The Spawn Chunks 229: Sniffing Out The Real Builders

Jan 23, 2023 | podcast

Jonny, and Joel run through some technical changes in the new Minecraft snapshot, nose around the first look at the sniffer, and answer listener emails from architects, and builders in the community about how they play Minecraft.

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  • David Copper Aging Facility
    • Most of the week has been spent testing the David Copper Aging Facility making sure it does what it’s supposed to do before releasing the tutorial video.
    • The final version is three floors tall, loads, and unloads semi-automatically, and can age a single shucker box of copper in one go.
    • Still to resolve is the issue of how to unload a 9×8 block span of oxidized copper automatically, but that will be a separate project.
    • David Copper Aging Facility (

Minecraft News

  • Development Footage Of The Sniffer (
    • Chi Wong, 3D Artist at Mojang Studios, shared some video, and still images of the current development of the sniffer, the winner of the 2022 Minecraft Live Mob Vote, slated for release in Minecraft 1.20 The Unnamed Update.

Chunk Mail

FROM: Microwave Safe

Hey there guys! 

You requested a response from your IRL builders. I spent several years teaching high school geography, woodworking, and robotics but now I do custom cabinetry and remodel work.  

Probably the biggest thing that I can’t get out of my mind when playing Minecraft is structural stability and some common building practices. I actually think that can be pretty common though. 

Really it’s the more specialized things that I don’t think many people notice. One thing that I’ve never heard anyone talk about in Minecraft, is how crazy it is to get so much material out of a single log! It’s not uncommon for 25-50% of a log to end up as waste material, so the fact that you can get four planks out of one is crazy! Honestly, the most realistic wood crafting recipe is for trapdoors. I feel like getting two of those bad boys out of a log and a half seems more on track with reality. 

Another thing is the wood species. I love the way they look in game, but I’ve spent a good deal of time wondering what exactly is “jungle wood”, how did the spruce planks get so incredibly dark? And, what is “dark oak?” 

I’ve got many more, but… 

Microwave Safe signed off because his wife reminded him stop being “that guy.”

FROM: Nick H.
SUBJECT: Architect Who Plays Minecraft 

Hi Jonny and Joel

I am a residential architect in south west London, UK, and in my down time I love a bit of Minecraft. Being in my mid 30s with an architecture practice to run I do struggle to find time to play but love every moment when I do.

I design buildings for a living but when it comes to Minecraft I find myself enjoying the parts of the game which do not require aesthetic designing. My favourite thing in the game is redstone, and exploiting game mechanics. You will more likely find me trying to build an armor equipping station or a mob grinder over building a big castle or house. My Minecraft houses are often underground where I don’t have to think about what they look like. My escapism is not having to think about proportions, the realities of gravity, or if something looks right.

All that being said I think, being an Architect, allows me to see ways of placing blocks which feel right, and look right. When I’ve finished my armor equipper, putting a decorative façade on it is a lot of fun and I will subconsciously create something which looks good, to the annoyance of my brother who is an attorney and not creative at all!

Listening to you both keeps me sane while I’m drawing up construction detail drawings. Thanks!

Nick died from a collapsing castle which was not up to code.

FROM: Tedable
SUBJECT: UK Architect

Hey Pix and Joel,

I’m an architect practicing in the UK, so I technically don’t build things but I have an intimate knowledge of how buildings are put together.

My experience as an architect has definitely impacted the way I build in Minecraft, specifically in relation to scale, proportion and detail. Some skills I’ve transferred to my Minecraft builds include: allowing enough headroom (at least 4/5 blocks), laying out builds on a structural grid (blocks spaced out at multiples of 3 or 4 being a good rule of thumb), using the wall blocks to build internal “stud” walls as opposed to full blocks because of their slender profile, an appreciation of the brick block, and so on.

The list could go on but hopefully that provides an insight into how somebody in the profession might think when creating Minecraft builds.

Tedable was squashed by a timber rafter that wasn’t supported properly.

FROM: Green_Ninja_5
SUBJECT: Banners And Signs

Hello Spawn Chunks! 

I have a quick banner upgrade idea. What if banners were combined with the functionality of the new hanging signs? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and any other ideas you have on the subject.

Green_Ninja_5 was driven insane whilst trying to craft a banner with more than six patterns.

FROM: McScrewGunn
SUBJECT: Checklists

Good Morning Joel and Jonny!

I am listening to episode 226 Building Into 2023, slightly behind due to the holidays, travel, and vacation. Joel just mentioned having a “checklist” for things left to do in Westhill in the upcoming year. This made me wonder if you, Joel, or Jonny, have actual checklists written out for the large scale builds that you do, or do you rely on memory and walking through the builds and going with what is needed?

McScrewGunn died… wait no he didn’t, updating training documents just feels like purgatory.

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