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Minecraft: Beginnings chapter 2

Minecraft: Beginnings part the second - There and Back Again and then Back There Again and then Back Again Once-a-More

Hi, Minecraft friends! We've completed another week of Minecraft, and this actually marks the end of the Minecraft: Beginnings phase, as we have successfully established a safe colony with resource generators, ample storage, observatories that don't have working telescopes, and regal, snow covered Japanese castles. Check, check, check, and check.

When we last recapped our progress, we were hiding out in a sort-of-stately town hall nestled in a jungle on top of a tall mountain. We've since built structures at the base of that mountain, and also tore its innards apart by tunnelling all over the place. This, all in the name of Progress!

Let's take a brief tour of what we've accomplished so far in so little time.

Here's our idyllic mountainside getaway, complete with lush jungle trees, hanging vines, and a pleasant tropical atmosphere. Not so far away in the background are some snow-covered trees and a partially-frozen-solid body of water.  

Yes, we have high tech hanging farms! This platform juts out of the side of the mountain about a level below the town hall's ground floor. You can see the farm here currently in its construction phase. Notice the way that it gives the impression that you can fall all the way down if you go over the edge.

You might call it an infinity farm.  

That's no illusion, by the way; you really will fall all the way down if you go over the edge. It's the most honest infinity farm there is.

Here it is in its functional state. The farm layout would soon be further improved by adding glass blocks over the wheat to prevent people from trampling all over them.  

Here are various structures on the base of the mountain. Note the sinister Japanese castle in the background. It's pretty but I'm too scared to hike all the way there to explore it.  

Last Wednesday, we had a little adventure inside our mountain, digging west and down and then up (when we found out that we had gone too far down) on a quest to tunnel to the flat lands to the west of the mountain. We left a sizable amount of rubble in our wake, along with a few skeleton corpses, and a bunch of broken tools.  

But we did finally find a nice patch of flat land! We hurriedly put up a structure and fenced in all the animals we could find. Our settlement here would soon be abandoned for, well, greener pastures to the south, but we did amass a good amount of farm animals here. Maybe a little trip south (with some animals in tow) is in order sometime in the near future.  

Where the hell did that observatory come from?!  

Before embarking on our latest community expedition, we met up on the roof of the town hall and discussed our plan to further expand our reach. Civilization, ho!  

Here's a cozy little treehouse beside our latest and greatest mode of transportation, which you'll be seeing in the next pic.  

Ladies and gentlemen, the S.E.W.R. Mk II! I don't know how much brake horsepower it generates, or how many long range missiles it can deploy all at once, and I sure don't know what S.E.W.R. stands for. A little help from our more technically-inclined friends, perhaps?  

Soon, it was my turn to ride the S.E.W.R. Mk II. I won't lie; my boat disintegrated a third of the way through the course, because I didn't know I had to stay still and not attempt to row it or anything. It was surprisingly fast, though.

What's that? It doesn't look fast? You won't take my word for it?


Happy now?  

My view seconds before I crashed into that small lake after I fell off the raised S.E.W.R. track after my boat disintegrated after it accidentally hit the side of the track. Spoiler: I didn't die. Celebrations are in order!  

Here's the reason why we were puttering around on the S.E.W.R. in the first place: we were headed to some grasslands southwest of the mountain to find a better spot for our private housing. After I met up with some other survivors of the S.E.W.R. incident, we moved south and explored the area until we came upon this small hill overlooking a winding river.

It was perfect. We set to work right away. First order of business? Build a tower that will serve as a beacon for anyone in the area.  

OKAY. YOU ALL KNEW WE WERE GOING TO HAVE TO DISCUSS THIS. This is psycrow117's cat, Miming. It likes sitting around on chests, following its master around, and meowing loudly. I hear it also chases creepers away, but it's just so tempting to whack it over the head with a shovel, even with psycrow reminding us every other minute not to mess with his cat.  

The moon rises over our new patch of undeveloped land. All is quiet. If you can ignore all the meowing going on.  

Here's everyone pitching in to build our beacon tower. The entire structure went up frightfully fast with everybody cooperating! It was like watching a high-rise building go up in a Looney Tunes cartoon.  

Yeah, yeah, you'll get yours someday.  

INQUE, Justin, and Blackgoofguy set out to build a road leading back to the mountain via an easterly route that takes it along the coast and past the eerie Japanese castle. I accompanied them a ways down the road, then turned around and took this pic of our incredibly boxy tower.  

Back at the tower, these guys (I can't ID you from this pic, I'm sorry!) were busy fending off spiders, zombies, and creepers. Unless of course the cat was there. The creepers all ran away from the cat. I don't blame them.  

Here's the view looking up from inside the tower. We would soon place floors and proper staircases to help us climb, but when it was newly built, M.C. Escher would have been proud.  

Meanwhile, the road project was going places. Some of the other guys who initially stayed behind (kevin,psycrow, and Invader) caught up to the road builders to help out.

