Going "off the grid"

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Glov

One Of Us
Mar 1, 2014
538
1,572
73
#1
MXppy6a.png


You get the point, and its rather evident in more than just these few snapshots.
And its something i'm guilty of as well sometimes. Anorien has the same issue, just with one story houses. And even the mt citadel has a few gridlike spaces.

But i just feel like wherever i go, i'm met by massive walls of 3 wide arches setup in a grid. And it's not a new issue, it's been raised before http://i.imgur.com/ax7vdrI.jpg http://i.imgur.com/YpqnJBM.jpg
But i feel its become all the more prominent in southern gondor, and thought it was worth raising again.

Food for thought.
 

Ardelenia

Slab Fanatic
Mar 1, 2014
576
1,062
43
19
Chicago, USA
#3
It is also pretty prominent in arnor. I understand that walls need supporting pillars, and that flat walls are boring, but (as one can see in rohan) there are ways to make walls interesting or even have depth while remaining in one block layer.
Also, it is not entirely realistic for every building to be like that. Pelargir is a relevant example, since we're building it right now.
at_the_venetian_canals_by_elina121-d566fkf.jpg
I don't see the need for such supports in venice, just occasional extra things to make it look cool (although I'm not saying we should make everything out of monochromatic plaster walls).
 

Wodleth

Build-Hardened Veteran
Mar 1, 2014
540
1,105
92
23
Sweden
Languages
Swedish, English
#6
I personally always try to break up that grid pattern when I build, but people that arent really really familiar with building, they often dont think about it. (Artists and Adventurers)
There's not much we can do, unless people start thinking about it when building, or just nag on the people building it until it's done. But that would just take alot of time.

If you guys know any way we easily can change this, be sure to type it out here
 

Credoo

Vala
Staff member
Designer
Mar 1, 2014
450
1,119
73
30
Atlantic Ocean
en.wikipedia.org
#7
Glov, I cant remmember when the grid was brought up as an "issue" for the first time I dont remember seeing those pictures before. Anyway since its osgo it must have been a while ago.
I have been a major (culprit?) part of creating the grid style back when I was working on Fornost. I used concept art from the Lord of the rings War in the north and I made a concept around it together with Marozzo and CaptainDagless (yes when those two still worked on mcme). That's where the grid pattern originally came from.
However we always tried to break it up with having balcony's bigger windows popping out windows flat wall etc etc. But somehow its still noticeable. I remember Ryan always jokingly saying to me everything looks like Fornost I never thought of it as an issue. Even our Bree uses a grid.

What I find interesting though is you saying
And even the mt citadel has a few gridlike spaces.
. So what does makes MT look less gridlike to you then any other city? Or is it because you made the Citadel together with wheelee and so that makes it less gridlike?I was a big part in constructing MT and I don't remember giving any extra attention (other then normal) to avoiding the grid.

Don't get me wrong I get where you are coming from the grid pattern can/has evolve(d) into something repetitive and maybe even boring. But don't think we are not trying to break up the grid. I mean as I stated before we try using balcony's popping in/out a wall. However I think the main reason why we still use it is because its easy to replicate. Why is that something good one might ask. Well.. because we have a rather big community who would like to activly contribute to creating middle earth.
Kinda reminds me of a conversation i had yesterday with Impzor. I don't exactly know what the back story was anymore but I explained to him that we always strive for perfection. We will never reach perfection but we will strive for it. To find a balance between what looks good and is still replicate-able (if that is even a word) is hard.

I'm looking forward to seeing more suggestions on how to avoid said grid. I don't think we can completely avoid having a grid but there are ways and tricks to hide them. To comment on your pictures Ard having flat walls and windows and pillars on either side still can be considered a grid. It looks different however. Or we could build our houses like Tharbad but one can say 1x1 pillars is also turning into a grid. In the end there will be some form of repetitiveness to whatever we do whether it is a flat house,one with arc's or 30 citadels in one city.

