Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Ephestion

Open Source Option

Recommended Posts

I knew about this project years ago when it first started. I never really participated some were saying it was a way to distract people and get them involved in a project that wont lead anywhere. Personally i never had an interest in making a game........only because i knew what was involved. What you need for this game are 3 3D DirectX programmers, 6 General Programmers, 3 Internet Tech Programmers, 2 Assembly and Low Level Engineers, 12 Graphic Artists, 4 Documentors, 6 Sales persons (Community and News, Promotions etc), 1 or 2 Historians, 3 Musicians and 4 Vocalists (Speak overs, commentaries, civ voices) and the list goes on.

So wouldnt your better option be to make it OS and have it exposed so everyone can contribute and not only that you actually train your next generation of Programmers and COntributors. Think of it this way, if 4 yrs ago you made it OS you would have say your initial 20 interested people with some 200-300 people wishing they could contribute and 1000+ freeloaders who just downloaded the stuff and used it. Now at the end of a 4 yr cycle people with interest say of teh 200-300 some 20-30 people would know the program very well and what it needed. Today you would have a team of over 40 people and who were dedicated to an end solution. Instead you have cycles where you have 20 people active then all of a sudden montsh or even years go by with only 5 or 6 people being active (if that). So, given that the game is appealing and there are people interested and with the skills it just makes allot more sense to have an Open Source approach. Afterall nothing done in this game has not already been done in other games. The only difference is that it is Free, Continually improving and has much more input and thought put into it than a commercial standard game.

Good Luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you seem quite confident in your list. :)

...very odd... an open source person supporting DirectX????

BTW, we use OpenGL, so your list is incorrect. ;)

Anyway...

We are considering the possibility of open sourcing the engine after the release. But... probably not...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Open Sourcing the game at this stage would be a nightmare to manage, organize, execute and hold together. We are quite comfortable developing the game under our own team and manpower which has assembled here for years. We've had many discussions on open sourcing and all of them have been inconclusive or have created more problems than they would solve. The topic will be up for discussion again after the release of 0 A.D. when we decide what the best way for progressing the game will be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheezy said it - we only recently re-discussed the idea of open source, and it became clear that that's definitely not the right way to go. With a design document spanning hundreds of pages and a very clear-cut vision for the game, it would be well-nigh impossible for people to contribute with bits and pieces. The project needs stable, well-versed members who can communicate the Idea to new members on an individual basis, and fortunately we have a group of such members. Personally, I have my doubts about whether OS'ing 0 A.D. would ever lead to a finished game, not to mention what kind of game it would be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think it is a good decision, btw :)

i mean someone may doubt that this lead to anything, but that OS is the answer and leads to something (ok - something == the ame that 0.a.d. should be) is, errm, very optimistic

however, i want to mention that i probably not agree with all things in the desgn document -

but may need to take a fresh look at it to express this more losely, to be honest ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is an old saying that goes something like "Too many chefs cooking the same thing makes for bad soup" or something close like that. The idea is if a bunch of different people keep adding salt and pepper and their own things to the pot its bound to make a bad mix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, to be fair to open source... the programs that have come from it are quite good... really good... as in... I use them pretty much exclusively... haven't seriously used Windows for ages. (I'm on Windows right now due to just having to do some minor work and not feeling like walking over to the Linux computer, but I'm seeing serious defects in just browsing and copying text, not to mention fitting with my work habits (which, incidentally have been the same even before I found Linux... Windows simply has never fit well for me)) I've yet to see any of the projects I use turn into a "bad mix".

But open source might not fit so well in our situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Open source can work at times...my primary example is Wesnoth. However this game is much "simpler" than 0 A.D. Hence should someone drop out along the way, it can be easily picked by another community member.

However due to 0 A.D.'s complexity and structure, you need a sound team to maintain the project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that OSS is great if there is someone who supervises. Have a look at Linux kernel. Linus decides what will or won't be added and thus can control development.

If you have moved to OSS, anyone could modify your source code but you would be supervisors who would say what to implement to the game and what not. Source code would spread to the world and if anyone want to work on it, then there would be no problem. He could contact you, send you his work and you'd say your comments and decisions. Also realise a fact that if more people look at your source code, chance that they find bug increases greatly. For axample intended backdoors in some Borlands programming tool were discovered soon after its' source code was released. I don't suspect you that you intend to do so, but I'm pointing at advantages of OS. Of course, decision is up to you, you wan't make me mad if you don't release source code, I'm just defening OS idea because I find it exellent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with that approach, Belisarivs, is that we would need to develop a lot of documentation to ensure that code contributions are up-to-par, and that all would-be contributors understand our quality standards. Moreover, quality management for a closed-source computer software project is problematic and difficult already. Quality management for an OSS project would require much more managerial work from us, and thus, you would never get a chance to play 0 A.D. as we would not have time to complete development of the title. You don't want that, do you?

I'm not firmly against the OSS option; however, at this stage in software development, transitioning to the OSS option would be quite unintelligent. Also keep in mind that OSS is not the equivalent of "free software". For example, post-final 0 A.D. we may decide to provide developers with licensable open source technology in the same manner as Epic Games' Unreal Technology licensing, Valve Software's Source Engine licensing, and id Software's Technology Licensing Program.

