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Planet Minecraft Interviews Kanokarob

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This interview was our 15th PMC Weekly Interview, featured in Volume 86! In this weekly, we interviewed kanokarob! We first noticed kanakarob on twitter, where he tagged us in a tweet that features his New in Town Data Pack. The Data Pack just passed 16,000 downloads and about 78,000 views in just 9 months! We were intrigued by the complexity and uniqueness of this story driven data pack - it's almost like its own game within Minecraft. Pretty Cool. If you look at the rest of his submissions you'll see add-ons for this data pack and a sneak peek of what's to come for the future of New in Town. We wanted to learn more, and what better way than an interview! We hope you enjoy reading and perhaps even learn something!

Minecraft/Personalized Questions

How did your Minecraft experience begin?

I started playing back in Alpha v1.2.2, as best I can recall. Before I bought it, I spent a few weeks playing the Classic Mode available for free on minecraft.net, trying to hide from flooding lava as my favorite minigame! When I learned that the Alpha release had minecarts, survival mechanics, and unlimited world size, I dropped everything to play it!

Do you still play Minecraft?

I do, fairly regularly. There was a good chunk of time where it was a very on-and-off relationship, but I've been playing almost every day, if not working on my projects!

Your most notable Minecraft creation is the New in Town data pack. What inspired you to create this data pack? Tell us your plans for the future of this pack!

New in Town started really as just the way that I wanted to play Minecraft. I started working on it back in 1.12, shortly after Mojang had introduced function files but before data packs were properly understood or supported by the community. Comparable mods like Mincolonies always felt to me as intruding on existing civilization rather than starting your own. The Tale of Kingdoms mod was definitely the closest to what I was looking for, but its kingdom construction, I felt, was too structured, and required an exhaustive early game of adventuring. It had a story which was ideal, but also took away a bit from standard Minecraft gameplay. It demanded attention. I wanted something modular, that fit seamlessly with what I was already going as I explored the Minecraft world, and I wanted it to feel like it was mine, that I was developing a base not because I could but out of necessity, for infrastructure.

The future of New in Town is looking expansive. What currently makes up the base New in Town pack -- Kingdoms, Counteroffensive, and Refugee -- are just the first three chapters, what is dubbed the Tyrant saga, as the player tries to protect their town from the immortal Wither, wrest the Nether from his clutches, and stop his invasion of the End. The Dimensions saga will take place in (at least) 4 new dimensions, utilizing a unique portal travel system that rewards exploration, to investigate and put a stop to the dark experiments of the Illagers hailing from the Tempest, and uncover their dark past...

Are you working on any Minecraft projects?

Most of my time right now is going into developing New in Town: Dimensions. This pack, currently available as a pre-release independent of New in Town, will eventually be roped into New in Town proper as one huge, lore and content-rich data pack. I'm aiming for this unification to come about alongside or soon after 1.17's launch. After that, the Dimensions of New in Town ill become its own separate pack, featuring just the dimensions for players to explore and enjoy without New in Town's story, not reliant on -- and indeed, incompatible with -- the base New in Town.

How has Minecraft influenced or changed you in real life?

It's expanded my desire to tell stories and create positive experiences for people! Both professionally and in my hobbies, I am always drawn to these two ideals, and Minecraft lets me explore and build on that.

Lately you’ve been creating new content and updating some older submissions. What’s motivated you to work on new projects after all of these years?

New in Town originally started in 1.12 before data packs were even a category on PlanetMinecraft, but I chose to set it aside for a while when the 1.13 snapshots started to show that the command structure was going to be changing dramatically. And, since New in Town was developed because it was how I wanted to play the game, I soon found that I didn't really want to play Minecraft much anymore without it.

