Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Minefold (YC W12) launches Feed The Beast servers (minefold.com)
58 points by chrislloyd 1608 days ago | hide | past | web | 18 comments | favorite

Hey! Chris from Minefold here. Why would HN readers love this? Well Feed the Beast is basically a programmable environment for Minecraft. It includes a mod called "Computer Craft"[1] which is ridiculously cool. As an extra bonus we've open sourced the funpack[2] that we use internally to run this mod configuration. Read into that what you will :)

[1]: http://www.computercraft.info [2]: https://github.com/minefold/funpack-feed-the-beast-direwolf2...

I used Minefold the other day and their trial experience was excellent. Even if you're just playing single player, having a server for a complicated mod pack like FTB is perfect, because you're offloading a lot of the world generation and various 'chunks' that you might want to keep loaded to a separate machine, freeing up the CPU to render your local environment.

I also recommend Direwolf20's excellent Let's Play series, where he's currently playing one of the FTB mod packs (curated by him): http://www.youtube.com/direwolf20

If anyone enjoyed minecraft but doesn't play anymore, I've been trying out feed the beast this year and found it reinvigorated minecraft for me.

A couple of questions for Minefold:

1) How does the hourly pricing scheme work with things like chunkloaders?

2) Where are the servers located? I'm from Sydney so if it's not in Australia it's unlikely I'm going to move off my mac mini if they have to be hosted offshore.

EDIT: Clarifications.

Could you briefly explain what FTB does? The website doesn't do a good job of explaining it. From what I can tell, it's a collection of mods and I'm not going to go read what all 30+ of them do.

You've pretty much hit the nail on the head with the collection of mods comment. Some add major new features and tons of content, others are add-ons to the bigger mods adding a couple of new items that fit in another mod's theme. My understanding is that it started off as a collection of mods that the curators managed to make work together.

In its current state, it's a launcher for clients, essentially a package manager for minecraft mods, with several public packages available (Mindcrack, ftb) and also the ability to add private packages, or make your own by editing the existing ones.

What makes the mods special I guess is a combination of the sheer amount of content they add (energy systems, different realms with different monsters and bosses, more armour, ores, different biomes, beekeeping aka pokemon) and the way they all work together either by design or by glue mods.

Rather than reading up what all 30 mods do, I'd look at the following mods and see if any interest you. Please note, a lot of these mods add new types of resources to the new game, e.g., copper, silver, tin, lead, uranium, rubies.

Buildcraft + forrestry + thermal expansion: Buildcraft is one of what I consider the base mods, which adds the idea of energy called Minecraft Joules (MJ) which is used to power their machine blocks. Also adds pipes to transport items, liquids and energy. You can use these mods to do things like automatic tree farms, beekeeping, quarries (autmoatically mines out an area) lava pump.

Railcraft: Adds a couple of things that interact well with buildcraft, steam boilers, more buildcraft engines (engines generate MJ), liquid tanks (for storage) and tons of different rail stuff than in vanilla minecraft, e.g., launcher tracks, high speed rails, locomotives.

IndustrialCraft 2 and optionally Gregtech: Adds its own energy system, EU, which is used to power its own machine blocks. These machine blocks are all about item processing, e.g., getting ores and turning it into 2x or 3x as many ingots as you would have normally received in vanilla minecraft. Gregtech sort of extends this processing technology tree, adds some new items but also 'balances' all of the mods in the pack, editing their configurations so that they don't enable, in Greg's mind, an unfair amount of resources to be generated for a given period of time. Whether or not you agree with such a viewpoint is one of the distinguishing factors between the modpacks.

ComputerCraft: LUA programmable computers and 'turtles' (think logo) that can interact with the environment. MiscPeripherals is another mod that adds more methods for computers and turtles to interact with the minecraft environment and other mods.

Mystcraft: Adds the ability to generate new worlds, with funky settings like, multiple suns, always-night, dense ores, only plains biomes, purple sunset, and many more. Lets you teleport between realms.

Twilight Forest: A new realm, like the end or the nether, which is a more fantasy/magically oriented realm than normal minecraft, with entirely new creatures, monsters and bosses. I believe the idea behind it is if you're looking for a more magical setting than normal minecraft you could play entirely in this realm.

