The Peter Pan restaurant in Charlottetown may have been demolished — but now people all over the world have the chance to rebuild it.
A Charlottetown man has created code replicating the building and added it into a city simulation game called Cities: Skylines.
People can download the building and put it into their own game.
It's one step in the process of building a virtual Charlottetown, says Taylor Rush, who started creating P.E.I. buildings in the game as a hobby.
He purchased the game back in December and got into 3D modelling right away, making futuristic buildings.
"It's been about two months doing it now and I decided just to try my hand at my first real building," he said.
"Peter Pan restaurant — it was a staple growing up. It was always Peter Pan corner. It's redone now, and they tore it down. And everybody was a bit sad to see it go.
"You can't be bitter about it," he added.
The purpose of making a virtual version? It was to "give it its own memory."
First download 'amazing'
The buildings Rush creates are loaded into the gaming platform and community Steam — under his username indapni — and then become available for anyone who has the game on their computer to download.
"The first download is amazing. Even the fact that one person is interested is like so cool. It's really, really enriching," Rush said.
Over the month, Rush said he has had around 10,000 total downloads of his creations — and he's hoping the Peter Pan building reaches 1,500 by the end of next week.
In order to create the building, he searched out images of it on news sites and Google to get the architecture right.
"I just found the best quality pictures that I could," he said.
He put those images into Photoshop and the 3D creation tool Blender so that they could then be uploaded and available for in-game download.
Rush said he figured it would take seven days to recreate the Peter Pan restaurant, but he managed to complete it in about four.
He has always wanted to do something in gaming or architecture but couldn't find the time. During the pandemic, he has been unemployed, and when boredom sunk in he decided it was time to give 3D game modelling a try.
"Hopefully this leads to me getting better employment and stuff and like it's time where I can hone my skill," he said.
"I have a passion for it and this stuff came quite naturally to me."
Rush isn't alone in his creation of memorable Island buildings. Another Charlottetown-based user named 220Hertz has been giving him tips and pointers.
The user has created The Guardian newsroom, The Mack theater, Province House and Peggy's Cove Lighthouse. (CBC contacted that user — but they didn't want to be interviewed.)
Rush doesn't plan on stopping and is hoping to slowly build a virtual Charlottetown.
"At least for the short term, like, some goals include Cows Ice Cream, Kwik Kopy, and then the old Charlottetown Irving that was like across from the Kwik Kopy, Confed Centre, just some Charlottetown landmarks."
Rush said he has also reached out to the city to see if he can access the blueprints of old buildings in the area.
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