Navarre: University

The University District of Navarre is complete. The goal for this district was to give the clerics, librarians, and cartographers a proper place to work. This district did not need easy access to water, and so it is built up on the hill, overlooking the rest of the city.

There are two roads that lead to the university. One is an extension of Market street, and the other is a new road coming from the agricultural district.

Gardens

Along each approach, the visitor is first greeted by gardens. On the market street approach, there are two circular gardens to either side.

On the agricultural district approach, there is a flower garden to the left and hedge maze to the right. The hedge maze is not lit up, so avoid it at night.

Birch Orchard

Around the backside, there is a birch orchard perfect for an afternoon stroll.

Covered Walkways

Before entering the university, there are covered walkways around it on three sides. These provide easy access to the different parts of the university, and are paved with gray glazed terracotta.

Foyer

Inside the first floor of the university is a large foyer area, with standing tables where people can gather. There is also a helpful cleric to answer visitors questions.

Classroom

On the same floor is the university classroom, staffed by a professor, complete with a chalkboard.

Courtyard

The courtyard contains more cared-for gardens, and a small pool.

Cathedral

The centerpiece of the university is the cathedral. The cathedral has rows of seating, chapels on either side, an altar at the front, and a nether portal behind it. At the back of the cathedral are stairs up to the map room and down to the university basement.

Chapels

Within the cathedral are small chapels lining each side.

Basement

Below the south end of the cathedral is the basement, where storage for the whole village currently lives.

Map room

Above the south end of the cathedral is the map room. A cartographer is here to show visitors around. A fully zoomed in 2×2 map shows the village area, and a 4×4 fully zoomed out map shows the whole world. In a smaller, lower room there is a 3×3 map that shows the greater area around Navarre.

Library

The library houses a full enchanting setup, and is staffed by two librarians. There is another staircase in the southwest corner leading down to the foyer.

Upper Walkways and Watchtowers

Around the library and cathedral are upper walkways, covered again. These walkways give great views of the surrounding gardens and the rest of the village. At the west end, these walkways provide access to the two watchtowers of the university.

The Excitement of Finishing

I’ve been working on Navarre for about eight months now, maybe nine. It’s a big project, by my standards: a full city, with a farming district, a market district, an industrial district, and a university district. All of that with a unifying theme, proper roads for travel between the different areas, placed into the terrain in a way that feels natural and makes sense. And villagers. Which are a pain to breed and move around.

I’ve completed three of the districts, and I’m wrapping up work on the university district now.

I almost quit a couple months ago.

Not in an obvious way. I wasn’t going to just drop the project. But I almost wrapped it up quickly by dropping my quality standards and moving the goalposts.

Why? Well, finishing is hard. Starting is fun, exciting, full of promise. Finishing properly means making hard decisions, maintaining your standards, and taking the time to do it right.

And because starting is fun, exciting, and full of promise, it’s easy to be lured away by the next new idea you have. I had two big ones, when it comes to my hobbies. And I’ve got a list a mile long of other projects to tackle at some point.

Meanwhile, I’m plugging away at Navarre. And as you do that, compromises are made, inevitably. I realized my full and complete vision was big, and would take time. Some of the work is a slog: collecting resources, mindless building, clearing land. It’s nowhere near as exciting as the vision I’ve built up of the next project I’ll tackle.

And that’s the point. My vision of the next project is just the cool stuff that will be done at the start. Not the hard slog that I’ll put off till the end.

And so it takes dedication and discipline to really finish.

That’s actually how I got through the slump.

Discipline.

I stuck with my daily work on Navarre. Sometimes I’d only spend a couple minutes, just to keep the momentum going. Sometimes I’d work on ideas in creative mode, other times I would mindlessly gather resources.

Watching progress happen, even slowly, sometimes at a snail’s pace, gradually brings back the excitement of starting.

No, scratch that.

The excitement of finishing.

It’s a different excitement. It’s not rushed, or overly passionate. It’s calmer, more purposeful, more directed and focused. It sees the goal line more and more clearly.

The excitement of finishing is more deliberate. Work slows, in part because the excitement isn’t as fiery. It also feels slower, even if it isn’t, because the work to finish is often the less interesting work. You may actually be going faster, but the work isn’t what attracted you to the project in the first place. If it had been, you would have done it first.

Sticking with it, without making it a slog, will bring back the excitement.

