State of the project

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ShaiShap
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Hello everyone, I'm in the process of launching a new blog about FOSS games, and I'm trying to get some idea of the status and future plans of some of the most mature FOSS game projects (starting with side-scrolling games as a pilot). I see HedgeWars has reached version 1 and is looking very good, so assuming the game creators are still here, I wanted to ask:

1. Do you consider the project done, or do you still have any plans for further development? Or perhaps another project?

2. If the project is done, would you be interested in sharing some tips or information about how you did it? A game reaching version 1 and reaching a level of quality comparable with its commercial counterparts is quite rare in the FOSS world, so I'd be very interested in hearing your opinion about what made it work for you and how it might be replicated in other projects.

I don't know exactly how the organizational structure of this project looks, I'd be happy to hear opinions of anyone involved in the development of this game, or even people not directly involved but who have some interest in the topic.

Shadow_The_Worm
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Joined: 2018-02-10
Posts: 27

ShaiShap allegedly wrote:

Hello everyone, I'm in the process of launching a new blog about FOSS games, and I'm trying to get some idea of the status and future plans of some of the most mature FOSS game projects (starting with side-scrolling games as a pilot). I see HedgeWars has reached version 1 and is looking very good, so assuming the game creators are still here, I wanted to ask:

1. Do you consider the project done, or do you still have any plans for further development? Or perhaps another project?

2. If the project is done, would you be interested in sharing some tips or information about how you did it? A game reaching version 1 and reaching a level of quality comparable with its commercial counterparts is quite rare in the FOSS world, so I'd be very interested in hearing your opinion about what made it work for you and how it might be replicated in other projects.

I don't know exactly how the organizational structure of this project looks, I'd be happy to hear opinions of anyone involved in the development of this game, or even people not directly involved but who have some interest in the topic.


Okay, let's get this straight. The Hedgewars game is stable, but it doesn't mean that it's done. Besides, it'll never be truly done, there's always room for improvement and this game's open source nature provides daily chances of more and more content through the DLC. The only thing that this game lacks is a big playerbase. However, I'm trying to work on this issue. I invite my fellow friends and related Discord server members to this game to help its playerbase grow. While there's not much try-outs over there, I still don't losr hope and I stay determined for the bigger, brightier future of this quality Worms clone/inspired game. I'd rather give my dedication to community management of something with great potentional but low population. This is something... legendary, something worth the respect, worth the effort, worth everything. I don't want to see this Worms-inspired project die in the ashes and dust of its kind of toxic commerical monopoly counterpart - Worms Armageddon. I want it to rise among the ranks of Worms in general. And I'll do my best to achieve this goal.

Wuzzy
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Joined: 2012-06-20
Posts: 1271

Hi. I'm one of the main developers of Hedgewars. FYI, I joined the project fairly late, but I did make lots of work an also pushed hard to make version 1.0.0 happen.

Note I am currently almost completely inactive in Hedgewars development as I am more obsessed with other projects at the moment. But I still intend to return one day. I have not forgotten Hedgewars.

So, I'm now answering your questions. Note these are my personal opinions, so ask the other devs as well. :P

Quote:
1. Do you consider the project done, or do you still have any plans for further development? Or perhaps another project?

Both yes and no. First, I consider it "done" in the sense of "version 1.0.0", the first "truly" stable version that we can proudly present to players as an actual game. Hedgewars is no longer a beta version, and in that sense, Hedgewaws is absolutely "done" / "finished".

