Development Continues (14.10.2012)

Discussion on development progress and other related stuff.
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Crypton
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Development Continues (14.10.2012)

Post by Crypton » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:45 am

It's been 3 years since the very first development report and 4 years since this project started. Yet, this project is still at the beginning of it's development. You might ask: Why does it take you so long to get it done? Well, to be honest, it's because:
-This project is too big to be a one-man army project
-Over the years, I haven't managed to get anyone (experienced and trustworthy enough) to join the development
-I lack the experience myself, I think. There are many experienced devs that have worked on similar projects and would have this project in beta stage already
-I've made too many bad (and good) decisions regarding the AGate engine's design (e.g. Delphi -> C++, D3D -> OpenGL, SDL -> QT -> Writing my own -> Switching back to 3rd party)
-I was working on other projects and applications (e.g. MatchMaker, MultiArcanum, ArcVoice, ArtGen, DxEmu)
-I had some health issues, which not only slowed me down, but also demotivated me a lot

Which means that it's pretty much my fault that you cannot play OpenArcanum yet :D I would like to make things right, that's why within a few next months, I'm going to:
-Fix the source code, and get it to compile
-Make a game asset converter
-Start implementing a gameplay system

Yes, it's a lot of work ahead. I currently do have a lot of free time that I can spend on this project, so I believe that I can do the steps above. However, I'm not 100% sure that I'll ever manage to get OpenArcanum into playable stage, as my health problems can get worse, and that's why I plan to release everything I've made so far and devolve the whole project on someone else (I already know who), if I feel that I cannot work on it for any longer. I hope that's not a much disappointing news . ;)

Anyway, I've been working on OpenArcanum for a two weeks now, and I've made some progress and extra stuff, like these new OpenArcanum splashscreens & icons:
http://arcanum.game-alive.com/forums/vi ... 1010#p1010

I've made some plans for 2D to 2.5D transition and I've been collecting a suitable & free 3D models for the last week. I also figured out how to get required animations for models of player characters (it was actually a 2 years ago, when I got the idea :roll: ), and I'm currently trying to realize that idea. Also I've redesigned our website and forums a bit, I hope you like like it.

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Re: Development Continues (14.10.2012)

Post by soshial » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:33 am

The 2D->2.5D idea is very good, but I'm concerned if it is possible to implement these models and their animations (and maybe shadows) that it would look naturally enough in Arcanum.

If I may put my opinion, as I see it: you still continue to complain about no one joining you in developing OpenArcanum... BUT all the source-code is closed. And there is no information about what will be the status of the code, if the project is finished. Of course, nobody would put their efforts in such a black box!

I think that the most important thing to do is: after the source code is compilable, you should immediately publish it under some licence. Only after that it could be named as OpenArcanum. And if it happens, people would want to join you. I can help inviting people and calling for their help on every open-source site I know of.

Only that way (with the help of others) development would go faster, because even sporadical viewers of the code could help you in some bugfixing for example.
I hope you are not afraid that if you publish the code, nobody would pay you the tribute of your project contribution. Because everybody would still know that you are the only leader and ideologist of the OpenArcanum, really.

I'm sorry for such harsh statements, and I'm only observer after all, but that is my opinion. And, if you become tired of OpenArcanum, you will be forced to pass all code and info somebody either way.

I'm looking forward to your opinion about all this.

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Re: Development Continues (14.10.2012)

Post by Crypton » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:21 am

soshial wrote:The 2D->2.5D idea is very good, but I'm concerned if it is possible to implement these models and their animations (and maybe shadows) that it would look naturally enough in Arcanum.
Arcanum has a very simple animations, I think, so it shouldn't be hard to recreate those animations from scratch. It's just too many of them, that's the problem. I've done some basic animations myself, and it's actually fun. I'm planning to learn some advanced stuff, so it shouldn't be a problem for me to create a new animations and models when the time comes.
soshial wrote:If I may put my opinion, as I see it: you still continue to complain about no one joining you in developing OpenArcanum... BUT all the source-code is closed. And there is no information about what will be the status of the code, if the project is finished. Of course, nobody would put their efforts in such a black box!

I think that the most important thing to do is: after the source code is compilable, you should immediately publish it under some licence. Only after that it could be named as OpenArcanum. And if it happens, people would want to join you. I can help inviting people and calling for their help on every open-source site I know of.

Only that way (with the help of others) development would go faster, because even sporadical viewers of the code could help you in some bugfixing for example.
I hope you are not afraid that if you publish the code, nobody would pay you the tribute of your project contribution. Because everybody would still know that you are the only leader and ideologist of the OpenArcanum, really.

