New Lusitania: The Embassy

The New Lusitania Embassy is the face of New Lusitania to the rest of the world. As such, it is at the capitol city for the ChickenPieCraft server.

While blending into the city well, it also has a distinctly Lusitanian style that alludes to the Palace that the pigmen have built in their home country.

The embassy is staffed by four pigmen: the ambassador, a clerk, and two guards. They are tasked with managing diplomatic relations with the other nations of ChickenPieCraft, processing and protecting pigmen asylum seekers who wish to find safety in New Lusitania, and sharing the best of Lusitanian culture with the wider world.

As with any embassy, the New Lusitania embassy has a protective fence to ensure the safety of the Lusitanian citizens as well as asylum seekers. Behind the fence, but outside the building itself, are decorative sculptures mixing glazed terracotta, stone, iron, and plant life.

Inside the main level of the embassy, visitors can see great art from the Lusitanian empire, as well as a full sized map of the empire on one wall.

On the second floor is the embassy library, the ambassador’s office, and a prayer porch, where Lusitanian worshipers can render their praises to the Fire.

On the top floor are the embassy gardens, a quiet place to enjoy the beauty of nature, and also to enjoy a view of the capitol city.

New Lusitania: Tree Farm

New Lusitania is an industrial empire. As such, there is an entire district devoted to large scale farming, production, and manufacturing. In addition to the iron factories, and the wheat and sugar cane farms, the pigmen of New Lusitania have built an automatic tree farm.

Construction of the farming factory began months ago, following a design created by ilmango. After weeks of work, initial testing on the farm began, but those tests showed that the farm had not been built to specifications. After a few attempts to understand what had gone wrong, work on the farm ceased as other priorities came up.

Once manpower became available, the pigmen returned to work on the farm, this time using a new tool, Schematica, to ensure that the farm matched the blueprints provided.

This allowed initial testing to pass, and also further construction on the farm’s blast chamber and collection mechanism

Although each of these failed initial testing as well, use of Schematica allowed the team to diagnose and fix the problems.

Although functional, work on the farm is not yet complete. At this point, while it is a great benefit to the empire as it produces wood at astounding rates, it remains and eyesore. Interior and exterior designers will be commissioned to properly house the factory in a way that will allow future factories (cobblestone and others) to use the existing blast chamber and collection area.

New Lusitania: Wheat (and Iron) Farm

The second iron farm that the pigmen of New Lusitania have built follows the same pattern as the first. It is guarded by four pigmen, just as the first is, but instead of having a stone quarry beneath, it houses the wheat farm for New Lustiania.

A single villager has been forced to plant and harvest wheat, while a minecart hopper system beneath collects the wheat for use in breeding villagers and cows.

 

At this time, the villager occasionally dies to a zombie. Though the wheat farm itself is safe from zombies that come from outside, when they die, they can occasionally spawn a “reinforcement zombie” somewhere nearby. These will sometimes spawn inside the wheat farm and then attack and kill the villager. Someday, a pigman may come along who will solve this problem, but for now, they just don’t care enough about the life of individual villagers…

New Lusitania: Survival Beyond

Aidan, the Pig Who Returned From Beyond, now took the Ore of the World beyond and hardened it with Fire. He crafted a stone sword and a leather helmet and gave them to Brand, the Pig Brought From Within. And He set the Pig to work. The Pig learned to dig the earth, to cut the wood, to build fences and walls and roofs. To corral the animals and care for them. To farm the land and grow the crops.

Aidan, the Pig Who Returned From Beyond, now took the Ore of Fire and purified it. He crafted a golden sword and helmet and gave them to Brand, the Pig Brought From Within. And He set the Pig to work. The Pig learned to fight, and to defend himself. To wield a sword and shield, a bow and arrow. To kill the beasts of the caves, of the plains, of the water, of the air.

Aidan, the Pig Who Returned From Beyond, now took the Ore of Blood and set it ablaze to create iron. He crafted an iron sword and helmet and gave them to Brand, the Pig Brought From Within. And He set the Pig to work. The Pig learned to mine, to smelt, to work the ore and use the metal to build stronger tools that lasted longer. To plan out large projects, construct large buildings, and organize the world.