But I also do not consider it "done" in the sense that this is the end of the line. There are still many ideas I want to apply. For example, here are a few of my personal goals:

  • Greatly expand on singleplayer content. Basically more campaigns and missions, and also make the whole singleplayer menus more structured. This is my most important goal. Singleplayer in 1.0.0 is okay, but I feel there is so much more potential.
  • Some sort of medal system for the singleplayer mode
  • Work on the technical debt that Hedgewars has. A big thing would be combining the main menu window with the game window, this was something that annoyed all devs forever Big Grin
  • Scale the in-game HUD. Very important for huge screens, because currently the teambars and other things are almost unreadable
  • Make a damn release again, we had none for over 2 years by now ... Sad Smiley

Quote:
2. If the project is done, would you be interested in sharing some tips or information about how you did it? A game reaching version 1 and reaching a level of quality comparable with its commercial counterparts is quite rare in the FOSS world, so I'd be very interested in hearing your opinion about what made it work for you and how it might be replicated in other projects.

Thanks for the kind words! ^_^

Anyway, the way how we did the 1.0.0 release is pretty embarrassing, actually. It was a long and painful way, required us to first resolve a lot of ancient and annoying bugs that had to be fixed. Probably the hardest bug that stood in the way for 1.0.0 was about controls. Hedgewars interpreted your key config wrong for any keyboard that was not QWERTY, which was very annoying and not worthy of a 1.0.0. Big Grin I was SO happy when I finally fixed this terrible terrible bug.
Of course, we have a bugtracker to keep track of all bugs, we can't do without one. Having a bugtracker is a no-brainer. Of course, we also use version control. But we use Mercurial, not Git, but this doesn't really matter, it's very similar. Version control is also standard across the board, no big surprise here.

We are blessed with a lot of cool artwork, which is nice. We have some artistic guidelines that was written by one of the earliest artists, but most of the art is done by different artists that has accumulate over the years. It's still great to have that graphical coherence. Ask sheepluva to learn more.

The hardest part in every release is actually creating the executables, the downloadable archives themselves is the most painful aspect because some particular people have to show up to do the "build a package" thing for Windows and macOS and this is easier said than done. But once that was out of the way, the rest was relatively easy. But it still can take months only for the right people to show up because only they know how to actually make a release for Windows/macOS. It's extremely embarrassing and not something that any FOSS project should imitate.

We also don't do regular releases which is also a problem and probably a big reason why every release is so painful. This is NOT a source of inspiration for other FOSS projects. Big Grin

But miracles happen and we still manage to do releases, it just takes extremely long after we decided to make one. That having said, it's high time Hedgewars has another release, it's been over 2 years! But don't get too excited yet, there probably won't be a huge number of features this time.

Thankfully, we do have a Release TODO list which tells us which things need to be done for a release. So the release process is not THAT chaotic. You can read it here: https://www.hedgewars.org/kb/Releasing
This TODO list contains many important but easy things like updating the README, but everything is easy to forget. I think most FOSS projects should have such a release TODO list or something similar.

Quote:
I don't know exactly how the organizational structure of this project looks, I'd be happy to hear opinions of anyone involved in the development of this game, or even people not directly involved but who have some interest in the topic.

Well, it's very simple. UnC0rr is the founder, he hosts pretty much everything (website, bugtracker, gameserver), I guess. Without unC0Rr, there would be no Hedgewars. Then we have the main developers (of which unC0Rr is part of) who are allowed to commit to Hedgewars directly (like me). A small number of people have editing rights for the wiki and/or HWKB, I don't know who. But I think the wiki is basically complete anyway. If anyone wants wiki edit rights, ask the other devs (try the chatroom).

Everyone else has to send in patches/files for the main developers to review. Apart from that, there's little "organization" around this project.

And actually, this is all very informal, I would not call it a real "organization". Also note we differ from proprietary software companies because there is always the option of a fork, if things go south. Not that I expect a fork to happen anytime soon, because things are OK right now.

Finally, an easy way to contribute indirectly that does not need our approval at all is by making addons. Hedgewars has a nice add-on system using so-called HWP files. Missions, campaigns, multiplayer scripts, graves, hats, flags and even total conversions can be done with this. You can share the addons with anyone, of course. Approval is only needed if you want to get stuff appear in the DLC section.

Hi, I am a Hedgewars developer. Smile

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