Until the Nether Update was announced. That prompted me to get back into the game, and updating some of my older projects, like my not-especially-high-quality resource pack, and to remaster my adventure map Level 10, which showed potential but a lack of focus. However, I grew tired quickly of playing Minecraft without my preferred manner of gameplay, so when I saw all of the new mobs, blocks, and biomes Mojang was going to be introducing, I knew that I needed to dust of all my old files, relearn the new command structure, and get to work on polishing New in Town: Kingdoms, and actually creating the second chapter that had been planned for the Nether before the project was abandoned, "Counteroffensive." I resolved to release these first two chapters properly, in the now-existent data packs category, simultaneously with 1.16's release; which I did end up succeeding in.

We’ve discovered your YouTube channel, it looks like you post regularly! Do you do everything? From recording to video editing, etc or do you have a team? What advice do you have for anyone who is aspiring to become a YouTuber?

I do it all! I use Camtasia recording and editing software, a reasonably nice microphone, and do all my own stunts!

Back to the wall, my three main pieces of advice for aspiring YouTube personalities (of which I am still included in -- aspiring, that is!) would be:
  1. Don't skimp on quality resources. Halfway decent recording and editing software and a solid mic will go a lot farther than anything free. This doesn't have to be a barrier to entry, but you will thank yourself later for making things so much smoother on yourself.
  2. Upload consistently and regularly, even when you're only getting 2 views per video. If you're producing quality content, you will build an audience to tailor yourself better to more, but first you need videos for them to find and a library for them to stay for.
  3. Carve out a niche for yourself. Don't worry about following trends to start with, keep your videos on brand and consistent with one another, built on a personalized platform. If you have large project like I do with New in Town, focus on that. Build your audience first, then you'll have the traction to start gaming the YouTube algorithm.

What are your goals for your YouTube channel?

I'd certainly like for it to go somewhere! If I could sustain myself on Patreon supporters and YouTube, that would allow me to create more New in Town content and focus on really upping the quality of both the pack and my videos! For now, it's a hobby that I'm more than happy to keep up with.

You’re an author, too! Tell us a little about the book you’ve written and how that came to fruition!

I have three books actually, all available on Amazon! I had been coming up with ideas for superheroes and supervillains since middle school, and after 8 years I had an elaborate canon of cataclysmic events, origin stories, team-ups, and stores to tell--I had to write it down! Although superhero stories are generally left to comic books before moving to the silver screen, I was never much of an artist, so I resolved to put my writing talents to use! My skills have improved a lot since publishing Shatterbug in 2018, and I'm excited to try to build a career in writing!

Shatterbug, Lady Harrow, and The First Mortal Order are the first three installments of the Mortal Orders series, which chiefly follows Marco Nieve, a Mexican-American college student who is given a time-travelling suit of armor by a future version of himself. However, this time travel power isn't like most... rather than transport the user to a chosen point in time, the Shatterbug suit splits the wearer into three copies: one in the present, and one five minutes in the past and future! They communicate with each other through the suit, using their vision across ten minutes of time to come up with strategies and wear down their opponents! Marco uses this power to try to foil the plans of an impending "darkness," while also endeavoring to better the world in a non-vigilante manner, building a company to provide inexpensive and clean energy and destroy private chokeholds on power dependence/fossil fuels.

Lady Harrow follows its titular anti-hero as she works to uncover the secrets of an apparent zombie outbreak in the criminal underworld of Las Vegas. Although Shatterbug makes no appearances in this book, the events here are still affected by those of Shatterbug and its characters. Ultimately, Marco and Lady Harrow cross paths in The First Mortal Order, but I'll spare you of any more spoilers here... feel free to ask me about it!

Do you have plans to write another book? If so, what would it be about?

Ooooh yes. The Mortal Orders series will consist of eight books when finished! I'm working on the fourth book now, but of course I can't spoil too much yet. Rest assured that Marco Nieve, Lady Harrow, and several other characters all return to face a new enemy, far from home. If you're interested, the title of Book 4 is hidden in a puzzle in The First Mortal Order, just as that title was hidden in puzzles in the first two books!

PMC Questions

You just passed your 9 years on PMC. Thanks for being such a long time member! What’s made you stick around so long? What is it that you enjoy most about Planet Minecraft?

