Ogre Tech Demo

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eleazar
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Ogre Tech Demo

#1 Post by eleazar »

There is occasional cryptic mention of tzlaine working on the ogre tech demo for the 3D space combat aspect of things, but it almost seems that we are trying to keep it a secret. I realize coders time is generally better spent coding than giving a blow-by-blow description of progress on the code...

But this is the sort of thing we should announce to help gain momentum for the project, ideally with some screenshots. Weather justified or not, this project has more than once received the label "dead", and sometimes by all outside indicators it has looked pretty dead. It would help in attracting new contributors to put some effort is creating the opposite impression.

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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#2 Post by pd »

This is kept rather private by intention. A lot of things still have to get worked out and I want to finish quite a lot of texture work by myself, before I'm asking for support to finish them. I'd like to provide a guideline, how everything should look before too many people start messing around with it.

It's not such a big thing, so we don't announce it till it is somewhat finished and presentable.

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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#3 Post by eleazar »

pd wrote:...A lot of things still have to get worked out....
It's not such a big thing, so we don't announce it till it is somewhat finished and presentable.
Gee, that's perfectly applicable to the entire project. FO is not nearly "somewhat finished" and lots of it is certainly not "presentable". But it's open source, and by releasing early it's managed to develop barely enough interest to keep going.

If you prefer work without other people's input, then simply ignore it. The project does not benefit by being hidden away until you are done creating textures.

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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#4 Post by Tortanick »

I have to agree with eleazar here, release early, release often is a tried and proven method of OpenSource development.

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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#5 Post by pd »

In an open source project things have to be organized, actually very similar to commercial projects. I want to avoid that people do unnecessary work and that's why I'll provide a stylistic guideline and then ask for help. I have quite some experience with texture creation, shading, lighting and so on, so it makes sense for me to do the groundwork. Changes will be commited to SVN so it's not like it's hidden or something.

With the term "presentable" I wasn't only talking to the the general audience, but also to other artists. There will have to be some kind of documentation to show what can be changed and how it is changed, which means additional work.

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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#6 Post by Josh »

A demonstration couldn't hurt, just a few well publicized screenshots of what's going on. The best thing that could happen is that another ogre programmer would join. The worst thing is we'll be forced to clone tzlaine.

Personally, I don't think the concept art category is going to attract alot of attention.

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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#7 Post by pd »

Well the ogre demo at this point, isn't either. There will be screenshots, once there is something to show.

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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#8 Post by Geoff the Medio »

I have to agree with suggestions to be more open about the process and progress. If you're / pd is concerned about avoiding others doing unnecessary work, then note in progress update posts that community contributions for art are not yet sought or accepted.

Design discussions were previously kept from the wider community, and that just lead to a year or so delay in any signficant design work being done for v0.4... which is not to say that there isn't or won't be any progress with coding the ogre integration branch without it being more open, but more so that keeping things semi-secret is not as necessary as one might expect. Just posting about progress doesn't mean that leads need to spend lots of time responding to feedback to the progress, in case that is your / pd's concern.

That said, the code is all up on sourceforge. If someone else wants to compile it and post screenshots, they can probably do so on Linux. (No effort has yet been put into making it work on Windows, as far as I know.)

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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#9 Post by tzlaine »

Geoff the Medio wrote:That said, the code is all up on sourceforge. If someone else wants to compile it and post screenshots, they can probably do so on Linux. (No effort has yet been put into making it work on Windows, as far as I know.)
as Geoff says, there's no real secrecy. The code and graphics area ll available on SF.net. And it work under Windows now too. The only problem is, I haven't made the code ready for prime-time in a few ways. AFAIK, a fresh checkout won't work. You need one or two text config files that I use locally for things to work on either platform. Issues like this have kept me from widely publicizing the work to date. It's not a secret, it's just that I don't want to stop and do all the tidying up bits that I usually do on the more-widely-used trunk. This, in fact, allows me to work faster.

Also, I tend to post a lot and ask for lots of input when I need it. When I don't, I just sit in my study and code. It's nothing personal. :)

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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#10 Post by shrinkshooter »

pd wrote:With the term "presentable" I wasn't only talking to the the general audience, but also to other artists. There will have to be some kind of documentation to show what can be changed and how it is changed, which means additional work.
I agree with both sides here. pd will pretty much be saving graphics artists a ton of hassle by laying the foundation. This doesn't necessarily mean it will plod along and we'll release screenshots "when we're good and ready," even though that might happen. Which I hope does not. As it was mentioned, the project has barely been keeping a pulse. We're on version 0.3.9, and the project is ~4 years old. No offense to anyone, but that's slow. I don't have a problem with this, as I'm in no rush to release anything, and apparently niether is pd. However, I also don't want it to die. I doubt that will happen, simply because it's been around for so long (illogical reasoning but whatever), yet I understand it's quite a possibility. Hence, we SHOULD try and release something that will kick up some PR, if you know what I mean. 0.3.9 just released, but I don't know how much of an impact that will have. Basically I hope that we actually try and strive for the "good and ready" state instead of actually doing whatever and waiting for it to come, but that might be a lot to ask. People do what they can in the time they can give, and that's pretty much all anybody can ask for.
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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#11 Post by pd »

As it was mentioned, the project has barely been keeping a pulse. We're on version 0.3.9, and the project is ~4 years old.
I don't thinks it's slow at all. Consider that there are only 1-2 coders and 1-2 artists actually working(part time) on freeOrion. Those people have been around quite some time though and contribute quite regulary. The project was never dead and I remember only one time, when tzlaine was missing for a time, when things didn't look so good.
For the usual forum user it might look like things are going slow, but if you take a look at the SVN there are contributions nearly on a daily basis.

