Craft of Code

Will Blew

Community Building in WesterosCraft


Will Blew, a software development manager, is the co-founder of the wildly popular WesterosCraft, a Minecraft server dedicated to recreating the fictional world imagined by author George R.R. Martin. According to Blew, building a virtual world in Minecraft relies on many of the same principles required to build open source software.

Game of Thrones may have come to an end, but the world it created continues on a server called WesterosCraft. Originally created by Will Blew and Jacob Granberry, the fictional continent builder has grown into one of Minecraft’s largest projects and an example of the power of community.

WesterosCraft began seven years ago when Blew stood up a Minecraft server and invited people to make it more open. Granberry quickly joined and asked for new features. Within a week, 30 people were building Westeros-related worlds on the server. And then the worlds they were building started to get more elaborate. Granberry built a map for King’s Landing and the project snowballed. Today, hundreds of artists design intricate worlds on the server they stood up.

“Similar to how you build an open source project — in the open and collaboratively — that’s how our community builds models in WesterosCraft. Instead of open source software, we’re building small houses in villages and entire complex cities based on the worlds created by George R.R. Martin,” said Blew.

In keeping with the community nature of the project, Blew and Granberry host WesterosCraft on Linode’s independent, open source cloud computing platform.

“What you see at WesterosCraft is made by the community. It’s important to us and to them that the platform they create on reflects the spirit of collaboration, openness, and community that has made WesterosCraft what it is today.”

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