Bayside Villa – Adjusted

I spent a little while adjusting some of the decoration on the villa. The idea what to make it still look textured but less “busy”. I’m not sure it’s complete yet but it’s better that it was in the previous communication.

Had The Decorators In
Had The Decorators In
RTX and the Villa - back view
RTX and the Villa – back view
The Rockery
The Rockery
Bayside Villa
Bayside Villa
Bayside and the Canal
Bayside and the Canal
Bayside Bedroom
Bayside Bedroom

World Tour 2021

I’ve decided to fly somewhere in X-Plane. I’m not sure where I’m going to end up but so far I have travelled from RAF Valley to Mauritania [the worst country you’ve never heard of]. I’m doing short hops heading around the coast. The route has, so far, been roughly:

  • RAF Valley
  • Bristol
  • RNAS Culdrose
  • Southampton
  • Jersey
  • Somewhere in Brittany
  • Bordeaux or so
  • St Sebastian
  • Santander
  • Portugal somewhere
  • Lisbon
  • Faro
  • Gibralter
  • Morocco somewhere
  • Canaries – various
  • Mauritania somewhere.

For a laugh I have streamed some of these. I had streamed to Twitch but that doesn’t save your videos AFAIK and so I’m now streaming this stuff to YouTube. These videos are really NOT interesting. I’m not talking over them. I’m just recording the screens and considering that I get to FL300 and then go straight there isn’t a lot to see. I’m also using this as a way of learning more about flying aircraft. I think I’ve got the basics sorted. I can take off, manoeuvre, land etc but I want to learn a little more about a/c systems and so on.

I’m hoping the scenery will get a little better as I head further south through Africa. I think I’ll sneak out to Cape Verde on the next hop. I’ll also try to remember to fill the plane with fuel and use reheat most of the way. I’m curious to see just how fast I can get it going.

I’m using a multi-screen set up for these trips. The devices are as follows:

  • Main PC screen – X-Plane standard cockpit or outside views.
  • Second PC screen – X-Plane Garmin device and VR Tablet add-on.
  • Android Tablet – browser with details from X-Plane and ability to turn switches etc via the touchscreen.
  • iPhone – running X-Plane Control so I can see approach angles and flight information.

So, when it looks as though I’m not really looking at the main PC screen I’m not. I’m probably doing plenty of other stuff on other screens or just letting the thing fly. I don’t think I have breakages turned on so nothing should go that wrong as I’m flying. Mind you, I’ve had a couple of occasions where the aircraft has ejected me for some reason and I’m not sure why – I suspect it was over-g at low level. Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing Table Mountain when I get there.

The Villa

I really liked my beach house that I built in the Minecraft series that is on my YouTube Channel. It was placed nicely although a little small. So, in the latest world I wanted a nice big beach house. And I’ve made it.

RTX Sunrise
RTX Sunrise

Now, I’m not sure I’m happy with some of the texturing and so I am going to remove and change of it. There’s too much detail in the fascia of the villa. The villa faces east and so this is a shot of the house with the sun rising.

Glorious Sunrise
Glorious Sunrise

This is a more front on view and you can see the levels. There’s an animal farm to the right rear of the villa. All the storage systems and other farms are hidden in a basement to the rear of the building.

View From North
View From North

Here you can see the side of the villa and the animal farm. In this series of screen shots I’ve got RTX turned on and it’s lovely. Absolutely lovely.

Second Balcony
Second Balcony

This is the view from the top balcony. There’s a bridge in the mid-distance and that has the old entrance to the mine that we started. I now have a minecart that goes from the basement to the mine and I can get there straight from the villa rather than heading into the dangerous outside.

I Felt Productive

I recently had a long session on Minecraft, I was stuck in the house and couldn’t get out as I was waiting for someone to come and fix my boiler. I didn’t really feel like getting into a TV show so I spent some time [too long really] putting an idea I had a while back into place. Here’s an overview of part of the latest world:

Latest World Overview
Latest World Overview

The mess top right next to the bay is the MAIN Base. I’m going to see if I can get some screen shots of it, or maybe give a walk around viewing video, I’ll see what I can manage. The big grey blob in the middle of the map is a gravel topped mountain and I’ve not been there to get the gravel yet but it will be useful at some point I hope. In the bottom left of the map you can see the nearest village to the base. I wanted to create a way of getting to and from the village without having to walk over land. I could have created a minecart track but in this world I chose to dig a canal.

Sea Level Details
Sea Level Details

This cross-sectional map shows everything at level 62 – sea level [currently]. If you look closely at the top you can see a thin blue line going horizontally. That is the canal I dug and added water to. You enter the canal from top right and move directly westwards and exit in the Great Lake. From there you follow the passages and mini-canal southwards to get to the village. There could be an issue that I can’t remember whether it was this village or not that had actual live villagers in it. I didn’t bother to check before I started this infrastructure project so it could have been for nothing!

