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Planet Minecraft Interviews Captain_JEK

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Level 96 : Overlord Cake
This interview was our 17th PMC Weekly Interview, featured in Volume 89! In this weekly, we interviewed Captain_JEK! You may know Captain JEK from their small, whimsical vehicles or perhaps their larger, more complex builds. They've been a member of Planet Minecraft for nearly 3 years and has made 326 submissions during their time here. They've inspired many members to think outside the box using a unique technique when building on small scale; using banners, item frames, trapped doors and other blocks to add details. They have over 50 trophies and have participated in several contests and events. We wanted to know more about where they draw inspiration from, their creative process, and what it was they love so much about vehicles!

Minecraft/Personalized Questions

How did your Minecraft experience begin?

I attended a physics seminar in 7th grade with a friend of mine where we met a guy who played Minecraft during the breaks. For some reason it was extremely mesmerizing watching him build a mob farm. Not long after I got Minecraft myself and built my own mob farms.

Do you still play Minecraft?

Yes, every time I’ve got a good idea for a build.

Are you working on any Minecraft projects?

Yes, but it heavily depends on the ideas I have.

Sometimes, the blockiness of Minecraft becomes all too apparent as well and I need to take a break from looking at blocks all the time.

Some people would consider you the pioneer in small scale vehicle builds. What inspired you to create small, whimsical vehicles like this?

I wanted my vehicles to be useful and immersive. I wanted that if I you stand next to a vehicle of mine you get kind of the same feeling as you would get if you stood next to it in reality.

To achieve this, the Minecraft vehicle’s size had to be close to the real vehicle’s size.

What’s interesting though, a block in Minecraft is supposed to be a cubic meter in reality but it feels much smaller than a real cubic meter. If you stand next to a 1000 litre water tank in reality (which is very close to a cubic meter) you will notice how big it is. Blocks in Minecraft don’t feel that big.

This is the reason why I build my vehicles slightly bigger than 1:1. So, I don’t build my vehicles to be accurate in size but to convey a convincing feeling.

You also build some large scale vehicles. Was this a progressive transition? How did you learn to build on such large scale after building on such small scale for so long?

Honestly, it wasn’t that much different. I built my large vehicles pretty much the same way I build my small vehicles because my large vehicles also are built on a 1.5:1 or even 1:1 scale.

My large vehicles also should feel realistic in size when you stand next to them. This means that they need all the little details like bolts, knobs or handles just as much as the small vehicles.

So, I used the same building techniques as for small vehicles. I just had to fill a larger volume.

Is your approach/creative process different when building small as opposed to large?

When I build large machines I often build the parts that would move as one piece first and „assemble“ them later with World Edit.

Engels from my submission „Marx and Engels“ is the best example for this because it has many moving parts. I built many of Engels’s parts separately in midair before I copied and „mounted“ them to the torso or the part they were connected to.

When I build small vehicles I don’t need to subdivide them, I can build them as a whole right away.
Planet Minecraft Interviews Captain_JEK

Which style do you prefer to build (small or big)?

Both are fun in their own way.

Building small vehicles is fun because you get rewarded with something cool to look at much quicker but sometimes I’d like to work on an ongoing project that I can add to day after day and I really enjoy seeing it grow.

It always is a little bit sad when it’s finally finished and there’s nothing left to add. It’s like leaving a person you’ve spent a lot of time with. The vehicles develop something like their own personality.

What exactly is it about vehicles that you like the most? Why do you gravitate towards this specific genre of building?

I like the idea of a journey, of constantly being on the move. But I would also like to have some sense of security. Vehicles support you on your journey, give you shelter in bad weather or protect you from angry animals, they let you go where you couldn’t have gone by foot.

I guess this is why I like vehicles in general.

In the particular case of building vehicles are so great because they can have almost any size, shape or color so I can build something different every time. However, they still are influenced by gravity most of the time, so their structure has to make sense somehow. They’re not as much freestyle as spaceships for example, but these small boundaries like the influence of gravity actually help with making a vehicle look good because the brain likes things that make sense.

Do you like cars in real life? If yes, share with us your favorite one :)

I’m not so much into cars but I really like semi trucks, especially custom Peterbilts. They just look so good.

Cars are a little too small in my opinion, I’d rather be operating something heavy.

Planet Minecraft Interviews Captain_JEK

PMC Questions
What is it that you enjoy most about Planet Minecraft?

The chill atmosphere and everyone’s openness. Nobody pressures me to do anything, I can just be here and do whatever I’d like to do whether it’d be looking at what other people have made or showing off my own creations or reading the forum headings just to see what crazy things people discuss again.

Which PMC Pet is your favorite?
Bumbee because it looks adorable how it floats in the air vertically eating honey.

You’ve participated in several contests, being a finalist in 8 of them and landing third place in the Superhero & Supervillain Homebase Project Contest. Which Contest was your favorite?

The Space Exploration contest because I got to build the Kapisi which is one of my favourite vehicles of all time.

