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Author Topic: the state of the project  (Read 6271 times)
Q_x
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« on: July 21, 2011, 02:01:14 PM »

I'm not sure if there is anyone to address this personally, I can't catch no one on the chat to start any discussion, so I thought I'll post it here.

It looks like the project is deteriorating with time, despite us all trying hard. We have no working download/compile instructions, we have very little visible progress made since the first techdemo (March 2010) - I know it's not the kind of progress we are looking for and you guys are working on the game framework, but still I think it's going forwards in one field and backwards in all the other same time
Programming, writing and graphics department members are focused on tasks outside of their departments (and/or looking for jobs), and I'm trying to do anything in GUI prototyping field (being slowed by job I still had no time or will to read the documentation throughly). I think we all have forgotten that there are needed such trivial things like sound effects, thousands of icons, items, people, animals, terrains and so on. And management.

Not only we do things that are outside of what we do best, loosing time and energy - overall crew count is very low. Coding seems to go slowly. We lack 3D sculptor and animator. We lack working game development kit, it seems to me like we don't even have data structures planned to build the toolset upon it.
It's not about motivating you (all) to work harder. Actually saying that I think we are in bad shape is kinda the opposite.

I wrote that already - I have nothing against learning new skills, this is why I actually joined the team. I just can't make pixelart, backgrounds, retouch 3D renderings, plan, prototype and make real GUI, do 3D animations, sound effects, project management, crew recruitment and so on, effectively. I think no one can, and no one should... Not that I'm against doing that - it's just I like real life activities way more than actually sitting and typing or drawing or reading manuals - that is learning hardest possible way. Some things... I'm unable to do well.

Working on the game in parallel to my day to day work, with a girl that is sewing a lot on the same table I'm sitting by is cruel but real way of me being active here.
I guess if I had my hands busy, I will less likely write such posts. But what I have to do requires at least whole week of preparations, so I'm pushing starting it forward and forward.

I'm wondering if there is anything we can do to keep the development going as fast as it used to was. Do you have any ideas? How to make the project healthy, good-looking, attractive? I think the idea behind the game is quite good and fresh, we also have quite stable foundation in terms of hosting and engine, yet still - is it lack of luck? Bad-looking main page? Lack of playable binnaries/packages? I'm completely clueless.
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Technomage
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 09:41:46 PM »

Q_x is right on all counts - project structure, as is, isn't working. On mobile, so I'll , elaborate later, but here's my take. Project needs full-time developers - part-time volunteers just isn't enough any more. It worked in the past because barra was able to take on a huge number of responsibilities and dedicate tons of time to the project, but we can't reasonably expect anyone to volunteer that much time and effort. PARPG is now a huge project as well which needs a full-time staff.

We had an offer to provide full-time developers a few months ago - forgot the name of the organization. Maybe we should consider it.
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rowanthepreacher
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2011, 12:35:26 AM »

It's the coders and artists  that are in short supply. We writers have the fort pretty well held, and design will go smoothly once the background work is done. If that organisation has programmers going spare, then let's use them. That's what's holding the project up right now. IF any of you know how to get in touch with good programmers, do it. Part-time can still work. We'll just need more of them.
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Q_x
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2011, 07:53:25 AM »

http://indieopia.com/ is the place. I guess it's still during takeoff.

As for the crew that's missing, Rowan, I think you put too many duties into one bag - that is "programmers" and "artists" are pretty wide terms here.

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rowanthepreacher
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 01:28:48 PM »

True, but I didn't feel like typing out "GUI artists, 3d designers, character designers, concept artists..." etcetera, nor did I want to do the same for programmers. But I think we need more of every branch of artist and programmer.
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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2011, 12:03:07 PM »

Sorry for the late reply lads.

I'm focusing on my studies right now as I'll have the first of my final exams in about two weeks. Right now I can't spend any time on the project as I'm pretty much occupied and I don't want to make any empty promises to commit to the project before I'm fully healthy again.

I'll be around and watching the project and if there are small tasks that I could take care of, I'll definately try my best to tackle these. However I can't play a leading role in the project right now and prolly for the next months to come.
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rowanthepreacher
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2011, 10:05:10 PM »

It's ok. We're not exactly at full steam, but this time it's more a case of people than of leadership. Better to have no barra now and awesome barra later than awesome barra now and no barra ever after Cheesy
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freegamer
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2011, 05:59:26 AM »

1. Get compile instructions up.  Make it easy for new people to get started with a fresh checkout
This should be an absolute priority.  Build instructions should never be out of date.

