No Comments

Treemendous

July 4, 2018 2:56 pm

There’s something so magical about treehouses. Even though they’re basically just regular houses, except much higher up, lacking in toilets, and with a much higher risk of splinters, they offer the promise of adventure and privacy that you just don’t get in a regular, non-tree-based house.

You can’t, for example, hang a big sign that says NO BOYS ALLOWED on a regular house, because chances are that some people would ignore it anyway, like the fire department, or an ambulance crew. Ugh.

Unfortunately, some of us are adults, and need to spend our money on boring things like medical insurance and rugs, instead of building the glorious arboreal palace that we’ve always dreamed of. Perhaps we can take solace in Minecraft builder megavalve’s incredible, totally liveable treehouse, complete with library, gaming room, bath house and so many secret entrances that you’ll never have to enter the same way twice!

Like most builds, the treehouse was made in Creative Mode, since Survival Mode has the threat of Creepers ready to blow up your creation at any given minute. But this treehouse actually started life in Survival Mode at first.

“I returned to Minecraft after a four year hiatus,” says megavalve. “I tried survival, but the changes to the game overwhelmed me. There was no redstone in Minecraft Pocket Edition when I last played! I felt like a hermit.” That’s the equivalent of going into a coma in the real world, and waking up to find that electricity had been invented while you slept.

This build is actually a remake of one that megavalve did four years ago, which looks more like a house on top of a tree. His new build is much more integrated into the branches and structure of the tree, and there are even secret passages inside the branches now!

“I never got to finish it properly,” megavalve says of the original build. There was a low vertical limit back then.” Some design choices are unchanged, like the TV area, while others are new additions, like the various reading nooks around the place.

“I love books,” says megavalve. “That is why there are a lot of books and places to chill while reading in the house. If you want it to be homey, think of something that would never let you leave your house. Some people like lush greenery, some like to wake up to an amazing view of sunrise and much more. Build around your preference.”

What’s megavalve’s favourite space in the house? “The cottage on top,” he says. “The view is pretty nice.” Most of the treehouse is a sprawling, mansion-like space, but the tiny cottage on top – which can only be accessed by one of the many secret entrances – is a “small, cozy house” designed for the times when a gigantic house is just a little too much. It was one of the last things that megavalve added to the build, along with the terraces and the aviary. He began with the trunk of the tree, only deciding to make it into a treehouse about halfway
through.

“The leaves gave me nightmares”

The whole build took about three months to construct, and that’s largely down to the leaves. “You know that sometimes, authors have writer’s block? I had mine when I tried to plan the branches and leaves,” megavalve says. “Sometimes, I just logged in and did nothing. One day, I decided to take time during a long weekend and built the branches once and for all. Once the branches were set, the tedious part came in. The leaves.“

If it sounds like megavalve has some kind of vendetta against leaves, there’s a reason for that. “The leaves gave me nightmares,” says megavalve. “You have to be extra patient and careful.” Megavalve ended up using four types of leaves – oak, birch, jungle and spruce – to make the tree as natural as possible. “It adds a lot of texture and depth to the build,” he says, but it also means a lot of attention to detail.

There’s a big reason why those leaves were so difficult to get right: this build was made entirely in Minecraft Pocket Edition, the version of Minecraft for mobile devices, which means megavalve did all of this with his fingers! “My work requires me to be on the go most of the time,” says megavalve, who works as a manager at a security firm. “While building the leaves, I learnt to be patient.”

One final detail in this impressive build, in case you were worried: “The build is in creative mode with fire spread disabled,” says megavalve. So there’s no worry that it’ll all burn down over night, but just in case – “I always make sure to create a zip archive as a backup. Better to be safe than sorry!”

So no need for the fire department after all. Hoorah!

No Comments

Marketplace Online

July 3, 2018 2:56 pm

Have you tried browsing the Minecraft Marketplace? It’s where you’ll find skin packs from us and a huuuuuuuge market of skins, texture packs and worlds from fantastic community creators! You can find it in the in-game menu of Minecraft on Windows 10, Xbox One, VR, mobile devices and now Nintendo Switch!

