How to find the perfect Minecraft map

When I start a new build in Minecraft, I generally have a very specific criteria for what the map should look like. Per example, If I’m building a Egyptian city, I’ll want a desert biome with a large river that’s close to some temples.  Unfortunately, It can take a very long time to find such a place by just walking.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you a way to easily find the perfect Minecraft map, whether you’re searching for specific biomes, structures or just cool geography.

What we’ll be using:

To do this, we’ll be using a program called Amidst, which can be downloaded from this thread: http://www.minecraftforum.net/forums/mapping-and-modding/minecraft-tools/1262200-v3-6-amidst-strongholds-village-biome-etc-finder. What Amidst does is create a large map of what a Minecraft world will look like. The brilliant part is that, instead of actually generating the world, which is very time consuming even on high-end computers. Amidst creates it’s map using the biome information contained within the seed used. This makes for a very reliable estimation of what a map will look like in Minecraft, but for a fraction of the cost (metaphorically speaking).

Once Amidst is finished downloading, open it. It will ask you to choose a profile, simply select the one you play with and click okay.

Selecting Amidst' profile

You should now see something like this, not very interesting eh?

Amidst grey background

Well, let’s make it interesting! Go to File->New->From seed. This will prompt you for a seed. You can type one in the text box, or leave it empty to generate a random seed. Click OK.

Entering a seed

You’ll now need to choose the world type, select the one you want and press Ok once more.

Amidst map

Pretty nice eh? You can now move freely around the map to see if you find what you want, or create a new map by using the file menu or pressing Ctrl+N. Let’s say you’re satisfied with the map and ready to use it in Minecraft: go to the Map menu and click on “Copy Seed to Clipboard”. You can now open Minecraft and create a new world by pasting the seed!

Amidst map in Minecraft

As you can see, I’ve copied the “Thecomputerblog” seed in Minecraft and spawned, as predicted by Amidst, in a plains biome next to a forest and an small ocean.

So that’s how to find the perfect Minecraft map without wasting hours of time exploring! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and don’t forget to come back for more!

-Icosebyte

How to broadcast links in Minecraft

I can be really useful to broadcast links in Minecraft. It’s a great way to advertise your server’s website, or to allow people to donate. It can also be used to link to a texture pack that doesn’t allow re-hosting on your server (per example, Conquest, my favourite texture pack).

So how can we broadcast a link in our Minecraft server? Well, we need a plugin called Simple Broadcast, The 1.7.2 version can be downloaded here: http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/simplebroadcast/files/22-simple-broadcast-v1-7/.

Download and install Simple Broadcast. When this is done, reload your Minecraft server. This will create a SimpleBroadcast folder (in your plugins folder), which looks something like this:

SimpleBroadcast Plugin folder

Now, we need to open the config.yml file with notepad. For the sake of this tutorial, let’s just broadcast a message every 5 minutes that reminds everyone on the server to download the Conquest texture pack.

Scroll down the config.yml file until you see this:

messages:
– ‘Thank you for using SimpleBroadcast!’
– ‘Plugin by &oKingDome24.’
– ‘If you have questions, please visit the BukkitDev page!’
– ‘%laquo%Many new and cool variables are now available%raquo%’

These are the messages that will be broadcast by the plugin. Let’s replace it with our own. In my case, I’ll give a link to Conquest, so my message will look something like this:

Don’t forget to download the Conquest texture pack!

http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/1452033-174-32×32-conquest-wip-weekly-updates/

To write our own messages, we need to respect a few rules. First off, need to enclose our messages in single quotes (‘). Furthermore, line breaks are new allowed.

So how do we add single quotes and line breaks INSIDE of our message? We need to use something called variables, the full list of which can be found here: http://www.simplebroadcast.net/documentation/#variables. Variables also allow us do add formatting to our text, so our link looks more like a link.

