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Re: Anyone on this list?

On Tue, 29 Oct 2002, Xarvh Admin wrote:

> > I've started/run eight web-based projects over the past few years.
> [cut]
> > I'd rate this at maybe a 30% success rate...but if you count the projects
> > with large communities around them - maybe I have a 15% success rate.
> > I get the impression that this kind of track record is par for the course.
> They failed bacause you lost interest in them.
> Maybe they weren't worth the effort, while PLIB is (and I think it is).

Well, perhaps.

In most cases, they failed because everyone simultaneously either
lost interest or had to go and do something else.  If just one person
out of 5 or 6 drops out, it's OK.  But it only takes a temporary
drop out of everyone at once to kill an otherwise thriving project.

Somehow it's hard to revive the project once it gets to that stage.
It's almost like it's a living thing that has to be fed continually
to keep it alive.  No food for a month and it dies - and no amount of
subsequent feeding will revive it.

> > I don't think that's true - it's just not happening at LGDC.
> I hoped so, LGDC was just a loss-of-interest example.

Yes.  Everyone stopped posting at the same time.

> > We are unlikely to want to talk specifically about your game here - but
> > problems of a general nature would certainly engender interest and lots of
> > advice.
> I don't want you all to talk about my game!! =)
> I was expressing my feelings as a linux game developer, as it seems that i'm
> not the only one who feels sometimes frustrated.

No - you certainly aren't alone.

> > Games *are* personal visions.  I can't tell you the number of times I've
> > seen wildly enthusiastic people with ideas for games who seem to think that
> > I'll just *obviously* want to jump in and help them.  Well, I'm sorry but I
> > have some great ideas of my own.

> Yes, i know, i've lots of good ideas none likes... =)
> And i've also refused to join lots of projects, because they didn't meet my
> tastes....

**EXACTLY**.  So why are you suprised that people won't drop what they
are doing to join your project?

> > Ideas for games come very, very, cheap.  Code for games is harder work.
> > Artwork and Music is harder still.
> >
> > It follows that people will not join your project just because it's a good
> > idea. They *may* join if they see a great code-base emerging - but to
> > REALLY attract developers, they need to see the whole thing basically
> > working - playable, etc.

> So, they'll join when all work's over...

Maybe.  If your game is extensible, people may produce cool
extensions for it - extra levels - that kind of thing.

Once there are already a lot of people playing it that is - and
presuming you've built a game that's able to accomodate

> > That's 4500 games projects...and those are only the ones on SourceForge.
> Some projects have more than one entry... Xarvh is both rts and tbs...

Ah - I didn't know that - the number did seem a little high - but there
are 500,000 people with SourceForge accounts - so the idea that 1% of
them might have their own game projects didn't seem too far-fetched.

I wonder how many projects there actually are.  It's gotta be way
over 1000 because there are that many in HappyPenguin.

> There is an *overwhelming* amount of libraries and tools for games, and no
> games.

No - there are an overwhelming number of games too - but hardly any
of them are any good.   There are certainly lots of libraries out there
but hardly any have actually been used for more than one project.

You can count the number of useful/established libraries (or library-sets
like SDL and PLIB) on the fingers of one hand.

> Lots of words are spent about the `technologies` to use, but linux games have
> still the appeal of  commodore64 games...

I think it's getting better - slowly.

> > My first Linux game (TuxAQFH) was about 60% game-specific code and 40%
> > library code.  My second game (TuxKart) is about 10% game-specific and 90%
> > library.  My next game (to be announced) will be about the same ratio.
> >
> > This means that I get lots of help in writing, debugging and maintaining
> > the vast majority of the code (and that's mostly the boring parts) - and
> > 100% control over the places where the creativity lives.

> Yes, but that means all games will be always old-fashioned, nothing
> innovative, nothing original, nothing great, and that all games will look the
> same (and that will also depend on strange libraries, so that ./configure;
> make; make install will be always be a pain!)

I don't think so.  People who are writing 3D games using PLIB are not
producing Tetris and Bomberman clones.  They may not be writing Quake
either - but these are reasonably complex, modern-looking games.

Steve Baker                      (817)619-2657 (Vox/Vox-Mail)
L3Com/Link Simulation & Training (817)619-2466 (Fax)
Work: sjbaker@link.com           http://www.link.com
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