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FTB and Forge - A Curse Partnership

The lead of the Feed-The-Beast team and the lead of the Forge API have announced a partnership with Curse and CurseForge as the official hosting platform for Forge mods and FTB Mod Packs. As well as integrating FTB packs, mod installation, and mod pack creation into a new version of the Curse Client. Here's the repost from Slowpoke on the official FTB forum:

This is a short post that is being made in order to announce that an agreement has been reached to form a partnership between Minecraft Forge, FTB and Curse. The main focus of this deal will be for members of all teams to come together to continue to develop CurseForge into a platform designed to become the number one place for the distribution of mods. It will also be the goal to develop and release a completely new launcher under the Curse name that will tap into CurseForge.

Whilst this partnership will involve several major changes to both Forge and FTB, it should be noted that the ownership of Forge and FTB will remain in their current hands. Having said that, there are several changes that affect both communities that we wish to make in order to help facilitate the main goals of our objective.

The details of these changes are summarised below.

LexManos and I will be joining Curse in advisory roles, working mainly on the design of both CurseForge and the new Curse Client.

With regards to FTB, our plan is at some point in the future to halt development of the current FTB launcher and shift our modpacks onto the new Curse Client. The stated timeline for this is tentatively set at 6 months, however this is not fixed and the reality is that we will make this shift once the functionality of the Curse Client matches the FTB launcher in terms of support for FTB packs, Third Party packs and support for both maps and texture packs.

The shifting of the FTB forums onto a Curse site, at this stage it is looking likely that you will access the FTB forums directly from MinecraftForum.net. The idea is not (as some people seem to have been confused about this) to merge our forums into the minecraft forums, but rather to access the FTB forums through the minecraftforum.net site. Whilst there will be a revamp of the site to bring us in line with other Curse Forums, the layout and moderation team for the FTB forums will remain the same. Our goal will be to move all existing posts over to the new forums if possible. This timeline is also tentatively set at six months again however, this is a soft timeline and in reality, the move will happen once everything is in place for the move to occur smoothly.

With regards to FTB Modpacks, the current team plan to stay on and continue to work on and develop new packs moving forwards. Having said that, we will be facing much more competition. Part of the medium term goals for this project is to make the construction of mod packs much easier for everyone, which means that the actual quality of mod packs will only go up. This will be most apparent once the changes from Minecraft version 1.7+ become more readily used by mod developers.

With regards to Forge, the goal will be move the primary distribution of Forge to the CurseForge network (This will only happen once an appropriate backend is in place). It is important to note that whilst the plan is to distribute Forge through the CurseForge network, it will remain completely independent and remain an open source project. The only thing that will change is where you download Forge from. The timeline for this is not laid down but rather this will occur once the backend that is required is in place.

It is also planned to move the Minecraft Forge forums over onto Curse servers. These forums will probably undergo a similar revamp bringing them in line with other Curse sites. Again the actual layout and moderation of this site will remain the same as it currently is.

Moving onto the question of why we are doing this. This has not been a rush decision on anyone’s part. Discussions regarding this began back in October last year. During this time we have spoken to and consulted with members of both the modding community and players themselves to get their input on the possibilities that arise with this partnership. The idea of having a central location that is designed to facilitate the needs of both Mod Developers and Mod Users in mind is no small thing. Everyone that we have spoken to agrees that if done right it can only be a good thing for the entire community.

With regards to moving FTB packs onto the Curse Client, one of the issues that we have always had is that whilst the team that we have on the current launcher is awesome, they are constrained by the reality of real life getting in the way of development. Both Unv and Jjw have large commitments in real life now that have served to slow down development somewhat on our own launcher. The Curse Client however will have a full professional team behind it, and our goal is to make the Client at least as good as our own (if not much better) It will however continue to have all the functionality of both the current FTB launcher but also the planned features of our new launcher.

This does not mean that we are halting development on our new launcher and a version of it is still planned to be released. It is also important to note that with regards to the distribution of the Curse Client and the distribution of mods and mod packs through the Curse Client, these will all continue to be totally free of charge for the end user.

The FTB store remains independent of this deal and our plan is still to open this up to allow mod developers to sell merchandise through the store.

Our current timeline has us aiming to have myself and LexManos head over to the Curse offices some time at the end of this month to meet up with members of the Curse team to start to lay out plans of how we want to move forward. With this in mind, we recently held a small closed meeting with several mod developers to get a good indication of the sorts of features they would want to see in a site set up for the distribution of mods. This is only the beginning and I want to get at least 2 more open forums set up (one targeting mod developers and one targeting end users) to give more people input on this subject before we head over to the Curse offices.

Before closing, I want to make a small personal statement about this. Both Lex and I have spoken about this extensively, both between ourselves and with other people. It should be made clear that it was important for all of us (FTB, Forge and Curse) that this be a community driven project. Whilst our goal will be to have people use the Curse Client to download mods and mod packs, we want people to do that because the Curse Client is the best and not because you're forced to. We have already discussed the subject of other launchers and it is important that they not be frozen out of this. If we want CurseForge to be the primary location for the downloading of mods, then this means that everyone should be able to download from there. Measures will be added to CurseForge to allow this to happen.

It is important to note that whilst members of FTB will be working on this, this is not an FTB project. One of the reasons I went into this deal in the first place is that Curse is independent. I am not really interested in a project that from a technical point of view favours FTB over other launchers. This is partially why the focus of FTB will switch from being a launcher to being a modpack creator.

Having spoken to several members of Curse Management, I am confident that we are all going into this partnership with the goal of making a really good place for the distribution of mods and I am looking forwards to helping to make it a great experience for mod developers and end users alike.

 You can see the original post at the official FTB forum here.

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