The Homebase contest actually was my second favourite because the theme almost asked for a mobile base so I knew immediately what to do and devising what the truck would look like was fun as well.

The Nether contest was cool, too because I could just build something crazy that ties in with the story. I generally like it if contests have a story involved because it gives me some guidance for what to build.

You also submit several entries into the Events we host. Which seasonal event do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy the winter event the most because there always are snow or winter related vehicles I didn’t build yet, so I can always contribute something to the event.

Second best is the summer event because it’s harder to find summer related vehicles but it's still possible.

Finding vehicles that are specifically related to spring or autumn is much more difficult, though.

I’d rate autumn third because sometimes I get an idea for a Halloween vehicle but I rarely know what do do for the spring event, so that one's last.

How did you choose your username?

I liked steampunk for a long time and tried to create a steampunky name. Since airships are common in steampunk airship captains are as well. Also, I liked the idea of being an airship captain. That’s where the Captain came from.

JEK are the first letters of my three real names and I thought it would be a nice play on words if I called myself Captain_JEK because it sounds like Captain Jack Sparrow’s name from Pirates of the Caribbean whose eccentricity and unexpected genius I admire.

What PMC submission are you most proud of? Why?

Definitely the
Kapisi because it is the largest vehicle I have ever built. I also used some building techniques for the first time there, for example the wall shading inside the hangars to make the lighting appear more realistic. I didn't build many angled things before, so the runway across the Kapisi's deck was new, too.

On another note it is one of my favourite vehicles of all time because it embodies the idea of a journey into the unknown so well.

Not to mention the designers from Blackbird Interactive did such an amazing job on the Kapisi’s design. It looks so awesome from every angle. That’s pretty rare. And I love the concept of a land-based aircraft carrier that’s literally a rolling fortress. If I could be anything I wanted, I’d be captain of the Kapisi (or another Sakala-class carrier).

Planet Minecraft Interviews Captain_JEK

Is there a specific member that inspires you or you look up to? Who/Why?

There are a few but I guess the most important ones are CraftyFoxe because he made me believe that everything can be built in Minecraft, no matter how small it is, Yazur because he made the best looking trucks I have ever seen and Spazza27yt Tutorials because he was a great inspiration to me when I started making vehicles. He is very good with small vehicles like motorcycles, too.

Fun Questions
What other video games do you enjoy playing?

Games I played and enjoyed besides Minecraft in no particular order:

Bioshock: Infinite
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
Planetside 2

Games I didn’t play but watched entire let’s plays just to experience the story:

Nier: Automata
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Portal 1 and 2

What genre of music is your favorite? Do you listen to music while you’re creating in Minecraft?

I listen to many genres of music. The most prominent ones are Future Bass, EDM, Melodic Dubstep, House, Glitch Hop, Chillstep, Rock and Pop, I guess.

Yes, I always listen to music when I’m at my computer. It helps me block out the world around me and live in a fantasy world far, far away.

Describe yourself in 3 words!

Contemplating literally everything

Do you have any pets?

Yes, a cat that sleeps almost as much as me.

Are there any hobbies outside of Minecraft that you have?

Sleeping. A lot of sleeping xD

Is there any new skill that you’ve been wanting to try, but haven’t had the chance to yet?

No, not really. The skills I have were sufficient for everything I wanted to do so far.

Favorite quote or words of wisdom for the community?

Be curious, learn as much as you can about as much as you can because knowledge is power.

Anything you'd like to add?

Thanks for giving me this opportunity to talk a little about myself. Have a great day


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10/01/2021 12:51 am
Level 36 : Artisan Procrastinator
Bioluminescence avatar
Y'all members of Planet Minecraft are doing interviews nows!!! Since when my lovely dudes! Great work by the way ☆
10/01/2021 9:29 am
Level 96 : Overlord Cake
PMC avatar
Since 2018! You can check out this collection full of member interviews :)
09/20/2021 8:40 pm
Level 3 : Apprentice Miner
AccensionPlayzMinecraft avatar
You have a Cat?! Jealous!
10/02/2021 1:24 pm
Level 83 : Elite Hero
Captain_JEK avatar
Yep ^^
09/14/2021 9:43 am
Level 3 : Apprentice Network
MinecraftIndex avatar
Captain_JEK builds are great
10/02/2021 1:24 pm
Level 83 : Elite Hero
Captain_JEK avatar
Thanks :)
09/11/2021 7:03 am
Level 41 : Master Nerd
KrissieFox1 avatar
It was nice to see y'all do an interview with them! Captain JEK is very friendly and I really love their pretty vehicle builds.The details are always so cool! :)
10/02/2021 1:25 pm
Level 83 : Elite Hero
Captain_JEK avatar
Thanks a lot!
09/11/2021 4:08 am
Level 1 : New Explorer
TheCastle28 avatar
Keep It Up, Comrade. Thank You For All The Amazingly Fantastic Builds You've Made For The Community :D
See You Soon, Mate.
09/11/2021 5:46 am
Level 83 : Elite Hero
Captain_JEK avatar
Thanks ^^
Planet Minecraft


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