Releasing a Mod
Releasing, or publishing, a mod allows other people to make use of it. Once a mod has been released it might be used in singleplayer games or on servers, including public servers.
- Choosing a License
- Releasing on ContentDB
- Forum Topic
Choosing a License
You need to specify a license for your mod. This is important because it tells other people the ways in which they are allowed to use your work. If your mod doesn’t have a license, people won’t know whether they are allowed to modify, distribute or use your mod on a public server.
Your code and your art need different things from the licenses they use. For example, Creative Commons licenses shouldn’t be used with source code, but can be suitable choices for artistic works such as images, text and meshes.
You are allowed any license; however, mods which disallow derivatives are banned from the official Minetest forum. (For a mod to be allowed on the forum, other developers must be able to modify it and release the modified version.)
Please note that public domain is not a valid licence, because the definition varies in different countries.
It is important to note that WTFPL is strongly discouraged and people may choose not to use your mod if it has this license.
LGPL and CC-BY-SA
This is a common license combination in the Minetest community, and is what Minetest and Minetest Game use.
You license your code under LGPL 2.1 and your art under CC-BY-SA.
This means that:
- Anyone can modify, redistribute and sell modified or unmodified versions.
- If someone modifies your mod, they must give their version the same license.
- Your copyright notice must be kept.
This license can be used for both code and art, and allows anyone to do what they want with your work. This means they can modify, redistribute, sell, or leave-out attribution.
This is a common license for code. The only restriction it places on users of your code is that they must include the same copyright notice and license in any copies of the code or of substantial parts of the code.
There are some files that are recommended to include in your mod or game before you release it.
The README file should state:
- What the mod/game does, how to use it.
- What the license is.
- where to report problems or get help.
mod.conf / game.conf
Make sure you add a description key to explain what your mod or game does. Be concise without being vague. It should be short because it will be displayed in the content installer which has limited space.
description = Adds soup, cakes, bakes and juices.
description = The food mod for Minetest. (<-- BAD! It's vague)
Screenshots should be 3:2 (3 pixels of width for every 2 pixels of height) and have a minimum size of 300 x 200px.
The screenshot is displayed inside of Minetest as a thumbnail for the content.
So that a potential user can download your mod, you need to upload it somewhere publicly accessible. There are several ways to do this, but you should use the approach that works best for you, as long as it meets these requirements, and any others which may be added by forum moderators:
- Stable - The hosting website should be unlikely to shut down without warning.
- Direct link - You should be able to click a link and download the file without having to view another page.
- Virus Free - Scammy upload hosts may contain insecure adverts.
ContentDB allows you to upload zip files, and meets these criteria.
Version Control Systems
A Version Control System (VCS) is software that manages changes to software, often making it easier to distribute and receive contributed changes.
The majority of Minetest modders use Git and a website like GitHub to distribute their code.
Using git can be difficult at first. If you need help with this please see:
- Pro Git book - Free to read online.
Releasing on ContentDB
ContentDB is the official place to find and distribute content such as mods, games, and texture packs. Users can find content using the website, or download and install using the integration built into the Minetest main menu.
Sign up to ContentDB and add your content. Make sure to read the guidance given in the Help section.
You can also create a forum topic to let users discuss your creation.
Mod topics should be created in “WIP Mods” (Work In Progress) forum, and Game topics in the “WIP Games” forum. When you no longer consider your mod a work in progress, you can request that it be moved to “Mod Releases.”
The forum topic should contain similar content to the README, but should be more promotional and also include a link to download the mod. It’s a good idea to include screenshots of your mod in action, if possible.
The subject of topic must be in one of these formats:
- [Mod] Mod Title [modname]
- [Mod] Mod Title [version number] [modname]
- [Mod] More Blox [0.1] [moreblox]