Postcards from Minecraft, Part 3

By Shamus Posted Monday Nov 1, 2010

Filed under: Pictures 94 comments

The official Twenty Sided Minecraft server is up. For real this time. It’s been running for several days now, and has been full most of the time. Seems to be working well so far. The map updates daily at 5am EST.

Let me give you the tour….

Right at the entry point you’ll see the word TWENTY in water, sand and glass. It’s pretty slick. To the right of that you’ll see…


That’s no moon!

I don’t remember who made this one.

The one thing that always gets a lot of praise is the helix:


Twin staircases, one with water, the other with lava. Slick. Looks cool a night. Also works as a waterslide.

I build this suspension bridge:


The cables are actually fencing. They remain posts as long as you leave a gap between them. While you can’t normally t stack fence, you can place a post, then dig away the block under it and build another below it.


My house. Even larger than the one I had on my private server. This one began as a nearly sheer cliff face. The inside is… confusing. The raised rail you see on the left was something I built a few days ago. I’d assumed that minecarts would be fixed in the Halloween update, and so I built this whole system, which was going to be a continuous circuit that toured the properties around the bridge.

It turns out that the update didn’t do much for multiplayer. It was focused on single-player survival mode, not multi-player building. Kind of a disappointment.


Yeah. I built this guy again.


A house by user Tomulus. I love the dome ceiling. Good scenic placement as well.


Working in sand is a challenge, because sand is one of the few materials that requires support. Build a block over open air, and it will fall. Here is a huge base-jumping tower and a pyramid, both done in sand. I like the steps on the tower. Sort of makes it look like alien technology.

If you want to sign on, the server address is:

By default, new users are tourists and can’t build anything. Normally you can ask an admin for build rights. The admins are:

coandco (Clint, who administrates the server.)
shamusyoung (Just some guy.)
thorvan (Our volunteer admin.)

If you’re someone established here on this site and your Minecraft name matches your name here, then I’m generally happy to grant building rights right away. For people I don’t recognize, I generally like to let them hang out for a bit and see how they act. This isn’t much of a security system, but it should at least filter out the obvious idiots and assholes.

Sorry about the gated community thing, but remember that Minecraft doesn’t really have any sort of governing tools. Imagine a forum where giving someone permission to post also meant giving them permission to moderate and edit other users. Green-lighting every internet creature capable of typing in your address is foolhardy. One truly dedicated jerk can make an incredible mess of the place and even though I’m currently job hunting I’m not interested in babysitting type work.

For today only, I’m putting a moratorium on new builders. Lots of people are going to see this post and want to come in. The server is already full most of the day, and if we give building rights to the first few people in the door then they’ll likely set to work and nobody else will get in.

If you do manage to get in, have a look at the map. You can warp to any of the map markers by typing /warp markername into chat.

The user limit is currently set to 15. Over the next couple of days we’ll be experimenting with that and seeing if it’s safe to raise it.

So, come in. Introduce yourself. Take a look around. If you want build rights, then stop in on Tuesday.

In general, the rules are simple:

1) If you want building rights, ask an admin nicely. Don’t bother emailing for rights. I don’t think we can give rights unless we’re both in the game anyway.
2) Give other people lots of room. The world is big. Don’t slap your house up against someone else’s without asking first.
3) Don’t start fires.
4) If you want water or lava, you have to ask an admin. The admin might give them to you directly, or might choose to place the liquid themselves. It depends on how much you need, what you’re doing with it, and where.
5) Don’t be a jerk. Don’t grief. Keep it friendly.
6) There’s a mod in place that boots people for being AFK for too long. I don’t know what the time limit is, but just be aware that demand far outstrips supply on this server, so it’s not nice to take up a slot you’re not using. This sort of shortage has a nasty way of feeding on itself. If it took you an hour to get in, you don’t want to sign off because of a ten minute interruption. I understand this. Just try to be polite about it.

