Sunday, 29 June 2014

Creating the Hoenn Region, Minecraft Style : Part 2

Part 2 of the creation of the Hoenn Region in Minecraft.

In this part a section of Route 103, Route 102 and Petalburg city get constructed.

ROUTE 103:
Route 103 links Oldale town to Route 110 which, in turn links Mauville and Slateport City. Only a section was created for two reasons. 1: I preferred to make the region in the same order of places visited by the player. 2: There is a watery section in the middle which could cause some blocks to be thrown out of order later on. Construction on Route 103 continues when we reach the other side of the water.
ROUTE 101:
Route 101 has so far been the largest thing to be constructed so far in the game. Route 101 connects Oldale town to Petalburg city. While making Oldale town I miscalculated the location of some blocks while 'laying the foundation' and so Oldale town is actually 2 Minecraft blocks to the east than where it should be so the entrance to Route 101 is two blocks longer than it really is.

First things first, laying the foundation. Grass block's, lots of grass blocks.

Laying the grass. I used to do it the old fashioned way using bone meal on the grass but that cause grass and flowers (weeds in my mind) to appear in an uncontrolled fashion. It wasn't until I finished Petalburg city later on that I found the grass and double grass block under the 'Fancy blocks' section.

Lining the base of the small lake with sand as sand makes it look more like the Pokémon game.

At the first block level pine tree leaves provide a barrier to prevent the player simply walking through the trees.

The land that the player walks on is completely solid all the way down to the bedrock layer. The land the player doesn't walk on is not solid and will have liquid underneath. This is to save time. The only problem with this is that bats spawn underneath but some torches will solve that.

Route 101 completed. Shown to you from various angles.

Petalburg city took a while to make. It took a while mainly down to the Gym. Gym's in the Pokémon game are at least 4x bigger on the inside than they are on the outside. At first I decided to just build the gym building with not much in it but then i had an idea. More on that below...

 Pokémon Centre and Pokémon Mart in their Minecraft form.

POKéMON CENTRE "Rejuvenate your tired partners!"

Construction of two identical houses. The houses are made of yellow clay with acacia wood roof's

The Pokémon gym. In game it is Normal-type based and the leaders name is Norman. Norman is also the players father.

So far an empty building.

At first I was just going to leave the Gym's in Minecraft just buildings with a little bit inside of them but then I had a great idea. Because I'm building this region with no mod's putting teleporting pads were not an option so it would be best to modify the interiors of the gym to continue underneath the mainland. So that's what I did.

Sand is useful for building underwater because it displaces the water and it easily distinguishable from all blocks which reduces the chance of destroying the wrong block.

The iron portholes filled with glass are suppose to be like skylights allowing natural light to enter the room's. Glowstone ceiling lights are also added for night time play.

Cyan coloured rugs and whiteish paintings on the wall to try and make it like the in-game gym.

And finally, Petalburg city completed. Eventually this whole part will be buried under dirt and trees so will be hidden from view. Apart form the odd bit of glass sticking out of the ground but other than that.

 And finally, Petalburg city completed.

That's all the progress so far.
In the next part I will cover Route 104 and Petalburg Wood's
Stay tuned.

If you have any tips for improvement please don't hesitate to share, it's pretty hard to offend an Australian. Please comment as well. It would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Creating the Hoenn Region, Minecraft Style : Part 1

Last week I was a little bit bored. I was thinking of things to do but nothing I thought of was really interesting until I had an idea, which was to recreate the Hoenn region in Minecraft.

I purchased a Minecraft licence a few years ago but never really used it because I don't play video games too often. But last month I downloaded the launcher and the game and started playing. From there I made a creative world with a massively long highway plus a few bridges and a survival world which just has a small house. But I wanted to make something quite large and detailed which is quite a challenge in Minecraft because only so much detail can be made with one large block. Thinking of what to do for a challenge I remembered Pokémon Ruby version which was set in the Hoenn Region. This game brings back a lot of memories, from the music to the Pokémon and the locations you can visit. Re-creating the Hoenn region seemed like the ideal thing to do.

