A long time ago now, there was a Minecraft update that flipped the bottom texture map on every polygonal surface in Minecraft to the reverse orientation. This fix was to make the textures geometrically correct because Notch originally rendered them in reverse by accident and compensated by flipping the texture. It was wrong and needed to be fixed. It also caused every single texture pack and skin to be completely hosed. The issue here is that there was no warning given and very little information provided on what changed, why, and what impact it would have. To this day, you’ll still see people wearing skins with a beard piece sticking out of the back of their heads.
Since the real life seasons mod is driven by 8 texture packs, this was a big issue for me. Worse still, the skins directory was, at that time, about 300 skins and the whole thing had to be rebuilt from the ground up, every single last entry. When asked about it, Jeb’s response was akin to “It was broken, now it’s fixed, deal.” So I wrote an email.
My email was very direct. I told him that his response was too cold and uncaring and frankly that he had hurt the feelings of a good many people and tarnished his image and the image of the company. I then set about the task of creating a macro to correct the texture pack issues and worked with Saviski to create and refine his skin texture flipping utility that would help both skin authors and users to update their content.
Soon after and much to my delight, I received a sincere and well-worded response. Jeb explained that he hadn’t intended on hurting any feelings nor did he lack any amount of care. He simply didn’t have a good impression of the scope of users that would be impacted by the change. He apologized and promised to take measures to communicate better with the content development community in order to ease future transitions. At this point, we had sorted out a fair deal of the issues on our own, so I made sure to spread the apology around and leave it in the past. It was all a distant memory until today.
The point to this story is that Jeb is indeed a man of his word. I’ve just learned that in addition to this snapshot, Mojang also released today a tool created by dinnerbone that assists in the conversion process for texture packs. What this means for the Real Life Seasons mod is that rather than spend a couple of hours per season/holiday, the conversion process should be fairly quick and painless. In short, expect to see the next release within a day or two. Of course, I’ll release a 1.5 compatible revision to be provided parallel to the 1.4 compatible revision until such a time that 1.5 comes out of development and enters live production.
The good (best) news is that Real Life Seasons doesn’t have to die today. And in spite of all my own hard work, it’s Mojang we have to thank this time. Thank you, Jeb, Notch, dinnerbone, and the rest of the gang. Once again, you never fail to please and amaze, even for an old jaded dodger like me.