A magical game world by a mining mastermind (interview)

“A pen and paper is all we need
to win our battles
and craft our creed
to leave us speechless soft and tender
while we wait for Minecraft to render”
— AvionPhoton

Today we are interviewing Avión Photon, the creator of the Minecraft Survival World b³O, pronounced ‘be-three-O’. Let’s see what lurks inside this creative innovative mind.

How did b³O come about?

The world itself was born a month or two after I started my creative world, Avión’s Creative Puzzle Builds in late 2017. It all started when I fell in love with a magnificent world seed I found posted on the Minecraft forums.

I came up with the actual name b³O much later, the world was named after the main area Flower Valley until I realized that this was not sustainable in the long run. On the second or third of november 2018 I took the seed in decimals (4661581597754505763), converted it into binary and then into unicode, where I got b³O returned. I couldn’t have asked for a better name. b³O to me means many things: it is like an unknown yet undiscovered compound of three baryons connected to an oxygen atom. It is also an homage to my all-time favorite YouTube Minecrafter BdoubleO, the main influence to my building style.

What made that seed so special?

It had a wide variety of biomes in a relatively small area. But perhaps the main reason was a valley I encountered in a flower biome..  It was surrounded by mountains, hills, a lake and a river and I chose it as a starting place.

What makes b³O different from your creative world Ḍādxièya, apart from the game mode?

It is more coherent, since everything is built in more or less the same place. My style became more refined and my technique also improved a lot.

What happened next?

I built on the world during many months, journaling in detail about every new building, exploration and discovery I made. I wanted the project to be a long-lasting expression of my personality and life experience and I poured everything I had into building and writing, combining a multitude of sources for inspiration. I have a passion for beauty, creativity, love, playfulness and openness. For combining what is magical, practical and profound with new ways of thinking.

If you have to choose, what are your favorite builds in b³O?

Perhaps the giant tree in the middle. It was built after almost all the other buildings were already in place. Some of the rarest resources in the game are stored in chests inside its trunk. While the chests are open melodies are played from colored crystals built on the branches of the tree. The tree was also the favorite of many of the people following the creation on the online forum where I published the build journal.

Flower Valley before the large tree grew

Are there other builds you think deserves attention?

Most buildings were built with the purpose of storing a category of resources imagined to be collected by a person dedicated to a particular craft or task, such as the overgrown tree trunks where all lumber are housed where I imagine a lumberjack lives. Similarly a smithy, stone mason next to the mine houses all ores, iron and minerals.
But after building the giant tree I made a place called ‘The Adventurer’s Hub’ to show my appreciation for people in the forum. I dedicated a unique creation to each person I received support from in the journal thread, I think it was ten in total. I had a lot of fun!

What did you build, more specifically?

One of the builds was a winding tunnel leading down to a moisty cave. Another was a dance floor with disco lights turning on as soon as a music disc is placed in the jukebox outside. I also built a dragon and a cherry tree. I don’t want to spoil it any more, perhaps people reading the interview wants to download the world and explore it.

Where can they do that?

The world is available on the web-page http:/bkh.me/b³O

How did you manage building coherently in a survival world?

While I enjoy the challenge of survival and gathering resources, I use a separate creative world to sketch complicated builds and designs. This helps. I also build mostly in the game mode ‘peaceful’.

Why do you play on peaceful?

I feel that I am a conscious part of a creation that is infinitely beautiful. It has led me to become a vegan in real-life and to encourage everyone to be aware of and care for all forms of life, be it humans, animals, plants or otherwise.
Within the game this translated to a tendency to not overly alter biomes and to not build farms for exploiting animals or mobs, something which is very commonly done by other players. Playing on peaceful also help when building, since aggressive mobs do not spawn and disturb the creations.

Could you do everything possible in the game playing in this way?

No. I sadly broke my rules and killed cows for leather and octopuses for ink sacs at a certain point.

Why?

Books, item frames and black dye were not possible to get in any other way. I desperately wanted books to write in, and item frames to decorate with. I also farmed blazes in the nether to gain experience points to upgrade my equipment to maximum efficiency. I also killed mobs to gain access to building resources otherwise not available.”

There was no other way..

If you were in charge of the development of the game, what would you do?

I would solve the dilemma of killing octopuses by letting charcoal, a currently rarely used resource be equivalent to ink. And to leave the cows alone, I would add cloth to use for creating a dyable outfit to wear instead of leather armor. The cloth could be made from five reeds mixed with four strings or from nine cobwebs. This cloth could even replace wool to make Minecraft truly vegan friendly

You seem to have thought a lot about this. Do you have any more ideas?

I think it would be be cool to see ALL creatures and players in Minecraft live in peace! This would also have to include peace between the ocelots and chicken, the wolves and the sheep and the guardians and the octopuses! =D

How would this be possible?

Loot currently only available by killing could be dropped by hugging. In practice, it could be by right-clicking mobs while unarmed, at least in the Java version of the game.

Isn’t battle essential? Wouldn’t this change make the game boring?

There are many non-violent games which still are exciting to play. In the case of Minecraft, I think it would keep the excitement if the drop still occurred only once per creature. The challenge of finding rare mobs and resources would still remain.

Any last words before we end?

I just want to thank my family, friends and everyone else who have helped my become who I am today. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart!

That’s it. Thank you for being here for this interview!

Glad to be of service!

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