Building Bridges

Macaronnie returns to Minecraft with this awesome arch!

Among all the wondrous monuments and constructions humankind have created through millennia, the bridge is one of the most practical. Spanning over water and mountains to overcome difficult terrain, bridges have connected people for centuries. Although for me, they’re mostly good for competing in a fierce game of Poohsticks.

20 year old Dutch Macaronnie is no stranger to either bridges or their purpose. Well, of course he isn’t! Everyone crosses a bridge now and then. But thing is, Macaronnie made his very own bridge after a nearly two year hiatus from Minecraft – a bridge that he hoped would earn him a spot in the prestigious builder community Team Visionary. The project? Géfyra zoís.

But first, let’s rewind six years. Macaronnie first discovered Minecraft after being introduced to survival mode, but was more interested in building ordinary houses. Over the years this expanded to more ambitious projects on public servers. He even became admin for a server with over 20 players, meeting lots of new people.

“I might have crashed that server multiple times, [by] accident of course. But that was a time when I made some nice builds which I was so proud of,” Macaronnie remembers.

Sadly, Sunfury, the team Macaronnie had been a part of for the longest time, became inactive. What initially had started as a strong social experience turned into solitude. Macaronnie found himself becoming lonely and took the decision to quit Minecraft.

“I still hopped on servers sometimes” he says, “But all my old friends were gone, I barely knew anybody. So I just gave up.”

Despite his long absence from the game, Macaronnie felt he wasn’t done. So after 18 months away, he decided once again to pick up the pickaxe.

“I had a really good time when I played [Minecraft] before and made a lot of friends”, Macaronnie explains. To his delight, since he’s returned to Minecraft, Macoronnie has constantly run into these old friends - and they’re still building!

"I love working with reference pictures because there is so much beautiful artwork out there that I just look at and think ‘Damn, that'd be a challenge to make in Minecraft’"

Wanting to dive right back into a building community, Macaronnie decided to try joining Team Visionary based on a friend’s recommendation. It required him to complete a two week trial and deliver the best possible build, with a minimum of 300x300 blocks, in order to join. “I also love doing jobs where I have to build for a certain person,” Macronnie explains “because it gives me new ideas and limits to challenge what I can do.”

He didn’t settle for something small either. The build? Well you guessed it folks – Géfyra zoís!

Roughly translating to “bridge of life” in Greek, Géfyra zoís consists of a grand bridge that connects two great cathedral-like buildings, each carved in the foundation of an island. The buildings connected to the bridge have a renaissance-looking style palette, and are clad in windows with an arch-shaped design, resembling the Milan Cathedral.

“The main concept is something I got from a reference picture,” says Macaronnie. “The idea of a majestic bridge going into a cliffside. I love working with reference pictures because there is so much beautiful artwork out there that I just look at and think ‘Damn, that'd be a challenge to make in Minecraft’.”

Taking on his new project, Macaronnie started by making big sandstone cubes, carving into the island’s rock terrain to get a rough idea of the building’s general shape. Then he started adding the walls.

The build itself turned out to be huge, with some of the smaller walls being as tall as 100 blocks high. This proved to be a challenge when it came to making the exterior more attractive. The answer was to add small features and variety of windows to keep it appealing, and by doing so bringing more detail to it.

“I’m very proud of the fact that it is insanely tall, but doesn’t look just tall on pictures. It looks like an average-sized build, but when you walk over the bridge it feels huge all of a sudden, and I just love that.” he says. This also adds to the build’s realism: “It is barely explorable to be fair. The tunnel is even blocked off by a wall of black wool.”

After two weeks of hard work, the Géfyra zoís was completed and ready to be showcased. As you guys might have guessed, Macaronnie’s build lived up to all expectations and was praised by Team Visionary as being “unique in its own right”, despite having a tunnel full of wool (poor sheep). Macaronnie doesn’t care though. He passed the trial and will be working on the team together with the same friend that recommended him!

“It feels good to just work with people on stuff and I hope to keep doing it for a while now,” Macaronnie explains. “I used to be better than [that friend] was back in the days, and now I am the one that is learning a lot from him. He has grown so much in building, I love to see such growth in people.”

So Macaronnie will keep building bridges, both of blocks and camaraderie!

Renders by 4newlife and Iskillia

Written by
Per Landin