Despite being like really old (43!) according to the kids, I still know far more than them about Minecraft. I’m a foster carer and believe strongly in the power of using sandbox games like this to teach, defuse, and bring out the creativity in kids that have had a hard start in life. Looking at the things they build, destroy or how they play can be quite instructive, sometimes alarming, but at least fun. Of course, you can play Minecraft with your nan if you want, but this is just me.
I build this castle with a teenager, every night for a few months, on and off. Then, when he was no longer with us, I picked it up and got it sort of finished. This is the basic shell of a mountain base, with internal spaces inside a hollowed-out mountain, underground levels for whatever we dream up, and deep underground, the start of a mining structure.
Above ground are five floors, topped off with glass aerial walkways leading off to platforms with ladders down to interesting waypoints in the distant lands.
There are all sorts of unexplored chasms, cave systems, abandoned mineshafts, and a few weird creations we dreamt up. Some even have treasure chests.
Here and there are bolt-hole shelters with some supplies for intrepid explorers.
At the castle’s rear end, there is a harbour with a fishing shelter and boat parking. Inside the castle at this end is the bedroom stack. They are dug into the mountain below, with water views in each room. I’ve made one for each of the kids, and myself. You can add more. Also, access to the monster hunting room is from here. This is a room with switchable lights (and a lava flood) for monsters to spawn in, so you can practice fighting them.
I started adding some internal decorations and features, but I’ll leave most of the details to the kids. Below is a simple automatic cooking/smelting machine surrounded by a glass wall for safety.
I added a few niceties to get the little darlings going since they won’t bother to read the excellent Minecraft Wiki to learn the game properly.
Below is a room with piles of enchanted books ready to apply, as well as fully-powered-up enchanting tables for practicing with.
The other side of the room has brewing stands, and all the raw materials needed for this.
I started making some monster-fighting cages. Each of these has a machine to spawn monsters upon the push of a button. Currently one for skeletons and one for zombies!
There is a very preliminary petting zoo room on one of the top floors. It was proving tricky to stop some of the friendly mobs from de-spawning. And the parrots kept escaping…
The roof gets a lot of lightning strikes. At one point, there was a rare spawning of three skeletons riding skeleton horses. I killed the skeletons and kept the horses. They will roam around forever.
Below is shown the encased nether portal room, it should keep the pigmen from wandering around the castle.
This is the level to access the aerial walkways.
There is a very preliminary nether base, with encased walkways taking you off to different nether biomes, as well as a couple of nether fortresses and a nether portal that will take you to an overworld woodland mansion, if you can find it 🙂
I’ll probably make additional updates as we go on, but for now, this is the version we’re playing. You can download it direct from here:
To install, on Linux copy the file to:
~/.minecraft/saves/ and decompress it. You may need to fix up the permissions.
To install, on Windows copy the file to:
C:\Users<username>\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft\saves and decompress with 7-ZIP or similar.
Optifine 1.6.5 for Java Edition – Minecraft optimisation mods – performance tweaks and shader installation
If you have a fast computer, with a decent GPU, then give the awesome SEUS shader a try and turn the quality in Optifine to max. It’s a totally different experience if your PC can handle it!