Articles tagged with: minecraft

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: 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!


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: 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:

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!


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,


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:

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:


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:


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.


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!


How to disable fire spread in Minecraft


You know when you build a nice fireplace in Minecraft:


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:

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!




How to easily remove a forest in Minecraft


I can’t count how often this has happened to me: I want to build an epic city in Minecraft, but I first have to clear a huge forest. The small trees aren’t so bad to cut, but the large ones are… well, you know…

So, is there an easy way to clear a forest in Minecraft? In survival, unfortunately not. BUT, if you’re willing to use third-party tools, there are two easy methods to get rid of those pesky trees.

Using a world editing plugin (WorldEdit or VoxelSniper):

This is my favourite way to quickly get rid of forests, but it only works if you host your world on a CraftBukkit server. The first thing you’ll need to do is to install WorldEdit or VoxelSniper, then, use these commands:

For WorldEdit:

Type //brush <brush type> air <brush size>

Per example: //brush sphere air 5

Then, type //mask leaves

What this does is create a spherical brush that replaces every “leaves” bloc with air.

You can now spam right-click around the area you wish to clear to remove all the leaves:

Removing leaves with WorldEdit

Now, all that’s left to do is to remove those pesky logs. Type //mask log and spam right-click once more:



For VoxelSniper:

Removing trees with VoxelSniper is similar to removing trees with WorldEdit, but the commands differ.

You first need to type /v air, then /b b mm.

You then need to select a brush size by typing /b <size> (per example, /b 10)

Finally, type /vr leaves

Now, put an arrow in your hand and spam right-click over the area to clear:

Remove leaves with voxelsniper

Once you’re done removing the leaves, type /vr log and right-click over the area to clear:

Remove logs with voxelsniper


So that’s how you remove forests with world-editing plugins. Now, this method is nice and simple, but it doesn’t work if you don’t have a Craftbukkit server. If this is the case, then you might want to consider the second method.


Using MCEdit:

MCEdit is a superb Minecraft world editor. It allows you to move around parts of the map, create structures and more. Here, I will show you how you can clear all the trees in an area with this program.


First off, load the world by clicking on “Open a level…” and then navigating to your world’s “level.dat” file.

You then need to select the region that you want to clear:

Select part of the map - MCEdit


Then, click on “Fill and Replace”, then on “Ok”, then on “Replace”.

Under the “Find” option, select leaves, and under the “Replace with” option, select air. Once this is done, click replace.

This should remove all the leaves in the selected area (Keep in mind that you might need to do this for all the different types of leaves in the area). You now need to remove the logs.

To remove the logs, repeat the steps above, but under the “Find” option, select Wood instead of Leaves, then click replace (Once more, keep in mind that you might need to repeat this process for all the types of wood in the area).


When you’re satisfied with the result, save the map (Ctrl+S) and close MCEdit!


So that concludes this article, I hope you enjoyed it!


How to play Minecraft over lan without internet

Minecraft is most fun when played with friends. Almost every “lan party” I host (or go to) involves Minecraft. In some of these “parties”, we don’t have access to the web. In cases like these, it might be a bit confusing to get Minecraft to work in multiplayer. So the purpose of this post is to show you how to play Minecraft over lan without internet.

The first step is to connect all the computers together through a router. If you only have two computers, then you can connect them through a LAN cable.

Step 1 – Create a server if you don’t already have one

The next step is setting up a server (if this isn’t already done). The easiest way to do this is to start the MC client (you’ll need to select the “play offline” box to be able to play).  Next, click the singleplayer button and select/create the world which you want to play.

Once your world is created/opened, you need to make it accessible over LAN. To do so, press enter, then “Open to LAN”. Choose your preferred settings and press “Start LAN World”.

This is a screenshot of Minecraft showing that, once you've opened your world to LAN, a message will appear with the port which you need to use in order to connect to your server.

Notice the message that appears “Local game hosted on″ you needn’t remember the zeros, but write down the numbers after that. They correspond to the port through which other people can connect to our server.

Note that you might also need to turn off your firewall to allow other people to connect.

Step 2 – Getting the required IP Address

Now, you need to determine the IP address of your computer. Go to the Windows start menu and click on run (if you’re on XP) or type “run” in the search bar if you’re on Windows Vista/7/8.

This is a screenshot showing how to open the RUN program in Windows 7, using the start menu's embedded search function.

Once the Run program opens, type “cmd.exe” (without the double quotes) in the text box.

A picture showing the RUN program (under windows 7) with "cmd.exe" in the text box.

This will pop up a Command Prompt window, which might look intimidating to those of you who are less computer literate. But fear not, what we will do is completely harmless.

In the command prompt windows, type ipconfig, and press ENTER. This will pop up a bunch of different series of numbers. Now, the one you want to give your friend(s) depends on whether you’re using a router or a direct LAN cable.

If you’re using a direct LAN Cable, you need the IP address that is identified as “Autoconfiguration IP Address”

This is a screenshot of the Command Prompt showing an example of the output that ipconfig will give you when connected over direct LAN.

On the other hand, if you’re connected through a router, you need to look for “IP Address”

This is a screenshot of the Command Prompt showing an example of the output that ipconfig will give you when connected through a router.


