I've been planning to develop a new mod soon, and I'm trying to figure out which version to develop for. I'd like to avoid developing for multiple versions if at all possible. Obviously, players are going to prefer to use mods which work with lots of other mods, so, my question is, what is the most popular version of Forge for the community right now? Has adoption of 1.14 been widespread, or is there an older version that developers are choosing to stay with? Any insight is appreciated!
1.7.10 and 1.12.2 are the biggest and most popular versions still supported today. My question if I were developing a mod is more so based on what the mod will use/need more than the audience. Audience is important but the dev environment is too. Especially if 1.7.10 is popular for a big reason since 1.8+ versions of Forge made developers have to work out a lot of things or devs just gave up for the sake of leaving the game to do other things or make their own games. But I'd say many gave up on the 1.8+ changes.
Otherwise though to consider is: Will it need a power api, will it need compatibility with other mods, will it need other things to hook into. Forge 1.13/1.14 isn't complete, is less stable but it's newer, and will get better support over time. 1.12.2 is the best for development audience wise but not the same as developing for 1.7.10 (I don't know much or about why that is but it's what I've heard, I'm no developer after all) and the most popular now compared to 1.7.10 I think, last I checked. Or you could go for other versions even like 1.10.2 or 1.11.2. I'd say as long as the environment is suitable for you to develop for go for it. What's to say you develop for Fabric instead of Forge if your considering 1.14 versions. Look through the documentation or ask around to developers to get a sense of what it's like to develop for those modloaders.
Forge has a lot while Fabric is lightweight and modular and still developing it's APIs and libraries but a lot is out there already so it's got a good thing going for being around since December 2018, so you have different options to go with already in 1.14.
I put up a lot of documentation and forums and other things like datapack development links in another post, I'd say take a look at that and see what suits or what information you can get from developers on same some forums, or understanding the dev environments with the documentation from other links:
If I had to strictly state my guess at what the popular ones are from newest to oldest people still play it would be 1.12.2, then 1.7.10, then 1.10.2 or 1.6.4 otherwise I think 1.11.2/1.8-1.9.4 and older than 1.6 versions people don't consider too much anymore. Few do if they hated the 1.9 combat or enjoy 1.8, 1.10.2 I think was a good version to develop for I assume (not sure about developers words but in terms of mod support I see mods for it sometimes, and a lot more then 1.11.2 gets). That's my assumptions and experiences of mod support/versions I see getting supported.
1.12.2 and 1.7.10 are clear winners of audience for a reason and 1.14 is new so can't count it too much but 1.10.2/1.6.4 or 1.8 I'd say are alternatives at least.
Thanks, I appreciate the insight! I'll have to take a look at Fabric; this is the first time I've heard about it, but a lightweight API might be ideal for what I'm planning. It amuses me that 1.7.10 is still popular; I remember having players complain about the lack of a 1.7.10 support for a mod I developed years ago, back when 1.8 was still fresh.
Your welcome. Liteloader (1.7.10 to 1.12.2 as far as I know) and Rift (1.13/1.13.2 and most devs leave it for dead while players still care for it) are also lightweight options but Fabric is more supported than those.
1.7.10 was for a long time due to the mod support and devs not moving on to latter versions I think. That and maybe the 1.9 combat update or memory usage in versions 1.10.2 and higher or coding changes but still. There is probably other reasons but I think their the major ones. 1.12.2 has overtaken it but many servers and mods exist for 1.7.10 to this day.
1.7.10 Years ago it might have been that way but I've seen it be the version people jump to or say is the most popular these days and they aren't wrong. Some devs refuse to move forward even like with RotaryCraft.
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