Aesthetic Mine Idea Thread

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Aesthetic Mine Idea Thread

Post  spectrumwars on Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:15 am

Near the forge, we plan on building a "just for show" aesthetically-impressive mine.  This mine will pretty much ignore questions of efficiency and even ease of use in favor of making a mine that looks like a dwarven mine. 

The original idea was to do a second attempt at our original dwarven mining concept with the central rail tunnel and the network of 3x3 and 2x3 tunnels.  We started this mine, but fairly quickly decided we'd rather actually rely on the more time-efficient and effort-efficient standard 1x2/1x3 branch mine, which exposes about the same amount of ore for about 2/3 the digging time and cobble spoil. 

But as cool-looking as those were, they didn't feel particularly DWARVEN.  This is because they were based on my personal standard mine design, which is designed around ease of remembering the pattern (I've built copies on several iterations of the GolemLand server and in several single-player games), on getting every single diamond vein in the chunks immediately around a central vertical ladder shaft, and on not extending TOO far underground and thus risking running into someone else's mines on a multiplayer server (or requiring too much running around).  The only concessions to aesthetics are an extreme level of lighting redundancy, a central skylight shaft to let sunlight in to banish the void fog, and filling in any holes in the wall left by veins of ore or dirt/gravel with cooked smoothstone rather than raw cobble. 

Here are some pics of the current iteration of my standard mines, an experimental version using a bigger-than-usual central skylight shaft, slightly wider 4x3 rather than 3x3 cross-tunnels, and eliminating the usual central 3x3 axis tunnel in favor of all 2x3 tunnels in that direction. 

1.) View from the top of the skylight shaft, looking down the water drop tube uses for rapid descent to the very bottom:

Note that my plans call for a more impressive observation tower at the top of the mountain here, but that's not built yet, hence the temporary cobble block for a door to stand on.

2.) View from the glass ceiling above the uppermost mining level, looking up the shaft towards the sky, through the glass floors in the shaft at the farming, livestock, and living-quarters levels up near surface level. 

Note the glass stripes in the walls, with lava behind them on three sides of the shaft, and a ladder tube and water drop tube on the fourth side (facing the camera).  This glass ceiling is really the floor for a planned grinder collection area for my darkroom grinder, but that also hasn't been dug yet in this new base. 

3.) Uppermost mining level, standing in skylight shaft, looking down center axial production-mining tunnels. 

Note the typical overly aggressive torch-lighting pattern, I like my mines well lit.  Also note that all surfaces are dressed with smoothstone.  Production tunnels extend 36 blocks, at which point they hit another cross-tunnel.  These secondary cross-tunnels were planned to be 3x3, but upgraded recently to 4x3 when I found that necessary to enable a second skylight shaft at the far end (after three more every-36-blocks cross tunnels) to just barely squeeze past the end of the underground tree farm without coming up half through the tree farm itself. 

4.) Middle mining level, same spot, looking down center axial production tunnel. 

This shot shows off well how the production tunnels are staggered to be over or under the walls of the other levels above or below, so the blocks under the walls are visible in the ceiling of the level below, and the blocks above the walls are visible in the floor of the level above.  This helps ensure that even small veins of diamond or emerald (this is built in an extreme hills biome) do not go un-noticed. 

5.) Same level and spot, but looking the other way, down the other side of the center axial tunnels. 

Note how having the shaft be 8x8 lets us have a central 2x3 tunnel coming off in both fore and aft directions, including between the ladder and water plunge.  There's an infinte spring behind the water plunge on the top level, and a lava incinerator (never used, but hey, I had a spot for it) behind the ladder on the top level as well.  The slabs in the center tunnel floor are over a chest in the workstation behind the ladder and water tube on the bottom level. 

6.) Bottom mining level, in the skylight shaft, looking down the side 4-wide cross tunnel.  

The 4-wide tunnels are a consequence of a conscious effort to try to use even-number-based symmetries in this base, rather than the odd-number-based ones I've usually favored.  The patch of grass on the floor of the bedrock level grew naturally, spread all the way from the top of the mountain.  First step in digging this was a 2x1 vertical test-bore ladder shaft dug from the top of the mountain to bedrock, checking for lava lakes and caves that might be in the immediate path of the shaft. After installing the ladder, I filled the other side of the mini-shaft with a dirt block every other level to prevent me from falling forward off the ladder and going splat, and to have somewhere to put torches to light up the shaft.  Grass spread down this imprompty grass ladder faster than I could dig the shaft.  I left it there in case I decide to pretty up the mine with a grass floor at some point.  

