Minecraft was one of my favorite games growing up, and the ability to build anything I wanted resonated with me. I began by building large geometric shapes like pyrimads, spheres, and coned, then moved on to areas in video games like Luigi's Mansion, Hotel Delfino from Super Mario Sunshine, and the Spirit Temper from Ocarina of Time.
In a programming course in my community college, one of my classmates, during a presentation, introduced me to redstone, which is in-game circuitry that can be used to program scripted events in the game using simple logic gates. At this point, Minecraft became more than just a game--it was a game engine.
I began making interactive adventures and posting them on the official fourms for others to play. These included Pumpkin Palace, an original map, Bowser's Castle from Paper Mario, The Palace of Shadow from Paper Mario 2, and lastly, The entire game of Donkey Dong 64.
I started the project at first intending only to do Crystal Caves, as I liked the music that played there, but when that was done, I also did Creepy Castle, and soon I was on a quest to recreate the entire game. I added all the puzzles, collectibles, mini-games, and bosses, staying as true as I could to how they were in the original game with the tools I had available. At the end, I even modified Minecraft's files to add custom textures and music.
I faced two major challenges while making this project. The first was creating the landscape I didn't have any direct access to the game's map, so I had to eyeball a lot of it. The second was using redstone to program. If redstone were a programming language, it would be even lower than assembly, so building anything with it means physically building and wiring it in the game. Later in my education, I learned that a lot of the tricks I used related to programming concepts in higher level languages.
After around 18 months of work, I posted the finished project to the official forums, and many people were impressed by it. Some made Youtube videos of them playing though the game!