Minecraft PC IP: play.cubecraft.net

Eli

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Something that is on my mind almost on a daily basis is the fact that CubeCraft has invested a lot of time and effort (and money of course) in A LOT of minigames that have been released throughout the years, the vast majority of which, are no longer in the Java Server. I think I've found an idea to take advantage of all these old gamemodes, that is currently being used by another large Java Minecraft server, and it works wonderfully.
CubeCraft has a lot of unused content that could greatly benefit the server, and under this proposal, we would avoid games that don't start, and unpopular gamemodes taking up more server capacity than what they should.


Context

To list a few, here is a fragment of the list of ALL the gamemodes CubeCraft has released on Java throughout the years, and are currently unavailable to play. Credits to @Sweetenerera 's history thread of all CubeCraft gamemodes.​

New Arcade
Quakecraft (New)
Layer Spleef
Wing Rush
Line Dash
Paintball (New)
Slime Survival
Barn Brawl

Island Games
Bingo
Archer Assault
Infection
TNT Trouble

Old Arcade
Parkour Minigame
Super Craft Bros
TNT Run
Quakecraft (Old)
Hour Glass
Hide & Seek
Paintball (Old)
Spleef
Fish Slap (Arcade)

Main Gamemodes
Tower Defence
Mineware
Duels
Assassinations
Among Slimes
Blockwars: Bridges

Pre-Big Change
Blockwars Core
Blockwars CTF
Battle Zone
Survival Games
Freebuild
Competitive Parkour

Removed Main Gamemodes
Money Walls
Build Wars
Blockband
UHC
Speed UHC
Old UHC
Skyblock (Old)
Factions
Creative
Survival
Parkour (Old)
Houses
Control Point - Tower Defenders
Tron
Kit PvP

EggWars
Speed EggWars
Double Egg EggWars
No Void EggWars

Now of course a lot of these games are pretty old and are likely many Minecraft versions behind, making it really difficult to port over to 1.20, and some shouldn't come back at all, like Infection, because they were just not great games!

But some of these games, especially the games that used to be part of the old Featured Game System introduced in THIS update, were always beloved and although not massively popular, they still had a decent amount of dedicated players who enjoyed them. Especially games like Minerware, BlockWars and Tower Defence which had been in the server for many years, and had seen the birth of wonderful communities that now don't have a reason to play on CubeCraft.
Blockwars Core
Blockwars CTF
Battle Zone
Survival Games
Blockwars: Bridges
Quakecraft (New)
Layer Spleef
Wing Rush
Line Dash
Paintball (New)
Slime Survival

The Featured Game System was unfortunately removed in THIS update in response to the smaller amounts of players CubeCraft Java started receiving, to ensure that the few gamemodes that remained, were indeed popular enough to function 24/7 without getting stuck due to a lack of interested players.
Proposals

A very large Java Minecraft server has for a few months now, utilized an innovative "request based featuring system" that showcases a lot of their old and not-so-popular Arcade Games, without taking up space in their main gamemode NPCs, and without having to constantly allocate server space to a bunch of games, since games only ever start, if a player decides to activate a gamemode.

What they've done is they've placed a new NPC on the side of their main games, so that players can interact with the NPC and open up a menu where all their less popular gamemodes are listed.
Screenshot 2024-05-10 142533.png
Screenshot 2024-05-10 142429.png

The "All Games" NPC and the interaction menu that shows up when clicking on it,
listing all of the less popular gamemodes that are still available!

At this point you might be asking yourself, but isn't adding a whole new NPC to the lobby against the reason why the Featured Game Cycle was removed in the first place? And to that I say, no, because you're NOT offering a full blown gamemode that you know will be able to start at any given time that you try to join it, you're offering an exclusive series of games that are just too unpopular to be featured in the main lobby, but beloved enough to be part of this system, that only ever starts a game if a sufficient amount of players shows interest.

