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Aquain: A Realisticly Planned Underwater City

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avatar OzzyKP
Level 11 : Journeyman Architect
5
Overview

Howdy all!  Welcome to Aquain!!!  I began building this city back in November 2012, it has made significant, but sporadic progress since then.  I currently have 23 underwater glass domes.  Since the water is fairly shallow most of the city is underground as well as under the water.  So each dome goes down several stories and there are passageways and other connections between them both on the sea floor and underground.  This was all made in survival mode, no mods or world edit or anything was used to create this city.  It was all built by hand, by me and occassional helpers, and all the resources were harvested. 

Of the 23 domes I have:
- 1 downtown/commercial district dome
- 1 docking bay for personal subs
- 1 docking bay for a large, "jumbo-jet" style passenger liner sub
- 2 luxury home domes for the super wealthy of the city
- 6 residential domes for the upper class of the city
- 9 residential domes for the middle class of the city
- 1 elementary school dome
- 1 dome for a church
- 1 empty dome waiting to be filled (not yet sure what to put there)

This is just the start though. My plan is for this city to keep growing, perhaps having over 80 domes when finished.  More residential domes, some government buildings, factories, a power plant, hospital, water treatment plant, etc.

To see it on the live map:
smp.opticraft.net/map/#/2404/64/3593/-2/1/0

To visit it in person, come to :
smp.opticraft.net

After logging in, come to: /home ozzykp

To see more detail on specific parts of the city, see the following other Projects listed here:
St. Brendan's Cathedral: Aquain's Church Under the Sea
Movie Theater in the Underwater City, Aquain

Philosophy

I am striving for a very realistic creation (despite the underwater part, heh).  So if I have residential space for 1,000 people (let's say) then I want to create enough schools, hospitals, churches, transportation, work places, etc that can accommodate that many people.  Despite the rather fantastic setting I want this city to be completely plausible.  So eventually I hope to build things like power plants and water treatment plants and other structures that are necessary for modern living.  All cities are systems.  They have both internal systems and are part of larger external ones.  I intend to represent this in my city.  For example, people need to eat, but I don't want to have any underwater farms, so I'm going to build big cargo subs (and docking bays to house them) to represent some vibrant trade with the outside world.

I am very interested in getting the scale right too.  I think a lot of Minecraft builds are meant to be awe inspiring, so have like 50 foot ceilings and other grand things everywhere.  I intend to do that stuff, when it fits, but otherwise I hope to squeeze my structures into compact space.  Not only do I think that is more realistic, but considering this whole city is underwater space should be a luxury.  That said, I hope to make good use of the space I have. 

I think many Minecraft builds feature giant structures that are architecturally impressive, but inside are entirely empty.  I have been sure to furnish my city as I go.  I don't want a bunch of empty rooms, I want everything to look like a vibrant, lived in city.  So I have kitchens, and bedrooms, and sofas, and TVs, and.. BATHROOMS!  When have you ever seen a Minecraft build to put in bathrooms?  Just about every home (and many public areas) have bathrooms just like they would in the real world.

Also, in my drive for realism I hope my city will model a realistic society as well.  Not all residences will be the same size.  I hope to have homes for the lower class, middle class, upper class and super rich in my city. 

Structure

My city is, thusfar, based around domes.  I think underwater glass domes really capture the mystique of underwater cities better than anything else.  My very first build here was a large chamber built into the sea floor with a big flat glass top on it.  It was not only plain and boring, it was implausible.  A flat ceiling of glass that large would probably collapse under the weight of the water.  So I went with domes, and they look pretty cool, I must say.

Like any well laid out city I hope to put structures in places that make sense.  Schools & churches near residential areas, industrial areas further away, large ports near industrial and commercial areas, etc.

While the city is underwater and based around domes, most of the actual living space will be underground.  I think this is fairly practical/realistic, plus with the ocean being only 16 tiles deep I don't have a lot of other options.  I could purely build horizontal, but with all the stuff I want to fit into this city that'd require taking up half the map, hah, and there just isn't enough available ocean for that.  Eventually I hope to also throw a lot of cool things in the water around the city.  Subs coming and going, sea weed, sunken ships, giant squids, etc.

Style

I am designing a custom texture pack to go with the city, I'm taking influences from steampunk, art deco/Bioshock, and 50's futurism blended with many contemporary ideas.  A world that takes its design cues and style inspiration from these sources, but is primarily practical in its outlook. Function over form.  So, for example, when you look at a lot of steampunk style there are often just random gears stuck in every spot possible that seem to do nothing practical except look cool.  But gears are a highly practical and useful item, not decoration.  So I'll use them when it fits, but not otherwise.