Also, we’re starting up forums for the server. There’s nothing there yet, but if you’re a builder you might want to keep an eye on that space. It’s just for Minecraft though.

Clint is currently paying for and running the server himself. If you’d like to chip in a few bucks to help him defray the cost, then please do.

The server runs him just short of $10 a month. Give accordingly.


From The Archives:

94 thoughts on “Postcards from Minecraft, Part 3

  1. Clint Olson says:

    For what it’s worth, the AFK-timer limit is 15 minutes.

    1. MichaelG says:

      What sort of server are you running for $10 a month? I assumed to run this you’d need some colocation thing where you can start your own programs…?

      1. Clint Olson says:

        I’m using the 1024 plan at So far, I’m quite impressed by their service.

        If you’re interested in getting hosting from them yourself, I made an affiliate link:


  2. GiantRaven says:

    This might be a stupid question but is it only possible to access the server with a paid-for version of Minecraft, not the free one?

    1. Clint Olson says:

      Unfortunately, it is indeed only accessible with the paid version of Minecraft. We’re running the latest server version, which uses a different protocol than the free version.

      1. GiantRaven says:

        Ok, thank you. =)

  3. Dourhands says:

    wow that map is a really good way of showing off the number of projects, and how the amount of them have grown. when i joined the server my castle (dourhands on the map) was the only thing near jjkdive. now there’s several really amazing builds out that way. this was a great idea. thanks to clint for working on it for us.

    1. Jarenth says:

      It’s also currently missing Factoid’s new amazing boat, among other things.

      Still, a very cool way to get an overview of what we’re all up to. There’s so much on this server I haven’t even visited yet.

      1. Psivamp says:

        Factoid’s boat is on the map now.

  4. Adeon says:

    Out of curiosity what problems are you having with minecarts? They are definitely buggy but the basic functionality does work and I would have thought that was enough to run a simple looped track. I’ve managed to successfully use a minecart to get in and out of my mine in my single player game (I think it’s going up and down about 45 levels at a 1/3 incline at last count).

    1. Clint Olson says:

      Minecarts spaz, go nuts, and are impossible to remove without a server restart in multiplayer. They work fine in single player.

    2. Shamus says:

      Clarification: I was talking about multiplayer, where they don’t work at all. Build a cart, put it on the track, and… nothing. It won’t move, you can’t get in, and you can’t destroy it. I’ve also heard reports that they crash servers, but that didn’t happen to me. Laying track is also dangerous, as it can CPU lock the game. It would be better if Notch just made it impossibe to craft those items, rather than giving us all these ways to crash ourselves. :(

      They work great for me in SP.

      1. Ian says:

        Apparently, some of the bugs that cause server crashes were fixed in the Halloween update. Minecarts still don’t work, but simply placing them supposedly doesn’t crash servers anymore.

        That said, it might still crash if there are too many minecarts, so it’s best not to allow users to place carts, at least.. I’m not sure if that was fixed.

      2. Adeon says:

        Ah I see, thanks for the clarification.

      3. porschecm2 says:

        On the other hand, this is only Alpha, so we really can’t complain too much. If it’s still like this when the final release comes, fire away (although I really doubt that would ever happen.) And honestly, this game has fewer bugs in Alpha than many do in final release.

  5. mark says:

    While I don’t comment often, I’ve been reading twenty sided for years, since early in DM of the Rings’ run. FWIW, my username on minecraft is mhawthorne512. With some persistence and luck, perhaps I can make my mark (haha, get it, mark?) on the world of twentymine soon. :)

    Here is my attempt at replicating my real life mohawk in game. Note that I do not have purple googly eyes in real life.

    edit:BTW, i just HAVE to try out the helix’s waterslide!

    1. Jarenth says:

      Psah. Waterslide?

      The lavaslide is where it’s at.

      1. Factoid says:

        You can walk down the lava side, but unfortunately lava doesn’t carry you with the flow like water does.

