Digital Engineering with Minecraft: Crafting a Super Maze
What You’ll Be Doing
- Watch Didgee and Coolcrafter10 plan additional security
- Create your custom maze
- Use online-convert.com to create your .svg file
- Use Tinkercad to turn your 2D maze into a 3D maze
- Import your maze into Minecraft
“This is unbelievable,” said Coolcrafter10. “It’s a real castle. On my land!” He turned and smiled at Didgee-Engie. “This would have taken me weeks—no, months—to build!”
The sun was up but hiding behind some rain clouds in the distance, and the temperature had dropped a bit. A storm was coming, but Coolcrafter10 wasn’t focused on the weather. In front of him, a new castle rested, its many towers disappearing high into the sky.
Didgee nodded. “These days, I use swords for fighting and shovels and pick axes for mining. When it comes to building, I always look for digital tools like Tinkercad and MCEdit to help me.”
“I cannot thank you enough for showing me how to do this,” Coolcrafter10 replied. “You are welcome to stay in my castle anytime you’re in the neighborhood.”
Didgee laughed. “Thank you. I may be taking you up on that if that storm starts moving in this direction.” She pointed to the east and frowned.
Coolcrafter10 looked at the sky between the small mountain range to the north and the dense forest to the south. “I was hoping to do some gardening today, but you’re right.…That sky doesn’t look friendly.”
“Well, the storm hasn’t arrived yet. Why don’t we take a look around, and I can make some suggestions for improving your castle?”
“Oh, yeah! That would be great. Where do we start?” asked Coolcrafter10.
“Well, your castle can obviously use some torches right now, but are you familiar with redstone?”
Coolcrafter10 shook his head as he followed Didgee around the inside of his castle. “No. What is redstone?”
Didgee grinned wide. “You’re going to have so much fun, I can promise you. Redstone is a special block that you can build with that carries electricity. With electricity, you can add switches to control lights in different parts of your castle. Torches are great, but it’s nice to be able to turn on lights when you need them and turn them off when you don’t. Oh, and once you get really good with redstone, you can even use it to build weaponry to defend your castles against any baddies that might try to attack.”
“Is there a fast way to build with redstone? Something like Tinkercad that can build all these lights and switches for me?” asked Coolcrafter10.
“Unfortunately, no. Redstone is a material and a skill that you can only learn by doing yourself. I’ll give you some websites that you can read on your computer to learn how to use it. That should give you plenty to do in the evening.”
Coolcrafter10 frowned. “Well, I wish there were a way to defend my castle now while I start to learn about redstone. I think…”
Coolcrafter10 jumped as a lightning bolt hit a tree in the distant forest. The wind had kicked up, and a light rain began to fall.
Didgee scanned the sky. “I suggest we get back to your house while this storm blows over. I wish we could stay in your castle, but it doesn’t have any rooms yet, and until you carve a few out and add a large door to that entrance, it’s just not safe enough.”
CRAAACCKKK!!!! Another lightning bolt popped in the distance.
Coolcrafter10 nodded. “Let’s hurry.” He ran back to his house and closed and locked the door behind them after Didgee ran in.
Didgee shook the rain off her shoulders and looked over at the computer. “You know, while we’re stuck inside, I could show you something we can do right now that can add some extra security to your castle. Are you interested?”
“Are you kidding?” said Coolcrafter10, as he pushed a chair in front of his computer. “Please sit here and show me. Please! And thank you for all your help.”
Didgee pulled out the chair from the desk, sat down, and turned on the computer.
“So, what do you have in mind?” asked Coolcrafter10. “A moat filled with giant squids? No! A pit of lava that spills down onto any attacking zombies?”
Didgee laughed. “Those are good ideas, but I’ve got something better in mind that won’t take as long to create. How are you at solving mazes?” she asked with a wink.
“Uh, you mean the kind you solve with a pencil?”
“Not quite,” replied Didgee. “Sit down and let me show you.”
There’s Almost Always a Solution
Back in Chapters 1, “Taking Over a Castle,” and 2, “Creating Your Own Castle,” you saw two examples of using applications other than Minecraft. Tinkercad and MCEdit are powerful tools, and you’re going to get more hands-on time with both of them as the book continues. But there are other applications to explore that also allow you to create things that can be imported into Minecraft.
With today’s digital devices—including computers, mobile phones, and tablets—it’s easy to move files back and forth between devices. But what hasn’t always been easy is changing files from one type to another (such as the change from .stl to .schematic that is done for you by Tinkercad). Fortunately, today you can usually do a simple Google search to find instructions on converting one type of file to another. If you have a need for a conversion, then someone else has probably already come up with a solution. In this chapter, you’re going to be introduced to an outstanding online application (that’s also free to use) that allows you to do even more amazing things with your Minecraft worlds.
As you work through the various projects in this book, you’ll discover that often you need to use more than one application or service to get a job done. If you ever hit a roadblock with a project, just know that there’s often a solution out there that’s already been created, and you just need to do a little investigation to find it.
Next you’ll see an example of another project you can do with Minecraft. In this chapter you’ll see what’s possible with this example, and then in Chapter 4 you’ll get a more detailed walkthrough for your own Minecraft world.