Thursday, 26 April 2012

Tekkit City Chronicles, Vol. 1

Tekkit is a Minecraft client which collates a number of mods, centred around automation and industrialisation. It allows an even greater number of production lines, resource harvesters and redstone circuit powered marvels than base Minecraft, and something my Minecraft group has always mooted is building a fully working industrial city, from the ground up with no creative mode shenanigans.

Now, with Tekkit smoothing over some of the logistical nightmares, we are. This is a large, ongoing project, which has been running about four or five days so far. The basic plan is to provide a city for at least four thousand people, each of whom lives in a private, modestly sized space with at minimum a bed, a running water supply and a food delivery tube. That means we need the infrastucture of farms, warehouses, mines and whathaveyou to supply all of this, and we also want a train network to get us around quickly. Beyond that, we're also adding in "non-functional" buildings and districts like temples and harbours, and depending on how it goes we might include pubs, shops, offices, schools, libraries, museums, council buildings, military holdings, craft and smithy districts...

Obviously, our Rome will not be built in a day.

Our Rome doesn't even have a name yet, although since the initiator of the project is named Hugh, I've taken to calling the city "Hughtopia." For now, most things are named after what they do, or at the whim of the creator. Streets are mostly named after where they lead to, so we have "Temple Road" and the like. I like this - it feels like how a real city develops. "Organically" has been our watchword.

This is where we're at so far.

Welcome to the main area of the city! I know it's not much to look at yet, but one day we'll stand here and talk about how once upon a time all of this was grass and sand dunes.

In the foreground is our power station. Behind it is the front face of the Pantheon, with the bulk of the building apparently lying past the draw distance cutoff. The agricultural area to the left of the power station is probably going to get bulldozed, even though lots of people worked hard on it.

Well, Chris and Abby worked hard on it, anyway. Adrian just bred freakish multicoloured sheep.

The sugarcane plantation on the right will probably be bulldozed too, as already happened to the cactus farm which was once found in this area. The blackish blob on the horizon is our nether portal.

The Pantheon, built by Chris, is the centrepiece of our world. Well, it's actually right at the far edge of the space we're currently using, but still. You can see it from just about anywhere in the city at present.

There's a long approach to the Pantheon from the harbour, along the riverbank and past the nether portal on the right and the sugarcane plantation on the left. The sun rises through the middle arch of the Pantheon, which looks incredible from down this street I'm standing on in the picture.

The interior of the Pantheon - or at least, the main chamber. There's also the antechamber, plus a loft space and a cellar network. The spiral staircase to both the loft and the cellars is cunningly hidden within one of the pillars in this picture.

Inside the power station is this baby: the water pump. It's very arcane and I don't understand any of it, although I did contribute those stylish little steps over the pipes.

Fortunately, Hugh knows how to run it all. There he is now, checking something or fixing something. With a pickaxe.

The empty half of the power station; I started filling in space with this rooftop access stairwell and overseer gantry. The sliver of marble visible on the right is the edge of Adrian's smokestack. Even so, we're left with a ton of free space in here, into which we're thinking of installing the nuclear reactor. Having unstable radionuclides in the same building as the water supply? I don't see how that could possibly go wrong!

A view of the natural harbour which I've claimed as my territory. It was originally intended to be a dockland area, but after discovering that it's in fact not the sea but rather a lake beyond that channel on the left, I'm saving myself a lot of digging by keeping it limited to small boats. Now we're looking at a fishing village, perhaps with a marina. Fortunately, the lake does connect up with the sea somewhere downriver, which is where we'll put the industrial port.

Past the harbour and round the coast, one comes to this lighthouse. The top is currently just lit with a lot of torches; in time, we'll most likely replace that with glowstone-powered electric lights.

As seen from the top of the lighthouse, this little island - the one with the gulley dug through it - needs to be bulldozed to allow access to the harbour. I'm not yet sure what'll happen to the cows who make their home there.

As seen in these screenshots, Tekkit adds coordinates and a minimap, which is I think my favourite thing about it. It's very, very useful not just for general navigation, but for those huge party-dungeoneering trips out, be it for strip mining cobblestone, scouting cavern networks or snatching glowstone formations from the nether - the kind of trip which invariably sees us get lost and/or separated.
Of course, sometimes a minimap isn't enough, and that's where the good people of Minecraft World Map come in handy; as the name suggests, their fancy tech allows you to map your entire world, and in fetching isometric fashion no less. You can follow the progress of our world at this link!

Until next time, happy mining, and may you not dig into a lava floe when you're laden down with precious ores.

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