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Java Coding Minecraft Mods in Visual Studio?

[ Apr 30, 2015, 7:03 pm ]
  Microsoft recently announced that, as a part of its expansion of Visual Studio into other programming languages, a developer kit for Minecraft mods was now available for Visual Studio. Specifi.. Show More


 


Microsoft recently announced that, as a part of its expansion of Visual Studio into other programming languages, a developer kit for Minecraft mods was now available for Visual Studio. Specifically, the devkit works with MinecraftForge to facilitate compilation of mods inside Visual Studio, without need to develop inside Java compilers like Eclipse or IDEA. What does this mean for Minecraft mods? Let's get a few things out of the way, including rumors:


 


OMG MINECRAFT HAS OFFICIAL MOD SUPPORT NOW?!


 



  • Unfortunately, no. The official Modding API has not yet been released, and this devkit - while incredibly useful and powerful - is not the API, nor an implication of the API's existence. On a strict technicality, modding Minecraft has not ever been officially supported, though it has never been actively discouraged or forbidden either.


WAIT SO...WHAT EVEN IS THIS?


 



  • The Minecraft Mod Developer Pack was created specifically to let people who write Minecraft mods do so inside Visual Studio, instead of popular Java compilers like Eclipse or IDEA. For programmers more familiar with Visual Studio's layout, methods, and tools, this removes the dependency on the aforementioned compilers to write mods for the game.


MOD API???


 



  • This is, unfortunately, not the API, nor any implicit suggestion that it is coming via Visual Studio. Mojang is working on the Plugin API independent of this project, and it has no direct bearing on the Visual Studio Devkit.



 


For those a bit more programming-savvy, the devkit was meant to be a proof-of-concept that Visual Studio can now compile Java code, as part of their expansion of VS into other languages. While the kit was never meant to be tied directly to Mojang (or Minecraft itself, outside the ability to mod for it), it nonetheless provides another alternative for modders to write and compile code. If you are interested in giving it a shot, you can get the devkit by clicking here!

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Minecraft Identity: Who We Are In-Game

[ Apr 30, 2015, 7:03 pm ]
Unrelated: developmental hazards of Minecraft development sometimes produce odd results... via Jeb_   While some sites have been applauding the addition of a female skin to Minecraft as a new, r.. Show More


Unrelated: developmental hazards of Minecraft development sometimes produce odd results... via Jeb_


 


While some sites have been applauding the addition of a female skin to Minecraft as a new, recent development, custom skins of all types - male, female, alien, robot, and all sorts of others - have been a staple of PC Minecraft for years. There have been so many variations of character skins since first became customizable back in Alpha 1.2.2, it's nearly impossible to keep track of them all.


 


For many, I suspect a Minecraft skin isn't much different than a desktop background or paint job on a car, simply a means to look (or look at something) neat while playing the game. For many others, it is also a sort of identity, a representation of who we are or who we would like to be, inside the game itself. There are, of course, a nearly endless supply of pop-culture skins for fans of a franchise - video game characters like Master Chief, skins used and/or created by popular Youtubers, TV show characters given a Minecraft twist - but what really amazes me is the unique skins people come up with for themselves that aren't directly based on anything other than their imagination. Many of these skins have a story around them, as they represent something the player likes, or strives to be.


 


For example, this weird guy.


 


I made that skin back in 2010 originally, but it saw revisions later when I realized there was a second layer to work with, and a mask was added. It hasn't really changed since then, even with a minor mistake on the hands where the glove fingers are missing, but it's the skin I made, and it has been central to my Minecraft identity ever since. What brought it about? Pretty simple things, honestly: I thought red suits looked neat, and the time I was making the skin happened to coincide with a brief interest in the Man in the Iron Mask legend. It's been the same ever since, and likely won't change.


 


You, the Player


 


So what about you? What kind of skin do you have, and why? If you made it yourself (or had it made for you specifically), does it represent something about you, or something in particular that you are interested in? How many times do you change skins, if ever? If you could change one thing about skins, what would it be? Tell us about it!

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A Look at Old Minecraft: Skins and Models

[ May 5, 2015, 7:03 pm ]
Steve, at one point   A long time ago, back even before Alpha, Minecraft was a wide-open field with seemingly infinite possibilities. Among the many things that almost made it to the drawing tab.. Show More


Steve, at one point


 


A long time ago, back even before Alpha, Minecraft was a wide-open field with seemingly infinite possibilities. Among the many things that almost made it to the drawing table was the above image: an alternate version of Steve (or "Steve?", canonically speaking), the primary player-character.


 


At one time, a man named Dock was working on alternate models for the game before going on to do other things, and the above-seen model was one of them. Strikingly different from the other model designs present in the game at the time (and still today), these early models suffered from animation issues, and ultimately were never seen moving, or added to the game itself. Other models included Black Steve, and a model which could almost pass for a zombie today, Beast Boy.


 



There was also Rana, of course


 


None of the models were animated, and simply glided around the world. If killed, they could drop string, gunpowder, feathers, and/or flint and steel. When Dock went on to pursue other opportunities, the models were never finished, and Steve remained nearly identical to what he looks like today. Aside from the major differences in how they look from Steve as we know him, there always seemed to be a possibility that other game models would receive similar treatment, with higher poly models and smoother textures.