TL:DR: Was not aware it was an issue, We try to avoid grid patterns with balcony's etc. Finding a balance between good looking and replicatability. Looking forward to see suggestions on how to break up the "grid'.
 

Despot666

Designer
Staff member
Designer
Mar 26, 2014
487
647
64
#8
Maybe lets try some styles with flat walls? Using only textures. Or supports expanding 2/3 blocks away from wall instead of 1.
 

Glov

One Of Us
Mar 1, 2014
538
1,572
73
#9
I guess i wasn't making myself overly clear in my original post. I understand that the arch is the bread and butter of building here. And i in no way condemn the use of arches in builds. I was simply implying that having the same arch pattern on an entire wall is boring. The Osgiliath images best explain what i was trying to get across. That creative roof placement, and varying arch (size,shape,details,etc.) makes a build far more interesting than in the examples i posted. In fact, i think roof placement is as much an issue as overuse of like/same arches in a building.

That being said, i fully support what Arde and Despot brought up. Using flat walls in certain cases is not only realistic, but looks rather nice. And there are other ways to add interest to a build besides just an arch.
I just think people may be able to not only improve upon their use of arches in Gondorian architecture, but also expand their creativity in building by shying away from the norms that seem so very apparent. It's something personally i felt is a growing issue, and as it would appear, a good deal of others as well.
 
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DSESGH

Manual Treebuilder
Mar 2, 2014
1,219
1,790
59
#10
I agree with wod on this one: it takes somebody with considerable experiece to know to avoid the grid pattern. Personally I try to vary arch sizes, add some extensions, or be creative with the roof placement to break up flat walls. Most wouldn't notice it though.
One way to kinda fix it could be to plan out less rectangular houses. As with the previous thing, most people won't know to mix up stuff in that rectangular plan. They might just build 2 or 3 stories straight up with a roof at the top (no offense intended here, I've done it myself). Of course it is possible to be more creative, but it takes more skill to do so.


It's not a huge issue, in my opinion. Maybe the really experienced builders will notice, but your average minecrafter is not going to be that good at building. On here we get really picky about tiny details that matter to essentially nobody else (such as the osgo palantir debate), and this could possibly be one of those things.
With the flatter walls, I've been trying a bit of that in pelargir, and I've seen a couple of cre's builds that have things like that too. These are of course mixed in with arches, though.
 

FireFuss

Yellow Flower Puncher
Donor
Mar 6, 2014
407
1,429
27
#11
As a person who loves to play VANILLA minecraft, I find this discussion pretty funny. Don't get me wrong, There are amazing things that can be done as far as building goes. Even only changing the resource packs like we do makes a huge difference on how things look. But lets be honest. Im pretty sure we have some of the most creative, impressive builds of any server in existence when you consider that everything we build is made o a scale where the player FEELS like they fit. Its supposed to be the size of a hobbit hole, or a house, or a mansion or tower or castle! There is only so much you can do to create patters when you're using 3D cubes. What would the world look like without STEPS, or HALF SLABS?!?!

I completely agree that we should always strive for perfection, strive to make the newcomers go "WHOA, holy cow this is cool"... But let me ask you a question, and answer honestly. When was the last time someone logged in for the first time and DIDNT say that? And even if they acted like it wasn't too impressive you know its just because they were probably a jealous trolling A-hole.

I don't even know where Im going with this.. I guess I'd just like to end it with GOOD JOB, to everyone thats built anything, past and present. It took you all to get us where we are now.

:p
 

Will_em

One Of Us
Mar 1, 2014
730
1,290
77
27
#12
I want to see different non-grid like styles myself. But I can't figure out new and equally good ones. I really can't. I'm stuck. If anyone can do a new design, they should totally post it on here. We would probably use it immeadiatly.
 

Ryanturambar

Yellow Flower Puncher
Mar 17, 2014
37
188
26
68
#13
Hello my name is Ryan, and I am a grid addict.

