Welcome to this new Behind the Cube thread, where we will be talking all about Magic & Mayhem!
After the Spring RPG, we learned a lot about what the community wanted to see and we all worked really hard to make this an even better game, with many more things to explore and try out!
Within this project, the first thing we talked about was the storyline. What did we think would look cool, how could we jump in on small ideas we had, how are we able to present this best to players and how is everything going to flow together as one storyline? It took us a lot of planning and outside of meetings, the lead writers of the story would spend a lot of time in calls together, planning everything out in detail.
The page where the Storyline for this RPG was written contains a total of 2585 words! () This page includes ideas and final ideas that were actually put into the RPG! As you can see by the way everything is written, this is written as a concept and not a final product. We would discuss these in meetings and once it was greenlit, it would be worked out on a different board in our workspace.
Dialogue-wise, there were approximately 118 NPCs across 3 worlds, and then of course The Conjurer!
The tutorial alone, dialogue-wise, contains around 1500 words (including Cubit, everyone loves Cubit)!
The First Meetings
All projects have to start somewhere, and one way to do that is through meetings! Starting off with 1 meeting a week, and quickly moving on to 2 meetings a week, even going up to 3/4 meetings as we were getting closer to the deadline.
Meetings are and will always be extremely important to make everyone within a project work together in harmony, and that's why we put a lot of effort into those meetings, sharing all the things we had done over the past week!
Not only were these meetings filled with talks about what we'd done, but we would also share ideas we had about the game that we would potentially be able to add. Very fun meetings if you ask me!
Here you can see a quick screenshot of a meeting that was about to start. Some early birds were discussing fun ideas, cracking a smile.
Custom models on Java, who would've thought it was possible! Not only did we make these inanimate models walk around, but we also managed to get them to attack players, take damage, and even use custom attacks.
During the first meetings where we discussed this idea, we realized it wouldn't be easy and it would turn out to be an extremely complicated system.
Below you will find the very first version of the system working, where you can see a model in Java walking up to the player, and breaking apart after getting killed.
The system behind these custom mobs on Java ended up being very complex and involved the usage of many armor stands. Unlike Bedrock where each mob has its own model and texture which is handled like any other mob within the game, on Java that does not exist. The solution we came up with, involved us using lots of armor stand entities which we found to be quite heavy on performance for players.
How did we get around this? Our original plan was to reduce how close you had to be to the entity so it would show up on your screen, but we quickly realized that this would only help to a certain extent unless we were to make this number very low which would adversely affect the playing experience.
We realized that having the entity visibility range at a reasonable level not be sufficient, so this led to the creation of an entity culling system. In most games this is typically implemented on the client, but Minecraft's clientside culling system only goes so far. With our system, any time an entity moves behind a block or is no longer visible to a player, the culling system informs the Minecraft client that the entity is no longer visible and results in the client then hiding the entity.
The video shown above is a very early version of the culling system. As you can see the entities pop in and out of the player's visibility as they move behind and in front of the blocks. This system was later polished much more to where this "popping in" is nowhere near as visible and was later applied to the entire network on both Bedrock and Java. We noticed games such as FFA, EggWars and the lobby have a lot of entities throughout and we noticed that many players reported performance issues in these games due to the high number of entities or players in them.
Communication between the builders and writers was extremely important to all of us, so calls would be organized twice a week with all builders to talk about the storyline and how it would flow together with the builds. Even though we knew what we wanted to see storyline-wise, we still gave them a lot of freedom. The builders would oftentimes come up with their own ideas, showing the writers stuff they wanted to build into the world.
Another interesting and quite complicated mechanic that we've added to this RPG is the wands! The very first working version of this wands system is presented in the video below. Many changes, additions and feedback later, we've got 5 elemental and fully working wands!
That compared to the final product...
I guess you can say we've made quite some progress!
Now moving onto the interesting data for this project, where I'll be showing off some interesting pieces of data.
We had a total of 2,057,667 players joining Magic & Mayhem! 654,430 players finished the Tutorial!
Only 33,571 players managed to defeat the Conjurer. Was he that scary? 26,019,131quests were completed amongst all worlds!
And a grand total of 42,748,548attributeswereupgraded, 7,685,677 of which are Max mana upgrades!
We would, once again, like to thank everyone for playing and enjoying the Magic & Mayhem RPG! We can't thank you guys enough and we hope to be able to provide you all with many more cool things!