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Why Hytale’s Custom Server Engine Is Better Than Minecraft’s

Published 4 month(s) ago by HytaleHQ

If you’re a Minecraft server developer, content creator, or modder, you have to check out what Hytale’s new server engine has to offer for aspiring game designers. Game sales from successful titles have proven that encouraging players to create new content as a community and providing them tools to do so increases a game’s longevity. As content creators ourselves, we’re thrilled to hear that Hypixel is offering these tools to players with their game.

At release, Hytale will launch with what is essentially the full game design engine the developers used to create the game itself… for free. This engine is an all inclusive software bundle with a small learning curve, containing programming software, a 3D model maker, texture editor, world editor, and more. The engine was designed from scratch by Hypixel to fit their needs, but also empower the community by providing us with seemingly limitless flexibility to expand on what they’ve already created without needing any prior experience in similar programs.

Players could create anything from a single player story driven adventure, to a multiplayer competitive game. As game design enthusiasts, we couldn’t be more excited to get our hands on this software. So let’s start unpacking what we’ll be given, and you’ll quickly realize the possibilities yourself.

Programming

Hypixel has chosen to use JSON as the base “modular” language for scripting in Hytale. For those that are less familiar with programming, this is essentially a shorthand language that drastically simplifies complex actions. If you have no programming experience, learning a language like Javascript can be very daunting and take months to get a firm grasp on. Using JSON at a functional level can be learned in a single afternoon.

To break down the logic behind it, Hypixel has created a library of game behaviors that have already been programmed for us. For instance, telling an NPC to run from battle in a language like Javascript would require you to instruct the NPC to stop it’s current action, change animations, face away from the target, and then start running. With JSON, you would simply write “Action: Flee”.

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This however isn’t stopping experienced coders from diving deeper into modifying the game. Similar to Minecraft, modders, mappers, and adventure map creators will have the freedom to use Java and Javascript to make much more complex changes to the game’s functionality. Hypixel has also revealed that the client will not need updates when a player joins a modded server, reducing the difficulty for players looking for community content by bouncing between servers.

World Editing

Adventure map designers and server hosts will love to hear that a “world painter”, as Hypixel describes it, will be included in the game. The details as to how it works exactly haven’t been unveiled, but we know users will be able to use many of the tools only offered in Minecraft through mods or with third party software like MCEdit. Here are just some of the features we can expect to see:

● Edit pre-generated structures

● Customize the weather system

● Copy and paste structures and block zones

● Edit block textures

● Create custom weapons, particle effects, and items

● Terraform

● Create custom biomes

● Create playable races and creatures

● Allow player transformations

● Change game physics

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To make things even more impressive, everything is updated live as you make changes. Players will not have to leave the server or restart the game to see the updates as they happen. Hypixel is doing their best to make an all-inclusive program and minimize the need for external programs to make changes to the world.

Model maker

The customization doesn’t stop with world editing. Players will be able to create their own models entirely from scratch, or edit existing ones with the built in 3D Model maker and texture editor. This software seems to be inspired by programs such as Cubik or Blockbench, so the model editing process will seem familiar if you’ve used these programs when creating mods for Minecraft.

The program designs models primarily through the use of cuboids and flat planes. This gives the world a very blocky aesthetic while maintaining the flexibility to create recognizable objects, weapons, creatures, clothing, etc. Players will be able to edit every visible element in the game with so much control, they could easily make an entirely new game, almost unrecognizable from Hytale.

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The 3D software includes a built in texture editor with live updates. The texture editor seems to have great control, but the devs haven’t limited us to only using their software. The editor supports importing textures from your design software of choice, like Photoshop. The tools we’re being provided are exactly what Hypixel used to create the entire world of Hytale itself, so we can expect to see some amazing work from the community as time passes.

Animator

The animator, like the other parts of the game engine, allows you to customize character animations with full control and works seamlessly with the other programs in the engine. Any changes you make to the model’s textures are updated live as you work on animating. There will be a library with a large collection of existing animations with the game’s base character models, but users will be able to both edit those presets and create new ones.

The animation software is keyframe based with a smart system designed to fill in the gaps between frames. For example, if you were to create an animation of someone waving, you could place the arm all the way to the left, and then again all the way to the right, and the program would generate the animation in between.

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The software includes the ability to sample “attachments”, such as articles of clothing or weapons, live while animating a model. This allows you to quickly see how the animation looks wearing these different attachments and make adjustments for things such as clipping. The clothing itself can even be animated in tandem with the model to create a more fluid effect.

Behaviors

To tie everything together, the team has described the entire design process as “building behaviors”. Users can create personalities in creatures by modifying how they look, react to sounds, interact with other NPC’S, the environment, items, and the player. Hypixel has made things simple by structuring the engine with a modular system of behavior elements that can be swapped in and out.

This is a substantial amount of control to provide to the creators, and for those with little game design experience, it may seem daunting to learn. Don’t let this discourage you! Hypixel has designed their engine to be either as simple as swapping elements in and out like legos, or as complex as redesigning how those legos work. Their goal was to give users a lot of control with a low barrier of entry, so you won’t need any prior experience to create some amazing work.

Conclusion

The ability to see all updates live allows different designers to work simultaneously without needing to wait for the designer above you to finish their part of the project. For instance, an animator can begin animating the model while the artist is still finishing the texture artwork. Hypixel has related their game engine to be similar in concept to Google Docs with its ability for each piece of software to work seamlessly with each other.

On top of all that they’ve bragged so far, they’ve even revealed that the engine will be entirely usable out of a browser window, avoiding the need to download any software. This is quite an impressive feat and showcases just how light weight the software is. For Minecraft server developers, content creators, modders, and aspiring game designers, this is definitely something to be excited to get your hands on.