Length Of Navigation Route
Length Of Navigation Route

My map making software also has a measuring tool. You can see that the total canal length is about 0.85km. So that’s 850 blocks long. I’ll probably create a video soon of the base and where the canal goes but until then, I leave you in peace.

Surprising Compression

Recently I went somewhere for a thing! Given the last year of lockdown and nothing really happening this was a super treat. Motorsport Vision emailed earlier in the year offering the chance to drive the GP circuit at Brands Hatch and as I considered the price to be suitable I booked a place. There were rules to follow once on the circuit but it was nice to experience the route in the sun and in my Prius. There were quite a few “showy” cars in the queue for the sightseeing but I didn’t care. I enjoyed it even though our speed never really exceeded 50 mph.

Driving The GP Circuit
Driving The GP Circuit

I will say that even at the pedestrian pace we were going the compression going down Paddock Hill was surprising, it also started earlier than I had expected but now that I’ve had time to reflect it makes sense that you feel negative g as you go over the top and then the onset of positive g is fast as you approach the inflexion.

This was great fun and something I’d love to do again. I should probably see what lap time I could get by driving on Gran Turismo. Unfortunately the current GT version doesn’t have a Prius so I’ll try and find something else with similar power and torque.

FW3/22

I went along the river Medway for a walk in the cool temperatures and I wasn’t expecting to find a second world war relic. I mean, there are 17th century castles and defenses to save the British fleet from being destroyed [again] but something slightly more contemporary was a slight surprise. I also didn’t expect it to at an extreme slant!

Cockham Wood FW3/22 Pillbox
Cockham Wood FW3/22 Pillbox

I guess the photograph doesn’t make it look so bad but I will confess that standing inside [it didn’t smell of piss which was a surprise] made me feel quite disorientated with walls and floors at strange angles. I almost felt like I do when I wear the PSVR.

Cockham Wood Pillbox Inside Out View
Cockham Wood Pillbox Inside Out View

I think the above picture is pretty neat. I wasn’t expecting a family to be there but it works really well. So glad that I have a reasonable camera on my phone. I tried to avoid taking pictures of all the rubbish inside the pillbox.

St Mary's Island, Medway
St Mary’s Island, Medway

The river itself was very still, I think it was approaching high tide and there wasn’t that much wind. This meant I didn’t have to use a slow exposure to get a smoothing of the water.

Upnor Steps
Upnor Steps

God, it was nice to be out and somewhere else. To be somewhere where the limit of my view is more that about three metres. I do think that my eyes are suffering with this being stuck indoors quite a bit. Maybe I should get to taking tea in the garden more often. I think I could stand and stare at Bushey Wood.

So, I Did A Thing And Learnt Some Stuff

Early on in this pandemic that is fucking the world I started playing Minecraft pretty much so I could engage in conversations with my kids and understand a little about the world they were obsessed with. I still don’t know everything but I know what I like and enjoy and so I’ve been building. It gave me purpose. I hated it at times, having to head off to the farm to get wool or go and get supplies so I can make concrete. I considered making a squid farm at one point, but just changed my design to have less black concrete. I quite liked the process of building a thing and then changing my mind about what I wanted to to look like or how to complete a particular section. I would often think about what to do while I was running or working.

I haven’t done everything I want. There are things I kept thinking about that I could make to increase the complexity of the build and make it look even better. I wanted exhaust tubes to be built heading from the base of the launchpad up to the ground level around 100 blocks away and these would have smoke constantly pouring out of them to look as though the rocket was taking off. I wanted to build a launch control centre like the one at Kennedy for the Apollo launches but I only have so much time and there are other things I like doing. I’m not a complete obsessive!

Once I had done enough – I don’t think I should say finished – I tried to figure out the best way to save this build for posterity. I have the world save files backed up and stored on a NAS and in the cloud. But I wanted to be able to show this off I guess so I looked into making a YouTube walkthrough. Now, I have some rules about this website and I decided I should have rules about the videos. I wasn’t going to feature my ugly face, but I decided I would in the end. I have an opening title card – ha ha, created in MS Paint – yes it looks cheap but these are my first videos. Not sure what I’ll do next. I’ve been really impressed with the video recording software and I found it very intuitive. So, here is the first in the series, Episode 1 of Megaship 3000.

It turns out I can talk much better if I have wine and it amuses me how stilted and staccato my opening words are. I think I relax a little once I get going and know what to talk about. Many, many thanks to Penguin for giving me feedback on the first few attempts at a video and I would also like to thank the penguin chicks for their advice which, as seasoned YouTube watchers, was really good. I guess it’s now time to publicise my efforts and think about a release schedule! There are eight episodes in all and I guess, one day, I might do this again.

