Why I'm Recreating Temple University in Minecraft
This isn't my first time talking about Minecraft, and it won't be my last thanks to my latest project -- recreating Temple University Main Campus.
If you're curious about how I started playing Minecraft in January of 2019, check out this blog first.
In April of 2019, I wanted to take a break from designing castles and houses to something a little different. After asking my roommates what I should build, one jokingly suggested the Temple University Bell Tower. It seemed simple enough, so that's exactly what I did.
Not long after, a friend that I shared the photo with told me to design the entire campus. While I laughed at it initially, I eventually gave it some thought and told myself "well, it can't be that hard, right?" So the next day I began building all the major roads around campus, well, most of them. I knew if I was going to build the campus, I would want it to scale and I would need to make sure the roads all matched up correctly. After a tedious few hours, I had built Broad Street and several roads that branched off of it like Cecil B. Moore, Montgomery, and Pollett Walk.
After the roads were complete, I decided to knock out a large basic building. One that wouldn't require me to design many curves; because after all, it is Minecraft. I decided to start with Morgan Hall because it's iconic for students and visitors. It's also pretty straight forward when it comes to building. Morgan Hall took about 60 hours to complete, mainly because of the shear size of it all. I am building the campus to scale, making 1 block = 2 feet.
After building Morgan Hall, I wanted to complete a more difficult building, one that's rounder and more complex. After coming up with a few options and posting a poll on Twitter, I began to build The Howard Gittis Student Center. The Student Center had its own complications, but took only half the time as Morgan Hall did to complete.
Now, I'm moving on to Charles Library!
I really want to say "why not," but I know that's not good enough.
I enjoy playing Minecraft and creating. I do play Survival Mode every now and then, but I prefer creative and using Minecraft as a way to relax and de-stress. I used to spend time building castles, houses and villages, but I wanted something that more people could enjoy.
Ideally, I would love to complete this and allow anyone to download it so they can walk around a digital version of Temple.
I figured if I'm going to play, I might as well use that time to do something that hasn't been done before. Temple has shared some of my work on Twitter and the feedback from other students has been great. I think many enjoy it just as much as I do.
So in a way, yeah. Why am I doing this? Because why not.
1. When is this going to be done?
I have absolutely no idea. I'd like to say that a majority of the main buildings will be completed by the end of the Spring 2020 semester. This is a project that I want to take my time on and with each building, new challenges arise. That, on top of actual school work and my job, I can't dedicate all my time to this like professional streamers would.
2. What's the biggest challenge so far?
Since I'm designing the campus to scale, I'm relying on the measurement tool in Google Earth for 90% of my measurements. That on top of finding quality reference photos has been a challenge. During the school year, at least I'll be able to walk around campus if I need to get better angles of a building. Another thing is finding the right material to emulate real ones. If I end up finding a better matching block later on, I then have to decide it it's worth redoing half a building for it to be more accurate.
3. What are you designing this on? Are you using any mods?
I'm building this entire project on my Nintendo Switch *laughter begins* and no, I'm not using mods. Everything is done one block at a time. I have turned off spawning and play in peaceful creative mode, though. That way my buildings won't get destroyed.
4. Are you designing the interiors, too?
Not at the moment, no. Interiors have their own sets of challenges and is very time consuming. Since the campus is to scale, it won't be hard at the end of this whole project to decide to go back and do interiors.
5. Can I help?
I appreciate the offer, but I can't afford to set up a server that will host many builders all at once. Plus, this is a project that I'd like to complete on my own since it's more a relaxing thing and less so a time crunch thing.
6. Where can I see progress updates?
Whenever I have an update, I post it on Twitter. I also put up poles that allow people to vote on what I should do next.