Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Postby farrer » 28 Sep 2016, 18:08

Don't know if any one here knows about Gameplay Football. It was a one-person project that recently got discontinued (full history here).

What the single developer achieved on it is incredible and would be a shame to loss all his efforts. The author seems - although favourable - hesitant to release it as free software (with arguments we seen a lot of times in all those years in a lot of different projects by a lot of different developers):

I often got the suggestion I should open source the project. I like the idea, but in this case I've been hestitant, first of all because I'm not very good at working together on code, but mostly, because the code is so messy and badly documented. I feel if I would release the code, it would just transfer this 'oh my, I'm working on an overly complex house of cards'-feeling to other developers, and I don't want to do that. Also, I would get a lot of questions (How does this or that function? What does this code do exactly?) and I don't want to become a helpdesk


As a free game development community, what could we do? Maybe send him some sort of message trying to convince him that releasing the now abandoned code would be of great interest for the community itself (not just for the free software community, but also for the community already created on this game)? But what arguments should we use? Do you believe it worth a try?
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Re: Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Postby mdtrooper » 29 Sep 2016, 00:31

What is the language of project? This is the first question...because if it is unity3d or other shit, the best choice is buried the project.

Well, therefore to this question, my text for liberate the project is "Yep, your project have been stopped by 2 years...Why not do you liberate the project? More people could give life to the project again." (but the text is in correct english...sorry I am spanish)
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Re: Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Postby c_xong » 29 Sep 2016, 01:17

It sounds like he's emotionally attached but also doesn't want to revisit the game, including helping potential future contributors. This is understandable, and if what he says is correct, the code will be hard to use and will require someone with skills and enthusiasm. Of course without seeing the code who knows. I tend to disagree; I've worked with quite a few legacy homebrewed engines and they all take a while to understand but it's not impossible.

Also I wouldn't blame anyone for bad code, especially if it was written years ago. A lot of people have this anxiety that if they show their crappy code to the world they'll be revealed as failures but really no one cares about that, in fact people are grateful that there's projects out there to pick up and continue.

If I were to convince him, I might find a bunch of examples of successful FOSS revivals. Most of them would have started with crap code, most probably still do :D but they've all been made better due to being FOSS. Most don't look nearly as good as Gameplay Football either, so that's one big plus. I don't think the time is right though, the most likely outcome if he opens up the project is for it to sit there dormant. It'll have to take time, for when the right contributor comes along, and for him to ditch his emotional baggage and collaborate with others.
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Re: Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Postby dulsi » 29 Sep 2016, 01:56

Well he says the game is built on a game engine he designed so it isn't unity3d. If you read the history of the project, he really seems upset about the stress the project caused him. If you want the code released, you need to convince him he won't be bothered with questions and that the code won't stress others. The easiest way to handle that might be to offer to take on the project. Ask him to send you the code. Look though the code and decide if it is something you think you can improve on. Then ask if you can open source it and continue to work on it. (If you aren't interested or experienced enough to maintain it, an open source release will probably just languish unless someone with an interest stumbles on it.)
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Re: Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Postby charlie » 29 Sep 2016, 11:30

I'm sure I wrote an article on Free Gamer about this stuff..... I should dig it up.

It comes down to helping the author overcome the reasons not to open source it. "My code is a mess." So what? Nobody will judge you for it. It will have no negative impact on your life whatsoever. Worst case scenario is nobody understands it. Best case is somebody tidies it up and improves it! Nothing to lose.
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Re: Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Postby farrer » 29 Sep 2016, 13:16

mdtrooper {l Wrote}:What is the language of project? This is the first question...because if it is unity3d or other shit, the best choice is buried the project.


My fault, I should mentioned it on the first post: as dulsi said, it's an in-house engine. From its dependencies (OpenGL, SDL, lib-png, pulseaudio, etc), almost sure it is in C or C++.

charlie {l Wrote}:I'm sure I wrote an article on Free Gamer about this stuff..... I should dig it up

Searched on the blog, here it is, from 2007.

c_xong {l Wrote}:If I were to convince him, I might find a bunch of examples of successful FOSS revivals. Most of them would have started with crap code, most probably still do :D but they've all been made better due to being FOSS

dulsi {l Wrote}: If you want the code released, you need to convince him he won't be bothered with questions and that the code won't stress others

charlie {l Wrote}:"My code is a mess." So what? Nobody will judge you for it. It will have no negative impact on your life whatsoever. Worst case scenario is nobody understands it. Best case is somebody tidies it up and improves it! Nothing to lose.


