Marketplace Fan Favorites: Year 3
Looking back at what 2019 had to offer
We have officially reached the midpoint of our Minecraft Marketplace 5 Year Celebration! The year of 2019 was a calm, unassuming year. Ha! It was anything but, dear reader. This was the year where we released bees into the Overworld and our developers’ offices. We also unleashed the Village & Pillage Update, which put all the villagers to work. But if all the buzzing and hrrrming wasn’t enough for you, it was also an imaginative year for new and amazing games on the Minecraft Marketplace. Let’s take a look!
World of Magic
Cyclone brings a wizarding school to the Overworld in their biggest adventure map yet. Not surprising as this map contains a lot of stuff, including 12 different spells, lots of quests, dangerous dungeons, and custom mobs and music! With so much going on, we were curious to find out where Cyclone finds their inspiration: “We find it from a variety of places! From games we’ve played over the years tof with the team being passionate and excited about the concept.”
It’s no wonder that Cyclone was recently tasked with the creation of the Minecraft x Minions DLC! “We have just passed our four years as a studio, with a lot of our team members being with us for three or more years now. Getting to work on the Minions Minecraft map was one of the highlights for the team for sure. Having a cool IP to work with and coming up with some fun gameplay ideas and a larger scope was a lot of fun.” This just goes to show that you never know where your journey will lead. You start out crafting, then creating for the community, and suddenly you find yourself unleashing complete chaos into the Overworld.
By Everbloom Games
Travel back to the 19th century and play as a shogun, ninja, or citizen in Ninja Mash-Up! Show off your skills as you face off against wave after wave of mobs in the dojo. Use a grappling hook to move around, a tool which is very close to Everbloom Games' heart. Tom says: ”This map started out because someone in our team had created a grappling hook mechanic that allowed the player to leap through the air to the block they grappled on to. We then thought to ourselves ’wouldn’t it be amazing if you could fly over rooftops of a 19th century Japanese city?’ So we set out to create an accurate recreation of what such a city might have looked like in Minecraft! To make the city feel truly alive, we added NPCs that each have various jobs. For example, you might see fishermen going to the ponds when dawn breaks to catch some fish! Each NPC has unique behaviors and routines!”
This map showcases the attention to detail that Everbloom Games are known for. They have made many intricate worlds for Minecraft Marketplace over the years, but found the time to work on some other pretty cool projects: “A massive milestone for us recently has been the creation of Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Adventure. We are all huge Disney fans and for many of us this was a literal dream come true! Working with the Disney team and Microsoft on this amazing project and seeing how fans of both Minecraft and Disney reacted to this map was an incredible experience that we’ll always cherish!”
By Everbloom Games
Everbloom Games have been filling Minecraft Marketplace with amazing content since 2014. They have created a wide range of maps and packs and made quite a big impact on the Minecraft community. So big, in fact, that they have their own mascot! “We needed a colorful mascot when we were developing Rainbow Park, which lead to us designing a character known as Mr. Rainbow. He became so beloved by our team and our fans that we decided to feature him again in numerous other maps. He’s a family man, always spinning fond tales about his mother and grandmother. He loves food: eating food, cooking food, eating and cooking things that probably aren’t food... Most importantly, he’s single! And also very, very rich. From hosting a game show, to running a theme park, wherever Mr. Rainbow goes, fun is sure to follow! We’ve heard he’s opening another park very soon!”
One of their fan favorite maps from 2019 was Modern Furniture, an interior decorating challenge that will have you counting paint samples instead of sheep at night. Every single piece in this map is customizable and animated – some are even interactive – and with 540 variants, you have your work cut out for you! Everbloom Games have some advice on where to start before embarking on this big project: “This isn’t like a traditional furniture map! We reinvented the genre by adding progression. You can unlock new furniture, houses, and vehicles by decorating! If that’s not your cup of tea, you can always enable sandbox mode to unlock everything. There’s also a fun basketball mini-game in the map which we made a physics simulation for!”
When I asked Razzleberries for the secret to success for their Skyblock map, they smiled rather worryingly and said: “Don’t look down!” After immediately looking down, I can confirm that was excellent advice, because in this masterpiece – and one of 2019's most popular maps – you create your sky-high world from what you can collect around you. And trust me, you’ll want to build something quickly, because you’re not alone up there. Unlock incredible new islands that’ll see you standing atop frozen glaciers, over lava falls and through castles built from sand. But like Razzleberries so wisely said: definitely, definitely don’t look down!
They also shared some insights into their process: “We find inspiration for our ideas from a variety of different places and mediums, from sketching out concepts on paper to playing some of our favorite game-modes from other video games. This helps us as a team to think outside of the box and bring unique ideas to our maps.”
You know what? I’ve gotten quite comfortable up here! What can I say, lofty heights suit me. As fortune has it, Lucky Block Skyblock by BBB Studios, Original Skyblock by Sapphire Studios, and Infinity Skyblocks by Jigarbov were also big favorites in 2019, so I have plenty to keep me busy up here!
I have been an enormous fan of the dirt block for years, so you can only imagine the joy I felt when I discovered that I can finally keep one as a pet! TNTGames are making all of my dreams come true with over 50 block animals for me to find and love forever. Collect ‘em, breed ‘em, and hug ‘em with your eyeballs! When I was able to stop jumping up and down, Thomas Jackson from TNT Games gave me some insider info on the map: “If you like cute, this map is for you. The block animals take the traditional farming side of Minecraft but also lets you farm ores ” Or I could take over the world with a dirt block herd. Not that I would. Don’t look at me like that! Thomas, why don’t you help us change the subject by telling us how you got started as a map maker?
“I've been in creative mode for ten years now. It started with just building, but eventually evolved into gameplay mechanics. The Marketplace presented a space to take my love for mapmaking and make some income to help with college. After joining as a builder, it forced me to explore new parts of the world making process like modelling and behaviors that I wouldn't have tried otherwise.”
Blocks of Inspiration
From this week’s creators
Minecraft Marketplace sure had a broad range of content in 2019, with a growing community of players with their favorite playstyles. What a year! What content! What fun! Whether you like to farm or frolic, furnish or fly across rooftops, these inspirational creators certainly created a smorgasbord of maps using just their imagination (and a few development skills). Are you thinking about starting to make your own maps? Our creators have some advice for you!
”We’ve always believed that Minecraft mapmaking is no different than traditional game design. The way we’ve learned to stand out is by applying the principles of game design to our content. Study and learn what makes good games and you’ll learn how to make good maps!”Everbloom Games
Sometimes all you can do is try, try, and try again. Razzleberries knows a thing or two about that: ”Perseverance and practice are key, we have been crafting and creating Minecraft content for over 10 years. However, not everything we create turns out exactly how we envisioned it to begin with, so it is important to be good at problem-solving and be creative on the fly.”
That is great advice! Buckle down and believe in yourself, but remember that at the end of the day, we’re all here to have a good time. TNTGames says it best: “Don't be afraid to try new things! Behaviors or modelling or building can be challenging at first but the only way to improve is through experience, so make what you think will be fun to work on. On our first project, Kingdom Craft, during the development of the dragons, the team just genuinely had a fun time flying them around and fighting each other midair for a few hours. Sometimes when making a game, we like to goof around and play the buggy early version a bit more than we should.”
So get out there and play some maps, make some of your own, and above all else – have fun! Now, I am about to do just that by joining in on the 5 Year Celebration over at Minecraft Marketplace. See you next week for more fan favorites!
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- Sofia Dankis
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