When should a free software game project be considered dead?

When should a free software game project be considered dead?

Postby Jastiv » 27 Dec 2018, 22:52

I understand in the proprietary world that a project can die, and then all the assets can basically be thrown out never to be used again in anything (or reused if the company owning them decides to but I understand a lot of times they are just thrown out.)
On the other hand in the free software world, even if no one has worked on a game for years and years and the original developers are actually dead, it doesn't follow that the project can never be brought back, and assets, and even code can be reused.
So, what exactly distinguishes a "dead" project from a "live" one.

I have tried to come up with some guidelines that arn't always useful.
Projects that have no commits within a certain time frame and have no active forum community where one can receive help are dead.
Live projects have at least one active developer.

I'm not exactly sure what the time frame should be to be considered for an active project, I've considered anything from one month (might be too short) to one year (probably way too long) to be considered inactive.
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Re: When should a free software game project be considered d

Postby eugeneloza » 28 Dec 2018, 05:49

I guess that every game project needs "two legs" to live - players (feedback) and developers (commits). Take away one and the other will fail soon too.
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Re: When should a free software game project be considered d

Postby dulsi » 29 Dec 2018, 01:51

If the project can't be built it is dead. It can be revived but until that is done no one can experience the game (unless binaries are available and still work).
A project that is complete and not developed further does not count as dead to me. For example I got Ostrich Riders up and running with current libraries. I'm not currently doing work on it but I wouldn't consider it dead even if I do nothing because it is a complete and usable game.
Otherwise it needs a certain level of activity. I don't have suggestions for what that level should be. I will say I think an active developer is more important than an active community. While a developer can improve a project and attract a community, it is a lot harder for a community to acquire a developer.
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Re: When should a free software game project be considered d

Postby mdtrooper » 31 Dec 2018, 13:21

Never. If somebody can find a game source code (although this source code was not the last), she/he could resurrect it.

There was a old post in this forum, it is similar to this post: What FLOSS game do you want that it returns from cemetery?
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Re: When should a free software game project be considered d

Postby Wuzzy » 11 Jan 2019, 20:11

A free software project is dead when all copies of its code and data have been erased from the universe. Not before.
Got too many bitcoins? I gladly take them: 17fsUywHxeMHKG41UFfu34F1rAxZcrVoqH :-)
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Re: When should a free software game project be considered d

Postby Julius » 12 Jan 2019, 09:22

Very idealistic responses ;)

I think a project is dead when the main developer stops contributing and there is no-one to take up the task (example Stunt Rally).
Yes, it could be revived, but as it stands the project is dead.
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