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High-Tech Oasis

PlasmaticStatic explains how he crafted his futuristic desert city

If you were walking through the desert and you saw PlasmaticStatic’s Border Town in the distance, you’d probably think it was a mirage! The giant wall stretching up from the sand and the long road into the city are both neon orange and black, as though tiger striped, and that’s just not something you see every day.

Then again, I don’t spend every day walking through the desert, so how would I know?

It’s these orange-and-black colours that make the wall PlasmaticStatic’s favourite part of the build. “It really does tower ominously over both the desert and the city. I added a lot of detail and the orange-black colour scheme, both of which helped in delivering the right atmosphere and tension to the build. It contrasts [with] the seemingly everyday feel in the city and I really like that.”

The city itself does look quite normal at first glance, but a closer look reveals a lot of details that aren’t quite so ordinary! PlasmaticStatic explains that he’s very inspired by the cyberpunk genre, as well as all kinds of futuristic inventions. “I’m also a big science nerd, you can see that throughout the build, such as with the 3D printing crane making a new housing block.”

He also got creative with people’s homes. “The style of cyberpunk housing I created used a combination of strange and unusual shapes, along with various window designs to try and add depth and interest to the build.” It looks like he was very successful to me – no two buildings are quite the same. I especially like his use of triangular walls. And of course, no futuristic city would be complete without flying vehicles, so there are plenty of those!

But outside the wall, not everything is so high-tech. In fact, there are the ruins of an ancient civilisation, juxtaposed with this closed-off metallic city. “I added them in last,” PlasmaticStatic explains. “The remnants of this lost city became the larger city that rests behind the wall, and the ruins left to rot in the desert are no longer habitable. It finished off the dystopian feel of the desert side.”

“I’ve always liked, in a strange way, building places that have turned into abandoned ruins and lost all remnants of order and life,” he adds. “Unlike proper buildings, ruins can be as twisted and misshapen as you like, which allows you to go more wild.”

Ah, so there’s more creative freedom in building something broken! But PlasmaticStatic still made sure to keep a consistent look of structural decay throughout this part of the build, creating a strong atmosphere of a place gone to ruin.

“The ruins’ structures bear some resemblance of what they used to be, but the walls are barely holding together and the roofs [have] collapsed and they’ve been exposed to the elements over many years,” he says, “Using cobblestone walls and iron bars gives the impression of a block once there that has decayed down to its supporting structure, and a lot of buildings have been filled with sand.”

All these details meant that PlasmaticStatic was working for a long time. “It took me a few months. I’m not a particularly fast builder, and motivation for building was on and off a couple times,” he explains. “I started by building the things I had the strongest inspiration for. The wall for example, is the main focus of the build, and I had a good image in my head of how I wanted it to look and had the most motivation to build.”

"Don’t plan it down to every detail, as it really does suck some fun out of the building. "

“After that, I built the highway, to use as a focus I could build around. There was planning the city and terraforming the desert, and adding more and more detail to the build until I eventually saw it as complete.” It looks very complete to me, too – but the city itself seems almost too perfect, like there must be something ominous going on in the city… maybe that’s just all that cyberpunk influence though!

“I don’t know if I ever planned the project to be this big,” PlasmaticStatic admitted. “I definitely had never done anything this big before!” But he credits experimentation for leading him forward. “I never had a completely solid plan to use. Having just become a member on the Builder’s Refuge server, I was also eager to build something impressive and try to prove myself.”

It also meant that he learned a lot during the process. “For one, to pace myself. Although having an idea of how the build will turn out in your head is good, don’t plan it down to every detail, as it really does suck some fun out of the building. All in all, I enjoyed the build and I’m proud of the finished product. I love how I can turn my imagination into reality with Minecraft and this is a great example.”

I agree! There’s so much variety in this one build, from the sleek grey hospital to the blue glass of the houses, from the ancient ruins to the threatening new wall; and from the dry desert outside to the lush park within. It feels like there’s something new around every corner, just waiting to be discovered – if you can get inside at all.

Renders by Angel and Lycqn.

Jay Castello
Jay Castello

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