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Man Against Nature

Samanga Build Team talk about their epic build!

Nature's great, isn't it? Nature FTW! Nature like... stinging nettles! Wait, no, they're awful. OK, then, er, bees! Bees are brill! Actually, those black-and-yellow bumblers are even worse. Ruining our summers and stinging away our hopes and dreams. Um, trees? Trees are pretty cool, right? Apart from the tree that just collapsed on me while I was writing this. That tree's a jerk.

I've had a change of heart. Nature is the worst.

So I thought I might've found kindred spirits in Samanga Build Team and their build Fhear igcoinne an duta! - to save you a trip to Google Translate, it means 'Man against nature!'

Of course, this talented build team doesn't really hate nature. But they do love crafting an epic battle between man-made lethal machines and a hulking stone golem. Not to sell out our own species or anything, but our money's on the golem winning this for Team Nature. Sorry, Man!

We assumed the recent King King movie might have been an inspiration. Not so, actually, but the team did have other cinematic influences. "A lot of people have said that King Kong should've been an inspiration," agrees Castor Edström Engstedt, founder of Samanga Build Team "but when we were building it no one was really thinking about it."

"But one big reference we did have was the movie Avatar by James Cameron. The helicopters, the ship, even the nature was very much inspired by the movie, even some of the small details on the helicopters are very, very similar."

But what about the beast these helicopters are trying to take down? We don't remember that from Cameron's movie. "From the beginning we thought more like a Godzilla was our idea. But then we changed to a stone golem, pretty much from a picture we found online!"

Castor, under the name Castorotto, and his friend Adde E, started their build team in 2014. The reason for starting a collaborative team in Castor's eyes was simple - "I was pretty much too bad! I had to join a really good team. I was a quite bad builder. So I started one [build team] of my own and started to recruit some friends I had over at some other building servers."

"Then with time we all got better together and some of the builders that joined back then are still with us today. There's two or three builders that we have been building together for, I don't know, four years maybe!"

"In the beginning, to learn to build, I would recommend building together with others. Because there's a lot of amazing builders out there so learning from others is the simplest way. A good tip is try to use references when you build and try to build from them. Just pictures you found that you like. It's all a lot easier [than starting from scratch]. You learn a lot!"

Samanga Build Team have come a long way from their early learning days. They're now a team capable of building Fhear igcoinne an duta! in just two weeks. "Sometimes I'm just a loner and build a lot of stuff," explains Castor. "And sometimes we have a lot of people on, it's very different from time to time. But the last two days a lot of people were on!"

Those two days were spent constructing the majority of the vegetation you see in the build. "The nature itself - the trees, hills and stuff - it was very very rushed. We didn't have a lot of time left when we started building that do we did it very very quickly and I think we did an amazing job with the time we had."

A personal highlight of the build? "I really like the helicopters. They took a lot of time, than a lot of the other builds! So it was worth it. I also like the Golem. I didn't do it myself, it was another builder that made it, but I really like how those two parts turned out."

So what is it about Minecraft that's kept Castor playing? "Well, to begin with, it's very easy to understand. The interface is very friendly. In the beginning you just go into creative mode and start to place blocks. And then as you get better you can start to explore all the different mods and plug-ins that exist and use them to your advantage, so the learning curve is also simple."

"But one of the most important things is the way you can share it. You often build in servers together with others, you can explore maps you have downloaded. It's amazing, and not existing in any other programs, at least that I know of. Being able to share it like that."

"From the beginning it was just my favourite game to play together with my friends from school, in survival. But I also really like the way you can express art in it because it's quite different from other programs. I think those two things mixed together is what I really like. It doesn't really have any limits - the limits you can pretty much choose yourself."

Couldn't have put it better myself! Which is worrying, because that's my job. Take a look at more from Samanga Build Team here and follow them on Twitter here!

Builders - iDragolyte, AddeE, iRoboMatic, castorroto

Renders by The Barbarian, Antrelial, castorroto

Tom Stone
Written By
Tom Stone

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