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Minecraft Mod Development: Making Your First Item

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Transform Minecraft into anything you can imagine! This excerpt from Minecraft Mod Development in 24 Hours, Sams Teach Yourself teaches you how to write the most basic version of a Minecraft item and then shows you how to add a texture to your item.
This chapter is from the book

This hour contains the basics about items. This hour begins with a short explanation of what items in Minecraft are and uses examples from the game. In this hour, you learn how to write the most basic version of a Minecraft item. Then, you learn how to add a texture to your item. In the other hours of Part II, “Items,” you learn more about customizing items.

Understanding What an Item Is

Before creating an item in Minecraft, it’s important to know exactly what an item is. It’s also useful to know the limitations, requirements, and comparisons of items.

Items are important in Minecraft, but a basic item can’t do that much. The player can hold it, it can be dropped on the ground and used in recipes, but, except for that, the most basic kind of item doesn’t have much functionality. However, you can create incredibly interesting and useful things with a basic item. To do that, you first need to know how to make a basic item, which this hour covers. The next three hours cover some special items. Hour 6, “Cooking Up a Food Item,” explains how to create food items. Hour 7, “Making Your Own Tools,” covers exactly how to make a pickaxe and various other tools, and Hour 8, “Creating Armor,” details how to create armor. Although this book focuses on those items, the different kinds of items you can make and what you can do with them are endless.

Now that you know what an item is, you should become familiar with some special cases. For example, mushrooms might seem like items, but they are actually blocks because they can be placed.

A block is a 1 × 1 × 1 meter cube that cannot move. If you want a more detailed explanation of a block, read the start of Hour 9, “Making Your First Block.”

An arrow might not seem like an item, but it is. When it’s in the inventory, an arrow is an item. However, when the arrow is fired with a bow or a dispenser, it becomes an entity. As mentioned, items can be tools, food, and many other things. Items can also be used to, for example, spawn entities, which is what an entity egg does in Minecraft.

In short, an entity is something that moves around in the Minecraft world. If you want to know more about entities, read the start of Hour 17, “Learning About Entities.”

It is important to know what you can and can’t do with items. Imagine that you have written a big and complicated item. Then you find out that what you want to do with it is not possible with an item and what you actually require is a block. If you are familiar with what you can and can’t do with items, you can plan ahead to create what you require—and avoid frustration later!

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