The Bukkit team joins Mojang and what it means for you – the player

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After months of collaboration and good connection, the team behind the famous server mod that enables anything and everything, Bukkit, has joined Mojang. This comes as no surprise as the two teams have been working together for a while now – the Bukkit team has had access to Minecraft’s source code and have been singlehandedly keeping the SMP community alive with their amazing mod.

If you’re not familiar with Bukkit and it’s features, it is a spiritual continuation of the hMod. Its most prominent feature is the API for plugins, which allow the server administrator to add new features to his Minecraft server. This helps make every server unique, and the community behind it is enormous. The Bukkit team will now be working on the official mod API for Minecraft, which Jeb has been talking about for a long time now. They are extremely experienced and tied to the community, so you can rest assured they will do an amazing job.

The Bukkit team issued a big statement explaining their history and anticipation to work with Mojang which you can read here. Here’s a quote from it about what they will do with the API:

I am extremely pleased and proud to announce that, as of today, the Bukkit team has joined Mojang. When discussing the possibility of a modding API publicly, Mojang was concerned that they would be unable to provide the community with a suitable and powerful enough solution and we honestly feel that our experience building Bukkit will help them do so. Thanks to our work with Bukkit, we have a years worth of experience, failures and lessons to help us develop a proper modding API and intend to do whatever it takes to produce one that satisfies the needs of the community. Now that we have an opportunity to design the official Minecraft API, we intend to make it a suitable replacement for Bukkit, if not a significantly better one, while bukkit.org will remain a community for modders for the foreseeable future.

But they’re not the only addition to the Minecraft team – Daniel Kaplan (@kappische), who previously worked on Minecraft Pocket Edition, has now joined. This will significantly speed up the development of Minecraft, as both him and the Bukkit team are excellent development already familiar with Minecraft’s “innards”. Mojang have issued the following statement regarding this big expansion of the Minecraft team:

Today we can announce that the four main developers of bukkit – a community-based Minecraft server implementation – have joined ranks with Mojang to bring you the same flexibility and versatility to the official Minecraft server. The four, Warren Loo (@evilseph), Erik Broes (@_grum), Nathan Adams (@dinnerbone) and Nathan Gilbert (@tahgtahv), will work on improving both the server and the client to offer better official support for larger servers and server modifications.

The plan is to build a fresh server API, and then extend it to support client-side modding (in one way or another). We will try to make it easy for bukkit users to convert if they wish to do so, but backwards compatibility is not guaranteed. We will, however, help bukkit to be compatible with 1.2, to avoid having a long gap while you wait for the official Minecraft server to catch up.

Many of you may ask why we decided to work with bukkit instead of other Minecraft teams, such as Spout or Forge. The reason is that we want more than just modding, and these guys have always had server admins in mind when developing their additions to the game. We hope that this will help the quality of Minecraft multi-player to improve, both for large and private family servers, while still being able to add fun stuff for the bigger audience.

In addition to the bukkit members, Daniel Kaplan (@kappische) will join to handle the project lead to coordinate Minecraft’s broader goals. I (@jeb_) will remain as lead developer and game designer for Minecraft.

But what does this all mean to you, the player?

Well for one you can expect the modding API to hit soon. The team working on it is now significantly larger, and they know their stuff. You can also expect it to definitely be very extensive, in contrast to many fears people had about the API. Minecraft will be moving boldly forward now, and you better be ready for some awesome.

This also means that Jeb will slow down with adding stuff to the vanilla game. Now that the API is close, there is no need for features to be added to vanilla when mods will become so accessible and integrated. You can therefore look forward to more modders entering the scene, and previously “retired” modders making a comeback now that everything is more clear (Nandonalt, you were THE man, come back, we’ve missed you) and the modding community will grow rapidly.

What do you want to see in Minecraft’s future? Does this news make you glad you’re a part of this community? As always, voice your concerns and feedback in the comment section below.