February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Update!

I am convinced that Mojang is not currently working on the Plugin API. They are instead focusing on engine fixes and improving the overall quality of the codebase for Minecraft. I pretty much understand the codebase issue and engine problems since the last time I looked at Minecraft source I ran away and refused to touch it. The code screamed of code smells virtually everywhere I looked and after monkeying around I decided to wait for their official API.

Could I develop for Bukkit? Sure, but if I want to focus on UI, core gameplay, system level, effects/sounds/animations and other more complicated features which require client modding? Doing server-side mods will only help me alter current existing features. Anything extra will involve a bunch of workarounds/commands and nothing really pretty will come out of it. I mean I could always take the Deathcraft approach and practically rewrite the game, but how does that help me work on features which are suppose to add to the game?

Do I want to hack away at a client and continuously have to update my code to match the latest changes with the engine re-writes? Sounds like a heck of a lot of work and simply a bunch of rework which really turns me off. The whole situation has become depressing considering how Mojang has decided to go tight lipped about the Plugin API since Minecon. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the next piece of info I get about it comes at the next Minecon. I've played around with networking a physics engine instead, it appears my initial gut feeling was pretty close to what industry does, but a few tips and tricks I didn't know (especially the source engine) might be handy. However, I think I will focus my efforts on school and working on assignments/projects.

I have been busy on PaintParty, we are well into our third iteration and we are looking to do a preview probably at the end of this iteration (March 1, 2013) to get feedback on the application. I'll probably post an Android APK and throw up an applet on a cloud instance to deploy it. Seeing how I've done it before and this time I have WAY less things to freak out about it should be easy to do.

February 2, 2013

What's New

I've been busy, as always, and have had a number of exciting things happen in my personal life. However, my activity over the last while has mostly been working on PaintParty. (Link at the top). I have also been spending a bit of time thinking about some more RPG mechanics for Minecraft. I won't be doing any real prototyping until shortly after 1.5 is released simple because it is too close to a new release to start hacking away at a Minecraft client.

In preparation for a Modding API, which really just seems like a promised feature which is repeatedly delayed, I am writing up an RPG testing application. The point is to test out different combat mechanics and quickly prototype various ideas. The application uses a physics engine and is networked so that I can really focus on the client/server aspect of Minecraft, but also easily work with a simplistic physics model for characters. It will support multiple people and such, but it isn't really a 'game' but more of a testing application with simplistic graphics and mostly focuses on behavior instead of looking nice.

I have come to the decision to compete in the Google Code Jam this year, just to see how I rank up in the world against other programmers. While I hate the 'style' of programming contests (write a short program quickly to solve a challenging problem), I believe it will be a good way to test my skills and see where I am at. Then again, I'm indefinitely at 'always improving' so I'm not sure if it really matters how well/bad I do.