I'm sorry for such harsh statements, and I'm only observer after all, but that is my opinion. And, if you become tired of OpenArcanum, you will be forced to pass all code and info somebody either way.

I'm looking forward to your opinion about all this.
It's okay, you don't have to apologize, I see your point. The thing is that at the very beginning, the plan/idea was that the OpenArcanum will be an open-source project developed by a closed group of (experienced and elite) developers. But the was no one who would be willing to join the development. Yes, there were some enthusiast devs who usually showed up from nowhere and started asking questions about the source code, but I couldn't just let a complete stranger to twiddle with the source code, because then it would become a huge blob of mess.

They had to have some skills and experience before could join, and they had to prove that by completing a minor tasks that I gave them or by providing a references to the projects they were working on, because I had to make sure that they're skilled and trustworthy enough. How many devs do you think have passed this "test"? Yes, your guess is correct: no one. I got really tired of answering the very same questions regarding the OpenArcanum project and the source code every time someone wanted to join, so that's why I decided to continue in the development alone. And it was actually working out, until I got those health problems.

Also, don't forget that we're in a "competition" with the Arcanum: Revolution team. Releasing the source code would make things for them a lot easier. And I'm not sure if I want to help them that much. ;)

The source code is one thing. There was a plenty of different work that had to be done, e.g. the website, some 2D graphics, theme music, .mes conversion and tools like ArcVoice, etc. Over the years, I did asked a lot of people to help me out with those tasks, but no one actually helped me a bit. I had to do it all by myself. :)

Cheers!

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Re: Development Continues (14.10.2012)

Post by Koorac » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:46 pm

Crypton wrote: It's okay, you don't have to apologize, I see your point. The thing is that at the very beginning, the plan/idea was that the OpenArcanum will be an open-source project developed by a closed group of (experienced and elite) developers. But the was no one who would be willing to join the development. Yes, there were some enthusiast devs who usually showed up from nowhere and started asking questions about the source code, but I couldn't just let a complete stranger to twiddle with the source code, because then it would become a huge blob of mess.

They had to have some skills and experience before could join, and they had to prove that by completing a minor tasks that I gave them or by providing a references to the projects they were working on, because I had to make sure that they're skilled and trustworthy enough. How many devs do you think have passed this "test"? Yes, your guess is correct: no one. I got really tired of answering the very same questions regarding the OpenArcanum project and the source code every time someone wanted to join, so that's why I decided to continue in the development alone. And it was actually working out, until I got those health problems.

Also, don't forget that we're in a "competition" with the Arcanum: Revolution team. Releasing the source code would make things for them a lot easier. And I'm not sure if I want to help them that much. ;)

The source code is one thing. There was a plenty of different work that had to be done, e.g. the website, some 2D graphics, theme music, .mes conversion and tools like ArcVoice, etc. Over the years, I did asked a lot of people to help me out with those tasks, but no one actually helped me a bit. I had to do it all by myself. :)

Cheers!
One thing you could do is put the code on e.g. GitHub, so that people can see that there is actually something there.
Then they can send you pull requests and you decide whether it can go in or not. You still retain control over the code and if you put it e.g. under the GPL no one is allowed to copy it. It does not become a huge mess that way and once someone has provided you with enough high quality patches you could allow him to push changes directly.

I am willing to help with coding, but without any code available I may aswell start from scratch if you see what I mean.

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Re: Development Continues (14.10.2012)

Post by soshial » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:19 pm

Koorac wrote:One thing you could do is put the code on e.g. GitHub, so that people can see that there is actually something there.
Then they can send you pull requests and you decide whether it can go in or not. You still retain control over the code and if you put it e.g. under the GPL no one is allowed to copy it. It does not become a huge mess that way and once someone has provided you with enough high quality patches you could allow him to push changes directly.

I am willing to help with coding, but without any code available I may aswell start from scratch if you see what I mean.
I absolutely agree with the Koorac, and I think that you confuse the cause with the consequence. People will start joining when they see when that there is something happening there. And you can always reject any submitted by some stranger code and just keep your gold standard in your main branch, but these code additions usually could be quite useful. And, after all, you can start with publishing just some part of the code, not full OpenArcanum and just see what happens.

And OpenArcanum could definitely use some people who can find this forum using google (try that!), because I still cannot find it using ANY google search. Making it more searchable in Google is a must-have in order to get new people here. I garantee that!

And I also suggest that you publish the code under GPL (or LGPL) licence, so that nobody could copy it without being forced to have their project published under GPL as well!

