👋 I'm Xander

I live in 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England, so the current time for me is 5:46 PM. I'm usually very active on my discord server, so that is usually the best place to reach me if you need anything.

Skills

Minecraft Modding

I create mods for Minecraft using Java and Kotlin. I have ammased over 25 million downloads and am gunning for more! I publish my mods on 2 sites, Curseforge and Modrinth, and the source code is available on Github!

Modding for Minecraft is not has easy as one might think. I use the Fabric toolchain to mod, which includes regular use of Mixin, a bytecode manipulation library. In most cases with Fabric, you need to modify the Minecraft source code directly to achieve your goal.

On some more complicated mods, I make extensive use of the Gradle build system with over 6 subprojects. YetAnotherConfigLib is one mod I have made that really tought me about API safety within JVM; this library supports many mod developers and keeping a stable API is vital for people to continue to use what I have made for them.

If you'd like to check out my mods, click here to go to my mods page!

Photography

Photography is also a hobby of mine, I've got a Canon camera, and have taken many photos wherever I go, if you'd like to see all my good ones, go to my photography page!

Here are three random samples from that page!

Full-stack Developer

I am not afraid of branching out; the website you're reading this on is living proof. Without any prior knowledge with web frameworks, I've been able to teach myself Nuxt3 and VueJS, along with Typescript/Javascript itself.

And on the backend, I love using Kotlin's Ktor library. I'm yet to actually release a full-stack web app, but I do have a few ideas in the pipeline!

Beginnings

EvergreenHUD was my very first project developing Minecraft mods and has influenced me a lot. It was a very simple mod that added HUD elements, displaying useful information on the screen. It became increasingly popular under the relatively small community I released it in, becoming the standard for Forge HUD mods on 1.8.9. Eventually, I was attracted to developing for modern versions of Minecraft, where I ended up rewriting the whole mod in Kotlin, learning the language along the way, and upgrading the mod target from 1.8.9 to 1.18.

From developing this mod, I learned about the basic of annotation processors, making an intuitive API for other mods to depend from and the basics of Kotlin and how it can be utilised for cleaner code. Along with an important lesson of how to understand the needs of my users and interacting with my own community.

Today, the mod still lives on under new maintainers, Polyfrost.

Early version of EvergreenHUD

Commissions

Ape Initiative

In early April 2023, I took a commission for a youtuber, ChrisDaCow where I had to create a touchscreen control scheme to allow chimpanzees to play Minecraft. He then took this mod to Ape Initiative in Iowa where Kanzi, the eldest of the apes, learned how to break blocks with my controls in just 30 minutes! According to the researchers, this was the most advanced thing they had ever done on a screen!

I achieved this by collaborating with the youtuber to come up with a data-driven, configurable touch interface with rows, columns and lexigram buttons where I then heavily modified Minecraft so it can be controlled in game with just single taps, without the need for a mouse and keyboard.

This all resulted in a great, entertaining video.

You can learn more about this commission and get a techinical deep-dive on it's own page.

Socksfor1 YouTuber

In January 2022, I joined a private Discord server with a group of YouTubers who were interested in paying commissioners to create their unique video idea, and a group of commissioners, who where intersted in taking said commissions, one of whom was me.

A request would pop up in a channel and the first to claim it, got it. I claimed one commission posted by Socksfor1. The commission was to create a mod where players would spawn on the moon, with the objective of a team of hunters who had a compass tracking a player who was progressing by finding blocks and getting custom items such as a laser gun.

My YouTube Channel

I got a youtube video to go viral by taking advantage of a trend and using an extremely simple AI that I created to quickly scan through video clips, identify that faces are present in a frame against a folder of images, and export those scenes into a folder which I then quickly edited together into a complete video.

You can find the OSS project here.

The result was an entertaining video:

I tried to then repeat the same formula with other characters from the show which did not take off in the same way as the first.