It has been almost a week since I started to play Minecraft. During this time, I've probed the depths of my randomly generated maps, holed up in shoddy shacks in fear of skeletons, and mined several caves of their iron, gold, and redstone deposits.
Of all my experiences with Minecraft, I've found that nothing gives me more satisfaction than building something in the game. A finished structure, which you have constructed by your own hands, can only be made after detailed planning, tremendous amounts of care when placing items, and a lot of effort. There's nothing the wild creatures of Minecraft can do to destroy your precious architecture — they stand as a testament to your hard work.
So until I stumble across those precious diamond deposits, I'll continue to expand my ego in the form of different architectural wonders that defy both logic and gravity. Allow me to share some of my work with you.
My first cave
Here is my first home, carved into the dirt hill near the beach. Initially, it wasn't very impressive, but I slowly renovated like a home owner obsessed with the Home & Garden television network.
The simple stone blockway gave way to a quaint wooden door, and later, a glass window was installed A nice little fence to keep out most monsters was added, but, after one creeper too many, I replaced the dirt entirely with cobblestone to reinforce it against explosions.
This tower — constructed with the help of several ladders which I later removed — was made to be a bright beacon in the darkness. The lighting system is sophisticated enough that even at night, one can easily spot this structure far off in the distance.
The very top is home to several torches, which act as beacons. The extra torches lower on the tower were put in later to increase visibility for when the local trees would obscure the higher portions.
The ladders were removed because they didn't quite fit, but it was quite a feat to remove the pieces while I was actually still using them.
The maps in Minecraft are randomly generated, and every now and again, you'll be spawned into a map in which it is snowing.
An igloo isn't a very efficient home to build. You need four snowballs to craft a snowblock, and the rate at which you need to shovel snow piles, your tools wear down very fast. If you so much as bump your snow walls with your tools, you'll find a very unappealling hole in your wall. The roof is constructed of stone simply because of how much work it is to craft more snow blocks.
The fence is my favorite part, though.
Pictured above is a very simple bridge. This doesn't mean that building a bridge is easy. The wider the gap gets, the more difficult it becomes to build a bridge. Luckily, as gravity doesn't affect most blocks, you can easily begin slapping blocks onto one side and begin to span the gap.
This is a natural spring I came across while underground. I decided to build this bridge in order to cross over faster. The suspended stone chandelier was an idea I got when watching a video that starred one of Machinima's most avid Minecraft directors, SeaNanners.
Man-made water sources
It's difficult to see due to the angle, but pictured above is a waterfall that begins out of thin air.
Anything involving water instantly becomes an interesting exercise in Minecraft. In order to manipulate water, you need to craft a metal bucket. With this, you can pick up a water block and drop it anywhere. It's not a finite source but rather a block of water that becomes the source for a river or waterfall.
Once you've got your water source in place, there are all sorts of interesting man-made water structures you can make, such as pitfalls, elevators, and water slides.
Skylights are pretty much my favorite useless things to build. Building one is pretty self-explanatory, with the exception that when you break glass, you break it for good. No glass cubes are dropped for you to reuse, so you have to be sure of your placement.
Skylights give you a great view of the time of day outside, as well as way to keep an eye on the mobs wandering around your property. Best of all, it's easy to make: Harvest some sand and throw it right into your furnace.
Ports and docks
These are some of my biggest endeavors. This was built on my third generated map (I had to regenerate maps because snowing maps freeze all surface water and make a port and dock impossible to make.)
This monstrosity is three floors. It includes a roof, balcony, ladders, windows, lighting, and a dock complete with boat! It's still a work in progress as I have plans to make it into a full-fledged port: A red brick utility shed, portmaster's desk, wave breakers, and even a custom-built schooner are on the horizon.
As always, be sure to take a gander at my blog or twitter! Hey! I've graduated so what else am I gonna do? Work? Ha! (Oh God dammit all…)