Note: This guide was written before Command Blocks were a thing.
This is an easy mini game to set up, especially when you have fly mode or creative mode turned on.
The general idea is to create a platform high in the air from which players will have to jump. The only way to survive the jump is by jumping into a small 2x2x3 pool of water. The water has to be deep enough to catch the player and prevent any fall damage.
This may seem like an easy task, but even seeing a pool at sea level from the top layer can be difficult or impossible, especially when people don’t have their render distance turned on far.
Leap of faith is usually more fun when the platform is well designed, perhaps part of a floating island or air balloon. Just having a small wooden platform make it look a little cheap and uninspired.
The players will also need to get up, this could be done by building a very long ladder, though teleportation is much faster and doesn’t get boring as fast. Teleportation can be done with plugins, like assigning a warp point or teleporting players to you.
Leap of faith is also more fun when the area you land in is well designed. Create an arena or a giant monster mouth in which the players have to jump. Jumping into a simple, tiny pool in the middle of a biome gets boring after 1 or 2 jumps.
You can add challenges to the jump. Floating blocks can be great obstacles which the player must navigate passed, though remember that a falling player can only move a little, don’t create too many or large obstacles, the jump has to be possible.
Make it a group challenge by making several players jump at once, there’s room for all of them in the pool, but who will make it?
You could make a small 1x1x3 pool, but it’s close to impossible to jump in this, which takes out the fun. Though some players might be up for the challenge, so just make various sized pools and jumps from various heights for everybody to enjoy.
While great heights are fun, some players wil not be able to play this game well due to their settings. If their render distance is set too low for the height from which they have to jump and find their target below, the fog will block out everything untill they get close enough, at which point it’s often too late to make adjustments. For those players you might want to build the alternative leap of faith version.
Alternative Leap of Faith
This version of leap of faith isn’t about jumping from great heights into a tiny pool, but about jumping onto small, floating blocks, which will lead the way down.
This game is a lot more challenging as you have to constantly aim for a single block or small platforms in the air, which can sometimes be difficult to spot. This game is more accessible for every player as the lower render distances will not cause the fog to hide the blocks to which they have to jump, in fact, putting your render distance on tiny could make the game much easier, as the contrast between the white fog and the coloured blocks is higher.
Make sure the blocks the players have to jump on are not too far down, you don’t want to kill your players due to falling damage before they’ve reached the bottom.
Like the normal leap of faith, this version is a lot more fun when everything is well designed. A more natural way of incorporating this game in the landscape is by creating a huge tornade, though this is very difficult to create. Other designs could be crumbling pieces from a floating island or crashing airplane. Perhaps pieces of sandstone are dripping from a huge hourglass.
The more epic your design, the more players will want to try to beat your game and the more times they will try to beat their own time.
Other Tips, Tricks and Recommendations
Make more than one way to go down and have players race each other. When a little competition is involved, players will get a lot more reckless, which will lead to a lot of deaths, but is fun to watch.
For a fun effect during an event, push some chickens down. They’ll gently float down and act as funny distractions for the competing players. Larger animals could also be used, but they’ll fall faster and could knock players off of their platform or block them in mid air, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the viewers..