What was the Brick Pyramid in Minecraft?

Minecraft has had a long history of developments, some of which continue to be part of the base game while others have fallen by the wayside. One such case is the brick pyramid structure, which was introduced back in Java Edition’s Infdev (aka Infinite Development) period that began in 2010. But what exactly was the deal with this unusual structure?

Overall, brick pyramids were implemented during Infdev to test out Minecraft’s ability to generate its structures. Well before the days of villages, shipwrecks, and temples, brick pyramids were foundational for Mojang to determine how structures would operate in the future.

In many ways, Minecraft’s various generated structures as they’re known today are indebted to the presence of brick pyramids during Infdev.

What to know about brick pyramids and how they worked in Minecraft Infdev

Brick pyramids had a relatively loose generation style compared to today’s Minecraft structures (Image via CalebIsSalty/YouTube)

Brick pyramids were introduced in Minecraft: Java Edition Infdev version 20100227-1 to test structure generation and remained until version 20100325. In version 20100327, these structures were removed as Mojang began the process of rewriting the code for world generation in Java Edition.

These structures, as the name implies, were completely constructed of brick blocks and would generate in predetermined parts of a player’s Minecraft world. However, they did so in a fairly laissez-faire way, and brick pyramids could generate right on top of existing terrain and clip through it as well.

Brick pyramids, unlike the desert pyramids that would follow them, had a completely empty interior. Minecraft players wouldn’t find any loot chests or diverse rooms, simply a large compact area of brick blocks. However, these structures were generated in a specific location in every world seed and couldn’t appear as widespread as future structures can now.

Specifically, brick pyramids would usually only spawn approximately 500 blocks southeast of the world spawn. These pyramids were typically 127×127 blocks in dimension and 64 blocks high, and the brick pyramid centered at the coordinates (X: 502, Z: 553). However, later Infdev implementations saw brick pyramids generating millions of blocks from spawn.

Interestingly enough, when brick pyramids were implemented in Infdev, there was no way to craft ordinary brick blocks. This made mining brick pyramids the only way to get brick blocks, and there were plenty to collect. A typical brick pyramid consisted of roughly 344,000 brick blocks, which equated to 5,249 stacks of brick blocks in the Infdev days.

Early on, brick pyramids would generate with a 1×1 hole at their center, but this was later removed. In the final version of Infdev, before the structures‘ removal, brick pyramids also gained the ability to have caves generated into them, creating large pits and cavities that marred the face of the structure.

Particularly strange brick pyramids would sometimes appear in the Infdev phase due to the game’s existing height limit. This led to some pyramids having tips sheared off due to them reaching the maximum in-game height, and this also threw off the shape of the pyramid base. However, this was eventually fixed in Infdev version 20100227-2. Unfortunately, the Infdev period of Java Edition wasn’t meant to last forever, and Mojang eventually moved on from the phase and brick pyramids.

The structures were removed from the game, and the data collected from them and the rest of the Infdev phase helped Notch and Mojang rewrite and revamp the game’s world generation code.

In many ways, Minecraft’s ability to generate a wide range of different structures is thanks to the implementation of brick pyramids back in 2010. Without them, the process of generating worlds with their own structures may have taken much longer to accomplish, and Mojang likely wouldn’t have as many structures in the game as they do today.

Edited by
Siddharth Satish

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