An epic city build, 4.5 years in the making!

Broville is something of a Minecraft institution. This city build been with us in various forms since the early alpha, growing in ambition with every version release. Last week, version 11 – which by itself took a team of more than 60 contributors four and half years to build – was announced as complete and sent out to fend for itself on the wild internets.

It’s an astonishing piece of work, not just because it’s big, beautiful and busy with brilliantly realised details, but because it so nicely fits the game it’s in – acknowledging Minecraft’s own terrain generation, simulation and scale, rather than flattening everything out to a blank canvas.

I sat down with Oldshoes, Broville’s key creator, and his cat Pretzel, to talk about how the project came together. (Admittedly, Pretzel didn’t contribute much to this conversation directly.) Did Oldshoes always know what a massive project this was going to become?

“It turned out roughly two times as large as I thought it was going to originally,” he says. “People were always asking me: how do you know when it’s done? You can’t really answer that. But it got to the point where me and Golonka – who is second-in-command, so to speak – we narrowed it down and just said, well, I guess we’re almost there. Then it just kinda happened! Two weeks after we said that we released the map.”

Watch the release trailer below: