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Gray Remnant Interviews kesteve

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GrayRemnant avatar GrayRemnant
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
Next up is kesteve, a terraforming master of the ages. Here's some interesting facts about him.

Fun Facts!
-kesteve joined PMC back in 2014, and since then has created 29 landscapes, 22 structures, 10 skins, and a blog.

-During his Minecraft career, kesteve has participated in 6 official PMC contests.

-To date, kesteve has accrued a YiR qualifier plaque, 2 gold medals, 1 silver medal, 4 bronze medals, and 16 ribbons on WiR.

-kesteve has obtained the Titan of Tectonics badge, a rare honor for terraforming that only 3 people have ever attained.

-kesteve finished in 5th place for the year of 2015 over on WiR.

Gray: Hello kesteve. Thanks very much for sitting down to talk with me today.

The main reason I’m interviewing you today is the fact that your landscaping style is so fresh and original. You just keep finding ways to surprise people. The biomes that you create are never the conventional ‘grassland’, ‘volcano’, or ‘tundra’ terrains that I see so often here on PMC. What inspires you to create these novel terrains?

kesteve: Probably the main inspiration for my terrains is from living in Colorado where I can observe the mountains whenever I want. Also, venturing further west has given me a love of all sorts of geological formations.

Gray: Many of your terrains are relatively large-scale, which allows you to develop interesting textures on the ground, and different material combinations to create new and unique patterns. Describe the process you use to create these terrains. Do you ever find it difficult to micromanage smaller details, while keeping the big picture in mind?

kesteve: First I get inspiration from something, open worldpainter, and make a map at about 2000 x 2000 blocks. This allows the largest map I can create and still run the Chunky program on my laptop. I normally start on the largest features of a map first, then zoom in to work on the smaller details.

Gray: My favorite terrain you’ve created is Gold Rush Island. The texture you were able to develop using a rather unconventional mixture of materials is nothing short of brilliant. How did you decide which materials to use? Did you conduct tests beforehand to determine which combination was most effective?

kesteve: Gold Rush Island was a continuation of an idea that started at a survival map I created (A Second Chance).

In my survival map, I wanted to try and maximize the amount of shade so that there were more locations for mobs to spawn (and make moving difficult). I turned up caverns and caves all the way up on worldpainter to see what it would do. The mobs did end up being spawned at many locations, but due to the large number of holes in the map, it was difficult for them to reach me.

After this, I came up with the idea of making a map that had a dark exterior while having a glowing interior. I had wanted to make a gold mining terrain, but wasn't sure how to make the tunnels easily visible. Because of the survival map I had created, the max caverns and tunnels allowed for easy observation and gave a nice glowing feel.

Gray: You’ve also done a series of terrains based on one of my favorite video games of all time: Paper Mario. I’ve seen a lot of people recreate that game in Minecraft, but never in the 3D, ultra-realistic style that you used. How did you go about creating a terrain that bears your distinct style, while capturing the feel of the game so effectively?

kesteve: During a recent organization of my closet, I rediscovered my old Nintendo 64 and decided to play some of the old classic games. Paper Mario 64 had always been one of my favorites and I quickly got pulled back into the game. While playing in Chapter 1, I thought about how nice the terrain would be if it were 3D. Using my normal routine, I set out to create a map that would look like the terrain of the chapter and have a layout similar to the way the chapter was actually laid out. When in doubt about how a scene had looked, Google came to the rescue.

Gray: Way back in the day, you used to primarily build structures in Minecraft. At what point did you discover you had a knack for terraforming? Was there somebody that inspired you to try it?

kesteve: I started playing Minecraft back in beta. I loved the feel of surviving in the wilds. Eventually my brother dragged me onto a classic server and I was introduced to multiplayer on a flatmap. Not having mountains or much change in topography pushed me to build them myself. Of course, the tools that I was exposed to back then was limited to hand placing blocks and command spamming spheres. Although these terrains weren't nasty looking, the lacked the feel of actual terrains.

