Talk about a massive undertaking!
Spearheaded by aspiring architect Su Yujin, a 22-year-old native of Zhuhai in the southern province of Guangdong, the completed project is a wonder to behold.
Su’s Forbidden City covers over 100 million in-game blocks and is as authentic as possible, from the architecture to the furnishings.
When Su first signed on to help build the Forbidden City with other Minecraft players in 2013, he was genuinely just expecting to assist a team.
Slowly, other team members began dropping out of the project, and Su ultimately inherited the position of supervisor over this herculean task as he and one other person remained to painstakingly complete the pixelated palace.
To Su, this labor of love had a far greater purpose than just the thrill of learning about the palace; through his project, he hopes others will take a genuine interest in the Forbidden City and Chinese architecture as a whole.
To further this goal, he has consistently uploaded videos of the project to show continuous updates on Bilibili.com; with one of his videos reaching nearly one million views.
One roadblock Su couldn’t completely avoid was the off-limits parts of the Forbidden City — even a visit to the palace could not unlock the secrets of the areas that are kept away from prying eyes.
“Many areas are not open to the public,” he lamented. “And because of the exhibits, the interior decorations in the Palace Museum were not the same as how they originally appeared.”
Even though Su faced a lot of problems with team members dropping out and not being able to access the Forbidden City in its entirety to complete the project with 100% authenticity, he’s still extremely proud of what he and his small team have accomplished.
“I felt so lucky to be given the chance to build the Forbidden City in ‘Minecraft’,” Su said, and that “through this, I hope to impart some knowledge about architectural aesthetics and share my thoughts on architectural design.”
Su joins the ranks of other gamers who have dedicated years of their lives to creating masterpieces in video games.
In 2013, Andrew J. Velicky spent two years creating an in-depth mod for “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” called Falskaar.
Velicky was able to use his mod as a means to gain employment at Bungie, the developers of the iconic franchise Halo. It would come as no surprise if Su found a job in architecture or video game design as a result of his masterpiece.