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I recently created the first post in a series of highly detailed Q&As related to add-on creation for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition, and during my research phase I came across this post about custom block creation by @Penguin that was closed as off-topic in 2020 where @Joachim weighed in at the time that it was similar to game development and likely a better fit for GameDev SE:

Game development is not only about writing code. Doing game development-related tasks doesn't mean someone is a game developer (not only photographers post on Photography.SE, not only artists post on Arts & Crafts, &c.). It should be up to you to make a case for your question when a majority of (likely more experienced) users interprets it otherwise. Adding new content to a game is usually part of game development, even if it means only copying an asset and changing its properties and/or texture.

The stance on this seems to have changed since then, and while we don't appear to have a true consensus on whether or not BE add-ons are mods or not, keeping it in a closed status refutes what appears to be the current community consensus on well formed Q&A related to basic add-on creation as demonstrated with this meta post. @Joachim also weighed in there, but this time in support of the idea:

I believe this has been proposed before but great idea! It would also be easier to update when a newer version changes functionality. And maybe have a similar thread for the Java Edition. I'm not very well-versed in Minecraft matters, so leave this as a comment for now.

With all of the above in mind, the initial post of my Q&A series is simply titled "How can I create a Minecraft: Bedrock Edition add-on?". In the question section, at the end, I'm adding a table of posts that are related to the series so that future readers can easily jump between those particular relevant posts. @Penguin's post on creating a custom block will save me the time of having to create a post dedicated to that process (thank you @Penguin!) since the current plan is to give a detailed, baseline answer to the following questions across four separate posts:

  • How can I create an add-on?
  • How can I create a custom item?
  • How can I create a custom block?
  • How can I create a custom entity?

None of the above will require anything more than data manipulation to accomplish, and can help us prevent future duplicate questions.


I would like to request that we re-open the aforementioned post in support of this baseline Q&A effort.

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  • "The stance on this seems to have changed since then". Does it? Why do you think so?
    – Wrigglenite Mod
    Aug 12 at 19:21
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    @Wrigglenite because the primary feedback I've received from the community within the past few weeks trends towards support of creating the Q&A for at least baseline features of add-ons. Aug 12 at 19:25
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    You mention how now I'm "in support of the idea", but these two matters are not the same at all. Similarly, the questions you propose here differ dramatically from the those in your other Meta post: these are about modding/developing, whereas I interpreted the questions in your other post to be about in-game commands.
    – Joachim
    Aug 13 at 9:24
  • Still, I wouldn't even mind seeing questions like the ones here here on Meta, for example, if it can help a lot of users out (as an example, I've created a Meta post with an explicitly off-topic Q&A on Arts & Crafts to point users to places online they can post their creations). But I do think they should not be part of the main website, as that would set a clear precedent for future kerfuffle.
    – Joachim
    Aug 13 at 9:25
  • @Joachim my apologies for my misunderstanding your stance. Also, thank you for the feedback and ideas to follow up on! Aug 13 at 14:17
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    @Tacoタコス No problem at all, and you're welcome :)
    – Joachim
    Aug 13 at 15:00
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TL;DR
I think this type of question is still off-topic for Arqade and should likely belong on GameDev.SE

With some exceptions, I think creating mods for a game is a topic that is better suited to GameDev.SE. For the majority of instances, if the issue requires modifying or adding to the existing game files, it's likely a bad fit for Arqade. The only time I would think questions about creating content should be on-topic is when that is built into the game itself, such as with or the forge tools in newer Halo games. On the opposite end, a question on how to use officially released developer tools to create a mod, such as with , would be off-topic.

However, there is a bit of a grey area with this. For example, involves messing with the games files as a matter of gameplay, so I think it can make for a good instance where we can begin to draw lines on what's on-topic and what is not.

Fair warning, this will probably include spoilers for DDLC.

There's a part in DDLC where, to continue the story, you are expected to navigate to a specific file and manually delete it. This is not something you do inside the game, but rather through something like Windows Explorer. A question about this I would see as on-topic. It's asking about something you are specifically experiencing as a part of gameplay.

While questions can tend to have a rather bad reputation here, they are on-topic. In a game like DDLC, it's entirely possible that a question regarding the lore ends up being answered in a random file that is never even used by the game. These types of questions would also be on-topic, as it's asking about the game's story.

If a question is asking how to create a mod that adds a pet monkey to the game, this would be off-topic. It's not something that's derived from gameplay, nor is it asking about the game's setting. On top of that, it's not the sort of question that an avid fan of the game/series would likely know.

