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Kiel Cathedral

February 16, 2019 11:00 am

Usually, when we write about the incredible builds that Minecraft players create, the stories are about people finding a community in the game, exploring their creativity, and entering competitions to show off what they’ve learned. All great motivators to build in Minecraft! But today’s story is a little different.

Like many other builds, the beautiful Kiel Cathedral was made for a Minecraft competition, at least at first. The task was to build something inspired by Kiel. Kiel is a city founded by Vikings right at the tip of Germany, next to Denmark, and looks out across the stunning blue water of the Kiel fjord.

Kiel doesn’t actually have a cathedral, but Kim – today’s builder – was inspired by the centuries-old Gothic architecture of the city, the grandeur of the buildings, and her own desire to “build big”. So, Kim started on the monumental task of building a cathedral that reached up to the sky!

“I quickly realised that if I wanted to stand out, I would have to approach it differently to the other builders,” Kim explains. Each of the competitors were given small areas to build on, and this gave Kim a great idea: what if she only built part of the cathedral?

Kim’s build was, in some ways, incomplete. It was only a quarter of the grand cathedral she was picturing, but that’s what made it so unique. It suggested a sense of scale that’s otherwise hard to do in small builds, and lets the viewer imagine what’s missing. The cathedral ended in a cutaway, meaning that you can see the inside without actually going through the door, kind of like a doll’s house.

But as Kim neared the end of the competition, life got in the way. Kim’s username on Planet Minecraft is kimandjax. But Jax isn’t the name of her co-builder. Jax was the name of her 15-year-old cat, who sadly passed away during the making of the build. “The vet gently told me that she has had the best life any cat could have asked for,” said Kim.

Kim finished the competition, but it wasn’t easy. “It was genuinely difficult to see the beauty of my creation through the pain of grief,” she says. After the competition finished, and Kim received commendations for her build, she found herself not wanting to look at it. To her, it was “not just a Minecraft build any more.”

But one of the staff sent her the schematic from the competition, so she could work on it in her own time, and a year later, she was finally ready. Going back to the quarter-cathedral, she added the other three quarters, creating a towering building with tons of bright-white quartz to make it look “pristine” like old city buildings do.

She added trees where the altar would normally go. “Trees are strong,” she says. “They are resilient and they are life-giving. Bending, but never yielding to time and adversity.”

She added huge stained glass windows, which cast golden light across the pews. “When the sun dips,” Kim says, “you’re left focusing on this living, breathing presence… you forget you’re looking at 1×1 cubes.”

When Kim thinks back to the last days of the competition, without her best friend and companion, Jax, she’s honest: “it absolutely sucked.” But now, with the cathedral finished, she’s proud of what she was able to achieve. “I always put endless time, care and love into my builds, but this one really is an exception,” she says. “To me, this is a tribute to Jax – she is alive and well here, and will forever be.”

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New on Realms: Spirit, Strategy, and Sheep

February 15, 2019 2:00 pm

Hello and welcome to our first thrilling Java Realms post of the year. I am your host, Marc “The Diamond” Watson, and today we’re going to go over six new, clever creations, from board games to trips through time. We’ve got it all, so read on, brave adventurers!


by Vertex Creations

According to Wikipedia, Windmill (traditionally known as Nine Men’s Morris) is a strategy board game dating back to the Roman Empire. The game has also been called cowboy checkers and is sometimes printed on the back of checkerboards. Thank you, Wikipedia! My teachers told me that I couldn’t quote or cite from you, yet here I am, doing so anyway.

Vertex Creations’ Windmill proceeds in three phases. First, you place game pieces on empty spaces. Second, you can move your pieces into adjacent spaces, until you are left with three pieces. Last: the flying phase! Strangely, you don’t get to fly, but you are allowed to move your pieces anywhere. The game ends when a player is left with just two pieces. People say that this is a “solved game”, but they said that about tic-tac-toe and I still lose that all of the time, so who knows?

Totem Clash

by HomiePinkGuyYT and Dank_Assassin

If chess was created today, it’d probably be free to play, have day-one DLC, and have way more guns. Players would drop onto the game board from an airplane, then move their pawns around a board until they got enough points to upgrade to a queen. There would also be cosmetics and loot boxes. Imagine opening a chess loot box: “Surprise, you got checkers!”