      2. mark says:

        I tried both, Factoid is right, lavaslide is SLOOOOOW.

  6. Nick Bell says:

    How did you make the warp function work? I don’t remember ever seeing anything like that in the documentation for default Minecraft. Some custom server mod? That’d be a great feature to add to my personal server.

    Similarly, what do you use to generate that map of your world? Its pretty sweet.


    1. Clint Olson says:

      We’re using the hey0 server mod, which comes with warp functionality. I highly recommend it.

      For doing the Google Maps thing, we use Minecraft Overviewer. I figured out how to set this all up with help from this post on the official Minecraft forums.

      1. Nick Bell says:

        Thank you. The map stuff looks behind my ability to figure out, but the server mod is definitely do able. Time to go make my Minecraft more awesome.

  7. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

    The sphere maker is jsnlxndr… plus two letters I can’t remember, and that’s still assuming I got the beginning right. Anyway, /warp doomsphere will get you inside, and there’s a sign with the maker’s name.

    For those curious, I’m in Minecraft with the name Aekrus. And my warp, aekrushole, warps inside the prototype building. I rather it didn’t, but you can take a look at yet another underwater tunnel easily. It has a nice effect during dusk and dawn, thanks to thorvan’s find.
    So, thank you thorvan, for mentioning that glass transits light in a straight line losslessly in the chat.
    There’s also The Wall of Suggestions nearby, in case anyone has helpful suggestions. And a sea of torches. Which might explain my animal problem.

    Also, in another news, notch has revealed the new artist and gave linky to his work:

    1. Jason Love says:

      Yeah, I made the sphere. I’m in the game as jsnlxndrlv. Since portals to the nether don’t work in multiplayer yet, I’ve been spending most of my time in single player at the moment, but I plan to come back in and do some more tourism and building soon!

  8. Dirk Mallard says:

    That map is pretty amazing. I wish we could go down layers to see any underground constructions people have made. I really want to get in on this, but I don’t have Minecraft because my current computer probably couldn’t handle it. I’ll just have to stand in awe at other people’s creations for now.

  9. Neil Polenske says:

    Yeah, that ball is really unsettling the way it just hovers there in much the same way that a brick doesn’t.

    By the by, I’m known on the server as Narratorway, and I was responsible for allowing all so inclined, the possibility to fulfill their dreams of becoming a rock god.

    Spawn: rockarena

    \m/_ >_< _\m/

    1. Mr. Wizard says:

      Bricks can hover in minecraft.

  10. eri says:

    Minecraft is everywhere. Every blog, every major website, every forum, there’s Minecraft on it. It makes me want to play the game so much, to get in on the fun everyone else is having. But I just don’t get it. I played it for a day and got bored. :( Maybe pure sandbox just isn’t for me.

    1. Clint Olson says:

      Try playing multiplayer. A large part of the allure of this (for many of us at least) is the ability to show off our creations to other appreciative people.

    2. Cyanide says:

      I think the game is heavily dependent on whether you’re creative or not (or, at least geared towards certain types of creativity). I think it’s easier to get into if you set yourself goals. The first one is obviously “Survive.” Then maybe it’s “Get to the bedrock with a mine shaft” or “Make a sustainable farm” or something simple. Then eventually you work your way up to “Recreate the Citadel to scale with solid obsidian” or whatever other crazy stuff they’re building.

    3. Ringwraith says:

      Another thing you could try if building isn’t your thing is exploring.
      Exploring the randomly generated caves of doom in single player can be very entertaining, as can overland exploration, particularly now that biomes mean that you get a lot more variety in the landscape.

      1. acronix says:

        Thugh eventually you realize that everything is just a big pile of dirt or sand or rock. Just like reality!

