This project is a web app specifically designed to display Minecraft cubes inside the browser in 3D and in realtime using WebGL.
I made the visualizer during my semester break where I worked at TU Darmstadt at the faculty of Architecture. They were looking for a programmer experienced in Unity who was willing to bring their Minecraft mod to the web browser. I was also responsible for the communication between the Minecraft server, the database and the visualizer.
The visualizer was part of the IBA_GAME|20.000 BLOCKS which experiments with the use of Minecraft as an architectural tool to be used by inexperienced people. It was made for the IBA Heidelberg, a public forum which plans the structure of a new residential area in Heidelberg. Unfortunately, due to changing file formats and me no longer being involved in the project, the visualizer is no longer accessible on the official website.
Development time: 1 month (March 2017-April 2017)
The visualizer is separated into four logical units of increasing size:
The python scripts on the Minecraft server wrap up a finished match into an XML file with player names, built buildings, time, statistics, and so on and upload them to the
database where the data is split up again and stored in an easily accessible manner. When the visualizer is now started it gets a list of all worlds and loads the
newest one including buildings and which blocks they consist of. Each building's mesh is then generated over the next few frames.
At the end all neighbourhoods are filled with these meshes that all share the same material. This of course could make perfect use of instanced rendering but at the time Unity did not support it on the HTML5 build target. Thus, I had to rely on sheer horse power which on the computers we tested the app on was luckily still enough given a realistic amount of buildings.
This is why the visualizer employs an internal task system which manages a single job at a time (e.g. 'parse building #01') across a defined number of frames. I balanced the job system to the point where the user would experience no lag during runtime parsing while still having the world load at fast speeds of under 2 seconds.
Users of the viewer also had the ability to upload a screenshot of their buildings to Facebook. For this I utilized the Facebook SDK.