Inventing with Redstone. Simple vs. Complex

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by bonesabre, Jul 4, 2012.


Do you strive to make small efficient machines, or large complex ones?

Small, efficient, elegant 13 vote(s) 61.9%
Large, complex (even Rube Goldberg-esque if you will) 8 vote(s) 38.1%
  1. Edit: Ok I'll add this to the beginning so you don't have to read the whole post if you don't want to.
    The TL;DR of it: I've made large machines, and learned how to make them smaller. Also, I see people competing in town chat for who has the best cobblestone or smooth stone generators. I think I now have them all beat. Poll question should be somewhat self explanatory.

    [original post]
    Ok, let me preface this by stating that EMC is the first and only public server I've ever played on. So having the ability to walk right up to other people's creations and walk around them, and admire them, is a really fun experience. On my private server, the only creations I see from others are those of my friends and family. And the only people there who see my own creations are, yup, my friends and family.

    One aspect that I really enjoy about Minecraft is the redstone system. And lately I've been thinking about some of the machines I've made in my short time here. I have invented more machines while on EMC than I have in my whole time playing mc elsewhere (single player, private server). Plus, I've tried building a few different machines that I've seen in youtube videos.

    One of my favorite inventions (because it was my first original idea, not copied from youtube), is a "secret" staircase with a removable switch. That is, you place a switch and flip it, and blocks in the floor drop down into a staircase, leading to a secret room (which I use as a treasure room). Go into the treasure room, load/unload the treasure chests, and then come out. Remove the switch and the staircase closes, leaving nothing but an empty room with no hint of the secret room below.

    My original design for the staircase is on my private server. It took me hours of placing pistons, redstone, and repeaters until I figured out how to make the staircase work reliably and close to be completely undetectable. The wiring took up almost the same floor space as the empty room above, which is something like 10x14 or so, leaving me only a small space below for two double chests and two blocks to walk on. My brother encouraged me to redesign it to see if it could be made smaller and use less resources. I think it uses about 60 redstone maybe. I never did redesign the one on that server, because I didn't think I could. It took so much thinking (read: brain hurt) just to figure out how to make it work. However, long story short, I have a single player creative game where I've been going to invent now (much easier with instant destroy and infinite resources). And I did finally manage to re-invent the staircase. The newer version taking about 1/3 to 1/2 as much space as the original and much less redstone resources.

    So there is my first example of what this thread is intended to be about. Two versions of the same thing. One large, bulky, and complex. The second, much smaller and efficient as to resource usage. And in the end, they both are exactly the same thing, a simple retracting staircase.

    Also, what really spurred me to create this thread, is the experience of playing on a public server. Constantly seeing claims in chat about who has the best cobblestone generator, etc. (well, mostly about cobblestone generators). It encouraged me to do some more inventing. And after many painstaking hours, I believe I have the fastest "single core" cobble and smooth stone generators that can conceivably be made. I specify "single core" because I am using only one point of stone generation. I have seen a few super fast generators on youtube, but they all use multiple points of stone generation to achieve the speed they do.

    My intention was to make the most compact, resource efficient, generator, and to make it CLOCKLESS. Now, I feel I need to make another distinction here. When I say clockless, I mean there is no repeater clock to start up, or to stop, or to even reset when it malfunctions. When I think of clock based generators, I see them as "dual clock" generators. Because with or without a repeater clock, there is still a clock in play in any generator. And that's the game clock.

    The game clock (or server clock on multiplayer) determines the generation rate of the cobblestone or smooth stone. So in a repeater clock based generator, if you don't have the repeater clock timed correctly, you can end up actually working AGAINST the game clock. You may have seen it in your own generators. When the piston pushes into the stone generation point when there is no stone present to be pushed out. You get wasted clock/piston cycles, and the machine's generation rate as a whole slows down. That's where the fast generators overcome this with multiple generation points to always have at least one piece of stone to push into the final output stream. Now while that is a fairly efficient way of speeding up the generator to unnecessary speeds. It's not truly efficient, and also can add a lot of bulk and complexity to the machine. And if you look closely as the machine works, it still results in many wasted piston cycles at each generation point.

    And since I've seen different versions of this type of generator in youtube videos, and a few on EMC as well, it was one I wanted to try to avoid making. Since we've all seen it before. To make another long story short, I've invented both types of generators (cobblestone and smooth stone) that work without a repeater clock. Meaning, they run at game clock speed, and also don't result in any wasted piston cycles. Every cycle of the machine is pushing out a piece of cobblestone or smooth stone. And I believe that's as fast as any single point generation machine can ever work. And probably what is most surprising, is the compact simplicity of the machine itself. These machines are extremely small and fast compared to their clunkier counterparts.

    So the question I now pose to you: When building with redstone, do you prefer to make your machine as small and efficient as possible? Or do you prefer large, magnificent complexity?
  2. I prefer machines that fit in a small space but can still do the job I require them to do.
    Oh, and:
    Most of his thread is talking about how he has large, clunkier redstone machines that he has evolved into smaller, more efficient redstone contraptions.
    He was also inspired to do this poll because he always saw people competing for the best cobble gen in EMC town chat :)
  3. I suck at redstone.
  4. lol yeah. sorry. I just started typing, and didn't think about how long it was going to end up
    marknaaijer likes this.
  5. Latley I have been spending a lot of time in single player just tinkering away at my smooth stone generator, but now you say you have one without a clock!
  6. I do. Funnily enough, the smooth stone one is simpler than the cobblestone one. But it took me much longer to figure out how to make it work.

    Edit: Oh wait, I mean my first version of the smooth stone one was simpler. But it was more fragile. The new one is a tiny bit more complex, but doesn't have the breakage problem of version 1. And overall, version 2 is still more simple than the clockless cobblestone one.
  7. I can push a button.
  8. The size of the redstone devices I uses really depend on what I'm using them for. I have built an automatic tree farm based on Youtube videos, I have built logic gates from Youtube videos, I've built lots of things.

    The fun part about building machines and devices from Youtube is trying to see how they function in order to compact them to the smallest possible dimensions in order to make them more efficient. The less redstone used for something to work, the less lag, which means the more efficiency it's got.
    bonesabre likes this.
  9. I love the redstone creations at EEJester's residence, they're gigantic.
  10. I've tried doing that too. Or taking something I've seen on youtube, and just trying to improve on the idea in general. There is a really small smooth stone generator on my 1st res on smp4. But it is not automatic. You stand by the output line and flip the switch on and off. That one, is actually based off of one I saw on youtube. In that one though, I think they were using a repeater clock, and only one piston (the lower one). So it would suffer from the occasional glitch of the lava flowing down before the water could get under it. Also, that one I have on my 1st res is non self-repairing because its design didn't necessitate such a feature. And I only just recently learned about self repairing generators.
    roblikescake likes this.
  11. Me and orangePie123 are beast with redstone (thats right i said beast)
    We are so good with redstone I have built a tv on my private server before.
    op has also made a Cobble factory before.
    xoluss likes this.
  12. TV? Does it get HBO?

    Seriously, that sounds pretty cool though.
    PRO_G4NGST4 likes this.
  13. How Adorable.
  14. No sadly we were rejected by twc because they said it was impossible for them to make a Minecraft Cable box.
  15. Bored reading old posts about polls and contests
  16. Well, reading is fine, but if you are posting it gets really annoying, because than other's could see it... ;)
  17. You do realize that by continuing to comment, you are in fact perpetuating the very thing you are QQing about, right?
    marknaaijer likes this.
  18. Built a crusher today!! Perhaps I should start building cave spider grinders for people....