Re-creating games in Minecraft is not a new concept. There have been plenty of popular titles made working with nothing but Minecraft commands. Sometimes though, creators take it to the next level. That’s exactly what’s happening with the recreation of Valve’s Portal 2 by Ersatz.
Over 2 years have passed since the development of the project began, and it’s still far from being complete. Commands in Minecraft are constantly changing, albeit for the better, making it a challenge to keep up.
Using Minecraft commands to develop a game may be somewhat clumsy, but it has a big advantage: millions of players can download and play without any kind of mod installation required. Simply move a world save to your game folder and you’re good to go. Every version brings changes and additions to commands, as Minecraft becomes more and more focused towards community-content. 1.12, the current version, brought a new system called ‘Functions’, making workflow even easier.
I got into Minecraft mapmaking around the time command blocks were added to the game. One day I was browsing youtube and I saw a trailer of Sethbling’s TF2 map. At the time I didn’t think anything like that was possible in vanilla Minecraft, and I wanted to try making my own map.
For years I didn’t know what map I wanted to make. I’ve never been the best at developing original ideas, but I was browsing youtube when I came across someone named Adrodoc55. He had the most accurate Portal Gun using commands that I had ever seen. Portal 2 is one of my favorite games of all time and I haven’t seen any detailed and accurate recreations of it, so from there I had the idea to recreate Portal 2.
Command Blocks, which came out over 5 years ago have been what introduced many to creating content within Minecraft. This concept eventually evolved so much that most people consider Minecraft’s Commands a programming language. While it is lacking some important features and require usage of some hacky methods, Commands have become advanced, and constant improvement shows no sign of stopping.
I think commands as they are now are really easy to work with and are all around great. The only improvement I want to see is a finalized syntax so you don’t have your entire map break due to the syntax of a certain command being slightly changed.
It’s not just Commands though. Using Minecraft’s native Resourcepack system it is possible to add custom assets to the game, including custom models. In fact, most of the work on this project revolves not around programming but rather around making custom assets.
There are over a thousand different models and around seven hundred textures aswell as sound files. The resourcepack itself is over 300MB in size. The majority of the time spent is on modelling, with one of them taking up to a whole month creating. (That’s the one on the headline, yes!)
I make my models in Cubik Studio and Qubicle. While I’m modelling, I’ll have Valve’s Source SDK open so I can easily reference the model I’m trying to make. In order to access a lot of the assets from Portal, I’ve used VTFEdit, GCFScape, and Rad Video Tools. Textures are usually made/edited in Gimp, but I primarily use Photoshop. I haven’t had to make many sound assets for my map, but I have used Vegas Pro to make audio loops.
Ersatz has joined Xiantis back in late March 2017, just a few days before the merger with Astrium.
I wasn’t even intending on joining a team at all in the first place, but I really liked the group in general, and all the maps they have made so far have been very good, with many of them on Realms. (I also thought they could use more models in their maps)
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“Portal 2 In Minecraft”
Our first article, written by @Misterx7772.
— Astrium (@AstriumCreative) July 30, 2017