Broville is something of a Minecraft institution. This city build been with us in various forms since the early alpha, growing in ambition with every version release. It’s an astonishing piece of work, not just because it’minecraft timelapse big, beautiful and busy with brilliantly realised details, but because it so nicely fits the game it’s in — acknowledging Minecraft’s own terrain generation, simulation and scale, rather than flattening everything out to a blank canvas. I sat down with Oldshoes, Broville’s key creator, and his cat Pretzel, to talk about how the project came together.
Admittedly, Pretzel didn’t contribute much to this conversation directly. Did Oldshoes always know what a massive project this was going to become? People were always asking me: how do you know when it’s done? But it got to the point where me and Golonka — who is second-in-command, so to speak — we narrowed it down and just said, well, I guess we’re almost there.
Two weeks after we said that we released the map. There’s also another great video here, where you can watch a timelapse of the map reaching completion below. It gives you a sense of the scale of this project, and the ebb and flow of the team’s industry across the years. With over 60 people contributing to the project on and off across the course of its construction, it’s remarkable just how coherent the city feels. I screened everyone who came into help. I managed to find a good amount of people who were in line with the whole vision for the whole thing, but I still kept a close eye on everything as it was happening.
Something really important was setting the scale for the whole map. A lot of city builds are all over the place. What are the vital qualities in a would-be builder? That was something really important early on, was setting the scale for the whole map. A lot of city builds I find are all over the place — they’re kind of a mess.
It’s something you might not pick out as you walk around Broville, but it’s something you feel instinctively: it all just fits. The build isn’t just internally consistent, either — it feels like it’s part of the landscape. That’s something I see with a lot of city builds — just these huge areas of flatness — whereas I wanted to incorporate the city into the landscape. Broville is more of a Minecraft city versus a city made in Minecraft.