So let’s go back to our message, we’ll need to replace our single quote with it’s corresponding variable, ie. %sq%. Let’s also add a line break before the link. We now have this:

messages:

– ‘Don%sq%t forget to download the Conquest texture pack! %nhttp://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/1452033-174-32×32-conquest-wip-weekly-updates/’

Now, we need to give some style to our link. Let’s make it blue and underlined. We can do this by adding the &9 (blue) and &n (underline) variables before the link.

messages:

– ‘Don%sq%t forget to download the Conquest texture pack! %n&9&nhttp://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/1452033-174-32×32-conquest-wip-weekly-updates/’

So now, let’s say we want to make this link appear every 5 minutes. Still in the config file, we need to find the following line of text:

delay: 60 # time in seconds

This line corresponds to how often (in seconds) the message will be displayed. If we want it to appear every 5 seconds, then we’ll write:

delay: 300 # time in seconds

Ok, we can now save the file and reload SimpleBroadcast by typing /sb reload in the minecraft chat (or sb reload when using the console). Our link should now appear in Minecraft!

Our link displayed in Minecraft

We can now open the chat and click on the link, which will give us the following prompt. Were we to click yes, it would open the page in our browser!

Minecraft link prompt

That concludes this article, I hope you’ve enjoyed it and don’t forget to come back for more!

-Icosebyte

Add smoke, crates and a bunch of new blocks to your Minecraft world

If you’re like me and you enjoy building in Minecraft, you might find yourself frustrated by the lack of decorative blocks. In this article I’ll show you a way to add smoke, crates, and a bunch of new blocks to your Minecraft world.

Note: we won’t really be adding new blocks but, rather, we’ll change the texture of already existing, yet unused blocks.

Allow me to explain myself. Every block in Minecraft has a specific number associated with it. This number is called the block’s ID. Fortunately for us, not all of the numbers are associated with a block. These unused numbers are simply “dummy” blocks that look and behave like some already existing block.

Per example, the block ID 1:0 is Stone, while 1:1 is unused. This being said, if you were to give yourself a block with an ID of 1:1, it would behave exactly like stone, but you would be unable to stack it with “real” stone, because they aren’t the same blocks; they don’t have the same ID!

Knowing this, some texture packs have created decorative textures for these “fake” blocs, This means that people who install the texture pack will see the re-textured blocks, while those using a different texture pack will just see the default block.

This is great for multiplayer, because it allows you to add awesome new blocks to your builds without breaking the server! So how do we do this?

What you’ll need:

The first thing you’ll need is a texture pack with metadata textures: In this tutorial, I’ll be using the Conquest texture pack, because it’s one of the most popular packs as well as my personal favourite. It also has a wide variety of awesome textures, such as animated smoke, crates, chains, etc.

You’ll also need access to a Minecraft server running Craftbukkit and WorldEdit, or WorldEdit for singleplayer.

Changing the textures

Once you’re finished installing WorldEdit and the Conquest texture pack, you can start decorating! Here’s a diagram of all the “hidden” textures of Conquest: http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14812134/Forum/reference.jpg. But how can we use them in Minecraft considering these block IDs are not in the game? That’s where WorldEdit comes in.

Here’s a small medieval house I’ve built. As you can see, I’ve imitated smoke coming out of the chimney using cobwebs. The effects is decent, but real smoke would be a lot better!

Medieval house with cobwebs

What we need to do, is to replace each cobweb block with a block of ID 30:2 (as you can see from the reference sheet posted earlier).

So, open the chat and type //wand, this will give you a wooden axe, which we will use to convert our cobweb to smoke.

Spawning the WorldEdit wand

Using the wand, we now need to set the region in which our command will take effect. To do this, left-click the first corner of the region you wish to affect, then right-click the opposite corner. For more information on how the wand works, you can look up the WorldEdit wiki: http://wiki.sk89q.com/wiki/WorldEdit/Selection#Selecting_cuboids.

Setting the first position

Setting the second position

Once the area is selected, we can replace the blocks, to do this, we use the following command: //replace <block to replace> <new block>. In our case, we want to replace cobweb (ID: 30) with the smoke texture (ID: 30:2), so we will type:

//replace 30 30:2

Medieval house with smoke

And there you go, you now have awesome animated smoke, and the best part is, if you were to change your texture pack, you would just see normal cobwebs. This means that you don’t break your game by using this method and that this won’t ruin the build for other players.