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Re: Development Continues (14.10.2012)

Post by Crypton » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:55 am

Koorac wrote:One thing you could do is put the code on e.g. GitHub, so that people can see that there is actually something there.
Then they can send you pull requests and you decide whether it can go in or not. You still retain control over the code and if you put it e.g. under the GPL no one is allowed to copy it. It does not become a huge mess that way and once someone has provided you with enough high quality patches you could allow him to push changes directly.

I am willing to help with coding, but without any code available I may aswell start from scratch if you see what I mean.
soshial wrote:I absolutely agree with the Koorac, and I think that you confuse the cause with the consequence. People will start joining when they see when that there is something happening there. And you can always reject any submitted by some stranger code and just keep your gold standard in your main branch, but these code additions usually could be quite useful. And, after all, you can start with publishing just some part of the code, not full OpenArcanum and just see what happens.

And OpenArcanum could definitely use some people who can find this forum using google (try that!), because I still cannot find it using ANY google search. Making it more searchable in Google is a must-have in order to get new people here. I garantee that!

And I also suggest that you publish the code under GPL (or LGPL) licence, so that nobody could copy it without being forced to have their project published under GPL as well!
Hello again! As you already know, GitHub is a paid service, unless your project is open-source AND public. And why would I host the source code of this website-specific project at some third-party servers, when I can easily setup a git server and repository on this server and host it directly here.

Also, I do believe that this project should be developed by a team, not a group of strangers and that's why I would like to keep the source code private, until it's ready for being developed by a whole community. Also I want to avoid spending hours everyday by checking a commits and push requests of a complete strangers, and being worried every time I trust someone and skip checking his commits, because I do want to keep the code pure, without any hacks, workarounds, nasty ifdefs, nasty todos, etc. and possibly a completely bug-free.

Not every open-source project was a open-source since it's beginning. It seems to me that you just want me to upload the source code of OpenArcanum, and then wait to see what happens. But don't forget that I already did release the source codes of the other projects here, such as MatchMaker, ArcVoice and even ArtGen, not mentioning that I did setup and host a SVN and Git repositories for radzh's MetaConv and qtScribe projects, but no one ever bothered to make a single contribution to those projects. I also should have had mentioned that at the beginning, when the OpenArcanum was still written in Delphi, I did share the source code with a two or three "developers", but every one of them have disappeared after a while or just stopper answering my PMs. Even worse, I spent more hours by chatting and explaining than programming, because they mostly didn't understand the code.

And thinking in a way "I'll release it under GPL, so nobody won't be able to make a ripoff." is pretty naive. In a two last years, there were a several people so desperately wanting to "contribute", but the only thing they did, was asking about the source code. This project is already competing with at least a three very similar projects, and it appears that every enthusiast developer wants to start his own Arcanum clone.

So thanks, but no! I'll make the source code public after it's "ready" and I become comfortable with the idea. Still, I'll like someone to join and help me out. After I fix the code, I'll setup a private repository and start inviting people in. ;)

P.S. You're right about the website, it just disappeared from the search engines. I swear that the list time I checked, I found our website in the results, but now I can't, even when I put there the whole website address. It's quite strange, I hope that we're not being filtered out. I've updated the meta tags and also added the robots.txt file, but it's probably not causing the problems.

I believe that it's because the whole website is loaded asynchronously using jQuery, and those search engines can't probably handle it, so it appears that the website is without any content. I'll fix it today, no worries. 8-)

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Re: Development Continues (14.10.2012)

Post by Koorac » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:14 pm

If that is your attitude, you will probably have a hard time finding someone to join you.
Maybe once you have something released.

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Re: Development Continues (14.10.2012)

Post by Crypton » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:18 pm

If I may ask, why are you so surprised? I have this "attitude" all the time :) Have you even read the OpenArcanum - FAQ & Project overview topic, which I started like 2 years ago? I guess not, because you wouldn't be surprised.

Also, I thought that you don't have a time for this project, since you rarely visit these forums and you made only a fifty posts in last three years. That's why I didn't even ask you about your improvements to radzh's qtScribe, because I thought that you are busy in real life. You know, we were expecting that you would make a single commit after I gave you access to the repository with the source code.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still glad that you visit us sometimes. ;)

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Re: Development Continues (14.10.2012)

Post by Koorac » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:36 pm

I read everything that is posted here, I am subscribed to the RSS feed ;)

I just thought there is not much point in improving qtscribe since you are planning on using new file formats anyway.
Also it is partially very messy (mixing STL and Qt) and I was still fairly new to Qt/C++ three years ago, when I wrote that .mes/.dlg editing code.
So working with that code is not that nice.

I currently have quite a bit of time, so if you want help, I can provide you with some.

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Re: Development Continues (14.10.2012)

Post by soshial » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:00 pm

Wow, seems like a starting point... I wonder, if might spill over into something? ;)

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