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by eli

MINECRAFT is the biggest thing to hit cubes since ice! AADL is proud to launch MINECRAFT ANN ARBOR, a Minecraft server for Ann Arbor, by Ann Arbor, and of Ann Arbor! We'll be working together in creative mode not just to make crazy Minecraft stuff, but also to make models of Ann Arbor as of now, 1950, 1900, and 1850, plus who knows what else!

You can reach MINECRAFT ANN ARBOR by pointing your home copy of Minecraft at ; you can also point your browser to to reach this blog, where we'll organize building projects, talk about server changes, and keep the community going!

Stay tuned for updates, discussion, and big projects.... and for Summer Game players, there will surely be some Summer Game badges and challenges you can only complete inside MINECRAFT ANN ARBOR!

Also, we are working on installing Minecraft on computers at the library, so if you don't have Minecraft, you can come play it at AADL locations without a Minecraft login. So stay tuned for that too!

Thanks for your interest in a blockier side of town, and THANKS FOR PLAYING!


OK, one thing that's already come up in-world is tracks on the street. We're going to tear them up as driving on the streets is not a goal; plus when we get to Ann Arbor of 1900 we're going to need to put tracks EVERYWHERE!

So in short, the goal is to make the current Ann Arbor, at ground level and building exteriors, as realistic as possible, but in the air, under the ground, and inside the buildings are where your creativity can go wild! Check out the Federal Building for some inspiration; user Zigzagog did a great job getting into the spirit! We hope you will too.

You know, just go ahead and do it.

I know it's easy to get intimidated looking at some of the things that have already been built, but what will really make things cool is if we start getting significantly large chunks of the city built, and doing that is going to need help from a lot of people. So what if you aren't world's best builder? This is an AADL project, and it's all about getting everyone involved and everyone learning. Every structure doesn't have to be a great work of art. All we really ask is that you make a reasonable attempt to figure out what is supposed to be in a spot, and try to approximate it. If you are good enough to make it plain that you are trying, then you are good enough for me.

My suggestion would be to pick out a smaller building to practice on. For less experienced builders, you often have to try things, tear them down, and try again, until you get something that looks right. Actually, I had to do the front of Hill Auditorium three times before I got something that I thought was OK, and with something that big it's a real pain to have to tear everything down and start over again. Easier with little houses.

I think the Kempf house would be a great starter project for someone who is feeling less confident. It's on the same block as the downtown library, so we kind of need it built. It's very small and pretty simple. Since it's an important historic building, there are lots of pictures on the web. Just do a google image search of "Kempf house". I haven't seen any pictures of the back. I have that problem with almost every building I make. So just invent a back for it. It's not like anyone else knows what the back looks like either. Or if you're energetic, you can go out an look at the real thing.

Some advice for people who want to build stuff:

(1) Get "Google Earth". It's a cool free downloadable program, fun to just play around with. And it's great tool for figuring out how things in the real Ann Arbor look, without having to actually go out and look. You can get both aerial views and street views. There are even 3D models of some buildings. Be careful though - not all of the pictures are up to date. For example, the street view still shows the old YMCA building across the street from the downtown library, and neither street nor aerial views show the almost-completed underground parking structure next to the library.

(2) Roads are not straight. Even roads that theoretically go north/south or east/west never seem to exactly align with the grid. This makes them much more painful to build, and means you may have to do some fiddling with sidewalk widths so that the front of your building can be straight. I find it helpful to build the whole road, from one intersection to the next, before building anything along it. Also note that the width of roads shown on the map isn't necessarily accurate.

There are some challenges ahead. Houses on diagonal streets. Houses on hills. Filling the Huron River with water. Hope you all have as much fun as I'm having.

So, is MC coming to the public computers with card swipers? I would really like to contribute, but I don't have Minecraft.

Hi smv, yes! We have a license for minecraft that will allow you to play from our public computer stations. However, that part isn't ready yet; stay tuned to this blog as the summer goes on for announcement of minecraft access at AADL locations.

Jan, thanks for all your efforts in-world! It's looking great.

That is correct, you can use MCEdit to create .schematic files.

If you can get a .schematic file of your North Quad work created, please send it to and I'll get that installed on the library's server.

We've been using a rough 1 meter per block scale, is that going to be close to what you've done?

Hopefully it'll be close. I've been eyeballing the scale for the most part, and trying to get it looking right when viewed and walked through in game. I got the .schematic today, so I'll shoot it out tonight.

I'd like to build near the corner of Main and Depot St (specifically the Barracuda / Smithgroup building) but that is near spawn and already grief'd heavily. Any chance I can get some world protect / permissions or something?

Hey Krowbar, that's great! We have got a little world-surgery coming up to address this exact issue. We'll be taking a copy of what we've done so far and moving it far away, taking the spawn point with it, using warps to get to the build zone, so we'll have a copy of A2 that we can keep low-grief. Watch this blog for updates on that, I hope we'll get that done by next week. We also are getting ready to protect areas, but it prevents all edits, so it's something we'll do on completed buildings until we get a better solution together. While you're right to not build so close to the current spawn point, know we can rollback almost all edits so let us know if somebody wrecks something we can undo.

However, we can also move things of any size so if you can't wait until we send the spawn away; you could build the building in a quiet corner, and then move it on site once the neighborhood improves. =)

I put a couple hours into the Mallett's Creek Library branch. It's a good start, so far. If anyone wants to visit it and give constructive feedback or assist with the build, I'd be much appreciative! There is already a warp to the location.