Once you have joined, the server informs you the game will start in X amount of time if X amount of players join, this helps the player who started the game understand that they're waiting for a game that is not guaranteed to start, but it's worth giving it a shot.

Screenshot 2024-05-10 143327.png

Side bar information message.
If the X amount of minutes elapse, and the necessary amount of players have not joined, the server sends a message to ALL lobbies announcing that a game of X is attempted to be started, and a prompt to click to join the game. This almost usually ensures that the game gets filled up, since a lot of people might just be on the lookout for the occassional opportunity for a game that can only be enjoyed every once in a while.

Screenshot 2024-05-10 143816.png

Join message sent to all lobbies.

Personally, since CubeCraft has less players, I think it would be best if that message was sent immediately after a player starts the game, just to make things quicker. Oh and if the game does not start within 10 minutes, it gets automatically closed, perfect to take care of server capacity!
Conclusion
To conclude, I wholeheartedly believe that this request-based featuring system would work wonderfully in CubeCraft, because of the following positive aspects:​
  • Does not take away major attention from the Main gamemodes, since there's a lot of options to choose from, and it would be on a separate NPC on the side, similarly to how Pillars of Fortune is currently being featured.​
  • Allows old players to return and play their favorite games whenever, ESPECIALLY if they find themselves a party of friends, that way they can guarantee a game will start up for them if they're enough people.​
  • Allows new players who never got to experience these old games, to explore all these amazing experiences CubeCraft has to offer.​
  • It's not very expensive to maintain considering that they wouldn't be constantly allocating space to keep some games open, games only start if a player requests it, similarly to how you can access old EggWars gamemodes like Speed EggWars via private games.​
  • These game's success will not depend on being able to consistently reach a high playercount, since they only start up on a single instance basis, they only need the necessary amount of players to start a single game to be successful every once in a while. (This for example, is currently a huge issue for SkyWars at night during timezones in the Americas, since 2-3 maps are always constantly open, the few unfortunate souls that want to play SkyWars usually end up split, resulting in games that never start).​
  • Makes players visiting CubeCraft realize that CubeCraft actually has A LOT to offer, milking all that old content and creative effort until the very end.​
As a last note, I acknowledge that the biggest impediment to implementing something like this is having to update all those old gamemodes to 1.20, I don't know how technically demanding that is, but I really think it would be worth a shot. These sorts of "game archives" and "retro sites" where you can go back and try to play one of the old games you played in your childhood are and have always been very popular, and if word got out that CubeCraft was letting you play its old beloved games again, I am sure that would receive a lot of attention from the minecraft community.​

That's all! Thank you for reading, let me know what you think!
 
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Matriox

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This sounds like a great idea and I'm all for adding back Java games, but, from Cubecrafts point of view, Is this worth it? I'd say it mightn't be. A lot of development time would go in to getting these games up to date on the current server version, and for how many players?

I am under the impression that all updates Cube does from now on will have to benefit both networks (or just Bedrock) in order for them to be successful. They're probably not going to be doing any big updates just for Java, as it's a tiny server.

Whenever I'm in a lobby and someone asks where Tower Defence is/when will it be added back I always say that it's most likely never going to be added back, unless it's added to Bedrock. If games are updated it's likely going to be because they're going to be added to Bedrock as that would benefit a lot more players. Then after upgrading it to the newest Minecraft version for Bedrock, it could also be added to Java again.

I would say if Cubecraft decide to add an arcade to Bedrock (which is a highly suggested thing), this could definitely be a possibility. But from Cubes points of view, I doubt they're going to upgrade games to the latest versions just so a dozen or so people can play an arcade game.
 

Eli

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This sounds like a great idea and I'm all for adding back Java games, but, from Cubecrafts point of view, Is this worth it? I'd say it mightn't be. A lot of development time would go in to getting these games up to date on the current server version, and for how many players?

I am under the impression that all updates Cube does from now on will have to benefit both networks (or just Bedrock) in order for them to be successful. They're probably not going to be doing any big updates just for Java, as it's a tiny server.

