In the summer of 2011, I started a little minecraft clone (like almost every jMonkey) - nothing special, I just wanted a little block world in which players can walk around, place or remove blocks and the ability to save those maps. It didn’t take long until I stumbled across the “batch-boxes-to-improve-performance”, texture atlas and mesh optimization things - Luckily, I managed to get those to run, played a few rounds with a friend and that was it. The code was really quick 'n dirty and at this time, my studies at the university began. The “game” was never started anymore and was hidden in the jME-projects folder - Until a few days ago.
Almost every two days, a new thread in the forum appears, where people talk about “bloxel” worlds, mesh optimization, batching and so on… As the discussions about the GUI frameworks (Nifty and its upcoming alternatives) began, I thought: “Why don’t you create a block-world-framework, that the people can use easily?”
I read my old code (mainly the chunk management and the mesh optimizer) again and started to code the named framework from scratch - After a few hours, I made the block world run and after 2 days it seemed to work in the way I like it to work.
At the moment, the “block engine” includes all necessary features for a minecraft-like world and even a few useful tools (e.g. loading blocks from heightmaps, noises, …) - Time to publish a first preview.
Documentation & Tutorials: http://hub.jmonkeyengine.org/wiki/doku.php/jme3:contributions:cubes
Download: “Cubes” is fully available as plugin in the nightly build (SDK: Tools -> Plugins).
Have fun building blocks and playing around,