Today I want to start a new project here at Infinite Lives. Over the PlayStation Experience weekend, I saw a few people sharing the Lootcrate Mega Man 2 items, including Game Informer writer Michael Futter sharing a really awesome pixel art of the Stage Select screen from the same game a fan made for him. Which got me thinking that I could do something like that too – even though art isn’t even close to the list of things I’m good with. I figured I have a bunch of old LEGOs, I can probably make something along those lines. But I wasn’t going to go with Mega Man 2 – it’s been done before. Instead, I wanted to go with my personal favorite game in the series – Mega Man 4. In particular, I wanted to create a scale replica of the portrait/mugshot of Pharaoh Man with my LEGOs. Well, I started that project last week and quickly learned that, even with a childhood’s worth of LEGOs, I’m woefully unprepared to make it work. But what I did decide to do was use the next best thing – Minecraft.
I’ve been a big fan of Minecraft since I first played it years ago. It’s both a wonderful outlet for creativity, and at the same time, there’s some pretty in-depth gameplay in Survival mode. I’ve never really sat down with Creative mode and made something before, but with Mega Man, a series that I really enjoy, I made the effort to sit down and do this. What started as a proof of concept for the LEGO project, making the portrait for Pharaoh Man with wool blocks. What I quickly came to realize was that since the LEGO project is a scope that’s a little beyond my current capability; thanks to the larger map size, Minecraft allows me to make an even bigger project. So with that in mind, I set off to create Mega Man Land, a whole world dedicated to the Blue Bomber. Last week I completed the first major component of the world – the stage select screen from Mega Man 4. It’s a scale replica – 256×224 pixels, 57,344 total blocks.
What I did come to learn in doing the stage select screen is that the current set of dyes in Minecraft is great for blues and greyscale – but reds are missing a good option for mid-range tones, and a light green option is a bit neon for some cases. As for going forward, I expect to explore some other options for certain tones – as it is, in the stage select screen, I ended up using sand as a flesh tone/light color. There’s also the issue of animals in the world – even using creative on a Superflat world. Because of that, each screen that gets built will be fenced in to keep the pigs and cows and sheep and chicken from sneaking on them. The first portion of the project, the stage select screen, was done – next up is the title screen for the game, followed by some detail work – each Robot Master sprite, along with the Blue Bomber using each weapon as well. After that is done – hopefully all this week – I’ll either be moving back in time to Mega Man 3 or hitting the next game (and the first I actually owned in the series) Mega Man 5. MM3 features a really detailed background to the stage select screen, with the title spelled out throughout the screen – while MM5 has a bit more detailed border to each Robot Master. Either one will feature a few difficult sections, but the payoff will be pretty sweet. I’ll have an update next Monday on Minecraft Monday.