Thursday, April 3, 2014

Minecraft Party Inspiration

During one of our weekly lunch dates, my co-worker and sister-friend, Melanie, asked for my services in support of her son's upcoming 8th birthday party.  Of course, I agreed and we set to planning.
Without hesitation, Melanie informed me that Aaron LOVES Minecraft.
Munch and her friends love to play the game also so I was familiar with it.  Wait, you haven't heard of it? Really?!
"Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters but, as the game grew, players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things" (Source).  
Like I said, I've seen the game but I needed to learn more about it... perform some hands-on research, if you will...  I downloaded the game onto my phone (the pocket edition costs $7?! WHAT?! Does Pop-Pop know he paid for this on the kid's iPod?! OMG, I 'bout passed out).  It was difficult to play (yes, I played it) and it's pixelated... as in box-y and... well, not my typical party.
I know what you're thinking and...
I've done a number of boy parties (super heroes, movie themes, fishing, construction, animal, bugs, dino, t.v. characters, cars, boats, planes, etc.)... all of which allowed me to focus efforts on quality images.  Minecraft characters and images, however, are... well, NOT quality images.  This realization initially posed a challenge for me.  Just look at the main characters:
Can you see why?
 The zombie pig man gets me every time.
Continuing with my research, I took a poll of moms around me and everyone told me the Minecraft party theme is *like* the thing to do this year.  They all mentioned the ideas on Pinterest and... well...  I checked them out.  Twizzler TNT, Rolos for gold, creeper juice water bottle labels... eh, I was less-than impressed.  Don't get me wrong, they were nice parties... they just seemed to lack the WOW factor I want for my clients. I had to figure it out. So, I compiled some inspiration images to help get my creative juices flowing.






Yesterday's Wordless Wednesdays post was a peek at the party invites.  Pixels = tiny squares.  The whole game is designed in "blocks" of various sizes.  I wanted to print the invite in a cube and came up with an over-the-top plan to do so (it involved wood... and a saw... and wood glue.  Too much, I know.)... until I found a designer to execute the design for an affordable price!  Sure, cutting and gluing each invite will take time but I think they're going to be perfect! I'll add a magnet to one side to place on the fridge and I think it'll be a hit among Aaron's friends!

Feature Table
I intend to have 2-3 tables for food and treats.  Custom sugar cookies and cupcakes will be designed to fit the game's characters.  O and most food, where possible, will be shaped like squares.  A cloud backdrop will be made of either cloud gossamer or paper and hang behind the table.  Add a birthday banner, brown linen with green wrapping paper as the table base and I think it'll come together pretty well.
Feature Walls
Similar to the image above, I'm planning to create custom artwork using square plates and foam core board (pig, chicken, Steve, creeper, etc.).
Another backdrop I've got in mind will be created using a brick paper roll (sold for less than $10 at Party City) for a photo-op. 
- DIY Swords. In the game, players survive using swords and axes.  Guests will decorate plain white inflatable swords as we await the party to officially start (they'll each leave with a sword of their own.  How cool, right?!).
Melanie expressed that she has a large yard and would like to focus on outdoor activities.  I came up with the next game after researching some of the game's elements I found online. 
- Diamond Mining.  In the game, players use their axe to mine for diamonds.  For the party, we'll section off a certain area of the yard and hide these diamonds (I'll purchase without the wedding personalization): 
I'll fill them with jelly beans purchased after Easter (on clearance).  I'm sure the boys will LOVE it!
- Creeper Toss.  Remember those Science Fair boards from back in the day? Well...

How cool is that?! Of course, I have some ideas to make it our own so stay tuned for those.
- Hunting.  Players survive in the game by hunting.  I think we'll hunt for pigs in two ways.  First, we'll pin the tail on the pig (using a Steve face as the blindfold):

Then, I'll set-up a pig pen (pink balloons on string with golf tees staked into the ground).  I will fill a few balloons with one dollar bills for an easy game where guests will pop the balloons.  O and who doesn't love money prizes?  I'm sure it'll be a hit!
- Piñata.

A ghast (what ghosts are called in the game) piñata is in order (and was a request of Melanie's).  We'll fill it with candies to fit the theme (red, green, black, white, etc.).
- Relays.  What boy doesn't like to run around?  We'll split the boys up into teams and have them race...  Maybe we'll get one dad to participate on each team for added fun!

We'll use the Steve face as a blindfold during 'pin the tail' AND as a photo-op for the birthday boy and his guests.
Did I mention swords? Well, there will be swords.  Did I mention boys?  Well, it's an all-boy party.  I anticipate some unscheduled and unstructured play will occur once we pass a group of boys some swords :)

 I found these cool DIY boxes and intend to have the boys fill them with their goodies from the piñata.

I can't wait to execute this plan! I also can't wait to share the details of this party's progress. 
Stay tuned,

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