The Spawn Chunks 225: Boxing Day Chunk Mail

Dec 26, 2022 | podcast

Jonny, and Joel dig their mittens into the chunkmail box to answer listener emails about Minecraft food mechanics, speculation on breeding the sniffer, how new interactive blocks could be used to shape loot distribution, and the building challenge of balancing detail, and scale.

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  • The Citadel
    • Moved on to the second house in the west river build.
      • Sticking with a dark oak roof, but mixing in some signs, slabs and trapdoors to give the roof a bit of an arch along the pitch.
      • Unhappy with the front steps. At the moment they’re made out of wood, and they don’t fit the fanciness of the build.


  • Empires, Season 2
    • David 5.0 on the Hermitcraft Server is complete!
    • With that large project finished, there will be some fun projects with other hermits.

Chunk Mail

FROM: Quinn L.


I was listening to one of your older podcast episodes where you were discussing how Mojang could fix food. For the longest time I’ve been trying to think how Mojang could add possible buffs to foods to give incentive to players to farm or craft them, but I struggled with balancing it.

While listening to your episode, I was thinking of Ark Survival Evolved, and their food system of food spoiling. What if Mojang added a simplified food spoiling system to Minecraft? Perhaps certain foods could last certain lengths of Minecraft day cycles? Maybe unstackable food items have no spoil timer. Cake placed on the world may also have no spoil timer. Maybe when food items get rotten they have a new purpose. Maybe it’s a combination of spoil timers, and buffs for eating certain foods. I have no idea how hard this would be to implement  or even possible, but I feel I could give a new, and needed balance to food. 

Curious about your thoughts. 

Quinn died while choking on a golden carrot.

FROM: Big Hippopotamus
SUBJECT: Poisonous Potatoes

Hi Pix and Joel,

Wishing you both a happy new year!

Something that we know is coming in the new 1.20 update is the new Sniffer mob. One of the things that has previously come up on the show is breeding the Sniffers (instead of hatching new eggs every time).

I thought, what if we took an existing plant that is useless, poisonous potatoes, and made that be the breeding food for the Sniffers. This could be a good use for potatoes and give people an incentive to have manual (non-villager powered) potato farms. There are other “food items” such as beetroot or glistering melon that don’t have any good uses right now. 

Interested to hear your thoughts,

Big Hippo fed his horse a glistering melon and rode away on it with speed.

FROM: Rose19 / Rin
SUBJECT: Chiseled Bookshelves In Strongholds

Hi Jonny, and Joel!

One of my favourite new features of update 1.20 is the chiseled bookshelves. I wondered how they could be applied to generated structures, such as in the stronghold libraries.

Instead of having loot stored in chests, perhaps it would lead to a more immersive experience if among regular bookshelves there were enchanted, and regular books, which could be stored inside chiseled bookshelves. I wonder if loot in other areas of the game could be stored differently for a more immersive experience.

I always love listening to your discussions 🙂

Rin was killed by a silverfish because her nose was stuck in a book inside the stronghold.

FROM: GunsAndChips
DISCORD MEMBER: Landscape Artist
SUBJECT: Detail And Scale

Hi Jonny & Joel!

Just finished listening to The Spawn Chunks Episode 223, and I really enjoyed the discussion around having multiple projects, sparked by GundarHStriker’s email!

It got me thinking about a balance I’m often trying to (GundarH) strike in Minecraft builds, the balance between detail, and scale. l like to put a lot of detail into my builds, but it means that building at any scale larger than a house takes a very long time. Whereas I see “mega builds” fall at the other end of that spectrum, like Iskall85’s “Omega Tree”, and Cubfan135’s “Great Pyramid”, or Pix’s Greatbridge on Empires. Not that these builds aren’t detailed – but they’re certainly not on the datapack-boosted level of detail in say, Joel’s Westhill on The Citadel.

I was wondering how you both go about striking this balance, whilst trying to prevent projects from taking a lifetime to finish!


GunsAndChips was killed by phantoms after deliberating for days over the perfect roof block.

FROM: LuckyLittleUnicorn
DISCORD MEMBER: Community Miner
SUBJECT: Equipped For Exploration

Hello Jonny and Joel! I am a long-time listener, and supporter of the podcast; it makes my enjoyment of Minecraft that much richer to be a part of this community, so thank you for all you do!

As the Minecraft world has expanded exponentially over the past couple of years with the Nether, and the Caves & Cliffs updates, I have found myself circling back to an issue I’ve dealt with since I started playing Minecraft nearly ten years ago: the frustrations of single-player exploration. After all, when the world outside is infinite but you are not, it’s easy to get overwhelmed!

I really started thinking about this several weeks ago, after listening to a recent episode when one of you mentioned offhandedly that caving is more fun when you do it with friends. I wholeheartedly agree, but what about those of us who, whether by preference or circumstance, spend most of our time playing alone?

I propose an improved party/ally system, like those you often see in RPGs and dungeon crawlers. There’s somewhat of a precedent for it already with tamed wolves attacking hostile mobs that hurt the player. The problem is, there’s no way to protect or level up your dog against those threats. I don’t know about anyone else, but I get far too attached to my canine companions and they end up just sitting in my base anyway. So, I can’t help but think, “How can we make this better?”

First off, I think we should expand the tame-able mobs – not even that we’d need to add any, necessarily. Just think how cool it would be going headfirst into the Ender Dragon fight riding a polar bear, you know? Secondly, there should be ways for us to protect our companions other than horses. Even if adding armor for every tame-able mob was too tedious for the design team, utilizing something like craft-able permanent stat-boosting potions for animal companions would make a world of difference in how comfortable I feel letting my dog (or polar bear) face off an angry horde of skeletons, and zombies. And if we as the player get experience from killing a mob, our companions should, as well, and in turn grow stronger.

I think Rune Factory 4 is the perfect example of this type of system being well-executed in a game. It’s probably a big ask of Mojang in the grand scheme of things, but I think it would make exploring and caving in a single-player world feel less daunting, impossible, and much more fun. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

LuckyLittleUnicorn fell through the ice while trying to tame a polar bear.

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