Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: openarena and the modding community  (Read 11581 times)
white haired boy
Half-Nub


Cakes 0
Posts: 84

Member


« on: December 30, 2006, 06:13:19 AM »

hello all,

i thought i'd start a discussion on openarena and it's potential modding community. openarena isn't a little project anymore and i think the addition of bots is going to make it even bigger now that people without fast internet connections can play the game too. with no disrespect to nexuiz i believe that openarena, with the ioquake3 engine, will be the major player in gpl 3d gaming.

i've noticed a lot of posts from people who are interested in changing the gameplay and taking openarena in different directions. these posts are normally met with a fairly lukewarm reception and it wasn't until leileilol said in a recent post - "For the sake of compatibility, the gameplay will be as vanilla as possible" that i understood why. i hadn't realised that this was the policy, but it makes good sense. the ioquake3 engine team have the same philosophy, they let other people take their work and use it as the basis of more experimental engines, but they stick to maintaining compatability with the original game. if openarena is operating on the same policy then it should ensure that there won't be any problems with openarena and ioquake3 heading in different directions and incompatabilities creeping in.

now that i understand the thinking behind the openarena project a bit better i'm seeing it's future in a different light. i'd been under the impression that openarena would evolve into something way more complex, but now i'm seeing it as the solid foundation from which a new generation of gpl mods/games can evolve. the obvious equivalent is the original halflife, which spawned a huge amount of mods, some of which evolved into seperate games in their own right.

with this in mind, might it be worth adding a "modding" section to the forum? somewhere where people who want to make GPL mods for openarena can get together and exchange ideas. i think it would ease the current situation where the people who just want to work on openarena have to wade through a load of posts that don't interest them and the people who turn up with ideas for heading in new directions leave feeling a bit rejected. if the two groups could live side by side then their collective knowledge and experience could be pooled together instead of fragmented across the internet. a lot of what modders make will be of no use to the openarena project, but there are many areas of mutual interest, like maps, models, music and sounds.

it might also be worth laying out some kind of "mission statement" for openarena and having it prominently displayed on the forum page so that people visiting for the first time will understand the thinking behind the project and will know whether what they have in mind would be more suitable for openarena or the modding section.

white haired boy.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 06:16:43 AM by white haired boy » Logged
MilesTeg
Lesser Nub


Cakes 0
Posts: 144



« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2006, 08:13:25 AM »

I don't know how leileilol thinks about this, but from my perspective the project needs to split the releases in vanilla oa (= the lightweight q3 replacement) and oa enhanced (the oa with much more models, textures, maps and integrated mods).

Everything else would slow down the expansion of the game.
So in the end there would be three groups:
1. vanilla oa: concentrate on the creation of a q3 replacement
2. oa enhanced: making the game the best possible quake3 gaming expierience
3. oa enhanced mods: If people have completely new ideas in terms of gameplay etc. they can create mods that will be included in the oa enhanced mod. This group also has the posibility to use all the content from oa enhanced.

One important reason for oa-e and oa-e mods is that both could better benefit from eachother. If a modder is working on a new map he most propably will have to create now textures. The textures can now be directly included in the main oa enhanced game so other mods could benefit from it and we wouldn't have unneccessary duplicates.

I think it is cruxial for the project if we discuss this before starting a mod community!

@whb: the mission statement is definitely a good idea!
Logged

"We are all connected"
white haired boy
Half-Nub


Cakes 0
Posts: 84

Member


« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2006, 09:53:21 AM »

hi milesteg,

some nice ideas there. i really like the idea of two openarena projects, vanilla and enhanced. the vanilla build is important, but it would be great if there was also a version that was free to grow and evolve. i also like possibility that mods could be integrated into enhanced. this means that new ideas could be made as mods first and natural selection would decide which ones worked, became popular and got integrated into enhanced. if a new idea doesn't work out then it would simply get dismissed as a weak mod, without damaging the reputation of the game.

