Simon shares his amazing villages!
What is your favourite activity in Minecraft? Wait, don’t answer that, I’ll tell you mine instead! I just love setting out on a long journey, travelling far away from home to the middle of nowhere, and then creating my very own village. Not only is it the perfect opportunity to lose my rubbish friends somewhere in the Overworld – it’s inspiring to create a collection of houses of my own design! "Perville", "New Pertham" and of course “Per Land(in)”. These are just a few examples of glorious new settlements crafted by me, Per Landin, ruler of these lands! BOW BEFORE ME NOW (or finish reading this article first).
Building a village is far from an easy task. There are lots of factors to consider, such as “what materials do I use?”, “which buildings do I need?”, and “does the village need fences to keep my friends out?” But above all else, a village has to look good! Why else would you want to live there?
Simon (or Dodecahedron as he’s also called) has taken this practice to heart. He’s a 25 year old master crafter in the village construction department. With colourful creations like Avalon, Willow Glades, or Jasper, he’s not just created small towns – he’s also given them each a unique design. He does so with a clear theme in mind, often taking advantage of the biome’s natural resources.
“I always create some sort of plot or story when I'm building a new village,” says Simon. “The theme is important for me because all the villages are unique in some way, so that there’s a reason for me to visit them and not get bored. I had a lot of villages wiped just because they were too boring.” Whoa, easy Simon!
Working as a motion graphics designer and an illustrator, Simon has always had a love for crafting, painting, and trying out various art forms. When he first played Minecraft back in 2011, he was skeptical of its gameplay, but quickly came around when he discovered his own potential with the game. Soon he was using Minecraft to recreate his favourite places and buildings, adding them all to a single world. “Minecraft introduced me to architecture and I have been passionate about it since, constantly discovering and learning about new styles and applying them in [the game].”
When starting on a new project, Simon often roams around his personal world, either to find a plot of land to build on, or to be inspired by landmarks for fresh ideas. Once he finds the perfect spot, he decides on a style, then fills the area with houses of his design. One example is Lumeria, a picturesque little settlement, located deep within a roofed forest where oak meets birch. Now, you might think that building a village among tall trees might be a bad idea, but Simon takes advantage of these conditions to strengthen his build.
“Lumeria is houses-on-poles craziness.” explains Simon. “There are several houses where you need to climb stairs to find their entrances, and the whole village is building up instead of sideways. I always enjoy finding different, creative ways to build upwards, and I'm also very fond of the nice warm colours of Lumeria. It looks peaceful and relaxing.”
Utilizing a biome’s visual appeal and natural resources, like he did with Lumeria, is standard practice for Simon. With Embergrove, a village located in the jungle, he thought it would be a good idea to use the tall treetops as part of his project. He has taken the idea of a treehouse and made an entire colony of them, each bound to a tree and connected through networks of rope bridges and stairs.
“There is nothing on the ground except for a port and some growing food fields. There is a tree for the town hall, one for a market, an inn, and many others for the residential houses. I keep adding trees for different needs of the village and always find the results to be beautiful.”
Simon prefers to never fully finish a build, instead returning to old projects to occasionally add more features, with no concern for deadlines (must be nice!) “I like taking my time because I enjoy the process more than the result.” he says.
Simon believes that rushing isn’t good for builds, and that he gets better results from a calmer and more relaxed approach. “R. Buckminster Fuller once said ‘When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong’." Well said, Bucky-boy. Well said!
As for future villages, Simon is hard at work, and has plenty of ideas ready to tackle. “I recently made a swamp-medieval village with dark colours which I'm very happy with. I have plans to make a village [where its] main style will be arcs. I don't know how yet, but I like the idea.”
Suggestion for a name: ‘PERLANDINOTROPOLIS’? No? We’ll negotiate.