I am currently building a town in 1.3.1 (the first big project I've undertaken this update), and I'm wondering how it's coming along. So far I have the basic house design mapped out (copy and paste it for a suburb-y feel), a park, and some roads. It's not much, but could I get feedback on the house/design?
mmm, i would suggest you enclose more the houses and instead of having walls of glass make it so each house has only one or two blocks of windows,because if you were in a desert you wouldn't like to have all to sun comming through your house and making it a burning furnace, also try using more wood.
However. First in a Desert grass, trees, and fountains are a luxury (water evaporates) and if present are generally in very secure, high walled (keep out the riff-raff and desert winds) gardens. Not as open spaces.
Houses in desert towns are often more like closely packed hovels of many different styles but all sandstane, surrounding a square or market of colorful cloth awnings to keep off the sun. Highly varied mix-mash of buildings is the key.
Also while minecraft generates sandstone roads, the lack of contrast with both sand and buildings does not make them look good. Some people suggest using a 'blonde' or beech wood for roads, I myself prefer normal 'oak' wood, though for my village (a bit more upper class) slab bordered jungle wood is what I am now using.
if you are looking for building ideas I suggest you download and look at the Mace City Builder 'source world'. There is a number of desert buildings in there which I am using as a start point for new houses as I now expand my 'village' around its new villager trading market.
Also look at the Adobe House Plan, which is a great 'desert base' for your own home (good basement storage)
map_antofthys_village by AntOfThy, on Flickr
Note this image is old. the current village is much more complete with better roads that stand out. The last image was from a server map mod, and not from the game itself. Need to get some new photos :-)