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I'd Like To Help.. What Isn't Being Done Already?


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#1 aedaren

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:06 PM

Hello all! Just utterly wiped out the martian base on superhuman with no casualties, and after almost going through withdrawals, I decided to give google a go again on a multiplayer version of xcom.

I found your beautiful game, and I'm very excited.

I wondered if I could help with the code/planning a bit. I'm a web developer with some experience in both C++ and Lua (what is it you're coding this in?), and I also have a good amount of game design experience (in the sense of rules development). I've written several tabletop games, and I really enjoy it.

So, what needs to be done? I know the development team has specifics earmarked, and I'd be interested in seeing if there's anything I can take on.

Thanks!

#2 Sporb

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:43 PM

Thanks for taking an interest dude, its always cool to get people who liked the game so much they are willing to pitch in and help. Stuff to do can be found mainly on the bugtracker: http://ufo2000.xcomu...ll_bug_page.php

#3 Serge

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 12:45 PM

So, what needs to be done?  I know the development team has specifics earmarked, and I'd be interested in seeing if there's anything I can take on.

Sporb already pointed you to our bugtracker. So I'll try to be more specific. I don't know if anybody besides me is actively working on the code right now. I'm trying to work on:
1. Improving modding capabilities using lua scripting with recently implemented #398, and probably moving to modding units #387
2. Fixing bugs by primarily using statistics collected at http://ufo2000.xcomufo.com/results.php (the game contains a built-in bugreporting system which can send crash reports to the server)
3. Trying to ensure portability of the game to the following platforms: amd64, macos, nokia770

So as you see, actually I'm not working on adding any really user visible features right now. As for the tasks, there are really lots of other things that can improve the game. Some of the bigger tasks are:
1. Improve usability by implementing better looking user friendly GUI, especially in the mission planner screen
2. Implement some basic strategy part with UFO interception and base management for future single player mode
3. ...

Based on your web development experience, maybe the most interesting thing for you to work on would be:
http://ufo2000.xcomu...view.php?id=164

By the way, read the following thread first http://www.xcomufo.c...topic=242024959 in order not to become disappointed. And I hope you have already read https://svn.sourcefo...0/trunk/HACKING. As you have experience in planning and desigining, maybe you can suggest something how to improve the development process. Free open source development seems quite different from what I have at my work, so I'm trying to figure out the best development model here, probably not very successfully so far.
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#4 aedaren

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 08:08 AM

Thanks for the info Serge... I laughed at the OOP thread. I'm pretty hard-line OOP myself, so I'll be trying to stick to that.

I'll need to think about what I want to do. I'm not necessarily more interested in coding a web piece, but in doing something I haven't before (that's what makes programming fun, isn't it?). However, if it's a high priority, I'd be happy to do it sometime.

In fact, my philosphy on web development is to avoid it whenever possible: always use a wiki or a blog instead of a built-from-scratch website, always use a prewritten script instead of making your own. Rewriting it is usually a waste of time :).

I'll try to get back to you later today or tomorrow. It's going to take me some time to get brushed up on C++ (never written anything major in it) and to get rolling... but I hope I keep interest in the project and can help out ...

Thanks again!

#5 Sporb

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 08:43 AM

it would be really nice to have a nice map editing suite

hint hint :D

Edited by Sporb, 28 June 2006 - 08:43 AM.


#6 aedaren

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 09:06 AM

it would be really nice to have a nice map editing suite

hint hint


I agree :) But I can't start with that.. There'd be nothing more useless that to start something like that then change my mind.. I'll think about it :)

#7 emb

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 01:13 PM

I changed my username (new account) to emb (The Evil Midnight Bomber what Bombs at midnight, from "The Tick").

I'm trying to resolve a minor issue... just to get some experience...

The bug url is:

http://ufo2000.xcomu...view.php?id=513

I need a little help... do people regulary check the bug comments?

#8 Serge

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 02:28 PM

Thanks for the info Serge... I laughed at the OOP thread.  I'm pretty hard-line OOP myself, so I'll be trying to stick to that.

Well, that's not about OOP, which is good itself when used reasonably. The problem raised there is code quality, though it is really too exaggerated. All the code aint that bad :) Just searching for several worse looking parts of code and making conclusions is not right.

But he has the point, though I don't know how to solve this issue better. Accepting all the patches may reduce code quality, and it actually does sometimes. Rejecting patches will turn away potential contributors and slows down development. Trying to follow either of these extremes seems to be bad in the real world.

I'll need to think about what I want to do.  I'm not necessarily more interested in coding a web piece, but in doing something I haven't before (that's what makes programming fun, isn't it?). 

As you mentioned that, it's exactly one of the characteristics of open source development: you can't force people to do what they do not like. And it makes long term detailed planning almost useless.

Edited by Serge, 28 June 2006 - 02:29 PM.

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#9 emb

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 07:41 AM

Yeah, that guy was nuts. I found the code, although not organized as I would've done it, to be very reasonable. With a good multiple-file search you can navigate around really easily. Even though I've been away from C++ for years (prob 8) it was easy to pick it up. I guess I was just relieved at how easy it is compared to C.

About keeping the code clean and consistent: I don't really know how to do it. I've never been involved in an open source project before, so I'll have to do more before I can suggest anything. The only thing I can think of now is that when a patch is submitted, you personally (or have some other self-sacrificing soul assigned) not only test it, but rewrite it in the proper style and cleanly. It'd take a lot of time.

Hey, I just decided to work on the mod distribution system..> If you wouldn't mind helping me figure it out :) I have some ideas I want to bounce off of someone.

http://ufo2000.xcomu...view.php?id=164

Edited by emb, 29 June 2006 - 07:42 AM.


#10 emb

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 08:08 AM

What are you thinking for the geoscape mode? Are you going to make it just like the original xcom? How will that fit into the current way you create squads?

Maybe you could point me to some threads on the topic.

#11 Sporb

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 09:47 PM

i dont think the geoscape has any use so far, personally i think we should get all the kinks worked out of the engine first - we still have the nade-hitting-roof bug on the top floor and there are lots of other small niggles hangining round

#12 emb

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 10:05 PM

Oh, like it bounces off the glass ceiling on the 4th floor? Nice :)

#13 Sporb

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 11:15 PM

Oh, like it bounces off the glass ceiling on the 4th floor?  Nice :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

exactly, its a pain when you accidentally blow an entire building full of your own men to heck when you really meant to level the enemy building their snipers are killing you all from.