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Minecraft wizard somehow makes a perfectly smooth circle without mods

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Minecraft is a game built on, around, and out of blocks. Steve is a block, creepers are blocks, the local wildlife are blocks, everything is a block. In such a cubically-contained world, rounded edges and curves are effectively impossible, right? Yet Minecraft content creator and YouTuber Mysticat recently figured out how to warp the block-space continuum to conjure a perfect circle, and then a sphere, in an unmodded version of the game.

That's not to say that there isn't a whole lot of confusing Minecraft wizardry going on here. There's a whole process at work, requiring an in-depth understanding of Minecraft's console commands to build an in-game machine that manipulates armor stands and sand blocks to create perfect circles with no jagged edges. Yet even after achieving a smooth success, the interactions with conventional building materials aren't perfect: There's some flickering, a few misaligned edges, and other not-quite-rightness that demand further tweaking and tuning. Eventually, though, perfection—in the form of crystal clear and perfectly rounded-off swimming pool—is obtained.

With the circle achieved, Mysticat decided to tackle the more complex challenge of spheres, which by rights are also impossible to create in Minecraft's right-angled world. The initial effort was built on the basic systems underlying the circle project, but the complexity went through the roof; Mysticat danced on the periphery of success at numerous junctures but was eventually forced to concede that the only way to make a good sphere in Minecraft is to "hard-code the entire thing yourself." So they did. The magic was diminished a bit, since you can't see the sphere forming—it just pops into existence at the push of a button—but it works.

The Minecraft sphere lacks the silky smoothness of the circle, looking more like a golfball or a radome than a perfect spheroid, but it's there, and that opens the door to potentially bigger and more interesting ways to transcend the limitations of blocks. "There is one thing one one suspected, and that's that I would turn the world into a sphere," Mysticat says at the end of the video, as a Minecraft-like globe floats in the distance. "All I'm going to say is, my next video is going to be a little revolutionary."

In a more recent tweet, Mysticat teased that the next video follows on from the circle and sphere, but is "not a shape." It's expected to go up this weekend.

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Thanks, Kotaku.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.