Minecraft reached Beta towards the end of 2010, and we decided it was time to start building our own new world. We rent a server from Multiplay and have been playing Survival Multiplayer mode for several months, exploring the land, mining for treasures, discovering natural caverns and of course building a whole load of fortresses, towers and dungeons. Unlike Classic mode, which gives you an unlimited amount of blocks in a limited space (see The Realm of Bal’dock), SMP mode drops you in an empty, infinite map, and leaves you to your own devices. You start out with absolutely nothing and must gather up resources before you can use them, so your creations feel considerably more valuable because they take more effort to produce. Below is a visual guide to the world we’ve made. Welcome to Diggasaurus Park…
The first thing we needed was a safe-house to store our stuff, a refuge from the dangers of the night, and a place to call home. When you first generate a map, it is daytime, and you’ll usually find yourself in the middle of a field. There’ll be some friendly pigs roaming nearby, and hopefully some trees. This is what you should aim for first – every Minecraft game begins with you punching trees. You’ll create some basic tools with the wood, and before you know it, you’ll have a simple base to take shelter in. We carved out a huge cave directly on the spawn point and it served its purpose very well.
SMP mode added a day and night cycle. When the sun set, all sorts of monsters come out to stalk the landscape, so we built an armouy to store our weapons. We exploited a glitch that gave us an infinite number of arrows, but this has since been fixed.
Since our fort was built next to the sea, we made a boat dock. This encouraged more exploration and before long, we had sailed to a new land…
… which Jon connected via a giant stone causeway.
Sam built a small coastal keep on the edge of a new island, and dug out an enormous mine below it.
Once we figured out how to make buckets, we quickly did what any sane tribe would: collect lava and use it absolutely everywhere we could.
Scenes like this were not uncommon…
But eventually we learned to control the fiery liquid, and when we weren’t setting fire to ourselves, we’d sometimes make some pretty cool structures with it. I’m not sure who bult this very symetrical lava tower, but it was not the first of its kind…
Beyond Sam’s castle, several miles away you can see an orange glow in the distance… Robbie’s castle stands tall on a hill, and it looks glourious.
Notch added ridable mine carts a while back, and they’re easily one of the most fun parts of the game. Here, Robbie built a track that leads from a docking station all the way to the base of the castle. To make sure you don’t stop half-way, you can put redstone markers along the track which ensure the cart keeps its momentum.
Flint and steel is a forest’s enemy…
It takes a lot of effort to get water and lava to flow the way you want.
Inside, you’re greeted with a sprawling staircase, complete with waterfall. It’s good to make your staircases out of actual step-blocks, or half-blocks because you can walk up these smoothly without having to keep pressing jump.
From the top you can see for miles. Below is the burning forest and the train tracks that brought us here.
You can create armour out of leather and iron (and gold, I think), but until recently this did not show up on your player’s skin. It does now though, so you can see how well protected your mates are.
As you travel further you suddenly spot a mammoth structure on top of another hill… Sam #2’s Botanical Garden is the biggest land structure in Diggasaurus Park.
It’s a huge rectangular enclosure with a sloping roof, and some glass walkways. The Hell dimension was added to Minecraft last October, and the only way to enter it is to make hell Portals. These require obsidian blocks which can only be made when lava touches water. The portals unfortunately do not work in Survival Multiplayer yet, however. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.
Underground is a series of tunnels which lead to this indoor-garden sanctuary.
As you trek across the vast landscape you may spot another tower in the distance. There’s also this stone structure jutting out of the water, which we built as a marker for our mines. Below, is a huge cave which Paul and I carved out.
I built this lighthouse on top of a hill, it has burning logs at the top of it and the flames can be seen from quite a distance away. It was going to be the start of a huge cart-track, but I never got around to making it.
Sometimes you can glitch wood into burning forever (the burning forest was another example), and Paul decided that would be the perfect way to finish off these small Darwinia statues. They are guarding my farm. If you use a hoe on a patch of grass, you can sometimes harvest a seed from it. Plant this seed in the dirt and you’ll start to grow wheat, which can be turned into bread. Make sure you have a water source nearby for them to grow even faster.
This is where I set up my main base. It has a wooden porch and a small fence around it to keep monsters away.
Paul and I spent days mining here. He came up with a super efficient system where we could comb through the layers without missing large chunks. We found heaps of redstone, iron ore, and even diamonds, not to mention a series of huge natural caverns and chambers which were all great fun to explore.
We made a giant ‘V’ shaped cave which led as far down underground as you can possibly go (eventually we hit the ‘admin’ layer – an indestructible layer of bedrock).
Heading away from our mine, and back towards the original spawn-fort, you will undoubtedly see the remains of a giant hole I was digging. Unfortunately it fell victim to another of those lava experiments that got a little out of hand and we were left with the biggest eye-sore that Diggasaurus Park ever witnessed…
… in the form of this massive lava tower.
And that brings us to the end of another journey…
Notch is continually adding new features to the game, and so Diggasaurus Park started to feel a little outdated. So, shortly after these pictures were taken, we reset the server, wiped the entire world of all of our creations, and generrated an entirely new continent.
No matter how many hours we put into Minecraft, we still love this game. Its been an amazing journey seeing this game grow and develop into the behemoth indie hit we know it as today (it has now sold over 1.2 million copies) and we will continue to be a part of it right through to its release. If you have your own map and would like to see it from an isometric birds-eye view, I highly recommend MCmap. It allows me to leave you with this image. Behold, Diggasaurus Park.
Until the next tour…