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Hav0c

Are there engines out there made for Minecraft clones?

14 posts in this topic

I'd like to make a Minecraft-like game and have zero programming experience. I've researched game engines quite a bit and know a few things I need, but also have some concerns I can't find sound answers to myself.

 

What I need:

A complete game engine, not a render/physics/etc engine.

Little to no programing needed. Scripting such as LUA is far preferable to C#.

Easy asset manipulation. (I don't know how to animate or really even model so placeholders will be in use for a long time.)

 

Up to this point, Unity has seemed like a prime target.

 

My main concern is this.

I want a Minecraft-like game.

Something the user can modify, something that efficiently stores and alters a huge world.

It doesn't have to be totally infinite, minecraft isn't, but I am going for procedurally generated and continually added to.

 

 

Is Unity my best bet? Are there engines out there made for Minecraft clones?

My time is limited so avoiding dead ends and generating results will help me stay motivated.

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Regardless of what you choose, you need to put in a lot of time and effort to learn whatever "engine" you choose.

I am aware that game creation is not an easy process and requires time and effort. My intention here is to find my optimum platform without a lot of wasted time. I'm not looking for "the easy way".

 


1: You need a solid plan on what you want to do - "MineCraft clone" is not that simple.

Also, I do actually have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, and a direct clone of minecraft is not really it. Its just the easiest way to describe it technically and coincides with a lot of the basic game play. I thought a full description of my game concept would have been out of scope for a thread about what platform should be used.

 


2: You need to research what each engine is capable of ... there are no engines out there that can do MineCraft with out you a doing a lot of coding .

This thread is such research.

 


With that said, the easiest rout would be creating plugins for Bukkit or MineCraft Forge ( depending on what you want to do ) .

Be aware that some time after MineCraft 1.8 is released, there will be a built in API for making plugins .

Note: You will have to learn Java to make these plugins.

TBH, one of my goals is simply to be making a "better" Minecraft. It has many pervasive problems even after years of refinement, as such, building on top of that would be quite counter to the goal. I know it is a lofty goal, one I will likely not reach, but but you don't set out to walk a marathon by riding a bike.

Additionally, this game would be my baby. I would not want it subject to Mojang's whims just because my users have to buy their game and agree to their EULA.

 

.

 

I was looking at a list of engines last night and came across C4. I'd read about it in the past and, IDK if this is new or I forgot, but it seems it uses voxel terrain and the blurb about the feature sounded very much like what I would need. Does anyone know more about C4?

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Unfortunately, no one ever got paid the big bucks before the job was done, so a day job is an absolute must, hence my limited time. I do not mind the idea of taking months or even years to finish a project, nor am I against taking on help from those who are passionate. I do doubt however that I will easily find such people as most developers are either interested in a paying job or their own game concept.

 

Unity with a voxel add-on might be the best route in this moment, though if I spent time learning to program first, perhaps C4 would be a better choice. It describes itself as cleanly coded and well structured, something that, to me, sounded beginner friendly. I admit though, it also sounds code centric and looking around, I find most of their screen shots feature a heavy dose of code compared to GUI and the highly technical descriptions are not buried very deeply.

 

The aspect of minecraft and voxels I am interested in is the editability. Voxels are a convenient method of storing material data in an array of nodes corresponding to the terrain allowing it to be broken, collected, and placed elsewhere. The scalability and procedural generation is also an asset.

I am not looking for a world made of blocks.

 

I must say, networking is not something I had fully considered and is simply a bridge I will have to cross when I get to it. Hopefully when I do, I will have a single player playable game behind me ready to add that to and it can help financially sustain further development.

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You could take a look at octaforge.org

last video: youtube.com/watch?v=4ohV-ZqebwI

an image (more on the website): https://octaforge.org/static/media/player1.png

I didn't come around to use it myself yet, so you would have to investigate yourself how usable it is in current state (it is still alpha).

Scriptable in Lua.

I remember, there was a plan to include a minecraft-like demo game (probably in the future, though).

Edited by riidom
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Minecraft looks simple and basic but it actually uses some advanced 3d graphical principles to do even basic things. The way it partitions and stores space is NOT an easy topic to dive into, the basic physics engine is also not that trivial, on top of that you need to have at least understand how textures, transparancies and such work. The other thing is procedural generation, creating biomes, landmasses, oceans and caves requires some hefty algorithms to look even half decent and playable. Then comes enemy AI and pathfinding in a completely generated world (so you can't pre-program the movements). All in all you NEED to know how to code, otherwise it will be a very frustrating task for you. But as not to be a complete downer, if you really do want to jump into it as quickly as possible and are willing to learn how to code, I would start of with an existing minecraft like game that has it's source code in public domain. So you will have a working game without putting anything into it, and you will be able to add things to your liking. Starting with a game engine even with the ultra beginner friendly Unity will still take A LOT of effort to get anything at all. So I wouldn't suggest that as you will most likely be diving in deep waters without even knowing how to swim, you'll get overwhelmed and abandon the project in a week (at most).

