Dear Nerdfighteria! Player towns are back and here is a first suggestion for one: the Solarpunk town. If you're in for a long-read on conceptual understanding of architecture and literature, open the spoiler tags, but... eh, I can rant a bit sometimes. I just didn't want to toss this bit out even though it's not a great read. Spoiler: What is Solarpunk? This is not an easy question to answer to begin with, but please stick with this little theoretical description – or alternatively, skip right ahead to the pretty drawings made by various artists who are not me down below (edit: woopsie will probs upload that tomorrow). Solarpunk is a speculative literary genre, which means as much as “so far, there haven’t been any major literary works of this genre, but we find it important to discuss regardless.” Like other -punks, a trend that started with Cyberpunk and sparked derivations like Steampunk and Dieselpunk, Solarpunk is a science-fiction genre that predicts/envisions a future society. Unlike Cyberpunk at that, Solarpunk’s message is by definition utopian, and envisions a future world in which humanity has overcome its desire to discriminate, fight wars, or consume natural resources – a society that learns to live in harmony with nature without eschewing technology. Common themes at that are a literal and figurative diversity of colours, embracing technology and urban living, a turn towards local communal living together, and replacing labour and consumerism with a low-consumption durable circular economy run on creative hobbyists and assisted by multifunctional robots. And of course, all powered by sustainable energy, primarily solar. Most of ideas of Solarpunk lie in an aesthetic that goes along with that conceptual understanding and it banks very heavily of a neo-Art-Nouveau, which btw I think is the greatest architectural style ever. Art-Nouveau was a total art style (Gesammtkunstwerk is an Art-Nouveau related concept) comprising every field of design from architecture to graphic design to jewelry that responded to various neo-styles that popped up following the Restoration in Europe. Rather than look and imitate the orderly and rule-bound forms of the past (Neo-classic and Neo-Baroque), Art-Nouveau actively worked itself free from those traditional rules and found new rules by observing beauty found in nature, then deriving its own ruleset from there. Art Nouveau artworks are always intentionally asymmetric, but balanced, with geometric shapes formed out of seemingly chaotic lines forming a greater structure when one squints their eyes. Their ornamenture is integrated into the structure, yet complex (unlike modernism which rejects ornamenture, or Baroque which adds it onto the main structure) and there is a rhythm inside how it is applied, with the smaller elements reverberating throughout the whole. We see this in architecture that has curly ironwork ceilings that imitate vines or a forest canopy, swirly pillars, stained windows that mimic the veins on a mosquito’s wings, and smooth curves everywhere. Also, art-nouveau embraces colour. Whilst for today's standards these buildings may not seem radical, in the 19th century they totally were. I'm envisioning with this Solarpunk town that we'll try to work off that Art-Nouveau style but in a retrofuturistic kind of way. With it we can encapsulate exactly that kind of low-scale detail that makes such a style cozy and emphasizes its local, human scale, but also plan it out enough to guard the big line, and make a Minecraft town that is itself a Gesammtkunstwerk. It'll be difficult as heck, it'll require that our concept phase is fleshed out as can be, but its end result... will be spectacular, and unlike any other town. We'll have that small scale detail, and that large scale wholesomeness - it'll be complete and harmonious. We've never really had much of a team behind this project and with the new format of player towns it feels fitting to keep it that way, so I would just like to open this thread for everyone to throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. I'll do the same. (I’ll stress the ideas here not as “ours” but as “mine” for this very reason, but would like to stress that this town belongs to all of you and where we’ll take it is something we’ll make together.) Post pictures, discuss styles, ideas, plans - and bear in mind nothing is set in stone, this can still go anywhere.