July - This Month in Minetest (06)

This Month in Minetest

Last month, developers worked on releasing 5.6.0, and x2048 started work on post-processing and god rays for 5.7. MeseCraft has an important update, as well as a few interesting mods. Finally, Minetest was shown off at the exploreandlearn@LMZ edutech conference, with talks and workshops.

Engine News

5.6.0 release

The main focus of July was releasing Minetest 5.6.0, which happened on August 4th. Read all about it in the dedicated blog post.

One of the features added to Minetest 5.6.0 was an improved particle system, with more control over animation and physics. Here are some demos made by x2048:

<a href='https://github.com/x2048/colored_torches'>Fake colored torches</a> using particle spawners with the new API. See the test mod here
Fake colored torches using particle spawners with the new API. See the test mod here

New graphics pipeline, with post-processing and new effects

x2048 has been continuing to implement a new post-processing framework. This is part of the graphics modernization project and will result in improved performance for tone mapping.

He has now developed some work-in-progress shaders that use the new pipeline, including volumetric lighting (god rays), depth of field, and bloom.

Volumetric lighting (god rays) prototype demo
Depth of Field prototype, subtly blurring the background
Depth of Field prototype, subtly blurring the background

Education

exploreandlearn@lmz

Minetest was featured at exploreandlearn@LMZ (translation here), a German online Educator Instruction event from July 3rd to July 6th. Teachers and others interested in education could participate in workshops and presentations from the three categories - ‘playandlearn’, ‘buildandlearn’, and ‘codeandlearn’ - each using minetest to reinforce educational goals.

exploreandlearn@LMZ logo
exploreandlearn@LMZ logo

On Tuesday, July 5, there was a one-day workshop concerned with future-oriented learning and how to develop learning scenarios for educational contexts. The workshop was held by Chris Binder and Tammo Engelhard, who are both freelance trainers for the Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Germany (LMZ BW). In the workshop, teachers were introduced to Minetest and its learning potential. Starting from some gameplay examples, the participants developed learning scenarios in small groups and later on, built prototypes of their ideas.

On Thursday, July 7, two shorter workshops were held to introduce a map template that can be used by teachers in conjunction with the BLOCKALOT web dashboard for Minetest servers. The swampy landscape offers different points of interest that each pose their own challenges to the learners. These points of interest can be modified by teachers to cater to their curricula or intended learning outcomes. However, it is crucial that learners remain active and not just passive recipients of knowledge. One point of interest is an area with floating islands and an old house that needs to be renovated with sustainability in mind. Then, the learners choose sustainable development goals themselves and build the settlement according to their own plans. The whole group can discuss and evaluate the results after the building phase. The players are provided with useful materials in a cave, where they may also write ideas about sustainable building on the walls.

Workshop screenshots by chbinder
Workshop screenshots by chbinder
Workshop screenshots by chbinder
Workshop screenshots by chbinder

BLOCKALOT

The BLOCKALOT team is currently in the process of translating its BLOCKALOT minetest server dashboard and companion wiki into English. Take a look if you are interested in how to use Minetest for future-oriented learning! If you need assistance, the BLOCKALOT team is happy to help with any questions in English, French, and German.

Game News

Mesecraft

Apercy’s helicopters were added to the game, with minor modifications. They now require oil (from deep underground) to use as fuel, and they can carry a passenger. Helicopters were a much-missed feature, and now they are back! Also, Mesecraft is now available from ContentDB, making it easy to install in-game.

Cleared for Takeoff
Cleared for Takeoff

Mod News

Wilhelmines Natural Biomes

Liil made a new biomes mod that adds many well-designed biomes to the game. Included are: Wet Savanna, Outback, Alder Swamp, Alpine, Beach, Bamboo Forest and Mediterranean biomes.

Liil's Outback Biome
Liil's Outback Biome

Tides and Floods

Lemente has been working on a mod that simulates tides in real-time. It started out as a fork of Tides by MarkTheSmeagol, which allowed Lemente to prototype a few ideas quickly.

Lemente split the sea into multiple types of nodes, which minimizes the number of active ABMs instead of having all ocean nodes run the same ABM. He also spread the ABM load by making the tides spread in waves. The mod also permits water to be raised above the original sea level, for some dramatic floodings. Other features are planned; contributors are welcome!

You can try out the WIP mod here.

Tides raising the water level in a river valley

Worm Farm

The Worm Farm mod by sirrobzeroone lets you farm worms for the ethereal mod’s fishing feature without digging up a lot of dirt.

Steampunk Blimp

You may remember Apercy’s Steampunk blimp from last month… well, now he has added a compass feature as well as the ability to paint the blimp while onboard.

Art/Builds

Island Cruise by Srjskam
Island Cruise by Srjskam
Modern House by Thunder1035
Modern House by Thunder1035

Server News

A.E.S. Minigames

minetest.eticadigitale.org:30010

The time has come to announce the next Block League tournament!

Friday, September 9 from 19:30 - 21:30, UTC+0

Prepare yourself: if you think you’re good enough, you’re not. This time, instead of playing the entire tournament on Station 2, we’ll play the quarterfinals on Hyperium map, meaning more training, sweat and tears. Are you up for the challenge? There will be 8 teams of 3 players each. The contest format is direct elimination. The tournament will be held on the Hyperium and Station 2 maps.

How to apply: Join either the #minetest-aes:matrix.org Matrix room or on IRC at irc.freeirc.org #minigames-discuss. Tell us who your team is or look for people to team up with there.

Applications close on Wednesday, August 31 or when 8 teams are reached.

Tunnelers’ Abyss

37.46.208.34:30000

On 29th June 2022, the extension of the express line R2 on Tunnelers’ Abyss was opened. It was elongated by 7.4 km, reaching its total length 15 km. This makes line R2 the longest train line in Tunnelers’ Abyss. It leads from Will Beach via Spawn and File not Found to Docker and reaches the maximum speed 160 km/h. The prior record was held by line S1 with a length of 13.1 km, spanning from Southern Cliff to Fort Harko.

While building this extension, it was necessary to cope with several challenges. The track passes over Fourier Mountains and Trolly Hills. The slope from File not Found, the previous endpoint of R2, up to Noot Noot is quite flat. However, the slope from Noot Noot down to Densevlad is very steep and therefore it was necessary to choose a longer curvy trajectory. The maximal speed there drops to 90 km/h. Trolly Hills are not higher than Fourier Mountains but they are very jaggy in some places. Therefore, it was necessary to dig two tunnels. On the other hand, the Legendrian Basin is quite flat and building the track there was a pleasure. The track ends at the Docker station, which is both a train station and a harbour.

Panqkart

panqkart.minetest.land:30001

Panqkart is a new WIP kart racing game. You can now play it at panqkart.minetest.land, port: 30001

In Other News

AntVenom, a Minecraft YouTuber with over 3 million subscribers, made a video about Minetest. It’s very well researched and captures what makes Minetest unique. It’s worth a watch, whether you’ve been with Minetest for a while or have only just discovered it.

Thanks to our post contributors this month: MisterE, rubenwardy, chrbinder, Lemente, komodo, Srjskam, Thunder1035, Hume2, x2048, Apercy, Franzopow, Arekusei.