Volunteering on open source projects, lessons learned.

Recently I wrote a post, which I later deleted. I had started looking at working on a project called Evennia. It is a MUD/MUSH server written with Twisted and Django. My initial impression was that the project needed everyone to come together on a demo game, so people who were interested in using the code base would have something to go on. The idea was well received, however I realized it would pretty much just be me starting out. I was OK with this, until I got into it more. I realized that evennia was more of an engine that can be used to create a MUD engine. Much work would need to be done to get things into a state where it could be usable for a game. Looking at the MUD landscape, I don’t think my time would be well spent in a project to build the MUD engine. If the core code base were headed that way, it would be fine, but this isn’t the case. The core devs are interested only in the engine itself, not building a workable game from it.

Lessons learned: Put a little more effort into watching the community and reading the code/experimenting before you overtly volunteer on a project.

While I may have gotten a couple of people interested in doing more with evennia, I probably now look like a jerk. Oh well, on to other things and hopefully areas where my contributions can apply to a project that will see fruition. At the moment, I am closely looking at http://openhatch.org. Their entire purpose is to connect people with projects that could use their help. What a great idea. I’m thinking open hatch itself may be the project to contribute to. This time, I’ll spend a little more time checking it out first. On the upside, the project is done in python, with Django.

2 thoughts on “Volunteering on open source projects, lessons learned.

  1. Aww, don’t go give up on Evennia just yet! :)

    It is true that Evennia in many ways is a “bare-bones” mud server that allows an admin to build just about any game, but it’s still a full-fledged mud server in its own right – the fact that you can log into it, build stuff, chat on channels and walk around in the default setup is proof of that. The plan has always been to supply a ‘contrib’ folder with the pieces needed to get a more ‘game-like’ full game running more easily (such as parents for mobs, more developed rooms, combat etc). That these are not currently available is more a matter of time (and a limited amount of devs) than anything else.
    I can’t speak for anyone else of the ‘core devs’, but I am *of course* interested in making games with it, I wouldn’t code on Evennia if I didn’t intend to *use* all those bells and whistles at some point! 😉

    Anyway, sad to see you drop off, but maybe you’ll take a peek again at us as the project matures. :)

  2. I just discovered evennia, and I have to say it’s architecture is looking beautifully. Do check out the tutorial game that is part of the contrib folder now, and which actually makes for a playable game. I agree, we’ll probably need many more standard classes for weapons and other nice stuff. But it actually looks really good to me.

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