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Taking the Minecraft Train to the Imperial City

| 17 Jan 2011 16:00
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Three Oblivion fans are bringing a little taste of Cyrodiil to Minecraft, and by "a little taste," I mean, "an enormous city."

There comes a time in every Minecraft player's life when he or she feels the need to settle down and build him or herself a permanent home. Some build cottages, some build castles, and some build 1:1 scale replicas of the Imperial City from Oblivion. In Issue 288 of the Escapist, John Funk talks the trio behind the project, and finds out why they decided to take on such a Herculean task.

"I had always wanted to construct my own city in Minecraft that would be great in scale and awe-inspiring, so I began scouring my brain for cities that I could either draw elements from, or re-create. The Imperial City fit both criteria. Besides, I'd love to call the city 'home.'"

"I had spent so many hours immersed in Oblivion, with its lush environments, extensive lore and grandeur, that when I was trying to think of a new project, it immediately came to mind for inspiration. That both games shared a common bond in terms of, 'This is the world, go out and have fun,' just made it a logical choice as well," he says. The announcement of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim several weeks after work had started on the project provided further impetus to get things done.

With a project of this magnitude, "further impetus to get things done" can't be underrated. Lionheart's initial planning and explorations of what it would take to recreate the Imperial City at a 1:1 scale led him to a daunting realization: To complete a project of this magnitude, the team would have to mine an area of 500x500 blocks all the way down to bedrock - or, roughly 1.25 million blocks. "At this point, I almost quit planning it ... [luckily] we have other people on the project who are just as crazy as me." In fact, the sheer scale of the project was what attracted Lathania to it in the first place - Lionheart and co-conspirator Blackadder51 were initially keeping their plans secret.

The trio, along with a small army of volunteers, has a mountain of work to do, but is plowing ahead undaunted, and has even started to think about future projects. You can read more about in Funk's article, "Crafting Oblivion."

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