I ran out of space in this thread, so please visit my new thread here to follow the progress of Aquain.
Howdy all! I noticed in a few places folks on this server started
building underwater cities but then gave up because it proved too difficult. So I took that as a challenge and I've been working on my own underwater city ever since I joined (a month ago) and I've gotten a lot done, but I have very ambitious plans for it, so there is still quite a lot left to do. I have ten underwater domes so far, with underwater tunnels and rail connecting them all (more or less). It is still very much a work in progress, and I hate showing off unfinished stuff, but I figure there is enough now to give you guys at least a sneak peak at what I'm putting together.
I'm not sure what to call it, I've been using the name "Aquain" but I'm not sold on that as the city name yet. If anyone has any better suggestions please let me know.
Here's some thoughts on my idea for the city.Philosophy
I am striving for a very realistic creation (despite the underwater part, heh). So if I have residential space for 1,000 people (let's say) then I want to create enough schools, hospitals, churches, transportation, work places, etc that can accommodate that many people. Despite the rather fantastic setting I want this city to be completely plausible. So eventually I hope to build things like power plants and water treatment plants and other structures that are necessary for modern living. All cities are systems. They have both internal systems and are part of larger external ones. I intend to represent this in my city. For example, people need to eat, but I don't want to have any underwater farms, so I'm going to build big cargo subs (and docking bays to house them) to represent some vibrant trade with the outside world.
I am very interested in getting the scale right too. I think a lot of Minecraft builds are meant to be awe inspiring, so have like 40 foot ceilings and other grand things everywhere. I intend to do that stuff, when it fits, but otherwise I hope to squeeze my structures into compact space. Not only do I think that is more realistic, but considering this whole city is underwater space should be a luxury. That said, I hope to make good use of the space I have. The few semi-finished interiors I have done are in a relatively small space, but fit a lot into them. I'll look at them in more detail later.
Also, in my drive for realism I hope to have a realistic class structure. Not all residences will be the same size. I hope to have homes for the lower class, middle class, upper class and super rich in my city. This is no socialist utopia (dystopia imho). Structure
My city is, thusfar, based around domes. I think underwater glass domes really capture the mystique of underwater cities better than anything else. My very first build here was a large chamber built into the sea floor with a big flat glass top on it. It was not only plain and boring, it was implausible. A flat ceiling of glass that large would probably collapse under the weight of the water. So I went with domes, and they look pretty cool, I must say.
My layout, so far, is fairly orderly. I have a large dome which I intend to be the downtown/central business district. Shooting off from that in one direction I have a walkway that leads to a residential section. The first two domes you see are going to be upper class homes. Further east from there is a pod of six domes intended for middle class residences. I have started building the interiors on these and the condo pics below are from these. Like any well laid out city I hope to put structures in places that make sense. Schools & churches near residential areas, industrial areas further away, large ports near industrial and commercial areas, etc.
While the city is underwater and based around domes, most of the actual living space will be underground. I think this is fairly practical/realistic, plus with the ocean being only 16 tiles deep I don't have a lot of other options. I could purely build horizontal, but with all the stuff I want to fit into this city that'd require taking up half the map, hah, and there just isn't enough available ocean for that.
Eventually I hope to also throw a lot of cool things in the water around the city. Subs coming and going, sea weed, sunken ships, giant squids, etc.Style
I have been started designing a custom texture pack to go with the city, but style wise I haven't quite decided on what I'm doing yet. I'm taking influences from steampunk, art deco/Bioshock, and 50's futurism blended with many contemporary ideas. A world that takes its design cues and style inspiration from these sources, but is primarily practical in its outlook. Function over form. So, for example, when you look at a lot of steampunk style there are often just random gears stuck in every spot possible that seem to do nothing practical except look cool. But gears are a highly practical and useful item, not decoration. So I'll use them when it fits, but not otherwise.
