Dream of an Awesome Game Development Colaboration Platform.

Dream of an Awesome Game Development Colaboration Platform.

Postby Jastiv » 02 May 2020, 23:42

I was thinking what would be my dream game developer collaboration platform, not just message forums and code hosting repositories, but something truly revolutionary and exciting where developers could meet up and create lasting connections that lead to great game development teams. So I came up with a couple ideas.
1. Instead of the old "benevolent dictator starts a project and then never updates it," have it much easier for someone else to actually take over a project, and not try to find out where the latest updated version of the project is hosted. (cause software should not have owners, projects should have a life of there own and the projects "bus factor" should not be a factor.)

2. Some kind of match making capabilities for finding development teams, not like never used forums where you might find say, someone who knows how to code java but hates the idea of a card game (or whatever it is you are trying to make, plus some artists who make work that doesn't fit the code, Someone mentioned passion, vision, skill set as three considerations for project teams. I feel this is a major reason why people even take out student loans to go to things like game development school, just to make those connections.

Please feel free to add to this list. I feel that too many people just try to games by themselves, hoping they have every skill to make their dream game, and then either burn out, or just make something far less awesome that they should have been able to make.
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Re: Dream of an Awesome Game Development Colaboration Platfo

Postby dulsi » 03 May 2020, 00:31

The problem I have with number 1 is that it is a mess for users and developers. Take a simple example Super Methane Brothers. If I search for it on github I get 4 repositories. The original repo is on sourceforge. If I want to start with the most up to date version which do I choose. That's a small set of results. Some projects have a hundred forks. Maybe with better tools you could accomplish that but I have a hard time imagining something that can deal with the mess.
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Re: Dream of an Awesome Game Development Colaboration Platfo

Postby Julius » 03 May 2020, 01:34

Federated issue tracking and easier cross repository / site merge request would help a bit I guess, but a large part of OP's idea would probably require a more standardized gamedev environment, like (fat chance :heart: ) everyone would agree Godot is the best game engine and then only do new projects with it henceforth.
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Re: Dream of an Awesome Game Development Colaboration Platfo

Postby Moonwards » 13 Jan 2021, 00:28

Possibly our project would fulfill part of your dream. We are creating a FOSS MMO with the Godot game engine. We have a pre-alpha release at the moment. It's a simulation of an advanced lunar town, based on hard science and engineering. It's a sandbox environment - we've pondered referring to it as a world, instead of as a game.

To a large extent the audience we wish to appeal to are those of a Maker mentality who would enjoy a place to build things together and share the results. It's going to focus on allowing people to create things that get added to the town, be they models (like homes, equipment, plants, and furniture), NPCs that can be programmed with a visual editor we've made, shows filmed in the world, events held there - all of that. We have made a very modular architecture to allow that to happen. And that would also allow people to create games within the larger game.

We figure we can restrict things for security purposes by allowing people to create games only in the areas where they have the permissions, meaning in their homes, neighborhoods, or kiosk space.

It has a lot of potential but has to get rolling. We need Godot 4.0 to be out before we can do much more of the core work it needs, so for the near future we are going to be focusing on promo and networking (with people, that is).

https://www.moonwards.com/download/
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Re: Dream of an Awesome Game Development Colaboration Platfo

Postby HenryChinaski32 » 15 Jan 2021, 10:16

Quite a cool idea for such a platform for all game developers.
But probably a little utopian, because everyone is busy with their projects or their main work.
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Re: Dream of an Awesome Game Development Colaboration Platfo

Postby drummyfish » 15 Jan 2021, 19:37

I think a game developer match making platform isn't a bad idea, but it isn't a solution to the problems you describe. If you're making it with the idea of solving these issues, you will only complicate it further.

The issue of benevolent dictators and dying projects isn't cause by a lack of a match making or collaborative platforms, it's not as if we don't have good enough bug trackers or version control systems. It is caused by bad development and design habits in the project itself, which is inherited from the corporate style of rapid software development. Nowadays we are mimicking how games are developed commercially, we just stick a free license to it, but the result, just as the commercial games, ends up being a game that is intellectually owned by the core development team or the single developer and is very vulnerable to dying because of dependencies, lack of documentation, unreadable overcomplicated code, feature creep etc. The issue is developers subconsciously write the game to be consumed and then be replaced by another game.

The real solution to this is to change how we write free software: we need to write it specifically to be friendly to reusing, forking, sharing, porting, maintatining and so on. More on this in my thread on suckless games.
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Re: Dream of an Awesome Game Development Colaboration Platfo

Postby Jastiv » 26 Jan 2021, 18:50

drummyfish {l Wrote}:I think a game developer match making platform isn't a bad idea, but it isn't a solution to the problems you describe. If you're making it with the idea of solving these issues, you will only complicate it further.

The issue of benevolent dictators and dying projects isn't cause by a lack of a match making or collaborative platforms, it's not as if we don't have good enough bug trackers or version control systems. It is caused by bad development and design habits in the project itself, which is inherited from the corporate style of rapid software development. Nowadays we are mimicking how games are developed commercially, we just stick a free license to it, but the result, just as the commercial games, ends up being a game that is intellectually owned by the core development team or the single developer and is very vulnerable to dying because of dependencies, lack of documentation, unreadable overcomplicated code, feature creep etc. The issue is developers subconsciously write the game to be consumed and then be replaced by another game.

