Some of my builds are planned carefully and when I’m building them I know exactly what I’m doing. In other cases I’m just following a shadow of an idea and hoping it won’t look terrible. While the first way of building is more safe and comfortable, the other one can sometimes lead to surprising and awesome creations. This new build is certainly one of those.
One day I just picked a tunnel entrance in my mine and started digging with the intention to make a nether portal room. The tunnel somehow took a curve and I decided to make a bigger cave there. It turned out to be much larger than I had intended. But it was for the better, the size of the room allowed me to go crazy with designing the cave.
The center piece and main point of focus in this cave is the nether portal. It’s on an elevated piece of rock that continues up to the ceiling, creating a kind of column/cylinder shape. The nether portal spreads the evil of the nether out, which is an effect made using netherrack, soul sand, nether warts, gravel and a lot of fire. It’s all connected to the entrance tunnel by a hanging wooden bridge.
The entire cave was carved by hand and to add even more detail I used stone slabs and stairs, veins of andesite (I used the slabs and stairs variants too) and several types of ores. This was the first time I used the new stone stairs and slabs in a large scale landscaping project and I gotta say I’m not 100% keen on them. Inside this Dernalia mine project I decided to use them for naturally created caves like this one and to use cobblestone slabs and stairs for man-made tunnels. I have no idea which ones I’ll use to make caves in future builds.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this cave is the ceiling. I created large stalactites haning from the ceiling and used the same detaling as I did on the rest of the cave – stone slabs and stairs, andesite and ores. The stalactites also have andesite walls on the tips. I wanted to use stone walls, but then it I found out they hadn’t been added to the game.
I played around with darkness a lot in this build, but on the ceiling it was too much and it was impossible to see the beautiful rock formations I spent so much time on. It took me a whils to find a lighting solution, but in the end I decided to put glowing crystals between the stalactites. The mysterious look they create is awesome.
This playing with darkness and light also lead me to strategically put fire on the ground. This was luckily quite easy due to fire spread being set to off in Dernalia. The walls on the other hand are mostly dark and in some places you really can’t see them.
This was a big project, sometimes long and grindy, sometimes fun and innovative. I would like to finish the mine quite soon (the other tunnels and caves won’t be as huge as this one) and move on to new builds in this singleplayer world.