7.) Bonus pic:  View from the top of the mountain at edge of skylight shaft. 

See those couple of torches at the base of the farthest mountain ridge directly ahead?  That's where the second skylight shaft at the far end of the mines is slated to emerge once I finish digging it. 

Next post, we'll look at Trainman's prototype aesthetic mine I'm gonna suggest we use rather than an actual carbon copy of my mines.
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Re: Aesthetic Mine Idea Thread

Post  spectrumwars on Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:35 am

For the actual aesthetic mines, I'm gonna suggest we combine one or two features of my skyshaft mine design with the following awesome-looking (if even less efficient than my design) prototype design by our own 31trainman.  

Over on the GolemLand server, 31trainman took over an abandoned base/temple complex next door to my second mine complex, one that a previous player had built/dug before getting bored with minecraft itself and quitting to go play WoW or CoD or somesuch instead.  In the basement of this complex, he found the previous owner had dug out a large chamber as a source of cobble for surface building.  Well, tiny by farm-cave standards, but still fairly impressive.  Off one corner of this chamber, trainman built a prototype mining tunnel system. 

1.) Entrance to the prototype mine. 

Entrance is a 1.5-story-high arched opening in stone brick and stone brick stairs.  I think we could put one of those either side of a skylight shaft like in my mine, instead of the three glass floors of the design seen in the pics in the previous post. 

2.) Closer shot of entrance. 

I had to pillar up a few blocks just to push the void fog back far enough to see the second archway.  This is why I want a skylight shaft, otherwise we ain't gonna be able to SEE any cool aesthetic stuff we do with this mine.  Void fog when standing on bedrock is so bad you can hardly see the pick in front of your face, no matter how many torches you throw around. 

3.) Mining levels as seen from middle level. 

The basic concept is repeating units, each of which has two tunnels off to each side, on each of three four-high levels (including one block for floor/ceiling between levels and three blocks of headroom in the tunnels).  Each unit has a side ladder up to the upper levels. 

4.) Mining levels as seen from upper level. 

Rather than having this sort of directly-above-each-other 3-wide tunnels with one-wide walls between tunnels and 30wide walls between units, I propose we stagger 2-wide tunnels with uniformly 3-wide walls between them.  This should, by my calculations, produce one spot along each wall between bottom-level tunnels where a ladder or unit-dividing-arch can go without blocking a tunnel.  It will also reduce, but not eliminate, hidden blocks under/above walls, while maintaining the basic ladder and arch architecture.  

We could also have a rail tunnel coming in toward the ladder shaft from the front, with these arched mining tunnels going off to the sides from the shaft, with the ladder/drop tube to the back of the shaft. 

Whaddaya think, sirs?
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Re: Aesthetic Mine Idea Thread

Post  Brendanan on Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:39 am

I think trainman's design looks pretty damn amazing, and we should really use it... I'm not sure about how the staggering will look though... If you could do a quick mock-up of what it'll be like, I'll give it a look. To be completely honest though, I like the way this mine works a lot.

I'm assuming that there's only 3 levels, and they're already at the most optimum height for diamond finding? My main issue with this is the exposed bedrock... Call me OCD, but the randomness of it makes me go nuts! 

To be completely honest, I am very stongly against the idea of a skylight. I don't really like having too much glass around either, but that's my opinion. 

I do agree that this looks quite a bit better than the other option too Smile

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Re: Aesthetic Mine Idea Thread

Post  spectrumwars on Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:49 am

We can probably skip the staggering, to be honest, if we're not going for practical efficiency.  Exposed bedrock in the floor minorly annoys me as well, but I've long since gotten used to it, as it says to me, "You're as deep as you can go".  We could always go a level up and pave the floor, but then it just doesn't feel like a bedrock-level mine any more.  We could even throw in some fence-and-plank tunnel supports like in abandoned mineshafts, heck knows I've brought enough of both back from looting trips for us to recycle. 

I'll see about going to trainman's mine and mocking up some staggered tunnel entrances to see what they'd work like.  Golemland may be moving to a new map when the horse update hits next week, so I'm otherwise in full "tidy up loose ends on this map while we still got it" mode.
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Re: Aesthetic Mine Idea Thread

Post  sret on Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:58 am

I couldn't bring myself to read all the text right now but judging by the pictures I really like trainman's design.

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Re: Aesthetic Mine Idea Thread

Post  Brendanan on Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:27 am

sret wrote:I couldn't bring myself to read all the text right now but judging by the pictures I really like trainman's design.

Well long story short, that's what we're doing :p

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