Hope pays off

Shapescape share about their battle-winning build!

If you're one of the truly loyal readers of Minecraft.net (the kind who reread Block of the Week 80 times a day and have tatoos of Marsh and I on their backs), you might have noticed Zen of the Build, a story we posted yesterday about the spectacular Life of a Buddhist from Team Vaeron. If you didn't read it, then... look, we're not mad. Just disappointed. Go take a look now!

Team Vaeron's construction was part of a 24 hour build-battle for Buildcon. Their rivals? That would be Shapescape, creators of the winning build featured in this article, A Little Hope. More apocalyptic in theme, it shows the eerie beauty of architecture in ruin, with the small trace of plant-life offering the 'hope' of the title.

"We were talking for a while with Vaeron - we really wanted to do a battle and they also wanted to do one," explains Bram, Shapescape co-director. "But because of our schedules - we're both quite busy - we thought, this [Buildcon] is a weekend.

"The whole community is available, because that's just how Buildcon works. The whole community sort of stops working on other projects and goes to the event, watches the showcases, watches the masterclasses and just comes together. It's one of the magical things about Buildcon. And we thought 'OK, let's do a build-off then!'"

Both teams were given the theme of 'Life' to construct their build around. So what did Shapescape do with that theme? Er, surprisingly, the exact opposite. "What we like to do with concept generation," says Bram. "Is basically turn it upside down and think 'OK, let's not do that'. And just put a message into it that relates to it."

"Because when you think of life, you think of very colourful and vibrant stuff, and we thought, OK, let's maybe do the exact opposite and tell the story of a desolate world which has a little bit of hope in it." An unorthodox strategy, but one that paid off.

So how do you pace yourself for a 24 hour build? "With us it was 'do as much as you can, for as long as you can'," explains Bram. "Also what we did was build off the map, and then place everything on. So if you'd seen our map after twelve hours, you just would have seen some very empty terrain. And then off the map, it was all sorts of structures."

Some screens of the build when it was still in progress. Yet just a few hours away from completion!

Some screens of the build when it was still in progress. Yet just a few hours away from completion!

Some screens of the build when it was still in progress. Yet just a few hours away from completion!

Constructing all this in just twenty-four hours must have taken some seriously speedy building! But Bram's advice to newer build teams is to take a more leisurely pace. "Don't put too much pressure on it. We've been a build team for a really long time. I think we're one of the oldest teams in the community right now, and we've seen a lot of teams come and go. And the thing with us has always been that we won't rush into things, we'll just let them come. I think that's something a lot of newer teams are lacking, and that's something they could learn if they just take it easy, have some fun while they're at it and don't stress them out too much over certain commissions that you missed or certain projects.

"Just take it easy and have fun while you're at it. It's still a game, after all!" Good advice! Here's some from us: take a look at more of Shapescape's work here.

Image renders by Bramboss & Trentu, Kryiin, Antrelial