These days, high resolution texture packs are nothing unheard of and available in many shapes and forms. Ranging from vanilla inspired ones to specific themes, such as Glimmar's Steampunk and Silent Hill. But would it be possible to do the opposite; to create a low resolution pack? Well, it sure is, and this pack is the solid proof!
As stated earlier, PrimeCraft consists of textures with a resolution of only 7x7, which is much lower than the vanilla 16x16. Surprisingly, the end result is not even that bad. Most likely, this is because the game is blocky to begin with. The colour scheme helps too, being exactly the same as the original. From far away, it is not even that noticeable that we are looking at a custom pack.
Texture packs can be installed easily by using Curse's very own client. After opening the client, navigate to the "Get More Textures" page, type the name of the texture pack in the search box, select the pack of your choice and hit the install button. Be sure to patch your game using MCPatcher, or else some of the pack's features will not work properly.
We also had the chance to hold an interview with WeeHeeHee, creator of PrimeCraft. Read on to learn more about the development process behind the pack!
How did you get into Minecraft?
I was given a 'cracked' edition by a friend at highschool and thought the game was - honestly - not that good. But surprise surprise, I found a 'cracked' server! That's what got me hooked and eventually I bought a premium account shortly after Beta 1.7 was released.
What server do you play on, and would you like to tell us more about it?
I play on a variety of servers; I have a private one hosted in Sydney because bandwidth in New Zealand is horrendously expensive and I wanted a friendly environment to build whatever I wanted and play with friends. I also play on a hardore Factions server (called Hardcore Factions, funny enough) and that's where I picked up the 'sheep guy' persona. I had some American buddies on there who have since left, and they figured that since I was a Kiwi, I loved sheep. I just took it from there and ran. Finally, I play on Project Ares because there are some very strong links between that and Hardcore Factions.
What made you decide to become a texture artist?
It all started from the sheep. I produced a customized pack that was sheep-themed called Shee-PvP.
and I played with that all the time. It was, as I put it, the 'best PvP texture pack for sheep-lovers' and if you want to win 101% of your fights with cows, I highly recommend it.
What was your inspiration for this specific project?
But that wasn't really a real pack - it only had a few textures in it. What really got me going was this reddit post, to which I responded and the Reddit community seemed to be offering me raw karma in exchange for a real 7x7 pack. Then with a little motivation from my friends, I began the long journey of creating PrimeCraft.
How did the community respond to the pack’s first public release?
The (priceless) Reddit karma kind of speaks for itself. All in all, I received around 3000 points from generous Redditors and I felt like I had started something new: I spawned a grand total of one front-page post in response!
Roughly how much time did you spend on the initial version of PrimeCraft?
It's hard to tell because I created it over a period of over a month, but I'd estimate between twenty to thirty hours in total but a lot of it wasn't productive. I intend to spend many more, both on Faithful and my Custom version, especially with the coming updates.
Have you come across any challenges during development and, if any, how did you handle them?
Some textures just don't translate into 7x7... like at all. Example in point: Boats, signs and minecarts. They're actually 1/2 size, not 7/16.
What was your favourite development tool for this project?
Just my photo-editing software, GIMP. It's free, works on Mac and Windows, and powerful. Minecraft also turned out to be a useful tool for texturing.
Have you learned anything new from this project?
I learned how much time goes into creating a comprehensive resource-pack. It's one thing to do all your favorite blocks, but when you're making a public release, that doesn't cut it. PrimeCraft is only 7x7, but I'd hate to see how long 512x takes.
What stage of the PrimeCraft’s development process did you enjoy most?
I got some pretty good reactions from the public. The most common was something along the lines of 'Awesome, the blocks look so small, I didn't know you could do 7x7!'. It's fun to use it in YouTube videos and mess with a few heads.
And what is your favourite aspect of the texture pack itself?
I love how PrimeCraft is one-of-a-kind. I've trawled the internet looking for other packs that take full advantage of the 1.5 update (which made PrimeCraft possible) and I haven't found any yet. I love doing things that no one else does, or has done before.
Are you currently working on any updates or other texture packs?
Calling my texture pack 'Faithful' limits me to recreating vanilla textures to the best of my ability, so I created the Custom variant with many more features and cool tweaks. Mostly sheep-based, but I put in some features that will impress cow-traitors as well such as high-energy bows. For those who aren't a fan of 7x7, there's also a version that you can merge into your own pack or use on its own.
In addition to your Minecraft texture pack, have you ever released any custom content for other games?
Minecraft is the first game I've ever made my own expansions for. I love Minecraft because it allows for this - few other games have the ability to modify textures textures and sounds.
Aside from your own projects, what are some of your favourite texture packs and/or plugins from other authors and why?
A few weeks ago I was shown an interesting Bukkit plugin from a HCF player. Nearly melted my heart. Sheep aside, I love Optifine and Forge. Unfortunately, none of the tutorials can get them to work together for me.
Do you have any advice for other potential texture creators?
Make something you enjoy doing. If you do it for the downloads or for anyone except yourself, the motivation will fizzle out after the first few textures and you'll find yourself with something you aren't proud of. Although there are exceptions, I found progress on PrimeCraft extremely difficult until I realized that I actually liked using it myself.
Also, don't copy textures without permission because it's so much more rewarding when you can say to someone 'I made this', and you really did. Another reason is that the owner of that copyright can submit a DMCA takedown request to the site/host so your pack gets removed.
Having reached the end of the interview, we would like to thank WeeHeeHee for taking the time to answer our questions and of course for creating the texture pack in the first place!
Being the lowest resolution texture pack available, PrimeCraft surely is a unique pack. It is not a pack for everyone, though; as it actually takes away smaller details. But if you are looking for something completely different, be sure to check it out!