"I think it is cruxial for the project if we discuss this before starting a mod community!"

i believe the mod community is going to happen whether we start it or not. the important thing is whether the openarena project embraces them and reaps the shared benefits or ignores them and gets eaten alive.  there are plenty of examples of gpl projects where people didn't like the direction a project was going and splitted off to start their own. while i appreciate the freedom and competition this creates it can get out of hand and end up with loads of factions wasting time arguing on slashdot about why theirs is the best. the insane amount of  linux distributions is a perfect example of this.

i believe that there is no reason why opensource gaming cannot one day surpass proprietry games and i'm putting my money on openarena as being the best bet to unite the opensource community towards this end, but some serious thought needs to be given to the future of the project if it's not to grow stale or fragment.

white haired boy.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 11:54:16 AM by white haired boy » Logged
MilesTeg
Lesser Nub


Cakes 0
Posts: 144



« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2006, 03:46:12 PM »

"I think it is cruxial for the project if we discuss this before starting a mod community!"

i believe the mod community is going to happen whether we start it or not. the important thing is whether the openarena project embraces them and reaps the shared benefits or ignores them and gets eaten alive.  there are plenty of examples of gpl projects where people didn't like the direction a project was going and splitted off to start their own. while i appreciate the freedom and competition this creates it can get out of hand and end up with loads of factions wasting time arguing on slashdot about why theirs is the best. the insane amount of  linux distributions is a perfect example of this.

yes, that is exactly what I meant. I always compare the way OA is going with linux distributions: You start with a certain base (OA or LinuxStandardBase) and from there it is easy to create new distributions that fullfill the needs of the user (a CS-like OA or Knoppix as a bootable OS).
One of the biggest success and problem of linux was the clustered, unneccessary distrubtions that made it so hard to choose the right one. In the end Ubuntu was successful in building a friendly community that welcomes new users in a very ... well "human" way Smiley
One of my wishes for OA is that it creates the same kind of (developer-)community that helps each other.


some thoughts about the future of OS-gaming:
==================================
IMHO open source gaming is still in a very early phase. compared to the proprietary games we are still 15 years behind. On the other hand there are many talented modders that show the great potential a OS-gaming community could have.

comparism with wikipedia:
A problem is that opencontent-gaming is a very high goal for many reasons. OpenContent-Textprojects (Wikipedia) are just beginning to rise and shine. OpenImages, -videos, -music, -models, -textures still don't have a very fertile ground to start from. Yes, you can upload images to wikicommons, but it is not that easy to alter or improve them.
Thinks like standardlicences and formats still don't work with everything. If you want to release the source of a professional song (or any other multimeda file) you will have to upload a huge file that includes a lot of samples etc that (today) would cost a lot of webspace and bandwidth.
In Wikipedia you just have text that can be easily uploaded, archived and transfered.
Now to get the most out of opencontent games you would need all these things combined together. Think of a content repository where thousands of textures, soundsamples, 3D-models, animations etc. are available for everyone! Surely this could surpass many proprietary games!

Of course that is just my humble point of view of how things could develop, but it is always good to have a goal, isn't it? Wink
Logged

"We are all connected"
white haired boy
Half-Nub


Cakes 0
Posts: 84

Member


« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2006, 04:40:49 PM »

hello milesteg,

ubuntu is a good example to bring into this discussion. it seems to be the antidote to all the years of linux fragmenting and infighting. i think a huge part of ubuntu's success was their public relations, they put a lot of work and thought not only into making a good product, but also building the friendly community.

my fear is that gpl gaming might waste years going through the fragmentation and infighting before they find a common ground and start working together. if the openarena project can become the core of the gpl gaming community then we could avoid all those wasted years. obviously community building isn't everyone's cup of tea. i imagine that a lot of the coders, modellers and other artists would prefer to be left alone to get on with their work, but i'm sure there are others who enjoy this side of things.

"IMHO open source gaming is still in a very early phase. compared to the proprietary games we are still 15 years behind. On the other hand there are many talented modders that show the great potential a OS-gaming community could have."

agreed. windows had a similar headstart on linux, but then a dedicated group of hobbyists got together and made something better. no reason why the same thing can't happen for openarena.

the comparison with wikipedia is an interesting one. i like the idea of a central repository of open source content for games. that would be incredibly useful and would be a great focal point for the modding community.

white haired boy.
Logged
dmn_clown
Posts a lot
*

Cakes 1
Posts: 1324


« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2006, 02:52:30 PM »

ubuntu is a good example to bring into this discussion. it seems to be the antidote to all the years of linux fragmenting and infighting. i think a huge part of ubuntu's success was their public relations, they put a lot of work and thought not only into making a good product, but also building the friendly community.

