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The Beauty of Twentymine

By Shamus
on Monday Jan 2, 2012
Filed under:


This is a tour of things people have built on the Twentymine Minecraft Server. I know that not everyone who visits this site is here for the video content. Some of you are at work, and can’t get away with that sort of entertainment while you’re on the clock. Even if you’re one of those people, I’d encourage you to not miss this one. Turn down the speakers if you have to, but at least scan through it.

Link (YouTube)

The cathedral just before the five-minute mark is astounding to me. I suppose I’d call it the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen in Minecraft. It’s a work of careful artistry, done on a massive scale. Working on a project like this is like a three-dimensional version of 8-bit pixel art, where the artist has to work on individual pixels while still being aware of how it will all look on the macro scale. I’ve tried and failed many times to create this sort of architecture, so my appreciation might be borne of envy. I don’t know. Your mileage my vary.

Of course, there’s a lot of other impressive work going on. I know that some of this stuff was not built by hand. There are some macro tools and some copy / paste commands available to some people, although I don’t know what those are or how they work. Still, these structures are impressive no matter what tools were used to make them. A painting is not artistically diminished if the painter used advanced brushes to make the task easier. It still takes talent to put your vision on the canvas.

My own humble house makes an appearance at the seven-minute mark. I was proud of it when it was built, but it’s kind of small and embarrassing compared to the ambitious projects that others have undertaken.

Nice work to everyone who put so much work into the place. Slow clap.

Comments (87)

  1. Jarenth says:

    Damnit, Shamus, I know what your game is. You will not pull me back in.

    I can’t. I’d have to start out with visiting all these amazing things, and that alone would take weeks. I just can’t.


  2. Phoenix says:

    I hate cubes, can’t play minecraft nor see any beauty in it.

  3. Oh man, I’ve been using the prereleases so long I forgot I can access this again. I’ve definitely got to do that sometime.

  4. Vextra says:

    Its true that these projects awe and inspire jealousy in equal measure. I have spent months building a world-spanning railroad in Survival Mode, and my most impressive projects are utterly, completely, cast into shadow by the awe and majesty of even the least of the creations on this Server.

    Yet jealousy can’t survive for long- simply the fact that knowing this is possible, knowing that some people have managed to use Minecraft to create something this beautiful, inspires me and humbles me. I may never be able to do this myself, although perhaps one day I’ll be able to participate in a megabuild like this, if only in a small part.

    Either way, its something to aspire to, and the Cathedrals created virtually evoke for me the same wonder and reverence as real Cathedrals.

  5. .purf says:

    Holy Sh*t. Haven’t been there since… I don’t know, then?


    Speaking of “humble houses” – mine makes an almostappereance at 4:33, in the bay behind the island behind the sheeps ;)

  6. Reet says:

    that stuff is seriously impressive. I especially liked the creeper sphinx. Even if I had the skill to do things like that I certainly don’t have the diligence. Still this is fun to watch so props to whoever made them.
    Also, is it wierd that I recognized the music in the begining as Corneria in Star Fox?

  7. Matt says:

    SNES Star Fox music at the start was win.

  8. Windu190 says:

    I’ve replaced the low res video with a high res video. You can now behold Twentymine’s beauty in HD! :)

  9. albval says:

    “This video has been removed by the user” :-( Was it getting too mainstream or what? Congrats to you hipsters who were able to see the video…

  10. tengokujin says:

    Woo! That’s me in the TRON skin :3
    Also, the glass-and-water octahedron is my small contribution. With the glass-and-lava ball as its core. (koffkoffRamielkoffkoff)

  11. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I feel like a really crappy minecrafter now seeing as most of the stuff I do are just huge shapes (like pyramids or spheres).

    Out of curiosity, what are the building/mining rules on Twentymine? As in, is it survival or some variation on creative? I assume the mobs are off since I haven’t seen all this stuff sprinkled with torches all over but I’m curious about obtaining resources. I have a hard time believing this is all “legit” but if it is…

    • Dys says:

      It’s creative, there are degrees of freedom depending on how long you’ve been around, and how much power you’re trusted to wield. Most people will build something by hand to begin with, and if it’s not horrible will then gain privileges which allow creative powers like giving yourself blocks. Tools and basics are freely available to all.

