Postcards from Minecraft, Part 5

By Shamus Posted Monday Nov 22, 2010

Filed under: Pictures 107 comments

I took a week and a half off from Minecraft. While I was gone, the Twentymine community continued to grow. And they continued to build. I think the world is actually expanding faster than I could hope to keep pace. There are 214 locations in the warp list. The server is not even a month old at this point. If I featured a different project here each and every day, we would never catch up.


(The black cubes floating in the sky are just visual artifacts that you get when you have visibility set to maximum.)

I really like the transparent blue look on the building here. Sadly, you can’t do this with glass. For whatever reason, Minecraft renders glass with a 1-bit mask. Glass can’t be partly transparent. Every pixel is either 100% see-through or 100% opaque. This building was made by placing water blocks at the top of the building and letting the water flow down in great curtains. It’s gorgeous.


Hey! It’s the Enterprise! Man, remember the scene during the Shadow War when Captain Mal flew this baby into the Citadel and killed all the Cylons?


A 20-sided die. I should have taken a shot of this at night, because it lights up. The d20 is infuriatingly difficult to reduce to a few lines. Speaking of which…


Now, this is done on a much larger scale, and even at this immense size I didn’t think it was possible until I saw it in action. It’s still a work in progress. The plan is to have the numbers written on all the faces. I understand the author is using some sort of software to help him plan the block placement. But still. Geeze.


This is a very faithful re-creation of the sheep. Nice work.

There have been a few vandalism incidents. Someone dug holes in the maze, a few other objects were damaged, and someone robbed a chest of mine that was clearly labeled off-limits. I don’t know how CoandCo feels about it, but in my book all of these are worthy of a no-second-chances perma-ban. It wouldn’t be public, so don’t think this is a good way to get attention. There are plenty of people who would love to come here and build, and the mods are too busy to babysit the great armies of defective idiots that the internet produces at such an alarming rate. Everyone else is here to have fun and isn’t interested in a bunch of silly drama.

Since I’m only visiting once every couple of days, I’m even more reluctant to add new builders than before. I’d hate to green-light some stranger that will end up being more work for the mods. However, if you want to build then log in to (with the full version of the game) and ask a mod nicely. If you can hold a reasonable conversation then you’ll probably get build rights. Just find an empty spot and start building. Have fun. Don’t mess with other people’s stuff. Use common sense.

Warp list
Current isometric map
Current overview map (Google Maps style)
Current night overview map (also Google Maps style)
Downloadable world files – Good if you want to download the world and play with it in single-player.


From The Archives:

107 thoughts on “Postcards from Minecraft, Part 5

  1. Fat Tony says:

    Love Mincraft soooo much.

  2. Cybron says:

    Yeah the server’s building up crazy fast. I took like a week off and came back to find all this crazy new stuff.

    Also someone built a bridge over where I was gonna build, it’s kinda annoying. But oh well, I’ll just build around it, whenever I get back to building. Atlantis will go on!

    1. Dys says:

      If it’s a four wide half block bridge over water, it might be mine. Near water temple?

      1. Cybron says:

        Yeah, that sounds like it. Big cobblestone bridge, starts near the spawn. If by ‘water temple’ you mean the underwater domes that’d be mine alright.

  3. SpammyV says:

    You should’ve been there when Pearly and Coandco decided to burn the sheep. Bit by bit burned away until we just had the hooves and it’s floating face. My Bombthedral is finished(Mass: 10:50 a.m. Underground Standard Time), so now my next project is kind of underway. If anyone knows of a good sphere planning program that lets me stretch a sphere/round object into an oval, it would help a lot with trying to build the steampunkmarine.

    1. Coffee says:


      Only shame is that nobody’s mentioned Ruins yet. They’re some of the most amazing storytelling through objects that I’ve seen… At least within Minecraft limits, every detail is covered.

      1. Clint Olson says:

        As an admin, I have magic world-restoring powers. Specifically, I have the ability to select an area and restore it from the most recent backup. When we burned the sheep, I selected it first, then restored it once the pyrotechnics were over.

    2. Mystyk says:

      That was nothing compared to when they set fire to the ship docked just off from DourHands’ palace several times. They kept restoring the ship when there were only a few embers left burning, but that was enough to start it ablaze again. I was lucky and happened to log in just as they started.

      1. Stellar Duck says:

        I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Wooden ships on fire off the palace of Dourhand. I watched 20 sided dice glitter in the dark near the flaming sheep. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.

