A Whiff of Steam: what is it about?

The LövelyRPG project, a community initiative aiming to create an open source role playing game.

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A Whiff of Steam: what is it about?

Post by giniu »

You found yourself reading "A Whiff of Steam" community project subforum. You might wonder what it is about, and this topic is here to give you answer. You will find here very brief history and some pointers to how we do stuff. Also, you will find here some further reading if we get you interested. If you want to get into action quickly, there are some links:
  • github project page - there is repo, tickets and simple wiki which we don't use too often.
  • github organization - we use organization to host and organize project access.
  • we also have web page - but we prefer to write stuff here on forum, especially when we got our subforum!
  • current documentation (.pdf) - if you want to contribute make sure to read focus document (2 pages only!) and look at contribution guide & project rules (appendix B).
  • current work-in-progress (v. 7) version of iteration 2, prototype 1 (.love) - current state, still needs some work to finish this iteration, but you can already move using keyboard (wsad or arrows) and mouse (click), zoom in&out and there is also simple map editor. We know about most bugs in it and we aim to fix them soon.
  • finished iteration 1 of prototype 1 (.love) - quite old, better use WIP of iteration 2, it's here for historical purpose.
  • our Google profile - we used google wave for meetings, now we only use google docs
  • our Twitter (sorry, we don't tweet too often, it was connected to codaset page before we moved to github to auto-tweet updates, we did not connected it yet)
  • You can also find us on freenode, on #love and #love-lyrpgcommunity (our own channel, it replaced our google wave account)
  • Of course, we have our subforum, but I don't have to tell you that because you are here already!
Now, back to explaining.

"A Whiff of Steam" is RPG game that we aim to create. By we, I mean the community, because this is community project. Our project, also named "LövelyRPG project" started in topic Making LÖVE together!. After short discussion it was decided to let the community tell us what game we will make. We used "10 questions to focus" methodology and asked 10 questions to community by creating polls and gathering results. We summed it up and formed out two pages focus document out of it and asked the community again if it's cool. After adding some final touches from user feedback, we had our goal. We created the project page, published the documentation and decided to make the game owned by community. To obtain this, we decided to publish all stuff on Lovely Public Community License (LPCL) Version 1.3f. That way, if any developer decided to step away from project, the project will continue as long as community is interested in it. And because the focus was decided through majority of votes, we hope for maximized interest, because community interest is the sole thing that keeps us going!

The development itself is divided into iterated prototypes. We start with certain functionality, divide it logically into iterations and prototype it. Currently, we are working on second iteration of first prototype. First prototype aims to create hero moving trough the world. The prototype is divided into 5 iterations. First iteration, already done, aimed at displaying the map only. Iteration 2 (almost ready) adds hero and collision-less foliage/items. Iteration 3 adds collisions and iteration 4 makes it possible to enter buildings. Final iteration, numbered 5, will include multiple floors and moving between them. We are not making design before creating prototypes. We design during creating prototypes. We are not afraid to restart from time to time. Making a working prototype allows us to see issues we couldn't predict before actually coding working feature. So yes, we write the code design after finishing prototype - when we are happy with features, we can concentrate on looking for efficient way to code it. That way, by iterating the work and code design, we should be able to create really polished and optimized code. Same goes for gameplay features, like battle system. We will start low, then add features until we are happy, then polish, tweak and document. Most probably, as a side effect of each prototype we will create a fragment of library that final game will run on.

Because of small number of developers currently involved and lack of free time, we decided to meet every 1-2 week on weekend and perform coding or design sprints, from late evening to last man standing. We found out that it's most efficient way to work when there are troubles with finding time for day-to-day work. We meet on our IRC channel and start from there. As always, all who wants to become contributor are welcomed. Though we recommend reading trough the documentation first. To make sure, we prefer contributions in form of github pull requests, but we accept other forms also. And make sure to talk with us first, on IRC, here on forum or trough PM - you might end up doing something that someone else is working, your time is too precious to waste it on doubling stuff!

If we are on the documentation, there are multiple sections. First, most important part is Focus, it's 2 pages document describing what we shouldn't change about the game, and what was decided 100% by community. There is possibility to change the focus, but it requires separate decision process - there has to be some developers agreement that the change is doable, and new poll has to be made with old option and new, proposed option. We already seen such poll, when the talk about changing projection from trimetric to dimetric occurred. Later, there is story started, but because our writer gone missing we created story contest. We still wait for winner to provide the entry in form we can merge in, so you can skip it for now. Later, in Appendix A comes the history. There are listed all questions that were asked, and other historic informations. Appendix B contains contribution guide and project rules. Finally, in Appendix C we have full license, and Appendix D contains detailed revision history, showing who did what in repository, with dates and revision numbers.

I think I put some light on our goals and how we work. I hope we will be getting continued support from community in form of contributions, this project is too big for any single team to complete, but together as a community, we can do it! Together we can create really good, complex and big open source game, and it will be Lövely!!! :ultrahappy:

Oh, and tell us what you think about it :)

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