Aidan, the Pig Who Returned From Beyond, now took the Ore of Ice, beautiful and cold. He crafted a diamond sword and helmet and gave them to the Brand, the Pig Brought From Within. And He set the Pig to work. The Pig learned to lead others, to inspire them. To create an empire. To reach out to other nations in peace and in war. To decide who would live and who would die.

Aidan, the Pig Who Returned From Beyond, now looked upon Brand, the Pig Brought From Within. He saw that Brand was a good Pig, strong and wise, just and merciful. Aidan saw that His work in the World beyond was complete, and He left Brand to rule over Lusitania.

New Lusitania: Marked by Fire, Touched by Lightning

The Pig Who Returned From Beyond looked upon the World within and saw that He was alone. The pigs beyond had been so changed by the Cold that they were no longer fit companions for the Pig. The pigs within were content, warm, and stupid. And so the Pig Who Returned From Beyond desired that others might see as He could see, know as He could know, and work as He could work.

The Pig brought some pigs from beyond through the Door to the hot World within. But the pigs were accustomed to the cold, to rooting in the Ore. In the world within they burned and perished. Then, the Pig brought some pigs from within to the World beyond. Most showed no new signs of life. They wandered in the cold World beyond until it swallowed them up. But some seemed determined to root, to grow, to grasp, to hold. They saw the pigs beyond and a Fire came into their eyes.

The Pig Who Returned From Beyond took the first of these to His home. This Pig Brought From Within saw His books, but could not read them. It saw that the Pig Who Returned From Beyond would speak, but it could not understand Him. It saw Him build a torch and create Fire.

The Pig Who Returned From Beyond knew that the Pig Brought From Within would need to have its eyes opened, its mind enlightened, its hands put to work. To do this, the Pig planted a seed from the World beyond. The seed grew until it became a Gourd. The Pig carved holes in the Gourd and placed the Gourd upon the head of the Pig Brought From Within.

The Gourd granted sight to the blind, for the pig looked through the holes and saw the World beyond for the first time. He listened and heard the Pig Who Returned From Beyond speaking, and as he spoke, the pig understood the words. He watched as the Pig crafted a torch, and set it ablaze, then he did the same, crafting a torch and watching it burn.

The Pig Who Returned From Beyond looked upon the Pig Brought From Within and loved him. He gave the Pig Brought From Within a name, and the name He gave him was Brand, for Brand had been marked by the Fire, touched by Lightning.

And Brand, the Pig Brought From Within, looked upon the Pig Who Returned From Beyond and loved Him, for He had given Brand the gift of sight, of knowledge, of work. He gave the Pig Who Returned From Beyond a name, and the name he gave him was Aidan, for Aidan was Fire, father of Brand.

As they named each other, they each took a Gourd and filled it with the torch they had crafted. They placed their lighted Gourds in the borders of Lusitania, to burn bright through all their days in the World beyond.

 

New Lusitania: The Creation

The pigmen of New Lusitania have passed down the story of the Creation for generations.

In the beginning there was Fire. The Fire was All Things: Good and Bad, Light and Dark, Hot and Cold, Life and Death, Sea and Air and Ore, Pig and Beast. The Fire was Chaos.

At the heart of the Fire, a Pig spawned. The Pig looked upon the Fire and the Light separated from the Darkness, the Heat separated from the Cold, the Sea and the Air and the Ore spread forth and filled the World. Even beyond, the Fire burned, but cooler. And then colder. The Pig spread with the Fire and filled the World.

At the heart of the Fire, a Beast spawned. The Beast looked upon the Fire that had separated and hated it. The Beast loved only the Fire and wanted to become One with the Fire, after all things had become One with the Fire. And so the Beast sought to destroy all that had come from Fire, with Fire. To melt it down, to burn it up. The Beast reached into the depths of the World, and spread to the furthest reaches beyond it. The Beast separated and took on many forms, all of which sought to destroy and consume.

The Pig was in the World, and the Pig knew it not. The Pig was beyond the World, and the Pig knew it not. The Pig looked without understanding, saw without knowing.

And the World changed. The Sea spread out below. The Air filled the space. The Ore bounded the World and separated the Air within from the Air beyond, the Sea within from the Sea beyond. The Sea and Air within were Hot. The Sea and Air beyond were Cold. The Ore within was soft and rich. The Ore beyond was hard and brittle.