Here's a neat trick worth knowing: Hold some bedrock in your hand and left-click on any block. It will tell you who placed it, and who placed and deleted any blocks that might have been there before. This is neat to answer "I wonder who built this?" questions and "I wonder who wrecked this?" questions.

There has to be a faster way to edit. Placing blocks one by one is slow, and tedious especially if you are just building a giant wall or something. Is there a mod or something I can use?

Also, would love to get more info on the server. What server is it running, what plugins, etc. Would like to play around with my own server and wondering what I should install.

I think we could use some more warp points around town. (or at least a way to travel faster)

Thanks for the .schematic, we'll work on dropping it in! And mulka, there is a better way to edit that we've got enabled for ops, we're working on a way to have more granular permissions so we can grant worldedit to trusted players. Stay tuned!

Krowbar is doing a lovely job of build that monstrosity at the intersection of main & huron, where I haven't paved the roads yet. Unfortunately, I think it's kind of in Huron Street. I'm hoping an admin can be prevailed upon to nudge it back from the street a bit. Might be best to wait until I can get that intersection paved so it's easier to figure out where it needs to be.

Is the server no longer running or only running part of the time? When I try to use as the address for the multiplay server it says it isn't up.

My apologies for not monitoring this conversation more closely. The server is running 24/7, I've checked the logs for the past week and I don't see any downtime.

In fact, Kyralesse, I see that you successfully logged into the site and stayed for about an hour shortly after you wrote your message.

Have you had any other troubles using the server since then?

So, I emailed in a building (The Duderstadt Center) I created a few weeks ago. It looks like it made it in the world, but it is just sitting off the map. Wondering if someone with WordEdit privileges can put it where it belongs, or give me WordEdit privileges and I can move it.

Also, it would be nice if someone added more warp points around town. Like, for example, one for North Campus would be good.

So is this project dead? It's been weeks since I've seen anyone but me building in the downtown area. I'm having fun. Figuring out how to model a building like the Nickels Arcade is a fun 3D puzzle (did you ever notice that it is three stories on one end, two stories on the other, and that the two arches on the ends don't align?) But maybe it's futile to keep building if the whole thing is going to be abandoned. I don't imagine that AADL is going to want to keep running the server just for my amusement.

Some of the ideas that were knocked about a while ago, like having a survival mode fork that people could play in in the evenings, or creating a spawn point that was a better introduction to the site for new users might help. But I don't know if those are still being planned.

My apologies, it's been a busy time of year around here and I haven'tt been able to spend as much time on this project as I would like.

Now that we're past this hectic period, I'll be able to spend more time with the server.

As for activity, in the past 2 weeks, over 4 dozen users have placed at least 1 block, over 2 dozen users have placed at least 100 blocks with a half dozen placing between 1,000 and 10,000 blocks and 1 user who has placed well over 50,000 blocks.

Survival mode copy of the existing world is still planned. As for the North Campus warp point, I'll get online later today and place that one.

There are no plans to abandon this, we've really only just gotten started and are looking forward to what all of you create

Good to hear that stuff is going to be happening.

I suppose the next priority on the task list now is going to have to be upgrading the server to 1.3.1. I expect that most users, like me, have upgraded their clients, and the new clients won't connect to the old server. But I suppose you won't be able to update the server until all the plugins you are using have new versions. Or maybe they already do. At least updates seem to be on a less frequent schedule than they used to be.

Not that version 1.3.1 actually does that much for the AADL project. A few new slabs and steps will be nice. The option for servers to automatically upload a texture pack could be used to create some more city appropriate blocks - like a traffic lights, streetlight globes, or parking meters - but maybe that's too much like cheating.

It was mentioned in the top post here. Basically start up your copy of Minecraft, choose Multiplayer, then choose Add Server, put in for the address and then click Join Server.

Lately on the minecraft server a person called RubioTurtle can been grifting on the server destroying roods, parts of buildings, spawn and off grid creations this has too stop
Im spoke to hem on the server and asked hem to stop but he ignored me and kept on doing it.
can some one please ban hem fast or at lest talk to hem before he destroys more

When I type as the server address, I'm told I was disconnected by the server because the server is outdated.

If i can grief report,I believe butterfinger00 has griefed. I used the bedrock trick to find out that he has destroyed many blocks and has placed ladders all over a project. Please read this comment and do something, thank you.

Another greife report:
Jello1232 is grefing he destroyed many block of a project. saw him and used the bedrock trick to see that he has messed up other projects.
2ed report:
Loganlogan10 has also destroyed many blocks and i think sweared a few times. used bedrock trick and was on the server when said language was used.please read and do something.
Thank you.

I'm still building - I recently finished the Nichols Arcade block, and the First National block. People had done very nice jobs of building the interiors of "Get Your Game On" and "Vault of Midnight" on these blocks, but unfortunately, both were too big and in the wrong place. I rebuilt both, moving them to the right spot and making them the right size, but keeping as much of the original design as possible. The folks who built these might want to check them out and fix any mistakes I made. I don't have the intimate knowledge of the interior of either store that the builders obviously did. Folks should also check out the interior of the "Palio" restaurant on Main Street. Someone did a great job on that.

Lately there have been lots of creative structures appearing around the edges of downtown. There are some really cool building sculptures in the places where the Michigan and State Theaters belong, which, unfortunately, bear no resemblance to the the buildings that belong there. I'm reluctant to tear down anyone else's work, but eventually we're going to have to if the building of Ann Arbor is to continue. Maybe these creative structures could be teleported out to the outskirts of town.

Is the tie in to the Summer Game ever going to happen?

What mods are aloud in the server? Can i use world edit or single player commands to build on the server?

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