Leaving PaperMC and Minecraft Dev

On this day, 7 years ago, I co-founded what would eventually become PaperMC. The other co-founder, gsand, left many years ago now – though he does still drop in on occasion. Never in my wildest dreams did I think PaperMC would grow into what it is today. At the time, we were just looking for a place to tinker around and poke at the server, not form a community that would rival its upstream.

I had originally planned to announce my retirement before the 1.17 update began. However, I am happy it worked out this way. Watching the community come together to work on an update is a relatively new occurrence, but it is one that always puts a smile on my face. I still remember doing random Minecraft updates by myself through the night – only to lose progress when my potato of a system would crash. Seeing the community come together one more time only makes me more confident in the future of PaperMC.

PaperMC on GitHub Trending!

I have been involved in the Minecraft ecosystem for more than ten years at this point. I actually don’t know exactly how long now. I have seen a lot of people and organizations come and go. Personally, a lot has changed for me since gsand and I started this project. This is not a particularly uncommon story for the Minecraft development community. As many of you have likely seen in others and experienced yourself, the burn out in this community is real. Now, I find I have less and less free time for myself and less and less interest in Minecraft. Something in my life needs to give and it seems it should be this.

This is not a new revelation by any means. My lack of time has already been felt in many publicly facing facets of the project. For the last few years, I have been more of an advisor and coordinator than someone who is actively working on the inner depths of the codebase. I may point out things for others or give some long-winded explanation of how things used to be (or at least of how my terrible memory remembers them), but there are others doing most of the gritty work now. As part of that, and the overall growth of PaperMC, the Core Team has been expanding teams and reorganizing things behind the scenes to ensure that PaperMC can continue to support its growing community well into the future. Many long-term plans and projects are being realized, both publicly and privately.

It is only because of the community support, coordination of the teams behind PaperMC, and the Core Team, that I feel so comfortable leaving. This is not a hasty exit on my part, but rather one that was coordinated and planned. It has certainly been an interesting ride. Many of us have bumped heads internally, and externally, on many issues. This project is a result of all of the good and all of the bad. PaperMC deserves an active and caring team working on all aspects of the project and I think we’ve put one together that will do just that. I do not worry about the future of PaperMC. I look forward to seeing how it continues to grow into the future, as someone outside looking in.

As I have done in the past, though never often enough, I would like to thank all those who helped PaperMC become what it is today:

Thank you all – so many times over.

As for what is next for me, I’m not really sure. As I said, my time is more limited than ever before. I have a few projects I tinker with in my spare time (none of them Minecraft related :P) but they tend to move quite slowly. For now, I’m mostly taking a break. I will be leaving most of the Minecraft-specific communities I have participated in over the years but I’ll stick around a few more private places – enjoying all the friends I made along the way.