2. Plan for a new release as soon as possible.
That's new release, not new features.  Make a release with what you have.  Only fix blockers or low hanging fruit.

At this point you'll have more interest in the project.

3. Identify the most critical things required for moving the project forward.  Keep tasks as simple and small as possible.  Find out what is going to be most beneficial to building momentum.  If there's a bottleneck in the pipeline for getting content in to the game, work on that.

4. Prioritize fixing bugs over new features.

/0.02c
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shevegen
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 08:49:30 PM »

First off, I am kind of back, sort of. After the death of a family member and a crashing company, things are a bit better again. I don't have the time to lead a project on my own though, but I can contribute here and there.

Now to what Q_x said. I don't know the current state, but if I look back at the time when I was the most active (and the forum seemed more active too), I think we actually made most progress when we tried to get two simple quests done.

Why is that my opinion? Because:

- (a) We felt that there was real progress being done (the artwork, work on the scripting stuff and so on)
- (b) We saw what we lacked as we continued (Quest Dialog stuff... it all became way too complicated)
- (c) We used the wiki a lot to document things.

I think we should focus on the quests again and make these the main area of work. Even if we decide to remove quests lateron, it has a good positive incentive on the overall structure of the project.

I felt there was a too big division into departments before. The departments did not know what to do, and often this meant they became less and less active. And that frustrates everyone.

> It looks like the project is deteriorating with time, despite us all trying hard.

I think a clear vision is required. And it has to stay simple.

We have so many ideas in how to make the game realistic and complex, but while we discuss things, we do not progress on the little things at all.

> We have no working download/compile instructions

This can easily change when the project becomes more active.

> we have very little visible progress made since the first techdemo (March 2010)

That is sad to hear. I really think the quest approach was the best, but I dont know what happened in the last year much.

> Programming, writing and graphics department members are focused on tasks outside of their departments

I think the department structure as-is- does not work as planned. We should change it slightly, in that ALL departments focus on ONE EASY vision. And the easier to reach, the better, while still progressing with the game.

We could pick one new quest, and declare the two other quests as "finished enough". We can continue on these later.

What kind of quest could it be? A combat quest perhaps. Everyone likes to use a weapon and hit on something. We can keep this really simple ... a raider quest. Or a murderer in the village ... or something else. Or the Actor murders someone, and something then happens as a result. Whatever.


> I think we all have forgotten that there are needed such trivial things like sound effects, thousands
> of icons, items, people, animals, terrains and so on. And management.

Yes but I think if we have a basic goal to pursue, these things will slowly come as a side effect. Even if it is just crappy sounds...

We need to move on.


Last but not least, is everyone fine if we make a poll, with several options, and try how to continue to get PARGP rolling again?

Apparently my pick would be to "focus on quest implementations and continue from there" but we could use more options too.
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Q_x
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2011, 09:06:23 AM »

Quick wrap-up of what has been done:
you can make beer.
We did some GUI stuff

There is ongoing or left unfinished refactoring going on (Technomage)
There is new GUI lib hooked in (probably unfinished, there is maybe waiting, maybe applied patch to FIFE that should enable librocket without much fiddling)
Beliar is working with hooking things together using grease framework


Could we maybe PM programmers and ask for more detailed information during meeting?
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shevegen
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2011, 06:49:33 PM »

I just noticed something while working on the Wiki ...

We have some NPCs but all of them are unfinished.

How is the state of the NPCs in PARPG?

What could be done is to describe the NPC once, and use the same information everywhere.

Example:

NPC Q_x is 40 years old:

age: 40

That would only have to be stored once ... in the long run. Do we have this available in PARPG already? And if so, where could it be stored ... (will try to ask Beliar)
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dracre
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2011, 10:57:19 PM »

What's up? I've been away for some months, anything new? And by new I mean actual development, not just concept art and writing.
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rowanthepreacher
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2011, 12:51:29 AM »

Awww. We don't count?

Well, yes, there's been a bit of progress. You'll have to grab Beliar for the full details, since if you only want to know the technical stuff, he's the only one with the requisite knowledge.
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shevegen
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2011, 10:00:38 PM »

Quote
What's up? I've been away for some months, anything new? And by new I mean actual development, not just concept art and writing.

Beliar is the most active coder. He is working on stuff, so yes there were some new things. Look at the wiki for that.

Yes, progress is a bit slow ... I myself still focus on Wiki and IRC the most (and then the forum)
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