Hi! It’s Monday, and we’ve got the day off for some reason. (Something about Easter) Me and ez took a short walk, and the weather was wonderful. :-D
But that’s not what this blog post is about. It’s about dumping a bunch of random information on you!
First of all, Jens got temporarily moved to a new project, so I’m on my own on Minecraft for a while (not sure how long..). It feels scary, but he’s right across the desk from me. Thank you for your work so far, Jens, I know both the community and I really appreciate all your hard work. :-D
Jens was working on integrating/tweaking the Piston mod, which will probably get delayed as a result of this. We don’t want to just add it as-is because it doesn’t quite feel “fantasy” enough, and there’s a lot of corner cases we need to solve.
Last week, I started playing around with minimaps, and Vraket from Oxeye games took some interest in it. We played around with it for a while, and it kinda got more and more ambitious as we went. Now it’s a proper mapping tool! You make a map, and it starts out empty. As you move around, you fill in parts of the map automatically (as long as the map is being held). You can give the map to other people and they will see what you’ve explored on there, and it’s quite possible you will even be able to magically “link” two maps so they’re the same map. That means you will be able to see where other people who carry the same map are.
Vraket is a game design genius, btw.
One slightly bad news item is that I’m starting to get second thoughts about the modding API. People are already doing great mods, and there’s no way we’d be able to make an API good and dynamic enough to support all of the awesome things people are making. I still very much want modding to be a part of Minecraft, but I’m not convinced spending months writing an API that won’t satisfy people is the correct way to do so. There probably are better ways to do it.
The main problems we need to solve are preventing people from making money off our work (unless they have a license deal with us), and making sure mods don’t break with each game update. People obviously already CAN make mods, so the ability to make them isn’t the biggest priority.
Oh, oh, oh, and we also passed two million sales! That’s HUUGE, and as usual I’m not quite sure how to deal with it! We’ve got a company dinner planned for Thursday night, and I plan on getting Jakob drunk. That would be fun.
And in like a month and a half, we’ve got our office house warming party! It’s a bit late since we moved in like half a year ago, but the renovations and new decorations should finally be done by then. The guest list is pretty long, but Carl assures us there’s room for everyone.
There’s one final piece of information that I’d love to share, but I’m not allowed to. I’ll just say I’m very excited about it :biggrin.gif:
So, what do you think? I'm not fussed about the pistons being delayed personally, especially since it's still a downloadable mod. And the mapping system sounds quite brilliant. I especially love its added functionality in SMP. I wonder if a map will be crafted using paper and ink?
Less happy though is the news about a possible lack of modding API. It's a bit disappointing to hear, but it's good to know that Notch still does apparently want modding to be a part of the Minecraft experience. I wonder how he'll manage to come up with a solution that solves the two problems above (namely, ensuring people don't make money out of mods, and that each update doesn't break mods)?
Pistons being delayed kinda sucks (I was looking forward to that snazzy water lock I plan on building), but he can't really do too much about it. I love the mapping idea, though the idea of ink being required sounds a bit too much work. As for the API, I would like to see one for very basic mods at least, if that's possible, but I know almost nothing about modding.
The most disappointing part of this for me is that Jeb is being taken off the project.
The last 3 really good patches to the game have been because of Jeb's work, and I was looking forward to more great stuff from him. Losing him from the project really cuts off the addition of the new cool things he does. Notch seems to mostly want to work on GUI stuff.
Very excited about the map. I love the idea that you can share them with other people. It'll make adventuring so much easier, as well as making it easier to share locations with other people on the server. Normally when I go off I build little guideposts to make my way back. Works well enough but I find other people get lost when following them.
Pistons mod is exciting but worth the wait. I'm sure there are some bugs that would make them annoying to use. But I'm excited too see the applications.
Sometimes I almost wish a company like EA picks up this franchise *shudder* They would turn it into a cash cow, but there would be lots of new content all the time.
Not to flame but this is a horrible idea. Not only is selling it to some huge game company a horrible idea, but EA specifically would just ruin it. Trust me, Minecraft is infinitely better in the hands of Notch than any game co.
Could somebody perhaps explain what an API is? I'm a Windows Adept, but this reaches past my expertise.
Okay, so API stands for Application Programming Interface and I'll give you a quick and dirty run-down of what it means in the specific context of Minecraft mod making:
(This is a hypothetical example based on my reading of some of the 'how to mod minecraft' posts but not actually having done so myself. Specific details may vary)
If you want to make a mod currently - let's say you want to create a hybrid pig and creeper ("preeper") - what you have to do is write a number of functions in Java. There's one that actually creates the preeper's 3D representation, and others that control when it appears and such. Then, through various compiler/java magic, you put all that back in the main Minecraft program.
It's not enough to write the 'how to make a preeper' code, though - you have to change the rest of the game so it realizes that there's a preeper to be made. So you have to write extra code that replaces chunks of the original Minecraft code, and this is of course a difficult thing to do and extremely prone to being broken.
If there were a modding API, however, you wouldn't need to do that second part. It'd be a series of public functions (or classes) that the modder could use. So in this example, instead of re-writing Minecraft code, your mod would simply call something like "Creatures.registerNewCreature(new Preeper())".
What Notch is just now realizing is that, the way people are doing mods right now, they're getting into every aspect of the game. You could make a mod API that supports adding new creatures pretty easily, but what about mods like the Piston mod that change the way that the blocks themselves behave? That's pretty deep into the game. And even that's not as invasive as something like Betterlight, which changed the rendering engine itself.
I'd thought he'd start simple with things like just supporting new creatures and build from there, but it looks like he's already getting overwhelmed with what the mod folks have done.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
This forum ticked me off so much I went to random.org and set my password to something I'll never be able to remember, then switched my password reset to a throwaway.
1.6 Would either be the best update in beta, or the worst.
The didnt say that the modding API is not coming, he said that he still does not know how it will work, and it will take a while to program.
He also did not say that pistons are getting delayed, he just said that he wants to add some "fantasy" before releasing them (I just hope he wont screw it up, because that mod is quite brilliant).
I am disappoint, I was hoping for modding API, I was looking forward to it cause I've had only about 2 mods in my entire minecraft experience( And thats for my WHOLE minecraft experience), and I was hoping it would make the whole mod/update problems smoother.