Mojang’s Minecraft division - about a sixth of their overall headcount these days, by my maths - are hard at work rewriting internal things that don’t make for good headlines. The way blocks are rendered, the inventory system: that's the sort of stuff they’ve been fiddling with before they usher in a new Plugin API.
For the time being, we’ve a weekly snapshot update that fixes a bunch of bugs - and adds some potentially really cool options for map makers.
Firstly, adventure maps are now easier to release. A resourcepack can be bundled with a map, simply by putting it in the map’s folder and naming it ‘resource.zip’.
Map makers also have a Yellow Pages-worth of new commands at their fingertips. Some allow them to clean up scoreboards, others help them track the placement and position of the various moving parts in their worlds, and still others will enhance cooperative play.
Players in teams can now have a shared objective shown in their sidebars. Those objectives won’t be visible to a second team on a map, as they’ll be filtered out by colour. What’s more, nametags for players on other teams can be hidden - making hiding and sneaking a legitimate tactic for competitive play. That’s an option that might well revolutionise Hunger Games maps.
Elsewhere, there are new iron trapdoors, plus a fix to a bug that had seen players defeating the Ender Dragon via an entry in the command line. I’m slightly hotter on that exploit than I am most, because I’m mindlessly nostalgic for the killphrases that allowed you to murder major characters instantly in Deus Ex. Because you’d read their emails.
Lastly, says Dinnerbone, “You can now share to lan for spectator mode only.” Who is Ian? Why mustn’t we let him play? Nobody knows.