So that concludes this article, I hope you’ve enjoyed it and don’t forget to come back for more!

-Icosebyte

How to pre-generate your Minecraft World

Have you even wanted to explore a Minecraft world without facing constant lag because the map is being generated? A good way to avoid this is by pre-generating your world. This can also be useful if you’re hosting a Minecraft server and want to provide your visitors with a map of the world.

So how do we do this? Well, it’s actually fairly simple. The first thing we need to do is to download a program called “Minecraft Land Generator”, which is available here: https://sites.google.com/site/minecraftlandgenerator/home/download. What this program does is it generates terrain by constantly changing the spawn point of a Minecraft Server.

Note: The main download didn’t work for me (the zip file was corrupted). If you also encounter this problem, you can simply download the “Source” zip file (https://github.com/Morlok8k/MinecraftLandGenerator/archive/master.zip). You’ll find a working, compiled version of Minecraft Land Generator in the “zip” subfolder.

Once you’ve downloaded and extracted Minecraft Land Generator, you’ll want to click on “MLG_Initial_Setup_Windows.cmd”. This will prepare the program.

MLG initial setup

Once this is done, we’re ready to create a map. Click on “Run_MLG_Windows.cmd” and enter the desired world size.

Run MLG Windows

Note: If you want to change the seed of your world, simply change the seed specified in the “server.properties” file that was created when you ran  “MLG_Initial_Setup_Windows.cmd”. Now, you simply need to wait for the program to finish creating your world!

Map of output world

If you wish to know how to create a map of your Minecraft world, you can check out this article: http://thecomputerblog.net/create-map-minecraft-world/.

That concludes this article on how to pre-generate your Minecraft world, I hope you’ve enjoyed it!

-Icosebyte

How to add custom recipes to your Minecraft server

Did you ever think about how awesome it would be if you could add custom recipes to your Minecraft server? Perhaps a way to craft horse armour or cobwebs? Well, this is precisely what we are going to do in today’s article!

To make this possible, we need to install a fantastic Craftbukkit plugin called Craftbook. This plugin is possibly the best thing since sliced bread. Seriously, Craftbook is a must for every Minecraft server. It just adds so many interesting mechanics, such as sittable chairs, cooking pots, easy painting switching… and of course, custom recipes!

In this article, I’ll just talk about custom recipes, but I strongly recommend that you check out the other features of Craftbook. They’re all awesome and worth your time (I might talk about them in an upcoming article)!

Ok, enough talking, time for some action. The first thing you’ll need to do is to download and install Craftbook (can be downloaded here: http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/craftbook/). You’ll also need a plugin called WorldEdit (http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/worldedit/) as well as ProtocolLib (http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/protocollib/). Finally, I recommend that you install Vault (http://dev.bukkit.org/bukkit-plugins/vault/) although it isn’t necessary.

Once you’ve installed all of these plugins, start your server. We now need to activate the Custom Crafting mechanic (all Craftbook mechanics are disabled by default.)

You can do this by editing the Craftbook “config.ylm” file (located in the plugins\CraftBook folder). Open the file in Wordpad and scroll down until you see the following two line:

custom-crafting:
enable: false

Change it to:

custom-crafting:
enable: true

And reload the server.

Ok! You should now be able to create your own recipes. Let’s make one for cobweb. The way we do this is by putting the recipe in the three leftmost rows of our inventory, and then putting the output object next to the recipe, as such:

Making recipe for cobweb

When you’re satisfied with your recipe, type the following command: /recp save <Recipe Name> <Recipe Type>

Where <Recipe Name> is the name you give your recipe (not really important) and <Recipe Type> is either Shapeless, Shaped or Furnace (Additional information regarding the recipe types can be found at this page: http://wiki.sk89q.com/wiki/CraftBook/Custom_crafting). Basically, shaped recipes are the ones for which the way you place the ingredients is important, while, in shapeless recipes, you can put the ingredients in any order. Furnace recipes are the simplest, they simply specify what happens when you cook something.

In my case, I’ll be typing the following command:

/recp save Cobweb shaped

recp output

Once your recipe is saved, you can test it out by using a crafting table:

Testing recipe with crafting table

And there you go, that how you add custom recipes to your Minecraft Server!

