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Minecraft modder Aidan Brady and Microsoft Student Experiences Lead Briana Roberts
Minecraft modder Aidan Brady and Microsoft Student Experiences Lead Briana Roberts

SAN FRANCISCO–Microsoft announced today that it’s bringing support for creating Minecraft mods written in Java inside its Visual Studio development environment. Minecraft’s modding tools allow developers and users to tweak their experience of the mobile game by customizing items, object textures and more.

The new Visual Studio extension is designed to make it easier for devs to create mod content for the popular mobile game by offering them automatic completion of the building blocks of a Minecraft mod in code, as well as template files that will get users started with creating a mod. The extension was demoed onstage by Aidan Brady, the maker of the popular “Mekanism” mod and Briana Roberts, Microsoft’s student experiences lead.

Microsoft MinecraftFans of making mods in the open-source Eclipse development environment will still be able to do so. Roberts said that the extension announced today is meant as a new option for developers, not a replacement for existing tools.

The news comes more than half a year after Microsoft’s acquisition of Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5 billion. The procedurally-generated game is wildly popular, especially among kids and teenagers. By offering a path to use Visual Studio, Microsoft could get younger users interested in and comfortable with its programming environment at a time when the company is working hard to acquire new developers for Windows 10.

Brady could be one of them – the 17-year-old high schooler said that he plans to pursue a degree in computer engineering, and maybe a MBA, so he can work at a tech company like Microsoft.

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