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.

Navarre: Village Planning

The longer I spend in my little village on the lake, the more I realize I love the location. It’s beautiful, quaint, and natural. While I enjoy some of the crazier biomes in BiomeBundle, I still feel like making my home somewhere that isn’t too otherworldly. If there is one thing I would change, it would be access to water transportation, either a good river network, or being on the coast of an ocean. That said, I’m comfortable with that limitation, especially since I’m modeling Navarre on a mountain village in Spain.

Before discussing city planning, let me give a survival report. MCImmersion is an ultra hard core server, with a 30 minute ban on death. In my first attempt at getting blaze rods, I ran off the edge of a fortress path and fell to my first death. My second attempt was much more successful, and I now have potions, which makes a huge difference. I’ve been caving quite a bit to collect resources and hope to get a decent set of armor and tools so I can focus on Navarre and not surviving. I may set up a horse shop, and breed horses, which should be straightforward, now that I have two saddled horses.

Village Buildings and Districts

I started a list in my last post of buildings and other structures to build in my village. That initial list was based on the trading professions for villagers in Minecraft. Here is a more complete list that I’ve developed, which also tries to include intermediate products that make sense to flesh out a proper village economy. There is still more that could be added, but I wanted something that felt complete and at the same time not too over the top. It’s always possible to add more if I finish this and want to add on. But if I go too far, then I could get overwhelmed and give up. Not a good recipe for a village. Here’s the list:

  • a wheat farm
  • a carrot farm
  • a potato farm
  • a bakery
  • a lakeside fish market
  • an archery range
  • a fletcher shop
  • sheep fields
  • a dye shop
  • an armory
  • a tool shop
  • a weapon shop
  • a fighting/training arena
  • a mine entrance
  • a quarry
  • an iron foundry
  • a gemcutter’s workshop
  • a tannery
  • a cattle field
  • a pig pen
  • a chicken coop
  • a butcher shop
  • a restaurant
  • an inn
  • a sugar cane farm
  • a bookbinder
  • a library
  • a map room
  • a chapel
  • a nether portal

As I looked at this rather long list, I realized that a lot of these different builds could be grouped into districts. After a few different attempts to group them I came up with the following grouping which divides my little village into four districts:

  • Industrial District
    • a mine entrance
    • a quarry
    • an iron foundry
    • a gemcutter’s workshop
    • an ironsmith (weapons/tools/armor)
  • Agricultural District
    • a wheat farm
    • a carrot farm
    • a potato farm
    • sheep fields
    • a tannery
    • a cattle field
    • a pig pen
    • a chicken coop
    • a sugar cane farm
  • University District
    • an archery range
    • a fighting/training arena
    • a bookbinder
    • a library
    • a map room
    • a chapel
    • a nether portal
  • Market District
    • a bakery
    • a lakeside fish market
    • a fletcher shop
    • a dye shop
    • an armory
    • a butcher shop
    • a restaurant
    • an inn

There are some natural connections between these districts where this is overlap. For example, the ironsmith should be near the armory. The wheat farm near the bakery, the sheep fields near the dye shop, the tannery near the cattle field, the sugar cane farm near the bookbinder near the library, the archery range near the fletcher shop, and so on.

Shrinking Ambitions

If you’re anything like me, you looked at that list of districts and buildings and immediately felt overwhelmed. That’s a lot to build! So, my next step is to figure out what to combine or cut out completely for my first pass. As I said earlier, I can always come back and add more later. But I do want a vision that is achievable. So, here’s my pass at combining things, and cutting them out:

  • Industrial District
    • a mine entrance (https://imgur.com/a/0epxp)
    • an iron foundry and smithy
  • Agricultural District
    • a wheat and carrot farm
    • sheep fields
    • a tannery and cattle field
    • a pig pen
    • a chicken coop
    • a sugar cane farm
  • University District
    • a library (with bookbinding room)
    • a fighting/training arena with an archery range
    • a map room
    • a chapel with a nether portal
  • Market District
    • a bakery
    • a lakeside fish and meat market
    • a dye shop
    • an armory (selling armor, weapons, bows, and arrows)
    • a restaurant with inn above it

District and Building Placement

I want the districts to be expandable, so each one needs to have at least one side bordering on the edge of the village, so I can expand the village as I go. I also want certain districts close to each other. The most important pairing will be having the agricultural district border on the market district. The second is having the agricultural district border on the university district. And finally, having the market district border the university district. The industrial district can be more separated from the others, but there are still some connections, as it will be providing ore for the armory and the training arena.