Megabuild Progress

So, as time goes I progress on my Minecraft Megabuild. Even as I continue to build I keep coming up with ideas for new things and extensions but I have decided that once I’ve completed the inside and possibly adjusted the route of the underground railway approaching the build I will stop. I’d love to make a launch control like the one at Kennedy Space Centre but maybe another time. I need to start playing on a new world. This server is now known as Season Two and Season Three has already started. I expect another couple of weeks of tidying up this thing and then I will start recording the tours. I’m keep planning how this is going to work. I’ve practised recording a video with audio and it went ok. I just need to sit down and plan the sections. I think I’m going to make each video around five minutes long covering a single aspect of the build each time.

River and Rocket
River and Rocket

I’m currently fitting all the control systems to the rocket. Really this is just a bunch of switches and toggles in places that look right. I’m also moving all the material I excavated from the hole into rocket storage. I guess my plan is to have this thing be able to blast off and then build a new world somewhere. I’ve got my cabin sorted and I’m pleased with the view from there.

Top Half Of The Rocket
Top Half Of The Rocket

I’m not sure how much time I’ve spent on this. It’s been around an hour a day for quite a while. I’ve been spending time collecting the resources as all this has been made in survival game mode.

Minecraft Statistics
Minecraft Statistics

I’m waiting on a new camera and then some more time just to sweeten off this model and then it’ll be record time. I’m looking forward, it’ll be a new skill and one that I’ve kinda tried before but the result was terrible!

Gantry and Beach Base
Gantry and Beach Base

Here you can see my beach house, tree farm, beach bar and monolith. There’s also a nether-portal and if you know what you are looking for you can see Beach Station. Anyway, just wait for the videos!

Sneak Peek and Upskilling

I’ve been working on a Minecraft mega-build. I don’t think it’s as mega as some of the things made by the Hermitcraft server people but this is still pretty large. I’ve been working around an hour a day for what feels like ages. It started out as an experiment and now I seem somewhat obsessed with it all. I think about the plans as I go about my daily business and some of those have had to be binned as just too extravagant. Once this build is finished I think I might have trouble becoming motivated again in Minecraft, it’s been such a labour that this could end my metre-cubed-block career.

Sneak Peek
Sneak Peek

There’s also the problem of saving this build for posterity. That is where I will be upskilling. I intend to record some videos, to be placed on the YouTube platform, of me moving around the world and talking at the same time. I tried doing this in the lockdown and I hated it but I think it’s the only way to record the details of this build. I’m going to be testing recording and talking in other areas of this world to get practiced at this and hopefully be able to sound almost professional when I publish the videos of this build. I’ll also be using the PC rather than the PS4 to complete the screen recordings so that should look at lot better too.

Beach House Complex
Beach House Complex

I do not intend to learn any video editing software so I expect my tour around the base will be short clips rather than one long massive video. That way I can maximise the information given. Wait and see.

Build Plans

At the beginning of the national lockdown I went out for daily exercises with the kids and they talked constantly about Minecraft and I just nodded along. Then, I decided to join in and at least understand what they were talking about. Now, about half a year later, I still don’t always understand what they are talking about but I do at least get some of it. Our second world is progressing well and the luxury now is that we’ve conquered farming and so are able to devote time to “projects”.

I will confess that I have been using a map application to help with guided mining. While cheating I don’t think this is the worst cheat. I also started showing coordinates on screen which feels a little like cheating, but, not the worst as far as I’m concerned. Recently there have been nether tunnels made to progress around the world faster than my minecart railway from the Meadow to the Beach.

A while back I introduced the world to the HOLE via my YouTube channel. I don’t think I wrote about it on these informative pages but I didn’t really have much of an idea what to do. I think the HOLE took about two weeks to dig playing one to two hours a day. Two hours is my limit before I start getting restless.

The bottom of the HOLE is now layered with glass, there are torches placed at the lowest bedrock level and I have also filled a layer of water at the moment to save me dying if I fall into the HOLE. I might or might not remove the water, I’m not sure yet.

I have started a build project in the HOLE. It is going to take some time. So far I think I have spent about a week on it, playing for one to two hours per day. There are a few issues. The main one is resources. After building for a session I am generally out of particular resources and have to spend the next session building those resources up again. It does give me a break from the project I guess and allows me to think about how to design the next stage. The lowest level of the build was almost done as a proof of concept and it looked so good that I decided to carry on. After about a week of building the whole project started to take shape in my head and I now have most of it loosely planned. I know what I am going to do, it’s just a matter of getting the resources and doing the building.

I guess there will be a grand reveal here and on YouTube. I expect this project to take another two weeks to complete the main section of the build. I think it’ll be another couple of weeks after that to build the extras – such as minecart tracks and redstone components. So, given delays and that a national lockdown seems unlikely, this project looks set to last another month. I can’t wait to show people around the project. I will have to come up with some name for it.

HOLE Teaser
HOLE Teaser