What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

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MirceaKitsune
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What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by MirceaKitsune » Fri Apr 25, 2014 13:19

I play both Minecraft and Minetest since the birth of both projects, usually on multiplayer servers. At this day, most public Minetest servers have features that should make it as exciting as Minecraft. There are a lot of materials to mine, many tools to craft, different biomes... and with mods we can also have mobs including hostile ones! Normally, Minetest is able to offer the diversity and excitement Minecraft does, and I already visited some servers that do so.

Yet for some reason, I can't help but notice something I can't pin down to a specific fault. Even when a Minetest server has large cities, a lot of mods, many active players, or any feature you would expect... it simply doesn't feel as compelling as Minecraft. The environment feels more dull, and it gives the impression there isn't really anything to do. Obviously this isn't a critique... I'm simply confused what is missing, and how it can be improved most of all.

From a more personal perspective: Whenever I go on a crowded Minecraft server, I quickly start interacting with the environment as well as people. Getting materials, tools, building a house, going underground to mine, etc. I never really get bored... something palpable is almost always going on, and the environment feels very alive itself. Yet when I join a Minetest server, I don't feel like there is much to do; I can farm just like in MC, but don't really feel like bothering. There are hostile mobs, but I don't feel like there's any fun to fight them. There are beautiful cities with very nice houses, yet I don't feel like getting a house there. And the environment feels well... very static and dead. Usually I just parkour around spawn, look at what people are chatting, and eventually make a little house somewhere then get bored and leave.

What's missing really? I thought Minetest was less exciting because we had few materials and tools at first. Since Lua support that all changed... some servers have more things to craft and do than the average Minecraft server. Yet it still doesn't feel like there's much to feel like doing.

I'm tempted to think artistic reasons might be the problem. I do sometimes feel like the default textures aren't quite as good looking as MC's. At the same time, minetest_game has very few sound effects, and mobs never make any sounds at all. I did make a patch which adds new sound effects, but there's been no news on it since. Some things also seem a bit too simplified; I did propose 2 x 2 inventory crafting with a workbench for the 3 x 3 grid in another patch, but most developers believe we shouldn't add more to minetest_game so this is also on hold. Other than that, I'm thinking improvements to other things such as networking (reducing lag due to position updates) might also offer more immersion.

What are your thoughts on this? If anyone else gets the same impression as me, why do Minetest servers still feel more boring than Minecraft ones? What actually needs fixing and changing to truly become better?
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by GingerHunter797 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 13:38

I feel EXACTLY like you do! But, I also like you cant seem to find why its so much more boring than Minecraft. I think I might agree with you in saying that it is the default textures. More artistic textures would make the game much more lively! I usually get the same feeling as Minecraft when Im playing over lan with someone who is in the same room. Also I think that more mods need to be integrated into the game. I say this because my step-brother and I love to play Minecraft and Minetest over lan but he always prefers MC because he doesnt like to mod the game. He always says it makes the game feel incomplete. Thats about all I have to say on this topic. :)
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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by Linxx » Fri Apr 25, 2014 14:01

PilzAdam wrote:Yay! Yet another MC vs. MT comparison!

can't be really avoided since both games are similar.Also I agree the game feels dull.
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by Casimir » Fri Apr 25, 2014 14:01

What is missing are challenges. You don't get hungry - why would you farm? When mining is not dangerous because there are no mobs, then it is just work to do to get some ores. There are to many ores anyway. When there are no zombies at night, you don't need the small first-night-hut that will protect you. Why would you try to build a good looking table from a fence and a pressure plate when there is homedecor? And you won't go for a long journey because all places look almost the same anyway.
The main challenge in voxel sandbox games is to build something nice out of cubes of 1m*1m*1m size. With all the mods at hand it sometimes feels more like sims than like minecraft.
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by Tom » Fri Apr 25, 2014 14:12

I think like you, Minetest has unique qualities compared to Minecraft:
  • opensource,
  • available on all the systems of the Creation,
  • written in C++ with a powerful API in Lua for modding – I'm running the game on an Intel Pentium IV at 2.20 GHz with 256 Mb of RAM and a Nvidia Geforce MX 420 on Debian.
What is missing to Minetest is an atmosphere, an artistic quality.