I think I'd love to go with a 1950's retro futurism look, but the main design element in that style is radically curved and rounded surfaces.  Of course that is very difficult to do with Minecraft blocks.  So instead I've gone with a more Art Deco approach.  Yet at the same time I really like the rough hewn look of exposed metal, whereas Art Deco is a more sophisticated, polished look.  I'll have a mix of each, depending on the location in the city.  Poorer areas of the city will have to deal with metal walls instead of fancy wallpaper.

My custom texture pack is a big part of the city.  There will be areas that won't look right unless you are using my texture pack.  As I've told the few people who have actually visited the city so far, it looks much better through my eyes.  The texture pack borrows a bit from other texture packs and is not yet publicly available.  I continue to expand it and add my own content.  Once I've replaced all the borrowed/copyrighted textures I'll release the pack.  I also intend to add in some new block models as well.

Environment

I think I've pretty well mastered building underwater, so while others who have tried to do it have seen that as a large impediment to their project it doesn't bother me at all.  My biggest challenge though is space.  I started this before the new, larger ocean biomes were released so sadly I couldn't find anywhere on the map where the water is deeper than 16 tiles.  So if I want to build domes taller than that (I do) then I have to lower the sea floor which is a pain in the ass and takes a lot of work.  I have done it though and that allowed me to have my larger, downtown dome.

One benefit of lowering the sea floor is that right under my downtown dome there was a large underground ravine.  I've turned that into an underwater trench which looks pretty awesome imho.  Since it runs right under my large dome I've incorporated that into my downtown area.  The bottom of the trench is 52 blocks below sea level.
Credithopper2468
Progress35% complete
Tags

1 Update Logs

Update #1 : 05/25/2015 8:41:40 amMay 25, 2015

Made a lot of progress on some docking bays for large, passenger subs.  I also have one of the docking bay domes open with a sub on its way inside.  I put up a picture of it.  I also released my texture pack! 

Check it out here:
www.minecraftforum.net/forums/mapping-and-modding/resource-packs/2433744-ozzys-deep-sea-deco-art-deco-steampunk-realistic

Comments : 10

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1 - 10 of 10

a good map bu can we have a download ? its better /=
  • NovaArch
  • Level 14
  • Journeyman Architect
  • November 7, 2015, 5:58 am
Yes, I enjoy the time and effort you have been able to issue into this. But to put it out there, you could have honestly done a much better job. I see a lot of missing factors, and variables set within the build which could be worked on. I enjoy the idea, just. Not the build so much.
  • OzzyKP
  • Level 11
  • Journeyman Architect
  • November 19, 2015, 7:38 am
What missing factors and variables are you talking about?  What suggestions do you have for improving it?
  • Selene011
  • Level 14
  • Journeyman Archer
  • July 3, 2015, 8:39 am
direct your eyes to the kitchin.

when i saw it i went (O-O) because we have that same painting in real life.
  • Glimmar
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • December 5, 2014, 12:40 am
Glimmar of 'Glimmar's Steampunk' here.

Your undersea build looks awesome! :)

Ozzy, just a gentle reminder that when you come to upload your pack for distribution, don't forget to remove all my textures. (I've just read the small print above and you have stated you will be removing all borrowed textures...so thanks for that. :) )

I think it might look better and cause less fuss (ie. I nearly blew a gasket when i first saw my textures being used in a 'mixpack' :D ) if you were to list some details and links for the texture packs you're currently using for the display pics, so there's no confusions as to provenance. I don't mean that to be arduous for you, but it's what I usually expect and would help your viewers to locate the texture packs you've borrowed from. :)

Best wishes for the project's success though!
  • eagoy
  • Level 47
  • Master Lava Rider
  • November 19, 2014, 5:12 am
Congrats on this massive undertaking with the philosophy behind it.
Overall it looks good so far and I will keep an eye out for it.

Some suggestions:
- Press F1 before taking screenshots. It will remove the crosshair & item bar.
- Can´t you raise the waterlevel inside of lowering the seafloor?
  • OzzyKP
  • Level 11
  • Journeyman Architect
  • November 19, 2014, 5:20 am
Good suggestion on the screenshots.

As for raising water level.. there is land all around the city, so either I flood a large amount of land all around me, or I have an ugly looking spot where the water is 20 blocks above the shore line.  If I was doing this on my own server or world I could just make a deeper ocean in world edit, but as it is I'm stuck.
  • CrumpetBobner
  • Level 5
  • Apprentice Network
  • November 19, 2014, 5:04 am
Very Nice How Long did this Take

?

Check Out my stuff and Tell me How Im Doing
  • OzzyKP
  • Level 11
  • Journeyman Architect
  • November 19, 2014, 5:05 am
I've been working on it for two years so far.
  • CrumpetBobner
  • Level 5
  • Apprentice Network
  • November 19, 2014, 5:14 am
Very Cool

1 - 10 of 10

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