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Posted July 6, 2016 by Andrew Cathie in Feature
 
 

E3 2016: The Future of Minecraft is Coming


It’s been quite some time since I’ve played Minecraft as avidly as I did in the early alpha and beta days, but every once in a while I go back to begin a new world and construct some new buildings and mines. While there have been many updates to the game since release, none of them have really grabbed me and ignited that passion I once felt. When Mojang showed the upcoming Add-Ons update for Minecraft I was intrigued, but not sold. I had the chance to head into a Behind Closed Doors (BCD) presentation with Mojang during E3 and what I saw there convinced me that I’m going to be getting back into Minecraft in a big way.

I was shown two hands off demoes, one showcasing the new texture packs update that is already live on PC and Minecraft Pocket Edition, and the other showcased the upcoming add-ons update that will go live on PC and Minecraft Pocket Edition later this year. Both of these updates are expected to come to consoles in 2017.

AddOns_BigBadAlien

The texture packs are somewhat self-explanatory, in so much that they allow textures within the game to be updated. Now, you might realise that textures are already changeable by using purchasable texture and character packs within the game, but this texture packs update completely bypasses these. What it allows you to do is open the texture of anything within the game (be it a character, enemy or item) in Microsoft Paint and edit it however you want. This allows you to completely change any texture within the game without having to pay to do it and also allows you to easily share textures that you have created with your friends and the online community. It sounds simple, and it is, but having the ability to freely change the textures of anything within Minecraft looks like it could bring a new level of customisation and creativity to the game. In the demo I saw we edited a Creeper to have a purple basketball jersey, which was pretty neat.

AddOns_AlleyWay

The add-ons update is where the big changes are coming from for Minecraft, with an ever larger amount of customisation coming to the game than that brought on by the textures update. With the new add-ons update you will be able to completely alter a creature’s AI and geometry. To do this, you open creature’s .json file which contains its AI programing and you can alter it to your liking. Don’t worry if you make any mistakes in the file, if that happens the monster or creature will just default to its standard AI programing, signalling to you that you need to have a look and see what you did wrong. I saw a fair few examples of what could be done, including creating the aliens seen in the demo featured at the Xbox E3 press conference. Those were actually zombies that were altered to have a ranged fireball attack instead of the standard melee attack and showcased both the AI and geometry alterations that can be made. I also witnessed zombies that had their AI completely replaced with that of a rabbit, which included being able to breed them to create brand new little bunnies. My favourite alteration was terrifying to behold; increasing the movement speed of a Creeper by 5 and increasing its blast radius, meaning that it was impossible to dodge completely. I also saw rabbits that were made to increase in numbers by 6 every 30 seconds and were made to create massive explosions if they ever caught fire. Of course they did catch fire and, yes, the resulting explosion was incredibly satisfying.

Personally, I wasn’t expecting either of these updates to impress me, but this is easily the most excited I have been by Minecraft in years. It really does seem like the possibilities are starting to become endless for Minecraft.


Andrew Cathie

 
Rocket Chainsaw's premier Fantasy-loving Editor. I basically play anything and everything that looks like it could be fun or interesting.


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