Hey, XComp, where’d you go?

Post by: on November 12th, 2015 | File Under Announcements, Ramblings

(This post is very “personal life” oriented. Steer clear if you don’t care.)
I’ve been staying pretty quiet about my hiatus. It wasn’t planned (or I’d have given warning) and has lasted much longer than I’d have liked.

The reasons are pretty mundane. I’m not dying (any faster than usual; at least such that I can tell). I’m not sick. I’m not even getting married or something significant like that (I’d probably have mentioned that if I were).

I’m just working full time on a project (for work at the Uni) that has been in crunch mode since about August. Keeps one busy.
At the same time, my motivation has been a little upended. This has to do partially with work as well, but the reverse direction.

About August (what is it with August this year?), I was informed that at the end of my current contract I cannot be guaranteed funding. This isn’t the problem most people would expect for me. While, ya, not being paid is problematic, I could try to get money from other sources (I could mod more and depend on Patreon again). The problem for me is residence permit. In order for me to get a permit to live in Finland I need to have an income. Thus, no funding means I can’t get a residence permit beyond my current contract.
I don’t think I need to say that the possibility of being kicked out of the country one considers home is a bit stressful.

Thus I’ve been looking for other ways to stay here in Finland. The first looks were how to stay in academia, but I’ve largely given up on that. There isn’t any money in the universities here and most of them are in a recruiting freeze because of it. At this point I’m trying to get a job “in the real world/industry.” It’s made a little more complex by wanting to stay in Finland.

I have some time, still, before “Volcano Day,” but it’s still stressful to the point of deterring me from working on Mystcraft.

I just felt that you all deserved to know why Mystcraft stopped updating around August and where I’ve been. Thank you to everyone and I hope I can be back on playing around with Mystcraft fairly soon.

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Post by: on November 12th, 2015 | File Under Mystcraft

Sorry for the hiatus. I wish I could say it was over, but the reasons for it persist.

In the mean time, there’s a bug fix build for Mystcraft.:P

Mystcraft is available from CurseForge.

Mystcraft Changelog

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What are packs? (Baby, don’t hurt me…)

Post by: on September 25th, 2015 | File Under Ramblings

The younger of you may not get that reference.
Those that do may not appreciate it. :P

Something that comes up really often for me is modpacks. Part of this is that Mystcraft is constantly inundated with modpack requests, but also because I interact with the community on this point. I enjoy providing tools and options to people building interesting packs.
So this post about modpacks will be to modders, not pack creators.

I think of modpacks as something akin to a remix. Taking things which already exist and arranging them to make something new. This is what I think a good modpack should be these days.*
Now, this squarely sets me as one of the modders who wants to build my mod(s) such as to allow easy remixing. Thus I provide lots of configs and options and IMC tools and try to make things as adaptive and adjustable as possible. I realize not all modders see things this way, and that some don’t want to allow for that level of customization. That’s really up to them. However, I would implore everyone to consider it.
You don’t have to make it as easy as a config option -IMC mechanics work well for modpack creators-, but allowing for mechanics to be added, tweaked, and disabled permits pack creators to produce even more creative things.

Some thoughts to consider:
You never can control how a user uses any software you write. Ever. Ultimately, how a user wishes to use what you have created is up to them.
If you are creating a mod, you are doing precisely this to someone else’s mechanics; you are modifying and extending the base game. Disallowing others to do that to what you have created is your right, but it is when we build on others’ work that the most interesting things occur. Letting others build on your work can lead to exciting things. Sometimes those contributions can be integrated into your work, and that saves you a lot of work!
Enabling remixing and control over how things work at any level helps build a stronger (,better, and more friendly) community. I know that the MC community is often… well, not as great as we’d like. The trick is to insulate yourself with the better of them (and ignore the rest). This helps with that.

Just my two cents on the topic. I use mods to produce the game I want to play. I like when those mods are balanced and interact well with each other, but sometimes they don’t do that out of the box.
Providing the tools and options to fix that balance to your community (not necessarily to average users, but to some level of the community) allows others to do that balance work for you and strengthens your community.


*There are the two cases of packs outside this. Packs for smallish communities, which I think should be private, and packs for media content creators, which I allow to be public so that streamers and YouTubers can let their audience play along.

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Mystcraft Trello Board

Post by: on August 3rd, 2015 | File Under Announcements, Mystcraft

Lots of posts in a short span of time, but everything kind of fell together at once. :P

Mystcraft now has a (public) Trello board. https://trello.com/b/0iPcFEAy

I’ve gone through a a few iterations on it for a little while, and I’ve settled on a timeline-like format. The upcoming features are to the right, and past things are to the left. Older versions are archived.
I’ve been on this format for a little while now and found that it works well for me. I can quickly arrange things based on when I think I will get to them, structure larger arcs of development, and put features which depend on stuff after the things they depend on.
While it’s not strictly a timeline, in that sometimes a feature might get warped from a later list to suddenly being an active task as things come up, it helps give a general impression.

I’ve opened it up so that anyone may comment on it, and there is a voting system, so let me know your thoughts. :)
(Note that, if the public commenting should turn out to be an issue, I will just turn it back off and we’ll just discuss everything on the forums like we have been. :P )

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Maven Repo!

