Doom and Gloom

An ill-advised trip to the horrors of Calacatta Outpost

You’re cold. No, not cold - freezing. It’s been 32 days since you last saw the sun. Your rations are low, down to the last can of beans. The bad news is you hate beans, and the 'good news' is that you’re hungry enough to eat them anyway. So hungry, in fact, that some of the outposts rats are starting to look pretty tasty.

But what you don’t know is; those rats think you look pretty tasty too.

That’s the feeling builders Vubervos and Pang were going for when they constructed their stark and forbidding Calacatta Outpost. (Not Calcutta, autocorrect, thank you very much.) Maybe they weren’t going for 'would you eat a rat' specifically, but they definitely wanted to build something that sparked all kinds of questions in their fans.

“When we started building,” Pang explains, “There was no real lore. However, we did develop one as we went along. It really came out when we started adding in the details, specifically the soldiers. That’s how we got the idea that this was an outpost. Then I asked Vube to build a ship because he’s really good at that, and I thought it’d add a real nice detail both aesthetically and atmospherically.”

So a foreboding atmosphere, more than coherent structure, is the main priority of Calcutta! I mean, Calacatta! CURSE YOU AUTOCORRECT.

“I thought it’d be a good idea to have the boat look crashed on its side,” Vuberbos adds. “To make the place have a few ruins and show there hadn’t been anyone there for a while.”

Adding this one detail changes the entire mood of the piece. Because, as Vuberbos points out, that boat seems to be the only way out. Or it was the only way out, anyway...

“We added birds and icicles to make it feel like a cold and dark place where nobody would come. And the ship is the only transport to and from the outpost.”

Having the only vessel look destroyed ultimately begs the question: How long has it been since anybody came by? Or even worse - How long has it been since anybody went home?

“Why was the ship there? What had happened? These were all questions we want the audience to ask themselves when seeing the project,” Pang says. “Having them ask these kinds of questions and create their own story is important in art.”

Questions like if you were hungry, would you eat a rat? (Sorry to keep coming back to this - Minecraft.net have been a bit slow on paying me this month, so I've had to explore some new dietary options).

But deciding whether or not you’ll munch on a mouse won’t be the only question you’ll ask examining Calacatta Outpost. This place, after all, is an outpost of soldiers. What are they guarding? Who are they fighting? What are they defending?

“We decided this was a remote outpost defending a border but people will have to use their imagination to decide what it’s being protected from.” Both Pang and Vubervos agree.

“Our aim was to pack as much atmosphere into this project to make it more interesting and show off our creativity.” Nail the look of the build and then when it comes to explaining just what it is? Let the audience decide that for themselves. Clever!

It's an impressive structure – no doubts there - but it's the detail which sells it as such a creepy, gloomy place. The kind of place so isolated and cold you shudder just hearing its name. Great job, Pang and Vubervos! But next time, how about building a nice rainbow or something?

Renders by: Lukasz, Avenz, Demonic29, Caseymcnomnom, and Nygma Video by: Maaki

Want some more upbeat builds? Try this, this or this.

Or keep it gloomy with this sinister build!