You might think that all you really need to build a decent looking castle is some walls, a few towers, and a hell of a lot of stone, but it's actually a lot more complicated than that. If you want to inject a little 12th century authenticity into your Minecraft world, Reddit user 'ampanmdagaba' has that doesn't just look cool, but also realistic.
"The thing I like the most about medieval fortifications is that they were almost never built in the middle of a plain," ampanmdagaba writes in their Imgur tutorial album. "The architects would always try to use existing features of the landscape, be it hills, drumlins, or river cliffs. And because in real life terraforming is hard, fortifications tended to creatively interpret the landscape. To build a good fortress you needed to use your imagination and 'read' the shape of the land, trying to blend it with the future castle."
Ampanmdagaba demonstrates this by finding a hill to build a new castle on, detailing step by step how to clear the vegetation and begin laying a foundation that would accurately represent the way a 12th century castle would look. Somewhat against the nature of Minecraft, the idea here is to refrain from doing too much landscaping. "This is exactly the part that will eventually give your castle an organic look, turning this entire project into a nice engineering puzzle," they write. "You can modify your shape a bit, but you cannot drastically change it. You now have to fit your castle into the shape of this particular hill."
The rest of the album goes into further detail on how to build the towers and curtain walls to more accurately mimic their historical inspirations. And hey, if you really want to take your game to the next level by pretending to poop into a chute during a mock siege, ampanmdagaba has included some helpful tips for building a latrine.
Latrines aside, the finished product is actually rather pleasing. Minecraft is the kind of game that inspires people to run wild with their imaginations, but there's something satisfying about seeing a more practical and mundane castle done well as opposed to some crazy flying fortress. And I have to agree with ampanmdagaba, using the landscape to inform the layout of your castle really does create a more natural looking piece of architecture.
to share their tutorial is also full of great advice from other users on how to add nifty touches of realism to your designs, including suggestions on making your stairwells conform to proper Middle Age designs. If you only have a passing appreciation for medieval architecture, it's still an enlightening read.
I love when people take the time to inject a little realism and history into how they play sandbox games and ampanmdagaba's guide is a great example of how to do just that. If you want to take things a step further, be sure to check out by sarlac for even more great ways to bring some life to your architecture.