Starting the works on a Hack&Slash map!

Some time ago, while trying out various new Realms minigames, we’ve stumbled upon a map called Survivalist. It’s a very simple game, where the goal is to survive through the highest possible number of increasingly difficult waves of enemies. It’s a top-down type of game, the player is acting as a villager teleported a couple of blocks below him. We were inspired by this idea and we decided to use it in our upcoming map! Despite the fact that we liked the idea of Survivalist very much, the gameplay itself doesn’t have a lot to offer. There’s a couple of classes to choose from, but they’re not that much different from one another. Each of the classes has only one attack activated with a rightclick. There are a couple of different enemies too, but certainly too few to enjoy the game for a longer amount of time. Same goes for the available maps. Inspired by what we saw, we decided to create our own top-down hack&slash map, an adventure, with a great emphasis on massacring hordes of encountered enemies.

The concept

As I’ve mentioned before, the map is supposed to be a typical top-down hack&slash. Surely, we’re going to have a storyline, but we’re not planning to branch it out too much. That means side quests might happen, but they’ll be a rarity. The gameplay is meant for 4 players, although the map will also be playable on your own, thanks to bots with custom AI written by us. You’ll also be able to pick one of the 4 available classes – bard, tank, gunner and mage. Each of them will have six unique skills of varying power, area of effect, cooldown etc. They’ll also be different in terms of movement speed, the number of health points, health regeneration rate and their story, which the player will slowly be learning about as the main story progresses. Players will encounter many kinds of enemies along the way, we want each of them to be unique in a way. Most of them will be working thanks to more or less complicated AI. There will also appear a couple of much stronger enemies – can’t have a proper hack&slash game without a bossfight!

AI in Minecraft

Creating AI in Minecraft comes down to two different approaches. Both ways have their pros and cons, and one needs to pick the way which is the most fitting. We can either use AI that already exists in-game (zombies chase villgars, creepers run from cats, etc.), or write all the interactions we need from scratch. The second option is obviously vastly more complicated, but it offers a great freedom in terms of implementing behavior. We decided to use both of those techniques, since while we can easily use zombie and villagers to have enemies chase after the characters, we’ll need to have more complex behavior when it comes to advanced attacks, spells or ranged attacks. Creating AI is not a simple task, since along with writing out all of the dependencies, it also requires us to create many new toold, such as pathfinding, priority and player tracking algorithms.

When is it going to be out?

We strive to make the map easy to understand for new players, though as you can see, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be simple to make. The works on the map are in progress, and despite the fact that a lot is already done, we still have a lot else to do. We need to create the story and quests, add bosses and other enemies, finish up the AI for bots that replace players etc. Our goal is to publish the map in the first couple of weeks after 1.13 comes out. And, let’s hope, we’ll manage to do that! We’d like to thank our patrons – Kemot and Blackie, for supporting our group. All gathered income will be put into development of the team, such as paying for the servers we do the work on, among other things. Our goal is to have all of our maps be the highest quality, and such support helps us reach that level. If you would also like to become our patron, you can do that by clicking the orange button on the right side of the screen.


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