Release Schedule?

Development directions, tasks, and features being actively implemented or pursued by the development team.

Re: Release Schedule?

Postby charlieg » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:27 am

Back on topic, since it's globally accepted that the mantra of a successful open source project is to "release early, release often" and there's been plenty of movement in SVN - even if that vast majority of it is content related - isn't it time to think of a 0.5.1? New content is reason enough to update so that the public-facing version of Vega Strike is current. What needs doing in order to make current SVN release worthy?
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby Daemonward » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:47 am

I think that with the current shortage of developers, a yearly release would be more appropriate.

Here's hoping for Vegastrike 2010! :D
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby iblis » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:55 pm

Daemonward wrote:I think that with the current shortage of developers, a yearly release would be more appropriate.

Here's hoping for Vegastrike 2010! :D


They'd not have to be monumental releases. Just, you know, what ever is working. :mrgreen:

I'd love to help out - I know Python rather well, code in C and awk at my job, and think I could pick up C++ pretty quickly - but my work's had me really busy lately and I'd prefer not to commit myself to anything until things slow down.

I do have to say that the game is very impressive. It's definitely come a long way since I first started playing it.
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby loki1950 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:39 pm

Welcome iblis i believe that Python is more critical at this point as a lot of the things that need to be done for a release involve Python such as a rewrite of the upgrade code which has shown several weaknesses in the current release that and the some more campaign(story)which is all done with Python but scripting that story is at a bit of a impasse as we wait for the Minister of Information to finish his revision of the background doc for the VS universe apart from that all the new content in svn justify a release i feel.But we might have to split the download as we are currently a massive gulp so much so that the current release data set was deemed to large for the Debian and Ubuntu repos :( so they still only have the 0.4.3 data set thankfully GetDeb does provide it.

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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby charlieg » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:12 am

But since 0.5.0, a lot has already changed:
- New models (by Fendorin)
- New cargo images (by Fendorin, rivalin, Turbo, gopher292)
- Voices for Shaper, Hunter, Militia, Homeland Security, Rlaan, Highborn, Aera, Bounty Mission (by Turbo)
- Voices for Merchants Guild, Citizen, Mechanist, LHIW, Andolian (by CloneWolf)
- units.cvs corrections (by Turbo)
- Comms log bug fixes (by hellcatv)
- x86_bugfix (by klauss)
- Nav map patch (by kraehe)
- Significant objects targetting patch (by kraehe)
- News will display current start date
- Bugfix for playSoundCockpit in quest_tutorial
- Added display of docking distance for planets (by kraehe)
- Tutorial with stationary cockpit sound (doesn't work with 0.5.0 binary)
- Renaming of sprites, also those hardcoded ***WARNING mods need to rename extensions for quit, died, pause, jump-hud, sun-hud, planet-hud, and nav-hud to .sprites***
- Removed not understandable stdout lines "uh oh"
- Tutorial quest with speech (by Pyramid)
- Improved manifest (by kraehe)
- Fix segfault in a collision condition (by kraehe)
- Support for conditional tags in .system files (by klauss)
...

(Reached end of commit log page)

When are you guys going to stop with the ridiculous "must have major feature X before 0.5.x releases" when there's a ton of new and major improvements in there already?

Release early, release often; the mantra of a successful open source project.
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby safemode » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:17 am

I think in all reality that the main thing stopping VS from a release early and release often rule is time. The vast majority of VS developers simply dont have the time at the moment. The second thing is size. Releasing early and releasing often doesn't work well for the data repo in it's current state. We need to move to a diff updating system where users can grab a revision from somewhere and update their pull of the data remotely to the current release. So long as you have to pull a whole new complete pkg everytime a release is made, we're going to have serious problems with every release, especially when a lot of the changeset is within the data repo.

All we really need for a diff updating system is a python script that will determine the current rev of a local pull of data and grep the current release of data from sourceforge and then pull only the changeset between revs. A local file will then be updated with the new rev so that the script will know for next time (since the local copy can't be depended on being an svn repo). This python script can be pkged with the VS bin pkg (not data) so that it is run when you run VS, prompting the user if he wants to update/install the data repo depending on if the user has a local data repo already or not, if there is an updated version available.
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby charlieg » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:16 am

That's just a broken argument.

You don't release because of size? Well, people downloading the game today - it makes no difference to them if you updated yesterday. I lie, it does make a difference, they get a worse version than they should have.

Size is not an issue to most people. They have broadband. They have gigabytes of hard disk space. Downloading a CD-sized update once every 6 months is just not a big deal to the vast majority of players. If anything, they'd be happy because they have easier access to the latest version without messing around in SVN.

To the few people who it does present a problem to, they don't need to update. They lose nothing. They still have the same situation they have today.