      A lot of the older things were build a long time ago, before creative mode, before any of the mods became available. In my day we MINED for gold, and we smelted it ourselves, and we liked it that way!

      The larger and more impressive things would be almost impossible without some application of mod tools though. I recall just levelling an area to build my first project took me most of a week. In hindsight, the mountains were probably not the best place to choose.

    • Cyanide says:

      An important note, though: As far as I know, all of the constructs in the video were built by hand. The materials might have been given either by mods or EVIPs, and there might have been some mod tools to drain water or clear/fill areas on a large scale (e.g. the TARDIS’s area), but as far as I know there’s no way to, say, draw out a structure in MineEdit and just paste it on the server somewhere.

      • Dys says:

        Some of the larger mod-built things used mod tools to copy paste I believe, but I am not privy to details. I say this not to detract from those builds in any way, but in the interest of complete accuracy.

        Gormenghast (large, square, boring obsidian castle) I can say for certain was built with cobble reclaimed from some of the larger digs elsewhere on the server, and transmuted into obsidian when complete.

  12. Tohron says:

    Seems that the video wasn’t long enough to feature my shipyard (/warp keirionshipyards) – I’ve got some pretty large warships in the area, along with three factories and an academy nearby. The size is certainly competitive with most of the builds shown in the video, and people seem to like the appearance too.

    • Pearly says:

      I’ve seen this, and it’s totally worth checking out. I said it earlier, but there’s a lot of really cool things on the server that aren’t in this video.

      I mean, if everything amazing about our server had been in there, then the video would be four hours long, nobody would ever get to the end, and it still wouldn’t feature ll the coolest things about our server, which are the players.

  13. Vipermagi says:

    Always fun to see stuff one worked on or helped with.

    Autospleef at 4:10, a self-repairing field for spleefing purposes, with plenty lava to incinerate unlucky players. The redstone is mostly Latexink’s doing, we both worked a lot on the mountain itself (it wasn’t there when we started), and I did made of the obsidian/glass arena. Fun times.

    At 5:20, I did a little work on the obsidian district, Obscuropolis. Can’t see my little news stand though :P War and Fenixkane did most of the work, on all districts there. Xeropolis, the sand district, is well worth a long wander. Lots of stuff to see there.

    Also, glad you opted out of using the unfinished Underdome.
    (still worth a visit if you like minecarts, though! :P )

  14. Dys says:

    Watching this makes me feel both immensely proud to have been a part of that community, and humbled by my own efforts in the light of others’. I feel comprehensively beaten, but by such worthy opponents it’s impossible to regret. Perhaps I’ll come back some time and try to fill Gormenghast with as much style and complexity as I see throughout the video. I don’t believe I could ever do it justice.

  15. MrGamer says:

    I really like the Vault Tec Lava base.

  16. rayen says:

    okay wtf? where is all this stuff? and when was it built? i log on occaisionally when i play and the place is usually empty…

    Also cool stuff, might have to play when i’m done with half life 2 and bastion (and sonic generations if i can get the damn thing to work…)

    And finally what is that music? it would make a nice addition to the ipod i got for christmas.

    • Pearly says:

      Well, the big impressive church is at /warp twentyminster, for starters. A lot of this stuff is spread out in various places on the map.

      Head over to twentymine.com and take a look at the maps. That should give you some navigational goalposts. And don’t forget that while Shamus grabbed awesome views of a lot of our builds, there’s a ton and a half that didn’t make it into the video which is just as beautiful.

      A lot of this stuff has been around for months or longer”” I know at least one of the pictured builds has been there since I joined twentymine way back in the beginning. Others aren’t even familiar to me, so there’s always new cool things going up. Just be patient and make judicious use of the /warp function. You’ll find some cool stuff!

  17. Pearly says:

    Grinned like a loon to see the flaming baby pumpkin head on the left at the 6:45 mark”” and of course I love seeing all my own stuff in there, dragons and pearly tower and the ridiculous sheep and all. But on a less vain note, tt’s extremely gratifying to have Twentyminster see some screen time here on the blog.

