My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

Lessaloploth
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My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by Lessaloploth » Tue Oct 06, 2015 21:46

Alright, I've lurked the forums for a long time before making an account and I know this much, that Minetest is supposed to be different from Minecraft, completely distinguished and not a clone. I get that, so don't think I'm trying to make Minetest like Minecraft. I'm here to discuss what I like and don't like about Minetest and what I think the solutions are, and I'm not using Minecraft as a comparison but an example. Before I get to that, I'd like to explain that I LOVE the idea of Minetest, even moreso than Minecraft. I have a valid Minecraft account and I have since alpha, and believe me, Minetest is the way. Now on to the points.

First of all, I'd like to link this topic: https://forum.minetest.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9172. MirceaKitsune's main problem is the same as mine, Minetest feels empty or barren, even with mods. It's not barren though, as Kitsune said, it's got MORE features with the added mods. Quite a lot more, actually. But the point still stands, and that is, it does feel empty. And I am almost certain I know a big reason as to why. There's a lack of cohesion and aesthetic, as Kitsune was beginning to believe. Don't go full blast hipster and say graphics aren't everything, I know that. I don't even like new games, I hate bloom and lens flares. But imagine reading a book, completely flawless story, amazing writing and deep characters. And it's written in rainbow coloured comic sans text on a blackboard- You, WON'T like it.

Minetest needs to have an updated default texture with a cohesive, immersive design, and a defined design language for anyone to understand so that they can incorporate fitting textures into their mods. Even without mods, some things in the game just look like they aren't even from the same game. And don't get me started on the blend textures- blend textures are bad, really bad, almost as bad as gradients from the old days when flash was all the rage. Now I know it seems like a big thing to say, but the old default texture needs to go, and it needs to be replaced with a better one, and the new one should be cohesive and unified. Please don't say "if you don't like it change it yourself", because that doesn't help anything. It would be like if I ordered a steak at a restaurant and they served it green and told me "If you don't like it cook it yourself".

Alright, done with that. Time for a smaller one. Mob API and mobs in the default game. This is a no brainer. People on the Minetest forums have complained about "I can do all these things like in Minecraft, but why? I can do it but why would I do it?". Here's why you would do it in Minecraft- you need to build a shelter because monsters will get you. You need to build a farm hunt pigs because you will starve. You need to mine ore because monsters will be too poweful for you, and et cetera- Minecraft has had mobs since indev. Now, I know you are about to say "but that's Minecraft, Minetest ISN'T Minecraft". Yes, that's true, I understand that 100%. But Minetest NEEDS a baddie, something to be afraid of, something to avoid, or something like that. That's what gives people a reason to keep going. So how would this be implemented in Minetest? Maybe it doesn't need mobs. If really want to go full hipster and "stick it to the man" and just have nothing from Minecraft, maybe survival mode could have something like temperature, and you need a shelter to keep yourself warm. Just something to give purpose, some kind of difficulty.

Finally, for all the people who don't like the tediums of hunger, mobs, and difficulty, just play creative. If you play survival with the intent just just build un-hindered there is no reason to play surival. Creative has no tedious mechanics and is perfect for you.

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by Linuxdirk » Tue Oct 06, 2015 22:47

Im all in with you regarding the textures. They all look like placeholder graphics a programmer put in because he needs a texture to see the node and effects he programmed.

Minetest REALLY needs a texture artist to actually make a good default set of textures (and needs to get rid of 2D items completely)
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by kaadmy » Tue Oct 06, 2015 23:28

+1 to OP

Linuxdirk wrote:Minetest REALLY needs a texture artist to actually make a good default set of textures (and needs to get rid of 2D items completely)

I have been thinking about this, maybe somebody could ask Kenney to come back to Minetest instead of Unity? There are probably plenty of people willing to work on something like VoXus, and if art is the problem, Kenney might be able to release the existing art(I know he hired someone else to do VoXus's art)?
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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by Calinou » Wed Oct 07, 2015 09:38

Please write a mobs mod that:

  • has few or no bugs (this instantly excludes Simple Mobs and Carbone Mobs),
  • has no bloat (this instantly excludes MOBF),
  • has few, but enough mobs that are consistent both in looks and in mechanics (this instantly excludes Mobs Redo),
  • doesn't feel laggy (ie. doesn't rely too much on server-side computation),
  • is fast.

Then make a pull request here.

Also, I'd like to note that dedicated artists of any kind will often cost money, and don't always bring good results. Who pays for them? :)

I think the textures have improved a lot since 2012. You can see old textures (pre-2012) here.
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by jp » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:38

We already replaced a bunch of textures by some of PixelBOX, there were made by a real artist and the license granted us a total freedom. Some original textures are still considered superiors though (i.e. we haven't found better ones yet within the community under an advantageous license).

