NOVA Gradle

If you feel like tl;dring this article, skip to #getting-started. I however do not recommend this because knowing your build system will save you trouble later. If you know gradle well, you know what to skip already.

NOVA Gradle is the Gradle plugin which allows you to run NOVA mods on wrappers easily during testing. Vanilla Gradle can compile and produce (non-wrapper) NOVA mods and plugins easily but it lacks an easy way to test and debug these mods ingame. NOVA Gradle handles IDE setup and game setup for you so you don’t have to. Let’s get started!


Gradle is a tool some of you will have used when compiling Minecraft Forge mods. The Gradle DSL which Gradle uses to define configuration is written in Groovy, so you can use the awesome Groovy programming language to script your build. Despite this, Gradle is convention based and declarative. Compiling a NOVA project is as simple as:

plugins {
    id "java"

repositories {
    maven { url "" }

dependencies {
    compile "nova.core:NOVA-Core:0.1.0-SNAPSHOT:api"

This short snippet simply defines that you are using the java Gradle plugin (you want to compile java), that you want to resolve dependencies from the jcenter and NOVA repositories and that your project’s compilation depends on the NOVA api, version 0.1.0-SNAPSHOT.

The java plugin defines several important tasks just as compileJava jar and build. But wait you say, how do you run Gradle? Do I have to install yet another thing… What a pain!

The Gradle Wrapper

The Gradle wrapper solves this problem by providing scripts that you place in your project directory which downloads Gradle automatically for you then invokes the downloaded Gradle version. The Gradle wrapper is included in the NOVA template project.

NOVA Gradle

The previous snippet allows you to build a jar which can be loaded by NOVA wrappers, but there is no easy way to debug and run this mod every time you make a change. This is where NOVA Gradle comes in.

Getting started

To explain to you how to use NOVA Gradle and how to set up your mod development workspace, we will use the NOVA template project from Github. The NOVA Template project can be downloaded from here and then unzipped to the place where you want to develop your mod.

You will see the following files in the template:

If you are tl;dring, skip everything that isn’t marked “Customise this” until “Setting up”


This file is the file which describes the Gradle build process.

Here is an annotated version of the default build.gradle, please use the file from NOVA-Template instead of copying this.

plugins {
    id "java" //This is a java project, scala and groovy plugins also exist
    id "nova.gradle" version "0.2.6" //Use the NOVA Gradle plugin version 0.2.6

dependencies { //Dependencies of this project
    compile nova(nova_version) //Depend on NOVA for compiling

nova { //This block is used for configuring the NOVA Gradle plugin
    wrappers { //Configures wrapper profiles
         * This profile is called "17", you can skip the quotes if it's not numbers.
         * This profile for example will generate the "run17Client" gradle task and create an IDEA
         * config of the same name.
         * The name can be changed to your liking.
        //Wrapper profile for MC 1.7.10
        "17" {
            //The maven identifier of the wrapper this wrapper profile will use.
            wrapper "nova.core:NOVA-Core-Wrapper-MC1.7:${nova_version}"

        //Wrapper profile for MC 1.8
        "18" {
            wrapper "nova.core:NOVA-Core-Wrapper-MC1.8:${nova_version}"
} (Customise this)

This file stores properties which are made available to the build process, such as version and maven group.

The Maven group defines a unique identifier for your project, and should be the same as your Java package. The convention is to use your domain name backwards as the start of your package, for example net.novaapi.template if you own the domain If you don’t have a domain, and you are open-sourcing the mod, the common practise is to use com.github.githubusername.githubprojectname. If you aren’t open sourcing or publishing the mod API, nobody really cares what package name you use…

# Mod version
version = 0.1.0

# Maven group
group = net.novaapi.template

# NOVA version
nova_version = 0.1.0-SNAPSHOT

settings.gradle (Customise this)

This file is used for setting the name of the project ( = "project name") and for multi-project builds. Multi-project builds are a complex topic that I will not cover in this introduction.

If you wish to learn about multi-project builds, you can do so here.

gradlew and gradlew.bat

These scripts are the gradle wrapper scripts mentined before for running gradle. Use simply gradlew on windows and ./gradlew on linux.


This file configures files and folders ignored if you use the git revision control system. We’ve included sensible defaults for you, so you don’t go publishing all the wrong things. Remember, if you publish the wrong things you will make RX14 mildly depressed if he happens across your project.

The gradle/ folder

This is just files related to the gradle wrapper, you may occationally need to update the wrapper version in this folder, but unless instructed just ignore it.

Setting up

After customising the files in your template project, pop up a terminal and cd to the project directory.


When you are in your project directory use ./gradlew idea on linux or gradlew idea on windows to generate IDEA project files.

After it has generated these files, open the .ipr IDEA Project file in IDEA. You should see some run configurations added corresponding to the wrapper profiles in the build.gradle.


If you are using eclipse instead of IDEA, you will have to run gradle eclipse and import the generated project into a new or existing workspace. No run configurations will be gerated, so you will have to use the gradle plugin for eclipse to run the wrapper gradle tasks (e.g. run17Client).


If you are using NetBeans instead of any of the above, you will have to get the gradle plugin for NetBeans. This will allow you to open any folder containing a .gradle file as a project and run the wrapper gradle tasks (e.g. run18Client).

IDEA Bugs (on windows)

The supplied javaHome seems to be invalid. I cannot find the java executable. Tried location: C:\Program Files (x86)\JetBrains\IntelliJ IDEA 14.1.4\jre\bin\java.exe`

You will most likely experience the above (or similar) error when trying to run or debug the client. This is a bug in IDEA, and the workaround is to use 64-bit IDEA. To do this, edit your IntelliJ start menu shortcut and change the path of what it is running from "C:\Install Path\bin\idea.exe" to "C:\Install Path\bin\idea64.exe" like this:

If the problem persists after this please ask in IRC.