The Pig within the World was warm, safe, at peace. The Pig beyond was hungry, naked, and poor. The Pig within basked in the constant glow of Fire. The Pig beyond felt it only distantly, only sometimes. The Pig within ate Gold, the Ore of Fire. The Pig beyond rooted amidst the crumbled, broken Ore for food, but nothing like the Gold within. Over time, the Pig within grew content, lazy, unambitious. The Pig beyond cowered in the Cold, a shadow of the glory within.

The Beast hated the Pig, because the Beast hated all that had spawned from Fire, even itself. The Beast saw that the Pig had separated. The Beast was clever and wanted to consume the Pig within and the Pig beyond. To do so, the Beast used the Fire of Lightning to teleport a Pig within to beyond the world. And to teleport a Pig beyond to within the world.

via GIPHY

The Beast was pleased, for the Pig from beyond came within the World, and burned. The Pig from beyond was consumed.

But the Pig from within, who went beyond, was not. The Pig Who Went Beyond knew the warmth of Fire. The Pig Who Went Beyond could not speak with the Pigs beyond, for they had lost their speech. But they huddled close to the Pig Who Went Beyond, keeping the Pig warm through the cold night. The Pig Who Went Beyond had compassion on the other Pigs beyond. He brought Fire to the Pigs beyond.

And he learned from the Pigs beyond. He learned to work. He learned that food could be found amidst the Ore. He crafted tools to break the brittle Ore beyond. He fashioned boats to cross the cold Sea beyond.

The Pig Who Went Beyond longed for the World within. He tried to dig through the Ore to reach the World within. The Pig Who Went Beyond dug deeper into the Ore, traveled further across the Sea, climbed higher into the Air. The Pig Who Went Beyond was no longer the safe, lazy Pig from within, nor the cowering, cold Pig beyond.

The Pig Who Went Beyond fought with the Beast. And the Beast knew him not. The Pig Who Went Beyond crafted weapons and armor from Ore and Fire. He and the Beast fought in the Ore below. They fought in the Sea. They fought in the Air.

Deep in the Ore, after many battles, the Pig Who Went Beyond found the hot Sea. Using a bucket, he mixed the hot Sea with the cold Sea. The Sea became hard, harder than any Ore. The Pig Who Went Beyond could look into the Hard Sea and feel the Fire, a purple Fire, a new Fire. With a stone and some iron, the Pig called forth the Fire and crafted from it a Door from the World beyond to the World within.

The Pig Who Returned From Beyond found that he was no longer like the Pigs within. He was not content in the safe, warm world. But he was not safe in the cold beyond the World. And He could travel between the two using the Door.

The Pig Who Returned From Beyond took others beyond, but only some were like the Pig, touched by the Fire of Lightning. Those joined with the Pig and built in the new World, the World Beyond. And they named their land Lusitania.

New Lusitania: The Pigman Empire

New Lusitania is something I’ve been trying to build since first setting up a family server for me and my sons to play Minecraft. But the seeds go back to my first ever Minecraft world. I spawned on an island with no food. Not understanding boats, I dug down till I found an abandoned mineshaft (lucky!), got some string, and started fishing. Once I felt I had enough food, I set forth in a boat, went straight north and ran into a savanna. So my first real base was in a savanna biome.

Anyway, months later, I set up the family server. I helped my boys get a spawn city going, and then we each ventured forth to create our own bases. After a bit of exploration I settled on a savanna island northeast of spawn.

The island was initially populated by a whole herd of pigs. My daughter loves pigs and so I decided to make the island a haven for pigs. Of course, in Minecraft that means it should also be a haven for zombie pigmen. So I began to build my base, thinking it would eventually become an island with a proper palace for the pigmen to live in, and pigs themselves would be protected pets, possibly worshiped by the inhabitants.

I even named a few pigmen that spawned from my nether portal and set them aside to populate the island as I built things up. Unfortunately, my kids lost interest in the family server before I got very far, and I burned out on Minecraft for a couple months.

When I came back, it was to play hardcore solo games.

After a couple failed attempts at hardcore, I tried one with large biomes. I slowly built up a small home in the large savanna biome where I spawned. It ultimately became the first hardcore world in which I beat the Ender Dragon, and later defeated a Wither as well. Before eventually losing interest in hardcore I had built myself a gold farm in the overworld, and once again had zombie pigmen spawning in my savanna build.

