The Farm Caves

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The Farm Caves

Post  Brendanan on Fri May 11, 2012 5:44 am

Ok, so while we are finishing up on the apartments, I figured we could start discussions on the plans for the new farms.

Since pretty much the beginning of the project, when Dr. Steel (Snateraar) suggested the idea, it has been planned to create a massive underground lake, and put a small island in the middle with a small hut and some farms.

Now, when creating something of this scale, there are a few things we really do need to consider.

We need to make this a natural looking cave, so it can't just be a big circular lake. We need oddities, different shapes, irregularities to make it not so obvious it was dug by people. This will need to include the roof of the cavern as well... A flat roof will hardly do the trick, and a dome wouldn't work in an irregular cave.

The size. If it's going to be massive in distance across, it'll need a pretty damn high roof too. We need to account for the fact that we don't have unlimited space underground, and the possibility of our space being limited by a possible further 20 or so blocks by oceans. How high will we need the roof? And how deep does that mean we will need to dig this? We also need to remember that the lake will be more than just 2 blocks deep. Again, keeping with naturalness, we can't just have a flat bottom, and it needs to be relatively deep, at least in the majority.

Supports: This will assist with making the place look more natural, and changing up the shape. Of course, in minecraft supports aren't needed, but if we put a couple of big pillars around the place, it can help out a lot with appearances, and explain a little more how the roof stays up.

Mobs spawns: If you guys are picturing what I am, it will be a very dimly lit cave, and therefore any block that isn't water can have mobs spawn on it. Now, the last thing I want is to be catching a boat ride to harvest the farms, and getting my ass shot by a skeleton. Obviously the farm island itself will be lit up, like a beacon in the distance, and the entrance will have a torch or two, but we'll need to overcome the spawning mechanisms to keep us safe and still have the appearances intact.

Location: Where the hell will we put this? I was thinking that we can do a similar thing we did with the housing, and make it go the opposite direction, with a tunnel leading from the other side of the eating hall, but other ideas are greatly appreciated.

Getting there: How will we get there? How will we enter into the cave. I say that just inside the entrance is a simple wooden dock, with a boat waiting there, which will provied the light to stop mobs from spawning in that area, but other than that, i'm pretty much clueless on this part.

So, we'll get snate in on this to help push it forward, as it was his idea, and we'll get people to draw up some plans if they can. See how much we can get sorted before we're done with the apartments.
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  jeffewing997 on Fri May 11, 2012 7:06 am

I think it would be cool to have a MASSIVE dome, I'm talking from bedrock to 30 blocks above sea levle, or at least unable to see the top. Then a small little rundown boat house with a creaky old boat which can barely stay above water for the short trip to the island. The island is like a paradise surrounded by empty darkenss, the house is dainty but luxerious, if that makes sense.
Maybe we could allow mobs to spawn around the lake?

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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  sret on Fri May 11, 2012 10:44 am

It wasn't Snate's idea, he simply drew us a good picture of how it could look like. Smile

I really need to find some time to play when we get started on this.
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Brendanan on Fri May 11, 2012 3:39 pm

Wasn't snate's idea? oops, my bad... Well, snate drew up some great pics for it, but credit now goes to whoever actually came up with it :p
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Dr. Steel on Fri May 11, 2012 4:45 pm

Fairly sure it was my idea Smile


Anyhow, IMO the cave should be big, irregular in shape, with overhangs, stalactites/mites here and there, pillars, etc.

Here's some crazy ideas.
We *could* make an artificial mountain outside, about 50-80 blocks big, so there's at least 70 blocks between bedrock and top of that mountain.

The cavern should also be longer and wider than high, so about 100 blocks wide, 250 long and 70 high?
It should have islands as well, by the way.


This idea I really really like a lot:
The farm island shouldn't be a flat, boring island, but rather a big pillar sticking out of the lake, connected to the ceiling, with some flat land around it. This means the farm is partially going to be built upon the pillar.

We could go for a boat ride to the island, but perhaps a small wooden bridge as well. Or a big stone one with detailed pillars, or a tunnel to the island(through the lake?).

Bonus points if you make some kind of skylights in the ceiling of the cave, and bonus points on that one if you make it indirect light so that you can't see what's outside(Think of stone tunnels all the way to the top of the mountain with a shaft towards the side so light can come in but you can't see the clouds).

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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Arrowave on Sat May 12, 2012 2:43 am

I think we are all in agreement with the irregular and natural shaped cave idea. I'm a bit more concerned with the island farm and it's size. Right now our farms would take up an island that would be far to big to put in a cave. We will have to cut the farm down to a more basic level.

