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Full Version: How I made the WoK Archives: The Tale of an Ambitious Madman
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For a long time now people have been asking me about the process and story behind my efforts to locate and archive old Inspiration series showcases. (See here for reference: http://www.keralis.net/forum/showthread.php?tid=26 ) So here it is!
Part I - The Origins of a Madman

It all started one day in the fall of 2016. I was a very mediocre builder at the time and was looking  for some good building tutorials. So I scrolled down until I saw it. "Minecraft - Shopping Mall" by Keralis. "This isn't a building tutorial, this is a build showcase. This is far too ambitious for a single person just starting to get serious about building." I thought to myself and almost clicked off. Only here Keralis say "We are here on the Keralis server, to resume the tours."

Wait. What?

Server? I have been playing Minecraft for about 4 years at that point, but I never seen such builds of such scale and ambition. And what's this?!? A few hundred more videos showcasing what's on the server?!? It was the showcase of "Minecraft - Mansion 7" that *really* got me. A Bunch of Youtube videos weren't going to cut it. I needed to see these creations for myself. With enthusiasm I logged into Keralis for the first time only to quickly run into a dead end.

"Excuse me where could I find Mansion #7 that Keralis showed off in his inspiration series?" I asked.

"Oh. Yeah. That. It can be found on the beachtown map." A user replied.

"Sweet, so how do I get there?" I asked again.

"Ummm... Well you can't that map is retired."

"Retired? Does that mean it's gone forever?!?" I typed back in a panic.

"No, no. You can still download that map off the website. Coordinates to places shown off in the Inspiration series can be found in the description."

I was relieved. I went to the website to download that map immediately. I quickly booted up the game and choose the map in single player, after that I opened a new tab with the Mansion Youtube scrambling to find the coordinates. It didn't have them.So I picked another showcase in the Inspiration playlist, only to eventually discover dozens of episodes didn't have the coordinates. I was disappointed. I wanted to see these places for myself, and I know others wanted them just as much as I did. The world needs to see these! Someone should do something, someone should archive and share these locations.

Maybe that "someone" could be me.

Part II - The Quest for Functional Mapping Tools
First off, I knew I need a proper tactic to find these builds. Just flying around in creative mode in whichever direction to find what I'm looking for isn't going to work. So I started observing the surrounding area of each Inspiration series showcase, what points of interest were nearby, what direction the sun was setting to get my bearings. In addition I knew I needed some proper mapping tools to see the whole map at once. So I consulted the Minecraft wiki to see what would work only to try mapping tool after mapping tool not work. Bear in mind the current version at that time was 1.8.8

- C10t was outdated and its last update was for version 1.3.2.
- Cartograph G was outdated and its last update was for version 1.4.2.
- Chunky was outdated and its last update was for version 1.7.9.
- Journeymap was outdated and its last update was for version 1.7.10.
- Mapcrafter wouldn't work because the map file size was too big.
- MapRend would just crash after starting to render.
- MCA Map wouldn't work with maps over 32,000 x 32,00 and beachtown was far bigger than that.
- mcmap just didn't want to work at all.
- I tried and tried but none of them worked with the save.

Except one.

That was overviewer, I initially avoided it because I was still a programming noob and wasn't comfortable with command line. But it was the only one that would cooperate with the map. Given no other choice I typed in the command into overviewer only to be promptly greeted with a new problem.

"Rendering 000000001 of ~12xxxxxxx   files          12 Hours remain"

I was heading to bed soon anyways, I didn't have the energy to be angry. Besides it will be finished in the morning. Oh how unprepared I was for what was to come.

When I woke up the next morning I could hear my computer roaring like a jet engine, only to wake up my monitor just to see it finish rending a few seconds later. My computer went quiet.
Dead quiet. Oh no. What happened, what did it do to my computer?!? I went to my computer directory only to find... what... no... that can't be... Yup it did.

THE OVERVIEWER MAP OF BEACHTOWN WAS OVER 70 GIGABYTES!!!(I also later found out that "Large Biome" overviewer map was a little over 152 gigabytes.)

