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Planet Minecraft Interviews Bertiecrafter

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This interview was our seventh PMC Weekly Interview, featured in Volume 69! In this volume, we interviewed Bertiecrafter! Bertiecrafter! Bertie has been a member on PMC since 2015! During his time here, he's submitted over 80 creations, most being data packs, and is currently working on a very detailed tutorial series called "Function Data Packs for Dummies", which we highlighted above. He's also active on the forums, seemingly always trying to help anyone with Data Pack issues.

Bertie played a big role in our 10 year anniversary, working behind the scenes on the fireworks show, creating party balloons and confetti bombs, animating the gold globe, and assisting with other various tasks around the museum! He submitted some behind the scenes blogs, going into depth on what it took to pull these various tasks off!

How did your Minecraft experience begin?

Around 1.5.2 I was at a friend's house and he showed me Minecraft. Besides building blocks, he also had this magic wand (I later learned it was a blaze rod) that could do all these cool things. After I got the game myself it was a bit disappointing that the magic wand was a mod and not actually in the game. I did play some survival at first and sky block, but the thought of creating mechanics instead of just placing blocks kept lingering...

Do you still play Minecraft?

I don't really play it anymore as what most users would consider "playing". I mainly launch Minecraft to create new technical content, mess around with mechanics/servers, fly around aimlessly in circles or scroll through the creative inventory or command tab-auto-complete to see if I can spot any new interesting mechanics for data packs.

You’re most recognized as being a data pack creator; tell us what made you interested in data packs and why you started creating them.

Right, so back to the start of my Minecraft journey. Blocks were getting boring, but I discovered commands at one point. Just simple commands like /gamemode and /time with written out player names and coordinates, nothing fancy. Then soon after I discovered command blocks and wanted to sequence a couple commands together. It's like a note block, you hear one note and immediately start thinking of how you can hook them up in a redstone repeater line to compose a song. The difference is that I was composing tiny mechanics instead of songs.
Planet Minecraft Interviews Bertiecrafter

Back then, there was only 1 type of command block. And you had to use redstone to run multiple commands. There were no structure blocks (vanilla schematics) either, so I had a home-run server to showcase my creations.

Although this is a picture created for illustrative purposes, I actually have an old server trailer where you can see this structure in action. Then later on chained command blocks were introduced that allowed self-firing command blocks that also trigger other commands sequentially. It almost felt like scripting at that point. Also structure blocks were added, which made me happy, because I could finally share my creations without schematics or converting everything to a One Command Creation. I was late to the Fidget Spinner party, so the creation in the video below isn't of great quality, but it does show this new sharing technique:

From there on there was a short fase of having per-world function files, with this creation as a result. And finally, the function files were pushed away into data packs, making command blocks pretty much obsolete. I did get to play around with data packs a little late, because I rage quit after 1.13 changed a bunch of commands, forcing me to re-learn so much. I came back to Minecraft, because school calmed down a little and there were so many ideas for command creations I wanted to do that I couldn't let myself miss out on the data pack fun. In the end, the changes in 1.13 weren't that difficult to get the hang of. My first data pack is this one which makes touching slimes combine into a bigger slime.

Are you a programmer? If so, did you/are you going to school for programming or are you self-taught?

Yes, I'm currently in my last year of a Software Development course. I'm self-taught in batch/command line and educative platforms for younger children/teens like App Inventor/Kodular and Scratch. During the first year of my education I switched course, because the one I was doing was too focused on Computer Science and not really programming in itself (hence why I'm now doing Software Development). Although it seems obvious, we have several layers in the Dutch education system and the original course just seemed like a step up from this one, leading to the mistake. Lucky for me, it gave me a couple months off and the second university allowed people with a software development background to start half-way down the school year for a crash-course which basically rushes through a year's worth of content in half a year. During my time off I watched an online course on advanced Java (1, 2, 3).

What, if any, programming languages do you know?

I know the programming languages Java, C#, PHP, JavaScript, TypeScript, SQL, but also definition languages JSON, HTML, CSS and NBT ;)

It looks like you’ve spent a considerable amount of time creating your “Function Data Packs for Dummies” tutorial series. What inspired you to create such an in-depth guide?

