Minecraft and Dungeon Making

The other day on our Minecraft server I mentioned to Xyd that one of the things the game really needs is the ability to carry a lit torch to provide light.  That ability would really allow one to get a real dungeon-like feel.

And yes, I know that there are a number of Bukkit compatible mods (which means they will work with the Spigot server I am running on our hosted world), but I am a little down on the mod idea after playing with one over the weekend and ending up having some problems afterwards.  Also, which one to choose?  But that is beside the point right now.

The torch idea came up because I had discovered my first actual dungeon in Minecraft, pretty much underneath where I had started my new base.  It was a pretty cool find for me.  I moved through the corridors searching for whatever treasures the place might hold.

In a dungeon... torches added by me

In a dungeon… torches added by me

I did find a chest, though there was not much of interest inside of it.  Of more interest was the mob spawner and the end portal that lay behind it.

This is the end... or the way to get to the end...

This is the end… or the way to get to the end…

I had to call my daughter over to identify what I had found, and she was suitably impressed.  The end portal, once activated with enderman eyes, will send you to The End where you fight the Ender Dragon.   My daughter described this as the end game for Minecraft, and not just because of the over use of the word “end” in conjunction with the whole thing.

She actually described slaying the Ender Dragon as “game over,” though she clarified that was more a metaphorical than literal statement.  I was worried that the game, and the associated world, might shut down or otherwise be done.  But it is more the ultimate PvE combat achievement in the game, and she went on about how I we would have to equip ourselves in order to face the challenge of the Ender Dragon.

That challenge is out in the future currently.  I am not prepared… yet.

However, the whole dungeon thing was interesting in and of itself.  It suffered from the defects one often associates with procedurally generated, with oddly placed doors, holes in the floors, and other awkward aspects.

Not sure this room came together quite right...

Not sure this room came together quite right…

And then there was the whole library in the air part I found, which I was later told was an indicator that an end portal was nearby.

Tough place to store books

Tough place to store books

Of course I found the portal first and the library much later on, because that is how these things tend to go with me.

But it was still pretty neat and got me thinking about dungeons in general, and table top dungeons laid out on graph paper from the days of my youth in particular.

Minecraft, being all blocks, seems perfect for the translation of graph paper dungeons into something of a 3D rendered video reality.  So I started wondering what I could use as a model.  In digging around my office, the first thing I came across was my well beyond 30 year old maps from the original WizardryThey look something like this, just not quite as neat:

The first level

Wizardry: Proving Ground of the Mad Overlord – Level 1

So on my list of projects for the game is to see how practical it would be to dig out a map of the game so I could walk through it.  There is a question of scale.  Since doors are one block wide, it looks like I might need to make corridors three blocks across, with walls a single block wide.  There will definitely be a bit of conversion work to get the scale of the game to translate, but since everything is on a grid, it seems like I could manage that.

Maybe if I get that work I can find my copy of The Howling Tower and try converting that.

Which makes me wonder again about mods.  In addition to the torch mod, has anybody done a server mod that lets you take a map… made up in creative mode for ease of generation… that can be used to then play Dungeons & Dragons or some other role playing game?

Meanwhile, I should look into a torch mod… once our server is running again.  A note from Xyd seems to indicate that something has gone wrong at NetherByte.  We were both on fine last night, this morning he reports that things are not working.

6 thoughts on “Minecraft and Dungeon Making

  1. TheGreatYak

    There are challenge maps for download (many for vanilla minecraft) that are essentially dungeon runs.

    There’s also a tool to convert your Dwarf Fortress embark and fortress into a minecraft map, I don’t know if that tool is still maintained…


  2. harperbc

    Using a custom renderer can let your hand held torches give of light (many of them do at least). I just started playing with them for the first time this week. I actually went out to Netherbyte and picked up server for our family based on your post about them recently (side note “Instant setup” for me took about 13 hours, meh).
    While I don’t suggest the “motion blur” renderer he uses, this is a good tutorial about how to install and use them and the non-motion blur version of the renderer he uses is nice.

    I’ve been using the Soartex Invictus shader and texture pack. It’s nice and clean.

    You should also check out this overview map generator for Minecraft. Then we could actually see your map. :)


  3. Nathan Morton

    I was the same way about mods as you, then I found launchers that let me pretty easily mod my local games. Look at ATL or FTB. and if I want to play vanilla Minecraft I just don’t use the launcher!

    Also, regular iron armor + bow + arrows are really enough to beat the ender dragon if you’re willing to have a few deaths during setup.


  4. .xyd

    That map generator looks cool @harperbc! I may give that a go tonight on one of my maps.

    Converting the old Wizardry maps to MC is actually a pretty fun idea. You could probably create it completely within one of your castles. Since there is a certain server that is down *cough* I may tinker with that idea in a creative world.

    Strongholds are great fun and the ender dragon is fun as well. I encourage you to actively avoid receiving any advice/guidance on taking on the dragon and tackle it for yourself. Half the fun for me was developing my strategy for the fight. For the three times I’ve tackled the dragon I haven’t actually killed him — my son has landed the killing blow all three times. Great fun for a 7 year old.

    As for mods, I’m a bit of a purist so I have more-or-less avoided mods for my own maps. My son, however, has his set of faves. He loves the Lucky Block mod. And don’t get him started on the Pokemon mod.


  5. Whorhay

    That is some incredible luck, to find a Fortress right near your base. I’ve been playing on and off for years and never actually found one. I haven’t put much effort into trying to find one, but I haven’t lucked across any either in my extensive mining career.


  6. zaphod6502

    “As for mods, I’m a bit of a purist so I have more-or-less avoided mods for my own maps. My son, however, has his set of faves.”

    I am a purist too but there are a couple of mods I use on Minecraft purely for the beautiful shaders and increased texture detail:

    GLSL Shaders Mod 2.4.12 for 1.8
    Link 1 – http://www.minecraftforum.net/forums/mapping-and-modding/minecraft-mods/1286604-shaders-mod-updated-by-karyonix
    Link 2 – http://shadersmod.net/version-1-8/

    ASM 5.0.3 Installer for Minecraft (required for GLSL 2.4.12) – https://www.dropbox.com/s/icr2vgtr9gw9ktf/install-asm-all-5.0.3-for-minecraft.jar?dl=0

    SEUS 10.2 Ultra Preview 1 – http://sonicether.com/shaders/download/v10.2Preview1Ultra/

    I am also using the Chroma Hills 128x 1.0.10 texture pack – http://www.chromahills.com/forum/downloads.php
    This is compatible with 1.8. I like this pack as it gives a good balance between detail whilst still maintaining the classic Minecraft look and feel.

    Note all of these mods are purely for the visual aspect of MC and do not alter the base code. They do require the 1.8 version though (eg. you can’t use them with 1.8.8). Once you start using shaders with Minecraft it is very difficult to go back to the vanilla graphics. :)


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