Because it actually is exciting to finish something. Way more exciting than fizzling out, dropping it to work on the next shiny project that has caught your fancy, and then looking back in six months with regret that you didn’t finish.

And then looking back in six years, realizing you haven’t finished anything and you’re stuck in the same place.

If you make finishing projects a habit, there’s no telling where you’ll be in six years.

Navarre: Market Street

All of market street is small shops that each sell just a few things. Each of them could be much larger, but my goal here was just to create a market, not a full service, detailed store for each product area.

Armory

The armory has some complete sets of armor on display, as well as various weapons hung around the walls.

Dye Shop

The dye shop is the smallest shop.

Produce Stand

The produce stand is open air, but covered, and has separate stalls for the many different types of produce that are available in the town.

Hardware Store

The hardware store is where you can by tools and redstone components. I went with a diagonal design for the store that worked out reasonably well.

In addition to the street itself, I’ve spent some time better connecting it to the farming district and reworking the crop farms to make that possible.

Navarre: Mushroom Hill Inn and Restaurant

The Mushroom Hill Inn and Restaurant is having its grand opening.

On the main floor are the kitchens, the restaurant, and the bar.

Above are four rooms providing comfortable lodging for visitors who are traveling through, with a shared bathroom. Three of them have small balconies, and one of the rooms is a suite with access to the large open air deck.

In the basement is a brewing station for drinks of all types. These are all created using the natural spring water that was originally found underneath mushroom hill. This water is said to give the drinks their unique taste and restoratory powers.

Outside, the inn has a small stable for traveler’s horses. It faces market street, giving visitors easy access to the shops of Navarre.

Navarre: Mill and Bakery

Navarre has the first building in it’s Market District: a bakery and mill.

The market district will be south of the agricultural district, between the lake and the stony hills that rise up further east.

The mill is placed down at the level of the river, and has a waterwheel that powers two mill wheels inside the building. These grind the wheat into flour for the bakery housed above the mill.

Because the bakery and mill are set on a hill, the mill open up on the river side, like a daylight basement.

Above the mill, on the main floor, is the bakery, with ovens, storage, a counter for display and sale of baked goods, as well as some produce available for customers. The bakery has a small amount of seating for customers, both on the main floor, as well as on a small raised area above the kitchen.

The bakery is decorated with paintings and has plants in the windows, as well as shutters.

On the south side of the building is a fence between the bakery and Market street. Beyond the bakery to the north, you can see the rest of Navarre.

Navarre: Industrial District

Originally, my plan for the industrial district was just two structures: a foundry for ore processing and the mine entrance itself.

The foundry has a forge, loose storage as well as chests, and a small furnace array for smelting.

Despite my original plan, the district already had two side projects that form a natural boundary between the agricultural district and the industrial district: a nether portal watchtower and a fishing shack.

And even with those, I felt there was something missing. So, I repurposed a stonecutter’s workshop from a previous world and built it across the road from the foundry.

I also added some natural decoration, with a grass path to the docks, and a small pond near the mine entrance.

Finally, my mineshaft has a simple design for now, though I do plan to improve it over time. I love building nice mineshafts.

Navarre: Nether Portal

Once I started on the industrial district, I realized I needed a place for my nether portal to move to, at least until I can build a proper portal room in the university district, later on.

Fortunately, there was some natural space between the agricultural district and the industrial district that needed to be filled to make the city feel natural.

Because I see the portal as something “otherworldly” in nature, it made sense to have it associated with the mystic/religious buildings in the university district.

I’ve started fleshing out what I want those to look like in my creative world, and decided to take some of the building idea to create a small “holy site” for the nether portal. I like to think of it as a roadside chapel, but it also doubles as a watchtower.

So, the nether portal chapel/tower is owned by the church, and for now it’s the only site of worship.

There is a simple piscina for washing of travelers, and an attractive glazed terracotta floor.

Above it is a lookout. While Navarre is not a fortified city, it does have lookouts so that wanderers can be seen and helped and to keep watch at night.

Navarre: Fishing Shack

This was a little bonus build I worked on while populating the farm and surrounding agricultural district. It’s quite simple. Just a shack housing two fishermen and a simple automatic fish farm. It sits on the edge of the lake, with a dock jutting into the water where fishing can be done, and with a few small boats nearby. The dock has a small covered section where you can fish while it’s raining or shaded from the heat of the sun. There is also a small yard where fishing poles and tackle are kept.

