Interview with the creator of a Minecraft world

“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”
poem by AvionPhoton, the creator of the Minecraft world Flower Valley

 

Q: How did Flower Valley come about?

AvionPhoton:  It was born a month or two after I started my creative world, Avión’s Creative Puzzle Builds. It all started when I fell in love with a magnificent seed, 4661581597754505763.

Q: 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.

Q: What makes Flower Valley different from your creative world, apart from the game mode?

A: 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.

Q: What happened next?

A: 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.

Q: If you have to choose, what are your favorite builds in Flower Valley?

A: 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-tree
Flower Valley before a large tree grew in the center

Q: Are there other builds you think deserves attention?

A: 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!

Q: What did you build, more specifically?

A: 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.

Q: Where can they do that?

A: The world is available on the web-page http:/bkh.me/flower-valley

Q: How did you manage building coherently in a survival world?

A: 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’.

Q: Why do you play on peaceful?

A: 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.

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

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

Q: Why?

A: 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.”

flower-valley-End-freed
“There seemed to be no other way” says Avión

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

A: 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

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

A: I think it would be be cool to see ALL creatures and players in Minecraft live in peace!

Q: How would this be possible?

A: 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. The drop would only occur once per creature, to keep the excitement and challenge of finding rare mobs and resources. This would also have to include peace between the ocelots and chicken, the wolves and the sheep and the guardians and the octopuses! =D

Q: Any last words before we end?

A: 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!

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

A: Glad to be of service!

Call for freedom (poetry)

 

Want a marvelous life
Free from strife
Where love can soar and
less is more
Any language is fine
Arabic, Hindi, Russian, Portuguese
French, German, Greek, Japanese or Chinese
Let us master them all
We will never fall,
we will heed the call
We will stand tall,
even when small
Come to us Truth
Come to us God
Make us smart
open our hearts
Give us a new start
Restart
Tear our egos apart
Light us up from inside
Fill us with righteous pride
Let us join this divide
Let our interests coincide
Make our consciousness clean
Our awareness heal
Tear down the veil

 

— Avión Photon

me and the unknown (poetry)

Like two magnets, we attract

The closer we get, the stronger the bond

We burn away past limitations

We soar with new creations

We light up the worlds

We use words but are beyond them

Similar, but not the same

Infinite depths within

Mysterious miracles reflected

Nothing nobody expected

Thus life is perfected

 

— Avión Photon

Poetry. 14 verses dedicated to our non-human friends

Life around town

Grasshopper in shower
showed me the power
of a magical life
I forgot in youth’s strife

Blackbirds skipping
while I am tripping
direct me toward
life’s greatest reward

Storks on the tower
come as spring flowers
I don’t mean to flatter
but I do dig your clatter

Heron in river
your grace makes me shiver
and stop on my way
Do you meditate, pray?

Cow on the peak
won’t be nobody’s steak
I will teach her to fly
or my tears will run dry

Horses and sheep
you’ll all make me weep
if your life is to end
for some ignorant friend

Alley cat sneaking
I look at you peeking
unto evening’s litter
a feast all too bitter

Dogs in long leashes
peeing where pleases
dragging ’round ‘masters’
out of disasters

Frogs in the night
Town’s singing delight
got their own fanzine
for their choral routine

Bat under roof
Mysterious, aloof
Your silent wings flap
when flying your laps

Spider in corner
is not a mourner
when I clean in a gown
and its net gather down

Butterfly fluttering
won’t hear me muttering
how its catering nephews
ate all my lettuce

Heart-shaped little fly
buzzing near me and by
there’s no swatter here
for you, dear, to fear

Silverfish glimmer
in stark lamp light (no dimmer)
you make me  gladder
as I empty my bladder

 

Written in Amorebieta-Etxano, Basque Country Spain on the 7th of January 2018

Tuesday morning poetry

I was inspired to write the following poems after reading the Chinese 9th century poet Hanshan, which I can very much recommend! If you like my humble efforts, Hanshan will give you a real treat!

poem #1

Where the rubber meets the road

and there is an old toad

Where I have my abode there

comes the code from the node

poem #2

I met her yesterday by the river

She carried that furry friend

I almost went but then stayed and

exchanged some words and smiles

What before seemed so important

became nothing in that moment

poem #3

I start to feel more empty,

that must be true success

Let me stay like this forever,

bent over a piece of paper

poem #4

To stay out of the clear path,

yet not trip over the vines

Here I am truly speechless

Why is this such a

poem #5

Bubbling pond hide beneath

dark waters immense pressure

the happiest treasure known

You can ignite it, but don’t

It would go off in a beautiful blast

but it wouldn’t last

Stay hidden in the glade

poem #6

7.13 and up since four

cold feet and bent back

bread and lentils in belly

my farts are really smelly

but my joy is out of bounds

poem #7

A heart of gold has no color

yet its brilliance is beyond blinding

What I want to tell you

is that I love you

Instead I just pass by briefly

It is better this way

behind a courteous curtain

you keep your charm

you come to no harm

poem #8

Stirring my cup of rooibos tea

the spoon plays one-two-three

notes from the Imperial March

I haven’t paid rent since April

thinking of it my heart springs

enchanted this magical morning

poem #9

Frosty morning clouds like pink baguettes

Windows steamy with one person’s breath

The roar of an aluminum albatross

Ocean waves of commuting cars

A bird unheard of, the dog lark

with it first bark, a snark remark

a stark awakening in the park.

poem #10

The less I know myself

the more I love myself

Those who say ‘know thyself’

really mean the opposite

Walk the path which is not marked

it is infinitely broad

Be the place which is nowhere

and you are everywhere at once

Control something to the utmost degree

divide the moment infinitesimally

Thus inverting reality

you can set yourself free

poem #11

Am I exhausted?

Then let me be

like a barren tree

on desert sand

The last drop of water

of a cement cylinder

I swear, yet

my mouth is sealed

I am the Earth

I am the Earth

I people myself

I am the most beautiful spaceship you might ever see

I spin and dance around a star

to get evenly shone

I tilt in my spinning dance

to give everyone the chance

to see the colours of seasons

to have plenty of reasons

to count years and to sing

at the arrival of spring

you walk my crust

you are child of my dust

butt I say that you must

not stay, nay, I trust

you to set out a course

to explore life in force

the outside of me

stars everywhere you can see

take care of me

like I care for you

and make love be

all you can see

in this galaxy