City of lights
A shining cyberpunk megalopolis!
When we were kids, we used to dream of a future where cars could fly, and school trips to the local museum would be replaced by a weekend jaunt to the moon. Unfortunately, the future is a lot like the past. Cars are still very much on the ground, and while some people can go to the moon for fun, tickets tend to be very expensive and in short supply. Still, we can dream of that magical future – and with the power of Minecraft, we can even pretend that we live in a very blocky version of it!
Nova Celes is a city of the future, and it's the work of French team Quantics Build. Their creative collective began as a group of friends playing Minecraft together on a private server, but thanks to their love for the game and their skill at building (some members of the team are even architects in real life) they quickly became professional Minecraft builders, and thus Quantics Build was born.
Being an architect is serious work though, but Minecraft was a place for them to enjoy when their day jobs were too boring. "The problem with architecture is that some constraints restrain our creativity, which is different in Minecraft," the team said when we asked them how they turned their real-life jobs into a Minecraft job. "The game offers a limitless world, allowing us to push our creativity to its maximum." Real architecture doesn't usually involve Nether Portals and solid gold blocks, it's true – although that's probably a safety thing.
Nova Celes is one of their latest projects, and it's a cyberpunk-style city that draws a lot of inspiration from movies like Blade Runner. We've seen a lot of cyberpunk builds in the Minecraft world lately, like this neon factory-filled city build from 2021. So what is it about cyberpunk that builders love so much?
"The idea was to build a city hosting different districts and cultures," Quantics Build tells us, "all of it grouped around a financial center." The cyberpunk theming came as a result of finding inspiration in movies and art, and Quantics Build decided that they wanted to make their own take on the aesthetic.
"The city hosts in its walls diverse cultures, each influencing the cyberpunk architecture, making every district unique with its big holograms." Each district, from the Video Games Quarter to the Aquatic Quarter, has its own colors, style, shapes, and lighting, offering up a ton of different ways to experience the city's futuristic architecture. In the center of the circle of buildings are the tallest skyscrapers, made entirely out of white blocks, creating beautiful shell-like shapes on the city's skyline.
The city isn't just beautiful from a distance, either. It took Quantics Build six months to finish Nova Celes, and a lot of that was adding the tiny details that bring the city to life: Using rails to represent air conditioners, trapdoors to create ventilation systems, neon signs made out of end rods... and unlike a lot of builds that we cover on this here Minecraft website, the interiors are also fully furnished.
"Builders tend to forget about interiors," the team says, "especially when it's about a futuristic theme!" But not Quantics Build. Over 300 building interiors were added during the six-month process, and it wasn't easy. "We learned lots of lessons about town planning," the team admits. "We sometimes created too dense districts... we sometimes had trouble adding coherent interiors in some buildings." But over the course of six months, the greatest lesson they learned wasn't "how to make sure this office building has enough toilets" – it was how to work as a team. "In the Quantics Build team we are all friends, and that greatly helped with the success of the project." Aww!
Since this build is a futuristic build, it seems only fitting to ask Quantics Build what message they have for the people of the future, who will hopefully be reading this piece for many years to come, and looking upon their works. It's not just Nova Celes that they built together, after all – you should check out all their other builds, from the ethereally spooky Lord of Time to their incredible challenge map, Eldham Castle.
At the end of the day, Quantics Build wants their work to be appreciated. "We hope that people will notice the amount of work and the involvement in our different builds," they tell us, proudly. "We are true passionates, and we're trying to show it through our creations." All I'll say is that, if the future ends up being half as pretty as Nova Celes, it'll be a future worthy of our dreams. Although I still haven't given up on that flying car.
- Kate Gray
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