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I totally agree Gian-Retro, other people can not be relied on unless they are paid professionals or truly a partner in your concept.

As to network first... :/

TBH, I don't think the project could sustain itself as well if I did that. Having a single player version ready and out there to keep my own motivation up and attract funds to the project is, in my mind, more important. Additionally, I don't know much about networking or how it should work. The way a client and server will communicate will be largely based on how the game is written, something that logically would need to happen first.

 

In any case, I see I finally have some replied with engines that are actually out there. I shall go take a look.

Thank you all.

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TBH, I don't think the project could sustain itself as well if I did that. Having a single player version ready and out there to keep my own motivation up and attract funds to the project is, in my mind, more important. Additionally, I don't know much about networking or how it should work. The way a client and server will communicate will be largely based on how the game is written, something that logically would need to happen first.

 

Good choice IMO. While retrofitting the networking part later on most probably WILL be more work, I also think that omitting the networking layer in the beginning on a hobby project with limited resources is a good idea.

 

As a side note, be aware that doing local multiplayer as in Splitscreen multi player is pretty easy, as long as you can scale the graphics performance with mutliple players and game cameras on the same box.

This way, you can still test your games Multiplayer-readiness from a game design perspective on a smaller scale, and to some people, the fact more and more games omit local multiplayer, is a real let down. Nothing better than to sit in arms reach of your buddy while gaming, so you can smack him if he is again playing unfair ;)

Edited by Gian-Reto
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Take a look at this if it suits your fancy:

 
Minecraft in Unity 3D - One-Week Programming Challenge

http://youtu.be/qdwUkYrHosk

 

 

With limited time and zero experience, I would say you'd be better served just following some very basic game development tutorials and enjoy smaller projects.  And the planet doesn't need another Minecraft clone.  It really doesn't.

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I think most people reading this are seeing Minecraft and latching onto a world made of blocks that works just like Minecraft.

That is not my project and I have said as much a couple times now.

 

Voxels and similar data structures used in Minecraft would be used to store the map.

The world would not appear to be made out of blocks. It would only store map information in a 3D grid. Visually it could look realistic.

Additionally, resource gathering and building are the only features in Minecraft I would even consider strongly emulating.

Combat would be more complex. Crafting would be more interesting and varied.

My intention is absolutely not to clone Minecraft.

I only referenced it to achieve quick understanding of the technical requirements for the map creation and storage.

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I think most people reading this are seeing Minecraft and latching onto a world made of blocks that works just like Minecraft.

That is not my project and I have said as much a couple times now.

 

GoCatGo has a point though.

 

Minecraft is the 1000pound Gorilla when it comes to Voxel Games with basic RPG features and mining/resource gathering.

 

IF you are not planning to do this game just for your own enjoyment (in which case it is pretty much fine to copy minecraft / super mario / whatever quite directly. As long as you don't intend to distribute it, your achievement will still be pretty amazing if you manage to clone minecraft), your game will need to be REALLY different from minecraft to hold a chance. Just creating a nonblocky Minecraft might bring you some customers already.

 

But I am pretty sure there are a lot of people that already did that.

 

So from a game design point of view, concentrate on the points where your design is REALLY different from minecraft (and a different art style usually will not suffice), and put a lot of meat into that (FPS Style shooter combat instead of basic RPG Mechanics? Strategic Battles instead of Arcade HacknSlash?).

 

 

Be aware that saying something like "I want to create a XY clone" or "... create a game like XY, but with feature Z in it" will usually give you a reaction like GoCatGos above. I know a lot of the big studios seem to do that on a regular base, but they a) have the money to polish a dubious product into a good looking one, and b) have the money to take a hit if the 100st clone of Halo/CoD is no longer attractive to the customer and can keep on producing other games.

And most of all they did it before, so doing the second or third clone will be quite cheap (like the yearly clone of CoD we got for some years... or the 30st clone of the FIFA game).

 

 

That said, as long as you are aware WHY people react this way and that they DO have a valid point, you can keep your current course if you want and prove them wrong. Maybe you are the next Notch and will come up with "Minecraft, but better"?

Stranger things have happened (Facebook raising to glory with a cheap clone of older similar websites thanks to massive amount of investor cash for example, IMO).

 

The point is: stop talking about what you want to make and start making it. Only then people will start to believe in your vision.

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The point is: stop talking about what you want to make and start making it. Only then people will start to believe in your vision.

 

I suppose you are right :)

Seeing negative rep points on my opening post last night made me feel a bit defensive.

 

I'll say this though, I have no personal interest in a clone. If I got very far into this, I would make it my own.

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