The real solution to this is to change how we write free software: we need to write it specifically to be friendly to reusing, forking, sharing, porting, maintatining and so on. More on this in my thread on suckless games.



I really think you have something there when you say that. I believe the commercial game development methodology is broken, and not just for trying to stick free software games into that same hole of project development, but because it really doesn't work that well when you think about what kind of games the actual end user/ customer wants to play. Really, anyone who has even a small amount of skill should be able to make a living as a game modder. The problem is the whole on ramping process of learning how to work with a specific platform tools/etc is rather high and documentation etc is rather bad. Then, by the time you learn it all, it is obsolete and time to move onto something else. This does not make for a good sustainable game development platform (well, some platforms are worse than others but still.)

People poke fun of me for using the old crossfire engine for Wograld, but at the time, it was one of thee most fork friendly engines in the multi-player online game space, and that is why I used it, even though I found it hard to figure out how to get rid of some of the existing bad game mechanics and crap, at least it didn't feel like a demo, even though it was hard to install, and I didn't really want to set up a permanent server for a couple players and a game in development.

There is another side to game development to that has very little to do with backend code and more with assets, story, and marketing, but I feel that discussion would go better in another post.
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Re: Dream of an Awesome Game Development Colaboration Platfo

Postby PeterX » 26 Jan 2021, 19:25

Jastiv {l Wrote}:Really, anyone who has even a small amount of skill should be able to make a living as a game modder. The problem is the whole on ramping process of learning how to work with a specific platform tools/etc is rather high and documentation etc is rather bad. Then, by the time you learn it all, it is obsolete and time to move onto something else. This does not make for a good sustainable game development platform (well, some platforms are worse than others but still.)
...
There is another side to game development to that has very little to do with backend code and more with assets, story, and marketing, but I feel that discussion would go better in another post.

Yes, but fact is, it definitely IS difficult to learn any engine/platform that currently exists. I personally find it easier to write game code lowlevel from scratch than to use any existing engine (and I must admit it is more fun for me).
Of course a platform/engine/lowlevel implementation is not the only important aspect of a game. Of course art, plot, mood, user-features etc. are important.

I'm not sure if you are suggesting building an easy to comprehend engine. Or if you rather mean a webpage, where people share their code beyond projects/repos. Or both.

I think, theoretically it is very easy to fork an existing free software repo and use it for your own purposes. So I think we don't need an additional platform or match-making.

Imho suckless/minimalistic coding is not enough. We would need engines which are simple libraries not whole IDEs or similar large and complicated beasts. And we need more documentation how to use that library! And a C library can be used from pretty much any language, a python or Basic or whatever module not.

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Re: Dream of an Awesome Game Development Colaboration Platfo

Postby Technopeasant » 15 Feb 2021, 02:02

drummyfish {l Wrote}:I think a game developer match making platform isn't a bad idea, but it isn't a solution to the problems you describe. If you're making it with the idea of solving these issues, you will only complicate it further. The issue of benevolent dictators and dying projects isn't cause by a lack of a match making or collaborative platforms, it's not as if we don't have good enough bug trackers or version control systems. It is caused by bad development and design habits in the project itself, which is inherited from the corporate style of rapid software development. Nowadays we are mimicking how games are developed commercially, we just stick a free license to it, but the result, just as the commercial games, ends up being a game that is intellectually owned by the core development team or the single developer and is very vulnerable to dying because of dependencies, lack of documentation, unreadable overcomplicated code, feature creep etc. The issue is developers subconsciously write the game to be consumed and then be replaced by another game.


I agree that mimicking AAA game development is fruitless given most free software games are developed solo or by a small team, and not by a mid to large sized company, but there are plenty of games developed like that in the indie, freeware and modding scenes that still turn out better than the vast majority of free software projects.

Case in point, my brother is playing through the Arthur Yahtzee Trilogy which was the first works of Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation fame. Despite being crudely cobbled together in Visual Basic 3 and MS Paint in the late 1990s, they are still enjoyable for their characters, world and humour. Why else would my brother have come back to it after over a decade since he last played? I have yet to see a free software game with that kind of scope. And it was made by a single teenager, albeit one that has consistently shown a high degree of talent and dedication. Croshaw went to make many more similarly entertaining titles, such as the Rob Blanc trilogy and the Chzo Mythos, and it was all done for no monetary reward outside of donations. He is now aiming to produce a commercial indie game called Starstruck Vagabond. There have been numerous other freeware hits throughout the years by other developers, more so than I have seen in the FOSS space, and it was all done without financial compensation.

I myself play way more custom campaigns for established games than I do original games, commercial or otherwise. Again, these are mostly developed by individuals or small groups and again often are of higher quality than I have seen in the FOSS space, even if the underlying code for most of these games (classics by id Software or 3D Realms) are available and so these mods and campaigns could be done as FOSS with the right assets.

I also kind of feel that the model you suggest is treating games as a utility, which can work for some types of games, but the games I enjoy are more of a work of art. They kind of have to have that creative spark of an individual or a small team to be enjoyable.
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