Past Master

Marvel at Aequotis’ sprawling medieval build

You may remember Adam Aequotis Berry from his role in the creation of the shiny metropolis of Westpoint - his latest effort, called Catalné, spurns the modern world for a vanished past, and an idealised world of quiet rural life.

“Medieval is a massive interest of mine,” says Adam. “Ever since I was a little kid, I was interested in making bows and arrows, making model castles. I kind of realised one morning, ‘Hang on, I can make this sort of stuff in Minecraft as well!’ It has re-awoken my childhood a little bit.”

“It’s kind of based upon a bit of a childhood fantasy,” he continues. “It’s a massive forest - extremely tall, very dense - you can get lost easily in it. There are little villages dotted within, little streams, lots of detail - the kind of things a child might imagine but recreated in a realistic way, so it’s got realistic architecture, realistic farms and such.”

He’s not kidding about the detail. “Make sure you walk, and make sure you look at the floor,” he advises. “Everywhere you look I’ve put detail – there might be a little bird hidden away behind a bush. I’ve got these little bees which fly around, and, in another area, I’ve got a log pile with axes stuck in the wood and a cluster of items round a little campfire. Inside the houses, I’ve put a lot of detail into furniture, things on tables, picture frames and items just lying around. Little life details. It feels like you’re walking through an actual place.”

A lot of this is made possible by Adam’s use of the Conquest Resource Pack - which expands the number of blocks available, and rethemes the game with a medievalist’s eye (and you can read our interview with its creator, MonsterFish, here).

But it’s not just the textures which make Catalné feel like a credible and romantic location - it’s Adam’s method: starting with the landscape - a rolling terrain of heavily forested hillocks and open plains, tiny streams carving through the lot - and having that inform how the human settlements have grown.

It feels less like the rugged landscape of Yorkshire, where Adam lives, and more like a scene from southern Europe. Adam says he took Catalonia as an inspiration - in honour of a close friend’s homeland.

“It’s a place known for its independence and free thinking,” says Adam. “So I thought: That works nicely!”

It certainly does! Go take a stroll into a perfect medieval past yourself.