Step 3 – Connecting to the server

Now, connecting to our server is quite straightforward, you (or your friend(s)) need to open Minecraft and click on Multiplayer. Then, click on “Direct Connect” and, in the text box, enter the IP Address obtained previously followed by a colon and the port number we get in step 1:

This is a screenshot of Minecraft showing the syntax which you need to use in order to connect to the server.

That’s it; you should now be able to play Minecraft over LAN without internet!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment below!

As always, thanks for reading and have a nice day,

Minecraft-like games (for PC)

In all my years of PC gaming, I have never found a game that I’ve loved more than Minecraft. I started playing when beta 1.3 had just come out and have enjoyed it consistently since then. The epic worlds, the massive buildings, the… peculiar physics… it is formidably addicting after all.

Nonetheless, after countless hours of gameplay, I’m finally starting to get bored of Minecraft. This is why I decided to hunt down a few MInecraft-like games (for PC, mods ftw!) that have a huge potential. Here are those that are really worth trying:


Of all the games in this list, Minetest is the one that most closely resembles Minecraft. It has similar mechanics, controls and graphics. It currently has a lot less features than MC and a much smaller user base. Knowing this, you might be asking yourself: “Why should I try Minetest then?”. Well, first of all, it’s free. And by free, I mean FREE. It is actually open-source, meaning you can view and modify its source code as you wish. Another area where this game shines over Minecraft is the dimensions of the map. Just like MC, the world is randomly generated and can be of practically infinite size. Now, what’s really awesome is that Minetest also lets you dig infinitely deep and build infinitely high!

Another thing worth noting about this game is that it runs on just about any computer. I can even play Minetest on my 5 year old netbook (that can only dream of running Minecraft).

Here's a screenshot of a Minetest world I generated


Mythruna is pretty much what you’d get if Skyrim and Minecraft had a child. It has a nice RPG feel to it while preserving the building aspect of MC. The creator of the game wants to combine role playing elements with a sandbox setting. Mythruna is currently in pre-alpha, but it already boasts stunning visuals, nice sound effects, working multiplayer and other nifty features such as the option of creating blueprints or that of placing slopes.

On the downside, I found the performance of Mythruna to be lacklustre especially when compared to Minetest or even Minecraft. Also, it gets boring quickly (although I’m sure this won’t be the case when the game reaches beta, or even alpha).

Since this game is currently free, I strongly recommend you try it out.

This is a picture of the town near the Mythruna spawnpoint


This open-source game is pretty much the closest you’ll get to MC with better graphics. The gameplay and controls are extremely similar to Minecraft (and Minetest). I really like the world generator though, especially considering the game is currently in pre-alpha. The massive snow-topped mountains are marvellous.

The game also has some cool stuff that Minecraft doesn’t (rail guns!) and is pretty polished. Unfortunately, I found it to be quite laggy on higher settings, which is not surprising since the game is coded in Java.

In the end though, this is basically a clone of MC. I see no compelling reason why someone would want to play this if they already own Minecraft, save for the graphics (and… maybe the rail gun), but It’s an awesome alternative if you’re on a tight budget.

This screenshot I took shows a landscape generated by Terasology


This is my favourite game on this list. Blockscape caters to all of you out there who want to build with more detail than the games mentioned above. In Blockscape, you can change the size of your “block” tool to place either 4x4x4 blocks (about the size of those in Minecraft), 2x2x2 ones or 1x1x1 ones. This allows more defined structures while making it possible to quickly build massive walls or floors. There’s also a nice variety of slopes to choose from, making it possible to add even more detail!

It’s also worth noting that the world in Blockscape is infinite in every direction, like Minetest, but that you’ll (currently) always spawn in the same world. Also, the visuals are… simply put, gorgeous.

Unfortunately, this game also has downsides. The most notable one is that it isn’t free (although a free demo is available). Nonetheless, I found that the thirteen dollars or so I spent on Blockscape were worth it. Other problems include the map’s ridiculously slow loading (and I’m on a very good computer) and the clunky controls.

If you like to patiently build yourself a nice house in a beautiful and colourful world, then Blockscape is far superior to Minecraft.

Here's a picture that shows the gorgeous visuals of Blockscape (in this case, in the morning)

Planet Explorers

Ever wondered how Minecraft would be like if the world wasn’t made of cubes? How awesome it would be if you could build smooth structures that actually don’t look like Legos?

That’s precisely what Planet Explorers is: It’s still cube based, but everything you build is ravishingly smooth. In this game, you’ve crashed on a faraway planet on which you can mine and build. There are currently three game modes: story (which is surprisingly good), adventure, and build. Adventure is akin to survival in Minecraft while Build is like creative.

The game’s graphics feel more like the Sims than Minecraft. They look very professional. The game itself is well put together and packs a bunch of nice ideas. Unfortunately, It currently suffers from a few annoying bugs (ex. had to try a few times to get build mode to work), but I can’t wait to see what this will look like in a few months. It’s free for now, so I recommend you download and try it!

This screenshot showcases the adventure mode from Planet Explorers