Microsoft brings Minecraft mod creation to Visual Studio with new add-on

During Build 2015 today, Microsoft announced the release of a new tool to help people easily build Minecraft mods in Visual Studio.

The tool is an add-on for Visual Studio that allows users to create their own mods from scratch or using one of three templates provided with the add-on. Importantly, the add-on isn't meant to replace current tools, but is instead meant to give developers extra options for creating their mods in Visual Studio's development environment.

The integration with Visual Studio comes roughly 5 months after Microsoft acquired the popular game franchise and its development studio, Mojang, for $2.5 billion. Since Minecraft is so popular among young gamers, one of the obvious perks of this integration is that Microsoft could use the game as a gateway to get children interested in coding at an early age.

If you're a developer and Minecraft fan interested in trying out the new Visual Studio add-in, you can hit up the source link below to learn how to get started.

Source: Microsoft

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • "Since Minecraft is so popular among young gamers" :) you got that right
  • Love Minecraft dude :)
  • Which languages?
  • C# likely
  • Albeit I realize this is old, I would like to point out that Minecraft was and is written in Java, and the event in question, in other articles, mentioned that they used some Java tools, as well as PC modding API (unfortunately unsupported) Forge. They also mention the mod Mekanism, a popular mod, written in the Forge API, and in Java. The most likely language appears to be Java, and for that, I'm kinda excited. It's a pretty easy to learn (at least the basics) language, so more people who care, will be able to, and in a very malleable environment, that they are likely familiar with.
  • MS doing a lot..
  • Yep. I am surprised at how much they have announced so far. I even liked the way the design is going with the phone OS. I also like that they are enabling easy porting of Android and iOS apps, and the developers can focus on UI/UX if they decide to. I hope they take the time to port these apps. Even if we just get a third of what's been missing that would be huge! Tablets and phones and even PCs can play the games or use the apps and they wont have to make several versions... Just one and consumers get to choose where they will use it. I feel developers will say, well phone still doesn't have huge market share, and that will be shortsighted of them, but I know there will be a lot doing that. But whatever flagship they announce, is bound to turn some heads and get people shopping. Not to mention, advertisements practically write themselves is Continuum is as seamless as they make it out to be. I'm like this Lumia Icon but I'll drop it like a bad habit if they release a phones with USB-C, a badass camera and battery and an Intel chip. I don't even need the Intel chip if win32 apps get ported to universal... Ahh.. I can't breathe! Trying not to get out if control with my expectations...
  • Exactly... As I said they needed to do before, they are hitting the Ecosystem up from every angle, and appear to be dong everything full assed....
    Only two more areas need attention. One, Lumia devices, which we already know they are working on, especially since MS has admitted that no current devices are capable of running some new features. And, two... marketing...
    Marketing seems to be the only nail left to pry off the lid of the coffin.... If they get, finally get, marketing right,,, then the rest is history... The Windows store should have well over two million apps by the turn of the decade, and if everything goes as planned, should be the most popular platform, figuratively, and literally.
  • I think I'd rather see them keep the Lumia name for low to mid range devices and use Surface for their flagship phones.
  • I like lumia for phones/phablets and surface for tablets just based on size.
  • They should have Lumia Phones, and tablets.. And, also have Surface Phones, and tablets...
    ⬆hats the best plan.... Think about it.
  • Why?
  • Why not❓
  • They now have a lot of cool things than they can advertise. Souldn't be too hard to get creative! MS needs to look cool again!
  • Well, shouldn't be too hard, but this is MS dealing with marketing...
  • I like what they did in India. A van that let's users enter in a knockout battle with their phones and a 430/532 lol :p
  • Rod I fully agree with you. We miss only a new great device (a surface phone maybe? Like a scroogle nexus x) by the end of the year, that we can show off to our friends being able to run apps full screen.and maybe even to a projector, and last but not least a real badass marketing VP that would revolutionize the way MS is presenting itself to the world. No more stupid apple comparison but great ads that tell stories about new products types.