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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#12 Post by shrinkshooter »

pd wrote:Consider that there are only 1-2 coders and 1-2 artists actually working(part time) on freeOrion. Those people have been around quite some time though and contribute quite regulary. The project was never dead and I remember only one time, when tzlaine was missing for a time, when things didn't look so good.
For the usual forum user it might look like things are going slow, but if you take a look at the SVN there are contributions nearly on a daily basis.
Yes, that is true, it's going a fair speed for the number of people regularly involved. I never said it actually was dead, it just appeared to come close from an outside perspective is what I meant. As for the daily contributions, it depends on how many are made and how important they are. One OS project could have vastly important things added every day, and lots of them, because it involves lots of people working on it (paint.net is actually a good example) while another prject might have only a few things added every day of varying importance because there aren't enough people OR people just don't care anymore. Those are just examples. In no way am I insinuating that FO is the latter of the two, because it is certainly not.
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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#13 Post by eleazar »

tzlaine wrote:That said, the code is all up on sourceforge. If someone else wants to compile it and post screenshots...
I don't see it, unless i'm really missing something.

pd wrote:I have quite some experience with texture creation
I believe i've also have demonstrated quite some experience in this area, though i don't claim to do shaders and modeling.

pd wrote:
As it was mentioned, the project has barely been keeping a pulse. We're on version 0.3.9, and the project is ~4 years old.
I don't thinks it's slow at all. Consider that there are only 1-2 coders and 1-2 artists actually working(part time) on freeOrion. Those people have been around quite some time though and contribute quite regulary. The project was never dead and I remember only one time, when tzlaine was missing for a time, when things didn't look so good.
And if he hadn't come back, the project would be essentially over. (at least it's my understanding that there are a lot of things he does that Geoff practically can't)

There is very little redundancy in the contributors. There are basically 4 people who have made SVN commits in the past 2 years. Remove any one or two of those people and the project is effectively crippled and/or dead. While the project has so far survived (sometimes barely), if you consider all the serious contributors who are gone, it's quite unreasonable to assume that FO is in no danger of dying.

Also i'd like to play this game sooner rather than later. It will take a horrible long time to complete without a much bigger team.

We should be proud of what we've accomplished, but we also should try to do better in the future.

We need to actively encourage people to join, and go a little out of our way to show that the project isn't dead. One example: IMHO screenshots of even the very early beginnings of the 3D combat engine fit that bill nicely.

pd wrote:For the usual forum user it might look like things are going slow, but if you take a look at the SVN there are contributions nearly on a daily basis.
Not really. We had 3 months last fall with only 15 SVN commits total. And 2 other months last year with about a commit every other day.
And I (and i think to a lesser degree, Geoff) tends to commit iteratively, I.E. I may make several or a dozen commits in what adds up to a single feature.

http://sourceforge.net/project/stats/de ... e=12months

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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#14 Post by tzlaine »

eleazar wrote:
tzlaine wrote:That said, the code is all up on sourceforge. If someone else wants to compile it and post screenshots...
I don't see it, unless i'm really missing something.
You're really missing something.

Also, if you had looked at the initial "SVN Browse" page you get from our SF.net site, you would have seen that there are recent commits on branches/ (2 days old) and trunk/ (21 hours old), which in turn might have lead you to notice that there is work being done in two different places. Did you think I was hosting the Ogre-branch code out of my basement?

As for the rumors of FO's death, they are greatly exaggerated. All of the contributors may indeed just walk away, or they may not. No one here has a crystal ball. Unless someone here can rustle up some capable programmers, artists, and designers, how is it productive to prognosticate on whether the project will live or die?

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Re: Ogre Tech Demo

#15 Post by eleazar »

tzlaine wrote:You're really missing something.

Also, if you had looked at the initial "SVN Browse" page you get from our SF.net site, you would have seen that there are recent commits on branches/ (2 days old) and trunk/ (21 hours old), which in turn might have lead you to notice that there is work being done in two different places. Did you think I was hosting the Ogre-branch code out of my basement?
I didn't know if you were hosting it at all. "Ogre Tech Demo" sounded like a separate entity, which i didn't see. I might have found something if i had browsed as you suggested, but i seldom use that, nor to i expect many people do.
I do read commit messages, but they don't indicate much of what you are trying to do. This is the most informative:
"...This change was done to make those planets with visually-relevant specials look right in the SidePanel, and to support work on planet appearance that is soon to start on the ogre-integration branch."

But weather i'm clueless about SVN and/or SourceForge, isn't of much interest to anyone but me.
:arrow: For every 1 potential contributor who will scour SourceForge for clues what FO is doing, there are probably 1000+ potential contributors who get their information from forum announcements, the wiki news page, and/or blogs that quote the previous 2 sources.

tzlaine wrote:No one here has a crystal ball. Unless someone here can rustle up some capable programmers, artists, and designers, how is it productive to prognosticate on whether the project will live or die?
Who is prognosticating? I'm just saying the project is in danger of dying, as some seem to deny. And while no one can magically add new contributors, we can see a potential danger, and make an effort to attract new contributors.

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