Eldin’s First Battle of the Boats! (4/14)

This Friday (4/14) at 7:00pm EST, Eldin will be hosting its very first Battle of the Boats! To sum it up, it’s a tournament of thrilling and suspenseful ice boat racing. In each race, three players will have to navigate icy curves and avoid the dangers of the snow-capped mountain that the course runs through. The tournament will be point based where finishing in first grants 3 points, second gets 2 points, and third gets 1. Once each participant has raced three times, the top three players will receive:

  • Nun Slapper
  • Speed Boots
  • Stack of Blocks

First place’s stack will be diamond blocks, second gets gold, and third receives iron. If you’re interested in the process of building something like this or if you just want more pictures of what to expect, check out the rest of the post!

The idea for the boat race came from one of Germalto’s creative builds at the start of the map. He constructed a large box with lava at the bottom and an ice road above. The varying curves and thrill of avoiding lava made for an intense race that we wanted everyone to experience. The concept was there, but there were some aspects that could be improved.

The goal was to make it more streamlined, interactive, and automated for a tournament setting. I started out by creating the floating curves until the flow felt right, then built up the scenery around it. After making the first few curves, the idea of having a mountain that you dive into through a cave felt perfect. Once the building phase was done, the development of automation began.

Making the races more interactive and automating each race for consistency would require lots of command blocks. We needed a way to keep track of points, release the boats at the same time with a countdown, and set a time limit to keep each race consistent and efficient.


Having taken some programming classes before, I knew this would require adequate organization to put everything together. Defining each event that would take place and how each one would be activated made the process much easier. Some required a player to enter a defined region to activate such as the cave explosion or the finish line. Other events required more complicated conditions to activate like the starting sequence which requires players to click signs or the ending sequence that uses a timer objective to count down the remaining time in the race. From there, it was all configuring all the different commands including teleports, titles, setting blocks, playing sounds, and more. As soon as one goal was accomplished, another goal was set for a more ambitious task.

Even though the final product turned out well, there were still some bumps along the way. One of the biggest challenges was learning how to format JSON. All of the titles, chat notifications, and signs used JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) to format text. Basically, Mojang defined how the text can be formatted in Java, and I just needed to type everything out to match their formatting. This opened the door for creating cool things like displaying names or making signs with embedded commands, but typing out the JSON codes without errors was difficult. Another problem was when I made a repeating command block that teleports all players within an area, but forgot to define the range. Whenever the chunk that contained the command block was loaded, everyone in the spawn world would be teleported to one spot. Luckily, nobody was in spawn at the time, but I still had to politely ask BranFlakes to disable command blocks for a while. Being the newest staff member, this didn’t look good for me, but he politely helped me fix it and everything turned out okay.
Overall, it was a fun project to work on and a great learning opportunity. Also, special thanks to BasedRodeo, BranFlakes, Pinklewilly, and Rabidpig for testing out the track. Monistar and I can’t wait to host this event for everyone and we hope to see you there on the 14th!

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