Stuck in a Rut…

Side project to attempt to find inspiration.

First of all, I must apologize.  Today’s post is a conglomeration of me procrastinating and messing around with the world.  I just couldn’t quite get into the flow of things. As the title suggests, I am stuck in a rut. Fun fact, that phrase reminds me of a Bernstein Bears book where Ma’ Bear’s wheelbarrow is stuck–you guessed it–in a rut and she uses that lesson to teach her daughter a lesson about breaking bad habits.

Weird. I know.

Anyway, back to my rut.  I’m pretty sure that I’m just over-thinking everything. I find that my stress from my real life and job tend to create these feelings and apprehension, but what can I do, right? If I wasn’t stressed about real life stuff, then I’m not adulting correctly.


Anyway, on to today’s project.  I built a road and a bridge! This road will connect the western gate to the dwarven kingdom.   This created the need for a bridge, so I created a real simple thing that I absolutely DESPISE. I hate it. I hate it with the white-hot intensity of one thousand burning suns. But, it’s easier to go back and edit things than it is to start fresh, right? Expect an update on this in the future, that’s for sure.

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I know. It’s hideous.

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From the sky, this doesn’t look too bad. I just wonder what inspiration will strike for this road. Sometimes, I get the weirdest thoughts that lead to the coolest things. Will this be one of them? You’ll just have to wait and see!

Ah! More Roads!

Working on Main Street, but this time, on the west side! Also, another book review…well, more like an author review.

 

Wow. Roads. Again.

I know, if I’m not excited about this post, why would you be, right? Well, I am excited, but more because of how this starts to tie everything together and less because it is a road. I mean, it IS the western branch of Main Street, so we’ll just jump in…to a book/author review first!

Jasper Fforde

This man is one part brilliant and 105 parts of the worst torturer known to humanity.  Jasper Fforde is a British author who has four or so series, but there are two particular series that I immensely enjoy.  Well, one and a half; more on that later.

Series Number One: The Nursery Crime series

Do you remember all of your fairy tales and nursery rhymes? Old McDonald? Old Mother Hubbard? Humpty Dumpty? In this series, they’re alive. Set in an alternate-England, Jack Spratt is a police officer who is in charge of investigating and policing all “nursery rhyme” type characters.  Not only does Fforde put some creative spins on old tales, but the sarcasm and snark are real and fantastic. There are currently two books out in this series: The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear.

Series Number Two: Shades of Grey

I use the term “series” very loosely. It’s only one book. The sequel was supposed to come out in 2012. Then 2013. Then finally 2015. At this point, I’ve given up multiple times on hoping the sequel would be published.  The first book, The Road to High Saffron, was fantastic. As a dystopian novel, this one sets the mood in a way that doesn’t make the reader insanely depressed like some other dystopian settings tend to do.

I read this book multiple times years ago, but the bitter taste of a cliffhanger consistently left me frustrated and wanting more.  The next book, a prequel actually, is allegedly slated for late 2018…we’ll see. Now excuse me, I’ll be updating all of my calendars in anticipation that this book actually will be released!


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Now onto Main Street!  This side presented a prickly situation (as discussed last time) that involved decreasing altitude.  I managed to find a descending pattern that I  thought looked decent but was left with a floating road.  There was only one thing left to do at this point: terraform the land for the next hour and change.  Eventually, I was left with something that looked realistic!

One cool thing that I’ll be able to do on this stretch will deal with the actual buildings.  These buildings will have multiple entrances at different heights, similar to walk-out basements. Look for more in the future!

The last addition today addressed yet another issue I had to deal with: how do I end this strip of road? On the eastern end, I simply had a massive wall gate there (that looks like garbage and needs a bunch of work), but I couldn’t do that here.  Also because of the layout of the ground and the walls, I wasn’t able to continue this road into the western district.  To be honest, I didn’t want it to either, it wouldn’t have looked correct.

I ended up deciding on stopping the west portion of Main Street at a majestic blue wool frame! Nah, just messing around. That blue wool frame would eventually become a glorious courthouse!  Regal, marble, and majestic, I think this could be a grand looking building.

Oh, and on the down-low, keep this between you and me, I’m planning on putting a jail near the courthouse. The jail would be more of a temporary holding place while people waited for their day in court and less of a long-term facility.  (Don’t worry, my undergrad degree dealt with law and society and such. I’ve studied jails for my degree, and even went on a field trip to one…weird, right?!)

Anyway, I’ve rambled.  The jail just happens to be conveniently located above the sewers. Secret exit, anyone? More on that in the future!

Don’t Stop Me Now!

