.

Minecraft Castle East Grand EntranceUp the stairs into the throne room, I love this room! I went a little crazy with it, but it’s Minecraft, so why not? The “throne” itself is made of various cuts of quartz, the floor tiles are carpet/wool, and again I have lava lighting throughout — though each room had a different pattern for the stained glass.

Minecraft Castle East Throne RoomFloors two and three were mainly built out into giant storage hubs for my entire world. All materials from previous locations were painstakingly transported through nether rail and regular rail hubs to the central storage here. I also included an indoor food garden, utility blocks, and more lava lighting on the second floor (below).

Minecraft Castle East Storage and Food area

On floor three you can see more storage, utility blocks, the alchemy sets and even a small plot for netherwart to grow. If you look closely at the “back” of the picture (central) you can see additional lava lighting and the doorway to top bridge. The tube of lava lighting went through both floors two and three, very cool.

Minecraft Castle East Storage and Potion areaI unfortunately do not have many pictures of the East spire, but I do have one from before anything was built there, taken by a friend on the server (below). I included different kinds of stained glass, giant lava flows that were used for lighting, and several entirely glass/lava floors. This was also the area I ended up using for a library/enchanting table.

Wizard Tower East - InteriorThat is all for this entry; I hope you enjoyed my walkthrough of Castle East. Leave a comment and let me know what you’ve been building lately!

Minecraft: Adventures

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Zombie pigman riding in my minecart in Minecraft

One of my favorite parts of Minecraft is the weird, random happenstance that occur from programming an entire world to random generate. Statistics are important, and eventually if you play long enough, you’re bound to see some real interesting stuff. I wanted to take some time to share some of the funny little moments I’ve come across in my Minecraft time.
The picture above was taken in the nether; we had extensive nether rails running back and forth between distant areas of the world. Which meant that sometimes, those rails were blocked by zombie pigmen. And other times, they’d hop in your cart and take a ride with you!

Zombie baby pigman riding a duck in minecraftAnother nether adventure from when I was mapping out rails, this time, a baby zombie pigman riding a duck. This little guy just wanted to hang out and look at me for awhile. I hope the duck didn’t jump into lava.

Spider jockey (skeleton) riding around in MinecraftIn my previous posts about the wizard castle, you could see a nether portal on top of a hill. This was my main form of transportation when building the castles, so I could get to and from my other bases. Anyway, I came out of the portal one day to find a spider jockey hanging out on top of the hill. I don’t think I’ve seen one before that, or since then.

Baby zombie riding on a duck in minecraftThis was in a mineshaft I found that I eventually spent about two full weeks (with almost daily plays) cleaning out of treasure, wood, and ore. Hey cute little baby zombie riding a duck, why you tryin’ to kill me?

Zombie pigman riding a duckAnother from inside the nether – you can even see a Ghast on the mini map mod. God damn zombie pigmen raided my rail ways (pre-rail) and there was one riding a duck. I often times will go on a massive killing spree of pigmen because they really piss me off, plus gold teeth are a good thing to have.

What are some of the weird things you’ve seen in Minecraft? It’s a world full of possibilities!

Minecraft: Wizard Tower Sea Wall

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Minecraft wizard tower wallsHow do you solve a problem like Maria? Or, in this case, how do you make an epic Minecraft wizard tower even more awesome? Build a giant wall around it! Exclusivity is the new black.

After Mindy chopped a wizard tower/castle into existence out of a mountain, there were two problems: what do we do next, and what the hell are we going to do with six chests full of cobblestone? The giant wall project was Dixon’s brain child. It was dozens of blocks above the water, the same level as the castle plateau, so that we could eventually connect it via long bridges to the castle (this part did not happen).

Minecraft giant sea wallAs the wall progressed, we wondered, what if we build giant housing/storage/shop areas INSIDE of the wall. This was one of two sections completed, but is by far the more impressive of the two. The remaining 10-15 sections were left untouched after we realized how much time and supplies this kind of thing required. Note the giant pillars to the left, which are a land-based continuation of the sea wall.

Minecraft epic sea wallThis is the other section that was completed, on the opposite end of the wall. This included a plateau level bridge that went through the mountain and connected to the castle. While in the Wizard Tower post I showed the enormous bridge that ended up with a staircase to a nether portal, that was eventually removed after the portal was migrated inside of the castle. The bridge was extended and bored through a mountain with two exits. One exit leading to the above bridge, the other to Castle West. Castle West will be featured in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!

Minecraft epic sea wallIf you look real closely, you can see the bridge modifications in this picture, where it leads into the mountain instead of a staircase.

