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So... I'm studying for a PhD in Minecraft...


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Seriously, I am!

 

So, this seems like a good place to introduce myself.

I'm writing my doctoral dissertation on Minecraft modding -- culture and practices. I've done a bit of modding myself so I'm familiar with the basics... though I've not yet made anything I would consider worthy of seeing the light of day :)

Also, the thread topic was perhaps technically misleading: my degree will not be in "Minecraft" but in "Communication Studies".

 

I've included a little more info on my research project in my forum profile. Would love to talk to modders here. For now, I'm just saying "Hi."

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On 18/03/2017 at 11:52 PM, nwatson said:

Seriously, I am!

 

So, this seems like a good place to introduce myself.

I'm writing my doctoral dissertation on Minecraft modding -- culture and practices. I've done a bit of modding myself so I'm familiar with the basics... though I've not yet made anything I would consider worthy of seeing the light of day :)

Also, the thread topic was perhaps technically misleading: my degree will not be in "Minecraft" but in "Communication Studies".

 

I've included a little more info on my research project in my forum profile. Would love to talk to modders here. For now, I'm just saying "Hi."

Wow, this sounds super interesting! :D

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On 2017-03-20 at 1:26 PM, Jay Avery said:

Wow, this sounds super interesting! :D

Thanks! Yes, it is my sincere hope that it will be interesting for everyone. I particularly want to give modders a chance to share their perspectives and get an insider view. A fair bit of academic work has been written about video game modding before, but as far as I know, most of those researchers haven't done projects in which they talked directly to modders.

 

I think Minecraft is also a special case because Forge and other modding tools are all community-built, unlike the dev-provided toolkits you get with games like Skyrim, etc. So I'm also interested at looking at the different methods for making mods, and tracing the histories of how the different tools and approaches have evolved over the last several years.

 

On a somewhat related note, I recall from a couple years ago that there was a Forge IRC channel but I don't seem to still have the address... is it still around?

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5 hours ago, nwatson said:

On a somewhat related note, I recall from a couple years ago that there was a Forge IRC channel but I don't seem to still have the address... is it still around?

Yes it is, #minecraftforge on esper.

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So what would you like to talk about? Personnaly I need a few more ideas to continue with my mod...

Apparently I'm addicted to these forums and can't help but read all the posts. So if I somehow help you, please click the "Like This" button, it helps.

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4 hours ago, Leomelonseeds said:

So what would you like to talk about? Personnaly I need a few more ideas to continue with my mod...

Do tell! What sort of mod are you working on, and what sort of ideas do you need?

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I'm working on a mod called MOAR STUFF. It adds stuff in general to Minecraft. I've added ench. emerald and obsidian armor, a grill, more weapons. Im planning to make a teleporter and a security camera. You know, just some useful nice stuff. What about you?

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Apparently I'm addicted to these forums and can't help but read all the posts. So if I somehow help you, please click the "Like This" button, it helps.

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I always thought security cameras seemed like a neat idea, but never really had an idea of how they could be implemented. Lots of custom 3D rendering logic, I'm guessing -- do you have a plan for implementation? I can imagine that, in addition to being pretty cool, such a thing would open up great new possibilities for puzzle maps (as well as, of course, PvP builds). 

 

My own modding has mostly been for little things I wanted... a glass-textured door; a "spotlight" that can be used to illuminate an area but is itself invisible and intangible. The most ambitious idea I've had is for a Geographic Information System (GIS), which I imagine as a sort of interactive in-game atlas interface which would get filled out by feeding maps to it. Perhaps the job of mapping could be streamlined through the use of aerial drones or satellites. The trouble is I imagine there isn't much incentive to make or use such a thing, with plenty of good mini-map plugins and external map generators out there already. The only thing such a mod would contribute is it would make the mapping functions part of the gameplay, rather than a feature that's available for free.

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Nice! You should actually start making your mod now. Lots of good tutorials out there. 

3 hours ago, nwatson said:

I always thought security cameras seemed like a neat idea, but never really had an idea of how they could be implemented.

Well if I wanted it to look good it would have to have good rendering logic. For now I have just made it a hanging entity , which can be placed on walls. Also since its an entity I can move the player camera to the entity's position so I can spectate it. I have a monitor item which can be right-clicked to spectate a camera. The difficulty is, the monitor has to be able to monitor all the cameras, which means it has to have an expandable GUI with an option to spectate any one of the security cameras you add to the world. In addition that would mean I have to have a GUI for each camera so one can put an id in them, and that id will show up on the monitor. (Its really complicated i know)

Apparently I'm addicted to these forums and can't help but read all the posts. So if I somehow help you, please click the "Like This" button, it helps.

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On 2017-03-23 at 11:57 PM, Leomelonseeds said:

Well if I wanted it to look good it would have to have good rendering logic. For now I have just made it a hanging entity , which can be placed on walls. Also since its an entity I can move the player camera to the entity's position so I can spectate it.

Clever... and makes a lot of sense. I hadn't even considered the fact that "spectating" through another entity is already something that exists in the game.

 

I've found GUIs to be not so much complicated, but more tedious and time consuming, to implement. I suppose it depends on the type of GUI though.

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  • 5 months later...

Gonna resurrect my own post here... been away from this project for far too long as I put out other academic fires, but now it's time to get down to business.

 

Any modders interested in being interviewed for my PhD research (which is about the culture of Minecraft modding)?

 

Participation is anonymous, unless you decide you would prefer to be identified. These interviews could be done by voice or in a text chat, whatever you are most comfortable with. I would ask you to talk about your experiences and perspectives in Minecraft modding, including things like how you came to start modding, how you learned (or in some cases, invented) the ropes, what your workflow is like, what sites and tools you use, whether you collaborate, and so on.

 

Through these interviews, I want to give a voice to those folks who are actually on the ground doing the work of modding. Past academic work on game modding does exist, but most of it deals in the abstract: it focuses on the mods as products (rather than on the modding process), or it devotes its attention to talking about the big-picture relationship between modding communities and commercial developers. That's why I hope to fill in the gaps with the stories of the modders themselves.

 

(In order to comply with the ethics rules of my institution, I do need formal permission from any potential interviewee before I start asking them questions and writing down what they say.)

 

If you'd like to participate, please reply here, send me a private message, or email me at n.watson@concordia.ca -- or otherwise let me know the best way to reach you. I am also happy to answer any and all questions.

 

Thank you!

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