I joined Planetminecraft in an attempt to strenghten my skills at building and see what others were doing. My terraforming at that point was so small scale, I didn't upload any of them. This is why most of my builds were of structures. My introduction to worldedit on a creative server (Insomniac Servers) reignited my love of terrains, but didn't fully drive me to change my whole building style. It was worldpainter that finally gave me a better way to create terrains and avoid the nasty spheres everywhere. The ability of worldpainter to use custom shapes made my toolbox go from circles and squares to whatever shape I could find on the internet.

I can't recall who it was that I saw using worldpainter first, but they had done a nice tutorial online to help get me started. lentebriesje had a nice custom tree repository that became a go to for my maps.

Gray: You have a series of terrains titled ‘Of Lands Forgotten’. Describe what you wanted to achieve with this series. Have you ever considered compiling these terrains into one large map or are they meant to be viewed separately?

kesteve: 'Of Lands Forgotten' was a series created mostly to allow more creativity for me. It allowed me to build unusual landscapes that made no sense. If no one had seen these lands before, or if these lands had been forgotten, Geology would not necessarily apply and I could make fun builds without having to worry if they made sense from a realism standpoint. I've never considered making a single map out of them (mostly since I wouldn't know how). If I did combine them, they would most likely exceed my memory /cpu limit for my laptop and I would not be able to render them myself.

Gray: Like me, I see that you aren’t very partial to build teams. Have you ever considered lending your terraforming abilities to a team effort, or do you prefer to work alone? Or do you simply lack the time and/or connectivity to engage in that sort of activity?

kesteve: I've worked in “build teams” before (never any professional ones though). Most of the time was spent talking about what to make (good), trying to build at the same time (bad), then complaining about what the others had done. These teams didn't usually render a nice project and often took too much time. I realize that professional build teams are probably more structured and more effective, but due to time constraints for me, I've decided to forgo build teams for a while.

Gray: Of all the maps that you’ve created, which one is your perfect idea of paradise? If it were possible, which one would you chose to live in?

kesteve: I think my idea of paradise and the one I'd love to live in are one and the same. Cabin in the Mountains was a small build I did about 9 months ago in which I created a small mountain scene in which a cabin was situated deep in the mountains next to a stream and waterfall. Growing up in Colorado allowed me to experience many of the Rocky Mountians' wonders. Every so often when you're hiking, you'll turn the corner into the most beautiful meadow you've ever seen. Each location has a beautiful uniqueness to it. My desire has always been to live in a cabin in the mountains and one day I hope for it to come true.

That about wraps it up. Thanks very much for stopping by! This concludes the interviews that I've had left over from YiR, but maybe I'll do some more in the near future. Who knows.


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03/06/2016 6:48 pm
Level 45 : Master Crafter
mick_5 avatar
Cool interview
03/08/2016 6:15 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant avatar
Thanks dude.
03/06/2016 12:57 am
Level 18 : Journeyman Explorer
RenegadeRad avatar
Dolan Drunpf
03/05/2016 7:05 pm
Level 48 : Master Fox
Orbiter avatar
Is he on the O'Reilly Factor? xD
03/06/2016 1:25 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant avatar
No, it was at a debate. I don't know why it says 'O'Reilly Factor' tbh.
03/06/2016 11:16 am
Level 48 : Master Fox
Orbiter avatar
Ah, whatever. Great interview, Gray. :D
03/05/2016 6:02 pm
Level 54 : Grandmaster Sailor
tillwill avatar
oo nice
do me next
03/06/2016 1:25 am
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant avatar
Lol, I'll add you to the growing list. :P
03/05/2016 1:02 pm
Level 9 : Apprentice Network
SteamFan avatar
Love the picture. I like the interview as well... wish i got one. maybe when i get to level 40...
03/05/2016 5:34 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Senpai
GrayRemnant avatar
Thanks, dude! Probably some day in the near future. ;)
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