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WEEKLY NEWSLETTER: Minecraft servers, sculpture and texture [X-MAS]

So basically these “weekly” newsletters happen every time I gather a few random interesting links. Which isn’t weekly at all, ha! We’re back again with some news and trivia. Lot’s going on around the creative building community and beyond as the year nears its end. (Disclaimer: There’s only a few things here – I don’t hang around things like survival servers much so I’m biased.)

LOTR: Shire in Minecraft

Kicking things off with this breath-takingly re-creation of the Shire region/village from Lord of the Rings. The builders of ArdaCraft use a custom mod pack and texture pack to create truly immersive, small but detailed, builds from across Middle Earth. Website and showcase channel:

ardacraft website banner medieval

Official Mojang Server list

Last month Mojang officially announced the launch of their Official, strictly moderated and player friendly Server List. The list is run in partnership with the GamerSafer company and geared towards parents and children. Servers can be sorted by platform, server size, version and more. There are multiple badges to show whether a server conforms to various community standards. I’ve seen no less than 2 basics badges per server. The front page is randomized, and the Official list levels the playing field for servers looking to promote themselves, as explored in more detail by TheMisterEpic.

Oldest server: Crazy Fools

Another one to join the ranks of Minecraft’s oldest servers (That I’ve personally not heard of before). While 2B2T may be the “Oldest Anarchy Server in Minecraft”, Crazy Fools is a UK-based survival server running since August 2010, just 7 days after Minecraft’s multiplayer left the testing phase. This record is only broken by Minecraft Online, who have stayed true to their name, and been Online since a day after multiplayer’s release. (Unless someone’s running a secret server since 2010. You can’t disprove that.)

Kibo Sculpture contest open

Organic builders: While you can’t start submitting until 20th December, the rules, theme and plot server for Kibo build competition are all Live for 2023! This is the fifth year of the competition – Kibo Sculpture V, theme “Of Pen and Parchment” – read all info on their website. This year brings multiple minor changes to the rules, a fourth top-3 place, and bigger prize pool.

JUST IN: The competition is LIVE for building and plots are already filling up. See the website link for the Dynmap of the plot world and the Fifth Anniversary Special “Kibo Cup” prize draw for all builders!

Cubed Textures: on Bedrock

Minecraft’s most complex realism texture pack is getting ported! Cubed Textures is the 1.14 texture pack used on the 1.14 Cubed Community server. This texture pack features thousands of custom models, biome-dependent blocks and more – we’re barely scratching the surface here. It’s hell for a raw builder like me, but undeniably impressive and ideal for those looking to perfect every detail of their city.

The Java texture pack is getting a port to Bedrock Edition. While on Java Edition the pack has yet to be ported above 1.14 due to the sheer scale and complexity of the pack – it requires a total restructuring of the entire texture pack folder to comply with new versions, file-names, IDs and more.

cubed textures website banner

Announcement from the Cubed Discord – all links on their website, and pack showcase by Alpine1:

“We are happy to announce CubedPack is nearly ready for Bedrock with RTX support. More will be announced during the New Years event in December [MOVED TO 28th].”

Noxua’s crazy WorldPainter

A player by the name of “Noxua” shared multiple impressive build time-lapses, a MASSIVE WorldPainter brush pack, then disappeared off the internet without leaving a trace. That’s quite some niche legacy!

Their builds include replicas like the Hoover Dam, organics like a Jurassic Park scene, and replicas like wind turbines. The channel is a neat little find. They disappeared almost exactly two years ago with no social presence and no world downloads. However, the MediaFire link to a WorldPainter ZIP with multiple hundred brushes and heightmaps STILL WORKS*. There are many terrain features, mountains, cracks, patterns, crazy swirls and more – see video below.

*If the link stops working, comment here and me or someone else might help

Festive wishes: Onto 2024

Welcome to the future: Another calendar year comes to an end. Not much to say here, internet stranger – I wish you a warm, productive December and all the best! Rounding off with links to previous Christmas posting on the blog, because why not.


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