Adventure Isles!

What secrets are hidden on TalSet’s island?

Ahhhh, a tropical island – the perfect resort for a nice long vacation! A warm beach in front of a crystal-clear ocean for your foot selfies, soothing breezes, tasty fruit drinks, mysterious jungles, dark dungeons, sense of certain doom and… wait a minute... is this really a pleasant vacation spot?

Actually, Tropical Island is not your ordinary sun-soaked paradise. It’s scenery may be beautiful, but looks can be deceiving...

This lush retreat holds many hidden secrets and mysterious constructions, ready to be discovered by anyone brave enough to venture to it. Created by the talented crafter TalSet, Tropical Island takes you on an exploration bonanza! Even if you just wanted a nice holiday from Tom’s evil deadlines! :(

“I wanted to create an environment where the player could solve quests, make decisions and discover the island's history and secrets,“ TalSet explains. “I really enjoy creating things, so in the first place I just wanted to create a map to build and have fun.”

This trip to the tropics is very different to what TalSet usually builds. Ever since he started playing Minecraft seven years ago, he’s been focused on creating builds with medieval settings. He has a soft spot for castles, particularly because of their diverse layouts, unique styles and sometimes imposing appearance.

“Living in Europe, you are pretty much surrounded by historic places,” TalSet says. “In my eyes old buildings just have so much more character than modern ones. It leaves a lot more room for imagination.”

Europe is far from close to the tropics! The only thing close to resembling its architecture on TalSet's map is a fort based on classic Caribbean design.

TalSet gets his inspiration from older civilizations. “The most structures on this island are either temples or ruins, mostly based on ancient mesoamerican design.

There are plenty of temples to explore on the island for those who dare. One temple is even based off of Cambodian temples like Angkor Wat!

As for TalSet’s map, little is known about the Tropical Island and the culture behind the great temples here, but even more mysterious are the reasons for the culture’s sudden disappearance several thousand years ago. What happened? In recent years, the island has attracted adventurers who, on their search for gold, entered one of the many dungeons, never to return. With so much lovely lore, one could think that TalSet was creating an adventure map.

“Since I eventually want to turn the map into an adventure map, I always try to add certain gameplay elements,” TalSet explains. “But also for someone who just wants to explore the map in creative mode, it should be worth it to take a closer look, to stay away from the road. Additionally, I myself have a lot of fun thinking about little secrets and stories and incorporating them into my world.”

The secret to a good story or to get the player hooked is done through small means, teasing with details to get them thirsting for more information. On Tropical Island, for example, there’s a book located in the captain’s cabin of the shipwreck that contains lore about the island from the point of view of an explorer. Go get it!

“I sometimes like to leave some written books behind, serving as letters, journals, fairy tales etc,” explains TalSet. “There’s also some places and mini dungeons that involve solving some puzzles to get through. The dungeon on the Tropical Island is not done yet, but it will work in a similar way. In my private version of the map (that one is not up for download) I already created a couple of quests using the CustomNPC mod – most of them acting as a smaller independent story, but hopefully setting the mood for the overall map.”

Many of TalSet’s builds are also made with Conquest Reforged, a mod that adds thousands of new blocks to choose from. You can certainly see why TalSet chose it, give his style of incorporates a lot of stone in the buildings. There are textures, block types, and 3D models in Conquest Reforged, and it’ll soon include an update that adds full survival compatibility with new items, weapons, armors and additional blocks.

Despite Tropical Island having already been released, there’s still a lot to be done with the map for TalSet. The big dungeon underneath the island is still work in progress, and many features will be added as soon as the new Conquest Reforged update drops. Regardless, TalSet couldn’t resist releasing it early! A bonus, since all his previous work is located in one single map.

“So far, one can only view the map as a spectator for the most part. If [these] screenshots are not enough for you or if you want to discover the smaller details of the map by yourself, just download it and fly around!” he says. “As a final goal though, I would like to create a large coherent map that others can explore at their own pace, or that later may even be playable as an open world adventure map.”

As the uncharted territory of Tropical Island remains a mystery, I can’t wait to get to explore TalSet’s highly detailed world for real! But for now I have to solve the biggest mystery of all… how the heck do I get off this island?!

Written by
Per Landin
Published
05/08/2018

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