In this pic, the group is diligently paving the area in front of that creepy Japanese castle. Just a few hundred meters to home!  

"Anyone need any stone? Here, take my stone! Take it!"  

Soon after that, night fell and we got some crazy weather going on. It snowed near the coast, but a few more steps inland, it simply rained!  

"I'm Harvey Dent, and this is my favorite weather on the OMGeek Minecraft server!"  

Soon, the road was complete and we were all back in our tower, safe and sound. Kevin brought home an unexpected guest!  

I clambered onto the top of the tower and took this pic of our road -- a small marvel of engineering! I like to say so, at least.  

The perks of having such a big tower: it's hard to get lost if you're anywhere in the area. Just look at that!

You might have noticed that little length of stone jutting out from the roof. I think it's supposed to be another diving board. I took a dive off it once and masterfully survived the fall. Then a wandering skeleton ventilated my lungs.  

"Just having a bit of good clean fun here, guys!"  

Your eyes do not deceive you. It truly is an skeleton archer, riding on the back of a giant spider. I was so shocked at the awesomeness of it all that I froze up. I want to be a skeleton archer riding on the back of a giant spider!  

A view of me and the spider-riding skeleton from another angle.  

Some clearer insight into what I was busy doing while this was happening.  

And...! AND! In the confusion of it all (or maybe earlier when I wasn't around), someone left our little group, forever. Witnesses claim that the cat got hit by a stray arrow. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of someone just whacking it with his shovel.

One thing I know for sure: I didn't do it!  

Quickly recovering from the loss of his little feline friend, psycrow turned up soon after with this saddled pig. We had a nice time riding it around the meadows, but we stopped soon after someone spontaneously combusted for no fathomable reason.  

Soon, our tower development was in full swing! One other big thing we tackled after the road was done is this fancy moat, which is designed to a) flow around the tower, and b) flow out into the river at the back. Just a touch of civilized ingenuity and random awesome chance going on here.  

And here's psycrow ILLEGALLY fishing in our moat! INQUE got him out of there quick.  

While all the excitement was going on, SpikE was working on his automated wheat dispenser. I got to try it out and it was neat as hell: plant a seed, and out pops some bonemeal. Place it on the planted seed, and a fully-grown piece of wheat baps you in the face at the speed of sound.


After we knocked out some of the stone in the tower to make windows, we had a decent view of the river that runs past it. Very inspiring.  

Things took a dark turn soon after that, signified by these ominous pumpkin heads lighting the facade of our tower.  

Fueled by a mad desire to see other worlds, psycrow demonstrated how to create a nether gate using temporary, flammable materials.  

We decided to build the real thing high up on top of the tower, so that everyone could look up and see mankind's folly unblinkingly staring back at them.  

Someone wasn't doing it right here. But he almost got it right! And soon...  

We were staring into the gates that opened up to Things That Man Was Not Meant to Know!  

But I'm not about to show what happened next here; that's for another event for another time! First, we have to focus on creating our homes. A little personal space does a person good.  

And so the portal awaits. Until it is time.

Here we must come to an end, and turn towards brighter things in the meantime. Before we attempt to uncover the secrets that lay beyond, we need to have places of safety and sanity to, well, keep us safe and sane. Right?

See you all next time for another community Minecraft event! Thank you very much to everyone who participated and helped out!

Minecraft: Beginnings chapter 2 preview!

Apologies are in order, guys.

After navigating through the twists and turns (most of which were made by us) of our mountain, breaking out into the sun prematurely at various points, digging upwards from right underneath a small lake, and swimming against the downward current to emerge victorious in a vast, unforgiving span of desert, I was exhilarated.

I also had to take a break for dinner soon.

Our small party ventured further west, where we found some grasslands with a ton of cows. We settled in, planned to start a cattle farm, built a small fort for protection, and I excused myself for eating time.

I decided to take a quick nap after dinner to stave off the creeping tiredness. And suddenly, unexpectedly, shockingly, it was two in the morning. I'm so sorry!

Good job with the outpost, though, and many thanks to everyone who participated! I'll put up some pics of our exciting spelunking soon. Be here on Sunday night to continue our community event! We'll be refining the tunnel we went through for normal human transit, and then we'll make the western desert and grasslands safe and open for settlement. See you then!

Minecraft: Beginnings chapter 1

Minecraft: Beginnings - Being an Account of the Journey Undertook by a Few Brave Men, and What They Did when They Got There

Ahoy there, OMGeeks! In the aftermath of the highly entertaining Minecraft: Beginnings event yesterday, we thought it was appropriate to present a short visual journey through the key events that brought us to our current situation, which of course is settling on a tall jungle plateau with our town hall precariously overlooking a steep drop into a bright blue lagoon. Also, it faces east, like all awesome buildings should. We totally planned that. Totally.

Of course, if you were there, you'd know that our story actually begins in the far north. I'm very comfortable with letting loose with this tired old cliché because, well, it's the truth: it was a dark and stormy night...  