So, the final district placement will have the industrial district at the top of the lake, bordering on the mountain that rises to the north. The farming district will be to the east, where there are some large openish fields. The market district will be south of that, wrapping around to the bottom side of the lake. And the university district will border the market district on the east side and the farming district on the south side. It won’t have direct lake access, but will be higher up, on a small plateau.

More design ideas

Agricultural district will be centered on a barn and fenced farmyard, something that feels like this:

In creative mode, I’ve put together designs for a few of the more interesting buildings I hope to create.

Barn interior

Barn exterior

Tannery from the side

Cattle pen next to tannery

Inn and restaurant facade

Bakery

Mine entrance and foundry

Horse stables

Minecraft Hobbyist, Factorio Gamer

I’m a Factorio Gamer.

I just want to beat the game. It’s hard. It takes a long time. I’m not using mods to make my life easier, or cheat, but I am learning what I can as I go, and just trying to win, no self imposed challenges, no attempts at any of the unique achievements. Later I may try some of those unique achievements, but I’ll still just be playing a game.

I’m a Minecraft Hobbyist

Beating the game is just the beginning of any new adventure. Or beating the game is irrelevant. Or beating the game is a fun challenge because of self imposed handicaps.

Right now, these are the only two games I play.

Have a Plan, Break it Down

One big difference between a Minecraft gamer and Minecraft hobbyist is that the gamer lets the game define his objectives, while the hobbyist defines his own goals. In Minecraft, the gamer defeats the Ender Dragon, and later takes down a Wither, and then, bored, moves on to another game.

The Minecraft hobbyist, however, has his own goals. They may be as simple as creating a cute little farm, or as grand as building an entire empire. They may be focused on redstone automation, or capturing and displaying mobs, or creative builds. The hobbyist may even dive in and change the game to better suit their style using mods, texture packs, or command blocks.

As with anything in life, having your own goals is never quite enough. I had the vision to create a pigman empire for over a year before finally tackling it head on with New Lusitania. It wasn’t until I had clarified that vision into something exciting that I felt like I could really make it happen.

But even an exciting vision isn’t enough. I also needed to break it down. It was humbling after a month of smaller projects on the ChickenPieCraft server when I realized I needed to spend some time scouting out locations. I had this grand vision for New Lusitania, but I had to get down to actionable steps that could be done one at a time. If I didn’t scout out locations, I would never get to the point where I could build a palace, or populate the empire, or start a mine, or any of the things I wanted the pigmen to do.

Clarifying the Vision

I’m going to go through this process of clarifying a vision and figuring out the next step(s) for my involvement in MCImmersion out loud here on my blog. It might get a little messy. First, I want to consider factors that will affect the vision I have.

BiomeBundle: Because this world has terrain from BiomeBundle, it has a different feel than vanilla. There are a ton of structures built into the terrain, and I don’t want what I build to feel out of place.

UHC: Because this world is hardcore, with a thirty minute death ban, I’ll be playing safer than I would in vanilla Minecraft. That’s cool, I like the challenge. But because that’s part of the challenge, my vision needs to account for that, and be scaled back accordingly. It may also make sense to have a vision that integrates the UHC component – like using each life in the world to tackle a different project.

Smaller projects: Because I’m doing this as a break from New Lusitania, it’s going to be smaller in scale. I don’t want to give up on New Lusitania, so I need to come back in a reasonable amount of time.

No Dynmap: In ChickenPieCraft, we have an overview map that makes it easier to plan out large scale projects and get a feel for where everyone on the server is and how to find them. Without that, some new project possibilities open up. Becoming the cartographer for the server is one of those, where I would map things out, and help people find each other and build paths between others’ bases.

Village/Lake/Nearby Priest/Snowy Mountains: I’ve since left my first temporary base, explored a bunch more, and resettled in a small village on a lake near some snowy mountains. It’s pretty, and there are certainly some natural projects that offer themselves up: protect and remodel the village, setup villager trading in a market, etc.

Self imposed challenges (http://gibraltar.rockhymas.com/iberia-self-imposed-challenges-through-death-with-consequences). I’ve used self imposed challenges in the past to give myself a progression to work through. I may revisit my simple, “one chest in my base, all other chests have custom structures built around what they store” challenge. It forces me to build more and flesh out a realistic community just so I can keep all of the interesting materials available.