We have a solid team in place for development, and development is continuing.

There's no reason to throw the project to the wolves, even if the wolves are hungry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, if the wolves want to make the project go faster by helping out, feel free to fill out the application form on the website. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Load of Croc if you ask me.

There is no reason why there cant be a 0AD OS and another 0AD Commercial version different names of course). Afterall people sell OS software like Linux even MySQL or others. Infact most of the OS stuff if seen as viable on a commercial market acts as a carrot for thse with such asirations. Most people go solo head first and end up making allot of progress that is later given away. Look at all those modues for Linux, MySQL, PHP, APACHE, even RUneSword (my current OS project), someone made heaps of changes with teh view of using the software for personal gains. But in the end like i said they usually contribute their efforts when they realise you need a large team. No reason why the game cant be OS where you provide whatever you want to be OS version and keep the rest for whatever personal project or reason.

SO anyway, get a move on please we want to see a downloadable game. :D Now that AOE3 is released there is a void in the market fr such games as many will follow suit and go with non Archaic/100AD type games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Releasing two versions of 0.A.D. would likely cause confusion of what to download for many people. The open-source project would not be carried out with the vision that the designers had originally set in place, and therefore would be a completely different game. This started out as a Wildfire Games production and will end as one. That means only to be released by Wildfire Games. Open sourcing is something that may be readdressed post release.

Moreover, the game is intended to be a precise and exact project in game development. Going open-source would be like throwing a grenade instead of shooting a 9 mm. Also, as quoted from Stuart (aka Acumen), "As a project, 0 A.D. is not only about creating a great RTS game. It's also about learning what can and can't be done in the world of game development." With that said, turning open-source would forfeit WFG's dream of producing a game on our own two feet and the learning experiance involved with that. 0.A.D. is designed to be modded, so once it comes out, feel free to mod to your heart's content.

SO anyway, get a move on please we want to see a downloadable game.

Rest assured we are doing everything in our power to get the game in your hands as soon as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Gets the impression that somebody wants to use the engine for their own means.*

I thought I'd just stop by to say hi to 0ad from TLA. Well... hi!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rest assured that even if the engine is not open-sourced, the game will be very moddable, not only in terms of creating new maps, art or units but also in terms of gameplay logic through scripting. For example, one of my first tasks when I moved from working on the random map generator to the engine itself was adding hitpoint bars above selected units. I searched through the C++ code far and wide for "hitpoint" or "health", and could find no reference to anything resembling HP's. Yet combat had been in the game for several months! It turns out that combat was implemented almost entirely in our JavaScript unit behaviour scripts, and none of the parts involving hitpoints had ever had to be accessed by the C++ code. Of course I eventually learned how to access these things from C++, so there are now HP bars above units' heads, but this gives an idea of how moddable the engine is. Doing things like modifying the way damage is calculated, adding a new type of resource, adding a new spell (for our TLA friends :D) or modifying the way the GUI looks should all be possible without touching the engine if everything works out as planned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice...are you guys going to make an editor for that for those of us who aren't skilled in coding? I mean, I'm taking C++ and Microsoft VB this year for school (11th grade homeschool h4x :D) but I doubt even after a full year of it I'll be skilled enough to do something that complex. I have trouble with

cout<<"Hello world""<<endl;

[/programming joke]

But anyways....I'm rambling again =.=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Programming will probably only be required if you want to change some type of behaviour drastically, e.g. change the way damage works or the way resources are gathered. We'll have converters from our art formats to common ones like BMP so you can edit the art, and unit stats will all be in text files which will be easy to edit by hand (though we might also provide a graphical editor if they get confusing). And of course, we'll try to make the map editor as powerful as we can, seeing as many of us started out as map designers of some sort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, OK. I don't know myself. Most likely editing units will be easy and might even have a graphical tool, but there probably won't be an editor for other things because there are too many things you might want to modify (if we add a resource editor people might also want a damage editor and an experience editor and so on).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, sure. I'm just thinking....uh, how easy will it be to add new graphics?

lol I think we're getting a little off topic but hey, while I got your attention :D

I'm wondering because in Wc3, I tried (using the editor) to create a completely new 5th civ....and I actually suceeded. The Draenei didn't have very good balance, and so on, but they were a 5th playable civ that I made usin gthe scenario -> unit editor. Biggest problem was I had no idea how to/could not add new graphic stuff....so like the villagers didn't have a build animation, the units looked too similar, etc. (of course, I couldn't create such animations anyways.....but Im trying to make a point here)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know the details of how our art is created myself, but I think we'll provide a plugin or converter for 3D Studio Max or GMax, and there will definitely be an image converter for textures. Unless your units are non-human, it will probably be possible to reuse our existing animations, and we will probably provide some kind of animation exporter too. Unfortunately I never played WC3 so I don't know about exactly which features it offered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I guess that was my question...will there be a unit/resource editor in addition to the map editor?

There will be anything and everything that a) improves the quality of our product, B) we have the time and willingness to implement, and that c) we have the time and resources to test. Basically. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×