Daily Archives: January 17, 2017

Minecraft and the Long and Winding Road

Every big Minecraft project I take on eventually arrives at that point where I wonder if I have bit off more than I can chew.

Somewhere in my drafts folder I have a post about the various stages of every big project.  They include the initial optimism, vague goals, and the eventual smack in the face by reality when the actual scope of the work becomes clear.  Happens every time I take on something beyond simple structures.

All of which brings us to the latest road building project, which is my attempt to create a marked overland route from the mansion in the far north and the infrastructure of our core settlement.  I knew up front that this was going to be a long slog, made all the worse by some of the terrain I would have to cross.  Jungles are… well… jungles.  TNT goes a long way there, but you still have to clear the remains.

My thought was to try and mitigate the effort by simplifying things.  I wasn’t going to make a paves road or a railroad, but just a single stripe of cobblestone leading from the mansion back south to the nearest outpost on the great rail line.  Cobblestone is easy to find, you can even create it from a machine.

So I set out to build the road.  And I actually have made some decent progress.  It helped that I was sick one weekend and when I wasn’t napping all I did was sit at my desk, listen to audio books, and play Minecraft.  Building the road doesn’t require deep thought, just effort.  As a result I am about six kilometers closer to my destination.

Progress so far

Progress so far

North/South is measured on the Z axis in Minecraft, and for some reason North is negative.  That is the sort of thing I would expect from an Australian and not a Swede, but whatever.  The the value is the number of blocks from the initial spawn point and each block is 1 meter, so I have managed to build a little over six kilometers of road so far.

Actually, I am probably past the 8km mark due to a good deal of going East and West along the X axis in order to avoid terrain obstacles… like the minor sea I ran into just south of the mansion.  That required a wide detour, as did a mountain range that cropped up as well.  The idea was to follow an easy path through the world rather than fight the terrain by digging long tunnels through mountains or long bridges over water.

But winding around things takes a toll of its own, and I do still have quite a trek between my current position and the eventual goal.

Oh, yeah, that is quite a ways

Oh, yeah, that is quite a ways

Of course, in its way, this project is more about the journey than the destination.  Nothing gets you out and seeing the world better than having to scout the path ahead, finding landmarks, setting up forward bases, and tending to the most obstinate horse in existence.

He does this just to annoy me

He does this just to annoy me

I previously mentioned his apparent need to jump in the nearest body of water.

Earlier he was up a tree, now he's in a pond...

Aqua horse!

He is a very special horse.  It was suggested previously that I secure him on a lead. However about half the time I leave him thus secured I come back to find the lead on the ground and he has run off to find the most awkward position he could find.  I once dismounted on a bridge to fix something for just a moment and he immediately jumped off the bridge into the water.

I suspect by the end of this I will have to do a picture postcard post of all the places I have found him.

So when I end up at a base where I plan to spend some time collecting resources and building up supplied for the next road segment, I usually take a minute to fence in a patch to contain him.

Horse at my desert temple outpost... I found him some diamond armor there

Horse at my desert temple outpost… I found him some diamond armor there

The fencing usually keeps him in check, though occasionally he simply disappears.  I know he is in there, I bump into an invisible horse when I walk through his corral, I simply can’t see him or mount him.  The usual solution is to open the gates and let him wander out.  He seems to go visible as he leaves to make a run for the nearest water.

Anyway, the horse and I carry on building the road.