As you pointed, the sounds are too few and mostly of poor quality. (No offense to their authors, I know how difficult it is to make quality sounds.)

The textures by default are bad too. Simply install a texture pack like:
And the overall artistic qualities of the game are seriously boosted.

Finally, as you said, I think mobs need to be more charismatic, more dangerous, betterly textured and with better sounds and – why not? – installed by default.

Also, maybe some good mods like those of Paramat, mesecon, carts, moretree, worldedit, etc. need to be featured on the website in articles or something.

To me, those mesures could put MT and MC on an equal footing from the artistic point of view.

P.-S. – MirceaKitsune, I have to say that I like very much every of your contributions to MT and to Xonotic. ;)
Last edited by Tom on Fri Apr 25, 2014 14:28, edited 2 times in total.
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by onpon4 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 14:15

Everyone is talking about features and presentation, but isn't it obvious what fundamental element is lacking? Players. The biggest Minetest servers might have 15 players on at once in the best case. How many players tend to be on the biggest Minecraft servers?
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by Linxx » Fri Apr 25, 2014 14:18

onpon4 wrote:Everyone is talking about features and presentation, but isn't it obvious what fundamental element is lacking? Players. The biggest Minetest servers might have 15 players on at once in the best case. How many players tend to be on the biggest Minecraft servers?

biggest i've seen is 200
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by RavonTUS » Fri Apr 25, 2014 14:30

Greetings,

Back in the day, I played Ultima Online and ran a RunUO server. Playing UO on the EA servers was always fun, but playing on the "open source" servers, no matter how good they were, was a bit boring. I spent my time tweaking the server side because that was the fun part of running the back end - scripting, creating, modifying and improving my skills in something I was not familiar with but want to learn.

Same here, I don't know Lua, but I'm learning. My player base was thrilled when I added the u_skins mod. I didn't realize there was a "MINETEST_GAME" till just a few days ago, and now I can go figure that out too.

In my opinion, it comes down to real life. We have group of awesome authors, coders, artists, dreamers and contributors. MC has money, time and marketing. Open Source programs, in order to compete, need these three things. ubuntu would be an example of that. Mark Shuttleworth took a small linux distribution and poured money, time and marketing into it to make it what it is today.

In the end, as I tell my player base, "Be happy with what you have."

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by Linxx » Fri Apr 25, 2014 15:02

i can't be happy when there can be many improvements atleast in the content area
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by Jordach » Fri Apr 25, 2014 15:07

We're not missing anything, apart from the 12 year olds that need silver spoon feeding.
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by ShadowNinja » Fri Apr 25, 2014 15:10

Jordach wrote:We're not missing anything, apart from the 12 year olds that need silver spoon feeding.

We're not missing those... Perhaps we don't have the same quantity of them though.
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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by tinoesroho » Fri Apr 25, 2014 15:33

It would be nice to get the Okkeri, the DM, and the rat back. I joined up in the dev 2012-0222-1 days, and that was a heckuva lot of fun.

Despite people flying around all over...

We built a skyscraper from cobble and leaves. I installed and played with a bunch of mods (morefurnace, morechest, teleport, nuke, nature, moreores,vessels, animatedtorches, zdoors, trapdoors, vombies).

Landgen was slower back then, but things ran faster. It was probably the lack of nodeboxes and 3d models.

Anyways, I'm not here to reminisce.

What we do need is a minetest_classic game mode based on minimal. Add in mobs, make animated torches optional, add the original carts (the automatic ones), call it a day. Maybe add Ambient Sounds. Remove obsidian, reinstate infinite liquids. Add the classic farming, maybe. Just wheat gets boring. Remove bones (**** bones). Add wieldview.