It's nice being able to help people and have them look up to you. The gratitude you get back is really making it worth it whenever you teach anyone anything. So that's how the guide started, first as Command Block Tutorial, but it got discontinued with the dreaded 1.13 update. Restarting gave me an opportunity to create a better flow between parts and come back with more knowledge. Surprisingly enough the Function Data Packs for Dummies tutorial series kept on giving motivation, which is why I was able to publish the tenth part not too long ago. At first it was me just trying to modernize what I had written in the original tutorial, then the diamonds came flowing in and later it got picked up by Cyprezz to promote on the website. The amazing feedback on the series is keeping me motivated too. If you were wondering why it's specifically called "Function Data Packs", I called it that because it focusses on writing your own functions. That means applying logic and flow control to create proper mechanics, not the kind of data packs that just replace a "definition" like a recipe, the same way you would replace a texture in a resource pack.

What do you wish that data packs do, that they can’t (or what would you change about data packs)?

I wish they had better support for variables. Currently you can only use variables (from the scoreboard) in displayed text and to filter certain entities in commands. So currently you can do things like "Print health to chat" and "If a player walked for this amount of blocks, do this". But you can't do things like "Set the time to (hotbar slot number)/9 day" or "Set random tick speed (crop growth) based on the players time since last death.". These are simple examples that could be solved by simply repeating the same command for a bunch of values, but sometimes I really wish I could just magically put one piece of data into another command.

Also I heard that 1.17 is bringing more creator tools like camera movement and item interaction flags (whether they can be equipped/dropped/picked up/used/etc.) which is really exciting. If the camera movement stuff is in-depth enough, there's going to be proper roller coasters very soon. (<-- That's an idea I want to claim ahead of time haha)

Do you have any data pack planned for the future? Can you share or give us a hint as to what you’re working on?

Not really at the moment, but I do plan on giving lightning rods a little bit more motive to be used if you get what I mean. Other than that, I'm just going to see what 1.17 brings and see if I can come up with anything after calming down from the currently busy period in school and the PMC 10 year anniversary event.

You played a big part in our 10 year anniversary! From animating the big gold globe in the museum, to making balloons and putting on an epic fireworks show. Tell us what your favorite part about planning the anniversary was? What project did you enjoy making the most?

They were all very fun to do. I usually create mechanics that are always active, so making "a show" with sequenced events was very different for me. I've seen video's of fireworks shows in Minecraft before, so it secretly has been a dream to create a show like that for a long time, but I couldn't because I had no audience. Similarly, I never had access to an amazing build like the globe to animate, making that too a unique experience and a welcome change from the regular creations I work on.

Is there anything you wish you could’ve added?

A little more time and those people that missed the fireworks show because they got banned for spam during the countdown hahaha. None of us saw that coming, but at least we did a second run and got it recorded for the people that missed it.

How did you choose your PMC Username?

I was quite young when I was prompted to come up with a username. I was taught not to use my real name, so that's when I came up with Bertie. For Minecraft I wanted to do something that represents creation and creativeness, so that's how Bertiecrafter was born. When I joined Planet Minecraft, the username choice was pretty obvious as I could just use my Minecraft username.

What PMC submission are you most proud of? Why?

I'm proud of the original game FlashMob I made back in 2017. It revolves around a mechanic I discovered by accident, namely that borders created by the glow effect merge together into a single blob when multiple entities are behind each other. It got a large amount of downloads (not all are tracked on PMC, because it's hosted elsewhere) and several relatively big YouTubers made videos on it.

Of course a more recent data pack Pet Heaven got pretty popular too. I'm glad so many people enjoyed it :P

What do you enjoy most about Planet Minecraft?

The community and staff that listen. Questions are answered, stories on the forums are being read, tickets get picked up and harmful content is flagged and removed. Planet Minecraft really is a well oiled machine supported by everyone involved and that's something very little websites can say.

Do you have any goals on the site (subscriber goal, perhaps win a contest, host another contest etc)?

I'm so going to beat Cyprezz in the rankings.... I only need 13 more levels hahaha. Also any diamonds and subscribers are welcome along the way. Come to think of it, I should probably start thinking of ways to celebrate 200 subs soon...

