Volunteer players turn Albany into Minecraft

Minecraft enthusiasts will soon be able to walk around a virtual Albany.

A volunteer group of builders associated with Build the Earth Northeast USA build the city and other parts of the in-game capital region.

Geoff Henderson, one of the digital builders involved, shared the news with others via a sub-thread on Reddit last week.

One thing motivated Henderson to participate in and lead this movement – a fierce love for his hometown.

“I love my city,” he says. “I really wanted to pay homage to where I come from.”

Henderson and other members of Build the Earth’s northeast branch have made it their mission to bring the entire region into the game, though other teams are responsible for New Jersey and New York. The global organization hopes to recreate the entire planet in Minecraft on a one-to-one scale where one in-game building block equals about one meter in the real world.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company is entirely “community driven” and not an official release made by Mojang Studios – the game’s creator.

“We continue to be inspired by the passion and ingenuity of the global community of Minecraft creators, including the incredible recreation of the town of Albany in Minecraft,” the spokesperson wrote to The Times Union in a statement. E-mail.

According to Henderson, about five builders are currently working on the project, but up to 20 people have contributed since its launch.

Builders take earth coordinates from Google Maps and Google Earth which are pasted into a plugin and uploaded to the regional Minecraft server. From there, users can construct buildings and infrastructure with blocks and digital tools.

Previously, the game had a height limit that inhibited builder abilities. But when a YouTuber by the name of “PippenFTS” posted a video about the release of the “cubic chunk mod,” the whole game changed for builders.

A Minecraft forum defined the cubic block mod as a mod that extends the height and depth of the virtual world by making building blocks smaller and stackable, without making gameplay too slow.

Build the Earth was born out of Pippen’s vision for every Minecraft builder to help develop the earth within in-game settings, according to his website.

Anyone connected to the public server and over the age of 13 can access the virtual city. And becoming a builder is “very easy,” Henderson noted.

Before allowing potential creators to join the project, the group asks them to build a suburban house on Minecraft’s Long Island.

“If you can prove to us that you can build it, you can join us,” Henderson explained.

So far, the group has erected the Empire State Plaza, the Corning Tower, a few other historic structures, and is assembling the Capitol Building as well as the South Mall thoroughfare.

After completing these constructions, they will move on to engineering the famous Egg and Cultural Education Center, which houses the New York State Museum.

Henderson and his fellow digital architects are focused on building everything east of Washington Park toward the Hudson River by May 2023 or sooner depending on how much labor can be provided. be devoted to construction.

They also replicated some Troy components. After finishing the east side of Albany, Henderson wants to shift his efforts west, potentially recreating all of Troy and possibly Schenectady as well.

The 1:1 Albany can be completed as early as this summer if the group can get additional plugins or more hands to participate.

“I think (it’s possible) at the pace we’re going right now,” Henderson said. “We are working hard on it.”

Jennifer C. Burleigh