Mods like Mines and Pyramids are pretty cool. Nether doesn't really add anything to the game.

Somebody, bring back the good ol' days, but with the latest and greatest in minetest developments.

We don't need to become more like Minecraft. We need to become more like the Minetest we used to know.
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by rubenwardy » Fri Apr 25, 2014 16:37

I suggest renaming this topic to:

What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft and other clones?
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by MirceaKitsune » Fri Apr 25, 2014 18:11

Thanks for the quick replies. I agree with most comments... especially Casimir and Tom. Also, I will try those other texture packs too... thank you for mentioning them.

onpon4 wrote:Everyone is talking about features and presentation, but isn't it obvious what fundamental element is lacking? Players. The biggest Minetest servers might have 15 players on at once in the best case. How many players tend to be on the biggest Minecraft servers?


I do disagree here though, although it would seem like it's the case. On Minecraft, I would often play on a server that had about 15 players online at once, and it was exciting. A few weeks ago however, I entered a Minetest server which had over 20 players! And I still didn't find anything to do while everything seemed boring. Of course, it would be nice if Minetest also had 100 players at once, but from my experience that's not a crucial element right now IMO.

PilzAdam wrote:Yay! Yet another MC vs. MT comparison!


I guess I'm doing that, but the purpose is trying to figure out what can be improved. If it's in a constructive way, and to become better than MC, I think such comparison is good.
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by Linxx » Fri Apr 25, 2014 18:37

MirceaKitsune wrote:Thanks for the quick replies. I agree with most comments... especially Casimir and Tom. Also, I will try those other texture packs too... thank you for mentioning them.

onpon4 wrote:Everyone is talking about features and presentation, but isn't it obvious what fundamental element is lacking? Players. The biggest Minetest servers might have 15 players on at once in the best case. How many players tend to be on the biggest Minecraft servers?


I do disagree here though, although it would seem like it's the case. On Minecraft, I would often play on a server that had about 15 players online at once, and it was exciting. A few weeks ago however, I entered a Minetest server which had over 20 players! And I still didn't find anything to do while everything seemed boring. Of course, it would be nice if Minetest also had 100 players at once, but from my experience that's not a crucial element right now IMO.

PilzAdam wrote:Yay! Yet another MC vs. MT comparison!


I guess I'm doing that, but the purpose is trying to figure out what can be improved. If it's in a constructive way, and to become better than MC, I think such comparison is good.

i still say the problem is the lack of content mixed with the textures :/
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by Inocudom » Fri Apr 25, 2014 18:53

Linxx wrote:
MirceaKitsune wrote:Thanks for the quick replies. I agree with most comments... especially Casimir and Tom. Also, I will try those other texture packs too... thank you for mentioning them.

onpon4 wrote:Everyone is talking about features and presentation, but isn't it obvious what fundamental element is lacking? Players. The biggest Minetest servers might have 15 players on at once in the best case. How many players tend to be on the biggest Minecraft servers?


I do disagree here though, although it would seem like it's the case. On Minecraft, I would often play on a server that had about 15 players online at once, and it was exciting. A few weeks ago however, I entered a Minetest server which had over 20 players! And I still didn't find anything to do while everything seemed boring. Of course, it would be nice if Minetest also had 100 players at once, but from my experience that's not a crucial element right now IMO.

PilzAdam wrote:Yay! Yet another MC vs. MT comparison!


I guess I'm doing that, but the purpose is trying to figure out what can be improved. If it's in a constructive way, and to become better than MC, I think such comparison is good.

i still say the problem is the lack of content mixed with the textures :/

Hmm, it is true that Minetest does still feel a little lifeless. Maybe if things like colored light rays and positional ambience sounds were added to Minetest, the gaming experience would be improved. More sound effects (especially for the player models) would help too.

