Community Celebration: Terra Swoop Force

Fly into the Earth’s core in both Bedrock and Java!

Readers, I have returned. The mob of angry mobs that drove me out of town for shady farming practices last week have admitted defeat. Or they got bored, but the moral of this story is that I am no longer on the run and anything can be traded as potatoes if it’s made with beige blocks. I had to come back in any case, there is an important mission at hand. Or should I say, at wing! Uh-oh, that joke was so terrible that the mobs are getting riled up again. Why don’t you hang out with the original map’s co-designers from Noxcrew while I try to calm them down? They’ll fill you in on what you can expect from this week’s free map that is available for both Bedrock and Java!

“If you’ve never heard of Terra Swoop Force before, oh boy, have I got a story for you! There is a science company called Geo Descent Labs, who were doing experiments trying to figure out what was going on at the center of the earth. Thirty years ago, to learn more about the planet, they sent a two-person team down to the center of the earth in a bore drill. However, when it got there, they lost communication with the drill and the crew and they haven’t heard from them since. Thirty years later, you’re working for Geo Descent Labs, so we’re gonna strap wings on your back and fly you down to the center of the Earth so you can find out what happened to that two-person team!”

- Joe Arsenault, Noxcrew

Well, what are you waiting for? Grab some wings and help me solve the mystery that awaits in Terra Swoop Force!

I am sure that Geo Descent Labs will be as excited to have me on their team as Mojang Studios is. Finally, I will be able to flex my scientific muscles and prove once and for all that I look amazing in lab coats. The trick is to wear several at once, if one makes you look smart then obviously four coats will quadruple that effect. See! I’m basically a doctor already.

While you start layering, I’m going to check in with Noxcrew again. Maybe we can get some insider information that will help us solve this.

“Terra Swoop Force was originally meant to be made in a day, we were meant to stream the whole thing in just one livestream. As we were creating it, we started letting our minds get a little ahead of ourselves and it started becoming a little bit bigger, and then eventually we said ‘All right, all right, let's not do it in a day.’ Eventually it took eight months to make because we kept wanting to add more and change things.

Before that livestream, Minecraft had this kind of levitation potion and we very quickly worked out that you could sort of model a glider on top of that kind of Minecraft character and that you could slowly fall down as if you were gliding. We started making a glider map because of that cool mechanic, and then shortly after, Minecraft released elytras, which were wings that players could use to fly at fast speeds. That kind of inspired us to make something a little bit bigger because the elytra mechanic was such a fun thing to play with.”

- Stefan Panic, Noxcrew

That is the kind of ambition I strive to reach one day. But not today, because I am too busy flying around! I have managed to become airborne now and have tested out all the walls to make sure they are safe to crash into. Please hold for my report as the results are inconclusive. Joe, can you fill us in on the design process? That information would be very helpful in my findings, as these walls seem intentionally placed in my flight path.  

“So when Noxcrew sit down to design a map one of the first things that we do is build a scale model of our experience inside of the world, just to kind of feel out how things are going to react to where we put them and do we have the right sight lines, is this right size, do we have room for everything. That’s something that the whole team pitches in on – not just our level designers, but art and mechanics, our audio guys, our musician, and our writer will all hop on. Even social media and marketing people, everybody just gets on together and we jump around in a Minecraft world for a little while and try to feel how our experience is before we create it.”

- Joe Arsenault, Noxcrew

Just as I suspected. If you read between the lines, you can clearly see that my version of Terra Swoop Force includes rogue walls that appear out of nowhere. I am still an excellent flyer, stellar sleuth, and alleged scientist. I really should add map maker to this list, especially when Noxcrew are still loitering in the hallways.

“Noxcrew’s creative philosophy is, to just have fun. Honestly, at the end of the day we want our stuff to feel like Minecraft. Funny, engaging, and immersive. We want the player to be rewarded for exploring somewhere that they didn’t think there would be anything, we want to surprise them with unexpected jokes. I think it’d be hard to sum up our creative philosophy in one word or even one sentence. We just want to have fun and we want our players to have fun.”

- Joe Arsenault, Noxcrew

Well, there you have it. Just have fun with it, young map makers. Thankfully, my idea of fun is an empty space. Not an obstacle in sight. Just my own thoughts. Get ready for The Big Map of Existential Ponderings™, coming to you whenever I have a big deadline I need to meet!

Sofia Dankis
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Sofia Dankis
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