OR you could go to our new Markeplace site! We’ve designed this page to make it easier than ever to find the great Minecraft content you’re looking for, whether it’s a new skin pack for your avatar or a whole new world to explore.

You’ll find this ‘SEE WHAT’S POPULAR’ button right at the top of the Marketplace page. It’s a great way to find the Minecraft content players are most excited about!

From there you can pick a content category (Skin Packs, Worlds, etc.). Or just use the search bar. Handy!

Got questions about how Marketplace works? Our FAQ covers everything, from Minecoins to how you can access your content across all your Minecraft devices.

That’s not all! You can also share your favourite content on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, see everything from your favourite creator on their dedicated page, and much more. Why not explore it yourself? Click this lovely line of green text to be taken to the new Marketplace page!

No Comments

SCARY MOB SPOTTED IN SEAS!

July 2, 2018 3:03 pm

We’re sorry. We’re so so sorry. Our upcoming Update Aquatic (Phase One out now in several editions of the game, and in pre-release on Java) was meant to be a pleasant experience for our players. A joyous dip into a wet and wonderful new ocean, overflowing with joy, smiles and laughter!

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Because something is down in those murky depths with you. Lurking beneath the surface, below the delightful dolphins, the colourful coral, the terrific tropical fish, awaits a new danger.

Reader, I sincerely hope you never Meet the Drowned.

An eyewitness photo of the horror, somehow taken in black-and-white.

To learn more about this mysterious new enemy, I contacted the smartest, wisest, most articulate members of the Minecraft community. Sadly, they were all busy, so I had to talk to these people instead:

“I was practising my awesome karate moves,” said local liar, Sid Plimps. “When I punched a zombie right into the sea! I watched him sink to the bottom and decided to follow him down so I could loot myself some rotten flesh for dinner. It’s my favourite food!”

Interesting. Interesting and gross. But Sid’s flesh-eating story soon took a more sinister turn.

Rotten Flesh – a common zombie drop and Sid’s favourite meal. He asked if I wanted to stay for dinner. I, er, already had plans.

“I swam down to the ocean floor, but the zombie wasn’t there – or even any delicious rotten flesh,” Sid explained to me, while licking his lips and rubbing his belly and making me very uncomfortable. “I’d definitely seen that zombie fall into the water. What gives?”

What gives indeed? Sid was confused. Confused and hungry. But he was about to be something else – terrified.

“I was about to give up and swim back to the shore, when I saw the zombie! It was blurry and far away, so I swam close to finish it off with my mighty fists,” bragged Sid, while flexing a puny bicep at me.

“But when I saw it up close… well, I haven’t stopped screaming since!” Sid screamed at me.

Come to think of it, Sid did scream all his answers at me during our interview. I don’t think I’m going to talk to Sid anymore.

Was this an isolated case? Or were there more of these aqueous abominations plaguing the once-safe seas? I decided to seek out someone who’d know Minecraft’s oceans better than anyone, local fisherman, Matthew Denton.

“I love fishing!” Matthew said to me, even though I didn’t ask.

But I did ask him if he’d encountered this strange new underwater mob, the Drowned. Immediately Matthew’s face went white, his whole body started shaking and all of his hair fell out, along with all of his teeth. And his arms. It was pretty grim.

“N-never heard of them!” he lied. At least, I think that’s what he said. Hard to understand a guy with no teeth.

After offering Matthew some rotten flesh, he agreed to tell me the truth (why do people like this stuff so much?).

“I was fishing on the beach,” he explained. “But the fish weren’t biting. Then I had a great idea! Why don’t I throw my rod in the sea, wait for a large fish to eat it, then swim down and pick it up!”

That’s the worst great idea I’ve ever heard. But Matthew tried it anyway.

“I was swimming down to get my fishing rod, when I saw someone was holding it,” Matthew recalled. “Someone wrong. Someone not of this world. Someone evil.”

Is this mob evil, or just misunderstood? Probably evil tbh.

It gets worse. Throughout my research, I’d heard disturbing rumours that these deep-sea deceased had the power to use weapons.

“It was carrying a big fork!” wailed local builder, Jonathan Quibbles. “I thought it was going to eat me for sure! Thank goodness I wasn’t standing on a giant plate and covered in salt at the time.” Yes, Jonathan, that sure was a close one.

