Community Spotlight – MiniMeMarcLee

Catch up with a wizarding woodworker and SoTFest strategist in the latest Spotlight!

We’re pulling up a stool with another crafty pirate pro in this Spotlight, taking some time to talk to MiniMeMarcLee who has been on the seas since the Pioneer days and is still well and truly involved in all things Sea of Thieves. From his early gaming experiences to his glorious woodwork creations and success as part of the small team that delivered SoTFest 2022, we thought it was about time everyone got to know him a little better…

[Q]: Can you tell us a little about what got you into gaming?

[A]: Well, I have been gaming for nearly 40 years now. With the 48k ZX Spectrum being my first system, I’ve always had a passion for playing games.

[Q]: Were you a Rare fan before Sea of Thieves? Do you have any favourite Rare games?

[A]: Yes, of course. I’ve grown up with Rare over the years. The earliest game I remember playing was Snake Rattle N Roll (I believe the red and blue snakes in Sea of Thieves are a subtle nod to this), then Donkey Kong Country, GoldenEye, Killer Instinct (spending hours upon hours trying to master Orchid’s 48-hit combo), and I had so many laughs trying to master Kinect Sports.

[Q]: What other games are you currently playing? Any favourites?

[A]: Enjoying a bit of nostalgia with Return to Monkey Island. The original always was a masterpiece. As a crew we have delved into many multiplayer games on Game Pass: Overwatch 2, Halo, Fall Guys, too many to name them all.

[Q]: What brought you over to Sea of Thieves and its community?

[A]: I have been here for a long time. I sailed as one of the Pioneers and enjoyed seeing the game develop right up to launch. But sadly I sailed alone after the game released, at least until I went searching in the Forums for others to play with, and since then our crew the DadsPirates (they’re more like family than just shipmates) has grown and grown with players from many different parts of the world.

I have said this many times over, but the Sea of Thieves community is the best community I have ever come across. This was shown when so many came to SoTFest. Honestly, when we were first arranging SoTFest we were only expecting about 100 people. Little did we know that there was such a demand for pirates to sail from all around just to meet at our event.

"Sea of Thieves community is the best community” – wise words from MiniMeMarcLee!

[Q]: How and when did you start woodworking? What was the first Sea of Thieves piece you made?

[A]: Woodworking has been in my blood from an early age. I trained to be a joiner and from there it really was in my blood. Oh, so many splinters.

I had never considered making a prop before Sea of Thieves, but I thought why not? I started taking in-game shots with my crew holding the Captain’s Chest from many different angles, trying to judge size, shape and scale. Then when I heard the Rare team would be at EGX 2018, I knew I had to get it finished so I could show them in person. They all loved it – even tried to steal it too.

[Q]: We saw more of your handiwork at SoTFest, but which have been the most difficult and most satisfying pieces to make?

[A]: Nothing is ever difficult as long as you work hard at it and never give up. I would say they have all been a challenge, but the lid of the Chest of Ancient Tributes kept me scratching my head for quite a few days, and I quite impressed myself with how the Kraken Vault Key turned out. I do like the simple things like the little Emissary ships too!

[Q]: Any big projects or goals you’d like to turn your hand to when it comes to Sea of Thieves and woodwork?

[A]: One day I would like to start a scale version of the Galleon. Got to get my thinking cap on for that though. I have just finished a hand-carved pig for TizzyTam, based on the game version. Shh, I’m now working on something else for someone in the community, but it’s a surprise so keep your eyes out for a #SeaOfTease…

The Captain’s Chest that the Rare staff tried to spirit away, pirate-style. Allegedly.

[Q]: Thinking back, are there any standout moments for you in Sea of Thieves since you started playing?

[A]: The game for me has been full of moments like meeting Mike Chapman on Steve’s Haven – yes, that’s right. Well, for my crew it is. We have many new names for things in the game, each mainly due to a slip of the tongue.

It’s always a fun time when we run into someone on a server that we recognise. Some of the greatest moments have been meeting my crew, the staff of Rare and other members of the community in real life at different events. Who doesn’t love a MusicMee hug?

This year has been phenomenal, what with SoTFest and all the meet-ups we have had, and to hear such praise from the Rare crew was amazing. Even Mike Chapman gave me a hug to thank me (better than a MusicMee one). Nicest man ever.

[Q]: What are your favourite additions to Sea of Thieves over the past year?

[A]: I have enjoyed the Adventures that have been added. I have always loved the lore embedded within the Sea of Thieves. Just need to add the EastEnders “duff duff” tune on the cliffhangers though.

All the Season Eight stuff. The team at Rare has put in an amazing effort on this. Well done.

It is still unbelievable we are coming up to five years, with so much content the team has worked on to keep us entertained even through lockdown. They all deserve a medal. The future of the Sea of Thieves has no end, and I will be happily playing for many more years to come.

There’s no greater moment than when you finally find your crew.

[Q]: What are your greatest achievements in a game, Sea of Thieves or otherwise?

[A]: Now I should say my son, shouldn’t I? But it’s the great friends I have made playing Sea of Thieves. My main crew of the DadsPirates are like family, we spend so much time together, and they have helped me through tough times. So thank you Martin, Richard and Naomi, you make this more than just a game, you make it feel like home.

Oh yes, my son – he is my world, he is very much my ‘MiniMe’. He has taken up gaming as well. It’s strange to look back and see that he used to struggle playing Lego Batman, and now he’s becoming a man who hopes to go into graphic design for games.

And of course, managing to pull SoTFest together and finding out other people really enjoyed it. Who knew! It was such a great day. It was what everyone needed after lockdown as well. Next year is going ahead and will have a date soon if it’s not already out by the time this drops!

[Q]: If you had to choose a pirate and ship name, what would they be?

[A]: My Galleon is named Draig y Môr. It is Welsh for Sea Dragon.

My pirate is based upon the Welsh pirate Barti Ddu, or Black Bart as some know him. He was documented as wearing a red coat, so naturally so does my pirate. He had a very long and successful career, he created the pirate code and the early version of the skull and crossbones flag!

From humble meet-ups to running fan events, some of these pirates have come a long way.

[Q]: What kind of other hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?

[A]: Woodworking, yoga, hiking and being an AFOL. (Fingers still crossed for a Lego Sea of Thieves set.)

[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!

[A]: I can read writing that is upside-down and backwards.

Also, I can navigate the Sea of Thieves without a map.

And that leads us nicely to the end of another Community Spotlight. Thank you to MiniMeMarcLee for taking the time to talk with us – be sure to keep an eye out for details of SoTFest 2023, and for evidence of the results when he turns his hand to making that Galleon!

If you’re eager to hear more about those souls who sail the Sea of Thieves, you can check out all our previous Community, Creator and Legend Spotlights, along with the regularly updated Community Hub for a sampling of their clever creations. Until next time!