Groundbreaking Work

Console ‘crafter IHOIDOIR talks monstrous creations

Venom lakes, bone serpents and skyscraper-sized demons - these are just a few of the sights to be spotted, and then hastily backed away from, in IHOIDOIR’s nightmare landscape. Created on console, partly with the help of fellow builder Lord of Godz, the world is divided into two realms - a heavenly idyll and a grim, rocky wasteland - separated from each other by a vast crack, created by the impact of a giant demon’s fist.

The heavenly side is yet to come, but the black desert has quite a bit for the brave sightseer to explore. It feels to me a lot like Shadow of the Colossus, or perhaps even Dark Souls: a lonely, decaying world, stalked by giant beasts. In one area you find the ribs and spine of some skeletal serpent, coiling among rocks over an acid lake. In an another, the ground erupts as the thrashing maw of a giant worm emerges.

Then of course, there is the centrepiece - the demon, heaving his fist into the ground, sending huge chunks of earth flying. There’s a real sense of movement and power.

“I was inspired by the Balrog from Lord of the Rings and the movie Predator,” says IHOIDOIR about the design of the gigantic creature. “The rest of the details came from my imagination. I built it with Lord of Godz over about ten months. Of course we didn’t work on it every day, just depending on our availability.”

First they created a basic armature for the demon, to get the proportions right, and then began filling it in, eventually adding details like the horns to transform it from a generic giant into the mighty hell-beast it is now.

“We didn’t plan the result,” says IHOIDOIR. “At first we wanted to create a titan, but we found that not all our ideas worked as well in Minecraft as in our minds, so we adapted our creation, detail after detail.”

It was difficult to get both the proportions of the demon right while projecting a sense of movement - but that, says IHOIDOIR is exactly the challenge they were after: “It’s not that difficult to build a man standing, but it is another story when you want it to be in motion. It was our first organic and we did our best.”

The rocky terrain of the black desert also took a fair bit of time, as all the terraforming was done by hand, leaving the interiors of the mountains empty to save time. Painstaking work - but maybe that’s the point.

“For me, Minecraft, is a real game of patience,” says IHOIDOIR. “It’s not a race - it’s a marathon. It’s not a matter of competition, either, but a place where we should only create and share together.”

It’s sort of funny that such a positive, admirable perspective could emerge from the bleak and horrifying world IHOIDOIR’s created. And it’s only going to get bleaker! The plan is that the black desert is a precursor to an even more hellish region yet unbuilt - which is an unnerving thought. Hopefully we’ll have the guts to check back when it’s finally built!

Thanks to TheEDGE1970 for letting us know about this excellent project!