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[idea] developing racing-sims as a community
12-07-2006, 08:05 AM,
#1
[idea] developing racing-sims as a community
Hello,

going through the RSC Motorsport's forum, an idea went through my mind
I wrote this post on the RSC forum, here is the link http://forum.rscnet.org/showthread.php?t=276118

---------------------------------------------------------

I try to keep it brief, so don't think any of this is exhaustive
I think it's too bad how unrelated to each other the free sims are (at least, vDrift and Motorsport) while sim-racing is supposed to be a community

here I'm listing some of the problems that this and open-source development seems to raise :

_it not very clear who is working on what. vDrift's people can't give me wrong
_we don't have any idea of what people are able or expecting to do, why they failed trying to help, and so on
_about the simulator itself, only programmers (who knows C++ very well) can really work, but what does it have to do with sim-racing itself ?
_I reckon that in order to improve the code, the programmer actually need to go through and understand a lot of code, with few or no help at all, and that might take him a discouraging amount of time
_I'm seeing much more people AROUND racing-sim development that IN it, and I reckon that's because developers are losts while others (modders, the people who make packages, ...) know what to do, where to begin and where to end
_we're reinventing the wheel many times, while the job is often very similar
_...


What I propose is :

_1 : a gathered people management. Everyone who is interested about doing something (... anything) about sim-racing is free and invited to signup and to fill some forms telling us what he can do, what he want to do, what operating systems he uses, what sim he'd prefer to work on or not, what he's actually on to, etc. ... further, we'll keep track of what he's working on
_2 : thinking standards and shared resources. It's pretty obvious why this might be annoying to commercial sims, but there is no such reason in free sims. I'm thinking tracks or cars creator tool and file formats, loaders, you name it. It doesn't mean we have to use it, but we can, and preferably easily
_3 : modularized development. Finding common needs, specify interfaces and let teams develop modules describing it apart from the rest of the sim, and that can work on several sims without touching the code. I'm keeping it short so just try to see what I mean and the way of doing it

it's quite easy to see how this points are related to each other, and I let you imagine what can go out of it


right now I propose that you, developers, modders... anyone thinking having something to propose or improve... tell me what you think about what I'm saying (problems and proposition) Wink
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12-07-2006, 10:33 PM,
#2
 
I very heartily agree with #2. I think that the free games should be able to use common resources.

#1 and #3 are related to project management and although they are nice ideas, I'm a bit pessimistic when it comes to this actually working... you have to remember, people already have day jobs, and open-source development is something that gets worked on in their free time when they have time and are in the mood. After all, I only develop free stuff in my spare time because it's fun to do. I realize it's frustrating for someone looking at the free software community, because it's all very disorganized and lax, but I argue that in general that seems to be the more successful model (how many heavily managed, regimented open-source game projects are there? I can't think of any).
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12-08-2006, 07:41 AM,
#3
 
#2 implies partly #3, because we have to work together to agree on standards and then there would be no point of separate the code; that could be a beginning

#1 can be separated in at least two points :
_just to make statistics : no constraints at all, but it can give us feedbacks
_work management and teams : ok, there are some constraints, but it could give better results, and for some people (like me) be more interesting and rewarding... it's a matter of choice. Since most parts will stay unmanaged, people keep their choice to work as they do right now

Quote:(how many heavily managed, regimented open-source game projects are there? I can't think of any)
how many open-source projects are as complex as a racing simulator ?
I'm sure as they get complex, there is some kind of management raising. For example in FlightGear, it looks like there is a lot of discussion before anyone can put his code in
http://www.flightgear.org/contributing.html
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12-12-2006, 06:41 AM,
#4
Re: [idea] developing racing-sims as a community
Nigo: I think the suggestions you make are not bad ones. The problem is figuring out how to do them, and who will do them. So, a few questions for you:
* What exactly do you suggest we do to meet these goals? Do we need better/different people management tools? If so, what?
* Are you interested in playing a major part in solving these difficult problems? How will you help? What can the rest of us do?
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12-12-2006, 07:43 AM,
#5
Re: [idea] developing racing-sims as a community
Quote:* Are you interested in playing a major part in solving these difficult problems?
if it turns out people are interested, yes, why not. But I can't do anything before January, I have lots of exams and I'm even struggling to go on the web. I don't even have time to answer the other questions :lol:

no, seriously, first of all I want opinions about that, I made that post expecting people to put whatever they had in mind, and for now no one seems to care (or dare answering, who knows), so...
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12-12-2006, 08:08 AM,
#6
Re: [idea] developing racing-sims as a community
Nigo Wrote:I can't do anything before January, I have lots of exams and I'm even struggling to go on the web. I don't even have time to answer the other questions :lol:
I know the feeling, I just finished exams for this semester. I'm so happy to have free time again...

Nigo Wrote:no, seriously, first of all I want opinions about that, I made that post expecting people to put whatever they had in mind, and for now no one seems to care (or dare answering, who knows), so...
Well, I've been working for some time now to make VDrift development more agile and this web site is part of that effort. Maybe we should start there...what could be better about the web site? What could we add? What should be cleaned up/removed?

