How I make Castles

Loadable maps as opposed to OldCoder's zoomable maps
Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 22:56

How I make Castles

by slopsbucket » Sun Feb 10, 2019 08:53

I was asked about this so here it is.

Shamelessly copied from the other forum but it is my own post....

How I start building castles:

For building really big places I prefer to use Flat Maps mapgen but I have Lakes enabled by having the following line in my minetest.conf file:

mgflat_spflags = lakes

The best of both worlds, large flat build platforms and a bit of pretty. For this build method you need 2 mods installed and enabled:


Keep trying new maps with Damage turned off and Creative turned on until you find one you like, the very first thing I do in each is enable flying:

/grant singleplayer fly

Creative mode would be a lot more work without that. Also use the F5 key to display debug information, that gives you your coordinates in the top left hand corner of the screen.

First thing I do when I find a map that I like is restart a new map using the same seed number and don’t explore it. The file size of the map increases massively as you explore more area, if you want to share it then be kind to others and yourself, explore first then start a new map using the same seed. In this instance start point was a huge area of grass and that was all I wanted, I had no need to explore.

The very first consideration is Odd numbers versus Even numbers. If you create a square area using an even number of nodes then the centre of that area will be an intersection of 4 nodes. If you create a square area using an odd number then there’ll be one node at the centre. I like one square in the middle, so odd numbers for me. This is an important consideration in lengths of wall section and tops of towers too, how I do crenelations and merlons looks silly if there’s an even number of nodes to sit them on, you always end up with a gap.

I decided I wanted to build something really big, about 400 squares across. For the sake of an odd number and for ease and convenience let’s say a square 401 X 401, that gives me my 1 square in the middle that I like.

There’s a limitation with the game engine and WorldEdit. It’s not a bug, WorldEdit can only work on nodes that have already been “discovered”, your area of “dicovery” only covers 80 nodes in front of you. Because I want to do such a big square I have to fly all around and inside this area first, to “discover” it in order that the nodes exist for WorldEdit to work on.

That last paragraph is only true for Old Minetest and Old WorldEdit, if you're using the new Final Minetest with CoderEdit you don't have to worry about that stuff any more.

I open World edit and set coordinates for positions 1 and 2. You have to do these one at a time, when you click Set Position it closes and you have to go back in again, typing both sets of coordinates at once doesn’t work. With Flat Map mapgen the ground level on top of the plateaus is 8.

I set the following coordinates:

Position1: 200, 8, 200
Position2: -200, 8, -200

Then I went into Set Nodes and set that area to:


Next is to get rid of all the grass and weeds that were growing in that area on level 9, one at a time change the 8 in those coordinates into a 9, then go back into Set Nodes and set them to:


Weeds all gone, one more step before we go any further, go back into WorldEdit and set both coordinates again:

Position1: 195, 8, 195
Position2: -195, 8, -195

And Set Nodes to:


Now, technically, I have a huge square of lawn with no weeds surrounded by a 5 node wide road of Sandstone Bricks that is too wide for new weeds to cross, a perfectly clean slate, except for those shadows. That’s what mapfix is for. By default just typing in /mapfix and hitting Enter will fix all the lighting problems within a 40 node radius of you. You can set that radius bigger if you like but use with care, on smaller computers it can take a very long time if you use too big a number. I use:

/mapfix 60

So I fly around the whole area again using mapfix to get rid of all those shadows, with a radius of 60 I only have to stop every 100 nodes to use mapfix and every use overlaps the last by 10 nodes, easy to count and can’t miss any. Be sure to look in a full 360 degree circle after each use of mapfix to make sure that the changes get made, sometimes it takes a few seconds.

Now for the maths. I want 7 towers across a side, 2 of them being corners. That means I want 6 copies of a section of tower and wall plus 1 more tower on the end. Hello WorldEdit. I made a square 401 squares across divided by 6 is almost 67 but I need to leave room for that 7th tower, how about I call it 64 squares a section, I like that number, lots of people do.