 


It's interesting to think how different Minecraft might have been if these had been the standard characters in the game, instead of what the world has known and loved for years. Have you ever come up with an alternate design for an already established character, creature, or thing in the game? What was it like? If not that, what do you imagine anything in the game might have looked like with a similar art style (creepers, endermen, etc)?

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SethBling Presents: Jack in the Box

[ May 1, 2015, 7:03 pm ]
  I'm not sure they even sell real-life jack-in-the-box toys anymore, or how many of you have ever seen one in real life, but this version created by SethBling in Minecraft hits it right on the .. Show More


 


I'm not sure they even sell real-life jack-in-the-box toys anymore, or how many of you have ever seen one in real life, but this version created by SethBling in Minecraft hits it right on the head! Well, except for the explosion...


 


Basically, the player stands near the box, which turns a crank and plays "Pop Goes the Weasel", the tune most often paired with (or associated with) jack-in-the-boxes. What pops out isn't a jack, but a more explosive surprise. Enjoy!

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Magic Arrows: Possible Secret Future Update?

[ May 4, 2015, 7:03 pm ]
  This image was tweeted out earlier today by Dinnerbone, albeit in a clever, coded way. True to form, Minecraft fans didn't take long to unravel the cipher, and this image was discovered inside.. Show More


 


This image was tweeted out earlier today by Dinnerbone, albeit in a clever, coded way. True to form, Minecraft fans didn't take long to unravel the cipher, and this image was discovered inside! No further information was given or suggested along with the image, but there is quite a lot going on in here. Some things immediately visible:


 



  • Arrows with different heads, or possibly coatings of material from the game, possibly including lava, glowstone, slime, either gunpowder or coal, and other possibilities

  • A quiver (while the sprite for a quiver was long in the original sprite sheet for Minecraft, it has never seen any use, and has not ever been legitimately acquirable in-game before)

  • An extra empty slot next to the quiver/arrow boxes, possibly indicating a hand-held shield slot


Arrows have always had an interesting place in Minecraft, as they have never had a dedicated quiver or "arrow" slot, always occupying the same inventory space as other items the character is carrying. By contrast, games like Skyrim (and other TES titles), World of Warcraft, and many others have dedicated arrows to their own space. Aside from freeing up some room, this has had other advantages as well - specifically, the ability to choose what type of ammo (arrow, in this case) the player wants to fire, selecting from different types with myriad effects ranging from poisoned to explosive, and many others. If this is an indication of something to come in 1.9, it would be the first serious addition to archery in the game for years.


 


Long has archery fallen to the wayside of swords in Minecraft; the latter can be made from many different primary materials, each with different strengths and weaknesses, while bows and arrows have always been wooden. Granted, you wouldn't make a bow out of gold or diamond, but exotic arrows are both not out of the question, and highly useful. The possibilities here are seemingly endless!


 


What do you think this could mean for 1.9? Are enchanted (or possibly a different kind of crafted) arrows coming in 1.9? What about shields? Tell us about it!

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Community Spotlight: Magicraft (Server and Pack)!

[ May 3, 2015, 7:03 pm ]
Spotlight video by Oviraptor   Mojang's Marc Watson had a mission: to have a modpack that was loads of fun, purely magic-themed, and to have a server to play it all on with friends. With Ma.. Show More


Spotlight video by Oviraptor


 


Mojang's Marc Watson had a mission: to have a modpack that was loads of fun, purely magic-themed, and to have a server to play it all on with friends. With Magicraft, that dream was realized! 11 mods were hand-picked to really get the feel he was after - Baubles, Bibliocraft, Biomes O'Plenty, Iron Chests, JourneyMap, Mystcraft, NEI, Railcraft, Thaumcraft, Twilight Forest, and Tropicraft - and then the gates were thrown open to play! We've been having loads of fun playing as wizards, and now, you can too!


 


The server may be private, but the modpack is out there, ready for you to install and dive straight into some magical goodness! If you have the FTB launcher, you can use the code "magicraft1710" in the "Third-Party Packs" tab, and it will get you set up with just one click. Just be careful: the world of Magicraft has incredible rewards, but equally incredible dangers...

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Modpack Spotlight: Pathfinder - Spaaaaaaace

[ May 6, 2015, 9:05 pm ]
  Some of the most popular modpacks out today are hardcore packs; brutally difficult, incredibly complex, and rewarding to players with extreme dedication and nerves of steel. That's awesome, bu.. Show More


 


Some of the most popular modpacks out today are hardcore packs; brutally difficult, incredibly complex, and rewarding to players with extreme dedication and nerves of steel. That's awesome, but are there packs for people with a more casual mindset? What about a pack that isn't trying to kill you with every imaginable thing? Pathfinder may be a pack for you, and it's in space!


 


From the modpack's page:



Pathfinder is a pack about exploration, about seeing the stars, and about seeing what makes those stars work. In this technologically-based pack, you'll be tasked with creating your own dimensions, building them from pieces of code. You'll be tasked with manipulating time and energy, and, most importantly, discovering how the world works.



I've been messing with the pack for a few hours now, and all I can tell you is, if you love space exploration and creating entire worlds to your specifications, this pack is definitely worth a look! If you're interested, be sure to check out the Pathfinder download page, or if you have Curse Voice installed, just search "Pathfinder", and install with one click!


 


See you in spaaaaaace!

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