Asher poured a ridiculous amount of time into Minecraft. A lot of that was because of the available mods. Adding a new mod was like discovering a new way to ride a bike or a new type of Nerf gun. It didn’t really change the game, but it made it a “new type of fun.”
Level of Complexity
If you look at a lot of today’s games, they’re very realistic. They focus on hyperrealism (Horizon Zero Dawn has peach fuzz on the female protagonist’s face for example). When you are playing that game, there is no question what the game designer has described and they are very directly plucking emotional tunes that they want to play. In contrast, a pixelated game is more like Lincoln Logs and Legos. There’s the general shape of a creature or a machine, but you have to flex that imaginative muscle to really see the details and as soon as you start pulling that basic concept into your mind, you now have access to all of your internal context and ideas and that simple starter house become a majestic structure, exactly the way you imagined it.
Anyone can play minecraft. You want to kill things? There are zombies and mobs in the caves and at night.
Afraid of killing things? Turn on peaceful mode. Boom, all gone. What about adventuring? Or Role Playing? Or just building? It’s all in there and to whatever level you want it to be.
And that’s not even talking about the types of platforms it can play on.
Very early in the development, Notch engaged the community of other voxel builders. It was the community that responded positively to his tests. It was the community that inspired him to continue his experiment. It was the community that voted for the price and gave feedback to the developers. Notch hired a community manager early and was rewarded with a passionate community that hasn’t seen a rival until Deep Rock Galactic and Satisfactory.
You get to play the way you want. Mods are encouraged and creativity is rewarded. Trolling is limited and abusers find themselves without friends. Best I’ve ever seen.
Why are Multiple Versions?
When Minecraft started out as an Infiniminer clone it was mostly a pet project from a single core developer (”Notch” was his name). There wasn’t much thought about optimization or performance. Java was the language Notch knew and that was where his strengths were. He was interested in researching voxels as a way to compress information into smaller spaces. He didn’t expect it to take off like it did.
Since it’s inception it defined a genera (Voxel Sandbox Games), become extraordinarily popular and needed Notch a cool $1.4B when the company was sold to Microsoft.
A large portion of the success of Minecraft is connected to Java being the language of choice not because it was performant, but because it’s easy to take the artifact the consumer receives and reverse engineer the code the developers used. This allowed for modders and hackers to start building substantially more complex games than Vanilla Minecraft. Mojang (the company) essentially got thousands of hours of software development from hundreds of engineers for free as they submitted changes and created their own diverse ecosystem.
When Microsoft purchased the company, it was decided the openness of the code base was more of a liability than a community asset. They chose to start rewriting everything in C#. They called this new product “Bedrock.” It came with some great advantages like better graphics and connection with the greater gaming ecosystem. However, C# doesn’t decompile as well… and the community started to react negatively to the loss of Pam’s Harvestcraft, Ars Noveau, Arcanus and more.
The response was to continue developing both versions. We’ll see how long that lasts…
|Built-in Local Play||✔️||✔️|
|Self Hosted Servers||✔️||✔️|
|Built-in Graphics Performance||✔️|
|Mod Based Optimization||✔️|
|Playable on a Potato||✔️|
|Language Written In||Java||C#|
I found this really great guide to building better buildings:
Getting started with Mod Packs is pretty easy with the right tools. But you’ll also need to know the jargon.
- An open world sandbox computer game that uses voxels to represent physical objects
- Vanilla Minecraft
- The game as provided by Mojang without any adjustments.
- Minecraft Mod
- A single loadable set of code intended to change the default behavior of Minecraft
- A collection of mods intended to work together to significantly change the Minecraft experience
- An application which creates containers around mod-packs allowing the user to have many different mod packs or Minecraft Versions installed, but only a select few running at any one time.
- Minecraft Version
- The specific release of Minecraft. Because Minecraft changes over time, some mods are no longer able to load or function properly.
- Forge vs Fabric
- Different Minecraft modding toolchain used by modders to abstract away the changes to Minecraft and increase the probability a new version of Minecraft will require minimal changes to existing mods to remain useful. Typically, they are not used together but represent and exclusive toolset. (advanced users can load multiple)
- Craft your own spells, create magical artifacts, perform rituals and much more.
- This feels like the whole “almost die from overcasting for enlightenment” thing.
- Brew potions, perform alchemy.
- Traveling villagers with magical cloaks.
- Tons of tamable diverse dragons.
- Improves overall appearance and layout of villages.
- Greatly expands on farming and cooking. Makes cooking way more useful.
- An innovative natural magic themed tech mod.
- Quality of Life mod to see items and recipes.
- A splash of magic returning to Minecraft
Favorite Mod Packs
Asher’s Mod Packs
Asher’s experience was not limited to consuming mod-packs. He also started a couple. Are you brave? Feel like trying your hand at loading a custom, unapproved mod-pack? Good luck!
Full of magic and power from the stars.
Machines and Mechanisms.
D E I M O S
A grab bag of random mods to mess around with friends.