I really like this idea. As you said, it would really make stairs and slabs more intuitive. The potential for finer architecture and artistry is wonderful. So stairs essentially become a slab (or 2x2 microstructure) with a 1x2 microstructure on top? It's really quite the beautiful system, if you understand what's being proposed.
Yes! That's exactly what's being proposed!
Quote from Mt.popsicle »
It is not sarcastic. Eighth blocks would never ever be implemented. They would be to small is the biggest reason.
What do you mean? I even proposed an implementation of this feature that would overcome the shortfallings you have listed.
This solution would allow players to make their own slabs, their own stairs, their own architecture etc. Without waiting for Notch to implement more stair designs or slab designs. This means that Notch would be able to spend more time creating better biomes, more advances recipes, new tools, better interfaces, etc. by simply adding this.
Will it be hard to code and design, possibly but doubtful.
Again, an 8th block is really only half the size of a normal block, so the size is not an issue.
Breaking a block gives 8 equal sized microcubes. Take a block, slice it in half. Slice each half in half, get 4 quarters. Finally, slice each quarter in half. Congratulations, you've got eight microcubes.
Microcubes can be placed in the world as they are; they behave as half-blocks. To create other combinations, the microcubes have to be crafted together using the player's 2x2 crafting grid.
All microcubes will share the type and parameters of the parent type it was made from. For example, if the microcube was made from cactus, the placed block would deal damage and have the cactus texture. If made from glass, it would be transparent and fragile as a normal glass block.
Placing a microcube in the world will generate a unique id for each combination as a half-block. There are 15 8th-combinations that can be made with a half-block.
 :cobblestone:, placeable in 4 directions. 4 combinations, 1 ID
:cobblestone:, placeable in 4 directions. 4 combinations, 1 ID
:cobblestone:, placeable in 4 directions. 4 combinations, 1 ID.
:cobblestone:, creates a half-block of the material used. 1 ID.
That's a total of 15 combinations, with only 5 IDs taken up.
Since the microcubes can be crafted into half-blocks and stairs, stairs and half-blocks as separate items become obsolete and can be safely removed. There are 2 current stair types, 3 current half-block types. Ideally, with their removal, that frees up 5 IDs which could then be used for the above instead of creating new IDs. So in the end, the net change involved is 0.
And since microcubes would enable you to build half-blocks and stairs out of whatever material suits you, instead of the current limited varieties, this concept offers a far greater functionality while basically changing nothing.
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Quote from yoshi9048 »
If this thread were a girlfriend, it'd do everything but anal.
Ya, just to clear things up, I'm talking 2x2x2 here. I don't know much about programming, but I'm certain that something like 8x8x8 would be absolute overkill. Im not crazy lol.
Some of you understand the idea exactly.
Thanks Yoshi9048 for elaborating and expanding my idea, and thanks to pyro for translating (It took me a while to understand what yoshi9048 was saying too:D)
It would be great for this to be implemented into the game because its a simple change that would open up a new realm of possibilities. Also, as already mentioned, it would mean that Notch wouldn't have to spend time making new items because we could then make them ourselves!