If you feel like you haven’t perfectly understood this tutorial, I recommend you watch the following video:

That concludes this tutorial, I hope you’ve enjoyed it and have a nice day!

-Icosebyte

How to create awesome Minecraft screenshots

When you wish to showcase your latest and best build, typical screenshots just don’t cut it. Instead, you’ll want to render your masterpiece in a picture worthy of Thomas Kinkade. But how can you do this?

To create awesome Minecraft screenshots, you’ll first need to download and install a free program called Chunky, which is available here: http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/63913-chunky-minecraft-mapping-and-rendering-tool/

Once you’re finished installing Chunky, open it.You’ll see something like this:

Chunky Launcher

Make sure the Java and Minecraft directories are correct (they will be unless you’ve installed Java/Minecraft into a weird folder), then click Launch.

Now, you need to open your Minecraft world in Chunky. To do this, click on Select World and then choose your world from the list (if your world is singleplayer) or browse for the world if you’re using a standalone server. Chunky will then load the map.

World loaded in chunky

The next step is to select the chunks that will be rendered in the final image. In other words, we need to select the area around which we want to take our ‘screenshot’ . To do this, press and hold shift, then click and drag around the desired area.

Chunky selecting chunks

Note: In the Options tab, there’s a button that allows you to load a custom texture pack for your render. I strongly recommend you use this. In my case, I’m using the Conquest texture pack.

Now that we’ve selected the relevant area, we can go to the 3D Render tab and click on New Scene. This will open up two windows, the Render Controls window and the Render Preview window. In the Render Preview window, move the camera around (using the mouse and arrow keys) until you’re satisfied with it’s position.

Render preview

Now, we need to configure the Render Controls. I used the following settings, but I recommend you experiment to find what’s best for you.

Render Controls

Note: Setting high values for SSP target (greater that one thousand) will drastically increase the time it takes for the image to render.

When you’re satisfied with your settings, click Start. All that’s left to do now is to wait for it to finish rendering!

 

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of a screenshot taken in Minecraft versus the Chunky render:

Original screenshot:

Original screenshot

Chunky render:

Chunky Render

Pretty neat eh? (although the text in the leaves is kinda odd :P)

So that concludes today’s article! I hope you’ve enjoyed it!

-Icosebyte

How to create a map of your Minecraft World

 

Ever wanted to see your whole Minecraft World at once? There’s something oddly satisfying about seeing all your building in one single picture…

In this article I’ll show you just that: how to create a map of your Minecraft World.

The first thing you’ll need  to do is to download a neat little program called McMap (there are other alternatives available, but I prefer McMap because it creates an actual PNG file that you can then edit to add in city names, road names, etc.). McMap can be downloaded here: http://wrim.pl/mcmap/

Once you’ve finished downloading the *.zip file, extract it so you see something like this:

McMap extracted

If you’re running a 32 bit operating system, go into the mcmap-win32bit folder, while if you’re running a 64 bit operating system, go to the mcmap-win64bit folder. Once this is done, click on mcmapGUI2 to launch McMap. You should see something like this:

McMap graphical user interface

Now, we need to configure McMap. First off, select the world for which you want to create a map. Then, select your preferred options and click Start. Once the render is finished, you’ll see Map image written :-) 

MCMap finished rendering

At this point, go to the same folder in which you launched McMap (mcmap-win32bit or mcmap-win64bit). You should see a PNG file with the same name as your world. This is your brand new map!

Finished Minecraft Map

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you did, do come back for more!

-Icosebyte

How to easily create a large lake in Minecraft.

 

Let’s say you wish to build an awesome coastal city, but that you’re unable to find a coast close enough to your existing constructions… Do you start a new map or abandon your project?

In this article, I’ll show you an easy way to create large lakes using a Minecraft plugin called Voxelsniper.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to make sure you have a Craftbukkit server set-up (as far as I know, there’s no way for Voxelsniper to work in singleplayer). Once this is done, download and install Voxelsniper on your server.