Minecraft wall towersBack on the other end of the seawall, the land pillar/towers are really starting to take shape. The left tower was sculpted out of another hillside, which also holds a sheep pen. At this point you can see there is still a small amount of land mass in the foreground (the silly sheep is standing on it!). This was eventually removed to create a huge waterfall emptying into the already existing cavern that just so happened to be there.

Minecraft finished seawallThis is the completed project, with a few interesting things to note:

  • If you use tripwire, which is almost invisible, it will stop vines from growing at whatever level you place it on, pretty cool!
  • See the giant glowing M underwater? Dixon made that to signify MINDY’S KINGDOM. There is lava in it and it’s about 20 blocks under water. He’s really awesome.
  • The towers turned into a temple of sorts, with underwater walkways and stained glass cathedrals, because Dixon got inspired one night when he was sick and up most of the night alone. He will be making another post to show you the gorgeous design he created.
  • That big old mountain in the very far left corner is where Castle West and The Stables were eventually created. As much as the Wizard Towers and encompassing area were a grand, sweeping, labor of love project for me, Castle West and the Stables are truly a work of art that Dixon and I created together. I am very excited to share that with you all soon!

Minecraft: Wizard Towers

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Mindy's Minecraft KingdomMy first PC-based Minecraft World came after I found Minecraft on the console. Console MC is great, but the space and functionality is limited. At that time the console world only spanned 1 map and I wanted to really stretch out and explore. I might eventually share some of my early PC world creations which include a forest cabin, an upscale and underground subway/metro system, nether rail hubs, an entire village that I fenced off and grew, a desert mod house, many different mob grinders, mines, elaborate storage systems, etc. But for now I wanted to share the piece de resistance which was the focus of months of work: the wizard towers.

I jumped into creative mode to fly across the ocean and after traveling for a long time the first thing I saw was a giant mountain and what looked like a spire or peak next to it. The above picture was from that moment I found it, with the sun setting over the ocean I just flew across. I was inspired! Over the course of the next month or two things started taking shape.

Minecraft wizard spireYou know the Jimi Hendrix song Voodoo Child? In it he sings “Well, I stand up next to a mountain and I chop it down with the edge of my hand. Well, I pick up all the pieces and make an island, might even raise a little sand.” That’s how I felt for the months I worked on the wizard towers. I chopped and whittled it down one block at a time (with my hand!).

In the first progress picture (above), you can see that the mountain peak was turned into a full fledged wizard spire. If you look closely you can see the attached stairway leading to a floating platform, all of which was part of the mountain before I sculpted it. The tree on the platform was original to that mountain area, so I shaped around it and kept it on the platform. All the water and lava flows are original to the area as well. I hollowed out a 4×4 column for the inside of the main spire shaft and put “circular” stairs in the shaft. They ran to the top room and down to level 11, where they came to rest next to giant lava pools and my strip mines. There is also a surface level exit door on the back side of the shaft (not pictured), so that I could go and get more wood every single day. So much wood.

Minecraft wizard towersOnce the spire was completed, I started work on transforming the mountain itself into a giant castle. This is an early in-progress photo, where I was building the enormous bridge into the main castle entry. At this time the bridge connected to the top of another mountain, where I had a nether portal connected to my nether railway. While it is less resource intensive to chop a mountain into a castle, it doesn’t mean that you still won’t spend a million hours transporting yourself between bases to get supplies.

Minecraft wizard towersWork continued on building the castle vertically. Eventually I reached above cloud level, where I put my enchanting room and sky observation area. This is a pulled back photo showing the entire castle. I chose to build an exposed staircase centered around a 2×2 column. It has a few rooms and platforms on the way to the top, and is one of my favorite parts of the wizard towers.

Minecraft wizard towersFinally, a completed project picture. While this was the finished state of the wizard towers, we continued to develop the entire area into Kingdom Mindy. This is no longer a world I can visit, sadly, but I am extremely proud of the work I put into it, and finished outcome. It was what I imagined in my mind, and I chopped that mountain into exactly what I wanted.

Minecraft wizard towersFull disclosure, some of the exterior shaping work was done in creative mode. All pictures were taken in creative mode. Interior work and exterior finishing was all done in survival though, which is part of the reason it took so long. 🙂

Minecraft: Before and After

Before and After

From start to finish, the wizard spire and towers are one of my biggest and most epic creations, but every part of it was inspired by the existing structure I found that day coming across the ocean. Isn’t Minecraft awesome?