Extrabees: Really a small mod but has so much playtime involved. Forrestry adds beekeeping to the game, and extra bees adds a hundred or so more bees to the original 10-20 forrestry bees, with bees further down the evolutionary chain producing more advanced materials, e.g., diamonds. It also adds some machines to aid in the beekeeping process.

There are more mods worth talking about, but I should get back to work :) I'd watch some lets play videos on youtube to get more of a feel for what's going on. Just jumping into the game can be kind of overwhelming.

Hi! 1.) Works exactly the same :) 2.) Hey we're from Sydney too! Our severs are in us-east at the moment. We've got loads of Australian customers and for Minecraft, us-east latency is very playable. Best thing is to give it a go and see what it's like. That being said, we've designed our platform to be multi-region so more datacenters are Coming Soon.

Thanks for the reply. Ok, I'll probably give it a trial and see how it goes then!

I'm pretty committed to my mindcrack pack world at the moment though, so what are the plans to support other modpacks in the future?

We've open-sourced that Funpack so that's the general structure of how we run things. If you create a new one and send it to us, who knows, we might publish it for everybody to play :)

I actually played from London the other day and I think the server was hosted on the West Coast in the US and it was a completely lag free experience.

This service is fantastic, and I've been using exactly this for about a week now with the Direwolf20 pack. I didn't really expect this going in (should have!), but my FPS shot up by offloading to a server. Easy invite of friends and family to play on your server. Amazingly reasonable prices.

They seem to spin up the servers from cold when somebody connects, which for FTB can take a bit of time. I don't know that I'd pay any more money for faster startup, but it is something I consider before starting MC.

A few minor problems that were completely a result of moving from my local Minecraft to minefold:

1) It took forever to upload my map. Nothing slow on their end, but when you have a map that's over 100MB, residential connections start to get sad. A time remaining on upload would be nice.

2) After the initial upload, the server wouldn't start. Minefold doesn't provide any logs (that I could find, at least) to help diagnose this. I ended up having to pull out a number of things related to Mo' Creatures, a third party mod not included in FTB.

Compounding this, Mystcraft got an update in the modpack at exactly the time I was uploading, so versions were mismatched between my local save files and the server's modpack version. I ended up needing to use an NBT editor to remove all kinds of references to dimensions that for whatever reason didn't play nice.

Having the server output logs available and having the ability to edit individual files in the save would have simplified this step.

3) I had gotten used to having Rei's Minimap display entity radar, but the modpack's SMP version doesn't support setting the MOTD the way it needs to be set to enable that. An easy way to install and configure additional mods on Minefold would be great here.

Huge supporter of these guys, they've turned playing Minecraft alone with fans blazing into a ridiculously easy social endeavor with slower fans.

Thanks for the kind words! We are storing logs and metrics for individual servers, and we're working on ways for people to access them.

I'm sorry that you had a bad expereince with your upload. I'm overhauling the upgrade process as we speak to ensure that worlds like yours upload cleanly.

We have a few ideas about configuring and installing additional mods. However, FTB is our first open source Funpack (https://github.com/minefold/funpack-feed-the-beast-direwolf2...) If you poke around there, submit an issue or preferably a pull request, we'll publish your changes.

Thanks again for the support!

Wow, love that YC is backing a game server startup. 1 suggestion, add in support for your slightly older brother coinbase and let me rent a tf2 or dayz server with bitcoin..... trust me. :)

This is only tangentially related to the article, but maybe someone can explain this YC alum trend to me. Why is it that the home link (and in many cases the logo as well) of blog.company.com link to the base blog.company.com.

I would assume the primary purpose of a company blog, technical or otherwise is to drive traffic to your main site. Without a clear link, i feel this is ill served.

What am i missing?

I think that a lot of gameserver admins recognize that for most of the day, their server runs empty, unless you're one of the top whatever percentage populated servers in your respective game. I'd be interested in seeing some statistics as to exactly how much people save from using a "pay-as-you-play" model from minefold.

nice site btw :P

I just spend the day revamping our pricing page and worked out that roughly 90% of game servers are active for less than 20 hours a week.

I'm gonna check this out as soon as they support FTB Mindcrack. The added complexity from Gregtech really makes the game a lot richer, despite the problems I have with that mod.

Wow I hadn't heard of FTB before now. Excited to kick off a server and check it out!

My experience with FTB is good, but the savefiles get corrupted every month or so

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact