Wednesday, July 04, 2007

New Vega Strike in August

Typical. I stop monitoring Vega Strike for a week or so and everything starts happening. They get a new website, a devblog, and one of the developers commits to an August update for the game to bring the latest developments to players not prepared to dabble in SVN.

Vega Strike has never been a dead project, nor an inactive one, something the lack of a release since 2003 has betrayed for a game purportedly "in development". I think the devblog is an excellent compromise between showing activity and spamming the news page with not-newsworthy items.

VS is an strong example of the growing pains experienced by a popular open source project and how managing releases and resources should be considered as much a task as development itself. I would put the lack of releases down to a failure to manage contributions, but I think they have turned the corner with this.

For an excellent example of good resource management, look at the Battle for Wesnoth project. I'll also note it is easy to look in and criticise, but far harder to apply good practise to your own projects.

There's a Windows SDK available for the FreeOrion project to encourage developers who use Windows. I think this is another good practise, making it more than easy to get started with the source code. I would go as far as to say that the indimidating factor of downloading and using various development tools is probably as big a barrier than knowing how to program. You can learn programming basics from looking at source code and following the logic, but it's meaningless if you can't make a change and see what effect that has.

Other blog watch:

  • There's another description of a game idea over at although this time it's just a description and not a challenge to create the game (no graphics provided).
  • There's the fourth part of an overview of Linux games here, this part covers MMORPGs and lists at least four open source games.