Mojang, indie-superstar turned up-and-coming publisher sweetheart, has just increased its numbers by four after absorbing the main developers of Bukkit, an extremely popular Minecraft server mod. Bukkit sprung up in early 2011 largely because the server implementation in vanilla Minecraft was, and for the moment still is, lacking at best. On top of that, mod implementation (particularly multiplayer mod implementation) is practically impossible in vanilla Minecraft. But have no fear Minecrafters, your crazy server problems are not long for this world.
The main Bukkit team, Warren Loo, Erik Broes, Nathan Adams, and Nathan Gilbert will now begin working on “improving both the server and the client to offer better official support for larger servers and server modifications,” according to the Mojang blog post announcing the new partnership. In the meantime, Bukkit will be updated for the upcoming 1.2 release of Minecraft, the idea being that by the time 1.3 rolls around, the vanilla implementation of Bukkit functionality should be sufficient.
Mojang is no stranger to absorbing fan-made improvements, at least ones that aim to improve the game from a technical standpoint. Mojang approached the maker of Optifine, a popular performance enhancing mod, about incorporating it into the core of the game. Unfortunately, that plan was eventually scrapped when the two couldn’t agree on compensation. It’s heartening to see that Bukkit has had no such problems, and will help improve the framework of Minecraft by leaps and bounds.
As generally expected, the official release of Minecraft has done little to impede it’s forward march. With weekly snapshots, releases are actually more frequent than they’ve been since the Friday Updates back in Alpha. Considering what Bukkit functionality will do for mods, you can expect the modding scene to be more vibrant than ever as well. The age of Minecraft is far from over.
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