Back in around 2012 there used to be this server I really liked to play on that went by the name Mc-War with the IP address mc-war.com. The server was consisted of being able to use guns in the game Minecraft without the need of any mods simply by logging in to a server and using a texture pack. It was really fun, but sadly it got acquired by some people from McBrawl and it all went to shit from there, the original developer that made the original Mc-War which I will refer to as the "legacy" one left the project after it getting acquired by Brawl which only led to the gamemode becoming worse as the new developers added features that were just not fun paired together with pay to win mechanics that made things very unfair for new players which obviously meant retention was low.
I got hit with a wave of nostalgia the other way about the great fun I had playing the legacy McWar and thought
Hey, I'm technically a developer now so couldn't I just... revive it myself?
So that's exactly what I'm going to do, I'll create a new server with the aim of it being close to how legacy once was with some fixes that didn't exist back then.
But there's a couple of issues, for one I have never made a Minecraft plugin before and I have absolutely no idea how to present this video in terms of the thumbnail and the title.
Something I came to realize recently is that the videos I used to produce weren't recommendable because their contents were something that just wasn't watchable by the average person that just wants to waste some time by watching youtube videos, and a video that teaches you how to do x y z just wouldn't be "entertaining" to the person that isn't interested in learning. So my best chance at succeeding on YouTube is to keep the original idea that I wanted to "show" and just somehow present it in a way that doesn't require any previous knowledge which consequently has to be interesting to as many people as possible so it has a chance to appear on the landing page.
The video concept
I want this video to show the process of me creating a plugin that actually allows people to join a server and be able to use guns, but once that part is done I also want to create a second, separate video where I create a lobby system so that people can join the server and play the game (with a few bots along the way to advertise the server), but first things first, I want to have a video that shows the creation process of the gun plugin.
I'm not planning on making it a tutorial since that would just be boring and will be inspiring myself from the style Dani has, since what I'm doing in this case is sort of the same thing he does in his videos which are very successful.
For the title I'll need something along the lines of "I added guns to Minecraft", but I'll brainstorm some of the ideas I have for it here:
- I added guns to Minecraft
- Minecraft, but I added guns to the game
- What if I added guns to Minecraft?
- So I added guns to Minecraft
Personally I think that the "I added guns to Minecraft" option sounds the best so I'll stick with that until I get or come up with a better alternative.
Ah yes, the thumbnail... how do I present this video thumbnail wise... I'll go ahead and find some thumbnails from other successful Minecraft videos related to guns as inspiration.
So what I'm noticing in Minecraft related thumbnails is that the ones with less elements on screen, so in other words the simpler ones tend to get more views nowadays, so I think what I'll have to do is take a screenshot of the game where I am shooting one of the weapons and then edit it nicely so that it has particle effects etc, but since it has to be a screenshot it will sadly have to wait until I actually finish the plugin so that I can take a proper screenshot, OOOOOOOOOOR I could cheat and make a "fake screenshot" in Blender, a 3d modeling program, which is exactly what I'm going to try to do!
Notice how I used try, meaning that I have no idea if it will actually work or not, hopefully this doesn't become foreshadowing for when it fails, if it fails, which it won't I hope.
Using blender to make the thumbnail
So the first thing I need is to be able to import a "world" into blender which will essentially become the background image.
I did a bit of googling and saw that I need something called "Mineways" to be able to take a world and export it into a usable OBJ format, but unfortunately it looks to be a pain to install on MacOS since it was made for windows (and I am currently not at home so I'm stuck with a MacBook laptop). So eh off I go to figure it out...
Turns out there was an installer for it which made things considerably easier than I anticipated.
I ended up looking at a tutorial which says that "jmc2obj" is considerably easier to use, so I'll go ahead and use that.
So importing the world into blender worked perfectly fine, meaning that all I have to do now is generate a world which should be the background for the video and then import it into blender!
I'll create a flat world with sand as the base since I liked how it looked in the last thumbnail shown above which gives good contrast to the "thing" I want to show: the gun.
I created an empty flatworld with sand and imported it into blender, so the next step is to figure out how to get my character to get in there.
The MCprep add-on for blender is really making things simple which I'm already loving.
It also comes with all tools preinstalled so that I can simply move my character using the rig tool which is very nice. so now what I have to do is figure out the "composition" of my thumbnail.
I think I'll make it in this style considering my floor is also going to be sand, but since I want to have a shot of the player shooting the gun (and people are usually right handed) I'll place the character on the left.