Looping back to Minecraft, think about it in regards to whether you would ask a friend that is an expert in coding video games or a friend that's played countless hours of it and read all the books. How to setup a command block is something in-game that a super-fan is likely to know. How to mod in a new mob is something a fan of the game is unlikely to know, but a developer friend could likely help with.

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  • I can't really agree entirely, nor disagree entirely with this stance to be honest, but respect it regardless. However, given that data packs and resource packs (which are considered data packs) are considered on-topic (this post) highlights that point; BE add-ons are technically speaking, at a minimum, partially, on topic. Aug 12 at 19:43
  • I would like to point out that the result of the post I'm requesting to be re-opened is a resource pack, which as I mentioned in my previous comment is considered a data pack, which is considered on-topic from my understanding. Aug 12 at 19:43
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    @Tacoタコス My understanding is that interacting with a given mod/add-on would be on topic, but details on how to make your own are off-topic. So, questions about using [minecraft-feed-the-beast] are fine, but how to make your own version would not be. I'm not familiar with the in-game store, but it seems to be creators make mods and players purchase them. Arqade would help players while gamedev would help creators.
    – Batophobia
    Aug 12 at 20:30
  • @Batophobia What would make JE data packs different from BE behaviour packs in such a way that the latter is off-topic while the former isn't? Aug 21 at 16:34
  • @ExpertCoder14 I don't think it being for JE or BE is the issue. Rather, it's where the question is related to using an existing pack or how to create one. Is there somewhere in this answer that suggests otherwise?
    – Batophobia
    Aug 21 at 18:03
  • @Batophobia You say that questions about developing MCBE behaviour packs are off-topic, while at the same time, questions about developing MCJE data packs are currently on-topic. It does not make logical sense to disallow pack development questions of one edition without disallowing pack development questions of the other edition. And I strongly believe that MCJE pack development questions are on-topic, so MCBE pack development questions should also be on-topic. For your information, neither type of pack fits the definition of a mod. A mod is additional game code. Packs do not contain code. Aug 21 at 19:41
  • @ExpertCoder14 I don't think developing MCJE data packs is on-topic, but I couldn't find a meta discussion on it so I could be wrong. As for BE behaviour packs, I looked more into it and I can see a compelling argument for why they could be on-topic. I'm going to attempt to make a pack and if I change my mind (and a more familiar user hasn't answered) I may add another answer.
    – Batophobia
    Aug 23 at 1:20
  • @ExpertCoder14 "A mod is additional game code.", not exactly. There are three primary forms of "mods" when it comes to games: data manipulation, code manipulation, and code injection. Since JavaScript is utilized in the client and server side scripts in BE behavior packs, it can be said that BE behavior packs are hybrids between data manipulation and code injection. While the code is rather limited in what you can do (unlike traditional code injection), it is still code, and as such BE behavior packs are "mods". Aug 23 at 15:52
  • @Tacoタコス Are you sure you are not mixing up JS and JSON? Aug 24 at 22:44
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    @ExpertCoder14 JSON is data and incapable of storing even comments; I'm positive as a professional software developer that I'm not mixing the two. BE behavior packs offer scripts that utilize JavaScript. Aug 24 at 22:59
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After additional research and following some tutorials to create a few packs, I think an argument can be made for having BE packs be on-topic. This answer is based on the condition the game was at on version 1.17.11. I am certainly not an expert in this particular topic, so feel free to point out any mistakes and offer suggestions to make this answer better.

What is a pack

Mostly json files. Resource packs can include png files for your textures and lang files for language support.

Is it a mod

Kind of, but not in the traditional sense.

Why should it be accepted when mod creation is off topic

I think it would be fair to compare creating a pack with setting up a server. For a server, you're going to have files like server.properties. For a pack, you have files like manifest.json. Both are basically Minecraft attributes that can be set to customize/personalize your setup.

Won't this invite really complicated questions

Minecraft is a game that involved Electrical Engineering (Redstone) and Programming (Command Blocks). I'd bet these systems are already more complicated than pack creation.

Wouldn't this introduce a flood of low-quality posts

That's the point of having a general post. Mark the others as duplicates. For non-generic posts, expect questions to ask for a specific thing and demonstrate what has been tried.

Shouldn't these be on GameDev.SE

While pack creation might be on-topic for GameDev, that doesn't make it off-topic here. If Arqade will accept games like and , which involve actual programming (in Lua), I see no reason to disallow json.

But wouldn't a game dev answer better

Not necessarily. The majority of pack creation is knowing the specific attribute names and values that Minecraft allows. This is something a fan of Minecraft is more likely to know over a game developer.

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    This is definitely a gray area. Personally, I think accepting these would be good for Arqade, but I can understand why some would be hesitant to do so.
    – Batophobia
    Aug 23 at 14:42

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