The Spawn Chunks 181: The Deep Dark With A SlicedLime

Feb 21, 2022 | podcast

Jonny and Joel are joined by Minecraft Tech Lead SlicedLime to talk about the recent, massive changes to the game, technical challenges, and the process of adding new features to Minecraft. Plus, first impressions of The Deep Dark and The Warden in the first Experimental Snapshot featuring content from Minecraft 1.19!

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  • Jonny
    • The Minecraft Survival Guide, Season 2
      • Moved into a dripstone cave with the aim of slowly turning it into a fantasy-heavy mining project.
      • Highlights include converting one of the large pillars of dripstone blocks into a cauldron lava farm and building a geode around the nether portal.
    • Deep Dark Experimental Snapshot
      • Jumped into the experimental deep dark snapshot live on stream.
  • SlicedLime
    • Legacy SMP
      • A pez dispenser for villager trades is taking place on the Legacy server.
      • The idea is to be able to quickly trade for materials you want lots of and have the villagers be automatically moved to where they can restock their trades.
    • Heartless Challenge
      • Keeping up on the Heartless challenge, an even more challenging version of Half-Hearted Hardcore where you die instantly if you take any damage whatsoever.
      • Tried to explore the Nether, attacked a fortress, managed to survive only to die to a skeleton dropping in from above.
    • @SlicedLime (Twitter)
    • @SlicedLime (Twitch)
    • @SlicedLime (YouTube)

Chunk Mail

FROM: Pixel Sage
SUBJECT: Prototyping

Hello Jonny, Joel and Slicedl,

After watching “Secrets of Warden ” YouTube video I was wondering, does every single new Minecraft feature goes through so much prototyping, testing and balancing?

If yes, how many prototypes do developers draft for a new feature? Is it based on the feature? Does the team also keep in mind the community feedback you will be getting after releasing a feature in the form of a snapshot? 

Thank you for an amazing game, and a wonderful podcast!

Pixel Sage died of pure trauma after seeing the terrifying prototype warden.

FROM: LaunchedIntoOrbit
SUBJECT: Features vs Frames Per Second

Hi Sliced, Joel, and Jonny,

I was wondering how often feature ideas get discarded at Mojang because of how they would affect the framerate. I understand that you have to balance Minecraft  running on older hardware and giving the game as much immersion and depth as possible. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this. 

Chunks Away,

LaunchedIntoOrbit

FROM: PseudoVar
DISCORD MEMBER: Landscape Artist
SUBJECT: How Successful Was The Split?

Hi Joel, Pix and Sliced,

Long time listener, and finally decided to support the show I’ve been listening to for so long.

For Sliced – I’d like to know how successful the split (of 1.18) has been in avoiding developer burnout. 

Being a developer in my past, I know how stressful outside pressures can be, and that there can sometimes be a lack of empathy for the work that goes into a development project. (Especially bug fixing.)

Do you think that Mojang having such a big following, and engagement with its community allowed you to do this without seeing the community backlash we have seen with other studios when either delaying release or shipping incomplete software?

Thanks to all of you for what you do!

PseudoVar died using experimental features.

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A Dark Experiment

The First Look At The Deep Dark & The Warden With SlicedLime

SlicedLime talks about their history as a game developer, working at Mojang, as a content creator, and the sometimes struggle to find that work, life, Minecraft balance. Is there such a thing as too much Minecraft? The discussion is packed with even more Minercraft with Jonny, Joel and SlicedLime all discussing their first impression of The Deep Dark, The Warden, and the potential this new player experience has for the future of Minecraft.

Additional emails and questions for SlicedLime.

FROM: NoEmptyString
DISCORD MEMBER: Landscape Artist
SUBJECT: How Successful Was The Split?

Hello Joel, Jonny, SlicedLime,

I would like to ask SlicedLime to describe what a Mojang Tech Lead for the Java game does. As a person working in software development myself, I have some rough idea, but others might not. Plus, these job titles mean something a little bit different from company to company. What are your most common tasks, and responsibilities? What kind of decisions are you making and do you still code at work, or is it mostly meetings and paperwork for you?

Thank you so much!

NonEmptyString crashed the game, because the string contained invalid characters.

FROM: Cosmic
DISCORD MEMBER: Landscape Artist
SUBJECT: Key Technical Challenges

Hello Joel, Jonny, SlicedLime,

What were a few key technical challenges with The Caves & Cliffs Update, Part 2 in terms of the changes to terrain? How did the team deal with these?

Did the (experimental) snapshot process help in gathering meaningful feedback from the community with regards to bugs and issues the team needed to look at? I feel like we saw a lot of community interaction from the devs as 1.18 was being developed. Was this useful to help shape the update? Will this be something that will continue in updates in the future?

Lastly, just a massive thank you to SlicedLime, all the devs and everyone who works on Minecraft. It’s amazing how a sandbox game in a blocky world can bring people and communities – Like this one! – together in the way it does!