Summary: A standard API and file format for entity/block models and animations.
Description: I'm not sure if this has been addressed yet, but an ability to create custom models and animations for mods/plugins would be needed.
- A standard file format for models and animations. Can be proprietary or one that already exists
- A tool to convert standard 3D file formats to what minecraft uses (unless using a format that can be natively exported to by 3D modeling programs)
- A system where markers or bones can be defined on models and used by a plugin
- Separate models/animations into separate files, one for each model (similar to how textures are right now)
- standard model/animation files: I'm not sure how well Java is with handling files such as .obj and 3DS max files (or if it can even use them at all), but the ability to use a standard format and use standard 3D editing tools to make and animate models would significantly help with making them in comparison to solutions right now. Most games which have mod support offer such tools or a way to convert standard 3D file formats to whatever the game uses
- The ability for a mod developer to easily use markers or bones in a model for various purposes would also be necessary, for things such as where weapons are held, projectiles fired from, ect. The easiest way to do this would be to create them in a 3D modeling program, but the possibility to add them by defining them via co-ordinates in a config file, ect, should also exist
- If a proprietary format is used by minecraft, a tool will be needed to export the model made using standard 3D file formats to whatever minecraft uses. Ive used some in 3DS max which use a maxscript to convert co-ordinates, bones, animations, and UV maps into whatever the game uses.
Justification and Use Case:
Right now it is rather difficult to animate and make models for minecraft mods, especially if its something non-standard such as a tank or turret, and model creation tools are limited. While making a mod should require some learning and knowledge of programming, whats required now for animating custom models is just way above the heads of most people
Im not sure how minecraft models and animations work that well, but from what i can tell they are basically boxes written entirely by hand in code and hardcoded into the game, but can be manipulated once loaded into memory. This is a very primitve system and right now it feels like im programming a game in the 80's when it comes to animating and creating models (models which dont use techne anyways, but techne is limited in what it can do)
Nearly every other game with modding capabilities i can think of is capable of using models animated and made in standard 3D editing programs such as 3DS max, Blender, ect. Minecraft should be the same.
- Possibly modifying the game engine to use a new model format
- If using a proprietary file format, a tool for exporting standard 3D model formats and animations to whatever minecraft will use
- Convert from using the old system for models/animations in minecraft to the new system