How to build an amazing Minecraft server spawn | A case study
Setting up a server with our infrastructure at Gateway.gg is very easy. If you’re only going to play with a small friend group, the spawn area can be built whenever you have time on hand, and is not usually considered an important aspect of the server. If you want to build a community and a larger server, the spawn area or “server hub” is the first area your new players will join, and can therefore be a deciding factor in getting new players to stay. In this blog post we will show you how to build a Minecraft server spawn, and hopefully give you some inspiration to get you started right away. The estimated build time of this project was about 3-4 months.
The spawn is the first area the player sees, and needs to give an impression of what your server is all about. To achieve this, I initially started out by building a voxel skull, and surrounding it by a cliff and some patterned walls. The idea was very simple, and only took a few hours to set up. The smaller area was fine enough, but it didn’t stand out, and was lacking in colour and soul, so I therefore decided to expand the area by quite a bit, as seen in the picture below.
To make your spawn stand out, you need to grab the attention of the players with scale and detail. The “wall box” I had built was therefore not enough, and so I expanded the cliff range to a large area surrounding the walls I had made. I went a bit overboard in this phase, but would only realise this later in the process. If you are following along with my techniques, I recommend scaling everything down a bit to save some time.
As seen in the picture above, I got quite carried away building cliffs by hand, and after many days I realised I had only come half-way. It is better here to use world edit if you intend to build cliffs and mountains, but I enjoyed the challenge.
You can download Worldedit and learn more on this page.
It soon dawned on me was that I had to enclose the whole field with cliffs in order for it to look good, and so my grind begun. I will go into further detail of how you can build cliffs like this yourself.
If you are up for the challenge, and as mentally insane as I was (and still might be), you can build these cliffs by hand. I personally feel like you get a lot more control of how the cliffs look and flow, and it is very satisfying seeing your hand crafted Minecraft mountains coming alive. As seen in the picture below, I started randomly placing lines in the shape of cliffs and mountains, and gradually filled them in randomly as I went. To be successful with this technique, it is important to not give too much thought into how you place the blocks, as if you’re too detailed, it might not look natural in the end.
After a solid two weeks of placing stone blocks on and off, it was all finally taking shape. Good things take time, and if you want your Minecraft spawn to really stand out, rushing the process is not the answer. There should be some middle-ground between not doing enough and doing too much, but I might have gone a bit overboard.
After a lot of hard work the cliffs and mountains were finally finished, so I started adding some grass, trees, paths and marking up a lake with a waterfall. Doing this will help you visualize how you’re going to decorate the spawn, and where you want your players to go. It will be important to populate your spawn area, so that it doesn’t look empty and unused.
When building the spawn area, it is important to add some variation in the terrain to make it feel more interesting. I achieved this by building paths that twist and curl, surrounding them with grass hills.
To get a more cinematic and picturesque scenery, I recommend you add snow to your mountains. To do this, you shouldn't try to cover the whole mountain peak with snow, but rather look at real life pictures of mountains, and see how the snow flows together with the rocks and cliffs. The result of this should look something like the picture below, where the snow has not settled at the steepest parts.
At this point the terrain should be close to finished. To make the spawn hub feel populated, I recommend you build some custom trees and bushes and place them around your spawn area. There are many tutorials for this on YouTube, so don’t be afraid to take inspiration from someone else. When adding foliage to my spawn, I built 4-6 variations of a tree, and pasted them around the map with world edit, as seen in the picture below.
At this point there was still one large area of my spawn hub that was relatively empty, so I decided to try and build a castle to make the spawn more grandiose and attention-grabbing. To do this, I marked out the castle shape in squares, and filled it out gradually as seen in the picture below.
In the end, I finished up the castle, added more snow to the mountains and did some final terraforming to finish off the build. Below you can find all the pictures of how it turned out. Hopefully this guide gave you some insight into how you can build an amazing Minecraft spawn hub for your server. Sometimes, it is okay to get caried away when building, and letting your creativity flow free. Best of luck with your future builds!!