There really is no other place to browse such a large volume of Minecraft content and projects. From resource packs, to maps, to data packs and the like, nowhere else has really filled the niche the Minecraft community needs for sharing things like PMC.

What site update has been your favorite over the years?

Definitely the addition of the data packs category! Without it, New in Town might still be collecting dust in the Maps category!

Which PMC Pet is your favorite?

Wibbit! I've always been a frog guy.

How did you choose your username?

When young Robert signed up for his very first online community and created his first registered account, he wasn't very creative.

I joined a Bionicle community on the LEGO website called the Kanoka Club... "kanoka" was taken, so "kanokarob" was born!

What PMC submission are you most proud of? Why?

Oh definitely New in Town, of course! To see the amazing support that it has gathered and the community that's been built around it has been incredibly humbling. If you've tried New in Town, I really encourage you to check out the custom structure packs available here on PMC. I incorporated a way for New in Town players to easily create and share their own custom recipes and structures for New in Town's settlement, Nether Fortress, and End City construction, and it really makes me so proud seeing people take advantage of that!

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

I really look up to Hashs They're a quality data pack developer, and their personality and temperament made me feel a little more confident and optimistic when I was just getting back into the data pack community. Even if we didn't interact much until I was more entrenched, it was really useful to know that there were people to look up to and also just goof off and be a community with.

Fun Questions

What other video games do you enjoy playing?

I absolutely love the Elder Scrolls series! I've played Oblivion and Skyrim too many times to count, and I'm really looking forward to Elder Scrolls 6! I also really enjoy the Subnautica franchise. The team at Unknown Worlds are doing a fantastic job, and having been following Below Zero all through Early Access, I'm really excited for more people to find these games.

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

I listen to rock and metal, but mostly just in the car on the way to work and back. I'm not very exploratory in my music tastes or listening times, I just have my handful of songs and bands and my time in the car.

Describe yourself in 3 words!

Intelligent, compassionate, ambitious!

What’s your favorite food?

Sushi! Specifically Las Vegas Rolls.

Do you have any pets? (include pictures!)

I have on cat named Kano! Apparently I wasn't very creative when I got her 7 years ago, either. I've raised her from a kitten, and although she's a vicious brat, she's also my sweet little baby that I cherish every day.
Planet Minecraft Interviews Kanokarob

Are there any hobbies outside of Minecraft that you have?

My writing of course, and I'm also developing a new casino banking game! I can't talk much about it for patent reasons, but I have high hopes. I'm also a full time manager of two escape room stores.

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

I'd like to get into voice acting or even singing, but I don't think I have a very good voice for either, though I've been told otherwise. I also don't have as good a range as I used to.

Favorite quote or words of wisdom for the community? OR Do you have any advice for new members of PMC?

"Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind."

--Twelfth Doctor

Anything you'd like to add?

Thank you everyone for making me and the 100 million other players that have joined this community feel welcome and inspired. We all have so much to contribute to the grand history of Minecraft -- its many mega structures, hot resource packs, ambitious adventure maps, and data packs like New in Town. Also thank you to PMC and Cyprezz for recognizing me and New in Town and forcing me to talk about myself so much!

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02/24/2022 5:34 pm
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08/24/2021 10:49 am
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08/23/2021 4:47 amhistory
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Nice one, thanks for sharing with us mygiftcardsite.
08/22/2021 12:36 pm
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08/22/2021 12:36 pm
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ha ha booger
08/21/2021 5:52 am
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08/20/2021 9:52 am
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Superb man
08/14/2021 1:50 am
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nice one!
08/13/2021 10:57 am
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First reply yay :D
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The ExiIed FeIIow
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Would've said "no one cares" but this ain't Youtube, Twitter nor Reddit. This is PMC, a wholesome, nice & friendly website with absolutely no drama ( Well at least, I've not seen any for myself...). So I'll just leave ya alone instead.
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