    I watched him build that thing for a while, and you can hardly imagine the way the inside arches look with the roof off. It really is a amazing accomplishment in mathmatical beauty. I think the most persistent regret at the time of building was that the bells would have to be fashioned of gold blocks and therefore could not ring.

    Well, that and the lack of stained glass.

    I’ll let the creator claim his own glory, but suffice it to say that it’s really impressive that he showed up on the server and this was just about his first contribution. I really love this server.

  18. David Armstrong says:


    I RECOGNIZED IT OMG! You have to throw up a link or email me a copy of the mp3!

  19. HeadHunter says:

    NOTHING I ever build or do in Minecraft will be as impressive or cool or awesome as the things I have just seen.

    I might as well quit. :p

    (Seriously though, very impressive and beautiful work on that server! I’m awestruck by the time and creativity it must take to do those builds, and how the materials are obtained doesn’t change that in the least!)

  20. David Armstrong says:

    And was that supposed to be Aperture Science at the 6 minute mark? Looked good :)

  21. And once again my projects are passed over. :(

    Which makes sense, they’re completely unimpressive and old as hell! ;)

  22. JPH says:

    I know this is supposed to make me feel inspired to try to build my own impressive architecture, but instead it actually turns me off of the game.

    Makes me think, “Man, I’ll never build something that cool.”

    • ps238principal says:


      I still love the exploration. At least I did, until I spent untold hours unable to find a ding-dang Stronghold. And yes, I did use Eyes of Ender, I marked their paths with torches, etc.

    • AyeGill says:

      This. So very much this. Hell, i haven’t played for months.

      Actually, now that my Skyrim fever is dying down, i may try to get back in.

    • Cyanide says:

      It’s an easy feeling to get on Twentymine, sure. But you could probably just explore and not build anything and still get months of play out of Twentymine. Some of the coolest stuff I’ve seen is buried in the middle of nowhere, no warp or sign or anything, all half-finished like a ruin, making you wonder what it was supposed to be, like you’re some kind of archaeologist.

      Either way, don’t get discouraged. A lot of the people with builds in the video have much less impressive works elsewhere. Part of it’s inspiration, but part of it is patience and learning what works architecturally and what doesn’t.

  23. Bentusi16 says:

    Tucked away somewhere in the northern reaches of the land, past a sheer valley that used to be the edge of the world, stands a dwarf statue. Where once was a mountain, noble dwarf hands carved it away to leave this art.

    He stands tall, with an axe of diamond and shield of steel clutched in his arms, the weapon raised to the heaven. And he weeps tears of fire, for the lost dwarves.

    Actually I have no idea if its still there. Still, it was probably my most ambitious project in mine craft.

    • Vipermagi says:

      Deletion is exceedingly rare on Twentymine. We’d rather just double the map size yet again than remove something :p

      I pass by that statue quite often when just zooming across the map in game, but finding it on the twentymine.com/maps? No way. Funny how that works. Anyways, I am positive he’s still there, standing (relatively) tall and strong.

      • Rosseloh says:

        Huh, that makes me wonder if my old never-finished dungeon is still there. And the house I never got around to completing.

        Funny to think that it was over a year ago I was working on that thing (distinct memories from back when I was just moving in to this house, designing the maze on graph paper while sitting on the floor, because of the whole “moving in” thing).

        • .purf says:

          just another +1 to twentymine: your work is very much probably still there. I had not logged in for about a year as well – to my utter delight, today I found my 92% completed house just as I had left it.

  24. Spammy says:

    Oh. A cathedral. Yeah, yeah that’s a really pretty cathedral. Sure is nice.

    No no, I’m fine. If you need me I’ll be curled up in a ball inside the Bombthedral, weeping.

  25. Jakale says:

    That second to last building’s bridge has made me all nostalgic for Shadow of the Colossus now.

  26. cyber_andyy says:

    Honestly, datubman puts us all to shame. I just don’t see how he can do it. My builds never get past the ‘hey thats cool OMG new fenix/datubman project! /warp’

    datubman should do this as a job.

  27. Brandon says:

    Man, this really takes me back. It’s nice to see the server is still up — maybe I’ll hop on sometime. It’s also nice to see how the landscape has changed, while still keeping the familiar sights. Looking good, Twentymine!

