Three years ago, when Balderich and I first started work on Drehmal v2.0, I wasn't in a great headspace. I mean, what high schooler is, right? But I was in my senior year and struggled with all of my classes, greater expectations, broader responsibilities, and all the social drama that comes with hormone fueled teenagers. I was already deep in depression but began to grow pessimistic and eventually outrageously nihilistic. The massive historical events happening at the time didn't help either. I didn't have anything to be motivated for, be excited for, or be hopeful for.
That, obviously, needed to change. Thus, Drehmal v2.0 was started, and I started giving myself some goals formed out of a want to push myself and my eternal desire to one-up everyone around me.
I wanted Drehmal to be the greatest adventure map ever made for Minecraft. The most popular, the most innovative, the most well-received, the most memorable... etcetera etcetera. I wouldn't settle for anything less.
Now that it's been out for two years, I can say with confidence that we absolutely did not reach those goals. I've seen people say that Drehmal is the greatest adventure map ever made, but that's going up against titans like Herobrine's Mansion 1 & 2, the Dropper 1 & 2, and Witchcraft and Wizardry. But damn, we got really close. Drehmal is on the second page of best of all time on PMC, while everything for the first couple of pages is 4+ years old. Drehmal's been there for only 2 years! That's insane! I would not say that we failed, not at all. Balderich and I succeeded with what we had.
But, of course, Drehmal is still being updated. There's plenty of time to reach those insanely high goals I set. Drehmal is still far from perfect, and while the dev team believes that 2.2 will bring it closer, it'll still need more work, polish, content, and changes to make it what I initially dreamed of.
Balderich and I are so grateful to have such a passionate, loving community. You all gave me so much purpose and made the painstaking development of 2.0 worth it.
Now, for some sentiments from my fellow developers.
Balderich - Co-creator
This project has become our life's work. Starting from humble beginnings, a simple way to craft a story for our silly little Minecraft server all the way back in 2016. It combines so many of our loves - our love of storytelling, our love of game design, our love of Minecraft, our love of sci-fi, our love of fantasy. Drehmal is a true culmination of all that Keeko and I, as well as the rest of the dev team, are truly passionate about. To be able to share our passion with all of you as well, it's really made everything worth it. All the blood, sweat, and tears we've poured into this passion weren't for nothing.
Keeko and I have been doing this together for about 5 years now, and we're so incredibly lucky to have the support of this community to inspire us to keep going. Keeko and I have both experienced ups and downs in our lives in the span of working on this project, massive changes in our lives that can create major disruption. For me that came in the form of moving out of my parents' house for college, living independently for the first time, and dealing with my parents' divorce from a thousand miles away. Drehmal has always been a constant. Always something I can return to in order to take my mind off my disruptions, immerse myself in the creation of this world I love and care about so dearly. Drehmal has always been there for me.
When I was a kid I found a passion for writing. I loved writing stories, using my imagination to craft a unique world based on what inspires me. Intertwined with this passion for writing, I had a desire to create video games. My very first game was Halo: Combat Evolved on the original Xbox, I remember sitting in my dad's lap attempting to fit my hands around the comically large Duke controller in order to play. It took a year or two, but eventually I was able to start blasting Covenant in the face all on my own. Since then, of course, I've played a hell of a lot of games. In high school, I decided I wanted to make games for a living. I pursued that for a time, ultimately settling instead to pursue a general degree in computer science before trying to specialize at all. As Drehmal grew in scale, as we brought on members of the dev team, I realized that I'm doing exactly what I wanted to do in high school. I'm making a game. I can speak for Keeko and I both here when I say that this is what we want to do. This is our passion, this is our life. It's what we have always wanted to do, and we're so incredibly lucky to be able to be here doing it.
Drehmal has grown and changed with Keeko and I as we grew through high school and into adulthood. What was once filled with stupid silly jokes, plot holes, and overtly generic themes, has now become something rich and deep and complex. It's a project that has matured with us, it's a true reflection of ourselves not only as game designers and writers, but also as people. Drehmal is who Keeko and I are. It's a representation of our growth, our view on the world, our philosophies and ideals.
Through this project I've gained so many invaluable skills and learned so many important lessons. I've grown immensely as a writer and designer through this project, and that's something I'm incredibly proud of. I've also met so many amazing friends here as well, friends I will be ever thankful to for sharing this passion with us and pouring their own precious time and energy into its betterment. This team we've grown are people that are going to be attached to me and this project for the duration it's alive. And so help me, this project is only dead when me and Keeko are too. Unfortunately for the dev team, this means they're stuck with me until then too. Sorry guys.