Later, while playing with Iberia, I respawned once in a savanna with a village next to the ocean. Over time, I started building it into a beautiful little town, by limiting myself and slowly fleshing out all of the buildings a proper town would need. Though I didn’t think to resurrect my idea of a pigman village at the time, I once again found I enjoyed building in the open landscape a savanna provides. Eventually I died, and in Iberia that means losing my build until I could stock back up and do some serious exploring. So a third attempt at savanna building was abandoned.

Full Album

But by this time, the idea of a Pigman Empire sprawling across a large savanna biome had captured my fancy. It lets me tell a story about why villagers are trapped and kept as bait for iron golems that are instantly killed. You see, the zombie pigman empire is a martial one, built on the oppression of villagers, who are kept as slaves. Some are forced to trade, others are used in iron farms, still others are forced to breed more villagers.

I wanted to do it right, and I wanted to share it with others who could appreciate it properly (sorry, kids). So when an SMP server I had played on a while back decided to reset (Hi ChickenPieCraft friends!), I knew that it was time for the Pigman Empire to be born. I also knew it needed a name, so I adopted the name “Lusitania” from Speaker for the Dead (a book about an alien race of pig-like creatures who live in a world that is essentially a large savanna).

I didn’t want the idea to fizzle out, or for me to get burned out, so I knew I needed to approach it differently. Documenting the progress in the blog is part of that. Playing on an SMP server is part of that, both so that I have a small audience, and also so that I can take advantage of the farms that others build to not have to grind as much. Fleshing out a bunch of different ideas up front was part of that. But also taking breaks as needed. Breaks like building the witch farm. There will be others as I go, which is another benefit of playing multiplayer.

New Lusitania is still a small empire. It has a protected iron farm, a stone quarry, a sugar cane farm, a nether hallway branch, an almost complete automatic tree farm, a wheat farm, and the outer structure of a palace. There is still a ton to build: the main village, two+ more iron farms, a port on the south side of the island, barracks, fleshing out the palace inside and out, gardens, a dense savanna forest, a proper mine, a cow farm, and much more. It will also have an embassy building at the server city.

Stay tuned and I’ll work to give more regular updates on the progress.

New Lusitania: Nether Hallway Branch

New Lusitania has a branch of the north nether hallway that leads to it’s own nether hub. While the hub itself is a work in progress, the nether hallway has been completed and decorated. As with other nether transport there is a rail line, as well as a covered ice runway.

The hallway is decorated using materials from New Lusitania: acacia wood, stone, leaves and grass.

The trees along both sides are randomly spaced, and the ground is leaves along the track and covered with grass, ferns, and acacia saplings on the edges.

Pigmen technically can spawn along the edge of the hallway, but the adults are trapped.

While building the hallway, the biggest threat nearby lava blocks starting the wood or leaves on fire. Rather than digging out a very large area around the hallway, leaves were placed along the route before actual construction began to detect the location of lava and take care of it before the full hallway was constructed and vulnerable.

Lighting is taken care of with end rods above the trees. It is almost invisible, and, though filtered through the leaves, it keeps the hallway well lit.

New Lusitania: Iron Farm and Stone Quarry

The pigmen have conquered the land and named it New Lusitania. They have enslaved the villagers and trapped them in a prison that they use to summon iron golems for all of their iron building needs.

Four pigman guards watch over the prison, which has guard towers at each of the corners.

Below the farm is an open area, with stairs that lead down to the stone quarry.

The stone quarry is the main source for the stone used to build the palace, and has a protected spiral stairway down to the lowest level quarried out.

Future plans

Eventually, there will be some toolsmith villagers in the stone quarry, guarded over by more pigmen, working to mine out the stone.

 

Iberia 2: Multiplayer

The first release of Iberia was not designed with the multiplayer experience in mind. Many of the original challenges just didn’t make sense when you tried to play multiplayer. Sleep to Heal is great in a single player world, but in multiplayer it can be difficult to get everyone to sleep so that you can heal. Find Your Way is a nice challenge, but really only worked because the world spawn was continuously moving, so compasses would point to your last respawn point. If that happened in a multiplayer world anybody could just go find the latest player to die by following their compasses and bring them back to civilization. So that wrecked Death With Consequences, which didn’t really extend to multiple players on it’s own anyway. At least hard stone and armor slowing crafting are fundamentally single player in a way that still works fine with multiplayer.

