A dash of this, a smidge of that…

Cooking, Minecraft, and houses! Who could ask for more?

I enjoy cooking quite a bit.  It’s amazing taking some foods, adding some spices and boom, bon appétit! I recently made some jambalaya, a specialty of mine and I just can’t get enough of it. Every time I make it, however, I always wonder if it’s good enough. It’s gotten to the point that every time I see jambalaya on the menu at a restaurant, I buy it and obsess over how my jambalaya compares. Seriously, it’s a miracle that my wife agrees to eat at restaurants that serve jambalaya with me.

Anyway, the point that I’m trying to get to is that I’m neurotic.  I’m also a glutton for punishment because one of the places I want to go visit is New Orleans and try some amazing food, listen to some fantastic music, and destroy my self-confidence when it comes to cooking jambalaya.

Well, not really the point I’m seeking to make, but just a fact.  My point is I like mixing things together to create something that is better than the sum of the ingredients. That’s synergy, folks! and really cheesy!  Anyway, this is how I see Minecraft.  I start with some “ingredients,” usually decide that I’ve done an awful job at something, and go back to the drawing board and try it all over again.

Anyway, here’s attempt number one of the row of buildings in the northern district.  They’re sort of like my medieval interpretation of the Painted Ladies in San Fransisco (Remember Full House? Boom!) and some houses that I’ve seen in my hometown.  Below, I started to frame up the buildings.

Below, I started to frame up the buildings and began to add some different blocks to make some choices.  I need to add something in to break up all of that wood, that’s for sure.  I like the fence posts and the concrete walls as well; it is good to get different sizes going on in builds (which is difficult in Minecraft, that’s for sure).

We’ll return to these later, that’s for sure!


 

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Concrete is out! Yessss! Nothing too special here, just trying to decide on what I want to replace the stone with.  I have to admit, I don’t think that concrete will be a good fit here; the flat texture is amazing in different builds, but definitely not here.  The cyan clay (far left) at least has some texture to it, but it’s too dark…


Garvog gets an update! I think that the concrete WILL fit on the blade better than the diorite.  I think. Maybe?

You decide! The left side of the blade is diorite, right side is white concrete.

Developin’ the Dwarves

I spend some–ok, a lot–of time developing and working the land by the dwarven kingdom.

I like dwarves.  I always have.  Now, while they are not without their faults (stubbornness for one, but hey, I’m stubborn too so I can’t say anything…), they are most CERTAINLY not as bad as elves.  Now, seeing as how I’ve never shared this blog with anyone, I know I’m not going to be yelled at for saying that, but even so, I can hear imaginary people yelling at me for saying such things.

Elves can be stuffy, pretentious, and humongous know-it-alls that are stuck in the past and act like they know everything about everyone. (Yes, I know, you’re going to reply “Well, AJ, dwarves hold on to grudges forever too and they can be just as big of stick-in-the-muds as the elves!”…Well, yeah…. I guess)

Am I seriously having an argument with the voices in my head?!

All craziness aside, I was surprised how this build turned out.  I began framing this build out to connect two mountains into one jumbo mountain, as seen below.d008 However, the more I kept building, the more I realized that maybe I can do more with this area than simply connecting two peaks.

As the build progressed, I realized that I had created separate layers. Initially, I had planned on blending these layers together into one peak (you can see where I had started to do this on the right side of the second picture).  As I was framing the mountain together at this point, I realized instead that I could use this as fortifications that the dwarves could use to defend themselves from an attack to the east, where our kingdom just happens to lie.  Now, I haven’t even begun to develop this next line of thought beyond the point of “Oh, this could be cool”, but here goes.

Further south of the kingdom lies a forest. It’s not special, just a normal oak forest usually found in Minecraft.  When I created the world, however, I selected the option that creates really large biomes, meaning I now have a large forest south of the kingdom.  What can live in forests? Elves.  What doesn’t like dwarves? Elves. These thoughts led me to this lore:

In ages long past, the dwarves felt the need to fortify their position in the REALLY COOL NAME Mountains due to a perceived threat from the east.  It began initially with the elves who made the SOMETHING NOT AS COOL BUT STILL KIND OF COOL Forest.  Both races were wary of each other. The elves had a hard time trusting those who voluntarily chose the cold and dark stone whereas the dwarves distrusted anything who felt at ease under the vast and open sky.

While there was no war between these two races, both kept an incredibly close eye on the other for generations.  The dwarves literally carved the mountain out to create walkways that sentries patrolled and armed them with huge ballistae should the need ever arise.  The elves, equally distrustful, had their own secret defenses as well.  Neither side dared to declare war on the other without provocation; the losses that would be sustained would no doubt reach into the thousands.

Not sure what I think about the number “thousands”.  At the very least, it is a good placeholder.  Anyway, here is finished the first draft of the product.

d011d012 I know, I still need to build the ballistae.  Future plans also include changing out the dirt for stone and adding some different textures to this as well.  Would the dwarves have included different types of building materials? I really want to add some black concrete powder to this…maybe gray, but I’m not converting my world to a Minecraft snapshot. Instead, I’ll just wait until version 1.12 is released. I also would probably add some mossy stone/cobblestone by the waterfall as well.

