Alex Beno

Michael Macfadden

Tech Essentials

17 March 2015

Feed the Beast

        Hello, I am Alex Beno. I’m also known online as Gideon Seymour. I’m somewhat well known, but not for making videogames, nor for playing them on a Youtube or Twitch channel. I instead make use of modifications to Minecraft.

        I’m sure you’ve all heard about Minecraft - if you haven’t, it’s a game that is somewhat like LEGOs. Players can make use of a wide variety of blocks to build whatever they want. However, in order to obtain those blocks, they need to go mining for resources and fight off various monsters.

        Modifications for Minecraft, dubbed “mods” expand on the base game. Some excellent examples include BuildCraft or Applied Energistics, which add various machines and an entire power system to power those machines. There’s also mods like ThaumCraft, which adds expansive systems of Alchemy and Magic that needs to be systematically researched, or Botania, which has you obtain flowers from the world around you to create Mana which you can use for all sorts of purposes. The opposite of Botania would be Blood Magic, which replaces flowers and mana with rituals and blood.

        Mods by themselves are already very, very expansive, and add a lot to the game. However, I create Modpacks. Modpacks are combinations of mods placed together to form a more coherent experience, such as placing ThaumCraft and Blood Magic together so you can use items from both.

        For the first several years modpacks existed, they were primarily a type of pack called a “Kitchen Sink” pack, which originates from the phrase “Everything but the kitchen sink.” The first few organizations that created these modpacks commercially included Technic and Feed the Beast.

        As time went on, Technic continued to create kitchen-sink style packs, whereas Feed the Beast began producing more focused packs, such as Tech World or Magic World, or Insanity, which was based around completing challenges in a set map. Both companies grew in popularity, and generally attracted different audiences. They are two of the leading competitors in the modpack development scene, and employees of both companies earn a paycheck large enough for it to be their full-time job.

        Now, I come into the story. I’ve always enjoyed modpacks, and, shortly after school ended last year, I joined a multiplayer world called “Phoenix Craft.” It was just me and a few other people who sometimes visited the Feed the Beast forums.

        Around the same time, Feed the Beast hosted a competition called “Jampacked.” It was a competition in which people would create their own modpacks and submit them to have them judged. I decided I would try my hand at creating modpacks. I developed “Running Red,” a modpack built around the aforementioned Blood Magic. I used the Hardcore Questing Mode mod to give quests to the players, and I used a tool called Minetweaker to edit most of Minecraft’s recipes to use the Blood Altar.

        Running Red was wildly successful, and became one of the three lead competitors for the winner of the first annual Jampacked. The other competitors were parcel31u with Material Energy^3, and Iskandar with Crash Landing. In the end, I came second after parcel, beating Iskandar, whose Crash Landing was the single most popular pack at the time.

        From this, the server I had been on, Phoenix Craft, evolved into the Phoenix Team. Since then, we’ve produced several extremely successful modpacks such as TolkienCraft (a pack that re-creates the world of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit and allows the player to play through the story), Pathfinder (a pack in which you code your own worlds from the bowels of a Star Trek- inspired Space Ship), Phoenix Reborn (a pack that completely overhauls how Minecraft and mods work), and so much more. We even brought on parcel to assist us, and we have been growing since.

        In fact, in late December, we grew so large that Feed the Beast came to us, looking to partner. As Feed the Beast had always been our favorite company, we joined them gladly. After a couple months of working for them, I was hired by Feed the Beast to become one of their official modpack developers. I helped to develop the recently released FTB Infinity, which is the single most popular pack Feed the Beast has ever produced, being launcher an average of 3 times a second. In it’s first month, it has surpassed the downloads of all of FTB’s other pack combined. I’m proud to say that I helped to develop it.


Works Cited

"Gideonseymour." Information. Web. 17 Mar. 2015. <>.