Also the ins and outs of certain choices like abstaining of adding mobs are beyond the knownledge of the regular users that are not deeply involved into the engine's behavior and our "culture". To the eyes of a player, features are often perceived as exciting and must be blindly added, while a developer / modder is more concerned whether it's harmful or not behind the scenes.
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by rubenwardy » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:49

A good mobs mod would need some kind of acceleration for C++ - I'm waiting for the client side lua to come to allow better prediction.
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by Furikawari » Wed Oct 07, 2015 13:41

jp wrote:We already replaced a bunch of textures by some of PixelBOX, there were made by a real artist and the license granted us a total freedom. Some original textures are still considered superiors though (i.e. we haven't found better ones yet within the community under an advantageous license).

Also the ins and outs of certain choices like abstaining of adding mobs are beyond the knownledge of the regular users that are not deeply involved into the engine's behavior and our "culture". To the eyes of a player, features are often perceived as exciting and must be blindly added, while a developer / modder is more concerned whether it's harmful or not behind the scenes.


Mobs are a no brainer though. All posts about how to improve minetest contains a line with "add mob to default game" or something close to it (like better/faster API). But yeah, you probably have good reasons that the pleb can't understand.
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by Ferk » Wed Oct 07, 2015 15:42

I agree with most of what you said, particularly about the need for mobs and the sensation of it "feeling empty" (though this last thing is basically a kind of subjective perception).

But I'm not so sure about the textures.
Maybe I'm partially numb to their graphic style because of seeing them too much. Could you point out examples of the default set of textures shipped with Minetest that look like they "aren't even from the same game"?

Lessaloploth wrote:Please don't say "if you don't like it change it yourself", because that doesn't help anything. It would be like if I ordered a steak at a restaurant and they served it green and told me "If you don't like it cook it yourself".

Actually, saying "This must be done" doesn't really help much either when we all agree and already know about it (and the fact that you are pointing to another thread that already discusses exactly the same thing is proof of this.. that topic is already quite active, why would making another one change anything?).

Maybe we should actually discuss about possible implementations of the mobs API that could work, study the current mods and see where they are failing. What features in the engine would help those mods work reliably and efficiently. This is free software, it's not a restaurant but more of a buffet.

We need more constructive criticism that actually brings fresh ideas on the table and that helps implement what we want. Just complaining won't help move things forward.
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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by Ben » Wed Oct 07, 2015 19:35

Shameless plug, but for a mob-less survival challenge, you could set it up so that you need to… beware the dark :-D

Plus mods for other challenges, like hunger and thirst, do exist. I do agree though that 1) "mobs sans mods" is definitely needed, and 2) there's hardly any "goal". Oh, and 3) need more coherence and depth in mechanics.
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by Linuxdirk » Fri Oct 09, 2015 23:39

jp wrote:We already replaced a bunch of textures by some of PixelBOX, there were made by a real artist and the license granted us a total freedom. Some original textures are still considered superiors though (i.e. we haven't found better ones yet within the community under an advantageous license).

That’s the issue here. “Pick a bit from here, pick a bit from there, keep some of our own work, leave some untouched placeholder graphics in the game” … et voila: inconsistent chaos which in result looks worse than each set of textures by it’s own.

Even placeholder graphics look okay-ish when done in the same style. It’s not so much about how well the textures are made, it’s about how consistent the whole set of textures is.

PixelBOX is actually very pretty – This is why I use it as my “default pack” for personal and YouTube gaming.

Why not recruit Gambit as main texture artist for Minestest instead of only taking some of the textures he made?
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by Ferk » Sat Oct 10, 2015 03:17

Linuxdirk wrote:That’s the issue here. “Pick a bit from here, pick a bit from there, keep some of our own work, leave some untouched placeholder graphics in the game” … et voila: inconsistent chaos which in result looks worse than each set of textures by it’s own.

I'm still not convinced. While I think there are some nodes that should be reconsidered (mainly the bones node), I can't see how default Minetest Game textures are any more inconsistent than the default Minecraft textures, for example.

Linuxdirk wrote:PixelBOX is actually very pretty

Could it be that the thing here is that PixelBOX ships with textures for several mods, and thus is able to offer a consistent look across them? I notice some mods ship with different style than default Minetest, sometimes even inconsistent in resolution, totally standing out. Are we comparing default Minetest or are we including in the comparison mods that have been created independently by diverse people, maybe some of them as placeholders and that are pretty much outside of control for the main team?
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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by jp » Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:02

I agree for some inconsistency. At the renewal minetest_game (i.e. 0.4.10 release), some new textures like the dirt went out from a pack called "Natural Beauty" which aimed for pixel-realism or so.

