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Wiki? General feedback?

Here you can find anything related to the Open Source, Freelancer like game project Openlancer.

Post Tue Jan 03, 2006 6:04 pm

Wiki? General feedback?

I posted a request for TLR to host a community wiki, specifically MediaWiki. If they host it I'll repost all of the framework text on there and I suggest we use that for primary content development. MediaWiki supports file uploads and will work as a haphazard DAM server (digital asset management server). However, a source code hosting and revision control system is still required.

If TLR does not host the wiki I strongly suggest moving ahead with developing the Openlancer site to include a content management system, namely CPG-Nuke, and a wiki, namely MediaWiki, with a common user database. Then soon after with a CVS/SVN server for hosting the source code.

Point is I'm finding it difficult to manage the large volume of text for the framework but I want to keep it easy to manage and easy to edit. This framework can easily be split up and posted on a wiki with a central framework page that has links to highly detailed topic specific pages. These topic specific pages can be slowly developed and refined down to the final text used for development. The text can then be extracted from the database in XML to create the game design doc, technical design doc, and really any other documents you want to officially release.

If TLR will give us the tools to do this then by all means we should use them to keep the development process centered in the general community. If not then we should move to develop the project website. If this is done sooner than later I'll post content to the wiki and if its on the Openlancer site I can help with developing the site too. If its going to be done later I'll continue working on the framework in a forum format. If there is a problem with hosting the the CMS and wiki on Openlancer's current web host then I can host it on a subdomain on my site as long as I'm not the site's primary webmaster.

I'd also like to have a little more feedback on the stuff I've posted recently. I'm literally slaving away at this and trying to help as much as possible. If this work isn't going to help, is not inline with the general direction of the project, is not clear, is too technical, is too large, is wrong, or there is otherwise some problem please let me know. I will do what ever I can possibly do to see that this project starts off in the best shape possible but I need more feedback to do so. I stand by my work as being as complete, logical, detailed, and as near as possible to real professional quality without expecting anything from anyone else other than that it be put to some use and that I get some feedback in the process.

Anyway, that said, I'll get back to work...


"Only the dead have seen the end of war"-Plato

Post Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:13 pm

A wiki is just what i want to be implemented, although if TLR will not host the wiki then we are hoping to host it on our website, which is still in development. As for the responses, i don't have much to say on any of it, and i am just waiting for the main part of the framework to be made. I'm currently testing an organizational method with my mod team that i may implement in openlancer, but other than that i'm just waiting for you to finish up the framework. Also, i'm rewriting the Design Document and to do that i, again, need your framework. The problem with you wanting us to modify your framework is that we don't know how. Its too detailed and technical for us to change it without worrying that the change will be for the worse. Frankly, your pretty much the only person here who actually knows what he is doing.

But about the wiki, i would absolutly love to have a wiki structure for the framework, but keep going in forum format. We can't be sure just when the wiki will be ready and we need the framework first. Might i also suggest that the actual code for the game be in a (possibly slightly more restricted) wiki format? That way any programmer could contribute a little knowledge without having to join. I believe that was one of your ideas early on. But never think that we do not appreciate your work. Its just that some things are a tad difficult to comprehend

Post Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:22 pm

Thank you, and indeed, thats what I was worried about. Thats why I'm eager to move this to a wiki format so a really clear structure can be developed. I'll continue to work on this but I'm going to break it up a little so some of the small blocks or branches can be more easily looked at individually (example, after Catulus posted the suggestion I started writing a sidebar for animals as another branch to look at individually).

A source code management server with revision control is basically a source code wiki but with extra tools to make development easier. Namely most development programs have some support for such servers so you can open up a file directly without having to copy & paste stuff from a text wiki or download, edit, and upload like a normal file server. Like a wiki CVS/SVN servers don't have to require a user to have an account and login, its optional.

I'll keep working on the framework, a couple sidebars, and some outline stuff to help clarify the overall structure. Some of the theory and odd ideas I post are kind of interesting While its probably good that I didn't get sidetracked with that stuff about the neural network driven content development for too long, I still think some of these side theories are worth exploring. Keep in mind much of this work is totally new territory, this isn't going to be easy but if we do a good job Openlancer could very well be a timeless classic of a game and maybe even of interactive fiction.


