We're Not Worthy
...of visiting Yuuta's cathedral and castle builds. Are you?
It's time for me to reveal my terrible secret: I was born and raised in Britain. And a stupid stereotype about British people like me is that we all live in castles.
Ridiculous! As I said to my best mate The Queen the other day, almost nobody in Britain grows up in a castle. Most of us grow up in a cupboard under the stairs until they receive a letter telling them they're a wizard. Or a letter telling them that they're an idiot, so they move to Sweden to write for a Minecraft website instead. Yeah whatever, I didn't want to be a wizard anyway :(
But sometimes I wish (non-magically) that I did grow up in a castle. Specifically, one of the amazing Minecraft castle builds from Japanese builder Yuuta.
I asked Yuuta why he builds such elaborate castles, palaces and cathedrals, when they're clearly such time-consuming projects. “I usually decide what I'll build next by viewing fantasy pictures, walking around the world with Google Maps or playing games. Religious and royal builds make me impressed.”
Such a wide range of influences can be hugely helpful for a builder. Making something based on a single film, game or piece of architecture can too often just look like you're copying it directly. Whereas drawing from a wider pool of influences can help you build something that's so much more than the sum of its parts!
That approach clearly worked out for Yuuta. “I built my palace based on the Japanese movie Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms. In this movie, we can observe various attractive buildings. In addition, I adopted some partial structures of buildings around the world.
“When I designed my religious build, I used PS4 games for reference. For example, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Assassin's Creed and NieR. These games gave me beneficial ideas.”
Those games also explain a lot about Yuuta's mix of styles. Gothic architecture from Bloodborne. More classic medieval castles from Dark Souls. Buildings from practically everywhere on Earth in the globe-trotting Assassin's Creed series.
Such an effective mix of styles has resulted in a portfolio of great builds, but Yuuta sees more flaws in his work than I do. “I like to create details, so I don't feel it's dull,” he tells me. “But I'm not good at designing overall. To consider the balance of the whole arrangement makes me exhausted.”
Not good at designing?! Nonsense! It seems Eastern builders are far more modest than Western writers like me. How are you liking my article so far by the way? I think it's PERFECT.
Massive structures aren't Yuuta's sole focus, mind. He also works on streets and cities, with just as rich an eye for detail.
Yuuta usually takes about two weeks to a month when working on “large-scale buildings”, with the majority of his time spent on the exteriors (though he's clearly got strong interior design skills too).
Yuuta also advises me that Sandstone and Quartz are the best blocks for achieving designs like his – so make sure they're in your inventory!
Trust Yuuta on that one – this is a builder who constantly has Minecraft in mind. “I became able to notice which block is suitable to depict reference buildings,” he tells me. “When I walk down a street or view a picture, I can reproduce it with blocks in my brain.”
Wow, I wish I could do that! Whenever I stare at buildings, I just think about food. And when I try to build a cathedral in Minecraft, I just think about food again. In fact, right this very second, I'm fantasizing about scoffing my own weight in bacon. What were we talking about again?
Yuuta currently works on his builds alone, but that's something he'd like to see change (“I would like to build with collaborators someday”) and you can follow his work on Twitter. He has growing ambitions too – he plans to try building Valleta, Malta's capital city!
Great idea, loads of fantastic architecture to be inspired by in Malta! After all, they all live in castles there, right?
- Tom Stone