It appears as though Minecraft’s multiplayer is about to get some much needed support from those who are already unofficially do it. Mojang announced today that Bukkit developers Warren Loo, Erik Broes, Nathan Adams, and Nathan Gilbert have been hired to “offer better official support for larger servers and server modifications.” I think this is a good decision, the easier it is for players to add things in Minecraft the better. I mean, when someone is inspired to combine cube-like dinosaurs with cheesy heavy metal, I don’t want it to go on YouTube – I want it to go directly into the game as fast as possible.
The project, which would eventually be known as Bukkit, started December in 2010. The initial goal was to improve functionality of Minecraft’s multiplayer, and they actually had some early discussions with Mojang about how to do just that. The idea didn’t really take off, however, until it was presented to the Minecraft community. Initial interest was so intense that it almost overloaded their original hardware. Once things settled, developers were able to focus on their primary goal of improving Minecraft’s multiplayer. By making it easier for new players to mod and by providing a forum for people to share their work, Bukkit was born.
It’s a no-brainer for Mojang to hire the people that already provide multiplayer service to the Minecraft community. It’s a very vocal community, with very specific problems that Bukkit has already been able to address on some level. Working from within Mojang should give them more options, helping to streamline the process. Besides, Mojang designed Mincraft to absorb good ideas from the community, hiring those responsible for an exceptional idea is a perk. If Mojang continues to work well with its community, we may see more recruiting of this type in the future. Especially if hiring the guys from Bukkit turns out to be a success.
Mojang has managed to turn communication and transparency with its community into a way to create more content. What better way to provide players with more content than to let them create it themselves. Other developers should find ways to facilitate other forms of community participation in their games as well. Wouldn’t that be nice?