About contests, I hope to run another data pack contest/event at some point, but there was too much coordination and manual work involved in creating a single data pack. In a future event, I'll have to properly think about how this is handled or perhaps scratch the idea of a combined data pack with more freedom for submissions in return. Anyways, I'd have to be at a quieter time in my life again, I'm too busy nowadays.

Is there a specific member that inspires you or you look up to? Who/Why?

Gheppio for creating mind-boggling city generation mechanics. It impresses me that it isn't just tiling buildings together, but there are actually roads that seem to be placed so organically and natural that I can't imagine the code being simple. Also Cyprezz, because in the time I've got in contact with him he's so transparent about everything that's going on. You can literally ask him anything and during the preparations for the 10 year anniversary event he seemed to spend more time on grabbing food and sitting on the toilet than sleeping. It made me wonder if he isn't a cyborg after all.

Besides that there are several data pack creators that create really awesome in-depth data packs and put a lot of effort into function files. I can't remember their names, but you know who you are if you're reading this.

I also want to mention all the people that have stuck by my side for a long time in the past or are still showing their support now: Vellaris pettyGamingHD Luracasmus Redfuzzyturtle One_Nose Chimerabot WandererReece NewSuperMario. Of course I appreciate each of the other ~175 subscribers as well, I wouldn't have been here without any of you =)

Do you have any pets? (perhaps include a picture?!)


Describe yourself in 3 words!

Determined, perfectionist and a goofymadscientist (yes that's 1 word!)

Are there any hobbies outside of Minecraft that you have?

I like to mess around with programming and I do own a 3D pen, but it broke on me and didn't bother to buy a new one yet.

Is there any new skill that you’ve been wanting to try, but haven’t had the chance to yet?

Maybe at some point I'd like to be able to create mods. They seem to be able to do more, but are so much more complex. And the easier command scripting is a nice way to wind-down after a long day of proper programming.

If you could be any Minecraft block which one would you be and why?

That's a silly question, a command block of course! I'd rule the world while Herobrine, the wither, the dragon, Notch and the bunch pretend to do so.

Favorite quote or words of wisdom for the community? OR Do you have any advice for new members of PMC?

My WhatsApp status is "Imagination (scale emoji) Knowledge" which represents my experience of losing my imagination the more I know. Sometimes I wish that I didn't know something was impossible, so I could still daydream about it working. General piece of advice though, you won't get "big" if you're not having fun. Don't do anything for the statistics, because sooner or later you can't be motivated anymore to keep up this alternate version of yourself. And regarding education/school, don't try to evade homework or tests or play minecraft even though you kinda need to study. Any kind of faking/cheating will come back to bite you, I've seen it numerous times.

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02/13/2021 1:29 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
Winnieiscute avatar
Hey I would love to join what is the code to join
02/10/2021 11:43 am
Level 1 : New Miner
Minecrakp avatar
Hello I would love z in stgtsfstfhanuaunaubaybayvavtyvabya
02/09/2021 1:11 pmhistory
Level 1 : New Miner
User3425643G avatar

Jimmy you should come home and tomorrow morning I have a car and a half tomorrow and then I come over tomorrow morning and I have a time to try and and try

02/05/2021 6:20 pm
Level 30 : Artisan uwu
LilBitOfSage avatar
about the community within planet minecraft this is very true everyone is so supportive and active. they always comment back, like skins and posts it's truly amazing because on the other sites i use like instagram and such else, people don't always comment or like as they do here. i'm kinda new to planet minecraft but i'll be staying for a long while ;)
02/05/2021 9:44 am
Level 54 : Grandmaster Carrot
mlgimposter avatar
Volume 69
02/05/2021 8:01 am
Level 34 : Artisan Miner
Gelap avatar
Please subscribe me🙏
02/04/2021 11:31 pm
Level 7 : Apprentice Crafter
ItsFundy avatar
02/04/2021 5:06 pm
Level 18 : Journeyman Peacock
PettatoGaming avatar
Good Interview, also Always Impressed with what you have been creating on the Planetminecraft page man, and Keep going!

Thanks for the mention aha.

Bertiecrafter ❤
02/04/2021 3:43 pm
Level 66 : High Grandmaster Stack
Bertiecrafter avatar
02/04/2021 3:41 pm
Level 38 : Artisan Bunny
Vellariya avatar
Eeee I got a mention. Big proud of your projects, no matter how silly xD
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