The PC version of "Minecraft" received a new snapshot release Thursday as part of the build up to the 1.5 Redstone Update due out later this month or February. While it adds some new features and improves others introduced in the last snapshot, this new preview release makes significant changes to how textures are handled which Mojang details.
Before we get into textures, the snapshot allows minecarts to carry more items now including TNT, dispensers and mob spawners. This should allow for some unique contraptions and situations as the TNT is primed when it passes over the newly added Activator Rail.
Currently, all of the textures for "Minecraft" on the PC are stored in one large image file. This file could then be modified by texture modders as part of texture pack releases to make the graphics fancier or make blocks based on their favorite movie, for example. Individual textures will be broken out into separate image files starting with the Redstone Update.
The Mojang developers explained this more fully in an update to the textures page on Minecraftwiki.net.
Textures for Blocks and Items in Minecraft 1.5
Starting from Minecraft 1.5, or snapshot 13w02a specifically, the "terrain.png" and "gui/items.png" files will be replaced by individual block and item images (sheet images). These individual images will be "stitched" together again at runtime, and will make sure that the default artwork is used if images are missing in the selected texture pack.
The game will also no longer create procedural textures for fire, lava, water, portals, clocks or compasses. Instead, the sheet image for these blocks and items need to contain a pre-drawn animation. The upside is that the animations will not be limited to these blocks, but can be used for any sheet image. Also, the game will allow texture packs to mix and match sheet image resolution. For example, if a HD texture pack is missing a certain sheet image, the game will be able to use the default one even though it has a different format (16x16 pixels).
That's just the opening explanation for the "Minecraft" texture changes. We suggest hopping over to the always excellent Minecraftwiki.net to read more on how texture animations and special images will be handled going forward with the 1.5 update.
Those that like modifying and creating textures can get started now by downloading the latest snapshot from Mojang along with the "unstitcher" tool released by the developers that breaks up the large sheet of textures into their individual image files. You can also download the sheet images used for the latest snapshot here.
Here's the full list of changes included in this week's "Minecraft" snapshot, 13w02a.
- Improved skeletons' aim
- Added an activator rail
- Used to trigger TNT Minecarts
- Needs to be powered by redstone
- Improved texture packs
- Textures now use one file per block/item, which are stitched together at runtime - Texture sizes don't need to be consistent
- Any block and item can be animated by putting the frames underneath each other in the right .png - Use an optional .txt to specify frame order and duration
- Special rules apply for water, lava, compass and clock
- Existing texture packs will automagically be converted
- Vanilla textures will be used if texture files are missing
- Added a death message for being pushed off and falling to death
- Added quartz blocks
- Comes as normal, chiseled and lined quartz blocks
- Also available as slabs and stairs
- Made minecarts able to carry more blocks
- TNT, mob spawners, dispensers
- Improved chest carts - Screenshot - They open visually now
- Improved naming (using the anvil) of containers and mob eggs
- Mobs can now have names
- Renaming containers will now display that name when placed down
- Renaming mob eggs will now give mobs spawned with it that name
- Improved the trapped chest
- Now gives off the redstone signal through walls - Doesn't actually work
- Improved the hopper
- Is now controllable by redstone - Power it to disable item forwarding
- Added a proper icon - Screenshot
- Is no longer considered wooden
- Improved the comparator
- Updated texture
- When fed by containers, they will now start giving out a signal as soon as 1 item is in the container, allowing for empty container detection
- Updated language files
- Language files can now be updated via the background downloader without updating Minecraft itself
- Fixed some bugs
- Fixed minecart sound getting stuck on long cart rides and getting bumby, choppy
- Fixed joining/updating servers taking very long
- Fixed clicking quickly in succession in GUIs ignoring clicks
- Fixed inactive detector rails giving redstone signals through solid blocks next to them
- Fixed an item duplication bug with the hopper
- Fixed cacti growing way too fast
- Fixed byte reading code sometimes reading the wrong bytes