In all the projects I've ever been a part of, I've never specified for individuals not to use the standard three wide pattern, for a few reasons. First and foremost, the flexibility of what one can do with a three wide pattern is much greater than that of a two wide pattern. As well, anything exceeding three wide often looks very disproportionate on smaller structures. In an ideal world, I appreciate deviation from using the monotonous 'evil 3', but I have a hard time not seeing it as a basis for construction. The hight of the pattern or arch really can make a difference though!

Oh, and this isn't to say that there aren't any visually pleasing designs unrelated to the 'evil 3', but personally, I find them difficult to replicate, especially while maintaining proportion!

P.S. - Just throw in some more flower pots or windows... problem solved!
 

Glov

One Of Us
Mar 1, 2014
538
1,572
73
#14
I agree with wod on this one: it takes somebody with considerable experiece to know to avoid the grid pattern. Personally I try to vary arch sizes, add some extensions, or be creative with the roof placement to break up flat walls. Most wouldn't notice it though.
One way to kinda fix it could be to plan out less rectangular houses. As with the previous thing, most people won't know to mix up stuff in that rectangular plan. They might just build 2 or 3 stories straight up with a roof at the top (no offense intended here, I've done it myself). Of course it is possible to be more creative, but it takes more skill to do so.

It's not a huge issue, in my opinion. Maybe the really experienced builders will notice, but your average minecrafter is not going to be that good at building. On here we get really picky about tiny details that matter to essentially nobody else (such as the osgo palantir debate), and this could possibly be one of those things.
With the flatter walls, I've been trying a bit of that in pelargir, and I've seen a couple of cre's builds that have things like that too. These are of course mixed in with arches, though.
I feel like some of that was insulting.
The "average" user can still tell when things look bad, maybe they don't know on the spot how they could improve it, but they can still tell it looks bad.

"Dumbing it down for the plebs" is a ridiculous notion. Every user is capable of learning how to build well. And just because a user walks on here having never built before, doesn't mean you should just have them build 3 wide arches and call it a house. If a "inexperienced" user is incapable of building something better than a house with only 3 wide arches and a simple roof, then the "experienced" users should be teaching them. If your such a damn good builder, then you should be investing in students, and so should every active and capable builder who wants to contribute. (R.I.P. Artist mentor program that was so long discussed).

And then if you hop on free build and look through the themes, there's a lot of non-artist (and a few artist) users who build awesome things without using such a structured design. There are loads of users that come on here who are great builders, they simply build in a different way than your used to, and refusing such different ideas is only inhibiting creativity. And Everyone has a creative perspective, they may just need to learn to refine their builds. The very first house i built on this server i remade about 3 times, and in the end, it still wasn't used, and i knew i couldn't build for shit, so i watched Aando build, and i followed around Cred, and i asked Maro for his opinion, and i learned.

tl;dr: What i'm understanding from the above posts is, you understand this is an issue, and you know builds could be better, your just unwilling to invest in people to improve the builds.
 

DSESGH

Manual Treebuilder
Mar 2, 2014
1,219
1,790
59
#15
@Glovr
Sorry about that, my post was ill-considered, and I guess I was actually just trying to give reasons for my own opinion, which is:
I only think the dol amroth house and maybe the pelargir poor houses are an issue, out of your examples. The tarnost houses don't have huge flat walls imo, and the other pelargir house isn't overly grid-like. The osgo house example is definitely too grid-like. Maybe I am just being less critical than others, but I think the grid is largely ok. Sure, it would be nice to have different styles in some cities or regions, but I have no problem with the grid pattern.

You were correct in interpreting that I am unwilling to help people improve their builds. I do hate helping people with their building. Thanks for mentioning that, as it makes me realize that I could improve in that area:)
 
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Credoo

Vala
Staff member
Designer
Mar 1, 2014
450
1,119
73
30
Atlantic Ocean
en.wikipedia.org
#16
Please calm down Glov. Since when are we creatively shutting people down who create a decent themebuild? As far as I know people have now even more creative freedom then they ever had before (public projects). No I idea where you pulled this assumption from. Or do you mistake people who work on freebuild on their own projects and never write an artist app for people who struggle every week to update their artist app with whatever job/build they did? Sure both put in similar effort but to different goals. Which brings me to the next topic.