This ‘big fork’ or ‘stabby stick’ or ‘impractical comb’ that several witnesses described to me sounds a lot like the trident – a new underwater weapon that’s part of the Update Aquatic. Players armed with tridents have nothing to fear! Well, except underwater zombies also armed with tridents…

Gulp. Er, good luck!

Players on Java can try the pre-release if they’re brave/foolish enough to risk encountering these horrors (players on other Minecraft platforms are safe for now – but not for long – the Update Aquatic is coming for them very soon). I’ve also heard whisperings that some brave souls have explored the origins of The Drowned.

Try to stay safe! And keep watching those seas…

No Comments

Roman bathhouse

June 29, 2018 10:56 am

Ever heard of the Roman Empire? No? Where have you been? They were quite a big deal two thousand years ago – and let me tell you – they sure knew a thing or two about architecture!

The Colosseum, sparkling aqueducts, walls of marble and mosaic, and even glorified statues lacking any sort of cloth except some tiny leaves here and there. But amazing constructions aside, if there was one thing they were particularly good at, it was something far more practical.

Bathhouses!

In a world full of insanitary hazards, filthy living conditions and daily battles in the arena, a bath was an absolute necessity for the Roman citizen. But it was also quite enjoyable, especially if you were a brutal gladiator coming home after a hard day’s work. Or what do you think Shaliquinn?

“Ha! Sure, who doesn’t like to unwind a little after a fight to the death?”

Shaliquinn is an experienced builder-for-hire, which long-time readers might be familiar with, as her Lunar Love build has previously been featured here on Minecraft.net. Her most recent work however, is something in a completely different style – the Roman bathhouse, depicting a picturesque square set in the old Roman Empire.

But trying different styles is something Shaliquinn is used to. As a freelance builder, it’s her job to take on different requests and transform them into a Minecrafty reality.

“Flexibility is key when you’re working with clients asking for commissions.” she explains. “I’ve spent a LOT of time experimenting with different ways of accomplishing different things that I’d likely never have tried if I were just building things that I felt like building on a whim, so I’d say that’s my best quality.”

“In terms of where I really specialize, I’d have to say I really shine when it comes to organics. There’s something really challenging, and therefore rewarding, about creating something that really needs to be brought to life.”

If there’s such a thing as bathing in style, the ancient empire sure knew how to please. As a communal activity, citizens of old Rome could gather at the local thermae – public baths, decorated with cool interior touches such as sculptures (yes, the ones without clothes, stop blushing you prude) and nice wall art – to have a relaxing bath and an overall good time.

It was a centre for not only making your body clean as a whistle, but also for socializing and political discussions (suggested topics: “do we really need this many naked statues?”, “have you seen my towel?”, “can you believe we have to wait two thousand years for someone to invent Minecraft?” etc).

Shaliquinn’s build is more than just a pool of water though. Despite its name, the biggest focus on the map is actually a giant arena.

“At the risk of making it sound boring, my client just said they wanted a Roman bathhouse and a PvP area and I aim to please! In truth, it made it really easy to add a nice arena and viewing area that just felt pretty organic. I’m a big believer in the idea that builds tend to just fall into place once you have a feel for the theme.”

The custom-made amphitheater is enormous in size. Any visitor keen on attending its brutal events will be met by two giant centurion statues guarding the entrance of the arena. After a walk up the marble-like stairs, you’re free to take a seat and watch bloodthirsty players duke it out in ruthless PvP in the ring below.

“When you’re dealing with the limited size it can be difficult to give it a sense of grandeur. My job is to provide enough detail to keep people focused on what they see rather than on the size limitations. So I suppose I was trying to balance function with form in order to make sure people could have fun PvP’ing and then spend their downtime enjoying the atmosphere.”

The build manages to capture the Roman vibe and aesthetics, which Shaliquinn herself is a fan of. “It’s not limited to just Roman aesthetics. I’m a big fan of any architecture I can find that’s ornate or detailed.” she says. “I spend a great deal of time looking at images on Google of Roman, Gothic, Japanese, even fantasy or sci-fi architecture. Seeing all the curves and pillars is just appealing to me. Architecture that incorporates a lot of natural beauty is fun as well. Creating builds that have waterfalls, trees, and natural caves is really satisfying.”

