How to make a succesful nation in Minecraft?

So, you’ve joined Devoted. Eagerly you break ground on your build, first a slap-dash hut to keep out the zombie hordes, later a fortified mansion fit for a Mineman King or Queen. Perhaps you brought some friends with you on your journey in Devoted, and you’ve set up for yourself a town. Everyone has built a house, the roads are coming along, the occasional mining trip is as successful as the hard-turned depths will begrudgingly reveal.

Now what?

Welcome to Devoted, where the goal is civilization. But what, pray tell, is civilization? What are some of the secrets to success that you can tap in to to turn your humble hamlet into a bustling city, and perhaps one day the centerpiece of a vast empire?

I can’t claim to know all the answers. But I have had the privilege of leading a town in another time from a low-activity hodge podge of beautiful and ugly buildings to an economic powerhouse able to go toe to toe with any other economy on the map, all without being “real life” friends of the majority of people in town. In fact, most of us were strangers to each other until we came together in game.

So, let’s discuss the first topic.

How to Get Organized

Or, how to stop losing your core members to boredom. It might not be a surprise to everyone, but people need things to do to keep active and invested, and in spite of the name of the game - Minecraft - not everyone enjoys mining endlessly. So what are some simple steps you can take to keep people involved and invested?

1. Community and Communication

Start a subreddit. Create a new Chan board. Join the official Devoted Slack (Just PM me or Bonkill) and make a new private channel. Do something to give your town a way to communicate freely and without disruption. Teamspeak and Mumble are good too, but since they have no record, they are not good for any kind of official business. Something more persistent, like a shared Google document, a subreddit, a wiki, or a forum is far superior as it allows you to not only communicate with each other but also to record your conclusions. This is critical.

2. Build shared Knowledge

Many nascent communities depend on “common sense” as a guiding principle in resolving disputes. Things like, it’s “common sense” not to build outside your own plot, or it’s “common sense” not to take stuff from unlocked chests.

News flash. Common sense is an illusion. It only exists if everyone involved shares the same moral code and social background, which is unlikely to happen as your town’s population grows, or even among “friends”. Some people think it’s no big deal to “borrow” stuff from an unlocked chest; the owner should have locked it, after all.

So, write it down. Build up a code of laws, or something to describe what you and the core group of founders see as “common sense” principles. They don’t have to be exhaustive, and at first its best if they aren’t. But you should start the process, and build up the lore of consent which is absolutely critical for a town that wishes to grow.

And when new folks come to join your town, you can share that core set of principles with them; if they want to stay, they have to agree to abide by them. If they can’t agree with them, encourage them to move on elsewhere. This helps prevent future internal conflicts before they even begin.

3. Grow shared Purpose

Until you get a few more self-motivated folks to join your ranks, start pushing and prodding members of your town to get involved in projects that benefit both themselves and the town as a whole. Projects that generate future work are best, but things that can be “completed” work as well. Unless your governmental structure requires dictating domains of work, I strongly encourage you to get volunteers or considering paying people for their efforts.

What are some ideas for things you can do?

No where near exhaustive, but:

  1. Building a road or rail network – especially to nearby towns

  2. Maintaining and reinforcing the road network against creepers and griefers – consider using Concrete

  3. Building farms

  4. Harvesting farms

  5. Preparing city defenses – fortifications (bunkers) stocked with combat supplies or healing supplies

  6. Preparing city defenses – collecting materials for bastions, laying out the grid

  7. Crafting and placing a Snitch network (Jukes on buildings and major road junctions, noteblocks everywhere else and in a perimeter)

  8. Maintaining those snitches – visiting them regularly and taking note of and reporting any irregularities

  9. Constructing a complete FactoryMod Factory set – those tech trees are primed for expansion, so it’s good to get them in place now

  10. Establish and maintain embassies in other towns

  11. Record written lore and of city growth in books

  12. Set up some form of major export industry – something that multiple people can assist in. Bottled XP, Beer and other liquors, Concrete reinforcement materials, etc.

  13. Build shopping centers using ItemExchange both in-town and in foreign markets

And out of game you can have similar tasks:

  1. Maintain a wiki or other store of “Lore” including laws, citizen-consent document (bill of rights, constitution, whatever you want to call it)

  2. Message low-active citizens to draw them back into the game periodically

  3. Start regular discussions on new laws or agreements, potentially involve voting or some other agreement mechanism

  4. Get involved in neighboring city’s message boards (chan, reddit, slack, whatever) if they’ve made it public

  5. Maintain a “Job Board” with things to do around town or standing assignments

  6. Publish your town’s export items including prices and means of exchange

Start pushing these kinds of tasks and constructs and you’ll be amazed at the renewed investment folks will find. There is no end of things to do, and although the tech tree is not yet as deep as it will be, there are plenty of underutilized mechanics that you can explore.

That’s it for this first post. Next post will likely focus on forming a stronger government, including lessons learned on getting people to cooperate and achieving stability with your neighbors – often without swinging a sword.