Divine Renovation

A fantasy build server that's looking to expand!

FANTASY BUILDERS WANTED! Must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be able to build fantasy-style in somewhat popular videogame, 'Minecraft'.

  2. Be actual witch or wizard (optional, but helpful).

  3. Must spend whole time on server talking about how amazing Minecraft.net is and ordering other players to visit it, ideally by screaming loudly in their faces (OK, you don't have to do this one).

Interested? Then perhaps you'd be a perfect fit to work on The Divine Showcase. Take a break from boring old reality in this sprawling fantasy build server, complete with ornate clock tower, regal draping and a hulking blue beast of a dragon. Don't worry, I'm sure he's friendly! How sure, you ask? Let's move on!

The creators tell me The Divine Showcase started life small, little more than a central plaza surrounded by a ravine. But the build steadily expanded in ambition and scope as the team increased in size.

“The original team,” explains lead builder, Jess (also known as Pyrogurl) “consisted of 8 people. The current team that has worked on the build to make it what it is now is a team of 15 people. They include the build team on The Divine, the Moderators who also build when they can, and our Build Manager who designed the new area outside of the main city. I would say in total at least 20 people have worked on this build.”

And their plan is to expand even more!

While it may look elegant and natural, the transition from that original plaza to this monolithic city has been anything but easy. “The original build was made in the 1.7.2 version of Minecraft,” Divine server owner Tom Beer tells me, “so moving it to a 1.11 version server was a massive task taken on by Pyrogurl.”

Indeed, Jess took the time to create schematics and edit a staggering amount of blocks - a task made more complicated by the use of mods and texture packs with metadata. “We had 15 types of cobblestone,” says Tom, “as opposed to just the one used in vanilla Minecraft.”

Jess remodelled everything, taking great care to maintain texture and clarity before transferring the world back to the server.

Presently, the Showcase stands at 1,316 blocks squared, while its original counterpart was just 200. But Tom and Jess don’t want to stop there. They want to invite other builders to add their creations to the Showcase and expand the city into a sprawling world of fantastic builds. The submissions process has just opened, but already they have two new additions ready to be integrated.

“Both Jess and I wanted to create a perfect world,” says Tom. “A metropolis full of beautiful builds from people all around the world, and opening this to the public with no paid doors is a milestone for me personally.”

I understand wanting to preserve a build - for Jess and Tom, this is a vestige of their old server, where they started out as builders in a community. However, I'd be afraid of editing my beloved creation to make way for newcomers with different visions.

When I mention this to Tom, he explains, “Minecraft is a forever-expanding game. People’s visions are changing. If we want to be on top of our game, we need to allow for that change, otherwise we’re always going to be stuck in the past.”

Jess herself only feels enthusiasm for the project. “It’s exciting because we get to see all our hard work in a new light,” she says. “So yeah, not scary, just more exciting. Like when you remodel your home to make it better.”

So where can we find this mega-city? “Anyone can come onto the Divine server and discover the city in and around the Showcase area,” Tom says. “As we get more applications, they will also be added to the world for everyone to enjoy. At the moment, you can enjoy the base of the Showcase and search every single house within its walls. However, I must warn you - there’s a lot!”

I can’t wait to see how this server grows under Tom, Jess, their team and the watchful eye of the Divine’s resident dragon. Relax, I sent Marsh over to said dragon to make sure it's friendly! Hey, where is Marsh anyway?

...Oh.