Sourceforge itself has download mirrors. They'd rather you used those than abuse SVN like the VS project currently does, basically using it as a game distribution mechanism for people who wish to stay current.

The only valid argument you make it developer time. But building isn't that hard. Can't other community members do the build? Can't a few test builds be created to make sure it works? People (ace123, pyramid, the voice actors, the modellers) are active all the time. There are people coding new features lately (e.g. Red Adder). Why does the build need to be done by one of the core developers when there are people who could probably build it in their absence?

All that is missing is somebody to say, "Hey, ok, this is enough for 0.5.1 - tag it in SVN and lets go with it." The community will pick up the slack and provide the binaries if the developers can't find the couple of hours it takes to do it themselves.
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby safemode » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:16 am

building for linux...not done by us.. so that's already done in such a way. Building for win32, not sure how hard that is. I do know that it's not so much the compiling as it's the packaging that takes the majority of the time in that dept. Mac bins are even more labor intensive, as it's build process is far from automatic, let alone the packaging. cmake should be able to minimize that, but it's not widely adopted yet and even if it was, it's mac port is not as complete as the win32 and linux ones.

Building VS takes what, 10 minutes on any half decent machine. That's not the problem, it's packaging, and making sure your build actually runs on more than just your machine. This usually requires bouncing the bin around to a few boxes. I know it's surprising, but the mac and windows devs can be counted on one hand, using probably 2 fingers at most. So getting a build up and out takes a bit more waiting than for the linux side of things, which only requires a source release. Having the bins is sort of a requirement for the release to be actually made however, and we can't just accept any user's compiled bins as official for obvious reasons. If a dev wanted to do it and got it done, then we wouldn't be having this discussion, as it would have already been done then. Since we are, then obviously, the devs that can do it, can't at the moment. it's not as cut and dry as zipping up your build tree into a auto-extracting archive. If someone wants to volunteer to be that person and can actually get it done right, i'm sure the higher ups will be interested. it's obvious the packaging setup needs work, we've known that for a while, but for whatever reason (that i'm not privy to) nothing has been done about it. So either these other devs dont want to do it, or for some reason, they're being refused. I dont know, i'm not involved in the other OS's.

And yes, to a lesser extent, size is an issue when considering a release.
Size, does matter. For us it matters because we already break the rules as far as sourceforge's allowed/recommended/suggested repo size limits. Who else is going to allow you to post half a gig zip files and host them to download to hundreds of people and keep them up. Going with the release early and often mantra, who is going to allow this to be done on a monthly or every other monthly basis? I dont think anyone would really put up with that for long. The bandwidth costs them per MB, and our project would soon be seen as rather costly i think. What user is going to happily redownload half a gig whenever 10% of the files are altered? Not everyone has 1MB/sec download speeds, and while most people pay a flat rate, that doesn't mean people are willing or happy to have to wait to download large chunks of data when they dont have to.

Now, while doing this twice a year isn't much of an issue for the most part, we are talking about making this more of a monthly thing (assuming anyone actually works on the code within that month). Doing it the way we do it now is already detrimental, we just have to live with it at the moment. For instance, no linux distro includes VS's new data. Why? because we have no way of downloading it independently automatically. We should easily be able to make packages via scripts that retrieve our data set, and not expect to have every distro mirror the huge chunk of data with all it's redundency everytime we make a release. We should also think of our host and not want to continue to increase our burden on them, since they're hosting us for free. Should that ever become a factor, then we'd be without a host, and finding one that can handle the code base and data set of VS with the full SVN repo would be quite hard, or expensive. Users even now, pass by VS because they take a look at the download size, and from where it's coming from and pass. It's one thing to have a fast pipe, it's another to have it hosted from SF or one of it's mirrors where that download very likely isn't in any danger of maxing out the download speed of the user. How do you convince users to retrieve 500MB of data and then a couple months later, do it again because you added a couple models and made a couple corrections to some 50kb python files? You don't and you get users who continue using the data set they downloaded because the new bin still works and that's fine by them.

So no, i dont believe it's a broken argument, i just think we've been so long on this side of the fence that we dont realize the people who took a look at our side of the fence and decided to keep walking by it rather than take the jump over, or the people who jumped once, then decided it wasn't worth their effort to stay on our side.

Ideally, i'd like to see the dataset split into sections. like how music is split from it now, so would models (which would be the ships and their textures), backgrounds (space backgrounds) and everything else. Bins should already be split out and independent of the data repo. in this way we wont have to use the svn server to have our updater/installer script retrieve the smallest changesets possible when updating/installing the game. While you're right, the initial install/download of the game would not change, it allows the load to be spread out and it makes updating the dataset more manageable to the hosts and distributors, and it makes those users who take the plunge, more likely to keep up to date since they dont have to retrieve another 600MB file.