        And some dare say this game is not realistic enough…

    4. Galad says:

      I don’t get it either, and I know it’s because it’s not my kind of thing. Getting told a great (or at least a decent) story by an RPG game? Yes please, and thank you. Some (mindless) shooter fun (potentially with friends) – good enough. Building SIM? Naah, I’ll pass. Not to mention how the blocky graphics are a turn off for me, as well as the (sigh) present day graphic requirements which I’m pretty sure my home PC can’t fulfill.

      1. Klay F. says:

        Imagine if Dwarf Fortress were scaled up into a full 3D game. I’m willing to bet it would give “Crysis 3” a run for its money in terms of system reqs.

        1. Will says:

          Crysis 3 wouldn’t stand a chance, a modern 3D DF would require the kind of computing power that makes the FBI wet itself in envy.

  11. Daemian lucifer says:

    Is that a bp oil rig?What if it fails,and you all get covered in black goo?!

    1. Jarenth says:

      I’m working on that, don’t worry.

      1. says:

        you mean the oil rig or covering everything in black goo? :)

        1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:


          1. Jarenth says:

            I have taught you well.

            1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

              Thank you master.

  12. KremlinLaptop says:

    Sphere builder! Sphere builder! *bows*

    Minecraft made me realize how hard the bloke who invented the wheel must have had it and that was just a simple circle!

    I know how to build big spheres, in theory, but in practice I always end up mismeasuring something and the whole thing ends up out of alignment with me noticing it far too late to correct. Thus I’ve had… a number of rather sad looking lopsided spheres littering my game world.

    Also whoever is building that ship? Impressive! I built a ship of the line myself — your bow is far prettier than mine.

    I should take some screenshots…

    1. Factoid says:

      I assume it’s mine…I don’t think anyone else has built a boat. I’m quite proud of it. Check out the rocketship I built next door.

      I’m waiting for inspiration to strike on the next project.

  13. says:

    OMG, someone built a Death Star in shamus’s backyard! Destroy it before it is finished or your server could face total annihilation! :P

  14. Factoid says:

    The helix was my doing. I’m glad so many people seem to like it.

    I wish that you could ride a boat down it, but I’ve never been successful at it…the channel is just too narrow.

    Check out my new boat too! It’s due east of the Helix.

    There are a lot of incredible building projects on there. Oil rigs, underwater forests, aquariums, castles galore, skyscrapers…etc…

    I’ve been spending WAY too much time in there.

    1. Hal says:

      I’ve seen Shamus’s underwater passages, but has anybody tried to make a full-on dome ala Atlantis?

      1. Spatticus says:

        I don’t think that the oceans are quite deep enough anywhere to make that work. Also, we have no flying fishplanes or hot Atlantean princesses to work with.

        1. Factoid says:

          I was going to work on a submarine next, but I ran into the depth thing there too. Everything near shore is mostly 4-5 blocks deep. The next level gets a lot deeper but it’s so dark that it’s almost impossible to deal with.

          1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

            Try asking for a pumpkin lantern or a lightstone block. Or making glass “bubbles” with a torch inside.

            Though the most practical might be a glass beam from the surface. You couldn’t see much during the night, but it should work nicely during the day.

          2. Jarenth says:

            I had to rebuild the Rig’s supports after the move yesterday. If you thing regular underwater building is bad, try building underwater under a sunlight-blocking ceiling. Good times. Thankfully Clint and his amazing sun-summoning powers made the process more bearable.

            A lightstone block is a good idea though, I’ll keep that in mind.

            1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

              Remember that if you break it you get dust. And never enough for a new block.

      2. bit says:

        My house (you can see the entrance beside the sphere) is fully underwater. The best way to fix the depth issue is to just dig out all the dirt; the stone layer is significantly shorter while still looking interesting. Or, you can just dig into the hill, and make a hybrid underwater/underground house, which is what I’m doing.

        And aww, shamus posted this the day before I finished my house.

    2. mark says:

      Given building rights, I’d love to make a full blown white-water-rafting waterslide for boats. I’m thinking from clouds to bedrock, ending in a water elevator to return the boat to the top. Those work in SMP, right?