        1. Xpovos says:

          This comment makes me happy.

        2. Tomas says:


  4. Gelles says:

    I don’t know if I have the scope required to build on the server… I was happy just to figure out how to build an angled roof a few days ago. That stuff is beautiful!

    1. Cyanide says:

      Newer players are often concerned they don’t have the “skill” to build on the server. My suggestion: come have a look around, get some ideas, and don’t be so worried you’ll disappoint (unless you intentionally break the rules, of course). Minecraft is not a competitive game; different people have different aesthetic tastes. Worst case scenario: you make something, and people just visit it once, or you act like a hired hand that can help other people build stuff or gather resources. Best case scenario, it gets featured on here, or it becomes a famous landmark on the server, or people spend hours interacting with it. Either way, you learn something about building, and make something even better next time.

  5. Airsofftslayer93 says:

    Woop, first picture ios my water tower, im so proud

    1. Ben Orchard says:

      And you should be. That tower is awesome.


      1. GoodApprentice says:

        Sure it’s awesome, but I heard it ran waaaay over budget.

    2. Kdansky says:

      The water was my idea! Damn, I feel cheated! I want royalties! 10% of all your income! There! Hah!!

      1. Jeremiah says:

        We want some of that internet money!

      2. Airsofftslayer93 says:

        Indeed, i owe you alot

        1. Casper says:

          Just make sure Kdansky knows how to take care of his new Alot:


          1. Mistwraithe says:


            That made me laugh alot (go on, visualise that!).

          2. Jarenth says:

            I love the internet.

      3. Slothful says:

        I had a similar idea to make a building entirely out of water. It didn’t work out too well.

        Project prickles is still in the planning stages though…

    3. Rob says:

      How did you keep the water from fanning out from the top? Every time I’ve tried to do something similar I end up flooding a large area as the source block expands out in every direction.

      1. Alan De Smet says:

        Make a circle of 4 blocks and put the source block in the middle (you don’t need to put a source block on top of something, it will happily stick to the side of another block). The frame keeps it from spreading out, so it can only go down. The water below isn’t a source block, so it doesn’t widen.

        Or cover some or all of the roof with water and let it waterfall over the side, again using framing to limit it however desired.

        1. Rob says:

          Ahhhhh thank you

          1. Airsofftslayer93 says:

            yer, something like that, go have a look if you want, gave me endless headaches

  6. rbtroj says:

    Apologies if this has been said before, but isn’t this just 8-bit Second Life? Without all the desperate porn? (Or maybe there is porn in MC?)

    Anyway, I love seeing an indie have success, so kudos to them!

    1. Zukhramm says:

      It’s not 8-bit just because it’s made of cubes

      I think the similarities end after “you can build stuff” and “it’s online”. Minecraft is definitely more of a game, as you have to gather your resources (to place a stone block you need to mine a stone block), fight monsters, explore caves and build tools.

      1. Coffee says:

        Second Life attempts to create a system where you can develop a -aheheh- life within the system.

        Minecraft is a survival mining horror game. You mine by night, and build by day. The multiplayer aspect is relatively stunted in that respect at the moment, but it’s lagging behind the single player, and the program as a whole is still in Alpha.

    2. winter says:

      (Yeah, but… the desperate porn was the only part of Second Life i actually liked!)

  7. gravitybear says:

    Seriously, every time I look at the updates, I am awed anew. These structures are amazing.
    Bravo everyone.

  8. SatansBestBuddy says:

    I will definitely stop by at some point, as I love me some Minecraft, but I’m far too busy with school work right now to do so.

    It would be cool to see if there’s enough room for my epic build. (it needs well over 150×150 blocks of space, plus it’s pixal art and a great target for griefers, so…)

    1. Vipermagi says:

      There’s plenty of room for a 150*150 piece. The snowglobe project has a diameter of 124 cubes or so.

      1. Jarenth says:

        Exactly so. Especially since the map expanded, there’s plenty of space for everyone.

  9. Irridium says:

    I should probably get on and check my cabin. Hopefully it wasn’t burned to the ground or robbed or something.

  10. ima420r says:

    I want to add to the server’s awesomeness. Who are the mods so I know who to ask for build rights?

    1. Cyanide says:

      From the forums…

      Current admins:


      Current mods:


      You can type the command /who into chat to see who’s online.

  11. Mumbles says:


    I wish I thought of making this. I still love it though.

