What’s the hold up?

For everyone that has been waiting a veritable age for all of the awesome new Mystcraft features to be released I wanted to give a general update.

There are a few minor things I need to do to Mystcraft before the release. This particular arc had a lot of major changes, and I didn’t want to release it with too many holes. It’s still going to have a few on release despite that, but it should be functional.
A known issue with the upcoming release is the generation of additional properties of ages. I have a really awesome system worked out that will make it so ages get properties you didn’t expect or write (and only rarely add things you didn’t want), but at present it only adds things it needed. This means things like tendrils won’t appear in an age unless you write them in. Some people will like this for the time being, but it isn’t how it is supposed to work.
Another issue is the rarity system needing to be adjusted. Currently, symbols have a single rarity value when they should really have one for how often they spawn as treasure, how often they can be purchased as villager trades, and how often they can be generated into books. At present this rarity value affects all of those. This is not as critical an issue at least.

The issue that is actually holding up release is you can’t actually play Mystcraft legitimately. The collection of pages is just too difficult. Whereas previously you could get all of the symbols eventually via spamming books and instead spawned in a notebook to spare your harddrive, currently you have to spawn pages through creative just to ever get to writing. Villagers trade the pages, and all (non-creative) symbols are available that way, but my villagers are apparently quite rare, homeless, and also broken. Pages as treasure only occurs in ages and only in a specific structure. There are simply not enough sources of pages yet. Once that issue is resolved you shall have a release. 🙂

There are a few other issues as well, but that’s the only one that will take any real time. I don’t know how long it will take to get that sorted out, though. Here’s hoping it’s soon. I really want to see what all you can create.


A Look Back; A Look Forward

One of the original ‘banners’ of Mystcraft:
Achievement Banner

So, Mystcraft is over a year old now. It’s come a long way from when I started.

The first release of the mod saw only one kind of book, and a single kind of dimension. I was only testing the waters for what the reception would be for the idea, and it was nothing but positive, though it took a bit before it was understood fully.
The first incarnation of Mystcraft had only one book, the linking book, and when crafted the book had a 2 in 3 chance of linking to where you. The rest of the time, it linked to a new dimension that had only a single biome and normal terrain generation. Before this, when I was playing with the concept and mechanics, it linked you to the Overworld or the End, depending on where you were.
Soon after I started adding new types of ages. This almost ended terribly and was nothing like the system I wrote instead. I started by making multiple generation systems, like how Minecraft handles its dimensions, intending to write generation for every kind of dimension. While doing this, I realized that there was a lot of things that could function as pieces of dimensions, and that people would want to see combinations of these pieces; that writing each controller manually wasn’t going to be enough. So instead I made it handle things as parts, allowing for mixing and matching, and I made part of the system allow for only singe versions of a part, and others allow for multiple parts. Thus the symbol system as you know it was born. The very heart of the system has not changed since, though some of the logic elements and extras have.
Imagine how things would have been if I’d stayed with the original method! How many kinds of ages would I have by now? Though, the thought always leads back to “I would have done something like this eventually.” I can’t imagine another way of doing it at this point.

Since then I’ve added symbols and refined the way things work. Somewhere along the way we got unlimited portals and the ability to drop cows into the Nether, not to mention multidimensional roller-coasters. Symbols became something you had to learn and you could write worlds that Minecraft has never seen before. The lay of the land could be made to match your preferences, along with what kind of land it was. You could control the Sun in the sky and make it storm perpetually or throw lightning from a sky that never rains. Mystcraft has produced some amazing things.

Back when all this began Mystcraft was a jar mod, requiring base class edits to function properly. At first I was against using the Forge API; it didn’t have what I needed to work and I didn’t feel I needed it. As time went on I made sure that Mystcraft was compatible with Forge, even though it didn’t use it, but it was still a jar mod. Then I started making a Forge Edition, which, while still a jar mod, was installed over Forge, ensuring that Mystcraft and Forge mods could work side by side. Eventually, the base edits Mystcraft needed went into Forge, giving Forge a real dimension API and making Mystcraft a mods folder mod, no longer needing to be installed straight to the jar. I managed to run every possible opinion of Forge, I think, and as such I can say a lot of things about it. Above all, it is good for modders.

The Forgecraft team of modders has been one of the best things to happen to Minecraft modding. Getting all of us together and talking and playing with each other’s mods has really produced some amazing things, not to mention been a lot of fun. I credit Pahimar and Direwolf primarily for this accomplishment, but they weren’t alone in it. Dire got me into the community properly, I know this, and Pahimar invited me into what later became Forgecraft. It’s been a blast.

Mystcraft has been a lot of fun for me. I’ve really enjoyed working on it, which is good, because I can’t possibly justify all of the time I’ve spent on it. 😉 It is my longest lived project, at this point, in terms of project which have seen continuous and persistent development. I’ve got older projects I still return to, but no one project has gotten this much time devoted to it continuously before.

So where is Mystcraft going? First, I’m not going anywhere. I’m not done with Mystcraft and don’t think I could leave it if I wanted to. I’ve got far too many plans and I just can’t seem to put it down, despite what that’s doing to my time. Recently you have seen some of the new things and direction Mystcraft is taking. I’ve added in pages on which symbols are actually written, a system so that symbols can accept additional modifiers, and even made it so you can control the very heavens in their majesty or despair. The writing mechanics have been cleaned up and changed substantially and you now have to explore to find pages. Lots of neat changes to how Mystcraft is played.

I’m not nearly done yet, either. This arc will end when the finding of symbols is acceptably balanced, at which point I will make a public release. The next arc will start with more modifier symbols and changing the crafting of linking books. The planned arcs after that are, ‘Quality’, ‘Firemarbles’, and ‘Powermarbles’. The plans may change, but that’s the road. 🙂

I’m very excited about what is in store for Mystcraft in the future, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I am. 🙂


Mystcraft Issues

There a few frequent issues in the current Mystcraft release. I wish to address these here.

1) Mystcraft requires Forge 474 or later. I’m sorry for not managing to get the requirement tag in the build. I was running multiple builds at that time, and it didn’t make it into the release branch. This fixes the crash on visit age issue.

2) Crashing on sending entities through portals: This is actually a Minecraft issue which Mystcraft just managed to trigger. I’d avoided it before, but accidentally put it back in when updating. Forge added a fix around 493 for this.

3) Crashing when saving is an issue with dimensions unregistration. It is happening a little too early. This is fixed in the dev builds thanks to cpw for adding an event to FML for me to use on server shutdown. This will be fixed in the next release.

I’m not sure when the next release will be, but I don’t want to do another one before what I’m working on is done, meaning I don’t want to do another update build before a content release. It’s rather frustrating trying to maintain two branches of builds. This means two things: I don’t want to make an update build unless I have to; I am going to cut some of the content I’m working on short and push it back to later. This next release will be monolithic enough as it is, it can live without page qualities and full implementations of some of the crafting processes. 😛