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Minecraft Architectural Standards - The Block System

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Level 34 : Artisan Architect

Using the MCS System

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If youo ve played Minecraft creative mode for any decent amount of time, you will have surely heard the word going around that Minecraft blocks translate to real life via the assumption that one block is equivalent to one cubic meter (three cubic feet). Sometimes this connects well with real life; and other times, not.

If youo ve ever thought hard enough, youo ll realize that vanilla-coded doors (henceforth o Notch-doorso ) are two blocks high, and one block wide. If we translate that to real life units, we get two meters high (about 6.5 feet high) by one meter wide (about 3.25 feet wide). Thato s pretty much the standard dimensions for most doors youo ll encounter in the real world. But now leto s try something different:

If youo re in the United States, and know a bit about house dimensions, youo ll know that an average hallway in most homes is 36o (36 inches, which is roughly one meter). But if we attempt to apply this to Minecraft, we realize that we have a very narrow hallway. Two blocks wide is more comfortable, even though that translates to two meters, which is approximately 6.5 feet. Thato s an enormous hallway in real life. So why is it that Minecraft is so strange? Why do the dimensions line up in some cases, but not at all in others?

Truth be told, ito s in the coding. Leto s quickly look at two fundamentals: the character, and the blocks. Steve, your Minecraft character, is two blocks high and one block wide. Thato s two meters (6o 6o ) tall, and one meter (3o ) wide. The average height for a male is right around or slightly under six feet, and youo d be hard-pressed to find someone who is three feet wide around his whole body. Thereo s our first flaw in calculating dimensions.

Our second lies with the blocks. Every block is huge. If we suppose that they are each a cubic meter, then it means that a couch (which should be about six feet long) translates to right around two blocks. However, what we see is that our couch is actually a loveseat. A couch should be three blocks long. But wait! Thato s a nine-foot long couch; thato s huge!

Thus it has come to my attention time and time again when trying to figure out how to translate a plan from real life into Minecraft. Ito s hard work, but it can be done. Instead of thinking in terms of meters or feet, inches or centimeters, yards or miles, we have to think in terms of Bl (the abbreviated form of o blockso ), which is the essence of the Minecraft Standard system (henceforth o MCLo ). Leto s dive in.

MCL o The Basics:

Since this is an architectural guide, and I assume that youo ll be utilizing this while playing in Creative mode (with the intent to be, well, creative). So weo ll cover the basics now, in easy-to-read bullet format:

Ceiling Heights
o Attic/Small Basement ceiling o 2 Bl
o Small house/Cozy ceiling o 3 Bl
o Average/Comfortable ceiling o 4 Bl
o High Ceiling o 5 Bl
o Corporate/Church ceiling o 6-8 Bl
Wall Thicknesses
o Standard/Bare wall o 1 Bl
o Wallpaper/Covered wall o 2 Bl
o Fortified wall o 3 Bl minimum
Window Dimensions (Height x Width; if o No , any number can substitute)
o Porthole o 1x1 Bl
o Basement windows o 1xN Bl
o Standard windows o 2xN Bl
o Large windows o 3xN Bl
Floor/Ceiling Thicknesses
o Attic/Basement floor o 1 Bl
o Average floor o 2 Bl
Roof Angles (Slope: y/x; if o No , any number can substitute)
o 0 degrees o 0/N Bl
o 15 degrees o 1/3 Bl
o 30 degrees o 1/2 Bl
o 45 degrees o 1/1 Bl
o 60 degrees o 2/1 Bl
o 75 degrees o 3/1 Bl
o 90 degrees o N/0 Bl

MCL o Common Room Sizes:

In America (yes, this guide focuses a lot on America, since that is where I am from), there are several standard sizes for things, usually measured in square footage. I will show you the average size in square feet (for metric approximation, divide by three), as well as the block size. Please note that because of the way Minecraft works, and that furniture is bigger or smaller than it might be in real life, dimensions will vary; the dimensions of a living room may equate to one block dimension, while the same dimensions for a bedroom may equate to a different block dimension.

o One-Car Garage (14o x 21o ) o 9 x 14 Bl
o Two-Car/Oversized Garage (24o x 24o ) o 16 x 16 Bl
Living Rooms:
o Small Living Room (12o x 12o ) o 8 x 9 Bl
o Medium/Large Living Room (15o x 15o ) o 11 x 11 Bl
o Luxury Size Living Room (20o x 20o or more) o 14 x 14 Bl
o Small Kitchen (8o x 8o ) o 8 x 6 Bl
o Average Kitchen (10o x 10o ) o 9 x 8 Bl
o Spacious Kitchen (15o x 15o ) o 11 x 11 Bl
o Small Bedroom (10o x 12o ) o 9 x 8 Bl
o Large Bedroom (11o x 10o ) o 11 x 10 Bl
o Master Bedroom (16o x 15o ) o 12 x 13 Bl
o 1/2 Bathroom (6o x 7o ) o 6 x 7 Bl
o Standard Bathroom (7o x 9o ) o 7 x 9 Bl
o Master Bathroom (12o x 12o ) o 9 x 10 Bl
o Suite Spa/Retreat (12o x 17o ) o 11 x 11 Bl

Complications o A.K.A. Trees:

There are always complications with any unit of length or dimension. In our case, it has to do with trees. From my own experimentation and intuition, it turns out that trees in Minecraft (realistically made ones; not o Notcho trees) end up at the same scale as in real life. For example, the White Oak Tree.

o 3-foot trunk diameter (approx. 1 meter/block)
o 70o o 80o height (approx. 27 meters/blocks)
o 50o spread (approx. 17 meters/blocks)

As proof of concept, here we have our White Oak Tree:

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All this said, Minecraft is really fun, and scaling into dimensions is part of the fun. Floor planning is great too. However, as we realize over time, meters and feet are not always the answer, and often create spaces that are too small and cramped. Thus it is up to us and our intuitive minds to come up with new dimensions and scales. This is Blocks, and it is the Minecraft Standard System. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, write them in the comments below, and I will be happy to answer.

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01/22/2018 3:03 pm
Level 1 : New Explorer
ArchaicOblivion avatar
This article is a great help! I was trying to figure out how to convert a house plan to minecraft so I can get a better 3D feel if that's actually the design I want to well, live in, silly as that is haha. But these really helped replicate the house plan seemingly flawless! Many thanks for your work!
02/15/2013 1:05 am
Level 14 : Journeyman Narwhal
Gello45 avatar
This is amazing, you obviously deserve more diamonds, so i'm giving you one.
03/10/2019 6:53 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
HackerHD avatar
I agree
02/15/2013 11:20 am
Level 34 : Artisan Architect
xRILLIANx avatar
Wow, thank you very much!
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