Those are good points to use. I totally agree with them.


c_xong {l Wrote}:I don't think the time is right though, the most likely outcome if he opens up the project is for it to sit there dormant. It'll have to take time, for when the right contributor comes along, and for him to ditch his emotional baggage and collaborate with others

dulsi {l Wrote}:If you aren't interested or experienced enough to maintain it, an open source release will probably just languish unless someone with an interest stumbles on it


Even if I don't pick it (although I plan to at least contribute some code / project setup to it), to someone pick it someday it must be opened. If, for example, Tux Kart or Lincity weren't free-software, the former Linux Game Tome community effort to resurrect those games would never happen (even if the resulting revival projects succeed different - the first one is active today, the second, no, but maybe someday someone could pick it again... that's one of the great things of free-software after all)...

I'll try to write something and enter in contact with the author using the above arguments... Thank you all for the insights! When - and if - got a response, I'll let you know.
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Re: Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Postby charlie » 29 Sep 2016, 15:01

farrer {l Wrote}:
charlie {l Wrote}:I'm sure I wrote an article on Free Gamer about this stuff..... I should dig it up

Searched on the blog, here it is, from 2007.

Woohoo! There's hope for my memory yet. Thanks for finding it.
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Re: Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Postby Akien » 29 Sep 2016, 22:49

We all know the "My code is a mess" arguments and how little sense they make; developers just need to be explained that no, publishing source code is not exposing their private life - as charlie mentioned, worst case scenario, nobody cares.

The developer of Gameplay Football mentioned not wanting to have to help potential new developers understand his code, and other concerns along those lines. Those are IMO valid concerns, but there the solution is relatively simple too: he should open source the game, put it somewhere (e.g. on GitHub, or just a source tarball somewhere), and then unsubscribe from his own repo/make sure he won't be bothered about this dead code. If the licensing is done right from the start, then it's just yet another dead project but open source which is up for grabs. That the original developer does not want to partake in a potential community resurrection, that's fine.
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Re: Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Postby dulsi » 30 Sep 2016, 13:13

Akien {l Wrote}:If the licensing is done right from the start, then it's just yet another dead project but open source which is up for grabs. That the original developer does not want to partake in a potential community resurrection, that's fine.

The problem the developer lists on the blog about stopping development is more than just messy code. He was depressed and working on the code became stressful. He doesn't want someone else to take on the project and end of suffering like he did. You look at it as a dead project. He looks at it as a landmine laying in a field. I don't think his situation would repeat with a new developer but to get him to release the code, you may need to convince him of that.
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Re: Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Postby charlie » 30 Sep 2016, 14:26

dulsi {l Wrote}:The problem the developer lists on the blog about stopping development is more than just messy code. He was depressed and working on the code became stressful. He doesn't want someone else to take on the project and end of suffering like he did. You look at it as a dead project. He looks at it as a landmine laying in a field. I don't think his situation would repeat with a new developer but to get him to release the code, you may need to convince him of that.

Which is meaningless projection. "I made mistakes, so I'll withdraw my work so others don't make the same mistakes." Whuuuu? How can he take something as complex as his lifestyle, personality traits, personal problems, and years of time spent on a hobby and project that onto anybody else? It's insane.

It's the equivalent of saying, "This house made me unhappy and I've not been able to decorate it all these years despite remodelling the entire interior. I won't let anybody else ever live there."
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Re: Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Postby farrer » 05 Nov 2017, 20:55

The author uploaded it to github few days ago:

https://github.com/BazkieBumpercar/GameplayFootball

Under Public Doman/CC0 license, it seems.
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Gameplay Football

Postby farrer » 10 Nov 2017, 15:46

Gameplay Football is - as its names suggests - a football game focused on gameplay. It was developed by Bastiaan Schuiling from 2008-2015, and had just recently released its source code under Public Domain (CC0).

gpf.png


source: https://github.com/BazkieBumpercar/GameplayFootball
binaries: http://properlydecent.com
data files: http://properlydecent.com/data/gameplayfootball/

The license of the data files are unclear.

The game is fun as-it-is, and could also serve as a good reference / starting point for future projects (a good one would be rewrite the game to use another engine, instead of the abandoned engine it was developed on).
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Re: Gameplay Football

Postby Julius » 10 Nov 2017, 16:24

https://youtu.be/5EEThxmpB_w

Seems pretty nice indeed. Hopefully the license of the data can be clarified.
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Re: Gameplay Football - Opening an abandoned project

Postby Julius » 50 minutes ago

Merged and moved the topics.

Personally I am not into sports games, but this seems like a project worthy of a new maintainer...
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