Getting the aesthetics right wasn’t the only challenge. Shaliquinn also spent time figuring out how to make the bathhouse water shiny enough. “I needed more light to come through. I ended up using a combination of things to get the final effect. To start, I placed sea lanterns all the way at the bottom, then stacked alternating layers of stained glass which created a foggy look to the water I placed on top which left the water with a real sense of depth while still providing the light I was after.”

Sadly, a pleasant bath can’t last forever, unless you want to look like a raisin. Shaliquinn is already moving on to new exciting projects, and other projects to be inspired by.

“I love creative pieces that haven’t been done before, something full of ingenuity. It has to have a real attention to detail, not just broad strokes, with shapes that are outside the box. And the lighting is really important; It’s really frustrating to see a build that someone has spent so much time on and then left muddled in dreary lighting.”

Good point! I’m so inspired I’m going to start working on the greatest Minecraft build eve… actually, I think I’ll just have a relaxing bath instead.

No Comments

Our Marketplace Picks: May 2018

June 4, 2018 3:02 pm

June is upon us, which means we’re finally ready to retire ol’ May in the best possible fashion – with another honorary list of our favourite maps played from the last 31 days. A total of 36 pieces managed to make its way onto the Marketplace this past month, with plenty of awesome gameplay to offer for both young and old alike. Yay! Thanks, you handsome community creators you!

Since the majority of our lovely content team have temporarily vanished without a trace (they’re probably home playing Factions, grr!), we’re happy to have our esteemed Content Coordinator Matthew “MOESH” Dryden step in and fill at least three pair of shoes, this time focusing on maps above and below the surface. Among maps, skins, and texture packs, he’s helped select the best of the best, the top of the class, the ultimate selection of FUN.

Brace yourselves! Here’s our top three picks from May!

Monsters of the Deep

by Noxcrew




Have you ever wondered what might lurk far beneath the surface in the deepest of sea trenches? Now is the time to find out! Take a deep dive to the underwater research facility, located in a beautiful underwater world. Looks can be deceiving though, and there are many dangers roaming the ocean…

Go up against three horrifying custom bosses, or do daring battle with sharks, manta rays and jellyfish!

The content team are in deep water with this one:

This prequel to the popular Java map, Terra Swoop Force, shows off the sweet Update Aquatic features and introduces custom aquatic mobs and bosses! Boat Shark is the best shark.
MOESH

You’re going to need a bigger boat and a bite-proof diving kit, that’s for sure! Monsters of the Deep can be found here!

Relics of the Skies

by imagiverse




This high-flying adventure lets you explore floating islands, battle mythical creatures and rowdy pirates as you search for legendary relics with your friends. There’s plenty of aerial vehicles to choose from – airships, hot air balloons, or biplanes! If that’s not enough for you, there’s also custom skins, music, resources, and mobs. Everything you need for a soaring adventure in the clouds!

Matthew sure has his head in the clouds (in a good way)!

This follow-up to Relics of the Privateers has you flying around in air planes and conquering dungeons. My favorite part was putting custom decals on my plane. Also, that sky box is mint.
MOESH

Follow Mr Dryden’s lead – join the flying fleet and mount a plane! Relics of the Skies is available here!

Elf Island Heroes

by GoE Craft




Formerly known as The Four Creation Stones, Elf Island Heroes takes place in Bloomsphere, a magical realm far above the sky. Embark on an epic action adventure to retrieve the four creation stones – a quest that is anything but easy! Hunt crabs, face fire monsters, and recruit stone giants to fight with you on an epic battle ground. You can also encounter as many as 18 new exciting mobs. Play solo or co-op with friends!

Here’s what the Content Team thinks about the adventure in the realm of Bloomsphere:

This full-scale adventure map is fully voice acted and comes with a total conversion texture pack. This project demonstrates what is possible when making games with Minecraft. My favorite is the part with the Elytra, but the puzzles and adventure for all areas make this a standout project!
MOESH

Want in on the fun? You can get Elf Island Heroes right here!

This, and so much more epicness awaits you in the Marketplace!