It seems to me that they just took Debian Sid, cut out the choices that it provides, added their own proprietary software, and in their next release will be installing the non-free graphics drivers by default in violation of their own policies (While I admit that I use the nVidia proprietary driver, I had a choice to do so, Ubuntu is taking that choice away, something that goes against the spirit of GNU/Linux...)

Ubuntu and Canonical are good examples of a company led by a multi-billionaire not living up to its promises and a community forgetting its roots in GNU and Debian. 

I personally do not want to see this project or any project based upon it moving in that direction.
Logged

white haired boy
Half-Nub


Cakes 0
Posts: 84

Member


« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2006, 03:42:30 PM »

hi dmn_clown,

you're absolutely right!

ubuntu ripped the guts out of debian, changed it and left debian bleeding by the side of the road, but this is part of what the gpl is all about, the freedom to do this.

it could be argued that ubuntu just stole debians crown by clever marketing, the whole touchy-feely community vibe and focussing on newer technology at the expense of stability, but the fact remains that the victors write the history books and ubuntu seem to be winning the game right now. i really wish that debian had been the ones who had done what ubuntu did, if they had they'd be top of the pile now, but they didn't and they're not.

this may sound like i'm going off on a tangent into a linux discussion, but this is exactly is exactly the point i'm trying to stress when i talk about openarena. right now openarena is the debian of gpl gaming, it uses tried and tested technology to build a stable product and i admire it for that, but there is a serious risk that what happened to debian will happen to openarena. there are newer shinier technologies out there and there is nothing to stop the gaming equivalent of ubuntu coming along, gutting openarena, rebuilding it with a more graphically advanced engine and more detailed maps and models, giving it a new name and lauching it with glitzy marketing campaign.

i'm not suggesting we try and become the ubuntu of the gaming world, i'm saying that we can learn from what happened to debian and ensure it doesn't happen to openarena by getting there first. milesteg's suggestion of there being three groups in openarena sounds perfect, the vanilla quake3 compatible branch, the enhanced branch with the newer technologies and the modding group where the real bleeding edge technology was tried and tested. if we don't do this someone else will.

i've got a lot of respect for what the openarena project has acheived and i'd rather see it grow and prosper than get gutted and left by the side of the road.

white haired boy.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2006, 03:44:08 PM by white haired boy » Logged
dmn_clown
Posts a lot
*

Cakes 1
Posts: 1324


« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2006, 06:36:15 PM »

Don't get me wrong, I respected Mark Shuttleworth's original goal of providing an easy to use GNU/Linux and the devs that bust their ass on that version of GNU/Linux.  It's that we shouldn't forget our roots as they have.  (I'll believe they haven't forgotten their roots when they put a GNU in their name).

The game _is_ a GPL'ed replacement for Quake 3:  Arena in terms of game play and content and should be a good base for anyone wanting to mod with the GPL as a license, assuming anyone wants to do that, most will probably opt to create their own game.
Logged

white haired boy
Half-Nub


Cakes 0
Posts: 84

Member


« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2006, 08:41:48 PM »

hello dmn_clown,

i don't trust the ubuntu project that much and i wish they took the gpl as seriously as debian does, but ubuntu's ease of use is the main reason i stopped using debian and switched to ubuntu. hopefully ubuntu will spur debian to get their act together, but they have a hell of a lot catching up to do and it seems unlikely that they'll ever take the crown back from ubuntu.

anyway, back to openarena. if the openarena project's policy to be a quake3 replacement and nothing more then i'll have to accept that, but i really think it would be a good idea to formalise that policy and display it clearly on the homepage and this forum, otherwise you'll continue to be pestered by people like me.   :-)

white haired boy.
Logged
dmn_clown
Posts a lot
*

Cakes 1
Posts: 1324


« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2007, 12:29:27 PM »

That is really up to leileilol.

