OK, so *technically* I am not done with the exterior, but I am so sick of it that I need to redirect my efforts for a bit. Plus it's probably only about an hour of work to wrap up.
Here is my first side-by-side of the interior. I still have some tweaks but I'm doing the best with the default colors and textures that I can. It came together pretty quickly, plus I even built some of the Level 2 rooms (they're exactly the same dimensions in the exact same places, but up...)
I've started thinking through the interior. One hiccup is that because of real terrain, the floor of the west end of the building is higher than the east end by four blocks.... I'll figure it out.
I just got an email from the Gen Con events staff saying it's OK to make the Minecraft server. What a relief! They had a couple of guidelines for me to follow around how to register events but I am now SUPER excited to keep moving this along.
Which... it has and hasn't been moving along. I've done a lot of work on the exterior build but am still not done which puts me behind schedule. Very disappointing but now that I've gotten the OK to move forward I may try to get the server up early and recruit some help. And I can finally contact the couple of people who have already offered which is awesome! So I'm going to focus on that instead of getting bummed out about the building progress.
To be fair, I've been really focusing on the little details so I don't have to come back to embellish. The north side is about 90% done and the east side doesn't have a huge length of "unique" build so I'm hoping just a few more hours will get the periphery done, even if the roof isn't 100% figured out just yet. Also I'm getting pretty good at WorldEdit so things have progressed faster as time has gone on.
Things are going a bit slower than I had hoped but only because I haven't able to put in the time I'd like the past couple of days. I have a long weekend so hopefully can wrap up this exterior then!
Here's a progress pic in the meantime.
I've already gotten the boring exterior walls up on the south and west sides and then distractedly started working on the walls for the huge interior halls.
I realized I need to make the exterior 1 block further than my outline so there's room for the interior walls - which led to me putting up dummy walls of white concrete as a placeholder, but then the color (or lack thereof) annoyed me and I wanted to have something nicer looking. Picking the right combination of blocks to get the colors right is horrible and I need to let it go for awhile.
Tonight I'll get back to the task at hand of the exterior. I'm feeling good about Phase 2 taking less than a week as long as I can get a decent amount of build time in - maybe 8 hours total?
I'm pretty happy with the color scheme for the exterior - once I found that "bone block" is a thing. I'll have to bring in some more elements like iron blocks for some of the more modern sections and I'll still need to decide whether to go with tinted or clear glass. The other consideration is doors - should I just leave the doorways open? I think I'll definitely want real doors inside and will want a mod that silences them.
Phase 1 is moving along! I am just about done with transposing the spreadsheet layout and am hoping to wrap it up today.
Here's how I'm seeing the plan right now. I'm trying to get through each phase in a week or less:
Phase 2: Exterior Walls
Phase 3: Interior Walls, Level 1
Phase 4: Level 2 design & construction
Phase 5: Roads and landscaping
Phase 6: Server Launch (this might move up if others get involved with building)
Phase 7: Minigames and other content
I'm hoping that Phases 6 & 7 will be heavily assisted and there will be plenty of runway to conduct testing and possibly even continue building out the ICC area.
I used Minecraft Overviewer to render my progress. It doesn't look like much yet but a lot of those walls will go up super quickly. The back should take no time at all since they're all windowless blank walls.
I finally finished (... mostly) the spreadsheet layout for Level 1 of ICC. There's a couple bathrooms I'll have to come back to over by Halls H through K.
So. Many. Bathrooms.
Finishing this means that I can actually start building in Minecraft! ...Kinda. I am just replicating this layout on the ground. It took me a couple tries to get WorldEdit rolling but it has made all those looong strips of wall so much easier, and a lot of the conference rooms are a convenient copy-paste. I've got about the left 1/3 all done - the really hard part is going to be that upper right hand corner and that frickin diagonal along the south side.
I marked out measurements of 5 blocks using some wool and later realized I should also put in intermediary markers as well. So I placed some at the 100 marks. I suspect I will want more detailed markers once i get into the harder areas.
I'm really hoping to have the layout all done this weekend (Maybe even tonight? We'll see.) so I can move on to designing all of the different wall segments around the exterior of the building this coming week. Fortunately it's going to be quite a bit of copy-paste again.
I'm trying to not get too far ahead of myself but I know that the interior is going to take eons to do. And I have to try to figure out how the hell to light this place up.
Another fun research project will be finding mini-games that will hopefully fit into some of these huge halls instead of having huge empty spaces. I do feel like I need at least one hall just filled to the brim with the long tables like they during Gen Con.
To stream or not to stream... that is the question.
As I get further along with mapping out my grand scheme, I'm starting to wonder if I should stream my building progress on Twitch and/or post up LP's/Tutorials on YouTube. I lean toward the former because it means I won't have to edit anything, and could always come back and upload edited recordings to YT later. But I also question the value of it and my comfort level of putting myself out there like that.
If you're here from r/admincraft, hello! You are probably the first person reading this.
I posted out on reddit for some ideas for the server overall because I needed a short break from measuring, dividing by 3, and filling in little squares. One of the first comments was reminding me to try to get in touch with the Gen Con organizers before getting too excited and ending up being shut down after all this work. So I popped that off and I am waiting for a reply. Hopefully they don't totally shit all over it.
As I'm working through the blueprint and the GINORMOUS exhibit halls, I'm thinking there's probably enough space in these to set up the minigames I was hoping to have. Maybe I can even re-make the "pig racing" arena I used to have back in 2012ish.
I thought it was hilarious. My server, my humor.
Fun fact: The women's restrooms at ICC are larger than the men's.
I don't have a lot of time to commit to the project today (yay D&D!) but I did get a start on mapping the walls of ICC in Google Sheets. It took a long time to get the full building outline right - especially that pesky diagonal - but I was able to do that and get a start on the rooms.
Something I still need to think about is marking the measurements. Right now I'm just filling in squares with grey. It would be a huge pain to type in block measurements - but possibly worth it?
Another piece is marking doors, staircases, columns, outdoor areas... I thought my original estimate of 12 hours to plan this out would be high but it might be right on target after all.
I also started working on an overall project plan schedule. I think the whole ICC project will take me about 50 hours. With a few hours per day, I can get that done in 17 days - so let's round it up to 3 weeks because I technically do have a life.
I have another 35 hours planned for just server administration tasks - setting it up, installing and testing mods, etc. One of the larger chunks of that work is creating a custom texture set. I may not change every block but I at least want to make some wool blocks to approximate the carpeting in the convention center. I'm novice-ish at image software but hopefully a bit of Google will get me where I need.
Those two together will be about 5 weeks or so - although that does include adding minigames and freebuild areas - so barring help, it's looking like I'll only be able to get ICC done in time.