One challenge I gave myself was to use the acacia log blocks without letting any of the orange acacia wood show anywhere. The acacia bark is an awesome gray wood with a nice texture that really feels like weathered wood that would be used near water. But the orange doesn’t really fit with the style of my village. The roof is a little simpler than my other roofs – the same pattern but without any brick blocks, except the chimney, to give it a humbler feel. The foundation is stone brick with some mossy and cracked stone brick thrown in to give it that damp feel of stone near water.

Navarre: Agricultural District

Navarre’s agricultural district is done™. Well, at least it’s done for now, while I go work on other things. So, being done, it must be time to show it off. I already put up some pictures and thoughts about the centerpiece of the district, the barn. It hasn’t changed much, except that there are now farmhands working in it.

As you’ll see, there are villagers manning the rest of the agricultural district as well. I’m not totally certain the district is protected against zombie seiges, but until there are 20 doors in the village, those won’t happen. As for zombies getting in, I’ll have to make sure that the main gate is always closed at night, or I could lose my farmhands. I would use pressure plates to keep the gates closed, but that would let the villagers escape.

In addition to the barn itself, the agricultural district has a farm house, a tannery, cow fields and sheep fields, a small vegetable garden, larger crop fields, a pumpkin and melon patch, a flower garden, horse stables, and an entrance. All of this is built in and around a decorated farm yard, which is surrounded by a concrete and brick wall.

I’ve also done some terraforming outside the district itself and there is an attractive pond, with a stream that runs from it, around the crops and sheep fields, and eventually down to the lake.

So, let’s work our way through the district, starting with the entrance.

Entrance and wall

The entrance allows the village road to continue into the farmyard and up to the farmhouse. The wall surrounding the farmyard protects the villagers that care for the farms, the tannery, the horse stables, the farmhouse, and the grounds.

Farm yard

The farm yard has a vegetable garden, melon patch, and flower garden amidst the larger buildings.

Tannery

The tannery, next to the cattle field, is where a leatherworker tans the leather.

Barn

I already posted about the barn, but it now has a butcher caring for the pigs, a shepherd shearing sheep, and another up above storing the wool.

Horse stable

The horse stable was not originally going to be part of the farm yard, but since I started selling horses on the server, I figured I needed one.

Farmhouse

The farmhouse is the nicest building in the yard, and is my current base. When I move out I will decorate the interior accordingly.

Crop Fields

The Map

Finally, a map. You can see the entire agricultural district here, as well as a couple other buildings that will be featured once they’re done. Navarre now has the means to feed itself, so now it’s time to increase it’s wealth. Watch here for more updates as the village expands.

 

Navarre: Barn

The first real build that’s part of Navarre is the barn, the center of the agricultural district. It is a good example of the build style for the town and allowed me to start moving my temporary pens and crop farms from the vanilla village I started with. Now that it’s built, I love how it fits into the surrounding terrain.

Roof

As mentioned earlier, I started by throwing it together in creative. Building it again in survival required some changes, the most obvious one being the roof, which allowed for monster spawning on top. As you can see in the picture, I solved that by using stone buttons.

I wanted something that would be as unobtrusive as possible (if string could still prevent spawning, I would have used that), but once I put the buttons on, I had to admit that I loved the way it made the roof look.

Sheep Pens

The inside of the barn is divided into four areas. On one side of main level are four sheep pens that open up into a fenced sheep field south of the barn.  The pens have hay for food, and gates that can be closed to keep the sheep in the barn when shearing.

Chicken Coop

The opposite side of the main level is divided in two, and one half houses the chicken coop. It has an enclosed area where the chicken can keep and lay eggs, as well as an open area, with a gate to a smalled fenced pen outside that allows the chickens to wander a bit.

Pig Pen

The pig pen in the other half is a muddy pit where the pigs feel right at home. They also have a small outside area where they can bask in the sun.

Wheat storage

The second floor of the barn, accessible via ladders, is divided in two and provides long term wheat and hay bale storage, out of the rain. As befits a barn, there are no glass windows, but there are openings to allow a breeze to blow through.

Decorations

Finally, I’ve slowly been improving the decorations. I’m really happy with the floor of the barn, which is a mix of course dirt, jungle planks, and granite (I think of it as reddish gravel). After finishing the whole barn, I realized that a few well placed cobwebs would also improve the feel.