That’s going to be it for this update, folks.  In the next update, we journey east and work on finishing some more walls! Yay, walls!

Starting to Build!

I build stuff instead of working on the structure of the kingdom. Everyone needs a distraction every once in a while, right?

Yes, I know that the walls aren’t done.

Yes, I know I started building the path to the Dwarf Kingdom.

Yes, I know that I’ve not even STARTED the palace yet.

Don’t care.

When inspiration strikes, you take it and just go with the flow.  Today, I decided that the North Kingdom Wall region needed some work.  In my mind, I imagine this as a place that is frequently accessed by travelers from the surrounding villages as well as those travelers who may be on a journey of sorts.  Located directly inside the kingdom walls, it makes sense that there will be things available for this demographic, hence merchant stalls and The Grumpy Bear Inn.

nk11Farmers and traders need a place to sell their wares, and it would make sense that they would sell to a kingdom who has to outsource all of these needs, right? It’s still in the early phases, but I feel that this might be a good start for a larger stand.  I plan on including other varieties of stall, most of which will be smaller.  This could be for a farmer selling a variety of wares.

In addition, located behind the stall, is the foundations for what is to be known as the Grumpy Bear Inn.  Why the odd name? Well, I’ve been described as a bear on many an occasion, and every good inn name needs a fun adjective before it, right? You can’t just have “The Bear” inn…doesn’t work.  Foundation is not complete obviously, just a quick rough sketch. I like that it wraps around the stall in the front.  Perhaps the landlord of the Grumpy Bear owns the stall but leases it out to different vendors? Sounds good to me. Anyway, here are some different views of the possible layout.


Finally, I “toured” the path to the Dwarven Kingdom today because I decided that I needed to look at it with a fresh site of eyes. For the most part, I don’t hate it! The tunnel needs to be blended into the mountain better, I know.  The statue of Garvog also needed to be tweaked, so I made some changes to make the statue look more…connected?

I don’t know if most of it can even be noticed. I like it better, though. It looks more fluid. The sword might be the most noticeable change; I was afraid that it was too different from the rest of the build, causing it to stand out too much.

Ha! Fooled You

So instead of working on my kingdom, I decide to start working on the road to the dwarven kingdom instead. Who says procrastination isn’t a great thing?

I can’t believe you fell for it! It’s the oldest trick in the book! C’mon, man!

God bless Mel Brooks.

Remember when I said, “Hey, posts aren’t going to be a bunch of pictures?”  Yeah…maybe more in the future…when I’m working on a building or a small section. Definitely not, however, when I’m still creating the infrastructure? I guess I need to say “There will be posts of ALL types: short, long, many pics, no pics, hairy, skinny, fat, etc…”

I decided that I’m going to take this bridge slowly. It’s freaking difficult to create the suspension rope parts because, and I don’t know if you realize this, but Minecraft is based around…blocks. Not rope. Anyway, here’s a progress update. I’m pleased.

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Moody bridge post. How romantic!


I would like to introduce a new section of the kingdom today.  If you head to the west of our kingdom and go over the bridge, one finds themselves on a road.  If you follow the road far enough, you may find what is left of the once proud dwarves and their home….yeah, I don’t have a name for this either. I’ll work on coming up with some names though.

I’m trying to find a way to blend wilderness in with some dwarven touches.  I think it’s definitely a good start, but I know I have a long ways to go.  Anyway, check out the pictures below.

Oh, I thought taking a mountain down was a pain… Boy, was I wrong!  I built quite a bit of a mountain today and I have decided that I like to take them down a whole lot better than I like putting them up.  Look at the section above the tunnel to see what I’m talking about.  I added quite a bit there to make it look more like one continuous landmass and I think that it turned out ok.

 

Note to self: Take screenshots during the day. Granted, the statue at night looks wicked sweet, but the rest are kinda….meh. It’s a learning process! Today’s lore deals with my awesome statue.

To protect themselves from harm, the dwarves prayed to the hero-god Garvog.  He stood strong at the entrance of the city as an invading army of orcs swarmed around the massive stone dwarves. Garvog was an entryway guard and the rest of his platoon had fallen to the impending orc army.  He retreated out of the open and instead fought in the entryway.  Forcing the orcs to deal with the bottleneck, Garvog struck down orc after orc until the pile of bodies reached so high that further assault was impossible.  Garvog planted his sword in the ground, surrounded by the bodies of 127 dead orc soldiers, and stood tall until reinforcements came.  Awestruck of his bravery and abilities, the other dwarven gods blessed Garvog and welcomed him to their side to serve as a protector and inspiration for all dwarves to follow.

Eh, it’s a start.  I totally have to admit that when I write this lore, I’m literally typing whatever comes to my head. Like, for reals. Whatever pops in gets typed.  So, if it’s rough, that’s why.

Did you notice that I came up with a name too? Garvog? Yeah! A name! Not sure if I like it or not, but I can always change it. But I used a name!