Alternatively, a chess-like game created today might look something like Totem Clash, in which players control pieces reminiscent of one of the greatest games of all time. Yes, you’ve seen units that can move one or two spaces forward, but what about moving sideways? Maybe you’d like to set a trap, make a wall, or use an archer to shoot a unit from a distance? No problem – it’s all there in the game. Also, the game features cowboys, and those have been cool for something like two hundred years. Just remember to protect your totem from attacks, or else your game will be over real soon.

The 4th Dimension

by Team Vaeron

There is nothing wrong with your computer monitor. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to… The 4th Dimension!

This time-traveling build is a fun change of pace, presented for those creative types who like to fly around and experience a build that isn’t beholden to typical survival or adventure constraints. The creators describe it as:

“The Time Core maintains the very heartbeat of time, it is the catalyst of natural change and the all-powerful arbiter of history itself. The Fourth Dimension immerses players through polished and skilful execution in an adventure from past to future. It earned second place in Planet Minecraft’s Journey Through Time Project Contest.”

Enough reading, get out there and be the kind of person who brings a smartphone into the past and is hailed as a great wizard… or a heretic!

Sheep Shuffle

by The_Artist123

At Sheep Co., your job is to sort different colors of sheep that have found their way into the company’s minecarts. It’s not the most mentally stimulating job that you could have asked for, but management lets you wear headphones while you sort sheep, and what other job was going to give you the freedom to listen to Finnish polka music all day? Successfully completing a level will take you to an even more challenging exercise where you’ll have to furiously switch levers back and forth until you collapse. It seems that management is setting you up for failure; perhaps you should unionize?

Pixel Party

by DutchCommanderMC, Team Blocksanity

Pixel Party is a fast-paced series of nine different minigames. Between rounds, you can select a new mode, or replay a favorite. Choose from games such as ‘Trying to Escape From Lava While on Fire’, ‘Stop Moving I Need to Throw This TNT Chicken at You’, or ‘Come On Oskar I Was Reading the Rules When You Sniped Me’. Endless amounts of fun with your friends, but seriously, watch out for the chickens!

Annoying Ghosts

by ElectroBleach, GenericallyNamed, and Meeepy12

As everyone knows, ghosts are weightless, amorphous creatures that, when being annoying, are easily sucked up into a vacuum cleaner. That’s where you come in: you’re contractually obligated to take care of these aggravating apparitions. This mansion won’t clean itself! Complete a series of objectives guided by a scary man with a radio, revel in total spectral annoyance, or chase after your ghosts with your Suck-o-Munga 3000. There’s so much to do! Some wholly unsolicited advice to the creators: you could be sitting on a whole ghost franchise; a ghost empire! ‘Magnificent Ghosts’, ‘Amiable Ghosts’, or everyone’s future favorite, ‘Punctual Ghosts’. So much potential!

Calling All Creators

That wraps up a great, new release! Hopefully you, dear readers, get excited about seeing the little newspaper icon pop up in game, alerting you to the release of Hot New Maps™.

But maybe you’d like to have some of your own creations featured on Realms? Could it be that someone finally makes the mythical Amazon rainforest boating map, or that an up-and-coming creator takes advantage of the brand new foxes and their behavior? If you’d like to have your own Minecraft creations featured on Realms and on this blog, head over to this page, which explains the Java Realms Content Creator Program. If you have questions about this process, you can find me on Twitter.

To learn about loading the maps above and other content into Java Realms for your PC, visit our help site. If you haven’t yet tried Realms for yourself, you’ll have a blue diamond on the Minecraft Realms button, located on the main screen of Minecraft: Java Edition. Click it, then follow the instructions to try Realms free for 30 days.

Happy Minecrafting!

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Taking Inventory: Leggings

February 15, 2019 10:00 am

I don’t know for sure, but I reckon Minecraft’s leg-sleeves are referred to as “leggings” to avoid the whole trousers/pants problem between British and American English. For Americans, the two are synonymous. But in Britain, pants refers to underwear. Which makes shopping for clothes across the Atlantic a fraught experience.

“Leggings” are easy to make in Minecraft. Grab seven bits of leather, iron, gold or diamond and arrange them around the upper edges of the crafting grid. You can also find them in chests, and sometimes a zombie, zombie pigman or skeleton will drop them when they die. Sometimes they’ll drop chainmail armour, which can’t be crafted, but can be repaired with iron ingots.

