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Always Building: Deep Academy

The best build crews take on themes voted for by you!

Minecraft is an ever-growing phenomenon - the game gets bigger and bigger every day, and so does our amazing community, demonstrating a never-ending stream of sheer, unadulterated genius-level creativity. To celebrate this we invited some of our favourite build teams to contribute their skills to a single map. YOU vote on what they make. Once all the build teams have created their own island, we’ll put the map up for you to download!

Last time, Everbloom Studios impressed us with a towering mech, containing an entire science laboratory, and controlled by an octopus! This week we’ve invited the incredible Deep Academy to build on the theme of Futuristic.

Check out the video above and the interview below to see how they interpreted your challenge! Don’t forget to drop by our Facebook page tomorrow for the next chance to vote.

Deep Academy are a little different from most build teams - in fact, they don’t really think of themselves as a build team at all: “We prefer calling ourselves a community or a family,” says Tom Skrill, who now runs things at the organisation. “We have made about ten group builds as Deep Academy, while our builders have posted more than 500 projects by their own. So, we’re more of a solo builders’ community than a proper build team.”

Founded in 2012 by French-speaking ‘crafters, RamboSmile and Ptichinoi2nc, Deep Academy has since attracted membership from across the globe, picking from the best of the best - but with the focus on personal projects, it’d be hard to pin down a single defining style.

“In our early times, we used to have some sort of a signature,” says Tom. “We liked to do fantasy-styled megabuilds and put magical halos on top. But things have changed now. We try to select [members] on their sense of uniqueness and creativity. Being talented in Minecraft is not only about having the right techniques to build well and realistically, it’s also about having the right ideas and being able to bring something fresh and different to the game.”

Some of their past collaborations have certainly shown that off - Tom highlights collaborations between Deep Academy builders Moustafa and Rastammole: “gigantic and crazy builds with different scales in a unique style I’ve never seen before,” like their lurid, dreamlike spaces of their Fallen Kingdom map, or the Somnium server hub.

What was their thinking behind their Always Building creation?

“The build is based on the idea of having different potential futures,” explains Tom. “I was discussing the theme with our builder Boorizz, and he wanted to build something bright, simple, and positive based on concept art of sustainable cities. I was kind of at the other side of the spectrum, willing to build something complex and dark, with a style inspired by bio-punk and neo-noir movies and comics. I had the idea of having two futures that oppose to each other: utopia and dystopia.”

But which is which? The answer may not be so simple, as Tom explains: “As I don’t believe things are that black and white, I tried to put some ambiguous elements in the build, so we can’t really tell which is the dystopia or the utopia.”

“The most technical part was the upper part,” says Tom. “It was hard to make something extremely clean with no detail look good. It was important to make that part as smooth and bright as possible to oppose it to the messy and dark part below. Also, the interiors’ pseudo-nonsense really did challenge the creativity of our builder Whisper.”

Not being a build team, in the strict sense of the idea, this may be the last time Deep Academy build together under that name, says Tom: “We’ve always been a group of solo builders with solo projects, but we will always support each other in our projects.”

We’re honoured to be the recipients of Deep Academy’s final work - but Tom assures us that the individual members are far from finished, so keep an eye out for what they do next.

Look out for our Facebook poll tomorrow where you can decide the theme for the next and final (?) stage of Always Building!

Marsh Davies
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Marsh Davies

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