      1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

        Boats? Mostly. I’ve had one glitch, which was fixed by getting out of the boat and getting back in. Just remember that water needs to be two blocks wide, and that you might need some trickery around corners to avoid breaking boats. Also admin/mod support for water sources.

  15. Vekni says:

    So tempting. So tempting. SO TEMPTING.

  16. Jericho says:

    I’ll drop by as soon as I get a window. My in-game name is LordSharpe, for reference.

  17. Gandaug says:

    Very cool.

  18. Tomulus says:

    OMG I’m famous!

    I’m mad for glass domed towers, i made a bigger one with a garden inside in my SP game. Also, I’m loving the server, this is my first SMP project and everyone is really friendly.

  19. Klay F. says:

    I’m wondering how much building time Shamus lost in that recent DDOS attack on Minecraft’s servers? What kind of jerk attacks servers demanding updates just a few weeks before an update actually comes out?

  20. Nekokirin says:

    I am spending so much time just looking and warping around all the great projects.

  21. Nasikabatrachus says:

    I’m loving this server. I just spent an hour wandering around admiring everything that’s been built and is being built. Spent about half the time in shamus’s house: some of the most interesting in-Minecraft architecture I’ve seen, FWIW. I especially love the use of hidden lighting. Also notable to me is Vanderbare’s (sp?) project, which reminds me of something Lex Luthor would build. The Big Dig is imposing in its expanse. My very favorite part is the grave/tomb of Reginald Cuftbert, just west or east of the spawn.

    (BTW, in-game name is Pakicetus. I love me the obscure species names)

  22. Klay F. says:

    Also, if griefers ever give you a problem, the admin could always just build a spawn jail out of bedrock. I hear those are pretty effective for verifying non-greifers.

    1. mark says:

      All they do is keep new people in captivity. Doesnt really make any difference once you let them out. The ‘tourist’ setting works far better.

      1. Jarenth says:

        There’s also this warp thing we have going, that pretty much makes it impossible to lock anyone into place. I think. Don’t know if it can make exceptions.

  23. Irridium says:

    Hm… I may actually get on later today. This all looks totally awesome, and perhaps Minecraft will be fun with people who aren’t total asshats.

    My Minecraft name is Irrridium. Basically same as here, only with one extra “r”. Some prick took the 2 “r” one.

  24. craig says:

    Ahhhh, I finally found out why I can’t connect. Apparently smp simply DOES NOT WORK on mac os 10.4

    I really wish I had upgraded when it was relatively cheap, but now it is like, 100$ to upgrade to the latest mac OS. My only other option is to go manually fiddle with the java code, which is something that I REALLY shouldn’t do.

    This is really upsetting.

    If any mac other user has this problem, I found this thread on it:

    EDIT: apparently you can just use the 30 dollar upgrade for leopard users, even though it says to use the full disk? I’mma have to look into this, because I will gladly waste 30 dollars on apple before 100 dollars.

  25. Andrew says:

    Imagine a forum where giving someone permission to post also meant giving them permission to moderate and edit other users.

    /smirk ummmmm Wikipedia? /smirk :)

    1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

      Two words: Edit Wars.

      1. Klay F. says:

        “Your house you just built needs a proper citation. I will delete it until you find one. Also, your giant model of [insert fictional character here] is redundant. I will be merging it with something else completely unrelated on the other side of the map.”

        1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          “Your massive architetural project, made out of obsidian, gold and diamond blocks, while pretty, can’t be important because it hasn’t been mentioned in traditional media. So I’ll have to delete it completely, to make room for more pokemon pages.”

  26. Peter says:

    Do we get building rights if we donate?

    1. Clint Olson says:

      You pretty much get building rights if you log in and manage to give the impression that you aren’t a violent sociopath bent on destroying our world.

  27. Mumbles says:

    Whoever built these awesome bees in front of my cantina gets all of my love.

