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Origins Work

TLDR

Picture of using the Origin Creator to edit a file

Introduction

Minecraft is a voxel based sandbox game that has spawned many niche communities, one of which being centered around a super-power mod known as the Origins mod. This page is about my work related to that mod. If you want to see other Minecraft-related work I've done, check out this page.

I first came into contact with the Origins mod when I was browsing Minecraft-fabric mods to make a modpack with them for me and my friends, and instantly loved the idea. Datapack-driven superpowers? Consistent Minecraft-themeing with a light modded feel? Oh yeah, sign me up. I experimented with and made a few origins for myself and other people over time but often found it unweildy as there wasn't good tooling for any code editor (including VSCode) at the time. Since then datapack-support has gotten better and there are now plenty of good VSCode extensions for working with origins datapacks, even though they often still require you to consistently go to the wiki and back.

The Origin Creator

Inspired by mcstacker.net, I wanted to solve the problem of having to go to the wiki constantly by creating a more visual tool called The Origin Creator. Initially it started with only being able to create custom origins and powers, but the tool grew to be able to make any datapack entirely on it's own. It also has basic syntax highlighting for mcfunction files, making it still a better choice than editing with regular notepad.

While I don't have a screenshot of the old Origin Creator when it was first made, here's a screenshot showing a big sidebar update I did:

Old and new origin creator sidebar diff

And here's what it looks like now:

Picture of using the Origin Creator to edit a file

The Origin Creator supports Minecraft versions 1.16.x and up, and to handle all versions of Minecraft I store the format of content in custom hjson schemas that can be found here. Writing these files takes a really, really long time, and some files are thousands of lines long. For what I knew at the time, this method worked really well, but if I were to go back I'd do it quite a bit differently, using the yaml format instead of hjson, splitting files up more efficiently, or just relying on existing json-schemas to generate the editor instead. I'm still actively developing the Origin Creator and adding new features.

Nevertheless, many people utilize the Origin Creator as a simple way to make datapacks quickly and efficiently without having to worry about syntax, including myself. While it doesn't let you skip the problem solving and programming aspects of writing origins, it does make the process significantly easier.

Origins Flow Help

In making the Origin Creator, I came across many people asking the same sets of similar questions over and over, so I started to create common response pages that I could easily link them to. After learning about some simple flow charts created by some people in the official Origins Discord, I decided to reorganize my work by creating a mass repository of information in the form of an easy-to-follow online flow chart. I called this the Origins Flow Help.

The flow help provides step-by-step instructions on how to install/uninstall datapacks and mods, how to fix bugs, and helps the user figure out what powers to use for certain situations. I figure this'll be useful at least until some company illegally copies the help I provided to build their AI (which, I want to make clear, I do not give consent for any company to do). Most of the help includes pictures though, so it is slightly more resistant to this process.

Hypothetically, instead of having to ask for help in any Discord, people could find assistance for common problems there instead. While I have seen an overall decrease in the amount of people asking for help with common problems, I still get a few stragglers who need to be linked back to a specific page manually.

More recently, I've also created a Discord bot that makes this information accessible through Discord as well. The bot has been very useful for linking people back to certain pages that I have written.

Random Origins Help

In addition to those projects, I also have provided some suggestions and changes to the wiki through the official Discord (when I notice a typo or when something isn't clear enough). Most of the time this just involves taking a screenshot of the page with the issue, providing a link to the page, and describing the issue. I've read over most of the entire wiki multiple times, so I'm happy to be able to act as another pair of eyes for the documentation.

At one point I even provided some additions to the origins mod itself, by adding the Predicate, Command, and Scoreboard conditions, as well as adding a few additional in-game commands for interacting with Origins. These conditions and commands are extremely powerful as they allow the user to take advantage of regular Minecraft code to interact with Origins, but have the drawback of being server-side only.