Past ideas for bases: Island/Underwater/Nordic shipping village/Western outpost (mesa)/Modern industrial/Space outpost (the end)/Nether base/Flying ship/Ice palace/Desert oasis/Jungle treehouse/Taiga treehouse/Mushroom fairyland/Haunted swampland. I haven’t explored any of these as much as I’d like to, at some point.

Narrowing it Down

As I wrote the last few paragraphs up, the process of looking at things that will constrain my vision naturally got my brain thinking about some ideas that appealed to me.

One was the idea of creating a small Bavarian style village on the lake. I could use my self imposed challenge to make sure the village is teeming with life and activity.

I also like the idea of becoming an itinerant cartographer on the server. I would still need a base of operations, but my lake village doesn’t make sense for that. It would be something more hermit-esque, focused on providing the needed mapmaking materials (paper, iron, redstone, horses, boats) and possibly have a very academic/philosopher vibe to it.

A third idea would be to focus on villager trading. In all my Minecraft play I’ve never built a proper villager trading area. I could focus on making this town on the lake into a mercantile outpost where travelers come from far and wide to ply their wares and purchase what they need.

That’s all the ideas I’ll need. After writing them up, I spent some time looking into inspiration for each one. What do Bavarian forest villages look like? Google image search! What famous mapmakers could I model my Minecraft life after? Marco Polo! Ferdinand Magellan! Lewis and Clark! How would I go about setting up villager trading? Youtube Minecraft videos to the rescue! Don’t forget to check the trading page on the Minecraft wiki!

Making a Choice, Fleshing it Out

Ok, after doing my investigation and thinking through the options, I like the idea of creating a village on the lake that is focused on villager trading. So I’ll need to make a villager breeder, and set up locations for villagers to trade. Rather than just build a big hall for trading, which seems to be a common solution, I want to instead flesh out a real village with separate structures built around each villager profession. That’s twelve separate areas to build, which will take some time in a UHC world:

  • a farm and bakery
  • a lakeside fish market
  • an archery range and fletcher shop
  • shepherds fields and a dye shop (colored wool!)
  • an armory
  • a tool shop near a quarry
  • a weapon shop near a practice arena
  • a tannery near a cow farm
  • a butcher and chef’s restaurant
  • a library
  • a map room
  • a church building or cathedral

It’s clear that some supporting buildings could be created as well. Besides those listed above, it makes sense to build an iron foundry and a diamond cutter near the armory, tool shop, and weapon shop. Also, some of these could be combined into larger builds. Placing the church, library, and map room into a larger religious university area or castle would be really cool.

A Specific, Visual Vision

Finally, you should make your vision something you can see. For me, that means picking a visual theme for your builds. Will you go with a classic medieval european style? If so, more Germanic, more English, or more Italian? Maybe you want to do a Chinese or Japanese themed build? For my trading village on the lake, I decided to go with a brick and cement building style reminiscent of small Spanish villages. I spent a few minutes in creative mode mocking up a facade to flesh out what materials I want to use (concrete, concrete powder, bricks, dark oak wood). It didn’t take much, but it gives me a palette for my builds to start from.

To make it more specific, and to emotionally connect with the vision, I’m going to name the village. The pictures that inspired my building style all came from small Spanish villages in the Navarre province. So I’m going to name my village Navarre. It also fits with my theme of taking names from the Iberian peninsula (Iberia, Lusitania, Gibraltar).

What’s the Next Step?

The catchphrase for the MCImmersion server is “Survive. Thrive. UltraHardCore.” In terms of next steps, I first have to survive, before I can worry about thriving.

Survive

Since I keep getting hurt I will need a steady supply of healing potions or golden apples. So my next steps for survival is to get to the nether so that I can get basic potion making supplies. To do that, I really need to stock up on arrows and do some enchanting of my armor and weapons. I have some experience, and a bunch of lapis already, but only enough diamonds to get the enchanting table. So I’ll likely go into the nether in iron armor. That gives me my marching orders for the next few Minecraft days of play.

Thrive

To truly thrive and make progress towards my vision, there are other next steps I can take beyond just making sure I stay alive. I can explore and map out the area around my lakeside village (see map picture above). I have a lot to build, and it won’t happen unless I plot out a city with zones for the different buildings. I’ll also want to protect the larger area by lighting it up and putting up a city wall that can be upgraded as I become more wealthy.

So, here’s the deal. When I started writing this blog post, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. Now, I have a plan, I have a vision, and I know what comes next. Life is good.