I think I've love to go with a 1950's retro futurism look, but the main design element in that style is radically curved and rounded surfaces. Of course that is very difficult to do with Minecraft blocks. So I think I'm probably going to go with a more Art Deco approach. Yet at the same time I really like the rough hewn look of exposed metal, whereas Art Deco is a more sophisticated, polished look. So I'm not terribly sure what I'm doing with this yet, but I'll figure something out. (I'm open to suggestions)
My custom texture pack is going to be a big part of the city. There will be areas that won't look right unless you are using my texture pack. As I've told the few people who have actually visited the city so far, it looks much better through my eyes.Environment
I think I've pretty well mastered building underwater, so while others who have tried to do it have seen that as a large impediment to their project it doesn't bother me at all. My biggest challenge though is space. Sadly I couldn't find anywhere on the map where the water is deeper than 16 tiles. So if I want to build domes taller than that (I do) then I have to lower the sea floor which is a pain in the ass and takes a lot of work. I did that for my large dome, but I need a lot more land lowered. A few people have helped out with this here and there, but I've found it is hard to give people exact instructions on what to dig and what not to.
One benefit of lowering the sea floor is that right under my large dome there was a large underground ravine. I've turned that into an underwater trench which looks pretty awesome imho. Since it runs right under my large dome I hope to incorporate that into the plan for my downtown area. Perhaps shops/offices build into the cliff wall with suspended walkways connecting them across the ravine. Hopefully it'll be cool. The bottom of the trench is 52 blocks below sea level.Locationhttp://smp.opticraft.net/map/#/2404/64/3593/-2/1/0
Come to /home ozzykp upper
to see my progress with my upper class homes (still working on them)
Come to /home ozzykp view
to see a view of the city from the surface
Come to /home ozzykp church
to see the cathedral. The school is nearby too.
Come to /home ozzykp dbay
to see the docking bay (lots of work to do there yet)Screenshots
Ok... now the time you've all been waiting for... pictures!!!
Some shots of my middle class residential condos:
Exterior shots of the residential domes:
The big dome (future commercial district):
Some docked subs.
There is a water filled tunnel at the end of the docking bay leading to this room which is a repair shop for subs. This one is on the lift, being worked on. Not happy with the wool texture though, that'll change.
A look down from the surface
Upper Class Domes: (screenshots posted January 1, 2013)
The Upper Class domes are far more open than the middle class ones. More windows, more light, more openness:
I spent a day working on this wood floor texture. I finally got it just how I want it:
The Upper Class domes have access to a pool!
In the center of the dome you can look down through all the floors. Here is a look from the main floor down all the way to the pool.
Here is a look straight up from inside the pool. You can see all the way up to the ocean outside:
Another nice amenity of the Upper Class dome is they have their own Sub Garage:
The garage has a nice window to see subs coming and going through the access tunnel:
Here's a view of that sub descending the tunnel from out in the water:
First, a view from outside:
A look at the playground:
A swing set and a merry-go-round:
A sandbox, monkey bars and those things you bob back and forth on:
The front desk, behind the desk is the principal's office, with two smaller offices on either side:
Outside of Mrs. Valderas' classroom:
Teacher's desk, teacher's closet, bookshelf, blackboard:
This is a shot of the nave, looking towards the altar. Take note of the awesome looking texture for the carpet I created, I'm absolutely in love with this one. Red wool has never looked so good:
A closer look at the altar. The cathedral is built in a traditional cross shaped design with seating on both sides of the transept and the high altar & choir stalls in the "choir" (the part of the nave that extends beyond the crossing, i.e. the top of the cross). The high altar, appropriately, is all gold:
Here's a look at the ceiling/dome. The chandelier supports are netherbrick fence, but I made a new texture for them so they look like metal pipes.