For this one I want really big towers and really fat walls and it’s only allowed to be a total of 64 squares a section. 23 squares would be a nice fat tower and that leaves 41 squares for a section of wall. A bit long, what if I break it up with a guard station in the middle, say 15 squares wide. 2 sections of wall 13 squares long with the guard station in between, all odd numbers that I like. But with the 7th tower on the end that adds up to 407 nodes wide, no worries, I just have to go outside my boundary by an extra 3 nodes on each corner.


Spend a bit of time here and make sure that every thing lines up properly, you can see in the picture above that I didn’t get it right. That’s the purpose of a block missing from the centre of every wall, it makes it easier to spot mistakes, if only I looked at my own picture. :D

Once you’re happy with how every thing lines up and that all the numbers are right fill in all the gaps in the walls, put the floor in including putting dirt_with_grass where you have to and put in all your corner pretties, cornices, or whatever you call them. Stairs and Screwdrivers. These will later get copied vertically as well horizontally, doing it now saves a lot of work.


As you can see in that last picture I’ve set an area in WorldEdit, that area includes levels 8 and 9, I’m copying the walls I’ve built and the ground underneath them. It’s important to get rid of any weeds in that area before you copy otherwise you copy them too, even more important later when you’re copying vertically. Doing the gardening now will save you a lot of cleaning up later.

That section of wall and tower is 64 nodes long, I need 6 of them but I’ve already built 1, I need 5 copies in multiples of 64 plus a tower without the wall section at the 6th multiple of 64. By default your Copy mode is set to copy in which ever direction you are currently looking, this is good. Simply face the right direction then go into Copy and copy sections to:

Copy: 64
Copy: 128
Copy: 192
Copy: 256
Copy: 320

Then highlight just the corner tower room and it’s floor and Copy: 384.

Do the same thing for 2 directions, once you’ve got a whole side you can copy it 384 nodes in the right direction to make your square. Then I usually use a section of that outer wall as a template for the inner keep, in this case I used the central 3 towers and the 2 sections of wall in between in a straight copy action, copied to 128 and 256.


From here every thing gets easier, you now have a working floor plan and can easily map out your new citadel. You really only need to keep working on that one corner. Mark coordinates for the section you are working on, this time not including the floor, then look straight up at the sky and copy 1 nodes, 2 nodes, 3 nodes, etc, until you get the hight you want. Put in a ceiling, put torches in, put doors in, when you’re happy with a section use WorldEdit to repeat it for you.

When the area you are trying to copy is greater than 10,000 nodes you’ll get asked to type in //y and hit Enter to confirm and continue. Note the double slash! Also be warned, Copy doesn’t check what direction you’re looking in until after you’ve given confirmation, if you’re looking somewhere else by then you’ll copy in the wrong direction.

Hope that helps someone.


StartBuild 01.jpg
StartBuild 01.jpg (101.23 KiB) Viewed 7 times
StartBuild 02.jpg
StartBuild 02.jpg (106.4 KiB) Viewed 7 times
StartBuild 05.jpg
StartBuild 05.jpg (79.84 KiB) Viewed 7 times
Last edited by slopsbucket on Sun Feb 10, 2019 09:41, edited 3 times in total.

Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 22:56

Re: How I make Castles

by slopsbucket » Sun Feb 10, 2019 08:56



I ended up sticking to the original floor plan in the tutorial, it’s not that bad. Instead I went a little crazy with the central keep, it turned into something that could give E M Escher nightmares. Check out the floor plan.


I’ve just got a bit more to do, mostly just tidying up, fixing the lighting and I’m not happy with how the stairs are at the moment. In the floor plan you can see below each of those green squares is a bit over 120 X 120 nodes. Plenty of clean empty build space for people to play with.



Tower Map.jpg
Tower Map.jpg (138.7 KiB) Viewed 6 times
Tower Floor.jpg
Tower Floor.jpg (208.13 KiB) Viewed 6 times
Tower.jpg (152.32 KiB) Viewed 6 times

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