Minecraft will always be a source of inspiration. It's the only game I can think of that truly feels like you're in a world with endless possibilities. The community has found countless ways to revolutionize the game, through mods, servers, maps - constantly, people are reimagining Minecraft in their own way.
Unsurprisingly, Minecraft is where I got my start in development. I've made my fair share of server mods (called 'plugins'); some for my own server, others for networks bigger than I realized at the time (one of my gamemodes netting half a million views on YouTube). Either way, handcrafting these experiences - usually minigames - wasn't about their development, and Java certainly did not make a good impression on me. Instead, I found myself coding tediously complex systems (which were all way too difficult to handle for one stubborn person alone) only because I knew I was in the process of creating my own virtual world.
Though at the time, around 2016, many would consider Minecraft servers a quick cash grab, looking back at my own mods, I kept trying to channel the spirit of Minecraft and find innovation. PvP (online player battles) couldn't be just that - I kept adding new things, weapons, items, spells. For some of my mods, my drive to add new things was so strong that it ultimately blew up the scope, making the project became too difficult to maintain.
I made a new logo for each season of my server when we'd reset the map and start over.
In 2018, a new server I started had grown a community of active players. I began to experiment with more game-changing mods, working with the Minecraft code itself. To keep our server organized, I made new interfaces to create clubs, to choose a job and to link your Discord account using a Discord bot.
The reason I'm sharing this is because, beyond its concrete features (which included a new bean crop that spawned money), creating my own version of a Minecraft server was incredibly satisfying for me. From the launcher to in-game, I had control over the feel of 'my Minecraft.' Its parts were almost tangible, like puzzle pieces I could fit together to design my own virtual experience. It made me realize that creating something is not about its development or any particular aspect of it - no, I want to create worlds.
Worlds I created
Most of my mods are a thing of the past; not even a screenshot has survived. Still, I can vividly remember how much I enjoyed coming up with worlds for other players to experiences. On one server, I'd invite a bunch of volunteers into a cage and tried to think of increasingly bizarre ways to kill them - falling anvils, raining chickens, growing trees - while they'd try to survive my wrath. People got so excited that I eventually made it into its own sci-fi minigame.
The first world I made was an MMORPGish server with quests, featuring a storyline I wrote when I was twelve years old. Two opposing factions fought for ground; one, a magical floating castle, the other a dark and commanding castle. Their names? White and black, of course.