  28. Dovius says:

    And once again I am amazed by the awesomeness of the builders on the server.
    And annoyed that the best I can build is a treehouse.

  29. Ralph says:

    Good to see my bridge featured, even if it is old hat now. Amazed it never suffered the bug where TNT appears and blows stuff up.

    • Clint Olson says:

      We actually have pretty good anti-griefing protection in place. We keep regular, automated backups of the world going all the way back to when the server started, we have a plugin that logs everything a given player does, and we can roll back a specific player’s actions should we find they’ve been succumbing to their baser urges. The mods also have access to WorldEdit and VoxelSniper, tools which make repairing larger-scale problems rather trivial.


      • Pearly says:

        This is in reference to a joke wherin an admiring/jealous Shamus compared his own bridge unfavorable to Ralph’s and implied that as a result of his skill, Ralph’s bridge might experience “accidental” destruction.

      • Gndwyn says:

        Yeah, and I think it’s utterly fantastic that you’ve made the backups available for anyone to download and fool around with on their own. Very few of these huge forum-community Minecraft servers do anything like it.

        Thanks a million times for that.

      • Dys says:

        You and all the mods deserve a hearty cheer for making everything on Twentymine possible.

        All together now…

        HIP HIP!

  30. Dourhands says:

    HA HA that was great. all three of my builds almost make it in to the video. they were all just outside the draw distance. oh, all that aside all the builds featured are amazing. good work.

  31. Zaxares says:

    I now know what Randolph Carter must have felt like when he first visited the Dreamlands. O.o

  32. Cain says:

    That was really fabulous. I thought I made some neat things when I used to play, but I just never could find the time to collect enough blocks to make anything so impressive.

  33. Airsoft says:

    Lovely video, But I can’t help thinking that however impressive Twentyminster is (and how impressive datubaman is for constructing it) that the video shouldn’t have ended on it, instead perhaps ending on the twentymine sign, something that cements the setting.

  34. Allan says:

    Everthing was of course very splendid, but that nether fallout vault is seriously awesome, unless you’ve turned ghasts off. Well it’d still be awesome of course but the effort would be slightly more impressive.

    By the way, are you sure slow clap? Perhaps it’s one of those transatlantic differences but I’ve always seen a slow clap as a sort of sarcasm, indicating you weren’t particularly pleased at all with the subject of the clapping.

  35. Thom Mollinga says:

    Oh my goodness… I haven’t visited the server in months. Must surely go for a visit right away. I see my treehouse is still there…
    The video is absolutely amazing. If you’d like to move around the world and see everything, that would take you hours, if not days I guess?

    • Vipermagi says:

      If you want to see everything, that’ll probably be more than a day, yes. :) There’s a list of warp locations on twentymine.com (http://twentymine.com/warps/) which’ll take an age to burn through alone, and there’s plenty of stuff without warps too.
      Good luck :P

    • Cyanide says:

      Put it this way: Taking drmastermind’s tour (warp “scenicwalk”) by minecart, going full speed the whole way, used to take close to an hour. That’s if you whip by the major points of interest, not descending or even slowing down to look at anything. It might be even longer now; I haven’t had time to check it out.

  36. Wes1180 says:

    I loved seeing something of my creation sort of on there, the large Britain balloon at about 0:49


  37. Datubaman says:

    I had a face-splitting grin when I saw my builds show up. Twenty Minster (they smoothstone church at around the 5:00 minute mark) and TwentyMine Abbey (the sandstone one that closes out the video) are mine. It’s a pity that he didn’t show the east end of Twenty Minster, it’s round.

    Both builds took me about a month to build, each. It’s good to see them used in official server promotional material. I’d also like to thank those who assisted in the preparation and construction of Twenty Minster and TwentyMine Abbey. Especially Latexink and Peter200lx, who have been immensely helpful in turning the flat walls of the pit into an amazing valley, a process that is still on-going. I’d also like to mention Flashfire, who made a giant 200x100x57 block pit for a guy who hadn’t had his build rights longer than a day. If there is one thing to say about this server and its community, it’s this:


  38. Axcalibar says:

    This server is no more I take it?

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