It's been almost a month since we chronicled the siege of Creepertown here at GayGamer.net, and after a little vacation from writing Minecraft Monday articles, I felt this was the best place to return - and wow, how it's changed. You may remember that Creepertown was quite small when it was founded, in fact there wasn't much to it at all:
We stumbled upon an island rising out of a lake - it looked from afar, if memory serves, like half an egg laid on its side. I said something off-hand, like "This reminds me of some islands where I go camping" and reech decided we would build another outpost here - wooden cabins to mark our progress at Camp Island. By nightfall three were almost built. Almost. That's when the siege began.
Night after night of bombardment by creepers convinced us to name Camp Island "Creepertown". Originally a distant satellite outpost of Sigil's main lake district, Creepertown has been inhabited by some industrious newcomers to the server, players who have left quite a mark on the map.
Check it out, after the jump.
Immediately after setting out it was apparent how much had changed. One of the first sights to greet me was an imposing, glowing monument to the heat-seeking creepers that still inhabit the island. Moreover, the pock-marked landscape I was used to had been gutted and the structures that had been on the island since Creepertown's founding were gone, replaced in some cases by loving replicas, and in others by entirely new structures.
As the sun rose, a ring of new buildings in a circle around the lake that surrounds Creepertown revealed themselves. One of the first additions that struck me was a subway terminal that connects the remote island to the major areas of the map - including the spawn point, the exact location from which we set out on our first Tuesday adventure, on a day when we had no idea we would find Creepertown. It took ages to walk there, and now a rail line can take you there while you organize your inventory, or run for a bathroom break.
While the new buildings here are marvelous, I was at first left pining for the low-lying woodlands that used to be here. Funny that even though this place is nothing more than an idea stored in a hard drive on a server far away, I nonetheless feel protective of it. While I'm always happy to see new faces, and while many of Sigil's new builders are some of the most creative people I've met while playing this game, something inside me still feels sad when I see a tree cut down or a hill leveled, as though the tree were part of a real forest, or the hills were the actual wilderness. It's ridiculous of me, but I guess I want all these fantastic people to join and build their amazing buildings, yet I want Sigil to be all mine too. I want to be friendly and social, and I want to be greedy as well.
Perhaps it is the remoteness from the older parts of Sigil that has spurred such inspired building around Creepertown. It reminds me of the first few weeks of the server's existence, when everything was new and all the players were vibrating with creativity. Now, the older part of town is quieter, the imprimatur of the longer-term players having been impressed on it, and with little room for growth. It's the same on other servers in which I've played; the flurry of growth is ever at the margins, and for new players the centre of town can feel a bit imposing - the cluster of enormous projects and manicured countryside standing in for the clique of players you'll have to join. Then, when you break out in to the wilderness you can find a place to make your own mark, new trees to punch and new ground to dig.
Even Creepertown itself can be divided in two areas: The island, the part we old farts colonised seemingly ages ago, and the ring around it that the new blood has turned in to a flurry of construction. I'm probably waxing too philosophical here, but observing the life of a server has become one of the most interesting things I do in Sigil.
In our next entry I hope to introduce you to some of Sigil's residents, and I guarantee you won't have to wait as long between installments. With any luck we'll soon see a release of 1.6 and I can bring you news of trap doors, multiplayer Nether, and all the other good stuff that Notch says is in store.
As always, if you have a favourite video or construction that you'd like to see featured in Minecraft Monday just shoot me an email. Until next time, don't stop punching those trees.