Go big or go home!

I have to admit to a considerable amount of envy when it comes to shroomgirl’s renditions of classic board games. Not only are they epically huge, they are also very artfully done (my personal favourite being the Clue/Cluedo board with actual secret passageways) – if you’ve not seen her stuff yet, check out The Half-Bakes’ excellent tour of her creations.

Well, I wanted to make a board game, too, but which to choose? I didn’t fancy Risk, because that thing is ridiculously detailed – and I don’t think I could do proper justice to making the world’s land masses look correct. But then, it hit me: The Settlers of Catan!

The Settlers of Catan (also just known as “Catan”) is a wonderful German-style board game, and has become incredibly popular around the world – the great things about German-style games are that nobody is eliminated during the game (unlike Monopoly or Risk), and that even though a player may take a commanding lead, there’s no guarantee that their lead will last for long!

I knew that I had to really scale this thing up to do it justice – shroomgirl told me once that her philosophy is “Go big or go home!” – and to stand any chance of competing with her 😉 But then, when I read what she said about me in Nosi’s blog post (written, of course, back when we all thought I was taking an unwilling leave of absence from the Internet), I decided that I would dedicate it to her instead 😀

With the Minecrap server still on the temporary map (and will remain so until at least the server’s plug-ins have been updated to cater for 1.7), I was getting a bit twitchy… so I decided to get hold of Single-Player Commands and do it all in SSP. Ooh, that mod is fun – being able to use WorldEdit in SSP is a big help (and without it, I’m nothing as far as creative projects are concerned), but I really enjoy being able to fly! (And there are no admins around to stop me… :P)

And boy, do I need the fly command – and it helps that you can set it to different speeds – because my build is flipping massive! At maximum, the board is about 300 blocks across in each direction, and to be able to get the “in-progress” screenshot below, I had to fly over 300 blocks upwards! To travel across the thing without losing my mind, I have to set the fly speed to 10 times walking speed… Oh, the reason the shot isn’t complete is that I also had to use the Extreme Increased View Distance mod, and at that height, it takes some time to render the scene… my beleaguered PC was struggling.

I was planning to keep it quiet, but I did somewhat let the cat(an) out of the bag last night, when I mentioned the thing during AshRossy’s livestream. Still, the upside of that was that Zaco619 suggested how to speed up the tilling of the ground for planting wheat (kindly relayed to me by Imperialistic). Yes, I’m going for realism with the game – the wheat hexes have wheat in them, the forest hexes have the trees… wouldn’t be the same, otherwise…

So I decided to show the screenshot of what I’ve done so far – actually, I’ve completed three of the four wheat hexes since taking that pic, but there’s still a lot to do… Serves me right, I guess, for trying to live up to shroomgirl! 😉

A work-in-progress shot of my Catan board.

A work-in-progress shot of my Catan board, dedicated to Epic Ninja Builder, shroomgirl.

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3 Responses to Go big or go home!

  1. shroomgirl says:

    OMG! Astra that is seriously impressive! My jaw is on the floor! That is one of the games that my brother suggested to me and I have been putting it off because I didn’t really know the game all that well. Now I can cross it off the suggestion list because you knocked it outta the park!
    When I joined the Minecrap server I hadn’t built anything ‘big’ but when I started walking around the map ideas started running through my head…but what to build? Then you said you were done your zen garden and asked everyone to check it out. So I did….and the yin yang seemed like the perfect thing to go along with it!
    After it was done and you graciously offered to change it to obsidian I started to realize the potential of what I could do with these blocks! So I was serious when I said you inspired me and made me feel welcome. Although…fun fact….I DID think you were a girl for quite some time! 😀 In my defense I didn’t have much to go on! ‘Astragali’ sounded like a girl-type name to me…I hadn’t heard your voice…and let’s be honest, the minecraft character CAN look gender neutral!
    Hmmm….I am thinking collaboration when the regular map comes back…. 🙂


    • If you get the chance, you really should try out Settlers of Catan, even a PC version – though it is more fun with friends 🙂

      Oh, I entirely believed your sincerity when you said nice things about me, so no worries on that score 🙂 (I believed everyone else, too :D)

      The name “Astragali” has confused people before in the past, what with there being both “Astra” and “gal” in there – though there’s never been a deliberate intent to deceive! 🙂

      Collaboration sounds like fun – although I tend to do collabs over Skype or Mumble (preferably Skype) because it’s easier that way…


  2. WelshPixie says:

    You nutter. That’s huge!

    Also, you failed to mention the absolute best feature of Settlers of Catan, and that is the ability to innocently declare, ‘I got wood for sheep!’.


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