    And one more thing nice to have:
    A program dedicated to people like us to act as evangelist of MS, to be awarded with goodies useful to do our job of MS advocates. I mean stuff like invitations to events, meeting with MSFT execs in our countries, ability to buy products in advance in different colors I.e., maybe a special card of MS evangelists
    Go Microsoft!
  • Hey, those are all terrific ideas... Cool❗
  • I see what they did there. Code your usual stuff and when you get bored, create some mods to pass the time. Me likey.
  • Hashtag no way :O. I will build a mod to get infote diamonds (kidding lol) give me suggestions and ill start working!
  • Better rollercoasters.
  • Rollercoaster mod already made bro
  • Alone with better roller coasters, better boats. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • This is exactly what I need to get my 13 year old kid interested in Visual Studio!
  • I still don't understand how Minecraft got so mainstream. I don't quite get the game.
  • It's Lego for the new generation. I am not attracted to the game, but I understand the appeal. For the record, I loooooooveeeed Legos as a kid.
  • There's way more to it than just building something.
  • I loved Aliens. The grey baldies.
  • Have you played it? I used to feel the same way--I never played it but only vaguely knew about it. Then I sat down and decided to find out what all the fuss was about and now I think it's the greatest game ever made. It's absolutely brilliant.
  • Well, I do have it on my Xbone; specifically bought for my 6 year old sister. Never played it. I'm gonna look like a dweeb now when she finds me playing it :/
  • No you won't! Minecraft is played by everyone, from 7-year-olds 70-year-olds and everyone in between, including some really talented programmers who have made some amazing creations within the game (working computers, working hard drives, working calculators, walking robots, completely functional arcade games, etc.). Enjoy the game!
  • Play a large modpack, infinite possibilities. The game in its vanilla state is boring to me too. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Never understood it either. Linerider aswell
  • "Microsoft could use the game as a gateway to get children interested in coding at an early age" I don't quite understand what this means. I heard many people say, in the aftermath of when Microsoft bought Mojang last year, that they did so because it would get kids interested in programming in the Microsoft design language, but then others pointed out that Minecraft was made in Java, which is not the Microsoft design language (which, correct me if I'm wrong, is C#). So some people thought that Microsoft would release a C# version of Minecraft instead. But that hasn't happened. Now, with this Virtual Studio mod thing, my understanding is that Virtual Studio is the program used by Windows Phone developers. So, does that mean the Windows Phone version of Minecraft is made in Virtual Studio, based on C# and not Java? Or is Microsoft embracing and encouraging Java development instead? Finally, what is the end result of this: user-created versions of Minecraft: Pocket Edition on Windows Phone in the Store?
  • It's not "Virtual Studio", it's Visual Studio. Visual Studio is a development environment which supports many different programming languages such as C# and Javascript to name a few.
  • Thanks for the correction. So, it's not necessarily the case that Microsoft wants people programmin in C#. They're fine with Java too since Visual Studio support it? And that means Minecraft will likely stay coded in Java?
  • Na i think in time minecraft 2 will come out and be in C# beacuse that will run faster
  • You think there will be a Minecraft 2? I don't know if that's a good idea. I think they should just continually update Minecraft--unless such a sequel would really be that different, gameplay-wise, in which case it would be smart to keep them separate. But, I don't see a sequel happening anytime soon. Right now, Minecraft is on pace to become the best-selling videogame of all time (currently #3 behind Wii Sports--which I say shouldn't count because it was a bundled game--and Tetris), and I think Microsoft should go for that achievement.
  • And I thought ea was dumb enough to use vs for a sandbox game
  • Now if only atari had that kind of thinking for rct
  • I'm sure that the two billion spent on microsoft will be worth spent. Minecraft is a developing tool for microsoft.
  • When is Minecraft coming to the windows store? Cant believe it is no there yet.