Current development status

Current development status

Postby Akien » 05 Nov 2018, 11:28

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 :)
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Re: Current development status

Postby Danimal » 20 Nov 2018, 18:42

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.
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Re: Current development status

Postby Vandar » 27 Nov 2018, 22:05

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!
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Re: Current development status

Postby Danimal » 28 Nov 2018, 19:11

Thanks Vandaar, things are looking a bit brighter rigth now for me, lets hope it keeps that way.
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Re: Current development status

Postby charlie » 29 Nov 2018, 11:40

I hope to see OpenDungeons go further. Hopefully you guys get back into it.
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Re: Current development status

Postby Croixce » 30 Sep 2019, 22:12

I was thinking earlier today that I'd like to be involved with something Open Source, something I was actually passionate about and what that might be....and Dungeon Keeper sprang to mind. I've seen Open Source versions of a great many games and as my childhood favourite it seemed an obvious choice. Naturally I assumed someone must have started something like this already....

One quick google later and here I am. It's been a few years since I programmed in C++ though I used to do it full time. I was excited when I found the project but it seemed that it has been abandoned (or left inactive as Akien says). Before I get myself all excited and dive into re-learning C++ and immersing myself into this project, is there anyone else here still around? I don't think I'd be able to stick with it very long if I felt there was no point.

Looking forward to hearing from anyone at all, and great job so far. Even if this is as far as OpenDungeons goes, you should all be proud.
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Re: Current development status

Postby Julius » 02 Oct 2019, 11:20

I think the problem of this project is that it came up when there wasn't a DK like game for a long time and people were excited about a new take on it... but a few years later there where several big kickstarter campaigns for modern takes on the DK genre and now there are actually plenty of (non-open source) options to choose from.
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Re: Current development status

Postby dulsi » 02 Oct 2019, 12:37

Welcome Croixce. I haven't played Dungeon Keeper myself although I saw my friends play it at times. My suggestion is to try out OpenDungeons. I don't know it's current state. You may find what is available fun. If you find some things that you want are missing try to implement them. Sometimes one person putting some work into a project can inspire others. If you decide it is not for you, you can always move on.

I see a Dungeon Keeper 2 remake. osgameclones lists it as unplayable but maybe that is old or the work to a playable state isn't that large. That one requires the commercial game files.
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Re: Current development status

Postby Bertram » 02 Oct 2019, 13:16

Hey there,

Welcome Croixce!

I'm actually one of those who took on the project OpenDungeons back then, making things from the new UI to some system part refactors out of it.
Hwoarangmy has also made himself a core contributor of it, making a working cross-platform networking part (that alone is so cool), a fog of war, modd system, ... and we had a lot of fun playing our very first WAN battles together along with Akien, for instance.
Akien also helped and let's not forget all the artists around, Danimal and Eugeneloza IIRC and plenty others. (Sorry Oyvind, I didn't even talk about you, well you know I'm evil.)

I bet we made some good choice, some bad, but all in all, the game is rather enjoyable as for me.

Hwoarangmy went back to real life I guess, while Akien moved on with a very little and not famous project named Godot (which I dare you telling correctly) ;), and I moved back to ValyriaTear.

All that long introduction to say that you should feel free to dive in this (if you're interested) and see what you like, dislike about it. Then if you're still interested, we still have a look at patches from time to time (Akien and Oyvind even more than me), and that you should really start small.

All the best, :)
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Re: Current development status

Postby Danimal » 03 Oct 2019, 19:19

Hi Croixe, the game already had a lot of the core basics integrated, like particles, creatures skills and needs, not so bad opponent AI, fog of war and digging, caging enemies (and starving them into skeletons), easy to integrate new 3d models for new terrain or creatures (by text tougth)... it just needs more polising and some love. If you have a swim in the forum you will see there are many resources that were ready to be integrated with little effort but didnt, like new background music or sounds. 3D models are a different beast, those take lots of work to get ready and most of the current ones are actually lacking, i guess going for more simple cartoony models would be a smart choice. Also, i never quite liked the perpective and screen size ratio.

I migth still jump back if you retake the project, but as a minor contributor for now.
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