VQ - A bright future

Hi all,

In light of recent updates and Gavan's situation, I thought we owed it to the VQ project, Gavan and ourselves to make sure VQ continues on its path to glory :)

Gavan announced he will be open-sourcing the code, which is absolutely great! As some people here already know, open-sourcing a project is a lot of work, which very roughly comes down to the following items.

Cleanup

This generally involves making sure there are comments on non-obvious bits of codes or overall logic, making sure the code style and the project structure are consistent, removing cruft that built up over the life of the project, etc.

It can be rather tedious work, but it's unfortunately necessary. That said, I think we can all agree that this is something that can be done in increments, and hopefully something some of us can help with.

Licensing

Gavan said he's considering the MIT license, which I personally think is a great choice. It's really permissive and it allows commercial work to be produced on top of the project, so that could help greatly with adoption in the future (particularly since VQ is very much one of a kind).

Licensing can also be a bit of a pain sometimes. Beyond making sure the license is included in all source files (which in itself is pretty straight-forward), you have to make sure the license is compatible with whatever licenses are used by any of the third-party code or assets.

This is an important point as licensing issues can strongly impact the viability of a project.

Documentation

This is pretty self-explanatory, but an essential point nonetheless. Good, substantial documentation takes time to write and organize, but it's also the best way to get new contributors. Lowering the barrier to entry is a critical aspect of any open-source project (or really any projects), so getting people started quickly is not just desired, it's essential.

Community & Direction

This is one of the best communities I've ever seen, if not the best. As communities grow, things can get more complicated, eager contributors may sometimes clash, politics start getting involved and so on. So as a whole, I really hope we stick to the values displayed so far, to the transparency and integrity Gavan has made sure to provide.

In this respect, I don't think anybody will dispute the fact that Gavan is the de-facto leader of this community, and I personally believe it should remain this way. Gavan's vision and hard work are what brought VQ to this point, so I believe his oversight is necessary.

However Gavan is only one man (though from his output I sometimes wonder :) ) and he won't be able to oversee everything or run the day-to-day operations involved in keeping this project going. There are already very kind people around here who've been helping Gavan out with organizing the community and such, so maybe we could consider formalizing this a little: community leaders, core contributors and so on.

Resources

Even open-source projects require resources beyond people. Hosting is one such example, but going forward other things will be required such as build servers, communication platforms, etc.

Being an open-source project, I don't believe Gavan should have to keep financing all of this. Thankfully, open-source projects often have access to resources for free that would otherwise cost money.

On this note, I'd be happy to help with some of these things. I have my own pretty beefy server which I already use for similar things, and I'd be happy to set up whatever tools are required on it if it helps and the community is of course fine with it.

Additional Notes

Until the official open-source release is ready, and should Gavan feel comfortable with this, we could set up a closed Git repo at first so that some selected people may help with the pre-release and off-load some of the easy/tedious stuff from Gavan's shoulders to let him concentrate on the more difficult aspects. I have a nice instance of Gitlab in place and I'd be happy to share it, at least to get started.

Gavan already owns the domain for VQ and having official email addresses for core contributors could be nice and help with legitimacy. As it happens, I own a Google Apps account which I already use with a number of my own domains and again, I'd be happy to set up emails there should Gavan and the community want it.

I sincerely hope I'm not being presumptuous with all of this, VQ is an amazing project that has gone a very long way and as many other people here, I believe it has a great future. I wish to help in whichever way I can, hence my modest contribution here.

Comments

  • First of all, awesome post, thanks. :) It addressed many of the points that I was going to myself. I have a git repo ready specifically for VQ, although whether or not it should be used depends what everyone wants.

    I am torn between making it private or public. On one hand, I want everyone to have access at the same time, on the other there is quite some cleanup/etc work to do.

    I have also debated not canceling the Patreon, and in fact, maybe even matching the donations myself. If this is done, none of the money will go to me - instead I intend for it to go to bounties/awards for bug fixes, cleanup, and feature additions, probably to be issued monthly.