So, Iberia 2 is all about designing something that makes sense when you’re playing with friends. Except for hard stone, all of the challenges have been rethought.

Before I dig into the details, though, here’s an awesome mod review that JSQ made:

Armor

Let’s get armor out of the way first. Iberian armor is now more than just an annoyance when trying to craft or open chests. That drawback has been toned back to fit into a bigger story: armor has purposes in Iberia 2, which will give you a reason to wear types of armor other than just iron (early game) and diamond (late game).

Leather armor is a great all around armor without any drawbacks, except that it offers fairly light protection. On the opposite end of the spectrum is diamond armor. In addition to slowing crafting access (but not chest access), diamond armor will slow you down when using axes, pickaxes, and shovels, it will make you trample crops when walking on them, and prevent you from placing blocks when jumping or falling.

Iron only has some of these drawbacks, and chain has even less, giving you a reason beyond aesthetics to wear chain armor.

Finally, gold armor is ceremonial. As such, it slows you down. But it’s also necessary to unlock enchantment levels above 22. Each piece of golden armor you’re wearing will unlock 2 more enchantment levels, up to the max of 30.

None of that is specifically multiplayer, but armor needed a reworking from Iberia 1.

Spawn

So now, to the multiplayer aspects of Iberia 2. It’s impossible to talk seriously about sleep, healing, and navigation without first discussing spawn. In Iberia, everyone spawns separately. So, on a new server with Iberia, the first player to join will spawn one place, the next one 1000+ blocks away, the next one 1000+ blocks from there. Because the direction is always random, it’s very possible for two players to spawn near each other, but for the most part, when you join a server you won’t be near anyone. You’ll be alone.

This immediately adds a new objective to the game. Alongside building a base, enchanting your armor, defeating the Ender Dragon, and getting a beacon, you can now work to explore your world to find others. In single player Iberia, the only reason to do that was to find your old bases. And you’ll still respawn in a completely new place when you die, giving you a completely new start. But in multiplayer, you also explore to find other players. You have a reason to explore beyond just finding a few rare biomes or trying to find the perfect location for a base. Now you could stumble upon the amazing build of another player, or maybe just a small early game hut. The world now has variety that is only limited by how many players there are and what those players can build. And it’s all out there to find once you go exploring.

Navigation

Which brings us to the next challenge: navigation. In Iberia, the F3 debug screen doesn’t show your coordinates, so you cannot find your way using that. You’ll need to build waypoints, use compasses and maps, or have a really good spatial memory. Compasses in Iberia are special in that they point to the personal spawn point of the user who crafted them. So you can build compasses and share them with others and they’ll be able to find your place.

Sleep

Next up: sleep. Nobody likes sleep in multiplayer, because everyone currently playing has to sleep at the same time, which is a pain. So the first change to sleep in Iberia is to make it so that all players have to sleep, but not necessarily at the same time. So if Alice and Bob are playing and night comes, Alice can go to sleep, wait till she’s fully asleep, and then get out of bed. Later that night, when Bob decides to sleep, once he’s fully asleep he’ll wake up and the world time will switch to day. You’ll still have to wait for the other players to sleep for night to turn to day, but you don’t need to wait around in your bed till everyone sleeps at the same time.

But that’s not a challenge. The challenge is that you may have a sleepless night. If your bed is not protected, there is a good chance you’ll wake up in the middle of the night to the sounds of zombies. You can protect your bed by covering it and the surrounding blocks, so the sky isn’t visible, and then lighting up the surrounding area. In multiplayer, if anyone wakes in the middle of the night everyone does. Consider that even further incentive to protect your bed.

Healing

Finally, natural regeneration is turned off. As in Iberia 1, you can heal by sleeping. Due to the nature of multiplayer sleep, the healing will happen when you get out of bed, even if day doesn’t come immediately. The default amount you heal has also been balanced upwards a little bit.

That’s it for Iberia 2. I’m starting a server with my sons to playtest all the new multiplayer stuff, and make sure things feel balanced. In the meantime, feel free to check out the release, and let me know what works, what doesn’t, and what new challenges you’d like to see.