    1. Jeremiah says:

      The last time I played Freemarket I tried printing a queen bee. Instead I managed to print some kind of pheromone that attracted every bee on the station. For the entire rest of the game there were a lot of random “BEES” exclamations. In fact, in one argument one person’s entire argument came down to getting face-to-face with another character and simply saying “BEES”.

      I thought you’d appreciate the beeness of it all.

      1. Mumbles says:

        That right there is how I win arguments when I’m drunk.

    2. DoktorOnline says:

      In one of the GTA games, there happens to be a talk radio station called something along the lines of chatterbox. And at the end of the stations 45 minute loop, there’s a little back and forth I thought you might like.

      Radio Host: Hey, you’re on chatterbox, what’s up?
      Vaguely spanish accented voice on the other side: ‘Ello? Killor bees?
      Radio Bro: What? I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.
      VSAVOTOS: AGGH BEES! *Insert sound of phone being dropped and feet running away*

      twenty seconds of silence later

      Radio Host: Well, that was wierd, Hey, you’re on chatterbox
      Next guy: Hey man, I just want you to know I agree with that bee guy.

      1. Coffee says:

        So we can consider this secondary verification of the Beehive’s Endorsed By Mumbles tag?

      2. Mumbles says:

        Say what you want about GTA. The radio shows were always pretty amusing.

  12. Core Xii says:

    That’s not the Enterprise… it’s the Millenium Falcon.

    1. SolkaTruesilver says:

      Hey! It's the Enterprise! Man, remember the scene during the Shadow War when Captain Mal flew this baby into the Citadel and killed all the Cylons?

      There is, like, 5 mistakes in that sentence alone (not counting grammar). I believe Shamus did the joke intentionnaly, and you been hooked, lined, and fished.

      Hey! It’s the Millenium Falcon! Man, remember the scene during the Rebellion when General Calrissian few this baby into the Death Star and killed all the Imperials.

      1. Felblood says:

        Trolled by Shamus Young.

        For some reason that seems really harsh, like getting sic burned by Abe Lincoln, or my grandma.

        1. Xpovos says:

          I can find nothing on the Google about this sic burn.

      2. Amarsir says:

        Since it’s a Star Wars vessel, Shamus called it a Star Trek name and referenced a Babylon V war where the Firefly captain killed the Battlestar Galactica enemies.

        However my nerd cred fails me there because I don’t know what “The Citadel” is. :(

        1. Kian says:

          Mass Effect, the big station where the Council controlling intragalactic politics lives.

          1. Stellar Duck says:

            Gah. At first I thought you had written:

            “Mass Effect, the big station where the Council trolling intragalactic politics lives.”

            I thought that was very precise and a hilarious comment.

        2. droid says:

          While “The Citadel” is Mass Effect, the “Citadel” could also be TriOptimum’s research satellite in System Shock (or Free Radical).

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

            That would be Citadel Station in the original System Shock, if memory serves.

        3. Decius says:

          Also: The big building in Half Life 2 and Half Life 2: Episode 1. It does not feature in Episode 2.

    2. modus0 says:

      Millenium Falcon?

      Hunh, I thought it was the Aluminium Falcon. -_0

      1. Soylent Dave says:

        What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?!

        … I hope everyone appreciates just how difficult it was for me to spell aluminium incorrectly just then.

        1. Coffee says:

          Looks like a winnebago with wings…

  13. David F says:

    Have you seen this?
    Someone made a working 8-bit cpu in Minecraft. He’s currently working on adding a monitor and keyboard.

    1. Strangeite says:

      I am speechless. I read what the guy is doing and watched some of his Youtube videos and my mouth has been hanging open for about 10 minutes.


      I don’t play Minecraft, but since save files can be traded, it will be interesting to see what happens when people take his CPU and start adding an OS stored on ROM.

      That is just insane.

      1. Galad says:

        I second that notion. It’s beginning to feel a bit like being in the Matrix..or going out of the Matrix?

  14. Kdansky says:

    Visit my Secrets :P

    It’s like the maze, except not quite as frustrating (I got bored with the bland and dark corridors but liked the concept), but with all the infuriating trickery. I may be bragging a bit, but people tell me they like it a lot. Whenever I announce that I have finished a new riddle, the place gets really crowded. There might be a new one today, I’ve had a fun idea.

    1. Scott says:

      The secrets are only less frustrating because you can stop and come back when you like. I still can’t find 4, 5 and 6.

    2. Airsofftslayer93 says:

      You mentioned them, you know im still bitter about that

  15. Jarenth says:

    Nothing like a good dose of being exposed to other people’s creativity to get the mining instict working again.

