I’m not very creative. I wish I was more creative, sometimes, but the fact of the matter is, as much as I want to be, I’m not very creative at all.
Which is kind of funny, because I’m playing Minecraft again, a game that demands creativity when you’re building stuff.
Only in creative mode, mind you, because I want to build stuff. I see things all the time that inspire me to build their equivalents in Minecraft, and creative mode is the only way that happens within any kind of suitable timeframe.
There’s a scene in Inception where Cobb explains to Ariadne how in the dream world, our minds create and perceive the world simultaneously, allowing us to get right in the middle of that process by taking over the creating part.
That’s kind of what Minecraft in creative mode is like. Kind of.
At first I thought creative wasn’t the way Minecraft was supposed to be played, but then I realised that if you just wanted to build stuff, it is the only way you are supposed to play. Survival Minecraft hampers creativity to the point where you’re just doing meaningless work for the sake of being able to create; even the smallest project (say, a 64×64 inverted glass pyramid) takes weeks of in-game time.
Survival Minecraft is kind of like adding people to Circles in Google Plus — lots of work for very little return. I’ve come to realise my time is now becoming more and more valuable, and the less I waste on bullshit work like farming wood to make glass or digging out an entire desert worth of sand for that glass then sitting idly by while I wait for that glass to be smelted, the better.
If you just want to build stuff in Minecraft, play creative mode where resources aren’t an issue. Anything else is just a waste of time. Building epic structures in Minecraft is great — less so if you have to admit you spent days or weeks in-game just to build a small glass pyramid.
Anyway, I’ve been building stuff, most of it inspired by stuff in real life. I find cool stuff on the web occasionally, and bookmark it to build in Minecraft. One thing I’ve built recently is the smaller enterable apartments from ARMA 2’s Chernarus map, the ones that look a little like so:
I made a similar thing in Minecraft, which doesn’t actually look too bad compared to the original. Most of the design elements are there, and even the interiors of the apartment are similar, even though I’ve added my own spin on things here and there.
And as much as I want to create my own original designs, I’ve been drawing heavily from other games, too. There’s a building that looks strangely reminiscent of Dr Bryson’s lab from Mass Effect 3 (complete with auto-opening doors and automatic lighting that turns itself on at night and off in the morning), a castle design that I’ve ripped off from a different server I played on, and even the famous Rostiger Nagel, a famous German landmark.
For now, my creativity mostly encompasses building Minecraft interpretations of real-life things. I wish I was more creative, but that’ll have to do.