On either side of the nave are the aisles. B1ueJ0ker helped me make some awesome archways that separate the aisles from the nave. His ideas were big improvements over what I was going to do. There are four chapels that shoot off from the aisles:
Here is a close up of one of the chapels:
A video of some of the middle class condos and my animations:http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/vsblmiWqbPwhttp://www.youtube.com/embed/vsblmiWqbPw
Watch for the clock, I have it set to advance 15 minutes every 15 minutes of game time. So in our world of minecraft at least the clock is semi-accurate. Also watch the keypad for the door, the display there has a subtle animation. And, of course, at the end of the video is the crown jewel of this project so far, a newscast from Aquain News Channel. Residents
Middle Class Habitat:
Nine domes built (Will accommodate 108 Condos total)
Three domes furnished (36 Condos)
- Need to build bathrooms
- Need to add final decor (pending texture pack completion)
- Two more domes built, both empty (1-13-13)
- One more dome built, so far empty (1-15-13)
- Built a grocery store, laundromat & subway access under the three furnished domes (6-15-13)
- Fleshed out another dome (added walls & floors) (6-18-13)
Upper Class Habitat:
Two domes built (Will accommodate 8 Houses total)
- Structure of one dome is finished (four homes, four stories each)
- Structure of second dome is almost finished (1-13-13)
- Top three stories of one dome are fully furnished (1-13-13)
- Both sub parking structures are finished, one still needs subs though (1-13-13)
- One bathroom more or less finished, shower works! (1-13-13) Built three other showers, finishing the furnished dome (6-15-13)
- Built two more domes north of the docking bay (6-15-13)
- Built walkways north of the docking bay for a series of luxury homes (6-15-13)
- Started construction on a luxury home for B1ueJ0ker. Above 'ground' construction finished. (6-15-13)
Central Commercial Dome:
- Dome constructed
- Ravine under the dome is opened up, fence built around it
- Glass barrier built dividing the underwater and under dome portions of the ravine
- Interior of dome waiting for 1.5 to come out, I hope to use elevators in the dome, so want new redstone stuff to come out first (1-13-13)
- Restaurant design figured out in SP (1-13-13)
Submarine Docking Bay:
- Entrance from cliffside of the ravine finished
- Docking bay dome finished, docks built, docked subs built
- Repair bay (and passage way) built
- Pedestrian entrance to the docking bay built, needs furnishing and finalizing
- Additional subs traveling to and from docking bay need to be built
- Rail line connecting the Docking Bay to the Residential area finished (Cut off by a sub docking bay, will need to be rerouted 1-13-13) (successfully rerouted 6-15-13)
- Rail line connecting the Docking Bay to the Central Commercial dome finished
- Finished station under Upper Class domes (6-15-13)
- Connected rail from docking bay to upper class domes, and from upper class domes to middle class domes (6-15-13)
- Finished station under middle class domes (6-15-13)
- Started building walkway to the school (1-13-13)
- Dome finished (1-15-13)
- Top level playground completed (1-16-13)
- First floor classrooms, principal's office, and bathrooms completed (1-17-13)
- Finished second floor classrooms. (1-21-13)
- Started building walkway to the church (1-13-13)
- Outer dome built (2-15-13)
- Pews, altar, choir, lighting finished in nave & transept (2-15-13)
- Aisles with chapels built on sides (2-15-13)
- Church basement mostly finished, bathrooms, reception hall, and some offices finished (2-15-13)To Do List
- Power Plant
- Additional Middle Class Housing
- Additional Upper Class Housing
- Mansions for the Wealthy
- Lower Class Housing
- Police Station
- Government Buildings
- Aquain News Channel studio
- Shops, restaurants, bars in Commercial Dome
- Offices in Commercial Dome
- Large Docking Bays to accommodate 'passenger liner' subs
- Large Docking Bays to accommodate cargo subs
- Factories/Industrial Area
- Water Treatment Plant
- Recycling Plant/Garbage Disposal thingy
- Recreation Areas
--- Public Pool/Sauna
--- Baseball Field for the Aquain Krakens
- Grocery Stores
- Movie Theater
- Giant Squid
- Various subs coming and going through surrounding ocean
- Ship wreck
- Connect everything with Rail
- Finish Texture Pack
- Think of better names for everything