Thank you all for playing Drehmal. For indulging in the product of our passion, you have inspired us to continue and maintain our passion. We're so happy to share this with you, and we are incredibly touched by all the kind words we've received about this project. To be able to draw comparisons with masterpieces like Breath of the Wild and Elden Ring, truly inspires and instills pride within us. Thank you all so much for allowing Keeko and I to continue doing what we love, and we are incredibly excited to get 2.2 info your hands. I promise the wait will soon be over, and the wait will be worth it.
greenTetrahedron - Writer/Artist
Wow! It’s been a whole year since I joined the Dev Team. I’m a whole year older, a whole year wiser, and a whole year stronger! I can now obliterate a large boulder with only my mind and my psychic powers are still growing. It’s also been two years since Drehmal v2 released which is why I’m writing these words now. It’s been pretty cool being on the Dev Team! I’ve written a lot of other words to use in 2.2 and I plan to write quite a few more before it releases. I plan to keep writing words with the Dev Team for a while after that! We have plans for future Drehmal updates beyond 2.2, and we’ve also begun brainstorming for projects beyond Drehmal. You won’t be seeing any of that for a long time, but I’d love it if you’d stick around anyways!
1000hrcelebration - Coder
I joined this shit on a whim. It’s embarrassing and insanely shallow, but I (lurking like a true lowlife) saw an announcement in a Discord server for a map that I had played and loved a month prior. Something about wanting new builders, with a small addendum at the bottom about coders too. At the time I had left behind a mapmaking project that had succeeded in completely draining my spirit and creativity, so when I saw that this team was looking for new people, I got to writing. Ten minutes and three video recordings later I had an application ready. The last thing I expected was a reply back.
Drehmal is something I love more every single day. I love the absolute lunatics I have the privilege of working with, I love the story, the world, the product of all this effort, and I like the community (god it’s weird to have a community) too. And something more than all- I love working on this! Half the time it’s more fun than playing the damn thing. And I’m so grateful, truly, from the bottom of my heart grateful, that I was given the privilege to be here.
Mouton - Modeler/Builder
I joined the Drehmal development team after half a year in the community, and it's been a tremendous amount of fun. I do not have time to be as active as I wished to be, but I'm having fun so who cares!
Drehmal made me meet and discover cool people and I just see the community as a nice little place I can call home <3
2.2 is going to be great. Absolutely great. You cannot even begin to imagine how huge and how cool it's going to be. I hope you'll all be there for the 3rd anniversary of Drehmal!
From the French part of the dev team
Post-scriptum: I still plan on translating 2.2, even if it takes me a year I'll do it.
Chris Nesja - Composer
Greetings, Drehmal fans!
It’s not very often that I feel called to throw my hat in the ring, but working on this project has been such a unique experience that I just had to give my thanks to everyone. Shoutouts to my good friend DomeMaster for encouraging me to try out for this position, to Keeko and Balderich for inviting me on as the lead composer, and to the Patrons and other dev team members for giving me wonderful feedback on my work. Extra special thanks to the entire community for keeping up the hype and morale. It’s been a long journey to get to where we are now, but the encouragement and excitement keeps everyone moving!
I’ve always had a passion for music, but used to only share my creations with friends and family. The release of 2.2 will be the first time any of my works are seen (or rather, heard) by such a large audience. I’m a little nervous, but I think you guys will like it. I know you’ll love the map, given all the time and effort that has gone into it so far.
From the old man of the dev team,
DomeMaster - Lead Developer
This is my first time addressing all of you in one of these posts, but I wanted to take the occasion marking two years of Drehmal v2 to tell you a little about my feelings towards the project, the community, and most of all, my coworkers on the dev team.
I started my journey with Drehmal much like everyone else. Me and my close personal friend, Yllusive, played the map on a whim during peak pandemic times in the late summer of 2020. Within that playthrough, we fell in love with the map’s unique charm, expansive vistas, and engaging lore, and knew we wanted to do something special to fit in with our favorite biome, Sahd.
Well, one thing led to another. First came the Emperor’s Estate, then Teiruun, then the revamped Kiln of Virtuo. Now, I am celebrating my second year as a member of the Primordial Team and am now a lead developer on the project, helping to manage a team of over fifteen highly passionate individuals.
In many ways, this project has made a lot of my childhood dreams come true. I have been building since literally the week Minecraft came out, and I always wanted to make something that would touch the sublime. Something truly ambitious. And that is what 2.2 is. Although none of this could have been possible without the hard work of Balderich and Keeko, I now feel just as tied to the hip of this project. I want it to succeed so badly, and every day, I do everything I possibly can to blow all expectations out of the water.
While Drehmal has done so much to improve my confidence as an artist, writer, game designer, and manager, perhaps the biggest impact it has had in my life is in the true friends I have made. Last summer, myself, Nater, Yllusive, Balderich, and Keeko met up in real life, and it was like nothing had changed. We were still just as stupid as ever, and it was a blast.
2.2 is living proof of the friendship between all of us on the dev team. We are all uniquely passionate, collaborative, creative people, and we are united by one goal: to be the very best like no one ever was. Until it happened, I never could have even dreamed that I would be where I am today, working towards a law degree while creating what soon will be among the greatest Minecraft maps ever. I am so, so proud of us.
And for all of that, it never could have happened without you. I’m sorry that it has taken so long to finish 2.2, but I promise promise promise it will be worth it. Thank you so much for making my dreams a reality. I have so much love in my heart for every member of this community, and I will always keep doing my best for you. Here’s to many more years!
Again, thank you all. 2.2 wouldn't exist if it wasn't for you. But, before you go, I have one last thing for you. Made by our wonderful artist HiscottiBiscotti, a bit of a tease for the future:
Nothing to lose.