We entered our still-unnamed world in the midst of an evening snowstorm with almost zero visibility. It was all we could do to stumble around and call for each other as we formed small groups and got our bearings. I spotted INQUE standing around in the dark and we started gathering up from there.  

Left: Enhanced image of some of the initial explorers huddling together for solidarity.

Right: How it really looked like when we were there, huddling together for solidarity.  

It was good to see some familiar names and faces, even in the dark. Here we can be seen sheltering under a tree as the snowstorm raged around us.  

We did see an end to the storm eventually, and dawn broke out onto the silent, whitened landscape.  

After the sun came up, here's what I saw to the left of the little hill we decided to make a temporary settlement on.  

And here's what I saw to the right!  

As night rapidly fell once again, we hurriedly put up some walls to defend ourselves from wandering creatures and the rampaging undead. We also forgot to make a door. As civilized human beings, we weren't about to let that little setback slow us down. Here, we are seen performing a door-less alternative to the traditional door-enabled entry-exit process of the domicile. Civilization!  

Soon afterwards, this tree inexplicably burst into flames under highly mysterious circumstances. Spontaneous combustion? Or maybe someone was fooling around with his flint. Who knows? We'll never find out for certain.  

Early the following day, we set out for high adventure and exploration! Some of us went south and some of us went east to find the perfect spot for our settlement. It had to be high, relatively flat, and have a lot of resources accessible in its immediate vicinity.  

"I want to see mountains again. Mountains, Gandalf!"  

"And then find somewhere quiet where I can finish my book."  

We found a good spot indeed -- a dense jungle situated atop a tall mountain. After the signal was sent out, we gathered among the trees one by one and explored our general surroundings. We found a mess of tree trunks and leaves all over the top, but it was flat underneath.

On the east side of the mountain, there was a steep drop all the way down to a pleasantly-secluded lagoon. Here you can see us carefully making our way down the almost-vertical slope, but most of us eventually gave up and made a running leap into the water.

It was an immensely enjoyable drop (provided you jumped out far enough to avoid crashing into the dirt and rocks on the bank), and gave us an idea that would later make the diving board a reality.  

"I didn't do it!"  

But really, the mountaintop jungle had to go. We made the decision to clear it out rapidly by using flint and steel to set the trees on fire.

Soon, we had quite a blaze going on.

While some of us were busy setting fire to trees, the others were hard at work digging down into the earth via a tunnel we made from the base of the lagoon at sea level. They would soon bring up coal and precious metals for us to work with.  

psycrow117 was, of course, concerned at the repercussions of our mass destruction of nature.

"Don't upset Mother Nature, guys!"  

Night fell once again, and as the trees on the site slowly began to give way to the flat land underneath, we started to build our communal town hall.

Most of the miners still had their tools and materials in the cave by the lagoon, so going down and bringing it all back up was a problem. To slightly alleviate this (and make things more fun!), we constructed a diving board that allowed us to leap all the way down into the lagoon with a minimal chance of sudden death.


Someone wanted to clarify the purpose of this contraption, and included this helpful sign.  

The following morning came and went in a flurry of building and crafting and indoor farming. Once we had cleared enough to wall off a sizable chunk for our town hall, we went to work making it secure from The Others.  

Here's another mystery: who's the wise guy who thought this was such a funny idea?  

Soon, our indoor farm was in full swing, and the brave OMGeek explorers frequently stopped by the town hall to craft, resupply, and replenish their food stores. We got some doors and windows up too. Good things were finally starting to happen!  

Because it was so easy to get down from the town hall to the lagoon, we had to make an effort to make it almost as easy to get back up. A ladder made of vines was constructed on the cliff wall to facilitate climbing, and the path up marked clearly by a line of torches.  

Here, psycrow117 and INQUE are hard at work on the greenhouse that would eventually house a small tree farm beside the town hall. Note the meticulously placed glass blocks, painstakingly designed to be functional yet accommodating to nature; the wall of the greenhouse bends inwards to follow the natural contour of the mountain.  

The greenhouse interior with a few oak and birch trees planted. Good job!  

One of our last actions for the session was to establish a task board to give all the OMGeeks some guidance about what they should be doing next for the community. More complex and interesting tasks are planned soon, but this is Minecraft: Beginnings, and this is what Beginnings is all about!  

INQUE took this shot of the town hall complex after activating a HALO jump from the flagpole in our base. He was still in freefall as this happened, but he opened up at around 200 meters from ground level to gently glide down and onto the roof of the town hall, which is currently in the process of being made into a second floor.

This is where our story must end for now, but more adventure and more surprises await as we attempt to tame the surrounding wilds! We have a town hall and a renewable source of food and other vital resources, but we're still a bunch of people who built a shack on top of a mountain in the middle of a dense jungle. Be here next time for more Minecraft adventure! Thanks for reading, and thanks for participating in the event!

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