The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
Since first the cuboid sun rose over the lands of Minecraftia, we have dread the coming of the night. We sweated feverishly throughout the day as we prepared our bastion against the coming night, slammed down torches that would burn eternal and raised fences against the teeming hordes outside that would intrude upon our sanctum. When night fell, there we rested, knowing that our mines were secure and that never again would we have to fear the evil hordes encroaching on that land that we called our own. Would that such a peace could last forever.
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting,
dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
~Edgar Allan Poe
But all good things must come to an end, gentle miner, farmer, builder. The dark has come to take back its dominion, and your lights eternal shall burn no longer. Your torches will gutter and fade against the coming night, glowstone will not bear the light of the Overworld, and even sparking Netherrack finds it’s once infinite life snuffed out within mere moments. Deep within the bowels of the earth, the light of the earth's heart has had its light stolen from it, flickering in the inky blackness with a feeble glow no longer able to keep the hordes at bay.
“Let us not curse the darkness. Let us kindle little lights.”
~ Dada Vaswani
But take heart! You did not carve your place in this world by being cowardly, you have faced worse adversaries than the mere dark, and always your handy tools have stood by to serve you in the face of the auld enemy. It’s time to return to your crafting bench and forge new ways to fight the dark. Crackling firepits will push back the darkness in the wilderness while welcoming fireplaces greet you as you return home from your long wanders. Candles crafted from tallow, lard, candleberry wax, and beeswax will light the dark corners of your home.
But all of these require resources, and those can’t be found within the safety of your stronghold. Unfortunately your handy friend the torch is no more, but in its place instead, you will find an entire variety of new torches, each with their own benefits that you can carry into the dark with you, set fire to your opponents, and light fires… at least for a time. Your fight against the rising black doesn’t end there, lanterns and braziers, as well as light posts that can be built around your home, will all be in your arsenal.
Are you ready for a darker Minecraftia? Tired of your safe holes and well-lit halls that will never again know darkness?
Then stoke the hearth fire, it’s just you and your trusty torch...
Against The Darkness.
Still with us? Good, we’ve got big plans ahead and the work is already heavily underway. I was a brand spanking new coder when this process got started, but I’ve got my code legs under me now and that’s going to lead to many wonderful (terrible?…) things to come. We’re a small team working on bringing mods that will change some of the fundamental elements of the game with concepts that, we admit, have been done before. But we hope to do them in new and engaging ways.
Against the Darkness, in case you haven’t noticed, is heavily focused on how you deal with darkness and maintaining your smallholding against the ever-present dark. Contrary to what you may expect, this mod won’t bring hordes of mobs (though there are one or two that have been deemed appropriate for inclusion) but instead will bring an engaging form of gameplay that will constantly keep you fighting to push back the dark.
One of the tools in your arsenal is the trusty firepit, shown below. The firepit serves many purposes, not the least of which is bringing a little (mostly safe) light into your life. Of course, it also serves as a source of ash and coal, but take care to keep it fueled. Full details about many of the elements coming to this mod will be able to be found on our wiki (Do be patient, there's only so many hours in the day and we're coding feverishly, we'll release that wiki when it's ready to see the light of day.)
However, a brief overview of the things you can expect to come from this mod:
The Everpresent Dark -In the theme of Hardcore Darkness by Lumien, the minimum light level of the world will be set to 0 by default, with the moon providing some relief during it's brighter phases, but even the full moon doesn't keep you safe from those dark and stormy nights.
The Fight For Light - In this mod you'll find no forms of permanent light, and we'll work diligently to remove those provided by other mods as time and ability permits. However, in place of the reliable torch you'll find a tech tree of lighting starting with the humble burning stick, several varieties of torches, and moving all the way to lanterns, mining helmets, and of course the trusty firepit with its family of braziers and fireplaces.
Some Recipes Added, Some Recipes Removed - Things will be tweaked, ever so slightly, to make life in the dark a bit more challenging.
Perhaps a Mob or Two - More on these later, when the time comes for them to see... ahem... the light.
This is, as indicated, merely a small hint of all the mod will contain. What it will not contain is useless clutter or an annoying assortment of creatures you neither need nor want. We here at Aetherial Labs believe in keeping our mods very on point with their theme, focusing instead on unique and innovative ways of implementing the ideas inherent to each one.
We hope you stay with us, there are great things ahead.
Where we are now: The mod is well underway, with the firepit essentially functioning as intended (a few minor tweaks left, but not many) and the torches well on their way to being ready for diversification. Believe me when I say that the firepit itself was no mean feat, and is essentially serving as the backbone of the Chiminea's, Outdoor Hearths, and Fireplaces to follow. There is much left to be done, however, but expect updates on a fairly regular basis as we report on our successes and, yes, our failures as well.
When will it be released?: As you may have noticed there's no download just yet. What we have is not quite worthy of seeing the light of day due to our exacting standards and the desire to release a complete piece rather than a continuously updated work in progress. This doesn't mean "It won't be released until it's done done done", it does mean it won't be released until we are so near to being finished with our v1.0 vision that live testing is desired. My personal goal? I'll be conservative and say the end of the year, perhaps sooner if circumstances and fortune favor us.
Why are you talking about it now then?: Well, it just so happens that we have found ourselves in need of a few particular talents that we ourselves are essentially lacking. They are skills we could doubtless develop, but that would take time away from the actual forging of code (see what I did there?) and who wants that?
How can I help?: Glad you asked! It just so happens the biggest talent we find ourselves lacking at present is that of competent modelers and texture artists. For all the arcane arts we possess and are refining, modeling and texture art is not among them. Should you be interested in assisting with adding models and custom textures, simply shoot me a DM and we'll let be in touch!
Wait, what kind of models and textures do you need? Glad you asked! Among the many things we need:
Multi-block fireplaces (and their component parts)
Candlesticks (multiple stages of burn)
Braziers (Tripod, Hanging, Stone)
Agave Plants (all stages of growth)
Jute Plants (all stages of growth)
Barkless Logs (all varieties)
Each of the above, obvious, except the fireplace.
Various fats, lards, fibers, and waxes.
Whew! That's a lot! I'm not an artist though, how can I help?
Nothing makes the world move quite like the support of our fans. If you're looking for other ways to contribute you can pop on over to our Patreon, where you can get access to our Discord channel and eventually take advantage of other rewards we hope to provide for our loyal subscribers. It's worth noting that I work for myself, from home, so becoming a patron can make a significant dent in how much time I have to spend doing that, and how much time I can spend doing this. Your patron dollars at work, ladies, gentlemen, and those not so neatly placed on a binary spectrum.