Sunday, February 27, 2011

#Minecraft continues to amaze

Minecraft was down for a good portion of the day yesterday. After it came back up and I was able to get logged into my friend’s server again, the feeling of how great Minecraft is hit me again. Minecraft is full of endless possibilities for every type of player. After hundreds of hours of playing the game, it continues to amaze me each time I log in.

My current project is two-fold. I'm expanding out of the topside of my mountain hideaway. I am building both a sapling/log catching apparatus and a chicken coup. These will solve two annoying problems for me: collecting saplings and farming eggs.

The first, collecting saplings, may not seem that big of a chore. Chop down a tree and wait. A minute or so later you can collect all the fallen saplings. However, during large tree cutting operations, who wants to have to go back and run all over the place to get fallen saplings? Instead, I’d rather go to a single point and collect all the fallen saplings on my way to the storage area.

My tree farm is moving out of my main base and up to the top of the mountain. Two stories tall, it will be situated over a series of six whirlpools that will collect fallen saplings and logs and funnel them all to a single collection point. After clearing the trees, the collection point for the saplings will be on my way back down to the storage area.

The second item on my list, collecting eggs, is nearly impossible to get started and annoying to babysit afterwards. It generally involves finding and pushing several chickens into a hole and letting them procreate. Later on you jump in and collect the eggs. This is made easier by one of the recent Minecraft updates which allowed eggs to be broken and chickens spawned from them. However, a chicken only spawns from every eighth egg.

Now, the “chicken pit” is the simplest form of egg farming . It boils down to throwing eggs in a hole and waiting X to go in and get the eggs. Not only is that too simple for me, it is annoying to have to run all over the pit to get the eggs and when I’m done collecting, what do I do with the chickens?

My current solution is a crafty piece of engineering. It is two stories tall and features two whirl pools stacked on top of each other, each on their own floor. The top whirlpool sucks all the chickens together into a group so they lay eggs. The bottom whirl pool catches the eggs and funnels them to my collection point.

The important feature is that the second floor whirlpool is situated on signs. The water in the whirlpool keeps the chickens on the second floor and the signs hold up the water. However, since the signs are not solid, eggs fall right on through to the first floor. Throw in two dispensers with a clock generator and a flip of the switch unleashes a blizzard of eggs (and eventually chickens) into the second floor. Just like in real life, chickens sit on top, eggs get collected at the bottom. The system feeds into the same collection area as the saplings.

But there is still an important question to answer: what to do with all the chickens when a sufficient amount of eggs have been procured? If the area is left alone by all players, the chickens will simply disappear with time, but that isn’t much fun. Instead I will eventually have a door on the second floor that can be remotely opened. The whirlpool will force the chickens through the door and a short trip around a cactus corner and the chickens will be killed. Their feathers will then be collected into the same collection stream as the eggs and saplings and be delivered to my collection point.

Now this is a wall of text, so I promise that once I have the bugs worked out of these two systems I will post a video. Real life continues to be busy, so please be patient!

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