A proper modding API is high on Mojang’s priority list because modders have way more Minecraft development manpower than the tiny independent team.
“We really need to open up the game for other developers to add mods, and share mods, and run servers more easily. So, what I mean is I will work less on features, and more on the engine part of the game,” Jens “Jeb” Bergensten told Gamasutra of his intentions as newly incumbent lead designer on Minecraft.
“It kind of feels silly of me to sit and work three days to add a new animal to the game when there are thousands of people who would like to spend three days to add an animal to the game, so that’s why I changed my priorities.”
Minecraft’s development team is essentially one, although a new staff member joined the studio early this year to assist with both Scrolls and Minecraft. Bergensten said improving mod support will help people get to the game they want to play, independent of Mojang’s vision.
“People have very different opinions about what you’re supposed to be able to do in the game. Like, some people really hate the adventure and RPG part of the game, and some people want more of that, more dragons and whatever. Some people want more engineering tools. Some people hate engineering tools because they don’t understand how Redstone works anyway,” he explained.
“So, the good thing about mods is that then we can let people who really want to specialize on one part of the game, we can tell them, ‘Here’s a really great mod. Just install it. You’ll have fun.’”
Unfortunately, it’s not an easy task, and it will be some time yet before people cna make entirely new games using Minecraft,
“We would have to put a lot of effort on the mod API because that will have to allow the game to really change,” Jeb said.
“I’m not sure if you’ve heard of a game called Ace of Spades. It’s a Minecraft game but with rifles, so it’s kind of like Day of Defeat combined with Minecraft. And it would be really cool if you could actually do that without actually hacking the client. If everything just sort of started the game in that setting, and that worked. I mean, it will take us a while before we have reached that point, but it will be nice.