"Only the dead have seen the end of war"-Plato

Post Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:18 am

I suggest that all development team members and any/all other interested TLR community members post in the TLR Site Suggests and Feedback forum with their support for free open community open source projects and for additional resources for those projects.

I have emailed bakedpotato with a request to add a wiki, posted a "formal" request in the site feedback thread for a wiki, and posted another request for a community wide public decision on whether or not TLR will formally support the future development of open community projects with additional development resources. These resources include a community wiki (MediaWiki), community source code repository (Subversion - SVN server), and digital asset repository (custom Digital Asset Management - DAM server).

The wiki is for text content development including but not limited to game manuals, modding manuals, specific tutorials, coop creative writing (e.g. never ending story), mission/campaign storyline development, game text content development (news, rumors, item/object descriptions), general information about various games, general technical support/troubleshooting database, and just about anything else.

The source code repository is dual purpose, it should be used to create a common library of code for use in any/all projects and manage code for individual projects, including but not limited to these code types: INI, XML, .NET framework (all of it), C/C++, Java, any script (web otherwise), and just about anything else. Its important to note that there is general overlap between the wiki and SVN, but a wiki is for text, SVN is for raw code, and SVN has support for various web based interfaces, integrated development environments (IDE including Visual Studio), and windows explorer, it is far superior over the wiki for code development.

The digital asset repository is for managing pictures, models, textures, video, and audio files with full revision control (e.g. tracks changes to each file), supports comments on each file, previews for each file type (thumbnails and short scaled down clips), tracks other meta data for each file (e.g. version numbers, authors, credits, licenses, etc), and support for various digital content design/development packages. Note that I can't find a free DAM server package so one might have to be developed based on an overhaul of the SVN server.

I think the best method of promoting constructive growth for the TLR community, open community mod development, and open community open source game development is for TLR to add those development resources. The only cost to TLR is increased website traffic, service development time, and increased management burden. I believe there is a slight risk to their web hosting due to their web host's “expressed dislike” of free open source software and this must be publicly addressed so everyone knows what is and is not going to supported by TLR.


"Only the dead have seen the end of war"-Plato

Post Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:24 am

So where have things gotten with the Wiki? Is it strictly OpenLancer or is there something in the works for TLR itself?

I've had a look at some of the OpenLancer stuff. Sharp folks. I'm liking what I've been reading from you and what you are doing appears to be something along the lines of what I've had in mind for a long time to start working on. **grins**

Well done.

Shannon Bentley
AKA LordDrow
AKA Marcus Santistivan in Narfell (Neverwinter Nights Server)
AKA Viperious (Freelancer Servers)
MTS Dev Lead
Freelancer Super-Universe Dev Lead

Post Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:53 pm

Sorry for the delay, I don't check this forum very often...

I doubt TLR will ever host a wiki. OL's wiki is just for the OL design and canon material for now.

We're building a new open source game/mod forge site as a new community hub, project hosting, community resource repositories, docs/guides/howto, etc. FL mod projects and all the FL modding info/tools are welcome, as long as the mods are willing to share assets with other mods (within the FL license if its based on FL assets/data, or under CC/BSD/GPL if its original work). Site launch is expected later this month but the site itself is also a community project so some serious help could have it open next week... A complete site overhaul is already planned for 3 to 6 months, we have to upgrade the server (VPS LAMP), overhaul G-Forge to work with cPanel (its a fugly mess of shell script and php), and migrate from sub-site bridges to LDAP with shtml/xmlrpc.

For OL itself, we've had extremely bad luck with programmers. We have tons of planning, design material, models, some music, and a bunch of partial game engine prototypes but no functional code base to really work on. A lot of people are idle waiting for a serious coder to invest some serious time in building a critical mass of a game engine. If this forge site is successful it should be a large enough community base to complete OL. Until both happen OL is stalled.

If you're interested in helping with the forge site check the forge to-do on OL's forums.


Lead Designer and Webmaster,
Openlancer Project

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