Then after we had partly merged another bunch of pixel-cartoonish textures from PixelBOX.

As for Gambit, he left our community for years now. So unless if we hire him (thing that we can't afford), I doubt he would be involved again. Real artists generally expect to be paid somehow.
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by Linuxdirk » Sat Oct 10, 2015 22:09

Ferk wrote:I can't see how default Minetest Game textures are any more inconsistent than the default Minecraft textures, for example.

Have you actually seen the latest Minecraft textures? Since they hired a professional texture artist they were able to remove all inconsistency in style and aesthetics.

Ferk wrote:I notice some mods ship with different style than default Minetest, sometimes even inconsistent in resolution, totally standing out.

Like Home Decor … I totally hate inconsistency but Home Decor is the only mod that allows players to add a shitload of home objects. Too bad a lot of objects are not rather blocky and having a great pixel look but be high-res perfectly constructed high-detail 3D objects not fitting in the world at all. But that’s another topic.

Ferk wrote:Are we comparing default Minetest or are we including in the comparison mods that have been created independently by diverse people, […]?

The default texture pack should cover the default nodes and all other stuff that’s in “Minetest Game” and provide some design guidelines for mod makers.

jp wrote:As for Gambit, he left our community for years now. So unless if we hire him (thing that we can't afford), I doubt he would be involved again. Real artists generally expect to be paid somehow.

Then let’s fund hiring a texture artist creating a default set of textures for >=0.5.0 and establish some design guidelines for further textures!
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by AccidentallyRhine » Sun Oct 11, 2015 02:43

This is free software, it's not a restaurant but more of a buffet.


lol More like a soup kitchen.

I would like to address the notion that Minetest != Minecraft. Everyone tip toes around the idea that (heaven forbid) Minetest resembles Minecraft. Just look at it.
Image

You're going to tell me that Minetest is not a clone? There are plenty of sources which recognize it as such.

And that's not a bad thing. We shouldn't be twisting features around just to try to make it different, only do so when said feature lends itself to the quality of Minetest. A fellow forum user once compared excluding features from Minetest (mobs in this case) to building a FOSS first person shooter and then neglecting to add guns because "we don't want it to be too much like other shooters". Minetest is a blatant Minecraft clone, stop beating around the bush.
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by TenPlus1 » Sun Oct 11, 2015 07:41

Minetest != Minecraft, which in itself != Infiniminer... Each of these was based on something before it and made differently.
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by ABJ » Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:59

Well said!
That argument also applies to retarded Minecraft fanboys. You just HAVE to tell them that Minecraft is also a rip-off of Infiniminer.
Now here goes.
Minetest in it's current state DEPRESSES me. I almost never play singleplayer except to do a certain thing for once. It's boring, shallow, barren and placeholderish, and it all boils down to a completely repulsive game which you don't want to see for another moment. And that's not to speak of the interface.
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by Ferk » Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:40

AnxiousInfusion wrote:resembles Minecraft. Just look at it.


It's not just about the looks.
The recipes, the items, the logic... don't tell me that all this is just coincidence and Minetest just happened to come up with exactly the same concepts, even those that make little sense:

Why is stone the only node that drops another node different than itself when mined (cobblestone)? ...because Minecraft?

Why are sand and gravel the only falling blocks? why not snow for example?

Why is it possible to make tools made out of gold? (which makes a very bad material for that) or diamond? (which is hard but also brittle.. I doubt a real diamond axe will be any good) did it have to be exactly like Minecraft? Do you really have to make tools out of every mineral? (oh wait, except for copper for some reason)

Speaking of which... the only vanilla Minetest mineral that is not in vanilla Minecraft (copper, if you sort of compensate redstone with mese) is added as a way to create an alloy inconsistent with reality (real bronce does not involve steel at all) and inconsistent with previous Minecraft-copied mechanics (steel is an iron alloy and you still can make it directly, but for bronze that is a copper alloy you need crafting). It saddens me that for something that for once was original in Minetest it was given an inconsistent recipe and it doesn't even bring much to the table (gameplay-wise bronze is too similar to steel to matter). I'm not asking for realism but for some level of consistency with reality, just like the rest of recipes (which happen to be pretty much the same as Minecraft). Don't tell me that it's mixed with steel for the sake of gameplay balance because there's a thousand other ways it could have been balanced and the way it's done now copper barely contributes to gameplay anyway.... and yet other things that could have been added are frown upon because they want to stay basic.

