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Spooktacular Squash

Oh my Gourd! It’s a spooky pumpkin build!

The scariest time of the year is upon us once more! No, not the day before exams – it’s Halloween! The one day where we get to dress up as witches and goblins and scare adults into giving us way too much candy (don’t try this on any other day though, it rarely works). Is there anything more terrifying than tooth decay? Probably not.

In the festive spirit of things, many Minecraft builders have been creating Halloween-themed projects, with haunted houses, skeleton caves and bats galore. But we here at Minecraft HQ are traditionalists, and there’s nothing that gets us in the mood for Halloween more than a good old-fashioned, elegantly crafted, Jack-O’-Lantern.

Today’s builder, Wisa, built his perfectly spooky pumpkin friends as part of a pumpkin carving competition on Planet Minecraft. For the contest, entrants had to build a giant pumpkin, but with the catch that it has to be done alone, with no mods, texture packs, or help from others.

“In the beginning, I did not even a specific idea for the construction,” says Wisa. “It was difficult to come up with something interesting!”

It wasn’t until Wisa visited an artist friend that he became inspired. “I came across a beautiful still life which he recently painted,” says Wisa. The painting was perfect: autumn leaves, fruits and vegetables, all the things that make you think of cosy nights by the fire.

Wisa began to outline his idea on paper. He searched the internet for ideas and details to include, and then started craft. It wasn’t easy at first. Plants and organic structures are among the hardest things to build in Minecraft, because they are usually lumpy, random and unpredictable, unlike lovely symmetrical buildings.

“I tried many ways to build the pumpkins’ shape,” admits Wisa. In the end, he settled on an unusual solution: “each pumpkin consists of several spheres, arranged in a circle, and then smoothed to the desired shape.” This gives each pumpkin that distinctive bulgey appearance, but took a lot of work – Wisa spent two weeks on this build in total!

Above and around the pumpkins are several details that add to the spooky atmosphere. There are falling autumn leaves in mid-air, candles, lanterns, and cobwebs – and one of the pumpkins is even wearing a witch’s hat! Wisa says that these details make the whole build look more “mystical”, and that, if you look closely, you can even see the tiny spider who lives next to the pumpkins…

Of course, another difficult thing about building in Minecraft is that the colour palette is limited to the blocks that exist in the game – which means that a lot of builds are made with materials that wouldn’t make sense in the real world! Wisa’s pumpkins are made out of wool, concrete and coloured clay, and the details were made out of glass, wood, glowing stone for the candles, and cobwebs for that authentically spooky feeling.

“Building pumpkins was very interesting and I do not regret that I spent the time on it,” says Wisa. “I think that the most ambitious part of my build is the candles inside the pumpkins, as well as the big pumpkin in the hat!”

Well, it wouldn’t quite feel like a Jack-O’-Lantern without the candles inside, would it?

Kate Gray
Written By
Kate Gray

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