On the *buntu's, remember they are not a community driven project, but a corporate funded and coded distro that is doing whatever it can to make a profit, which is why they suddenly have a server version and no longer ship free CD's of their releases.
Logged

MilesTeg
Lesser Nub


Cakes 0
Posts: 144



« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2007, 01:13:59 PM »

uhm, sorry, but let us get the facts straight:

1. yes, ubuntu just used the existing code from debian. But the original idea was not to let debian slowly die - that would actually hurt ubuntu a lot, because they rely on debian as their basis. Some debian developers are a bit frustrated, because they took "their" distribution and made it much more popular without much reference to debian. But actually both have to learn to collaborate and not to compete.

2. The Ubuntu philosophy was always "use as much opensource as possible" - they don't make proprietary applications!

3. Ubuntu is maintained by the non-profit Ubuntu Foundation. Mark Shuttleworth spend 10 million dollars to keep this foundation independent - even if he dies or his or private foundation goes other ways.
So noone has to fear ripoffs or Enterprise Editions (does not exist AFAIK) from this side of the town! The advantage is they can guaranty long time support.

4. Yes, binary drivers are a bad thing. But just ignoring the importance of 3D-accelleration is also not the right way. See http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/84 for the arguements. BTW I personally think this is a bad idea, too...

5. Ubuntu IS a community driven project AND corporate funded. The Ubuntu foundation tries to coordinate some of the community work and can let programmers work fulltime on a special topic. Ubuntu heavily relies on the community work not only for translation but for design, new ideas etc.

6. Shipping ubuntu cds is a nice feature but it costs a lot of money. I don't know any other OSS-project that ships software cds for free around the world.
https://shipit.ubuntu.com/
The official shipit-service still ships the longtermsupport version for free.

More info see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_%28Linux_distribution%29#Distribution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Foundation


anyway all this doesn't change the fact that ubuntu has a strong community wich is a big factor for their success. Only this aspect of Ubuntu is what I want to see in OA: a great, noob-friendly community.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2007, 01:19:58 PM by MilesTeg » Logged

"We are all connected"
dmn_clown
Posts a lot
*

Cakes 1
Posts: 1324


« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2007, 12:40:21 AM »

<irony>Launchpad is closed source</irony>


Quote
this <...> is what I want to see in OA: a great, noob-friendly community.

Agreed.
Logged

white haired boy
Half-Nub


Cakes 0
Posts: 84

Member


« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2007, 06:25:21 AM »

Quote
this <...> is what I want to see in OA: a great, noob-friendly community.

also agreed.
Logged
diizy
Nub


Cakes 0
Posts: 13


« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2007, 12:05:05 AM »

Quote
this <...> is what I want to see in OA: a great, noob-friendly community.

also agreed.



as would i, it would be nice to see lots of full servers :]
for a sec there i though he said noob-free community, i was shocked, for a sec.
Logged
shrewd.user
Nub


Cakes 0
Posts: 10

Member


« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2007, 10:02:27 AM »



ubuntu ripped the guts out of debian, changed it and left debian bleeding by the side of the road, but this is part of what the gpl is all about, the freedom to do this.


i'd disagree, ubuntu contributes a lot to debian, and if anything debians userbase has probably increased since ubuntu entered the scene.
Logged
white haired boy
Half-Nub


Cakes 0
Posts: 84

Member


« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2007, 10:36:06 AM »

ok, i've probably been a bit harsh on ubuntu.

sorry everyone.  :-)
Logged
dmn_clown
Posts a lot
*

Cakes 1
Posts: 1324


« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2007, 02:10:37 PM »

i'd disagree, ubuntu contributes a lot to debian, and if anything debians userbase has probably increased since ubuntu entered the scene.

Debian Devs had to complain loudly for Ubuntu to even mention Debian on the Ubuntu homepage.  GNU is not mentioned so am I safe in assuming that Space Tourist has completely re-written gcc but chosen to use the same package name?

Mr. "Buy my way into Space" Shuttleworth's original goal of creating an easy to use and configure free distribution for everyone in the world is a good idea, unfortunately his distribution isn't living up to my expectations. 

Now, a community that truly wanted to get better would take these criticisms to heart and improve themselves and not waste time in the "yes you are" "no we aren't" arguments.  But what else is the internet for if not pointless arguments? Smiley
Logged

Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to: