Voxel game engine


At first glance, Minetest looks like a clone of the now venerable Minecraft, and to some extent it is. It features voxel graphics, there are both creative and survival game modes, and there's a huge modding community of people that spend their time designing and building unique environments within the game. All of this will be familiar to Minecraft players. But Minetest offers much more than this. It's open source (unlike Minecraft, which despite Notch's early promises is not), and this means that you can invest your time in the code and the game engine sure in the knowledge that it won't become redundant when development drops or moves to a different platform. The Minetest community has fully embraced this, creating many of their own games, mods, and textures, many of which can be downloaded for free from the main website.

Minetest improves on Minecraft in other important ways too. There's a Lua-based API that can be used to augment your creations in only the way a programming language can. Maps can be huge, incorporating 62,000 cubic voxels, and there's a gallery of user-created games and maps that can often be freely built upon or incorporated into your own worlds. While it may not have the depth of crafting mechanics of Minecraft, Minetest conveys a greater sense of jeopardy because the worlds are larger and feel more unknown, especially in survival mode where you have to explore and craft your way through the night and from one virtual day to the next. It's also a great way to play with new game ideas separate from the mining, crafting, and trading of the traditional mechanics. The environment is perfect for building scripted adventures, or an RPG, or even simple collections games, all of which can be found in the database of games created by users.

Project Website

Abandon Java (and Microsoft!) by switching to Minetest and its open source gaming community.

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