Whenever I'm in a lobby and someone asks where Tower Defence is/when will it be added back I always say that it's most likely never going to be added back, unless it's added to Bedrock. If games are updated it's likely going to be because they're going to be added to Bedrock as that would benefit a lot more players. Then after upgrading it to the newest Minecraft version for Bedrock, it could also be added to Java again.

I would say if Cubecraft decide to add an arcade to Bedrock (which is a highly suggested thing), this could definitely be a possibility. But from Cubes points of view, I doubt they're going to upgrade games to the latest versions just so a dozen or so people can play an arcade game.
Yeah I agree, I pointed out the development time issue at the end of the thread. I am under the impression (hey I don’t know if it’s true!) that Java only gets updates if its stuff that was initially made for bedrock/is easy to port.

Truth is this suggestion is mostly just a shot in the dark because it never hurts to try you know? (And I was bored) I do feel like just implementing this system for the BlockWars modes, MinerWare, SG, and Tower Defence would be more than enough for it to be considered a big deal, and possibly lure some players into the server.

It’s a matter of perspective, if you consider the fact that Cube has already dedicated thousands of hours and dollars into these game modes that they developed FULLY and actively updated throughout many years, that final push to update them to 1.20 and incorporate them into this system is proportionally insignificant, in my opinion. But of course, all these games come from a time when this network had more players and hence more resources, and that comparison might be a bit unfair.

I just I don’t know, these games are actual assets that are worth a lot of money and have a lot of potential! I would hate to think they’ll go to waste because of not doing a final push. Seeing how CubeCraft is dutifully updating to the most recent version of Minecraft almost as soon as these versions come out, never again would they find themselves in a position where updating their catalogue of mini games is a significant undertaking.

This obviously comes from a person who has barely (if ever) had any sort of business experience, but sometimes even the most experienced and knowledgeable business people get tunnel vision, and forget they can make their lives easier with stuff they’ve already invested in!​
 
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Redned

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Hey, thanks for the suggestion! This sounds like a great compromise to the featured games system and I could see this being a feasible alternative on Java. While I have nothing to include regarding whether we are considering this or not, I do have a few clarifying details to include on the technical side.

As part of migrating to 1.19, all of our games now run on a common server platform, and thus have a common codebase between platforms. For example, the SkyWars codebase we use on Java Edition is exactly what is running on Bedrock. Obviously, there are features we restrict through code to certain platforms, such as achievements on Java or chest skins on Bedrock, but underneath it all, it is the same codebase.

What this means though is that for games already on Bedrock, like MinerWare, SG or BlockWars, the process of getting them to work on Java is far easier than porting an old game. If this is a suggestion we are to consider, only games that have a Bedrock counterpart would be available initially. Very old games, like Hide and Seek or Money Walls would likely not see a return due to how old their codebases are (some of them go back to 1.8 or even 1.7) and the uncertainty surrounding their popularity.

I also think the join messages broadcasted to lobbies is a great addition and is something that could be implemented independently of the request-based queuing system, since it could help speed up queue times when games are struggling to fill up. We've recently reworked some of our tech involving server tracking that would make something like this much easier to implement. Again, I have nothing to add on this right now, but thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks again for the detailed suggestion and we'll let you know if there are any updates!
 

Camezonda

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Hey - I agree with Redned. While I cannot say that we'll consider bringing old games or Bedrock games to Java, the existing Bedrock gamemodes would probably be the only games to bring over to Java. All of our other gamemodes that were removed and aren't on Java, would need to be rewritten onto the new game framework/codebase.

New games are most likely to be tried on Bedrock first to reduce risk, and if they are popular, we'd port them to Java, similar to what we're doing to Pillars of Fortune and BedWars. The join message broadcast is a cool idea. We could also do a "random" NPC that will drop you into a game that needs players to start, etc.
 
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