Something like this. Now all I need is to place the gun into the frame and make my character hold it, and using the textures the 2012 Mc-War server had, which gun would look the best in a thumbnail?
One problem I can see is that unforutnately both my skin and most guns are black, and that's bad for visibility, so I'll need to use a gun that has color
The only one that fit this characteristic very well is unfortunately a pistol, so now all that's left is posing the character
I think I managed to make it look kind of nice even though I had to rotate the sky like 45c to make it appear in the shot, but it looks fine, I'm surprised by how well this is ending up
I'm not very good at rigging but it is acceptable
The image is looking kind of dark though, I need to light it up a bit
Adding lights in blender is pretty simple, just a sun light and a spot light should be enough here
Big improvement! So all that's left now is to fire the bullet!
The bullet is essentially just a re-textured snowball that looks like a metal pellet, and as it is it just looks kind of boring, so I need to add a few particle effects to make it a bit fancier
There's a Minecraft server called GunColony which has some very nice particle effects on guns when they fire, so I think that's what I'll try to replicate
I've got the particles I'll be using ready, now I have to figure out how to place them
It's starting to look good, but the thumbnail current feels so... empty to me
I changed up the angle a bit and voila! I am satisfied! I left a bit of space at the top to add some text like Mysticat did in his thumbnails, so I'll render the image and go ahead and add some text
This laptop really does not like rendering...
Aaaand after 20 minutes of rendering and the computer being on the verge of melting it's complete!
All that's left now is.... adding a bit more saturation and text!
Turns out I didn't have a color correction program, but since I'm very satisfied with how the Affinity Designer V1 program has served me over the past year I went ahead and bought the 40% discounted pack for all of their apps which has the "Affinity Photo" which I need for the correction
It looks basically identical, the biggest difference being the corrections in the sky and gun to make them "pop off" a bit more.
So now that I have the basic thumbnail image, time to add the text!
I went for the usual stereotypical text with a big pointy arrow thumbnail style which should hopefully look good
Using the YouTube thumbnail preview website ThumbsUp I can see that the thumbnail is visible enough from the different resolutions, so the thumbnail is now fully complete!
I sent the image to a friend that has a lot of experience with color grading images and he ended up making the image 10x better:
So that's the new version I'll be using, but with text of course
Making the plugin
To be entirely honest, I started writing all of this when I was already mid-way through the entire video, so here's the video of where I am currently at.
I created a plugin that connects to a MariaDB database where all of the gun data is stored. This data then gets pulled into the plugin when the server starts and gets stored in a HashMap so that it can be accessed by the listeners whenever it's necessary.
I have completed the "basic" functionality of the guns as in being able to shoot, scoping, different fire modes (which I have yet to record), so what I have to do now is record a clip of the following:
- Some B-Roll of me shooting the guns
- The database that shows how I set up guns
- The different shooting modes, normal, rapidfire, burst, rpg and shotgun
- The ammo system
- Scoping system & gun spread
I just finished recording the raw audio for this section, and I keep noticing how I'm still very awkward and generally not funny. I'm a LOT better than I was back when I started, in the "How I make bots in Python" video where I am just evidently uncomfortable when speaking, and I feel like what I lack the most at the moment is a personality... I keep trying to be something I'm not which is starting to bother me, I have to somehow find a way to act more like myself in a way that's entertaining which is very difficult... Anyways now that the recording is done, I'll do some corrections like noise reduction and some equalizers to then clip it into the video before moving on.
Now that the audio section is complete, I have two options, one would be to start recording b-roll for that section (the videos that will go on top of the audio) or to just start modifying the mod and then figuring out how to do the b roll later. I think that the best (and easiest) course of action at this point is to get the b-roll, so that's what I'm going to do now. Here's the list of B-Roll I need:
- Some random clip of a calendar going through the dates
- A clip of me in Minecraft just staring at the camera and moving around while in F5
- Clips in both OBS & Replay mod of Minigun mode, Burst mode, RPG WITH KNOCKBACK, and shotgun mode
- Spread while aiming at a target
- Scope mode click in and out
- Spread when in scope mode and when out of scope mode
- Show ammo of gun while shooting with different colors
- Show gun reloading
- Clip of looking through youtube
- Clip of guncolony website
- Clip of guncolony gun effects
That should be everything, so once I'm done recording all of that and putting it nicely in a folder I SHALL RETURN!