Yes I am aware that I am not the first to do this but my aim to do this without any mod's or texture packs so anyone viewing the region when it's finished (if it's ever finished) is to make it compatible with all games and to avoid having to get people to download dodgy texture packs from shady websites. Also it seems that every Hoenn region I've seen that's been made in Minecraft has a sort of manicured look in regards to the trees and plants. So I've decided to keep it simple by planting trees and letting them grow naturally.

But immediately there were problems.
1. Pokémon buildings are about twice as large on the inside as they are on the outside. Same goes for caves and any other building or doorway you enter. Gyms are the worst offender.
2. Blocks in Minecraft appear to have a smaller surface area than the walking tiles in Pokémon.
3. Small details (tables, cushions, furniture, etc) are difficult to recreate.
But in my mind there is a solution to everything. So to fix problems 1 and 2 was to make one walking tile in Pokémon two walking tiles in Minecraft so the region is effectively 2x the size. Not only does this mean the buildings are big enough to have interiors but it makes the region feel more life like. The fix to problem 3 was to improvise. Using 2 iron block stacked up on each other to make a fridge for example.

In the last week some good progress was made. Littleroot Town, Route 101 and Oldale town were complete. So was Route 102, Petalburg City and a part of Route 103 but that's for the next part.

The world started as a Superflat world with 1 layer of Bedrock, 5 layers of stone, 5 layers of dirt and 3 layers of water.

The first thing to do was lay a foundation for Littleroot Town. Every town and route has a layer of dirt that extends to the bottom of the water (3 blocks high). Blocks are then added on top to create the final layer.

Adding detail and buildings. The problem with Pokémon as highlighted beforiv that the buildings are bigger on the inside than they are on the outside which is impossible in the real world, or indeed, Minecraft.
It was difficult but possible to make the houses in Littleroot Town double story just as they are in the game, but the cubes of Minecraft make it difficult to add small detail. Shown below is downstairs and upstairs interiors of the Pokémon games rival.

Signs are placed with the text that would appear in the game. All the texts are from Ruby version.

Route 101 connects Littleroot Town to Oldale town. It is a short route and was easy to create.
 Grass grown by bonemeal represents the tall grass where wild Pokémon hide. I suppose the passive mobs will stand in as Pokémon for now.
 Pine trees were the most suitable because they have low leaves which makes them feel like barriers as they do in the game.
Pine wood stairs double as one way ledges. Green coloured clay makes up the spots where a different sort of grass is seen in the Pokémon game. Green wool was considered but was way too bright and too unnatural looking to be appropriate.

Oldale town is the next town from Littleroot. According to Bulbapedia, Oldale Town is the second smallest town in Hoenn with a population of just 16.

Once all the buildings were complete and the flowers had been planted, Oldale town was pretty much done.

The Interior of the Pokémon Centre is about as detailed as it can be. In an attempt to imitate the Pokémon, restore thing there is an enchantment table. A sandstone floor is the closest thing to a tiled floor as found in the game, and rugs made the best cushions.

This is the interior of the Pokémart. It looks more realistic than the Pokémon Centre. Bookshelves for shelves, Glass for a checkout counter, Quartz stairs for a cash register and Emerald blocks for the floor.

After foresting Route 101 it looks quite good.

Oddly after about 10 minutes of gameplay there would be some sort of graphical glitch that makes the sides of block transparent (see the houses) and blocks in the distance transparent. Fixing it involves restarting the game but the fix is only temporary.

And finally, a preview of what it looks like on the ground before you start your adventure looking north towards Route 101 and Oldale Town.

That's all the progress so far.
In the next part I will cover Route 102 and Petalburg City.
Stay tuned.

If you have any tips for improvement don't hesitate to share. Please comment.