3 Seas Europe
31. 3. 2023
Brno Squared Away, Minecraft-Style
The goal was to model the Faculty of Informatics of Masaryk University for the open days door during covid. The surroundings of the Faculty seemed a bit empty, so we decided to create a few buildings... and in the end it grew a bit more. During the hackathon #HackujBrno we added the whole city of Brno. With the support of data.Brno, we can now provide you with a publicly available server.
In short, the whole city is automatically generated. We use a database full of publicly available data and a few clever algorithms. Thanks to this, you can now learn something about Brno directly in Minecraft.
The core of the entire system is the Generator, which essentially replaces the default Minecraft world generator. It is truly a Generator with a capital G, because it does all the work for us. Instead of generating the Minecraft world as the game expects, it is connected to the geodatabase where data from data.Brno and OpenStreetMap are stored. Our database has around 8GB and contains not only the positions of various important features that you will find in our world. In addition, there are additional information, such as the height of buildings or the type of their roof. Thanks to this, we don't have to build the entire city by hand, but we can just make a small change in the code to change how the city will look.
It is beautiful to see each of your errors "built" right in front of your eyes. And trust me, there were a lot of errors. Roofs were particularly challenging, often looking more like art than roofs. If you are interested, you can see how Brno might have looked.
The work, however, does not end here. Although the world is generated "on demand" (when a given chunk is visited for the first time), it would be very performance-intensive to operate the final server this way. In order to provide a smooth experience for all visitors, we had to pre-generate the map. We expected it to take like a day, but in the end the entire map was generated in almost a week, which was caused namely by the surrounding forests and the Brno dam. The pre-generated world of Brno now has around 20x20km (about 10,000 blocks from the center of Brno on each side) and occupies a total of 13GB.
In addition to the generator, we also programmed a Runtime plugin that ensures the server operates as it should. It refills treasures scattered across the map, transports players between worlds, and also has several Easter Eggs.
We are a team of two friends who like to create with code. We believe that people learn the most by doing, which is also one of the principles of scouting education. We are both computer geeks, we both love nature and we both like to help people learn new things.
I currently study a Ph.D. at Faculty of Informatics, Masaryk University and I focus my research on designing and creating applications for education in collaborative virtual reality. After studying bioinformatics bachelor degree, I started to dive into generative design, VR, and computer graphics. Lately, I have been into indie games development and finding ways how to use computer games for education and collaboration. Apart from programming and educating myself, I am also a keen musician and I love to dance and do sports. I really enjoy creative activities such as generative design and music composition. I also learned a lot (e.g., about leadership) by working with young people at church and by being part of the scout movement.
Hi, my name is Jonáš and I am a master's student in Visual Informatics at the Faculty of Informatics, Masaryk University. My area of expertise is web application development and I stumbled upon writing Minecraft plugins by accident while working on a project in the HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) laboratory. That was about a year ago and this new world mesmerized me. Apart from the information technology, I enjoy spending time in nature or with friends around a campfire. I might have gained this close relationship with nature from my experiences as a counselor in the nonprofit organization Duha AZ.
Petrov nebo Špilberk vytvořený z digitálních kostek. Studenti postavili Brno v počítačové hře Minecraft. Dvojice studentů vytvořila věrnou kopii Brna ve hře Minecraft, jedné z nejpopulárnějších počítačových her všech dob. Projít nebo třeba přetvořit se dá velká část města, nahlédnout lze i do jeho podzemí.
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