Sometimes it feels like "basic" means any element that Minecraft has had for a while. I think the last addition to minetest_game was waterlilies (also in Minecraft). However, for the underground I doubt anything will be added as it was already stated that "we have already too many ores" (I guess it's 1 more than in Minecraft).

But yes, Minetest != Minecraft. It's just coincidential that it happens to be extremely similar.. the game is instead based on infiniminer, just with its own different tools, different ores, different blocks, different interface. It's certainly original when you compare it with infiniminer. Even more original if you compare it with Infinifrag, which infiniminer was based on.

All that said, I don't think copying Minecraft is per-se a bad thing. All I care is to have an awesome open source sandbox game based on 3D blocks that is extensible, has a nice community and is powered by an engine that gives lots of freedom allowing interesting mods.
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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by T3kW4ffl3 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 15:55

Ferk wrote:
AnxiousInfusion wrote:resembles Minecraft. Just look at it.


It's not just about the looks.
The recipes, the items, the logic... don't tell me that all this is just coincidence and Minetest just happened to come up with exactly the same concepts, even those that make little sense:

Why is stone the only node that drops another node different than itself when mined (cobblestone)? ...because Minecraft?

Why are sand and gravel the only falling blocks? why not snow for example?

Why is it possible to make tools made out of gold? (which makes a very bad material for that) or diamond? (which is hard but also brittle.. I doubt a real diamond axe will be any good) did it have to be exactly like Minecraft? Do you really have to make tools out of every mineral? (oh wait, except for copper for some reason)

Speaking of which... the only vanilla Minetest mineral that is not in vanilla Minecraft (copper, if you sort of compensate redstone with mese) is added as a way to create an alloy inconsistent with reality (real bronce does not involve steel at all) and inconsistent with previous Minecraft-copied mechanics (steel is an iron alloy and you still can make it directly, but for bronze that is a copper alloy you need crafting). It saddens me that for something that for once was original in Minetest it was given an inconsistent recipe and it doesn't even bring much to the table (gameplay-wise bronze is too similar to steel to matter). I'm not asking for realism but for some level of consistency with reality, just like the rest of recipes (which happen to be pretty much the same as Minecraft). Don't tell me that it's mixed with steel for the sake of gameplay balance because there's a thousand other ways it could have been balanced and the way it's done now copper barely contributes to gameplay anyway.... and yet other things that could have been added are frown upon because they want to stay basic.

Sometimes it feels like "basic" means any element that Minecraft has had for a while. I think the last addition to minetest_game was waterlilies (also in Minecraft). However, for the underground I doubt anything will be added as it was already stated that "we have already too many ores" (I guess it's 1 more than in Minecraft).

But yes, Minetest != Minecraft. It's just coincidential that it happens to be extremely similar.. the game is instead based on infiniminer, just with its own different tools, different ores, different blocks, different interface. It's certainly original when you compare it with infiniminer. Even more original if you compare it with Infinifrag, which infiniminer was based on.

All that said, I don't think copying Minecraft is per-se a bad thing. All I care is to have an awesome open source sandbox game based on 3D blocks that is extensible, has a nice community and is powered by an engine that gives lots of freedom allowing interesting mods.

if you feel all of this about it then ma,e your own fork
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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by Ferk » Tue Oct 13, 2015 16:32

T3kW4ffl3 wrote:if you feel all of this about it then ma,e your own fork


My point was to acknowledge the fact that vanilla Minetest is very much like Minecraft already. I never said that's a bad thing, not necessarily. I actually explicitly stated that in my last paragraph.

But even if I wanted it to be less than Minecraft, a fork wouldn't even be necessary since it's enough to just make a different subgame to change much of the behavior.. you could actually consider every subgame to be a fork of minetest_game already. This kind of flexibility is where Minetest shines.
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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by blockybison » Wed Oct 14, 2015 09:19

Remind me again why is similarity with Minecraft a bad thing? If Minetest's extensibility becomes so powerful that you can make a faithful clone of the (by far) most popular voxel based sandbox game in the world, doesn't that mean the developers are doing a good job?

Also, "if you don't like it just fork it" is the lamest response ever, I can't believe how often I read it... it's like a lot of people think open source projects should be immune from criticism (even constructive criticism).
 

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Re: My thoughts on Minetest coming from Minecraft

by Linuxdirk » Wed Oct 14, 2015 14:18

blockybison wrote:If Minetest's extensibility becomes so powerful that you can make a faithful clone of the (by far) most popular voxel based sandbox game in the world, doesn't that mean the developers are doing a good job?

Don't get me wrong, the modding API is a nice thing to have. But if the API would be actually a real modding API all Minetest forks could be proper subgame.
 

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