My main question is, will the old farming establishments be taken down? If so, I suggest that we keep the animal farms and just get rid of the wheat and sugar cane stuff.

Also, I think that mob spawns will end up not really being a big deal. Unless They can pathfind to us across the water, they should remain where they are on their dark cold beaches. Then again, nothing says that the sides of the cavern has to have beaches. The walls could go straight down into the water.




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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Brendanan on Sat May 12, 2012 4:11 am

For the farms, we will definitely be cutting down... 1, maybe 2 plots of wheat, and perhaps a small cattle and chicken pen. A compact gourd farm if needed. The old farms will be removed, as that is where I've been planning on puttingthe forge, and dwarven barracks and armoury. Train up the troops without having to travel too far. More on this bit later though Smile

What I was picturing was a small island, perhaps some grass, just sitting there in the middle of the lake, with a couple of trees, and a little hut. A rotting old wooden dock is out the front of the island, where the boat stays moored. Then again, that's probably something that would fit better in an above ground lake, rather than this.

I like the idea of indirect light, rather than just an open skylight... I'd say if we can't get it indirect, perhaps just have the occasional shaft of light coming down, just 1*1, scattered randomly across the place.

I think I kinda could live with the idea of the islands being a massive pillar... About what dimensions were you picturing, and how did you envisage fitting the farms into it. We need enough for (as stated above) a couple of farm plots, a single animal pen, and a couple of trees.

Depending on how the farm lake will turn out, a big stone bridge could work great... does this mean that the farms are going to be placed quite a distance in the air, to get the pillars of the bridge? If not, a small wooden bridge could work, or even just a boat dock
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Dr. Steel on Sat May 12, 2012 2:45 pm

Farms should be a block above water level, climbing up the side of the pillars.


Here's my MSPaint rendition of it.
Green is where the farms should be, everything else is just decorational.

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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  3rdi on Sat May 12, 2012 3:22 pm

Ok here's my two cents, I agree with it being massive, but I think i'l leave that to other people to design the exact dimensions, as far as the boats piers and such go, how about the tunnel comes out in one side of the cave a bit above water level, and spirals down and around to water level where there's a small wooden jetty. That way, the path forms a kind of natural protection for the jetty, and when you leave the jetty on your boat you can go under the graceful arches that support the path above. I really like the idea of the 'island' being a spear of rock. We could have another wooden jetty at that end, I think they should be quite simple, with a narrow path spiraling up to the top. For making a deap lake i believe someone mentioned that if we dig out the lake first and then put a dirt covering over it 3 levels from the top, fill the top two levels with water then dig the dirt out, it will fill naturally, although I haven't tested it and it would still be quite a hurculean task. I think the tunnel should be oposite the atrium tunnel, like everyone else it seems.

edit: as for mob spawning, just make sure all the edges of the cave are clevery covered in half blocks

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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  sret on Sat May 12, 2012 3:54 pm

I think the entrance to the lake should be by a small tunnel, like some sort of a river that leads out in one of the mountain walls of the lake. We have this tunnel that ends in a small in-doors dock with a small water tunnel kind of like a sewer that is like a secret path to the lake.
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Brendanan on Sat May 12, 2012 4:24 pm

Don't have time to reply fully now, but as for filling... We should do it so that there is no drag downwards
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Arrowave on Sun May 13, 2012 4:41 am

I don't know why, but I keep picturing the underground lake in The Hobbit. They only major difference is that our's will have a cozy island and a nice bridge.

I'm thinking about trying to make a mock-up of this cave in MCedit. Unfortunately my skills in MCedit are minimal so I would probably make something ugly.
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Brendanan on Sun May 13, 2012 6:52 am

My skills in mcedit are non-existent :p I couldn't even use it to copy and paste a chunk
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  spectrumwars on Sun May 13, 2012 12:27 pm

Indirect light doesn't work all that well in Minecraft. But the occasional 1x1 shaft of direct-to-the-sky light could actually work quite well. Restrict those skylights it to the path of the boat, keep the rest of the chamber pitch dark, and let the lake surface be well down into the void fog, and the lake chamber could get real spooky real quick if you stray out of the light. Alternately or additionally, you could put jackolanterns or glowstone in semi-concealed spots on the lakebed to illuminate the water from beneath, especially if the lake is reasonably deep with an irregular bottom.

As for the actual farm, I could see wheat and pumpkins/melons being grown on 4-wide terraces with concealed water sources under each level to wet the tilled soil for the level below. Or a more complex surface with a system of flowing streams along the borders of each planting bed, emptying into the lake below, possibly starting with a narrow but very high waterfall from the surface far above.