MirceaKitsune, if you still seek to add colored lightrays to Minetest, talk it over with RealBadAngel. He is your best chance.
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by MirceaKitsune » Fri Apr 25, 2014 19:01

Linxx wrote:i still say the problem is the lack of content mixed with the textures :/


Depends which content. Materials, tools and biomes are numerous enough with the proper mods. What's missing IMO is a diversity of mobs (PA's SimpleMobs only offer a few and most servers only keep those), and perhaps more plants or unique items / nodes would be welcome. If anything's visibly missing however, I think it's more sound effects and perhaps particle effects in some cases.

IMO, the problem might be the quality of existing content. Which again is harder to pin down to a specific fault. Even if you're just walking on an empty landscape; In Minecraft it all feels more lively and like you're there, but Minetest has less immersion for some reason. I was hoping things like my colored fog would fix that more, but there's still something that makes the environment not feel as complete.

I'll try a bunch of different texture packages and see how that feels. Although the textures only seem to be a small part of it. Even with the best TP's in the past, something still felt wrong.

Inocudom wrote:MirceaKitsune, if you still seek to add colored lightrays to Minetest, talk it over with RealBadAngel. He is your best chance.


I'm still talking to RBA about adding dynamic light. That and post-processing shaders will be a huge and fantastic improvement! Colored lights should then become possible too.
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by Calinou » Fri Apr 25, 2014 19:06

MirceaKitsune wrote:
Linxx wrote:i still say the problem is the lack of content mixed with the textures :/


Depends which content. Materials, tools and biomes are numerous enough with the proper mods. What's missing IMO is a diversity of mobs (PA's SimpleMobs only offer a few and most servers only keep those), and perhaps more plants or unique items / nodes would be welcome. If anything's visibly missing however, I think it's more sound effects and perhaps particle effects in some cases.

IMO, the problem might be the quality of existing content. Which again is harder to pin down to a specific fault. Even if you're just walking on an empty landscape; In Minecraft it all feels more lively and like you're there, but Minetest has less immersion for some reason. I was hoping things like my colored fog would fix that more, but there's still something that makes the environment not feel as complete.

I'll try a bunch of different texture packages and see how that feels. Although the textures only seem to be a small part of it. Even with the best TP's in the past, something still felt wrong.


Give custom games like Minetest NeXt or Carbone a try? These improve the gameplay in general, have more stuff to play with by default and some of them replace the default textures.

Colored lights and such are very, very unlikely of being added to the engine in the master branch.
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by Casimir » Fri Apr 25, 2014 19:30

I still say the problem is to much content. Go and play the 0.3.1 version of Minetest (or Nostalgia). You will find that the very lack of content will make you creative. A castle only build out of cobble and sand suddenly creates an atmosphere the current version of Minetest can not offer.
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by PilzAdam » Fri Apr 25, 2014 19:43

Casimir wrote:I still say the problem is to much content. Go and play the 0.3.1 version of Minetest (or Nostalgia). You will find that the very lack of content will make you creative. A castle only build out of cobble and sand suddenly creates an atmosphere the current version of Minetest can not offer.

I got the perfect game for you: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3441
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by MirceaKitsune » Fri Apr 25, 2014 19:52

I don't think too much content is a bad thing... quite the contrary! However, getting all that content too easily can be a problem. IMO games should be designed so players advance slowly, and have to mine and craft and explore a lot for the good stuff.
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by Calinou » Fri Apr 25, 2014 20:27

MirceaKitsune wrote:I don't think too much content is a bad thing... quite the contrary! However, getting all that content too easily can be a problem. IMO games should be designed so players advance slowly, and have to mine and craft and explore a lot for the good stuff.


Skill should be valued, not play time.
 

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Re: What's Minetest still missing over Minecraft?

by Linxx » Fri Apr 25, 2014 20:29

Calinou wrote:
MirceaKitsune wrote:I don't think too much content is a bad thing... quite the contrary! However, getting all that content too easily can be a problem. IMO games should be designed so players advance slowly, and have to mine and craft and explore a lot for the good stuff.


Skill should be valued, not play time.

i think both should be valued equally
 

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