    Guess I know how I’ll be spending my lunch break tomorrow.

  16. MarkHawk says:

    I created the giant 3 dimensional d20.

    /warp TwentySider

    I used Binvox to create a slice-by-slice plan of how to build the structure in cobblestone, but the obsidian edging and lightstone numbers are all freehand. Painstaking work.

    Initial construction took about a week of 5 hour nights. Edging and numbering has been another week or so, so far. I expect to have it done by….. christmas? maybe? xD

    edit: it might be more than a week since I started the edges. If I kept track of exactly how much time I spend on this thing, I’d go crazy. er. crazier.

    1. KremlinLaptop says:

      I vaguely remember putting up a challenge to build a three-dimensional D20.

      …I’m going to have to seek police protection from the vengeance of any significant others, family or neglected pets you might have, aren’t I?

      (Seriously though, that thing is friggin AWESOME. Strictly speaking I didn’t even think it was possible…)

  17. Clint Olson says:

    Also, we’ve implemented a tangible in-game reward for completing the maze. Not saying what it is here, but people who have gotten the reward will tell you that it’s very much worth it. I’m told most people who get the reward spend an hour or so just playing with it after they get it.

    1. Scott says:

      This is a truth.

    2. Airsofftslayer93 says:

      True true, i love it

    3. Nekokirin says:

      As a person that’s completed the maze, the fact that I was able to do it was the best feeling. Anything past that is icing on the satanic, sadistic cake :P

    4. Amnestic says:

      I’m intrigued and strangely aroused. Might have to be my first stop should I ever actually get functional internet.

    5. Dourhands says:

      single best minecraft gift a mod can give id say. lol

    6. modus0 says:

      I’d like to know how the maze is going to work one Notch implements SMP health.

      That last part is going to turn into a real killer…

      (Finished maze, but hasn’t bothered to ask for build rights, so no name on the gold pillar.)

  18. Tryssnik says:

    I’m one of the new people who have the honor of being able to build on and I’ve staked out the expanse north of the NWcorner warp point.

    I’m planning something big that will probably take me months. heh. we’ll see.

  19. Christopher M says:

    Quick! Somebody build a wheeled mass transit vehicle in an arid biome!

  20. Factoid says:

    It’s pretty much impossible to do screenshots of all the awesome stuff on this server now. Honestly it’s completely overwhelming. The twentymine server is completely drenched in awesomesauce, and i’m not a person who likes to use the word awesomesauce.

    I don’t even hardly build anything anymore…I just want to walk around and play tourist.

    I will pimp my latest creation however…if you’ve ever used the Windows 95 3d maze screensaver and wished that you could actually be in control and walk around like you wanted, go to

    /warp maze95

    You can see it on the overview map if you look for the giant windows logo I put on the roof. Someone feel free to build a penguin next door to balance out the ickyness.

  21. X2-Eliah says:

    Vaguely related, but NOTCH is goijng to be interviewed shortly on DesertBus as of this posting.

    Edit – and it is over now. I really hope someone taped this – it was quite interesting.

    1. Newbie says:

      It was AWESOME!!!

  22. PurePareidolia says:

    Oh man, I see how this is going to end, and it’s going to end with me buying minecraft and becoming hopelessly addicted to it, isn’t it?

  23. El Quia says:

    No love for humongous camelids? For shame! Does not matters, I will bring forth this awesome monument to the most wooly of all wooly animals:

    And yes, there is really awesome stuff going on that server, and so far, people’s been really friendly. I still remember that crazy “party” at the beehive, with everyone trying to get on coandco’s magic carpet, and then the mods spitting stuff around people and all the general silliness of that night. Good times!

  24. Patrick The Malcontent says:

    I made a search in Bing! (it’s the default on my wife’s netbook) for “fallout 3 new vegas vault 11” and your articles on Fallout 3 took up two of the top 10 returns. Kinda cool…….

    which do you want for christmas this year? tshirt, bacon or sausage?

    you suck…..

  25. Banzai_Tree says:

    This server is amazing, big thumbs up to all the creative and friendly people that inhabit it. Just spent my lunch break between math lectures playing tourist. I’ll definitely have to check out the mazes at some point :)

  26. Vegedus says:

    Man, haven’t been in in forever. Really haven’t had the time. Judging by the map though, the little work I HAD done, my mario sprite, is gone. Wonder if that Sega dude just really couldn’t take it in the end.

