May was…stressful.

Recent Service Interruption and Site Updates

As we mentioned in last months blog, we had a service interruption due to a remote exploit on one of our servers. This took down our site and backend for about 24 hours. We spent a fair bit of time both assessing the exploit to ensure no user data was accessed, as well as doing our best to ensure it will not happen again, which included planning some changes/upgrades to our backend infrastructure. We have spent a good chunk of May working to implement some of this, and are making good progress.

The plan is to restructure our services so that if the main site goes down for any reason, the backend should stay active, allowing users to continue logging in/out of Focal and to download products within it like they normally would, and vice versa. Though as mentioned above, we are looking to avoid this sort of situation in the future as well, but, should it happen, it won’t be as disruptive.

In addition, but not related to the downtime, we’ve been working on some issues with our current downscaler for Stratum. You see, we master our textures at 2048×2048, and then downscale for all the other resolutions we offer. This is an automated process, one that we have been using for years. The problem? We recently became aware that for some reason, a few textures specular were being altered in an unexpected way, so those have had to be manually copied over at every resolution for the past few months, plus we’ve also discovered some issues with scaling some more complex textures. We’ve been working to fix these issues for much of the last month, since it is increasing the complexity of preparing Stratum updates, and thus the chances that something slips through the cracks.

Focal Engine

Work continued on Focal VK and our continued efforts to fully transition from C++ to Rust. This was interrupted quite a bit by the aforementioned site downtime and work we have started to shore up our servers/services however. We wanted to have more to share here, but we are still not a huge team, with only a handful of devs, and some trusted contributors helping when they can, so some time had to be taken to put out that fire, unfortunately.

Hopefully we can get a nice juicy write up from dotModded for next months update.

One last important item before we move on though: the 1.19.4 update.

We’ve been talking about this update for Focal Engine for far too long now. This update was indeed in production, but unfortunately the contributor who helps us with the often annoyingly complex process of updating current OpenGL based Focal to new Minecraft versions has been dealing with some personal struggles, and thus we have not yet been able to deliver that update. We’re sorry for the delay, but we have no ETA on the update at this time due to this. We will be exploring other options to get it into your hands, and will update you when we have more information to share on this front.

Support Focal Engine with a Continuum RT Early Access Subscription

Continuum 2.1 + RT

As we’ve mentioned in quite a few of these updates now, since most of our current focus is on finishing Focal VK, Continuum 2.1 and RT are taking a bit of a backseat. Despite this, we still strive to get a few bug fixes, quality of life changes, or small additions out to 2.1 and RT users, and we have been able to manage that most months lately. Unfortunately once again, the issues with the site threw a wrench in this months updates for both.

With that said, we did want to showcase Continuum’s 2.1 LabPBR compatibility. Some of you may have already seen this in a social media post from us late last month, but for those that haven’t, or for those that did but would like to take a look at some less compressed versions of the screenshots we shared, you’re in luck!

The gist of it is that our modern shaders are LabPBR 1.3 compliant. LabPBR is a community driven (the shaderLABs community to be specific), specular format that was created to try to help with some of the fragmentation in the shader / resourcepack community. Supporting this format in our shaders, as well as Stratum, means that our modern shaders can be used with any other LabPBR compliant resourcepack, and Stratum can be used with any compliant shader (though POM depth lacks standardization, so that often needs tuning). We wanted to point this out because while we do optimize Continuum / Stratum to work well together, that doesn’t mean users that like one or the other, but not both, are stuck with them. Any compliant shader/resourcepack should work fairly well together, which opens the door for many combinations that serve those with wildly varying personal tastes.

We highlighted this by showing off fellow creator Shivamzter’s highly unique resourcepack; Roundista, which is quite the visual/thematic departure from our own Stratum resourcepack, with our latest Continuum 2.1 Beta shader (screenshots below). You can find their work here!


Stratum development was mostly uninterrupted by Mays technical difficulties, and what a month it was! We finished up the Enchanting Table, the Lectern, as well as the remaining Rails!

We’re quite proud of these blocks in their current form, but we do already have some small enhancements/bits of polish on the way for a few of them, queued up for next months update. Regardless, we hope you enjoy playing with these as much as we enjoyed making them!

Stratum Build 37 Changelog


  • Enchanting Table
  • Lectern
  • Powered Rail
  • Activator Rail
  • Detector Rail


  • Small touchup for bookshelf
  • Fixed bit depth on Diamond Block normal

Click an image to enlarge and enable gallery view

Thanks for joining us for another progress update, and thanks for sticking with us through these rough patches! Hopefully things settle down again.