Even if you dont agree that it is a limiting factor in making a release, you can't think that our current method of distribution via replacing a massive file every release is optimal and not a gross waste of resources, and it will bite us if we move to a rapid release schedule.

The only way to avoid abusing SVN is by chomping the data repo into pieces, and hosting them wherever we can (and more places would welcome them than a singular massive file) and building in a little updater script that tracks your installed revisions of those chunks and checks them against a central list we can still host on SF letting the app know if any chunks were updated in a given release. There's no reason why this can't be done and the packaging of such a file could be accomplished by any dev as it would be OS agnostic. The updater script would handle all the OS stuff.
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby MC707 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:18 pm

safemode wrote:The only way to avoid abusing SVN is by chomping the data repo into pieces, and hosting them wherever we can (and more places would welcome them than a singular massive file) and building in a little updater script that tracks your installed revisions of those chunks and checks them against a central list we can still host on SF letting the app know if any chunks were updated in a given release. There's no reason why this can't be done and the packaging of such a file could be accomplished by any dev as it would be OS agnostic. The updater script would handle all the OS stuff.
I agree. Most people don't have 1MB/s download speeds, thus updating with 600MB downloads would be rather problematic. I am planning on making my own website (a multipurpose website), so maybe I could help with hosting those pieces. Don't expect my Website to be done too soon though :lol: . I don't understand that SVN abuse you were talking about, though.
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby loki1950 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:08 pm

The abuse is that people are using the repo just to keep current increasing the bandwidth usage from what one would typically expect.BTW Fedora does have the 0.5 data set in there repos they have split out the music into a separate package and they will be using deltaRPMs for there next release f11 so the update to our new data set would not entail redownloading the whole thing but as most know fedora is a nose bleed distro :wink: but i imagine that deltaDeb may follow as we are not the only app that is a monolithic download that needs to update either data or binaries, As safemode said it's the packaging that is tricky i will be trying the cmake scripts windows side as soon as i get a new box but in the mean time i will be encouraging new builders to use it so we can shake out any errors in the scripts i use it myself Linux side ATM as well as the traditional make system as not all targets are ported to cmake yet.

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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby charlieg » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:39 pm

*facepalms*

Safemode, I'm NOT saying use the repo. I'm saing to NOT use the repo. New versions go on the download mirrors. The mirrors don't have the limits you talk about.

You can release a source tarball and a data tarball and put them up as seprate downloads. When people find the time / skill to create a usable release (together or separately), you can upload those as they come in.

SVN is not a release system, and ideally should not be used as a distribution mechanism like VS currently does. By making more regular releases, you will bring down the SVN usage.

For testing purposes of distributions, there's a lot of free hosts out there for temporary storage (mediafire etc). You don't have to channel everything through SVN.
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby Turbo » Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:05 am

charlieg wrote:But since 0.5.0, a lot has already changed:
<SNIP>
- units.cvs corrections (by Turbo)
<SNIP>

I just read this today and thought, "I didn't submit any units.csv corrections. :? I hope my tendency to fool around in the game files didn't accidentally get committed to SVN." :oops: So I checked the SVN history, and it was Turbo Beholder who did the units.csv corrections. Turbo Beholder is a different person who's been around a lot longer than I have. And as far as I know, I don't have the rights to commit directly to SVN.
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby charlieg » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:32 am

VS is suffering a leadership crisis. I hope somebody steps up to the plate sooner rather than later. People try to contribute (look at the AI tweaking thread) but don't get noticed. VS really needs somebody - anybody - to call the shots, developer or not, so that it just doesn't bitrot.
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby Deus Siddis » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:17 pm

charlieg wrote:VS is suffering a leadership crisis. I hope somebody steps up to the plate sooner rather than later. People try to contribute (look at the AI tweaking thread) but don't get noticed. VS really needs somebody - anybody - to call the shots, developer or not, so that it just doesn't bitrot.


Have you contacted HellcatV or Ace123 directly about this? Or asked them about the sirikata engine?
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby Fendorin » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:33 am

VS is suffering a leadership crisis. I hope somebody steps up to the plate sooner rather than later. People try to contribute (look at the AI tweaking thread) but don't get noticed. VS really needs somebody - anybody - to call the shots, developer or not, so that it just doesn't bitrot.


Looks thru but how can we do if all the informationare handle by leadearship people?? ( a tree without roots??)
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby charlieg » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:50 am

You misunderstand me, I think.

As you say, how can this project keep going if the leadership handles all information, makes all the decisions, but disappears for years at a time.

