Minecraft Event!

Minecraft Lunt Fort builders 1So a few days ago (Sunday), I went to Lunt Roman Fort in Coventry, a small Roman fort that I really enjoyed going to, to build it in Minecraft! It’s actually amazing how they knew where the Roman buildings were. From just information about standard Roman fort models, and a few dents in the ground, they were able to recreate a large area of the fort, including a big gatehouse at the entrance. Inside, they also have a small (but scaled) model of the fort as it would have been long ago! Coming back to the gatehouse; it is the only rebuilt one of a possible three, and it is:

  • Two huge doors
  • Steps up a grass bank to the next level (you can actually go into it!)
  • This level runs around the whole fort, allowing for defending at any side.
  • Two ladders to a top level, presumably for lookouts (or possibly archers) to stand on. (This was slightly rotting, meaning I wasn’t allowed up)
  • Also, a moat/deep trench running around the fort, forcing invaders and visitors to use the main path, raised up to normal height

Minecraft Lunt Fort builders 2When I arrived (along with about 7 other people) we all connected to the internet, plugged our computers in, and joined a minecraft server. Oh, but not just any minecraft server. A dedicated, lunt roman fort server! We all quickly sorted ourselves into build teams of two or three each, and begun on a particular area, making reference to the scaled model. Some people filled in holes, others built houses, and I built a chariot racing arena. We added horses, (until someone’s computer became so slow that they had to kill them, D: ). I helped build the ‘Mystery Building’, a building that’s position and design were known, but not its purpose. It was two small buildings next to each other, with a small shed, all contained inside a large fence. We got most of the fort done, and building the gatehouse was the most fun/tedious part. How can it be both?, you say. Well, we enjoyed building it, but we had to keep checking, and fixing, and breaking and remaking it! In the end it looked great though.

Minecraft Lunt Fort

While we did this, another computer’s game was flown up high to look down on the build, and recording it. That means that soon, I will have (probably on youtube) a timelapsed video of the build! I watched it as we built, and it looks amazing! I’ll try to link to that, or at least add my own screenshots. Sadly, it is not my world, meaning I can’t leave a download link.

After we had done most of the build, however, the server was saved (ensuring our work was not lost) and restarted, and thus began the free-for-all! We all built bases and weapons (blowing up the fort in the process – don’t worry! We made a back-up world with it), then began fighting with about 3 people playing fairly, and 4 people cheating, flying and sitting in their unreachable base, as I tried vainly to get them down. In the end, we all just went on to the Hypixel server and played together.

On the whole, it was a great day with fun, building and merciless attacking of each other (in minecraft, obviously)!

Written by Jamie (11)

We came, we saw, we conquered…

Ist Night of LudiLuntFinally the weekend loomed. Final preparations were being completed on the morning of the 5th September at the Lunt Roman Fort in preparedness for those attending the weekend Roman Hackathon, Ludi Lunt.

Tents were pitched and friendships were made early in the evening. Later (as the sun set?), Culture Coventry CEO Gary Hall officially opened the event by welcoming those present. For those camping over the first night it was curry night – nice and spicy and washed down with a tipple of something.

On the Saturday, after a full English breakfast to get the creative juices flowing, Gary did the formal welcome to the site and introduced key people that were present. One of these was Matthew Ward (History Needs You and of Horrible Histories fame) who opened up with a resounding “Friends, Romans and Hackathon people….”

In the normal unconference manner, all were asked to introduce themselves before heading off to look over the site and generate some ideas. There was a wide range of people – staff from the Lunt and CultureCoventry, some from other Roman sites, students, technical people, historians, artists and performers, and those interested in family spaces – all adding up to a wonderful cauldron of experiences and suggestions for the site.

LudiLunt ideasAfter the site visit there was a “Pitch of initial ideas” – this was planned to last 30 minutes, but instead, due to the vibrant conversation and wide ranging ideas lasted for over an hour. We also had some great ideas from the younger generation representatives. The rest of the day was used to work on these ideas in groups or as individuals before the night’s festivities of Hog Roast, drinking, games such as Kubb and finally socialising around the campfire well into the night.

Most people have a lie in on Sunday. Not those attending Ludi Lunt… Many were up early to have breakfast and to squeeze in the last few hours work on finalising ideas, supporting the needs of others with their projects. To allow the judges to ponder over the great ideas, pitching was done before lunch so that the judges could deliberate, cogitate and speculate on the best ideas. 11 ideas were put forward from technical apps for smartphones to off line paper based games and using the open space for alternative uses (plays, music, performances, watching films etc) to areas for the younger audiences.

After a long time deliberating over the ideas pitched, the judges finally made their decisions as to what ideas should win prizes – however, everyone was a winner as all were rewarded with some token such as a bottle of wine and Ludi Lunt has promised to take on board all of the ideas put forward.

LudiLunt gatheringWhat a great success… just under 50 people turning up to the event from not only Coventry but further afield to have a great networking experience, making new friends and connections but also to come up with 11 main ideas that are now being progressed. In fact over 60 ideas were generated online and offline during the event, many of which will be developed further in due course. And for me (Sasha) what is the overarching achievement?… this was crowd sourced and driven by those passionate about improving the Roman Fort and the space around it.

Since LudiLunt we have already started working on one of the ideas, progressing the virtual world creation of the Lunt Roman Fort within Minecraft… further details to follow soon.

You can view photos from the event here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sashataylor/sets/72157647369152696/