Today is a continuation of the last post! Time to clean up and start fixing some parts of the new features in the eastern portion of the kingdom.

I am in love! Yes, my wife is amazing! It’s amazing how she encourages me to keep up with this crazy, silly idea. Between her and my brother, I feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such awesome people!

Sometimes, I’m convinced that the radio is secretly watching and listening to me.  As I’m riding this current good-vibe train, the song “Don’t Stop Me Now” starts playing.  Perfect song at the perfect time!  Now excuse me for a second while I go watch the clip of Shaun of the Dead where this song is featured. If you’ve never seen it or the movie before, check it out!


Ok, I’m back and focused! Super psyched and ready to go! In our first set of screenshots today, I’ve done my favorite thing ever: build roads.  No joke, I’m looking forward to a break from building roads.  Anyway, nothing special going on here. I’ve made some minor adjustments to the layout in a few places, but only by a few blocks or so.


This next section is PURELY experimental.  What happens here depends on how the waterfall section ends.  I’m modeling this area off of the portion over by the windmill, but the combination of the waterfalls and the bridge that crosses over them will determine what this area ends up looking like.


2017-05-18_22.05.37In wrapping up this last section, I’m once again blown away by this view.  It’s not even done, or close to being done, yet it’s already quite impressive.  Things to still to complete (that I can think of) in this section are:

  • Complete the waterfalls
  • Add a third building to the left of the pink outline
  • Build the small footpath bridge by the pink building
  • Build the larger bridge to the left in the picture above

Just some tweaks

Just a few little tweaks to the kingdom this time.

Inspiration has eluded me as of late. I decided that I’m going to put in a shanty town of sorts up against the north wall, but off of the main stretch of what will soon be stalls and shops.  It’s sad, but every place seems to have an area of slums of some sort… Or maybe I’m just reading some depressing books.

Two major tweaks today. The first, I tried to spice up the roads a little bit.  I think I like it…they’re kind of like gutters? It helps to define the edge of the road now, though, kind of like how you use a black Sharpie or crayon to outline your coloring? I’m going to need to look at this with a fresh set of eyes to be sure I like it.

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By the way, I looked at the stuff I did last time to see if I still liked what I did (refresher: dwarf stuff).  I think I need to add more to make it look better.  The statue might need some tweaking, however.


The second change that I made is that I finished the suspension ropes on my bridge.  When I added the second (middle sections, not the middle), I was pleased.  The last section that I added today….not so much? Curse you, Minecraft, for only doing blocks and half blocks! *angrily shakes fist* Nah, just kidding.  I’ll need to tweak it a bit.  I’m not ready to say “Yeah, this is cool!”

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No lore today. Maybe next time I could write some about the shanty town? We’ll see, I need to think on it.

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!

Let’s Play Catch Up Pt. Deux

Catch up post 2 of 3. This details some of the work I have done in the northern section of the kingdom.

Charlie Sheen is really weird. Charlie Sheen as a Rambo-esque character? Yeah, for some reason that almost passes as normal to me. Tiger Blood! Winning! What is wrong with me? #itwasafunnymoviethough

Today’s post is playing some catch-up.  I started playing this world quite a bit before I started this blog.  Luckily, I had been taking a bunch of screenshots, so here will be the dumping ground for my Northern Wall and Bridge.  In the future, it should be one screenshot at a time…Not a whole bunch at once.

I know it can be slightly overwhelming…There are quite a few pictures, but I put captions in and that makes everything better, amirite?  This is a look at the northern part of this kingdom.  I’ve put the rough sketch up for my wall and terraformed the surrounding land. Guys..mountains are a pain. Here are some thoughts for this place.

The nearby village and farmers set up stalls and have small shops located inside of the northern gate.  Every morning they haul their wares along the main road to set up shop for the day, eager to sell their trinkets and food to the city folk.  

In between the northern entrance and the bridge entrance lies the Grumpy Bear Inn, a local establishment known for its fine ale, upbeat music, and a really upset bear statue found within.  Humans and dwarves alike used to frequent this establishment after a long day of work before they depart the city for their respective homes.  

If you cross the bridge and travel to the west, you find yourself in a valley.  By traveling deeper into the valley, one can find the entrance to the dwarven city of **SOMETHING DWARFY** silhouetted by waterfalls and sheer cliff faces.  All used to be welcome, but now, the dwarves have shut themselves off from the rest of the world to tend to their wounds after the slaughter unleashed upon them.

Next post, we’ll check out the eastern edge of the kingdom as well as the location of the palace.  It’ll be much shorter because I’m playing less catch-up.  After that….it’ll be normal updates! Gasp! Ooh! Much wow!