Armour was intended to be part of the game from the very beginning. Originally, the plan was that there would be two types – iron and steel. But when it was implemented in February 2010, it came in the five varieties that remain today – leather, gold, iron, chainmail, and diamond. At first, the differences were merely cosmetic, but in version 1.0.0 a tier system was implemented, where each level of armour offers different levels of protection and durability.

Every type of legging has a number of armour points, which are signified by half-shields above the health bar. Each half-shield reduces damage by four percent, so a full bar of 20 points reduces damage by 80 percent. There’s another factor called toughness, which only applies to diamond armour, but maybe that’s a story for next week’s Taking Inventory…

Image credit: Geoff Derrin

In the real world, the oldest known trousers were removed from a pair of mummies found in northwestern China, and are believed to date back to the period between the 13th and the 10th century BC. They were made of wool, had straight legs, and were likely designed for horseback riding.

In their earliest days, trousers were worn by both sexes, but for most of modern history in the Western world the use of trousers has been restricted to men – sometimes by law. In the 1850s, many US cities passed anti-crossdressing laws, criminalizing appearing in public in “a dress not belonging to his or her sex”. These laws persisted well into the 20th century – Cincinnati, Ohio, passed one in 1974.

Today, many of these sexist laws have been revoked, but perhaps more recently than you might imagine. Women were not allowed to wear trousers on the U.S. Senate floor until 1993. And many other parts of the world still enforce strict rules around what women are allowed to wear.

In Minecraft, we think you should be able to wear trousers/leggings whenever you like, whatever gender you are. Which do you prefer to wear? Ones made of leather, gold, iron, chainmail or diamond? We thought once about adding trousers made of cobwebs. But then we realised that they wouldn’t work – the flies would get stuck. Fan mail to the usual address, please!

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Is Minecraft romantic enough?

February 14, 2019 3:20 pm


Too much? Nonsense, that’s a perfectly appropriate intro for an article on the most romantic day of the year! But is Minecraft worthy of St Valentine and his swoontacular day? Would Cupid happily play Minecraft, giggling away as he shoots his arrows at lovesick Zombie Pigmen? Or would he take one look at the loveless Overworld and then dig straight down in disgust?

I had to find out, and so began an eighteen month investigation to answer the ultimate question, is Minecraft romantic enough?


The world of Minecraft is adorable! It’s overflowing with cute sheep, cute pigs, cute bunnies and terrifying sky beasts that prey on innocent insomniacs, swooping down to feast upon them like a sentient nightmare. But for the purposes of this investigation, let’s focus on the cute mobs.

The way to an animal’s heart is through their stomach. All you have to do is feed some of these mobs and they’ll enter love mode. Awwwww! It doesn’t get much more romantic than that!

If you see giant red hearts surrounding you, that means you’re in love! Or in need of urgent medical attention.

This poor pig will scamper around the Overworld, lovesick and alone, for its heart does pine for another swine. You’ll need to feed another mob of the same species, and once they’re both in love mode, let the smooching commence!

Keep in mind, mobs won’t enter love mode on an empty stomach, which is completely understandable. After all, I’ve never met anyone I love in this world more than I love lunch, and I am perfectly fine with that.

Not long after this, a baby mob will spawn in the Overworld. Welcome to existence, baby pig!

They grow up so fast! Seriously, we’re talking twenty minutes, tops.

Villagers can also enter love mode, though unlike with other mobs, this is a bit more complicated than just feeding them a couple of carrots and spawning them at an Ed Sheeran concert. Have a read of this page of the Minecraft Wiki (the one true love of any writer on a tight deadline) if you fancy playing villager matchmaker.

Trust me, the results are well worth it:

Sniff… is it too late to add weddings to the Village and Pillage update? Image Credit: ILeonx

So that’s love mode. Surely any videogame which has a mode like that is romantic enough. Right?




The human heart is a wet, gooey organ that pumps blood through your body. It’s one of the grossest things in the world. It’s also the thing we associate with love more than anything else in the world. Sure! Why not?

So it’s a promising romantic development that one of the first things you see when you start a new game in Minecraft is ten hearts in a row. Just think about how much blood that could pump! I mean, just think how romantic that is!

The loveliest health bar in videogame history. Wait, there’s no health bar in Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator, is there?

Well, that settles it. Any game where you constantly see ten hearts on the screen isn’t just romantic enough. It’s inarguably the most romantic videogame of all time, including every videogame made in the future.

Wouldn’t you agree, Mr Skeleton Archer?

