Mere days after suffering devastating blows from hackers, World of Warcraft’s fictional land of Azeroth saw new life—in the popular world-building game Minecraft.
On Oct. 7, Minecraft player Rumsey posted on the game’s forums that his project, “Crafting Azeroth,” was ready for its beta release. The project is his attempt at recreating the entirety of World of Warcraft using Minecraft’s famous blocks.
The fact that it was released on the same day that hackers destroyed a large chunk of the real WoW game world is entirely coincidental.
Rumsey didn’t build his Minecraft version of Azeroth entirely by hand—a process that would likely take a single player more than a lifetime. Instead, he wrote some very smart software to translate landscapes from WoW to Minecraft.
He explained the process in a FAQ:
“I developed software to convert the continents of World of Warcraft into Minecraft blocks using a process known as voxelization. The software converts everything in the game, including all the buildings and natural details, down to the individual tree stump.
I needed to match textures from World of Warcraft to the appropriate material in Minecraft. For example, an object with a wooden texture might be converted into wooden planks, while an object with a mossy texture might be converted into mossy cobblestone. I created a special program to help do this assignment, but selecting materials for all 10,000+ textures in the game still required many hours of work.”
Rumsey released a full gallery of his work on the project as well as “before and after” screenshots that compare “Crafting Azeroth” with the actual World of Warcraft.
His map is 275 square kilometers in size and contains over 68 million Minecraft blocks. Users wishing to download the map for local play will need to free up 24GB of hard drive space.
“Crafting Azeroth,” first announced by Rumsey in February 2012, currently features Azeroth’s Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor.
“Work has already started on Outland and Northrend, and I plan to convert other regions such as Tol Barad and the Lost Isles as well,” he wrote in the FAQ.
Photo via post-apocalyptic research institute/Flickr