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. 🙂


18 thoughts on “A Look Back; A Look Forward”

  1. First!

    Also, thank you for making such a great contribution to the Minecraft community! Mystcraft has become a staple to my gaming, and I look forward to what your artistry holds for the future.

    Great work!

  2. A long time ago, I got quite bored with minecraft. I crafted all the things, dugs lots of holes, and I was done. Then I discovered mods, and the whole cycle started again. I played the mods, built the things, and was done. Somehow though, I never noticed mystcraft.

    A while passes, I take a compsci class, and I decide to make my own mod, which has been quite a bit of fun. Along the way though, I discovered mystcraft and for the third time, actually playing MC was fun again. Still is, and I cant see that changing simply because mystcraft is so effortlessly deep. It doesnt add much in terms of items and machines and stuff (looking at IC) but still somehow manages to, in my opinion, add more to MC than MC started with. After all, we dont play MC for the items and tools cause other games have that, but for the amazing world it makes. Mystcraft multiplies that world a thousand times, literally.

    I also need to personally thank xCompWiz for his work on the forgeAPI, cause the mod im working on now depends heavily on it.

    So thanks.

  3. Mystcraft was the reason I bought Minecraft in the first place. I’m a huge Myst fanboy and once I got this mod working I could never go back to anything without it.

    Thank you for all the time and effort you’ve put into this; you’ve probably saved me a ton of money in other game purchases!

  4. May I suggest the idea of making Mystcraft open source?

    The mod is pretty big by now regarding the player base and as I can read you still have a lot of plans on what to add, which is definitely great. However as you have already noticed, updating and bug-fixing takes a lot of time away from what you could spent better on implementing new ideas.

    If you’d make Mystcraft open-source with an appropriate license that defines you as the one and only owner of it, others could take that task of upgrading and bug-fixing from your hands, leaving you free to work on your ideas without having to worry about the next MC or Forge update anymore.

    1. I would simply love a Github page for this mod. My first contribution would be a new block to mix 2 old books together, making a book that contains a random selection of things from the old books, and a low chance of something new.

  5. At first, when I read this, I was very afraid you would let the mod down, it get very nostalgic by the middle and I feared the worst. But then you open the light, and reassure us all, so it’s OK 🙂
    I hope to see update in the near future, to get rid of the saving crash issue which is killing me so to speak, and to see what you have to offer to the rest of my world and to my little Wizard, for I use this with Ars Magica and Thaumcraft. This mod is just what I need to have the real feeling of Sorcery, a little Magic, a little Alchemy, and control over different Dimension that may be nice to explore, but most of the time that get me dizzy and try to kill me in many way. (I MAY be a little masochist when I play survival/hardcore lol XD)

    Anyway Thank You! and keep up the good work, we are counting on you to bring us the Universe!


  6. I love Myst, and i love Mystcraft, and I can barely contain my excitement for what the future holds. I was in awe of the upcoming Celestial Mechanics when I watched the Stream, and I cannot wait to make my ages as amazing (or perhaps even more amazing) as i can imagine.
    For some Speculation, may I presume that the Quality arc will involve a new model for the Writing Table, and perhaps Pictures in the linking panels?
    Firemarbles and Powermarbles sound very nice, but I think I’ll keep my speculation on those two to myself.

    Parting Comment:

    1. Okay, so now that I’ve watched the second stream on the Pages I feel that my previous speculation was somewhat stupid. My new speculation on the Quality Arc is that that’s when you’ll introduce different crafting materials for Linking/Descriptive Books which affect their usability and their Stability.
      Also, playing with this mod so much gave me a STRONG urge to play through all the Myst games again. Yesterday, I completed Riven, and it has made me want to speculate/request something for the Firemarbles/Powermarbles arc: Powered Linking Books I.E. The Books that Ghen made on Riven. Made from substandard materials, they were unable to function unless powered by a special setup of Fire Marbles. I think that this would be a cool feature to have.
      …Though I’m not entirely sure of all of its applications.


      1. Wow, misspelled my name…

        Anyways, now that I think about it, the most obvious use for Powered Linkbooks would be in Adventure maps, where you need to solve a Puzzle in order to power the book. It may also be useful in public environments to make Linkbooks that are difficult to use if stolen.

        P.S. I managed to beat Exile today. Was going to try Revelations again, but it will not run on my Laptop. I’m going to try it on my Desktop now.

  7. Is it possible to cheat in items to get symbols (e.g. server owner wanting to set up void age or wanting to create interlinking books and make it easy for others to do so)?

  8. Mystcraft is one of my favorite mods and typically, along with Red Power and now Thermal Expansion, one of the mods that I wait on before upgrading a SSP or SMP world to a new release of Minecraft. I and I’m sure a large portion of the mod-obsessed community thank you for taking the time to keep Mystcraft up and keep adding interesting things.

    Definitely looking forward to the future of Mystcraft!

  9. I love the mod, however as a server owner I often have trouble with mystcraft adding extra symbols to descriptive books which makes the game crash every time the user who first entered the age enters. The only way to fix this without getting an old backup is using something like NBTExplorer

  10. Hey the myst series is great and so is mystcraft. If its not to much to ask could you post a video on how to 1: download the correct version of forge and mystcraft and 2: install them in the correct folders of minecraft. I can get it all installed and everything works fine *exept* when I go to a discriptive age the game crashes. I love the mod and I am eager to start truly playing it.
    If new textuers for the writing desk are not in mind I would think about it:).
    Dont use the email, just sayin.

  11. WOOT! I love the myst series and think that this is one of the best mods that I have ever played, watched dire play, and probably the most interesting, despite its relative simplicity compared to other mods like ic2 bc applied energistics (?) and so on and so forth. The fact that you can crate and then rule a world, in minecraft, is a very “special” thing.
    3 cheers for Xcomp!

    P.s. no HTML tags = sadface

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