Bonsai Biomes

Minecraft Reddit’s been building Mini-Monuments!

This isn’t usually how we open articles on this somewhat pro-Minecraft website, but do you know what I hate about Minecraft? It’s too big! Why should I be forced to explore an entire ocean to find an ocean monument? Why should I have to take more than six steps (6!) to get from the plains biome to the desert? Why hasn’t the Minecraft Reddit community started a recent trend of crafting miniature Minecraft dioramas, like tiny Taigas and smol swamps, that I can enjoy from the comfort of whatever biome I wish?

Oh, wait, they have! Let’s grab a microscope and take a look.

The challenge is to represent the larger parts of Minecraft’s maps in a small square of land. It’s tough to find where this all began, but I think it was CheckPlease123’s post that kicked off this recent miniaturisation phenomenon. As you’ll have seen in the video, if you’d been good enough to click that link in the previous line (look, here it is again!), they built little dioramas of the snowy tundras, forests, deserts, and even made a beach complete with water.

As impressive as their builds were, Minecraft Reddit knew in its heart that it could go smaller. That’s what SirAdyUnleashed did with their Mini-Mega Taiga Biome. This is a great little build. It looks like a mod was used to squish things all the way down but take a closer look. The ‘trees’ are saplings, fences, and flower pots.

One of the smartest substitutions in this trend was findidledee2’s Mini-Desert. How did they make the cacti? It almost seems a shame to tell you, but they’re sea pickles. *chef kiss*

Biomes aren’t the only recognisable part of Minecraft’s world generation. As you’ll know there are plenty of buildings to explore. And therefore there are also plenty of buildings to shrink.

Have a look at Just_Playing_Games’ Mini-Ocean Temple and wallow in how lovely it is. Take your time, you can’t rush a good wallow. Here are a few hints as to how they made it: waterlogged smooth sandstone slabs keep the coral alive, and those heads are spawned in using console commands. But that’s ok. We’re not snobs here. You do what you can to get the job done.

They also made a Mini-End City and a Tiny Nether Fortress:

It leads us to the question of what could be done with mods? There’s some incredible skill in making these itty-bitty builds in everyday Minecraft, but the Chisels & Bits mod allows for details that are impossible to achieve without being Jens.

The mod allowed YukiTheNeko to make a Mini-Island that’s so cute that I want to remake as a plushy. There’s no real trickery here, as the mod enables you to chisel away at in-game blocks, but that doesn’t take away from what’s been made. With just a few tiny cubes of sand, it’s still recognisable as Minecraft. They could have stopped there, but the mottled skybox, cute clouds, and sun are lovely touches. It’s art!

And if it’s considered art, then why not use them to decorate a base? Players are making biome rooms. I hope the phrase “bioramas” sticks with these! The detail in this Mini-Badlands by Tommy_Tonk is just gorgeous. Single “bits” of water for the river, trees smaller than single a game block. Worthy of a centrepiece. I would love to have such a room in my house, complete with mountains and ravines.

It’s such a smart idea. Building tiny bits of Minecraft in your base for you to coo over, or lovingly trim and tweak as the nights draw in and the Creepers explode in the dark. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cleverly cast biome from the game’s tools and blocks, or if you’ve spent the time to learn a fiddly mod and spent hours carving the world a microscopic cave. If you like it, that’s all that matters.  

And if you want to show it off, there’s a place for that as well. The main Minecraft subreddit has a lot of these, but also there’s a new sub dedicated to smallification of all things Minecraft. Sub to Tinycraft and feel better about life.

Written By
Craig Pearson