The story behind WesterosCraft
Our goal is to recreate the universe imagined by author George R. R. Martin in his fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Here's a bit about how the project took off.
Minecraft's core design is that the whole world is made of blocks, and players can place or break any block they want, which in turn means they can create any structure they can imagine.
WESTEROSCRAFT WAS FOUNDED by PizzaInACup aka geeberry, in November 2011. Pizza, as he’s affectionately known by, had long been a fan of the ASOIAF series and was hooked on the Game of Thrones by the end of the first episode. Pizza was also a bit of a coder, and while the first season of the HBO series was airing, and Westeros fever was sweeping the planet, he was dabbling in the beta of a then little-known game called Minecraft.
Building castles was all the rage in the early days of Minecraft and Game of Thrones had no shortage of inspiration. What started as a simple idea to see if one could build the Red Keep in the game, quickly snowballed. If you have the Red Keep, wouldn’t it make sense to have the Dragon Pit, and the Sept of Baelor, and a few houses on the streets connecting them as well.
The original "Game of Blocks" logo
The WesterosCraft project snowballed from there, quickly growing in numbers and scope of ambition. A public forum was created by May 2012, and by the end of the year the ranks of “builders” as they became known had grown to over 30 people from around the world. Within a year this had more than doubled, with dozens of projects under way, just through scale alone, WesterosCraft was building a name for itself as Minecraft’s most ambitious server.
King’s Landing was the very first project undertaken by the newly created WesterosCraft team. Of course, WesterosCraft being WesterosCraft, the server soon decided to redo the whole project, building a new version in 2012 under the leadership of Dutchguard, Marken4, Contra, NickShaiB, Whitefireneo, FlemishGuard, IwandeLarch, Feasting, and Sn0wst0rm.
The build was scheduled to last for two months, but took closer to half a year to complete. All of the houses were built and furnished by hand and the rough estimate is around 4,000 structures. The version currently on our map was started in 2014 and completed in 2017. The city counts with an incredible number of 5201 unique houses, with 877 of those being located in the sprawl area.
King's Landing, in 2012.
Again, in keeping with tradition, we’re currently working on a remaster of the current version in our test world.
Within a few months of the server getting off the ground, it became clear that the Vanilla Minecraft textures were just not going to provide the level of detail, accuracy and variety that Westeros needed.
The decision was made to change the default server resource pack to DokuCraft, an open source free to use texture pack to add a degree of polish and realism to the default blocks, however this was just a band-aid solution.
By the end of 2012, WhiteFireNeo, with the help of Thamus_Knoward, SMP and Emoticone spearheaded the creation of the WesterosCraft Resource Pack, which when combined with the WesterosBlocks mod, finally gave us the means to stretch beyond the limitations of Vanilla Minecraft, and create all the custom blocks and textures we’d need to create a Westeros we could be satisfied with. By the 10 year Anniversary we now have close to around 1500 custom blocks and textures.
A WHOLE NEW WORLD
The rapid growth of the server quickly made it clear that the scope and level of detail in the original in-game Westeros map was going to be too small for our grand ambitions. By May 2013, development of Westeros as we know it today was underway in Worldpainter, led by TheSn0wSt0rm and Carcinogenius.
A side by side comparison of the two maps quickly shows the new level of detail the new map afforded. The new map was rolled out in stages, with new regions of the map added in as they were completed in WorldPainter, and completed/ WIP projects copied over with WorldEdit.