Interior Motives

Minecraft builders share their interior design secrets!

Turns out my parents weren't lying to their ugly son after all - it truly is what's inside that counts! Some of my favourite recent Minecraft builds understand that. Because anyone can build something beautiful looking in Minecraft on the outside (even me, soon as I remember my password). But what are those beautiful-on-the-outside builds like on the inside?

Often you're in for a nasty shock. Floors made of dirt. Discarded pickaxes and shovels scattered everywhere. Rooms not properly hollowed out. Creepers happily sliding about the place. Disgraceful! Even scum like myself wouldn't live in these dumps.

Point is, while exterior design may hog the limelight, the art of quality interior design is equally important. Just ask Arvid Lind (also known as Z00), builder of this Modern Mediterranean Townhouse. The house's charming exterior isn't skin-deep. Click through the gallery below to see the level of detail he put into the interior too:

Z00's charming townhouse build was constructed on the play.buildzcreative.com server

“Look at real-life builds and try to see what other architects think about,” advises Arvid, when I ask how to build a structure that prioritizes both interior and exterior. “It's also good to find a purpose in everything you do. It doesn't always have to be minimal but don't just add a thing just because. Also, try to make exterior and interior work well together.

“The goal is to make it very good looking from both exterior and interior.”

Arvid's been playing Minecraft for over five years, and started a more “realistic” architectural style about eighteen months ago. When I ask what he likes about the game, he talks about the ease of making 3D structures, lack of limits and “I also love that you can make stuff look very realistic even though it's a block game.”

(I'm going to go ahead and assume he means 'even though it's a block game' as a compliment. Thanks, Arvid!)

Arvid uses WorldEdit, a mod that (amongst other functions) lets you create thousands of blocks in seconds. He's adamant, however, that mods like these are helpful but aren't essential to realistic interior design. “I use World Edit and stoplag but those mods doesn't necessarily make it realistic. You can build realistic in any gamemode, with or without mods.”

“The challenge is to make something functional look very beautiful.”

“I feel like a lot of people think that building realistic means that it will get boring,” Arvid tells me. “But in my opinion it is more challenging and because of that more fun since you need to think about more than just aesthetics.

“The challenge is to make something functional look very beautiful.”

Taking on that challenge often gives us Minecraft builds that can risk looking unexciting initially, but impress once you explore their inner workings. Take this Entertainment Centre from TheVoyager35.

A tour through the screenshots below show how its interiors could work as a functional space for events and concerts – one that if you were to recreate in real-life, might actually be usable by people (just don't forget to increase the size a few thousand times too).

Inside TheVoyager35's Entertainment Centre! This is the VIP area. You can tell that it's VIP because I haven't been allowed in.

One of several stages inside the centre. I asked Marsh if we should consider having Minecon here. Marsh asked me to stop talking to him. Inconclusive!

More seating and speakers. Er, I wouldn't sit directly below a massive speaker if I were you. Might spoil your lunch.

Even simple interior constructs, like these chairs, can be enough to make your build feel like a practical, usable space.

Another stage - and TheVoyager35 has ambitions to make this centre even bigger!

An outside view of the Entertainment Centre. For me, it's touring the inner workings that show it at its best.

“I’ve always been creative and fascinated by architecture,” explains TheVoyager35. “When I was younger, I drew plans of buildings and houses, and my wish was to be a professional. In Minecraft, I saw the power of the game with all of these opportunities.”

TheVoyager35 took inspiration for his Entertainment Centre from the French 'Le Festival du Roi Arthur.' “It's a little festival in my village in Bretagne,” he explains. He was interested in the main stages, but also backstage, and how these structures worked to put on the show. It was that thought process that led him to focus more on interiors, and the smaller details large-scale builds can easily miss.

“The entire world of entertainment fascinates me,” TheVoyager35 explains. “Starting two years ago, I've participated of the construction of the festival of my village. Last year I was on the stage I’d helped build. It was amazing.”

Having worked on the construction of a real-life stage, it's not hard to see how those skills translated to Minecraft. Skills that helped create an interior space that's carefully thought out, prioritizing practicality perfectly!

When asked if there are other Minecraft interior design builders that inspire him, TheVoyager35 reccomends the work of Sean Kelly (who goes by the brilliant moniker CONCERTMON).

Concertmon, as his name helpfully implies, focuses on recreating concert venues in Minecraft. Here's Tommorrowland's main stage.

Interiors are a big focus of his work too, as you can see from this control booth looking out at the Tomorrowland stage.

Another Tomorrowland interior - 'The New Garden of Madness'.

The Ultra Music Festival - Concertmon used Stagecraft, a texture pack he made himself, to build these. You can find Stagecraft here

The Ultra Music Festival - Concertmon used Stagecraft, a texture pack he made himself, to build these. You can find Stagecraft here

“I like to build realistic and to scale because I enjoy building replicas of events that you can walk around in, as if you are there in real life,” says Sean to me. “I study photos of stages and events in depth to get the realistic look that you can see in my work and I have a great understanding of stage design and how events work because of this.”

But why not just settle on making the stages look good? What's the point of putting effort into the interiors too? “I think it's very important to include interiors in my builds because a lot of my builds are clubs and arenas which require a lot of interior detail, much like in real life,” explains Sean.

“Interiors make builds interesting, because you can explore inside buildings as well as outside which makes for more fun!”

Good incentive! So what tips does Sean have for building realistic interiors? “Look at photos of stadiums, nightclubs, events etc. and try to imagine how it would look in Minecraft. Try your best to recreate it and eventually you will develop a style of building.”

This is Spaceship 23 by Foxy, which we featured on the site recently. Zoom in, and you can see Foxy wanted the different rooms on his spaceship to have unique interiors. Great idea! And one that only took him three years of work.

Arvid, TheVoayger35 and Concertmon all work on constructions that commit to smart, semi-realistic interior design – not an excess dirt block or Creeper in sight. It can be a time-sucking exercise, one that doesn't always have immediately satisfying results.

But commit to smarter interior design and you'll find yourself rewarded with a spectuacular looking build that isn't skin deep. You'll be able to give people a grand tour, and watch smugly as they 'oooh!' and 'ahhh!' over your builds glorious inner workings. A project you can be proud of, inside and out!