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General tips and tricks
I have made a few colonies and have some general tips and tricks that might be useful. These are for Minecraft version 1.12.2 but might be good for later versions.

Disclaimer: This is how I play, which revolves around a lot of planning and work for the "perfect" colony. You might approach things differently, but some of the advice here might be useful anyway.

Selecting the Colony Site

I usually go for large areas of plains, as this helps for the ground leveling stage. I used to spend time hunting for these and now I just use a web site like MineAtlas to view the world for suitable sites. You want a nice open bay to the sea for your supply ship.

Building the Supply Ship

This should be your first priority, as it comes with beds for sleeping. I've never used the supply camp so I can't offer advice for that.

Selecting the Town Hall location

The Town Hall gives you protection from exploding creepers for 90 blocks in every direction. You want to put your Town Hall right in the middle of your colony or you will have damaged buildings and dying guards everywhere as they try to kill spawning Creepers. You should flatten a small central area and then drop a single dirt block for the Town Hall chest - but don't actually place the chest yet. The moment you place the chest your colonists will start arriving, so you want a bit of a cleared defensive area first. (Note; the Town Hall and the Smelter both require you to build one block higher than everything else or they will be built "sunken", I.E. one block into the ground. This doesn't harm anything but it can be annoying.)

Leveling the land

I like a nice flat section of land for my colony, you might be less picky about it. This can be a very long stage as you dig the tops off hills and fill in lower areas. If you do want a nice level area, you should count on spending a good deal of time here. You will want to place a simple fence with a few gates in it to mark off your colony's maximum size. I went for 70 blocks out from my Town Hall block and that was plenty. I ensures no Creepers will be blowing up your fence and/or guards as well.

Preparations for Colonists

You are going to need a lot of Oak Wood. Seriously, a double chest full of it will be barely enough to start with. You will also need 6-8 stacks of spruce wood, and planting a nearby forest for each isn't a bad idea. You should also have a decent mine outside the perimeter and a healthy amount of iron to armor up the guards you will have. A good five or six stacks should be enough. You will need wool, which if your area is filled with sheep shouldn't be a problem otherwise you may have to build a pen and breed the few you find. Different areas can have vastly different animal populations, I've had worlds where there was nary a sheep to be found.

Other prep:
  • Kill every* cow for its leather, you're going to need a few stacks later in the colony's life.
  • Shear every sheep you come across
  • Kill every spider hanging around in the morning, you're going to need a lot of thread for bows, fishing poles and the like.
  • Get yourself in a full set of iron armor and with an iron or diamond sword, if your mining has been lucky
  • Kill every octopus you find in a river, you're going to need a lot of ink sacs for carpet dyes.
  • Make a few stacks of glass and stone
  • Build 1-2 farms (standard 9x9 layout, see the Minecraft Wiki) and get some stacks of wheat. You need them to build the farmer, oddly enough.
*Leave a few spawns of all animals near your colony, you'll want them for your herder buildings

Get set!

Build a Builder block, a Barracks block,  and four Citizen Hut blocks. If you like you can make a general plan about where you want all your residences, your farm and fields, etc.

Placing buildings

Once you place your Town Hall, proceed to place your builder hut near by. You order buildings built by right-clicking the placed chests, and the Builder must be the first built. After that it's up to you but I do Builder, Town Hall, Barracks, 4 Citizen Huts, Warehouse, Delivery.

Builder is first because it has to be or you can't build anything else.

Town Hall is next as it gives you control over things and a nice place to sleep.

The Barracks is next because citizens aren't happy until there are a few guards protecting them.

The four Citizen huts will house your initial colonists. As you build more huts or upgrade the existing ones, more colonists will arrive.

The Warehouse is great for storing all that material you have built up in preparations, and only material placed in chests built by the mod will be used for deliveries. Load that sucker up.

The Delivery guy will happily supply everyone with items from the warehouse. You can wait until people request things and schlep them over to them, or just fill the warehouse and let the delivery person take care of it.

Tip: you can destroy a placed building block and re-place it as much as you want before you give the command to build it. Give every building 4-5 blocks between the construction tape outlines as later upgrades may well grow outside the level 1 dimensions. You can place a lot of buildings, looking for the ideal layout, without bothering to issue the build commands until you are ready.

Next priorities:
  • A restaurant (cook building) which is supposed to keep everyone fed
  • A farmer and some fields. A wheat field and a carrot field are useful, as the swineherd wants carrots. Raid villager farm plots to find carrots.
  • The four herders (pigs, sheep, cows, chickens). You will have to lure a couple of each to the buildings so don't kill all the local spawns or you will be dragging animals all over the map.
  • A lumber yard - leave space inside the perimeter fence for planing a small forest of oak and a few spruce trees to supply the worker
  • A miner - I've never found them to be very productive but what Minecraft town would be complete without one?
You may or may not want to build a smelter, at the time of this writing all the worker does is endlessly spam for smeltable ores as they can cook everything you bring them in no time at all. Remember the smelter is the other building that needs to be built one block higher or it gets sunk into the ground a bit.

