Minecraft developer Mojang Studios has announced that it is working with British supercomputing startup Hadean to develop a project that will revitalize the game through a range of new modes and experiences.
Mojang will use the company’s spatial simulation engine, the Aether Engine, to enhance the existing Minecraft experience, but also to enable new game modes with far larger numbers of players.
For example, in an earlier test, a single developer was able to use the engine to expand the 99-year standard lobby limit of 99 players and support more than 1
In essence, the Aether Engine integration will allow Mojang to break through previous technical limits – created as a result of the game’s old code base – and open up a host of new design possibilities.
The Minecraft gameplay itself won’t be changed, but the change will allow developers to create a plethora of new in-game features for gamers.
Minecraft system change
The demand for massive multiplayer gaming experiences has increased dramatically in recent years. This shift may also have been accelerated by the pandemic, with gamers turning to online gaming as the primary source of social contact.
However, supporting a large-scale multiplayer experience is not an easy task for development teams who need to overcome a number of technical bottlenecks while maintaining the quality of the gameplay.
In the past, developers have been asked to balance scaling versus increasing performance. This ensured that players enjoyed a smooth experience but also limited the potential amount of in-game interaction.
However, Hadean says, Aether Engine will dynamically provision resources on demand, bypassing excessive middleware and other forms of architectural complexity. Indeed, it means developers no longer have to choose between scale and performance. You can have your cake and eat it.
“Hadean’s Aether Engine is a game changer that opens up a range of new design possibilities – not just for games like Minecraft, but also for streaming platforms, developer communities and even enterprise applications,” said Michael Weilbacher, CTO of Mojang.
“The introduction of Aether Engine to Minecraft opens up a range of exciting new experiences, events and game modes for our players. Aether Engine is able to handle increased connections and computational overhead, allowing us to create bigger and more immersive experiences than ever before. “
So far, Mojang has been excited about the exact changes and new game modes Minecraft will bring as a result of the new partnership, but early signs suggest that players have a lot to explore.