“I’m not sure at what point a lair turns into a prison”

Fig­ur­ing out an un­der­wa­ter home in Mine craft

PC GAMER (US) - - DLC REVIEW - The beds seem too jolly and they don’t in­volve dead coral

What started as a short trip into Minecraft to check out the Up­date Aquatic has turned into an un­der­wa­ter episode of Grand De­signs where I (a great sea witch) am build­ing a lair in a crevasse I found, and an imag­i­nary Kevin McCloud is mak­ing con­cerned noises.

I’m at the point where I have a nook I’m happy with, and which pro­vides a mis­sion state­ment for the rest of the area, but I haven’t ex­panded yet. The aes­thetic cen­ters on bluish glow­ing cubes, dead coral, and sea pick­les.

Un­der the sea

Sea pick­les look like small green can­dles, and you can ar­range them in lit­tle groups of one to four on top of a block. I’m us­ing them as a mood light­ing so­lu­tion, pick­ing out parts of the nook which would oth­er­wise be in shadow, but which a bluish bea­con would ruin by be­ing too harsh.

The other thing my lair has, and which I’m en­joy­ing enor­mously, is en­try and exit bub­ble col­umns. If you place magma blocks in wa­ter they gen­er­ate a whirlpool above, which is es­sen­tially a bub­ble col­umn that draws stuff down. If you place soul sand, it does the re­verse, and cre­ates a col­umn which pushes you to­wards the sur­face.

I’ve put a plat­form of magma and one of soul sand at the en­trance to my lair to act as chutes. I might tin­ker with those to see if there’s a way to re­fine them, or whether I can some­how use red­stone to turn one on and off. Y’see, when build­ing a true lair, you don’t want peo­ple es­cap­ing, so I’m en­vi­sion­ing a sys­tem by which the down­ward col­umn is al­ways on

(and thus po­ten­tially trap­ping things), and the up­wards chute is one you have to ac­ti­vate. I’m not sure at what point a lair turns into a prison. Per­haps it de­pends on who you ask and who has the key to the exit.

Any­way, the en­try col­umn de­posits you at the bot­tom of the sea. From there you go down pris-ma­rine steps which loosely fol­low the shape of the ter­rain, so it’s a bit of a wind­ing stair­case. On the walls, I’ve used the way the wa­ter be­haves to cre­ate some wa­ter­falls, and I’ve filled in some of the gaps in the walls with ei­ther dead coral blocks or mossy cob­bles. The dead coral blocks add an or­ganic tex­ture, which is nicely creepy, while the mossy cob­bles have that sense of be­ing slightly wild or over­grown.

Now is the part where Kevin will try to ask, “Where do the bats fit in to all this?” And the an­swer is, “I don’t know, Kevin. They were here when I got here, and I think it’s be­cause tech­ni­cally the game gen­er­ated a cave, so I don’t know how to not kill them if I start pok­ing around, so I guess we have to live with the bats, OKAY?”

Or maybe he will com­ment on the lack of a bed, and frankly, Kevin, I haven’t de­cided whether a sea witch needs a bed. The beds seem too jolly, and they don’t in­volve dead coral, AL­RIGHT? And don’t even talk to me about the lack of a ceil­ing and how es­capable this whole thing cur­rently is. Ugh. I’m never speak­ing to Grand De­signs ever again.

En­ter on the magma, leave on the soul sand.

I’m re­ally not sure this book­case works in this lair.

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