Minecraft Project: SpringArts 2015

Three current College residents, Emma Bringdal, William Cheng and Kyi-Lyn Baynes, have taken on the challenge of recreating the College using Minecraft. The Minecraft Project aims to reconstruct the College to scale based on the measurements and design of the original blueprints when the College was first built, in order to present the College in its original form. The group used a sandbox independent video game called Minecraft to carry out the reconstruction. Minecraft provides a virtual open world where the model of College will be created. With limited construction material and customised options imposed by the game engine, it represented a unique challenge and provided many opportunities for problem solving and creative thinking during the construction process. Being limited to the graphical capability of the Minecraft engine also provided an opportunity to represent St George’s College’s original form in a unique artistic medium.

The goal for Part 1 of the project is to recreate the main building of the College (old wings, tower etc). When the main building is completed, newer buildings such as North, South and Newby may be considered to be constructed as well.

Using Minecraft as a medium presents a number of challenge as there are many limitations that must be worked around. These include:

  • Working only with cubes and square three-dimensional models
  • Angles, diagonals are not a thing
  • Limited set of textures available

Before commencing the reconstruction, different scales were tested in Minecraft. A simple 1 block:1 metre scale would have meant a relatively large loss in detail whilst too large a scale would be extremely challenging to complete! After a number of tests the chosen is 4 blocks:1 metre.

The original College blueprints were written in imperial units; before beginning the build, key measurements were converted into metric and rounded to the nearest 25cm to simplify the conversion into Minecraft. Necessary measurements that cannot be found on the original blueprints were measured in real life.

Once the build has been completed, it will be downloaded and put on display via laptop at SpringArts. The world can also be uploaded onto a database and shared to allow others to have a first-hand experience of walking through the virtual structure.