Post by: on August 3rd, 2015 | File Under Announcements, LookingGlass, Mystcraft

(Forewarning: This post is mostly intended for other modders. It’s a cool thing and means neat stuff for the future, but the immediate applicability of it is limited to modders…)

Dev and API jars Mystcraft and LookingGlass are now possible to pull from a maven repo. maven.xcompwiz.com

Example GradleCode:

	repositories {
		maven {
			name "xcompwiz"
			url "http://maven.xcompwiz.com"
	dependencies {
		compile "com.xcompwiz.lookingglass:lookingglass:"
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Mystcraft 0.12.3

Post by: on August 3rd, 2015 | File Under Mystcraft

No LookingGlass build this week.

This Mystcraft release is centered around the trading system, which has been in a state of partial completion for a while now. Check out the changelog for what all that means and what else got thrown in. :D

I’ve also finalized the maven repo for my projects. More info for that will be posted somewhere soon. :P

Mystcraft is available from CurseForge.

Mystcraft Changelog

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Mystcraft 0.12.2

Post by: on July 21st, 2015 | File Under Mystcraft

No LookingGlass build this week.

This Mystcraft release was mostly bugfixes and compatibility handling for a few things.

I’ve been really busy with general travels and things. Haven’t been home since slightly before MineCon, really, so I’ve had limited opportunity to work on things. Should be returning to a “normal” schedule at this point.

Mystcraft is available from CurseForge.

Mystcraft Changelog

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Using Trello

Post by: on July 13th, 2015 | File Under Ramblings

I’ve been experimenting with using Trello for Mystcraft for a little while now. Thus far, I’ve found it a good way it organize my TODOs, and definitely an improvement from my flat text sheets.

For those who haven’t seen it, Trello is a neat little web app for project management. It supports the creation of lists in which you create “cards” detailing different tasks (or “stories”) which need to be completed. It is modeled on the Kanban paradigm.

I’m still on the fence about the best way for me to manage the lists, though. I tried the “standard” arrangement and set my lists up in a Kanban-like system, moving the cards between lists depending on what I’m currently doing and what I won’t be doing for a little while.
However, I’m thinking about arranging the lists as release arcs, breaking up the lists into individual releases as I hit them. The main idea behind this is to get better relationships between the cards. Currently you can just link to the cards, but there’s not really a dependency system.

It’s possible, I think, to try and put all the things which would depend on a task inside the same card, but since I like to have pretty small tasks this results in not wanting to have large cards. I also like to detail things pretty well, and it’s hard to detail the checklist elements on a card. Now if there were sub-cards….

If anyone has any thoughts on this (particularly anyone who has used Trello) I’d love to hear them. I actually have been thinking of making the Mystcraft Trello board publicly accessible and opening it up for comments and things, so let me know if you are interested in that as well.

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Mystcraft 0.12.1 and LookingGlass 0.2.0

Post by: on July 13th, 2015 | File Under LookingGlass, Mystcraft

I hope everyone has been happy with the baselining changes. I’ve not heard anything, so I assume no one had any complaints. :P

Last weekend I didn’t release anything due to MineCon. No explanation needed there, I’m sure. ;)

I’ve nearly finished the initial version of Slidercraft, which should be fun. It’ll make for a good toy on Let’s Plays and video series, as well as a fun gameplay mode in general, I hope.
Part of that has been testing and building a number of things for realtime portal rendering and transition. The inter-dim portals are coming along nicely.
Unfortunately, that’s not quite here, yet.

What I have for release right now is some LookingGlass improvements. Particularly, I’ve improved the cleanup handling for views, so if your objects clean up properly (in terms of Garbage Collection) then the frame buffers used by the views will clean up too. This is mostly a modder focused improvement, but it will hopefully positively impact end-user performance.
I also fixed a bug where the current world’s entities would get muddled if you created a view to it. Should be alright now.

Mystcraft got an update as well, mostly to use the new version of LookingGlass.

One of the most exciting things for this set of builds is probably the inclusion of the API sources in the dev and API jars for both Mystcraft and LookingGlass. The dev jars will be available alongside the API jars from now on.
This means those using the APIs will get the javadoc and be able to read the original source code of the APIs. This was the original intent, but I messed it up, apparently. :P
Note that is IS possible to use CurseForge as a maven repository, but it’s not great. You have to refer to the specific file you want to download. I’m trying to get a better location, but I’m in the middle of relocating my website and haven’t gotten any offers for places to upload to.

At any rate, I’m looking forward to all the fun stuff coming up! :D


Mystcraft is available from CurseForge.
LookingGlass is available from CurseForge.

Mystcraft Changelog
LookingGlass Changelogs

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Mystcraft 0.12.0 and LookingGlass 0.1.2

Post by: on June 29th, 2015 | File Under LookingGlass, Mystcraft

OK, this week sees a whole bunch of new configs and a cleanup of the old ones. My config files should make a little more sense, now, but will need to be updated if you’ve made changes.

I’ve added a set of configs for the baselining system, even up to letting you turn it off and use some flat values from configs. I think I’ve simplified it enough that it will be doable from config.
In particular, I’ve allowed you the power of choice in which kind of profiling you prefer, and even allowed you to turn off the profiling in favor of hand-tuned values.

This should wrap up the profiling arc, and now I’ll move on to more fun stuff. :D

LookingGlass got a bug fix. I’ve made good progress in various areas, but nothing is ready for prime time just yet. Almost to releasing the code.


Mystcraft is available from CurseForge.
LookingGlass is available from CurseForge.

Mystcraft Changelog
LookingGlass Changelogs

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