Before we had a bug tracker but it didn't really get used, and it became pointless. I don't think we need one still. Maybe when our number of active developers doubles and we find ourselves unable to track issues effectively. So far the forum is doing just fine.

As for open source racing in general, setting up a community site is certainly possible - not much harder than setting up this site was. However in order to get other projects to help out we'll need to get them interested, recruit them so to speak. Without strong goals and good leadership the whole thing would fall apart and people will just go back to incrementally working on their personal projects at their own pace, as they do now.
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12-13-2006, 10:10 AM,
#7
 
sure I know what you mean...
sorry I don't have time to elaborate on that Tongue

for now we could use the poll system (on the first page) to ask some relevant questions (the result might not be that relevant...)
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12-13-2006, 05:18 PM,
#8
 
I've designed a few surveys before with a web survey software package called phpESP. Why not set one up and link to it in the release notes for the next version? I was thinking about this last night...here are some questions I think we should ask. Do you think we should add other questions? I have included the basic response options, please let me know if I've missed anything there. Also I'll post a link to the survey so you guys can check it out, before it goes live. Wink

General
These questions aim to gauge your opinion on open soure racing games in general.
  • Are you interested in helping develop open source racing games?
    radiobuttons: [ yes / no ]
  • Currently there is little collaboration amongs open source racing game developers. Do you feel this should change?
    radiobuttons: [ yes, more collaboration / no, not necessary ]
  • What kind of collaboration do you think that open source racing games could realistically accomplish?
    checkboxes: [ sharing game data / sharing code / sharing algorithms and design / other ]
  • How would you feel about an open source racing community site?
    checkboxes: [ not necessary / i would join it / i would help run it / i would promote it / other ]
  • If you are interested, what skills do you feel you could contribute?
    checkboxes: [ coding gameplay logic / coding physics / coding other / 3D modeling / sound creation & editing / documentation / translation / project management / user support / other ]
VDrift
The following questions are in regard to the open source racing simulation VDrift. Please make sure you've downloaded and tested the latest version (2006-12-XX) before answering this portion.
  • How do you feel about VDrift's progress so far?
    textbox
  • What do you think is the most important factor to making VDrift a successful project?
    textbox
  • What feature would you add, if you could add whatever you wanted?
    textbox
  • Are you interested in joining the VDrift development team?
    radiobuttons: [ yes / no ]
  • What do you feel you could contribute to VDrift?
    textbox
You
The following questions will be used for demographics and responses to individual survey-takers only. The information will not be used for any commercial purpose. Only the VDrift developers will have access to it. You will not be contacted unless you tell us we can. We will only contact you to discuss your responses to this survey.
  • Would you like to be contacted regarding your responses?
    radiobuttons: [ yes / no ]
  • If so, what's your email address?
    textbox
  • Please identify yourself. You can use your real name, your internet handle, or VDrift.net username. This is only for purposes of contacting you.
    textbox
  • What is your age range?
    [ under 18 / 18 - 25 / 25 - 35 / over 35 ]
  • What is your sex?
    [ male / female ]
  • What country are you from?
    textbox
  • What is your native language?
    textbox
  • Rate your English proficiency on a scale from 1 to 10:
    number select [ 1 - 10 ]
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12-14-2006, 10:59 AM,
#9
 
looks good Wink

I think "If you are interested, what skills do you feel you could contribute" could be separated in two questions, one for the simulator(s) themself (physics, gameplay, graphism, multiplayer, AI, ...) and one for the rest (3D modeling, sound sampling, packaging, testing, ...)

in "you":
your OSs (checkbox or text), with at least Windows, Linux and MacOS
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12-15-2006, 03:14 AM,
#10
 
The survey looks good to me. I think we should definately include a link to it in the next release.
About 1 of the questions:
How would you feel about an open source racing community site?
checkboxes: [ not necessary / i would join it / i would help run it / i would promote it / other ]

I think most people that are in the racing community in general are a member of rscnet.org. I personnaly think it would be good for us if we asked that we could get a seperate Vdrift section in the Mixed Car Type Simulations section, that way Vdrift would draw allot more attention I think.
If needed I can contact the admins of rscnet to ask this.
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12-15-2006, 10:17 PM,
#11
 
Not be a bad idea, although I wonder if it would make it difficult to track events on both forums.
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12-16-2006, 07:06 AM,
#12
 
Joe, think of it as a "extra" forum, over there we can make release announcements and other pr stuff. So stories that are posted here can be copied in there with a link to vdrift.net Wink
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12-21-2006, 09:04 AM,
#13
 
I think the RSCnet idea isn't a bad one. At least it's a good place to start. I'll post a link to the survey when it's set up.
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12-21-2006, 09:38 PM,
#14
 
All the stuff I've heard so far sounds good to me and I'll support it as long as other people want to lead the charge.
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