I propose to drop the current status that Minetest Game has: As the default “game” (actually: modding base) for Minetest.
One important thing to clarify: I do NOT propose to kill MTG. Nor do I urge any current MTG dev to abandon MTG development. I don't care whoever wants to dev MTG or not. You can tweak it all you want, even dedicate your whole life to it and I won't mind at all as long MTG doesn't reign supreme which it currently does. I don't want to dictate what you can, and cannot contribute to.
There are several reasons that led to my request:
- The name “Minetest Game” is misleading: MTG is now commonly referrerd to as a “modding base”. Well, but if Minetest Game is only a “modding base”, then why call it a game?
- It's basically a modding base, but it's promoted as if it's a game.
- MTG is pretty bad in singleplayer. It's an big empty sandbox; it simply gets boring fast and there's just not much stuff to do and you run out of gameplay fast. But I don't want to go into great detail here, I have discussed this (and other gameplay issues) in great length elsewhere.
- People often say you are supposed to install mods to make MTG interesting. Well, OK. But this basically means: Basically, players have to become a part-time game dev themselves and turn it into an actual game. That's nothing that new players like to do.
- No game (or modding base) should reign supreme over other games.
- Minetest devs, including celeron55, often say the point of Minetest is to be a mostly generic game engine for all sorts of voxel games. Therefore, the concept of a default game just waters down that goal. This might (!) bias MT development towards MTG
- With the addition of Content DB, there seems to be no longer a need for a default game
- All the free promotion that MTG gets for being the default is distracting potential contributors from actual games
- MTG is unplayable if you're new in this kind of genre. There's no help, no crafting guide, no nothing. Yes, we do have a wiki. But remember that people might get Minetest from other sources than minetest.net, so they might not be aware that the wiki exists. But the lack of a crafting guide is the worst of all, given that crafting guides are standard in pretty much every game for Minetest. This makes it unneccessarily hard for newcomers to start with Minetest.
- MTG is the first “game” that new players see. As I pointed out in this thread and elsewhere, vanilla (!) MTG is weak for singleplayer. New players see this weak “game”, and will be rightfully disappointed. Being the default “game”, some players will think “Well, if that's the best that the Minetest community can offer, then why should I bother with the rest?”. We can't blame the newbies for thinking like this.
The whole concept of a default game, frankly, doesn't make much sense anymore. And therefore, I think, there should be no default game.
Instead, Minetest should ship with no games installed.
It will definitely help a lot to improve the homepage to better showcase high-quality games, but this is a different discussion.
Side request: Minimal Development Test should be removed or at least hidden from non-devs as well, if that hasn't been done already. For this I only have one reason: Minimal Development Test is only meant for Minetest core devs, i.e. <0.1% of the playerbase.
Remember, the goal of this thread is not to kill MTG. It's also not to hate on MTG (not this time!). MTG has its 100% legit applications, like “modding it to death” and “hosting great modded servers with it”. But “being the default game for Minetest that all newbies will see” is not one of them.