Having room for animal pens will be very difficult without wrecking the sense of scale implied in the drawings above. So we should either keep the existing animal pens or recreate an equivalent system elsewhere. We may not use all that much colored wool, but it's sure nice to have the sheep available if we decide we do want large quantities of one or more colors in the future.

I've come up with a couple of nice compact autofarm concepts on my other server that I really need to log back into Dwarf City to install near the warehouse, atrium, and mines.





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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Brendanan on Tue May 15, 2012 3:27 am

Ok, I've got 10 minutes to kill before apple will see me to (hopefully) replace my phone, so I'll finally reply to this Wink

I definitely like the idea of a waterfall starting high up, but I think rather than having it directed around farms, we place the farms around it. Again, the main idea isnt efficiency, but rather fitting the scene. Of course we will put as much as we can, but we won't go overboard on massive, super efficient designs. 

I'm still unsure whether we do a bridge or just boat docks. I'm thinking maybe we do a small wooden bridge, at water level... Not sitting on top of the water, but the same level as the water. Maybe on 3 wide... Or 3 with half slabs to make an edge. Or 3 wide, the putter 2 being stairs to make an edge, so the bridge will be below water level. Keep it as dimly lit as possible, whilst still preventing mob spawns. I really don't feel like having a creeper destroy the bridge. 

I think having the odd light coming from deep below the surface, along with the occasional beam of light splitting the darkness would work great. Only put them very rarely, and make it very deep below, perhaps even up to 10 blocks below. 

This has taken me longer to write than I thought, so I'll do more later Wink
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Arrowave on Tue May 15, 2012 5:43 am

I think we should go with a more ornate stone bridge that better fits the Dwarven theme. Besides, I feel as if we need more nice bridges. Laughing

Anyways I think any kind of bridge will do nicely, stone or not. It would be a major pain to constantly have to take a boat back and forth. Not to mention the fact that the boats will constantly break in accidents.
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Brendanan on Tue May 15, 2012 7:22 am

An ornate stone arched bridge? I think I can picture
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  sret on Tue May 15, 2012 8:43 am

We should definitely have an amazing bridge somewhere, I mean what would our city be without one?

I don't feel like this is the right place though. It would defeat the purpose of having the lake and a secluded island and it would just end up being another destination from our train station.
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Brendanan on Tue May 15, 2012 9:20 am

Good point... I actually agree with that a lot sret...
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Arrowave on Wed May 16, 2012 3:08 am

Now that you point that out it does seem a bit out of place. A modest wooden bridge should do nicely.
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Brendanan on Wed May 16, 2012 8:28 am

So, a tunnel that comes out a little way up the side of the cave, with a path leading down to a small wooden bridge? I like the sound of that...

Actually, I like most of the ideas here Wink The mockup by snate looks like it could work really well, with random little bits coming out from the water, and an uneven ceiling with hanging spikes etc. Large, and dark, with spots of light shining through. Farms climbing up the side of a massive pillar
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Brendanan on Sun May 27, 2012 9:12 am

Ok, so this thread has kind of died, so I think it's time to do something with it...

I think it's about time we put some numbers to what we have... just some basic ones...

gimme 2 secs and I'll explain
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Brendanan on Sun May 27, 2012 9:25 am



as you can see, I've taken snate's image, and put a few arrows... it's those kind of dimensions we want to put a value to... I'll draw up another picture and upload it, top view...

Once we know those dimensions, we can almost begin some of the digging... once we have the basic boundaries, we can dig out a very rough shape of the cavern. We'll also need to account for height too... Since we're having a massive pillar in the centre, we can make sure we dont dig out the bit for it, so if we know a distance to that too, we can dig around it, saving us having to then rebuild it afterwards... I'll quickly draw something up
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Brendanan on Sun May 27, 2012 9:33 am



As you can see, i'm great with paint :p

I basically just drew a rough outline of the cave... the bit off to the left, cut off by a dashed line... that was just a random extra thing I added in, which I thought could work for the entrance, just a little bay before it opens out. All those arrows are numbers that we would end up needing to know... just throw round a few ideas... if someone has something to test out numbers like that, then that's a good start too Smile

Let me know what you think guys... now back to actual uni work -.-
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Re: The Farm Caves

Post  Dr. Steel on Sun May 27, 2012 2:25 pm

I think it should literally be huge, so the other end of the cavern is hardly visible due to fog :>

Cave should also be a little wider than long, as on your drawing. I was thinking 100x200 and something like 50+ high

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