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October 30, 2014

jMonkeyEngine

GSoC concluded and lessons learned

Our first GSoC and jMESoC adventure has come to an end. All 3 GSoC projects were successfully completed, while jMESoC got 2/4 (the other 2 never really started). Some of the students will be moving on to other projects, while others, to our great delight, have become active members of the community.

See the forum discussion thread for links to the projects.

What we’ve learned

There’s bound to be some mistakes as an administrator or mentor of GSoC the first time around. Well aware of this, we went into our first GSoC knowing full well that all we might get out of it was some cool proofs of concept and maybe a new contributor or two, along with newfound experience. It’s safe to say that this GSoC 2014 has delivered on all accounts, and then some.

Now about that newfound experience…

Students need more structure

We’re very used to working independently, and thrive as such. Students, while definitely very capable, benefit from more structure when being catapulted into a large beast like jMonkeyEngine. Mentoring sessions and weekly status reports should have been more rigorously scheduled.

The GSoC admin should be every bit as involved as the mentors

I never intended to be a as uninvolved as I was. Had I been more in the loop – doing frequent check-ins with both the mentors as well as the students – I believe we could have avoided several hiccups caused by miscommunications and lack of structure. Also some early exposure to seagull management is good for your skin.

Make sure jME plays an integral part

Some of these projects were so loosely attached to jME that a lot of the mentoring didn’t require expertise in jME at all, only Java or programming in general. Mentoring is both more fun and efficient when the project closely ties in with jME concepts at every turn.

Standardised development environments

Too much time was spent “on the clock” simply getting set up and getting to grips with key concepts like Git and SDK development. We should have formalised a proper Getting Started guide shortly after our GSoC participation was confirmed.

Grow from within and don’t start from scratch

This time around we accepted applicants based on application merit above all else. We don’t regret this decision, as we clearly picked 3 very capable students. However, by not factoring in previous experience and interest in jMonkeyEngine we made things more difficult for our students. All of the hiccups we did run into would have been greatly mitigated in the case of an existing contributor, especially when tasked with adding to a project that’s already active.

Will we apply for GSoC again next year?

Frankly, we don’t know yet. Make no mistake, GSoC is a big time investment, and if you’re out to get “free improvements” for your project, you’re probably barking up the wrong tree. To me, the single biggest win any project can come away with from GSoC is more committed contributors, so we recommend trying to grow from within.

Conclusion

GSoC is an excellent opportunity to recognise existing members of your community; developers who were already kicking your tires for no incentive other than “because they felt like it”.

We already considered prior jME knowledge when selecting students this year. If we try for GSoC again and get accepted, we will probably take this one step further. Students who have already been an active part of our community prior to GSoC or who are willing to step up and contribute to the community during the application process will be prioritised.

The projects we choose will be tied more closely into jME itself and we will make sure from the start that the work students are doing is integrated into the project as a whole. Publishing progress needs to be something that happens continuously and ideally early versions should be in use by members of the community as soon as possible to provide prompt feedback and help ensure that the end result is as useful and as well integrated as possible.

A heartfelt thanks to all our hardworking (G)SoC students! May the open source spirit grow ever stronger in your caffeine-empowered hearts!

by Erlend Sogge Heggen at October 30, 2014 05:20 PM

October 28, 2014

Castle Game Engine

Reshared post from Michalis Kamburelis:

Original Post from Michalis Kamburelis:

Frogger 3D for Android and Linux :) My 0h gamejam game, slightly extended --- with shadows, better 3D, touch support, infinite cylinders, water etc. Because I can :) Download from https://sourceforge.net/projects/castle-engine/files/frogger3d/

Source code on github: https://github.com/michaliskambi/frogger3d

October 28, 2014 04:03 AM

October 26, 2014

OpenXcom

End of the Extra Life streams

Sorry for the news spam, I’ve combined all the posts into one to clean it up. Anyways here are the final results of the Extra Life weekend stream, for those that missed it.

Total stream time: ~20 hours
Total donations: $200

Day 1 recordings, featuring various DOS games and X-COM: Terror From The Deep nightmares:

Day 2 recordings, featuring various DOS games and the less popular X-COM games – Alliance, Interceptor, Enforcer:

Highlights:

by SupSuper at October 26, 2014 09:13 PM

October 24, 2014

Spring

[misc] zero-K 2v2 Tournament - Oct. 25 2014 - Sign-up open

Monthly zero-K tourney.
Rules, bracket, sign-up, etc:
:arrow: http://zero-k.info/Forum/Thread/9816

Statistics: Posted by knorke — 24 Oct 2014, 06:31 — Replies 0 — Views 159


by knorke at October 24, 2014 05:31 AM

October 23, 2014

OpenXcom

Return of the Extra Life live stream

Extra Life is a video game marathon where gamers all around the world play games for 24h in order to raise money to support children’s hospitals. Last year we played a bunch of OpenXcom and raised a bunch of money and it was pretty cool, so I figured we’ll do it again this year!

However I am still terrible at planning things out, so take all of this with a grain of salt:

  • I’ll be streaming this weekend (25th-26th October), starting at around 3-4PM GMT each day, taking breaks for sleeping/eating/etc.
  • I’ll be playing DOS games, whatever takes people’s fancy, though it’ll probably end up being an X-COM game marathon since that’s what you guys expect from me. :P
  • I’ll have various online friends commentating with me, Warboy will show up as well when he’s available, so feel free to ask us about OpenXcom or whatever.

Here’s my Extra Life page where you can read more and donate at any time, and here’s my Twitch.tv page where I’ll be streaming. I recommend registering to Twitch so you can subscribe to be notified when I go live, and hang out in chat with all the cool kids (if you have trouble with the website, you can use their IRC).

by SupSuper at October 23, 2014 10:38 PM