    I will think on it a little bit while I prep for release. Source should go within a few days I think, and we can discuss more before then. Appreciate everyones enthusiasm. :)
  • Thanks Gavan!
    I am torn between making it private or public. On one hand, I want everyone to have access at the same time, on the other there is quite some cleanup/etc work to do.
    My suggestion would be to keep it semi-private until you think it's ready for release, but maybe give access to a few people you'd select to help you out with the more tedious stuff that doesn't require your level of knowledge.
    I have also debated not canceling the Patreon, and in fact, maybe even matching the donations myself. If this is done, none of the money will go to me - instead I intend for it to go to bounties/awards for bug fixes, cleanup, and feature additions, probably to be issued monthly.
    I think keeping donations going for bug bounties and such is a great idea. I have no issue with Patreon myself, that said some people might (e.g. personal vs project-level payments). Maybe something like Gratipay would put those people at ease.
    Appreciate everyones enthusiasm.
    This is all very exciting! :)

    Just noticed my post got flagged 5 times, my apologies if I offended anybody, I certainly didn't intend to
  • grownseed said:


    Just noticed my post got flagged 5 times, my apologies if I offended anybody, I certainly didn't intend to

    That's odd, wonder if its some kind of bug? Not sure why someone would flag it.
  • **flagged for post excellence**? :p
    Wasn't me, but I recall wondering what the 5 denoted.
  • grownseed said:

    My suggestion would be to keep it semi-private until you think it's ready for release, but maybe give access to a few people you'd select to help you out with the more tedious stuff that doesn't require your level of knowledge.

    I think this would is great, because then there'd be time to get some feedback from interested contributors and to set up some documentation of the code. I'm definitely interested in contributing to something like this and getting VQ into whatever state Gavan wants.
  • edited June 2016
    grownseed said:

    Just noticed my post got flagged 5 times, my apologies if I offended anybody, I certainly didn't intend to

    Maybe people misunderstood what the flag was? I just flagged @Baile_nam_Fonn's post to test, and when I refreshed the page it showed 5 flags. Then I tried to flag it again to see if it would go to 10, but since I had already approved it manually I couldn't any more. So in all likelihood, just one person flagged it and there's a bug somewhere.

    EDIT: According to VanillaForums' site, when a moderator flags something it gets 5 flags. Somebody probably misclicked. Gavan... :)
  • Thanks for starting this thread.
    gavanw said:

    I have also debated not canceling the Patreon, and in fact, maybe even matching the donations myself. If this is done, none of the money will go to me - instead I intend for it to go to bounties/awards for bug fixes, cleanup, and feature additions, probably to be issued monthly.

    I'd be happy to see it continue like that. In addition, it can be used for any supporting services like CI, private GitHub repos, or email, if those are found to be necessary.
    grownseed said:

    making sure the license is included in all source files (which in itself is pretty straight-forward

    Is this necessary? Most large open-source projects don't seem to do this any more. I guess it might be valuable if there is code from other authors/licenses mixed in to the source tree.

    Using GitLab for an initial private repo is fine (I like GitLab), but the primary public repo must be on GitHub, since it's realistically more likely to appeal to contributors (at least for now. )It might be nice for Gavan to create a GitLab mirror, though. It can update automatically, and would at least provide a fallback for those rare times GitHub is down. (I was already planning to set up a GitLab mirror for myself, but an official one would be better.)
  • grownseed said:

    Just noticed my post got flagged 5 times, my apologies if I offended anybody, I certainly didn't intend to

    Maybe people misunderstood what the flag was? I just flagged @Baile_nam_Fonn's post to test, and when I refreshed the page it showed 5 flags. Then I tried to flag it again to see if it would go to 10, but since I had already approved it manually I couldn't any more. So in all likelihood, just one person flagged it and there's a bug somewhere.

    EDIT: According to VanillaForums' site, when a moderator flags something it gets 5 flags. Somebody probably misclicked. Gavan... :)
    Certainly wasn't me. :lol:
    Jeremy said:



    grownseed said:

    making sure the license is included in all source files (which in itself is pretty straight-forward

    Is this necessary? Most large open-source projects don't seem to do this any more. I guess it might be valuable if there is code from other authors/licenses mixed in to the source tree.
    Gavan has worried previously that there might be bits of other peoples' code (particularly from StackOverflow and other such places) in his code somewhere. I don't think there's really that much, if any, but you never know.
  • I decided to cancel the Patreon for a couple of reasons. First, I am making enough money that covering the basic expenses myself is not difficult (which is really what the Patreon was for in the first place). If people want to create an awards/bounty pool, I'll be happy to contribute to that and figure out how to best organize that (I do not think Patreon is the best way of doing that, which is reason #2).

    Anyhow, I don't like having licenses in every file, it creates unnecessary clutter. License will probably just be in the root directory.
  • As for the future of the game, what do you intend to do Gavan? It's in a sort of "indefinite hiatus", and now you'll just observe what other people will do with the engine, or do you plan on getting back to it if-and-when money and time in your life are available again?
  • As for the future of the game, what do you intend to do Gavan? It's in a sort of "indefinite hiatus", and now you'll just observe what other people will do with the engine, or do you plan on getting back to it if-and-when money and time in your life are available again?

