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The Official Minecraft Building Handbook Isn't Very Helpful

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LightlySaltedBuilder's Avatar LightlySaltedBuilder
Level 53 : Grandmaster Architect
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So, I once bought the Minecraft Building handbook at a book fair. You know, that collection of official Minecraft handbooks published by Scholastic. Back then since I wasn't a good builder, a quick look through the book convinced me that this was just the thing I needed to help me, become a master builder! Oh, I had dreams of building the next Imperial city, being on the same level as FyreUK (who actually helped write the book), and basically being one of the top builders, all thanks to this handbook! Well, as you can see, I'm not a master builder, like the book said I would become. So what went wrong?

I looked back through the book recently, to see what I could actually learn from it. And to be completely honest, it was useless. I already had tons of knowledge about good building, mostly from YouTube videos, and I now realized that this book was not actually very helpful in getting anyone to become a better builder. This wouldn't be too much of a problem if it was a YouTube video or PMC blog, as those are fan-made, but this was the official Minecraft Building Handbook! Plus the fact I had to pay for it just made me mad at it for not being worth my money. But, despite my complaints, the question remains: Why wasn't it very helpful?



The Problems

Well... The first and main reason is that they didn't talk about the basics to a good build . Most good builders know that there are basics to building, that you must know to be able to actually make a good build. These include shape, palette, and depth. Yet the handbook never really mentions any of these, or gives them the attention they deserve.

The only time they talk about depth is at the end of the book, as part of the final message. They never really talk about palette, and the closest they ever get to talking about shape is one small thing where they say that you can experiment with asymmetrical shapes instead of using symmetrical shapes all the time. For the basics of building, this is very little coverage.

Now, I don't know about you, but in my opinion, depth and shape is the most important thing to taking your builds from noob to pro. (Palette tends to come a bit more naturally.) Yet depth is not even given a whole page covering it,or half a page, just mentioned. Basically this is all it says about it:"Create patterns and use different blocks to break up large sections of wall and give your builds more depth." Shape is never even mentioned.

Maybe they didn't cover it because some of their builds that they show how to build actually lack depth and shape. I mean, one of them is literally designed in a shape that Grian (Youtuber who talks about building a lot) said never to use. And this was halfway through the book, not at the start. I know if I made a building handbook the first thing I would say would be to avoid builds like that. So why does the OFFICIAL building handbook have this low quality builds halfway through it?


They also don't explain why things work, or how you can take features used in the build to improve yours. They just show you how to build the creation they're showing (kind of like a YouTube step-by-step tutorial), and then show a huge, epic build build by the community, but never explain how you can go from building the simple wooden house to that complicated thousand by a thousand block hall.

The handbook contains a lot of pictures and pages about community builds, which if done right, would have been a very good feature. However, I noticed that it really doesn't take advantage of it. They use two pages for showing a community build, but then give a simple tip, when you could have filled a lot more space with things to take from the build.

For example, in one section they show you how to build a large castle wall, nothing elegant and fancy, just a wall that looks like a castle wall. Then on the next page they show FyreUK's Mage City, so that you can see the walls they built. Yet there is no explanation to how small details and steps in the wall you built are used in the larger, better wall. Instead the only tip they give is: "Take inspiration from fantasy and run with a theme." They seem to be doing more showcasing than teaching.

Another build, a Nordic hall, has the similar problem, where the only tip you get from there is: "For large, ambitious builds, consider working with a team to spread the load and get things finished more quickly." I can already think of a few more tips to take from it, which include: integrating your foundation with the terrain, Roofs don't have to be all plain, you can add windows and stuff in them, some tips about palette, etc. Yet all they talk about is teamwork, because it was a team build.

Overall I think their main problem is that they don't teach building the way it should be. Building is an art, or at least is made like art. It's not something that you can just follow instructions for, you have to know how to do certain things to be able to make a great build. The building handbook doesn't really teach you how to build, it just teaches you how to make certain builds. Maybe replicating builds can help you learn, but if that's all you do then you won't improve. If you never know what makes that build better, then it'll be hard to improve your own. At this point I think I'm repeating myself, but basically, Building requires certain skills which are hard to learn the way the handbook is trying to teach them.
CreditI want to give thanks to me, myself, and I (Because I made this blog)
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2 Update Logs

Update #2 : by LightlySaltedBuilder 11/03/2017 8:40:19 pmNov 3rd, 2017

Quite a bit of minor editations and a proper ending, since it was kind of annoying me that it didn't resolve well.
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KXGAmerlol
11/04/2017 9:00 pm
Level 28 : Expert Miner
KXGAmerlol's Avatar
Actually Mojang had published 5 or 6 series (Minecraft HandBook)
-Beginner Handbook (Updated Edition Available)
-Redstone Handbook (Updated Edition Available)
-Combat handbook (Updated Edition Available)
-Construction HandBook (Updated Edition Available)
-The Survivors' Book Of Secret (New One!) (Updated Edition Available)
-Another New One... I Didn't brought yet lol
1
AnimeFanFTW
11/03/2017 10:24 pm
Level 60 : High Grandmaster Senpai
AnimeFanFTW's Avatar
I remember my brother buying those books about 2 years ago. He never used them lol.

In a world where the internet exists, a guide book seems pretty redundant
1
Fluffy Muffin
07/19/2017 1:38 pm
Level 16 : Journeyman Birb
Fluffy Muffin's Avatar
I always avoided getting any Minecraft handbook, although it was very tempting. Then, like dorqy, I flipped through it amd saw that it's just a pile of hot garbage. I don't wanna hate too much on it, but it's pretty much the Minecraft equivalent of fidget spinners (wooo memes): It doesn't help with anything, but all the kewl MC kids have it.
1
subpartikel
07/07/2017 10:49 pm
Level 7 : Apprentice Architect
subpartikel's Avatar
I lost my construction handbook so yay

I never really like it anyway xd
1
Bluey11984
07/04/2017 7:38 pm
Level 1 : New Explorer
Bluey11984's Avatar
I was actually planning on actually reading through this book, but the review is similar to what i skimmed through the last time i saw it on a shelf. bullet dodged! This was a magnificent review!!!
1
oldacc
07/03/2017 10:40 am
Level 12 : Journeyman Explorer
oldacc's Avatar
Good job on this review! I once thought of buying this book, but i flipped through it and i saw nothing that would help me. I'm actually a decent builder now, I think learning to become a better builder overall just takes time and observation. It also takes style copying, as in if you watch a tutorial you learn from it and then you can take some ideas like roofs for example onto your own builds which makes it more detailed and experienced. Great work! ♥
1
Kittnz
07/02/2017 3:44 pm
Level 6 : Apprentice Architect
Kittnz's Avatar
speaking of which, I should look at mine. xd (ik it sucks but I have for the longest time been planning to make a better version of it and post it on the interwebs.)
1
Kevy123
07/01/2017 11:04 am
Level 1 : New Explorer
Kevy123's Avatar
ikr i read the book like 80 times and i still suck at building
1
KXGAmerlol
11/04/2017 9:01 pm
Level 28 : Expert Miner
KXGAmerlol's Avatar
L0L
1
Kittnz
07/02/2017 3:39 pm
Level 6 : Apprentice Architect
Kittnz's Avatar
rip
1
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