This is a damaged ship floating aimlessly in the void of space at the moment. The bridge is disconnected and nobody knows what is going on. There's no plan, no way in for people who try to help, and at some point people are going to start jettisoning for greener pastures.
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby charlieg » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:52 am

Deus Siddis wrote:Have you contacted HellcatV or Ace123 directly about this? Or asked them about the sirikata engine?

When was the last time hellcatv posted?

Look at his user page:
Last visited: Sun May 18, 2008 4:28 am

Ace123 seems to have gone MIA too:
Last visited: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:44 pm

Maybe they are working on something shiney and new, but how about explicitly stepping aside and giving somebody else control instead of just vanishing? That's hardly a way to encourage the community...
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby www2 » Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:19 am

@charlieg

Ace and hellcatv are current working on the sirikata project for hellcatv's Ph.D. degree.
And the most of the technologie that come in the sirikata project come also in vega strike.


btw hellcatv and ace are current not MIA
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby charlieg » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:19 am

You can claim they are not MIA but they are not here. Of course, somewhere, they are doing something, but I'm talking purely in VS terms.

When pyramid stepped back, things stopped getting done around here. And it's going to go to the dogs if nobody steps up.

Valuable contributions like this are simply not acted upon. Why is he going to stick around if his work gets ignored?

This is not a personal attack on hellcatv, ace123, jacks, or anybody VS affiliated. It's just life, they have things to do, and won't always be able to work on VS. But now the project is in need of somebody else who is given the rights to make the decisions to avoid another 3 year absence without a release - which would be much more damaging to the project because VS no longer looks as good relative to everything else.

Games with less potential (e.g. Oolite) are faring better, getting more players, and (importantly) retaining more players/contributors because decision makers are available. VS needs leadership otherwise this place is going to get mighty ineffective and stagnate.
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby Fendorin » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:31 am

ohhhh

Oolite you said

I will have a look

Et hop! 1 contributors less (if i can call me contributors)
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby Deus Siddis » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:10 am

charlieg wrote:You can claim they are not MIA but they are not here. Of course, somewhere, they are doing something, but I'm talking purely in VS terms.

When pyramid stepped back, things stopped getting done around here. And it's going to go to the dogs if nobody steps up.


But is it leadership we have been recently lacking or is it people with knowledge of the engine and code skills? Because pyramid didn't necessarily have the "authority" to make content official canon in the game, but what he had was all the know-how to get it in engine on the technical side.

What I'm getting at, is can just anyone step up and take over the reigns or does he need serious knowledge of both coding and Vega Strike's C++ or Python codebase? Because the later leaves us with alot less options, not many have a good understanding of VS' code base, so much of it is said to be a mess (might be part of the reason for sirikata).

VS needs leadership otherwise this place is going to get mighty ineffective and stagnate.


I vote for safemode and chuck_starchaser, if either or both is willing to take over any of the leadership roles.
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby Fendorin » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:25 am

and for the artwork ?

my idea :
we must try to finalize or begin one thing:
A simple graphical board layout for the manuel of style :
maybe 2:
- a "fleet" review as a sketches not so details for let' s contributor propose idea, just some size chart .... with all ship name and comparaison size per faction
- a style board with color chart technical point, (for some faction is just collecting information for lot of them is just do a clear board).

and some poll session+discussion thread with a date of closure
and that yet ! we fill out from the stucking art approval issue.

What do you feel?
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby Deus Siddis » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:36 am

Fendorin wrote:and for the artwork ?


We could theoretically approve and organize it, but getting it working in-game and commiting it benefits from having a coder on the team.

- a "fleet" review as a sketches not so details for let' s contributor propose idea, just some size chart .... with all ship name and comparaison size per faction
- a style board with color chart technical point, (for some faction is just collecting information for lot of them is just do a clear board).


I think more detailed would be better than less detailed. If a contributor doesn't like a particular style detail or such, he can request that it be changed.

One thing I would do though, is reduce the number of or prioritize the list of ships and stations and such. 200+ ships and stations is alot of content to organize and ALOT to create while meeting modern graphical standards. A focused list closer to 50 units that are important to gameplay should be the focus; that means the essential military and economic vehicles and stations.

and some poll session+discussion thread with a date of closure
and that yet ! we fill out from the stucking art approval issue.


That might be about the way it needs to be, at this point. :?
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby charlieg » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:51 am

Safemode did seem to be getting familiar as a coder, and contributing a lot, but then he got taken away by RL issues.

Here's another good suggestion, sort of related (see last message):
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=14756
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Re: Release Schedule?

Postby Deus Siddis » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:56 pm

charlieg wrote:Safemode did seem to be getting familiar as a coder, and contributing a lot, but then he got taken away by RL issues.


True, but he's only been absent since a month ago. Anyway, who would you suggest then?
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