    Also, I got building rights just by asking. Barely got to introduce myself. Maybe you need to rein in the mods a bit?

  27. mcmlxxxvi says:

    I showed the single player version of this to my ten year old sister.
    Now she has an eight story house.

  28. someguy says:

    Sadly, I’m kinda through with Minecraft for a while. I only feel like building things that make sense, from a mining dude’s perspective – roleplaying in a way. So I’ve build myself a, if I may say so myself, quite nice home with a small private beach, (secrectly:) un-/lockable doors and stuff, my mine system is not yet that vertigo inducing as I want it to be, but quite functional… So everything, apart from some detailing and one XOR-circuit maybe, is achieved (or abandoned like my treehouse)… I will continue sightseeing, though :)

  29. Background_Noise says:

    What are the plans for the server once (S)urvival (M)ulti (P)layer is released (apparently tomorrow if the blog is to be believed.

    I’m guessing the server will remain creative, but my personal vote would definatly be for moving to SMP.

    1. Zukhramm says:

      I thought this was survival multiplayer. Just with player damage not working.

  30. SubmarineBells says:

    I’ve logged in to the server on a number of occasions and attempted to find an admin to give me building rights, but there has never been one on when I’ve done so, to the point that I’ve given up trying. (Curse you, antipodean timezone!) Is there any possibility that an admin could give me building rights without actually “seeing” me in person in Minecraft? Or should I just give up and accept that due to timezone differences I’m unable to be involved in the twentymine world? (FWIW, I use the same username in Minecraft as I use to comment on the blog.)

    1. El Quia says:

      When was the last time you logged in? Recently, an european was invested as a mod just to try to have all timezones more or less covered. So maybe you can try again?

      1. SubmarineBells says:

        @El Quia: It was a week or two ago I last tried, I think. European timezones are even further from Aus ones than NorAm timezones. Are there any admins from the Australasia/Oceania region that you know of?

        1. krontekag says:

          SubmarineBells – any chance that’s a reference to the Chills? Awesome band…

          1. SubmarineBells says:

            krontekag, you got me. Yep, it is. :-)

            1. krontekag says:

              I love my leather jacket, and I wear it all the time :)

        2. El Quia says:

          Unfortunately, no, no one on the Australian time zone… :(

  31. froogger says:

    You builders are crazy! It’s still in Alpha, anything can happen. Quoth Notch: “..don’t get too attached to your savefiles”.
    This is like building sandcastles. At any point an update might come that will wash away everything you have done. Still, I enjoy and admire your efforts to no end. In fact, I’m going there for another visit right now :)

  32. Cybron says:

    So apparently Notch is finally implementing health for multiplayer. Does this worry anyone else? Besides the obvious griefing potential, I know it’s gonna make building underwater a lot harder.

    1. Zukhramm says:

      Finally I say. Now you can build castles and defend against zombies with your friends! If you want a server for building you can just turn it off.

  33. Zukhramm says:

    With the update, logging in to the server is no longer possible.

  34. MadTinkerer says:

    I’ve been meaning to come back and finish Skycastle and although it hasn’t been torn down… Someone’s gone and built a bunch of crosses all over? Eh?!?

    Not quite what I had in mind…

    EDIT: Holy cow, FenixHQ 2.0! Now that makes for some nice scenery for the Skycastle!

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

      Considering my hole and “tower” are around there, I’ve been wondering about the crosses myself. And there was lava around the beach for some reason.

      Somewhat amusingly, one of the crosses is made out of obsidian, and built wrong. The horizontal parts are at different levels.

  35. Preciousgollum says:

    Server is down because of the Multiplayer Health and Survival update.

    1. Slothful says:

      Whelp, I guess there goes operation: Cactus House

  36. Bentusi16 says:

    It’s pretty sad that I had to come here to see something AWESOME on a server I build on.

    Unfortunately my current project is a transferred dwarf fortress fortress so its a hard to show pics of it.

  37. Brandon says:

    I lost the game. :(

    stupid isometric map view

  38. Mari says:

    My neglected family and filthy house (not to mention my overwhelming laundry pile) would like to thank you for my new addiction, Shamus. I took a tour of the Twentymine server but I’m not nearly that talented so I just play by myself on a lonely little world. Well, except for the stupid cows and pigs and chickens and sheep. But my new home, Khazad-dum, is now fully animal proof. My next project is to build a bridge across the lake o’ fiery death (hence the name of my sprawling cavern home.)

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