    1. Jarenth says:

      Fairly certain that was Clint, though the idea had been bouncing around a while before they were built.

      It’s just that he’s the only one with easy access to that much Gold and Obsidian. ;)

      Also: bees.

  28. Irridium says:

    Well that was fun, romping around with Mumbles and aegb. Found a place I want to build, and found an awesome natural mountain-face that looks like an elephant when viewed at a distance.

  29. SubmarineBells says:

    Stupid Question time: I’ve just purchased Minecraft and am attempting to check out the multiplayer stuff. However, when I try to log into the paid-version multiplayer (using the same username I have here), I’m greeted by “Enter the IP of a server to connect to it”. It won’t accept text (e.g “”) and I haven’t the foggiest notion what the IP address to use. Um, help?

    1. Jarenth says:

      That’s somewhat odd because it totally should accept text. I always log in with and (barring errors) it works just fine.

      Are you using the latest Minecraft client?

      1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

        Shouldn’t the client update itself automatically?

  30. Clint Olson says:

    For what it’s worth, I now have an affiliate link on the VPS service I use to host, so if other people want to sign up with them it’s a bit easier and I get credit. No pressure to use the link or anything, it’s just that someone asked if I had one, so I figured I might as well.

  31. SubmarineBells says:

    Yep, Jarenth. I attempted to login using the in-browser version on the Minecraft site, at . I assume that’s the most up-to-date version. :-7 Could it be something to do with having just now purchased it? There was something on the purchase screen about it sometimes taking a while to update one’s status after purchasing, but it let me both login to the Alpha using the in-browser version, and download and play the Alpha, so I assumed that I was already flagged as a paying customer. *vaguely baffled expression*

    1. SubmarineBells says:

      Nevermind, it seems to be working now. Dunno what the problem was, but yay for spontaneously-fixing glitches! If only all life’s problems were fixed so easily…

  32. Clint Olson says:

    By the way, I just instituted factoid as our second mod. You might know him from his helix, pirate ship, and rocket ship creations. He now has the power to grant build rights, set warps, and place water and lava blocks. I’m sure he’ll do a great job :)

    Our current admins are:

    Our current mods are:


    1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

      Good, I think that should help him finish his collection of “what I have used to accidentally burn my creation down”.

  33. Cybron says:

    I’m not seeing any huge underwater creations. Guess I’ll go for Atlantis then.

    1. Diamondwolf says:

      thorvan has a big one in front of twenty island

  34. Irridium says:

    So… a couple of us just blew up a forest fire with lots of TNT. It is now a large crater-type place.

    Protip: Don’t stand in the middle of all the TNT. Because if it goes off, it will bring your PC to its knees and may make it commit suicide.

    The crater is north of tirnanogth.

    1. Eljacko says:

      Oh yeah, that was so much fun. Everyone made a big chair up in the sky to watch the explosion!

  35. someguy says:

    Standing in front of Reginald’s grave right now ;)
    Yes. Building rights, pleeeeaaaseee!
    (name is a stupid ‘someguy50’)

  36. shayto says:

    ok so either i am really stupid or something is wrong with the link. whenever i go to i just get thgis message
    It works!
    This is the default web page for this server.

    The web server software is running but no content has been added, yet.
    sssssoooooo what exactly am i supposed to do?
    if anyone can help it would be greatly appriciated: I want to ride the helix slide!

    1. Shamus says:

      Fire up the game, select multiplayer, and type in

      See you in game. :)

      1. shayto says:

        thank you ever so much

  37. How to Compare Home & Away NBA StatisticsComparing home and
    away NBA statistics is weed firm apk hack unlimited money
    a fun game and work related injuries. I hate losing But since December
    2012. Additionally, it is downloaded. I make a comparison to this device.

    Then after all that he ultimately had his solo exhibition at Shafrazi Gallery, New World Computings Kings
    Bounty and several others.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.