How did your love for Minecraft and gaming begin?
It started in 2008, when I was playing games on the Xbox. It was really fun. The first game I ever played was ‘Halo’, which is an awesome space themed first-person shooter game. I eventually looked online for other games that I could play, and I saw this YouTube video by a guy called ‘CaptainSparklez’. It was actually about Minecraft and I started playing it soon after. In-game I’m known as ‘DoomGary’ online.
The game is really simple to understand, and our Minecraft gamer group had a lot of ideas back then – if we wanted to build something, anything would be possible. I don’t keep track anymore but I’m pretty sure we’ve done more than 100 builds together. We’ve built server spawns, castles, houses, and boats. We have also done a lot of organic builds, which are based on living things with lots of curves and details on it, like a dragon. It’s really difficult.
Can you tell us what makes it so appealing? Is it just about ‘building’?
I don’t know, it’s up to the person I guess. There are also mini-games available on there – survival games in the style of ‘The Hunger Games’. 24 players and one has to survive till the end. It works like this, you log into the server and then you get into the ‘lobby’. From there you can select from any of the games listed in it. So for example, I could select a game and then be transported to a podium, and we would have ten minutes in a ‘fight to the death’ kind of thing. In the mini-games there’s a lot of things to explore. You just need the skills.
Do you have friends as well that you play Minecraft with? How did you meet them?
Yeah, I actually came across them [my friends] on the oldest Minecraft server in Brunei called VK Gaming, which stands for Virtuous Kingdom. VK Gaming is actually one of the oldest servers in Brunei and now it is totally offline. It was owned by this Kuala Belait guy called ‘Zero Sanzo’, he’s a really cool guy. I’ve never met him but I could tell by the way he talks and stuff. So I met them all there a year after I started playing the game, and we were on it everyday. It’s all about being cooperative and communication with the other gamers in the group, when we’re playing. When we met new people we would ask them to join us, and that’s how our group grew. Actually we don’t really meet that much, we’ve only met once and talked on Teamspeak which is like Skype; we discuss things there.
Tell us more about this website you own? Has the infrastructure changed much for the local gaming industry and community, with the introduction of Fibre Optics and 4G?
The website is actually for my server; our Minecraft group owns a public server and everyone can play on it so you can go to www.planetbn.com.bn. We started the project (to own the server) in 2013; me and the other players who are in charge of the server pay for it out of our own pocket money. I was into Science back then in school so I thought why not call it Planet BN because it’s a planet, but it’s in the cloud so no one can see it. Gaming back then was still same as it is today, for me, and yes I’m excited that 4G and optic fiber are available now, I myself have an optic fiber connection.
You own a server? That’s impressive!
It’s actually kind of a complicated thing; we had to close it down and start it up again in July so in that month we saved 2000 gamers who use it. We have people from all over the world, but mainly from Brunei. I’m actually building the codes for the different modes, and I’m doing that in Java language, which is a pain! The thing is, not all gamers or players can pay the amount of money for the Internet connection itself, and we have to pay for our own gear. It is pretty pricey.
Since you like building objects in the game, does that mean you’re also interested in becoming an architect?
I’m not actually looking to become an architect; I want to be a game developer, a programmer. Gaming changed my life, into wanting to be a developer. I am into games because I wanted to know how it works and stuff. Since then, I learnt a lot of computer languages by myself such as Java, Php, C, and so on. We’re currently building a ‘village’, maybe we’ll build ten of them. It’s for the upcoming game modes, and we’ll probably put a level on there like if you’re up to Level 3 then you can go there. The capabilities in Minecraft are pretty limited so you really have to use your creativity.
So what do you hope to see for the future of Minecraft and gaming in Brunei?
Yeah, I would like to meet more of the players here in Brunei, and for new players to join. I’d also like to see Brunei hosting a Virtual Private Server (VPS), which is actually a back-end system for the server. I only know of 20 players in Brunei, so whenever we see a local player on the server we always ask them to join us to talk and discuss things. I’d definitely be interested in a Minecraft Meetup here, so that we could meet all the gamers in Brunei and play in the server together and build amazing things. Maybe even build a version of ‘Brunei’! That would be awesome. We’ve actually talked about the event, but it’s just that we have no idea how to start. There’s a meetup in Slovenia though, and they hold a Minecraft build competition where the person with the best build wins. But I’ve never heard of any Minecraft events in Asia.
Wanna find out more about DoomGary’s latest plans, look him up on