To put this in perspective GTA V sits at around 89GBs, Final Fantasy XV sits at around 100GBs, with the beachtown save itself being at around 11GBs. The fact that single overviewer world map of one of my favorite Minecraft servers was over 70GBs was nothing short of insane to me. Also my PC's hard drive was only around 500GBs so you can imagine how hard pressed I was with my hard drive space. As upset as I was at the file size I knew I could just delete the map off my computer as soon as I find all the showcased areas in beach town.

I double clicked on the overviewer generated .html file only to see a completely empty map with nothing on it.

What?!?! No that can't be right!!!

I was extremely upset, 12 hours of rendering and 70GBs of hard drive space for a broken map. I hit my keyboard in frustration. But what's this??? I appears to list the coordinates of where my mouse cursor is. X and Z coordinates were in the Billions.

So I clicked magnify. The coordinates decreased in numbers.

So I clicked it again. Same result.

I clicked magnify once... twice... eight times total just to see the map.

I couldn't believe it, everything actually worked as intended. The problem was that beachtown required 22 levels of zoom in overviewer which is gigantic. I needed to get to the 8th level of zoom to even see anything. So now I have a functioning beachtown overviewer map to explore but now, oh now we are just getting started.
Part III - The Search
 Now is where the hunt really began. I started taking notes, from episode 1 all the way to episode 83 no coordinates were given for the Inspiration series. With no warps or coords this means I just had to use context clues in all of the videos and keep a sharp eye out while browsing the map.

For example while searching Mansion 7 I knew that by observing the setting of the sun that the mansion is in a plains biome, with a desert to the north and south, a swamp to the east, a 2 lane road to the east of the mansion, as well a modern house to the south of it. It took a while but I finally at long last found it after looking at overviewer for about 20 minutes. I loaded up the save in MC and tp'ed to the location, it was beautiful.

Well okay not entirely beautiful, half the mansion was melting and on fire because I forgot to turn off dofiretick and set randomblocktick to 0. But it was so satisfying my strategy worked. 1 down a few dozen more to go. So Naturally I went back to locate the Shopping Mall in the first episode, I found it within minutes.

"This is great! I can do this! I can breeze through this easily." I thought to myself. I proceeded to locate the town houses showcased in episode 2, only I couldn't find them anywhere. I searched about an hour when it occured to me to look back on the server. I brought up the website's dynmap, it's wasn't an overviewer map but it'll work just as good. I could easily locate what I was looking for with the same methods.

This method still had problems because sometimes you wouldn't know what map a build is located in and as a result sometimes I would end up looking for a build for an hour only to find it was in the other map. Slowly but surely I was getting it done. At one point I even resorted to posting a forum thread called something like "I'm on a mission and I need your help!(Locating old Keralis builds)" . But looking back on it I poorly communicated what I was trying to do or what my goal was. That whole thread was just sort of embarrassing(and irrelevant) leading to at one point delete the OP.(I thought I was going to delete the whole thread instead. Whoops!)

After locating a few dozen builds I decided it was enough and soon posted the "Point of Interest Archives" thread. (Which funnily enough an old version can still be found on the wayback machine here: http://web.archive.org/web/2017121907030...t-archives ) A thread that would grow be one of the most popular on the (now dead) forums. Months and weeks passed. Some builds I could find easily within minutes, some were removed entirely, some different, some moved, some that took forever and will haunt my nightmares to the end of my days. *cough* Modern House 7 *cough* 

And odds are I probably would have quit searching a long time ago, if it wasn't for the Keralis community and their appreciation and support for my efforts. Nearly every time I go on the server at least one person thanks me for my archival work. Your support made all the technical problems and hours upon hours of looking at .pngs worth it. Thank you for your support! Smile

...now if you excuse I think I'm finally going to apply for builder it's been over 4 years since I've been a member of this community and it has been long overdue...
Nice work!
Crazy good.

... hope your microphone is fixed / replaced soon ;p
That was a read and half; good job. Big Grin
Thank you all! Also by the looks of my current circumstances I should get a new mic sometime within the next 2 1/2 weeks.
Lovely story and really shows the dedication some people have towards WoK; I love it!!
so thankful that you did this