Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Today's Destination: Hoenn

Welcome back! Lets head to Hoenn today shall we. Much farther south than Kanto, the Hoenn region is semi-tropical, and the whole region is much larger than Kanto and is more varied in its terrain. From volcanoes, to the desert, rainforests, to the coast. Hoenn is breathtaking in its splendor.
Looking towards Mt Chimney. This is area around your Hometown.
 The second completed region done in the Pok√©craft project. Hoenn was a massive undertaking. From server changes to lost work, Hoenn was more than a handful for the entire staff.

 We started on Hoenn in the beginning of January 2010, not too long after Kanto was completed. At the time Hoenn was a challenge just to get the starting mapping done due to the much larger size of it compared to Kanto. We initially had to split Hoenn up into 2 separate maps due to the default server-ware not liking a 1024x512 map. From there trying to translate the elevation (or lack of) into Minecraft was a challenge. There were quite a few hurdles to pass before we even had the map live.
We also took a different approach this time with how the building worked. In Kanto, the server was public and we had it basically setup so anyone could come in and start building.

This was not the case in Hoenn. After having to deal with grief a few times in Kanto and even in the inital opening of Hoenn, we made the Hoenn server private much to our regret. But it allowed the building staff to be able to concentrate on building and not babysitting the guests who liked to wander all across the map. Which thankfully worked out in the long run.
Sootopolis and the Sea Routes

 Progress on Hoenn went along smoothly, and after about a month the second half of Hoenn went live. East Hoenn was a bit more of a challenge to do due to it being mostly water and it actually slowed the project down, but we battled on and continued working.
The great view from the top of Mt. Chimney.
We were now about 2 months into Hoenn and 3 months into the entire project when we got our first major break. I had been doing some reading on the Minecraft Forums (before they went south), and came across a free custom server-ware that had portal and multiple world support. The biggest advantage to us was that it allowed us to lock the maps and prevent anymore griefing. Not too long after that I began the challenging task of joining up both East and West Hoenn into the one large map that is it now.
The Peaceful city of Rustboro

It was then that Hoenn stalled. The water routes in the eastern half of Hoenn were more work than we had previously thought and we also discovered that the city of Sootopolis would plainly Not fit into the main map.

The adventurous town of Fortree City.

So sadly work on Hoenn came to almost a complete standstill. So, work continued slowly and sadly one by one, staff members dropped off the face of the blocky world.

The desert.

By this point almost 7 months had gone by since we had started Hoenn, and we were all quite tired of it. During all this time we had all wandered away to other projects, like the Gym project and the Sevii islands. Minecraft had also gone through quite a bit of change itself, we had went from indev, to infdev and all the way up to Alpha. Most of us at that time had started playing it quite a lot too. So eventually, we all got together and made a large push to get it finished up. Finally finished it is quite spectacular. We also made a large effort to get interiors done inside of the buildings, so you can wander around and into just about any building you see.

Like Kanto, there are all sorts of easter eggs hidden throughout the map. We also kept track of the staff that worked on Hoenn and have an area set aside for credits. Which is a nice addition.

So with 2 regions down, 1 under construction, and 2 to go. The project has no sign of letting up! Please stay tuned for more info and of course, don't forget to check out The Playhouse and to check these maps out for yourself!

Next time: A quick overview of other projects on the server, and a sneak peek of Sinnoh!