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Current development status

PostPosted: 05 Nov 2018, 11:28
by Akien
Since things have been pretty quiet for the last two years, I thought I'd open a thread to give an update on the current development status, and so that potential new contributors know how/if they should get involved.

We had our last release 0.7.1 in August 2016 (see news on the blog and release notes. At that time we had hwoarangmy as most active dev, with Bertram and I supporting him (both already less active than we used to be). Oyvind, a former dev from ~2011, had just reappeared in dev discussions and doing some commits. Danimal was still lead artist but not as active as he used to be.

IIRC, Bertram got a new job and/or kid around that time, so was much less available - he also wanted to give some more focus to Valyria Tear, which he had left slumbering while focusing on OD.
I was myself more and more active as developer of Godot Engine, and thus had less and less time for OD. This trend didn't change, as I'm now project manager and maintainer for Godot Engine, and I have basically 0 time for working on other FOSS projects.

So a big part of the core team was starting to scatter at that time. hwoarangmy kept going at it for a few months, albeit with reduced pace due to the lack of feedback he was getting on his contributions. You can see the commit history from the 0.7.1 until January 2017 when development stopped for several months. It was mostly hwoarangmy working, with a few commits from Oyvind, and Oyvind and I merging PRs after long delays. hwoarangmy gradually lost interest too, as he mentions here.

The rest of 2017 and 2018 has been a few bugs fixes on and off from Oyvind and one-time contributors (mostly packagers making sure that things build fine on their platform). paul424 (@tomluchowski) also made a comeback, but at a time where most of us are no longer around to help him.

Lately, Oyvind and I are trying to get OD to build against Ogre 1.10 and 1.11, which have changed a lot compared to the previous 1.9 version and deprecated a lot of the APIs we used. So far it's mostly in an attempt to keep things buildable and playable on modern systems, so that distro packagers (like myself) don't end up having to drop their OD package due to lack of compatibility with newer Ogre releases.

There aren't any plans beyond that that I know of. Eventually I'd like to have a 0.7.2 release built against recent Ogre, SFML, etc. so that it runs well on new systems, and including the handful of bug fixes done in the meantime since 0.7.1.

Now what? Is the project dead?

The project is inactive, but I don't see it as fully dead and buried. Oyvind and paul424 are still around, I'm still answering issues and trying to review PRs (as well right now as working on the Ogre stuff). It's not going to see much progress at this pace, but I'd say that the project is dormant, and that it could be woken up if new very motivated contributors showed up. hwoarangmy already mentioned he might be interested in doing a comeback if the project gathered some momentum again. I can't promise anything, but I may still be around to review PRs and test stuff in the foreseeable future. I know Bertram has enough on his plate, but he loves OD so if the project picked steam again, we might see him around too. We'd likely also see Danimal again if development restarted.

Yet I don't put my hopes too high, as it would be a daunting task for new contributors to build all this momentum again, especially with almost all past devs missing in action. You'd have to work on ideas that should ideally be consensual, without necessarily being able to get this consensus from the previous devs -- so in practice you'll have to trust your own judgement and hope that someone will be around to review your code and be interested in the change. Do attempt to discuss things ahead though, we'll do our best to give feedback and this might pull us back in the mood to work on OD.

That's it -- if other past devs want to chime in with their own story, feel free to! And if you're a potential contributor, don't despair, say hi (at least on GitHub, but here too if you want) and hopefully someone will be around to open the door :)

Re: Current development status

PostPosted: 20 Nov 2018, 18:42
by Danimal
Hi Akien, its nice to see you are doing well and working on such a popular project as Godot. I had a few reasons to not be active like i was at that time, some RL like losing my job and having to find another one in the country of eternal economical crysis (spain), i got now a sporadic temp one and i have to be thankful to get shitty breadcrumbs. As for other reasons, a bunch of Dungeon keeper revivals were realeased that very year like "War for the overworld" or "Dungeons 2" which make me lose a lot of my drive, i could never achieve a commercial level of quality, too much work and lack of knowledge. Since that time two years ago i must have completed one 3d model and half finished 3; i just dont have the will anymore.

If someone were to retake the project i think i would help again, but as a minor supporter. Its a pity the project is in this current state since it was very advanced, but maybe we were far too ambitious.

Re: Current development status

PostPosted: 27 Nov 2018, 22:05
by Vandar
Ouch, that sounds like a really hard time. I could say, move to the northern part of europe, job options are better there, but it can be tricky to learn a new language, get accustomed to a new place and start a new job all at once ...

Good luck Danimal, I hope your life will become easier again!

Re: Current development status

PostPosted: 28 Nov 2018, 19:11
by Danimal
Thanks Vandaar, things are looking a bit brighter rigth now for me, lets hope it keeps that way.

Re: Current development status

PostPosted: 29 Nov 2018, 11:40
by charlie
I hope to see OpenDungeons go further. Hopefully you guys get back into it.