Happy Valentine’s Day, frie- Ow! Oh no! My hearts!

Goodness me! I somehow forgot that whenever you take damage in Minecraft, you lose hearts. Turns out love can be heartbreaking. Why didn’t anyone tell me?

I know, I’ll just ask this witch to brew me up a love potion! Man, am I smart when it comes to love. As soon as I finish writing this, I’m getting my name legally changed to ‘Cupid’.

This kindly witch has turned my heart a healthy yellow! Which actually means it’s poisoned me. Is this because I forgot to get it some flowers and a box of chocolates?

Oh dear. Having your heart broken and destroyed right in front of you… That’s not very romantic, is it?




My investigation had hit its lowest point. Was Minecraft really not the perfect Valentine’s game I’d always believed it to be? With nowhere else to turn, I messaged Minecraft Java developer, Cory Scheviak:

Cory told me about a recent question he’d asked his followers on his Twitter – How has Minecraft impacted your life in a positive way? What a great question! It’s a bit like my question ‘Is Minecraft romantic enough?’ except more eloquent, and much less stupid.

You can find Cory’s tweet by clicking here and I highly recommend you read through some of the genuinely heartwarming replies. If you manage to read all of them without feeling somewhat emotional, then oh, cool, I didn’t know was being read by a ROBOT.

Are you planning on proposing in our block-based game? Here’s a handy screenshot of something I made to help, along with a couple of great tips:

Tip #1: Make sure you double check your spelling, especially if they know someone named Mary. Tip #2: Diamond blocks would probably have been a better choice of building material than what I went with.




Put your hearts at ease, Minecraft is romantic enough and a fine choice of Valentine’s Day gaming.

But could it be… even more romantic? What if we got rid of all the building, exploring and survival stuff – the least romantic parts – and replaced it with dating! What do you say, Jens? Is 2019 the year where we reboot Minecraft into a fantastic new dating sim?


Yikes. Looks like somebody didn’t get a Valentine’s card this year…

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Minecraft Snapshot 19w07a

February 13, 2019 5:22 pm

What’s orange and white and sleeps all day? Jens, but we still managed to finish another Java Snapshot this week. Enjoy!

Changes in 19w07a

  • Added Fox
  • Narrator is now available in menus (“Ctrl + B” to activate it)
  • Paintings are now broken up into individual textures
  • Fixed bugs


What do they say?

  • Foxes are nocturnal
  • Foxes are nimble and quick, so sneak up on them carefully!
  • Breed foxes with berries
  • If you breed two foxes, their offspring will trust you forever
  • Foxes like to eat any and every food item they find on the ground
  • You may find a fox exploring a nearby village at night

Fixed bugs in 19w07a

  • MC-127296 – Drowned throw tridents backwards
  • MC-134625 – Tesselating liquid in world – NullPointerException
  • MC-138598 – Cats go into sitting mode after bringing a gift to the player
  • MC-138609 – Baby cats only use one texture while using a spawn egg
  • MC-138624 – Tamed cats still sneak towards player holding fish
  • MC-140856 – Damaging a panda in a village near a villager makes the village’s iron golem hostile
  • MC-140924 – Cats spawn in blocks of villages
  • MC-140955 – Breaking a jigsaw block leaves its block entity behind
  • MC-140967 – desert_sheperd_house_1 structure duplicates desert_shepherd_house_1 structure
  • MC-141508 – “cat_morning_gift” loot table is stored in “entities” folder instead of “gameplay”
  • MC-141897 – Breaking or blowing up campfires sometimes still make smoke particles
  • MC-142214 – Campfires begin producing massive amounts of particles when game lags
  • MC-143687 – Scaffolding uses the “distance” value of it’s pillar, rather than the shortest
  • MC-143696 – /forceload is suggested for non-op players
  • MC-143725 – Crossbow Doesn’t Render in First Person View With Invisibility Effect
  • MC-143757 – Roof of plains blacksmith is cut off
  • MC-143766 – Loot tables cannot be applied to barrels
  • MC-143793 – Composter sounds are swapped
  • MC-143794 – Falling blocks break all snow layers, including when fully stacked

Get the snapshot

To install the snapshot, open up the Minecraft Launcher and enable snapshots in the “Launch Options” tab.

Snapshots can corrupt your world, please backup and/or run them in a different folder from your main worlds.

Cross-platform server jar:

Report bugs here:

Want to give feedback?