Now, go to the place that you want to turn into a lake:

region to turn into lake

Then, put an arrow in your hand and type /b o.

This turns the arrow into an Oceanator brush, which inverts the terrain and covers it with water, giving you an ocean.

Now, you need to give a size to the Oceanator brush. To do this, type /b <size>, where <size> is a number that represents the size (really!) of the brush. Per example: /b 10.

configuring the oceanator brush

When you’re done creating the brush, right click the ground with the arrow in your hand in order to turn it into water. Do this until you’re satisfied with the size and rough shape of the lake:

using the oceanator brush

Ok, so now we have our lake, but it looks completely unnatural with those huge cliffs on  every side. What we need to do is to smooth out the coast.

Once more, with the arrow in your hand, type /b e melt. Once this is done, right-click all around the lake to smooth out the cliffs:

Smoothing out the cliffs with the melt brush

Notice that, at some places, the water has gone awry after we used the melt brush. To fix this, stand in the water (one block deep) and type /fixwater <radius>, where radius is the approximate size of the lake in blocs, ex: /fixwater 100:

Fixing the water with /fixwater

Now it’s starting to look like a lake!

The last thing we might want to do is to replace all the materials around the lake with sand, to create a more natural looking beach.

To do this, type /v sand

then /b b mm

followed by /vr <the material to replace> (in this case, I’ll be replacing the sandstone with sand, so I’ll type /vr sandstone)

You can then set a size for the brush by typing /b <size>.

When you’re finished configuring the brush, right-click (with the arrow in your hand) the area that you wish to convert into sand (Keep in mind that you’ll need to repeat these steps for every material around the lake):

Replacing the sandstone with sand

And there you go, that’s an easy way to create a large lake in Minecraft!

I hope you found this article useful,

-Icosebyte

Enable cheats on an already existing world in Minecraft

 

The other day, I was playing on an old Minecraft singleplayer map when I encountered an unfortunate problem: I wanted to change some of the map’s gamerules, but I was unable to do so because cheats were disabled. Having spent several hours on this map, I didn’t want to start over, so I decided to try and find a way to enable cheats on an already existing world.

When you save a Minecraft world, the game creates a level.dat file that contains all of the map’s parameters in NBT (Named Binary Tag) format. Now, if we want to change these parameters, we can use an awesome little program called NBTExplorer (available for download on this forum thread: http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/840677-nbtexplorer-nbt-editor-for-windows-and-mac/).

How to enable cheats using NBTExplorer:

First off, you need to download NBTExplorer either by looking up the forum thread linked previously or by going to this page: https://github.com/jaquadro/NBTExplorer/releases/

 

Once NBTExplorer is finished downloading, you can open it by clicking on NBTExplorer.exe (the icon is a small dead shrub). You should then see a list of your singleplayer maps:

NBTExplorer1

Now, you need to double click on the map for which you want to enable cheats.

Once this is done, double click on level.dat [1 entries], then Data: 24 Entries, and finally on AllowCommands: 0

This will open a small text box titled “Edit value…” in which you need to type 1.

NBTExplorer2

You can then click on Ok and save your changes by going to File -> Save (or by pressing Ctrl+S). You should now be able to use cheats on your Minecraft map!

I hope this article helped you out and, as always, have a nice day!

-Icosebyte

How to disable fire spread in Minecraft

 

You know when you build a nice fireplace in Minecraft:

fireplace

And THIS happens?

fire buring

Yeah, Minecraft’s way of handling how fire spreads makes close to no sense. This is the reason why, in most of my maps, I just disable it altogether. But how do you do this? It’s actually very simple.

Keep in mind that, If you’re playing on a singleplayer map, you need to have cheats enabled to use this procedure and if you’re on a server, you’ll probably need to be an admin. Note that if you don’t have cheats enabled, you can turn them on by following this procedure: http://thecomputerblog.net/enable-cheats-already-existing-world-minecraft/

If these conditions are met, open the chat box and type the following command:

/gamerule doFireTick false

This will permanently disable fire spread on the map or server. If you ever wish to re-enable fire spread, simply type:

/gamerule doFireTick false

That’s it! I hope this post helped you out!

-Icosebyte