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...Which most people will probably not like/agree with since it's a radical change from the current "Slap blocky flat textures on an invisible model and roll with it" method, but one which offers wider customization...
And takes up more resources, no doubt, that's why I'll classify it as a request and leave it up to the scrutiny of everyone else.
Basically, I suggest a new way to build avatars that would probably work very well for the feel of Minecraft, but no doubt press some people for computer resources, but given that I had to install more RAM after the Halloween update just to keep Minecraft from crashing, I somehow doubt it will press the resources of anyone that can currently play Minecraft. I'm stressing this so that everyone knows how aware I am of the fact that it's probably not doable right now and it's a pretty outrageous suggestion given that it would take quite a bit of work, is likely a long way off given that Notch has much greater concerns (that I fully respect) and that if ever added, it would make quite a few people very angry since it might even make the current system obsolete, or at least one people wouldn't use anymore given that my suggestion contains the ability to make more depth and detail without making the Minecraft look disappear. So if this isn't well-received, I understand completely.
If you've ever played 3D DOT Game Heroes, that's what I'm suggesting; an avatar builder that works like that with a few modifications to suit a simpler and possibly more processor-friendly method.
If you haven't played 3D DOT, then I have two things to say. One: Why the hell not? And two: Basically, think of a canvas (With a fixed size that cannot be altered, but a generous size) with an X, Y, and Z axis. In other words, it's 3D, and in that canvas, you place tiny 3D pixels. It's like building blocks, but it takes a lot of time (and I mean a LOT of time) because you need to make a new animation for every frame used in the game (A total of 6, given that the game captures the style of old 8 bit RPGs in 3D... Think of making the original Zelda a 3D HD game) similar to how you would draw sprites, if anyone is familiar with that.
Anyway, I was thinking of this because I realized the only way to make extrusions from the current character model of arms, legs, a body and a head is to make a mask (hat) which extrudes from the head in exactly two pixels in every direction. I was looking for a way to make ears for the fox avatar I made, and also looking for a way to make a tail, which there is currently none, sadly, but I was thinking "I wish there were a more varied way of making a custom avatar without sticking to the basic frame so closely." So I thought up a way to translate the 3D DOT method of making an avatar into Minecraft.
With some altercations, given that there are a lot of problems with using the exact method in Minecraft, the main one being that the models in Minecraft don't clip to poses like they do in 3D DOT (What that means is that they don't move like 8 bit sprites where you might only have four frames for running.) The models move fluidly, and because of that, drawing sprit frames would no longer work. So while considering how such a detailed system could work in Minecraft, I decided to turn to another game that gives you a custom avatar option.
Anyone ever hear of Drawn to Life?
Now before anyone says "Oh that game sucks." I agree, it does, but I'm not focusing on the actual game, I'm focusing on how their character maker worked; it was basically a "frame" with pixels painted over it, and you would draw the parts of your character in designated areas. (Such as drawing the arms in a predetermined space, you could make the arm look however you wanted as long as it didn't exceed those lines.) So basically, it basically works like our current skin does, except you would be able to make different shapes and lengths inside the peremeter without conforming to everything being of a fixed shape.
In other words, you could make your character look like he actually has arms and hands instead of an arm that resembles a giant cock that punches people.
In addition, my hope would be that it would be possible to add extra 'areas' where people could make hats (Real hats, not just masks) as well as masks, capes/wings, extrusions from the head, arms, or legs that would serve to make weapons or gloves, studs on boots, sword hilts on belts or backs, animal ears and tails, and other things, hopefully without causing Notch to rework his system for something that, while I would love for it to be added, is a minor concern compared to other, greater ones. (Like making the updated Minecraft actually function on lower-end machines.)
Obviously loading every individual pixel added to the model frame in Minecraft would probably work on the processor, so I've also thought that it would be an interesting idea to "render" or combine all the 3D pixels into one solid piece of the model that would function as the model in Minecraft currently does.
But what if someone makes a short arm and the item they're holding just floats there? Or what if someone makes a short character that can enter 1-block wide spaces? I think it's obvious there are practical problems with this idea, and the only solutions I can think of are one: Ignore it because it isn't that big of a deal and it probably doesn't break the game in any way but the imagination of someone who thinks it makes it too easy", or two: "Make the mandatory limbs (arms, legs, head, body) reach a specific length and all the added things that would be added, such as hats or capes, wouldn't effect the player; it would still need a space at least 2wx1h to enter.
Or, and this solution came to me as I was typing this, the model could be forced to center itself between two blocks and you would still have to use two blocks to enter buildings and your jump would be centered, and then you could have floating people, if someone desired that for aesthetic purposes, and maybe the creator could "move around" the item's location when the player is holding it so that they could center it where they wanted it to be. They could make their hand hold it, or they could make a floating psychic that lifts swords with his mind. :biggrin.gif:
Again, not sure how doable this is, but if anyone can think of anything to add or has any questions, I'll try and clarify. I realize my explanation is sketch, I might draw some pictures to help everyone imagine what I'm explaining if it's too confusing.
So, yes, or no? And does approve?
Edit: And I was thinking that the program for creating avatars would be distributed on this site, as opposed to using MS Paint. Maybe Notch could make it available for the people who bought Minecraft or own it legally as an incentive for not pirating his game. I understand he views piracy in a somewhat neutral way, and sees it as a form of free advertising, but wants to create incentives for not pirating his software. So I suggest making the program function in the site and not possible to download, and giving only registered users who own the Alpha access to it.
However, because Classic is free, and having custom skins is possible, I also suggest keeping the current method for Classic mode. I'm aware Notch would need to find the webspace to host this program on the internet, and I'm not sure how that would effect his server (given that his site and the forums are very laggy already and I attribute that to the server having too much traffic at once on it, but I could be wrong.) so again, I understand this isn't entirely possible now or in the near future possibly.
Too difficult for mass majority of interwebz users to comprehend.
Searching databases for translation to language, "/idiot"...
"TL;DR: Place miniblocks to make cooler character"
[Mod edit: User warned.]
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