Your telling decent builders have some kind of responsibility to aid and assist the people who have trouble building in a "long discussed" mentor program? Cant recall this was a big discussion must have slipped past me (unless you mean Will personal initiative with his builder school). What I do know is that certain people enjoy being a mentor some don't I cant blame them. Every student needs a good teacher but it goes without saying that every teacher needs good students and i'm not talking about the amount of experience people start of with. I'm talking about work effort, patience and above all dedication.

I have helped out many in some sort of mentor same as I have been mentored by someone into building. And my motto is and always has been anyone can build. But it requires effort from both sides of course. And ye its not cool to from people to say we do this simply because otherwise the "average" builder cant replicate it. However the amount of effort some people put in being a student and/or getting better at building is sometimes just high enough for them to grasp the simple building instructions. No one is to blame for lack of effort in trying to help people who struggle with building or the person who lacks motivation to become a better builder. Keeping it simple makes it easier for anyone. This allows the person who wants to help out can help out with minimal extra effort. Playing the shame and blame game is not in anyone's favor.

That being said I love how some members step up and help others who struggle out during a job. We have an rank dedicated to guide and assist people. Designers do have a certain obligation to assist people but its more a moral obligation then a rule set in stone. We try to assist wherever we can, answer any questions asked and give any opportunity we have the possibility to give to be creative.

Back on topic. Wodleth and I tried flat walls on the small houses in Pellargir didn't really work out to well but will continue to look for alternatives.
 

Indorilian

Dirt Conaisseur
Mar 1, 2014
478
1,790
38
22
Jersey
#17
I am with @Credoo, I have never seen any staff member totally shutting down a well built and creative build....that seems like a bit of an overreaction.
Well there were a few situations during Minas tirith. I followed the design, but added more detailing in to make it more 3d but was told it was TOO detailed.(it was literally just some indents in pillars between grids) so ya. I had get rid of it THEN it was accepted.

EDIT: This is what I meant build wise. Left is "unacceptable" while right is what was "correct".
WEteYoU.png
 

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Portalrules333

Dirt Conaisseur
Apr 9, 2014
767
565
30
17
Canada
#18
Well there were a few situations during Minas tirith. I followed the design, but added more detailing in to make it more 3d but was told it was TOO detailed.(it was literally just some indents in pillars between grids) so ya. I had get rid of it THEN it was accepted.

EDIT: This is what I meant build wise. Left is "unacceptable" while right is what was "correct".
WEteYoU.png
TOO detailed?? :eek:
 

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DSESGH

Manual Treebuilder
Mar 2, 2014
1,219
1,790
59
#19
Well there were a few situations during Minas tirith. I followed the design, but added more detailing in to make it more 3d but was told it was TOO detailed.(it was literally just some indents in pillars between grids) so ya. I had get rid of it THEN it was accepted.

EDIT: This is what I meant build wise. Left is "unacceptable" while right is what was "correct".
WEteYoU.png
Cre prefers simple designs, and the left one is a bit overly-complex. It doesn't really add anything to the build. In any case, that is not totally shutting down creativity. It is simply saying that it would be better if it didn't have those indents. That is feedback, not stifling creativity.
 

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Indorilian

Dirt Conaisseur
Mar 1, 2014
478
1,790
38
22
Jersey
#20
yes. I was told if i made it too detailed(ha) then people would be distracted by all the details and not look at the full picture. You have people constantly arguing saying "Oh minecraft is massive blocks there's only so much detail you can add to something" Then when you build something in a style required but add your own flavor and touch and are told "oh that's not right you have build it like everything else" it can really stifle creativity.