    Good question :) I plan to contribute when I can, which admittedly won't be a whole lot of time. I suspect this will mostly be in the form of support, answering questions, and so forth. This month will be particularly intense for me in terms of work, as I have to ramp up and so forth. In the future it should get a bit easier. I can also contribute a bit financially, as needed, although my first order of business is to process refunds to my backers and investors (so far only two backers have asked, and I have been able to immediately refund them as it was a small amount).

  • Somebody probably misclicked. Gavan... :)

    Let's keep it simple and all agree to blame Gavan :D
    gavanw said:

    Anyhow, I don't like having licenses in every file, it creates unnecessary clutter. License will probably just be in the root directory.

    I'm personally completely ok with that and the MIT license doesn't require that either, I just listed it as an example of things that need done (as opposed to some sort of hard requirement).
    Jeremy said:

    Using GitLab for an initial private repo is fine (I like GitLab), but the primary public repo must be on GitHub, since it's realistically more likely to appeal to contributors (at least for now. )It might be nice for Gavan to create a GitLab mirror, though. It can update automatically, and would at least provide a fallback for those rare times GitHub is down. (I was already planning to set up a GitLab mirror for myself, but an official one would be better.)

    I was referring to the initial stage, getting the source ready for prime-time from a private repo. Github private repos aren't free so I thought an instance somewhere else would be fine until the release is ready and can be moved to a public Github repo. I do agree about using Github for legitimacy and such.

    As for having a mirror, I do think it's a good idea, though probably not a priority until the project has picked up a significant number of contributors.

    @gavanw I should have a bit more spare time than usual over the next couple of weeks, so please let me know if there's anything at all I can help with, even really boring stuff (or maybe even particularly so).
  • I happen to have unlimited private repositories on Github for the next couple of years, if it helps.
  • Hey guys, just heard the news. Kinda bittersweet considering Gavan's contributions are going to be limited, but an MIT licenced release of the source code would definitely be consolation. Though I'm not sure I'd prefer even an army of dedicated modders over Gavan on this, it's definitely better than nothing :p . Any news on when it's dropping?
  • edited June 2016
    Noc said:

    Hey guys, just heard the news. Kinda bittersweet considering Gavan's contributions are going to be limited, but an MIT licenced release of the source code would definitely be consolation. Though I'm not sure I'd prefer even an army of dedicated modders over Gavan on this, it's definitely better than nothing :p . Any news on when it's dropping?

    I am putting out the source as soon as possible, I don't have an exact release as this month is rather jam-packed for me (including weekends) as I am dealing with a lot of work and the process of moving to another city. I am gradually prepping it though; I've done most of the code review for licensing and everything looks fine, but I also need to provide some minimal documentation as far as compiling it, default controls, etc. And I need to do this for at least 4 different builds of the game, as well as go back and ensure that old builds still compile (one prior build I saw produced shader errors due to driver updates).

  • Well no rush considering you're moving to a different city and all. Good luck with work by the way.

    Anyway what would be a good way for someone like me to get to a place where I could mod VQ and add content? What are all the languages and toolsets Ill need to leard for down the line? Me being someone who understands programming fairly well but has only ever done JS/HTML5 stuff.
  • Noc said:

    Well no rush considering you're moving to a different city and all. Good luck with work by the way.



    Anyway what would be a good way for someone like me to get to a place where I could mod VQ and add content? What are all the languages and toolsets Ill need to leard for down the line? Me being someone who understands programming fairly well but has only ever done JS/HTML5 stuff.

    Thanks :) C++ / OpenGL are really all you need (plus many data files are written in JSON).

  • gavanw said:



    Thanks :) C++ / OpenGL are really all you need (plus many data files are written in JSON).

    Sounds good, I've been putting off C++ for a while now anyway, I'm gonna pick it up and start learning today :)
  • Read the last update. I have to say, I thought your job at OpenAI would be longer :(
    Oh well, let's hope they consider you for other openings... and it's more experience in the AI field too, it can always get handy in the future *nudge nudge wink wink* ;)

    Speaking about VQ releases, I seem to recall the Perspective and First Person modes were added on top of the original engine, and one could always switch back to Isometric view, on at least some versions. I ask because don't get me wrong, Perspective and First Person are great too and give so much more immersion in the game world, but the clean, polished looks of the isometric (like in the site's header image) are one of the things that made me fall in love with VQ, and would be nice if it was still an option. Or is it too old/outdated/unoptimized now? (it's okay if it's no longer there, not asking for its return!)
  • @AttakShark yep its actually ok - I would have liked to work longer but at the same time agreed with their change of course. Still, I learned a lot even during my short time there.

    The original engine will still be one of the early candidates to be released (perhaps the very next one). I am releasing the second iteration because it has a little bit more interactive stuff (namely moving around and blowing stuff up).



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