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Minecraft Spotlight - Realistic TNT

Welcome to the Friday Minecraft Spotlight! In this issue we will take a look at Realistic TNT, a plugin by obnoxint that changes explosion  mechanics.

Whenever an explosion occurs in Minecraft, a large amount of blocks is destroyed, while some of them are dropped onto the ground, allowing players to loot them.

What this plugin aims to do is making explosions more realistic. Rather than simply destroying blocks, explosions will now cause blocks to be pushed away. This means that blocks will not disappear, but instead get displaced. However, this does not affect indestructible blocks, so this plugin will not make it easier for players to carve their way through obsidian or bedrock.

Simply follow these steps and your players will be enjoying this plugin in no time!

  1. Download the latest version of Realistic TNT from here or here.
  2. Place the "RealisticTNT.jar" file in the "plugins" folder, located in your server's main directory.
  3. Start your server.
  4. Enjoy your newly installed plugin!

We also had the opportunity to hold an interview with obnoxint. Read on to learn more about the development process behind Realistic TNT!

How did you get into Minecraft?
A famous German game magazine once published an article about an "Indie-phenomenon". At this time there were already more than 1 million registered users on the website. I found a ton of content on YouTube and was wowed by the concept of the game and the creativity of the community. I wanted to do the same and bought it.

It turned out that I'm not as talented as I thought. But there still is the survival aspect of the game. So I can let others build while I'm venturing out to cause mischief. I will always love the game for that.

What made you decide to become a plugin developer?
Bukkit and the challenge of learning something new.

I used to experiment with hMod earlier. But the project already was close to its end when I tried to learn more about it.

When Bukkit appeared, I was sceptical at first. But the stability of the API convinced me quickly.

What was your motivation for this specific project?
An API method to spawn falling blocks was added about two years ago. But it was rarely used. I didn't understand why (until later) and wanted to change that.

How did the community respond to the plugin’s first public release?
I managed to provide a feature that is stable and just works. And my users appreciated it.

Roughly how long did it take to finish the first working version of Realistic TNT?
About three weeks.

Have you come across any challenges during development and, if any, how did you handle them?
Yes.

I understood why the API method was rarely used. You're able to create cool effects but it's also incredibly hard to balance properly. It can be difficult to control and a mistake can easily result in a bad user experience.

Other issues I encountered are glitches and even client crashes when certain blocks, like chests or spawners, turned into falling blocks. This is unacceptable.

I solved these problems by keeping it simple.

Realistic TNT has two lists of block types which won't be turned into falling blocks. The internal list contains block types which are known to crash the client. This list can not be modified. An external and configurable list contains block types which may cause strange glitches or are presumably unwanted.

What was your favourite development tool for this project?
CraftBukkit. Especially in the third week before release. I put a lot of work into testing and the server handled that very well.

Have you learned anything new from this project?
Explosions are funnier when stuff is flying around.

What stage of Realistic TNT's development process did you enjoy most?
The experiments with vectors. I learned a lot and it was fun to see stuff flying around in a variety of velocities and directions.

And what is your favourite aspect of the plugin itself?
Its stability and safety.

Aside from your own projects, what are some of your favourite plugins from other authors and why?
Any project that increases the fun of survival gameplay.

Do you have any advice for other upcoming plugin developers?
Be patient with yourself. You should also be driven by the wish to provide the best user experience you can deliver.

Reaching the end of the interview, we would like to thank obnoxint for taking the time to answer our questions and of course for developing the plugin in the first place!

Realistic TNT is a good choice if you would like explosions to behave more realistically. Instead of destroying blocks, it will make blocks fly around and fall down as debris.

Thanks to MadPixel for the Minecrafter font.

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