So I’m building an underground city (again) in High Meadow. Only this time it’ll be much much bigger than the one in Takenoko and hopefully bigger than the one I made several years ago in a long-lost vanilla saved game. I find doing the rough carving and planning in survival mode feels most natural. But in this case I’m able to go back in creative mode to smooth out the details and add a few decorative blocks that otherwise would take a lot of time and effort to build. It’s not cheating, it creative building?
As you can see we’re in a mine so there’s a lot of wooden structures already. For this city, we’re going with stone, oak wood, and a hint of marble in the richer districts. This night we concentrated on this main thoroughfare – so there’s no actual houses or shops yet.
First we lines out the central pool and lit up the area so we could see what we’re dealing with. (All this was still in survival so it was done by hand). We’re actually facing the entrance shown in the last picture (right by the spiderweb). So the bridge you saw above is the same as this bridge with the stone steps.
This was the final view before I flipped over to creative. I tried to take as many shots as I could from this angle once I realized I wanted to post it on my blog. Basically I widened the edges to the pool and created two bridges over the water pool.
Lighting is the main reason I decided to use creative. I just couldn’t get the torches to look right. I wanted this to kind of be a magical pearl of a city that supersizes folks with it’s sophistication when you arrive. Like when you dive deep underwater and come across a forgotten city. High Meadow’s topside is more “castles” and daily living, but this is a truly developed city.
I decided the cobblestone edging didn’t look right so that got removed and I added water to the pool so it would be level. (Another reason to be in creative, adding buckets and buckets of water would have taken quite a while.
When I found the dark outlined stone I knew I had the right complement to the smooth stone floors. It give the pool and “edge” without adding height to the walkway. I decided this design type signifies to the city folk that they are at an edge and to be cautious. You’ll see that more as we build up. Not all edges are safely filled with water. I also added the detailing to the lights and I really like how they grounded the light into the wall.
And decided to use that brick to bring the lights all the way to the top of the ravine. Eventually the city will be multi-leveled rather than just down here on the ground and I wanted the lights to help bring your eye up.
Next I turned my attention to the dark space behind the pool (pretty much right behind where I’m standing to take these pictures actually.) You go up a small staircase and this what what I found. I did a little initial shaping back when I was in survival mode. But it really took shape once I had the city feel down from the previous room.
Another pool of water (cuz nothing brings life into the darkness like water). And the now-iconic lights reaching up. I also went for a cool “fountain” of stone in the center heading up.
Flying is a very useful skill to have in this kind of building and allowed me to build some very interesting features I wouldn’t have normally done. Like the fountain. Normally I would have stopped it – but in a city like this, the upper levels shouldn’t lose out just because they’re not on the floor.
Now that I was on a roll, I turned my attention to the space behind the stone fountain.
There’s actually several levels of crisscrossing ravines here. (Paradise in my book!) The wooden bridge here leads over another ravine that starts about here and heads right. The top of that ravine is level with the pool here. Multi-level and multi-directional, I’m in heaven.
For this kind of work, I have a pattern I follow. I stand back and figure out what I wanted to add next – then fly forward and add it, then fly back to see how it looked from a distance. Then, I’d either adjust what I saw, figure out the next feature, or if all is well, move deeper – lighting with torches to see what the new area looks like.
Often I’d do something new deeper in and then pull out to add it to something I’d already worked on. It makes for a slow, but fun process. Often a new angle will inspire a new feature. The cross lights next to the bridge here were added to next to the stairs leading up to the hear.
The little red ‘x’ you see in the previous picture shows where I died back when I was in creative. Monsters might be turned off, but the spider spawner still worked and I wasn’t prepared for that. I beat the first spider to death with my pickax, but as I was still working to brighten the spawner up a second spider finished me off. I like building in creative mode – despite the death – it adds to the sense of achievement at the end. But there’s no way this area would have looked anything like this if I hadn’t changed my game mode. In creative, you have unlimited blocks and can fly.
I love it when I can embrace happy accidents. This area already had a pretty large marble vein and when I saw how well it looked with my other stone choices, I decided to see how far it could go. We are facing the same direction as the previous image, but we are much higher up in the ravine. You can “just” see the sawtooth edge of the stone fountain. What looks like the floor in the distance is really the second level of that room.
I made the ceilings and floors marble, and then when I backed out to look back at what I’d created, I decided a bit of the walls would work in marble as well. Lastly, I created a path to reach this top overlook from another bridge. I really like how the plain marble looks with this texture pack.
Some final shots now from different angles.
Back at the stone fountain looking towards the marble district. (The upper wooden bridge in the middle of the image is what we were standing on for the last shot.) I did eventually replace all those ugly cobblestone stairs with brick stairs which helped bring out the dark edgings of the other stone.
Standing with our back to the stone fountain looking down on our first building project.
By now it was late, but I suffer from “one more block” syndrome and wanted to start working on the upper level of our first room. So keep this image in mind as the first step view of what I’ll tackle next. I merely set the edges for the level so there’s a lot of clearing and smoothing to do.
My plan is to get the main runways of the ravines (there’s another ravine that this one runs into if you continue forward so that’s at least three of them for this city) set up before building the actual districts and houses in the walls. We’ll see how that goes.
Oh – one final image. This was another inspiring location that I’ll be integrating into the city once it’s found. I was going to start my city building here, but it wasn’t on one of the ravines and, more importantly, I couldn’t find it again. (Also the new place is much bigger).
This is the type of view that just makes me itch and want to start carving.
I’m playing minecraft on AKiss4Luck’s minecraft server. Be sure to check out her youtube or twitch channels. She plays sims, minecraft, city building games, skyrim, and much more. Plus she is a wonderful person. You won’t regret watching her! I know I haven’t.