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Minecraft Modding Is Easier Than You Think

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If you've played Minecraft and heard that players can add custom modifications ('mods') to the game, you might be curious about creating your own mods. Walter Higgins, author of A Beginner's Guide to Writing Minecraft Plugins in JavaScript, offers some encouraging words and simple examples to help you get started. Even if you're not a programmer, adding small Minecraft mods is pretty easy when you follow these directions.
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One reason Minecraft has become so popular is that players can modify ("mod") the game, adding new features and rules that aren't present in the standard Minecraft experience. In this article, I'll show you how relatively simple the process of modding is, and I'll share some pointers and hazard warnings to help you get started on creating your own mods. It's probably easier than you think. Let's take a look.

Modding Minecraft

Because the standard Minecraft server provided by Mojang isn't easily modifiable, here are a few projects (of many) devoted to making Minecraft modding possible:

  • CanaryMod
  • Forge
  • Spigot

All of these frameworks provide application programming interfaces (APIs)—a set of procedures that can be called, enabling mod creators to add new features to the game.

Because Minecraft is written in the Java programming language, each of the modding frameworks also uses Java and requires mod creators to understand Java. Java is a full-featured language, most commonly used for business applications, but it can be a difficult language to learn if you're just starting out in programming.

ScriptCraft

ScriptCraft is a project I created to make it easier to create Minecraft mods. ScriptCraft makes it possible to create mods using the JavaScript programming language. Java and JavaScript have similar names, but they are very different languages.

JavaScript

JavaScript is most commonly used in web pages, but because of its power and simplicity it is increasingly used in other applications as well. JavaScript is concise, enabling you to do more with less code, and its simplicity makes it easier than some of the other languages to learn—especially for beginners.

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