Eloraams Blog

On "Copying".

I really didn’t want to have to post this. I’ve been keeping quiet because I don’t like drama, and I don’t see anything to fight about here. But try as I might, I’m getting singled out, so I’m going to have to respond.

First, I’m going to start by linking to a post by Stratagerm: Statement on minecraft mods copying features from one another. It’s worth a read. I agree with the point he raises.

Beyond that, though, lets talk specifics. I’ve talked about my inspirations for my timer mod, and for the wiring that followed after it. So instead, let’s talk code.

Early in my development, I ended up with a feature that was quite coveted by other mod authors: I used 1 block ID for all of Integrated Redstone (which became RedPower Logic). I’ve continued this legacy of using very few block IDs through to the present day.

Now, IndustrialCraft used to use a lot of block IDs. This was long before I had any features even remotely inspired by IC. At the time, the IC team looked inside RedPower to find out how I’d done it. The first “copying” (although I’m very hesitant to use this word - since while they used the technology I developed, their code is their own) was actually IC using part of the technology of RedPower. Since then, IC and RP have traded ideas back and forth. IC got wires that connect like RP’s jacketed wires, and RP got Blutricity. IC also gained the ability to separate wires by color, by using paint. I borrowed that idea back again by using paint to separate and mark tubes, but it’s worth noting that the back-and-forth there has made both mods better.

Now let’s talk Buildcraft. Buildcraft’s pipe ideas weren’t new at the time it was first released - the Allocator and Minefactory could be used together quite effectively to shuffle items around on conveyor belts. What Buildcraft was, though, was clean. It worked together. I started modding by adding a few blocks to assist BC users: the redstone pipe, and the timer. For a long time, BC and RP were inseparable, and I rather liked it that way. Then BC2 came out, and it largely made the timer redundant, while also adding a complete power system of its own. SpaceToad did a really good job of making the power system look new and original, but fundamentally, it’s still a power network.

Yes, I added a method of transporting items to RedPower. It’s a rather obvious necessity for large-scale automation mods, and Buildcraft isn’t unique in this requirement. It’s not even the first. I’ve done what I could to make my implementation unique, and with the inherently networked tube pressure system, I believe I’ve managed that. The Sorting Machine and Retriever have no direct siblings in Buildcraft. And again, it goes in both directions. Buildcraft 3 adds wires and logic gates, and both mods are better in the end.

And then there’s Frames. A lot of accusations of them being ripped off from something, but I’m still not sure what. The demos clearly show them moving not just more frames, and not just frames with covers on them, but functional machine blocks also. I’m not aware of another mod which existed before that video that allowed you to assemble a tunnel boring machine from multiple blocks and move it as one unit. There is a new mod that came after, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

I’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to make the large tech mods interoperate well. The functionality in Forge that allows unlimited terrain sprites without performance loss? I wrote it (and it required a major overhaul of the rendering engine, at that). The interfaces to let machines with unusual interface shapes (like IC’s Induction Furnace or RP’s Alloy Furnace) interface with item movement systems like BC’s pipes, RP’s tubes, MFR’s conveyers, etc? I wrote those also. The Ore Dictionary to make mods with similar ores play nicely? That too.

Finally, it doesn’t end with RedPower. The Frame-based tunnel boring machine? Since I released that video, a new mod came around devoted to building tunneling machines along the same lines. And then there’s FutureCraft. And the original Minefactory has been continued under new management. So many of the ideas in those mods have been passed around so many times, who is to say who got inspired by who? Noos assures me that the tunnel boring machine was parallel development, FutureCraft appears on the surface to be a little more directly inspired by RedPower, and MFR just continued along the natural path for Minefactory. Do I have a problem with either? Nope.

Everyone has inspirations. The biggest difference is that I openly admit mine.

Now can we please put this silly drama to rest, so I can go back to writing my mod?