If you build a fisher hut, you need a large body of water right next to them. You can make a big pond but be prepared to be spammed with "The fisher hut is not close enough to water!" for a while until you make it just right. It's probably easier just to put it on the shore outside the perimeter fence and just hope they don't get killed too often.

Stocking your warehouse

Things to put in the warehouse for the builder (and to a lesser extent, the workers)
  • Oak wood (never enough)
  • Oak planks (never enough)
  • Oak slabs (several stacks)
  • Spruce wood (a few stacks)
  • Spruce planks (a few stacks)
  • Spruce slabs (a few stacks)
  • Many stacks of oak stairs (used for roofs mostly)
  • Many stacks of oak fencing
  • A few oak gates
  • A few stacks of spruce stairs, spruce slabs, and spruce fencing (mostly used in building upgrades to make the buildings pretty)
  • Several stacks of glass panes (not blocks)
  • 10 or so stone picks, axes and shovels, and if you have a fisherman probably 10 or so fishing poles as they go through them quickly
  • Food such as wheat, carrots, bread, cooked beef... I found I still had to jam some edibles in everyone's inventory even with a restaurant around, but this may change.
  • A stack or two of torches
  • Lots of cobblestone (this should be easy)
  • A couple of stacks of cobblestone wall and slabs
  • A few stacks of gravel and dirt. Also combine the two for a stack of coarse dirt.
Those are the common items, and if you have your warehouse properly stocked you won't find your builder stalled and waiting for materials for long.

Future considerations:
You have to upgrade your builder hut to a new level before you can upgrade the rest of your buildings to that level. Level 1 and 2 are easy enough, but level 3 starts asking for Acacia wood, Jungle wood and Dark oak. It also asks for mossy cobblestone which is easiest obtained by combining a few jungle vines with cobblestone. You will be making a few long trips to find jungle and roofed forest biomes, again, MineAtlas or other sites are very helpful. Level 4 requires material from the Nether, which can be pretty dangerous if you don't wimp out and put the difficulty on Peaceful while you scrounge there.

Dealing with raiders

If you have your defensive fence up around your colony, they'll just stand around outside one of the gates. Shoot them from a distance. If the devs ever give them the ability to open or break through gates, well, good luck.
Great tips! I'd include: tear down the supply ship/camp for materials. As loaded as they are with necessary items, I'm pretty sure this was intended. This should get you started on one of the buildings much quicker.

Also, you should probably choose the supply ship instead of the camp. It has many beds instead of just one, and it's made of more resources that will be used to make buildings than the camp is. If you're in a desert though, you might want the camp instead since it creates a plain of grass, which is very useful for bonemealing for seeds, and which gives you grass blocks so you can spread the grass elsewhere.
I think the supply ship is just too pretty to dismantle, but it's definitely tempting. I'll have to try the supply camp in the desert, that sounds like a bit of a challenge.
This looks pretty great, thanks for the hard work on this!
Feel free to PM me any issues you may have, but try to keep it on the forum disco villager
Thanks for all your support! And join our discord!
A few "Twitch 1.12" issues I ran into:

No Brass or Copper - used gold for the Smelter.
Andesite took Hours to find -  you can make with Nether Quartz and Cobble
Dirorite - never found over a week long period - can make with Quartz and Adesite
Lapis is rare in my world..  need for blue dye and Fortune.  don't waste it if i'm not just the exception.

Wooden Warehouse - Many more racks for storage than the Spruce version.
Built a Slime farm - didn't work (has to be flowing) redstone piston or other to stop and start it.

Built next to a village - (Issues) - I made two golems and they went straight for the village vs. my minecolony.
The village is taking up valuable space - 128 blocks isn't as big as it seems..  Minecolony is Huge.

Water - filled with guardians everywhere 
Nether - much better now - much harder

Waypoints - admin option (Teleport check box if you want)
Get slime boots and a slime slingshot early - fast travel 

pre-smeltery - If diamonds are rare - use obsidian -  much more abundant - tougher and easier to repair.
(ninja look is just a bonus)

Smeltery will double your "Ore blocks"  use it.
Smeltery hut with villager will double or triple.

The mine at my level 70 only got down to level 40 (Useless I guess until fully leveled).

Sawmill and Stonemason Early game if you don't want to just stand next to the builder all day (stairs, fence, gates, pressure plates, beds, doors, etc recipes)

My weak computer was pausing every 20 seconds.. hit esc and use the different options provided.  Much better now but I had to keep picking from the many different options and seeing if it helped.  render distance in water set to 8 helped a ton.
Good and right advice. Everything is clearly written.
why is there so much spam in the forums and very few actual posts? is no one monitoring this?
good post
Thanks for this guide, now I'll make sure to stock up on supplies before placing my town hall. I've noticed that andesite in 1.16.4 is quite hard to find, as I've found granite and diorite no problem. Btw, any good 1.16.4 seeds that have a nice open plains for a full-size colony?

Also, noted for later versions like 1.16.4, the University is needed for the Barracks, as well as 4 blocks of iron (3 to unlock, one to craft). Henceforth the Guard Tower becomes the replacement in the early game, as it provides just enough protection (if you have enough of them, I recommend 4 to start) to keep the citizens happy. Mid-to-late game the Barracks becomes the major source of protection via guards.

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