April 2015 - The One Man Army

Submitted by Roots on Sat, 04/11/2015 - 22:14

Progress has been slowing down quite a lot over the past month. There's a simple reason for this. For the past six months, I've pretty much been working solo on Allacrost. Yes, there have been small contributions by a couple of others along the way, but 99% of the progress made since the Fall of last year was due directly to my own efforts. My time has become more scarce over the past few weeks, which explains why this progress came to a grinding halt. This is a temporary situation though, and I expect to be back on track in a couple weeks.

The lack of contributors was certainly not due to my lack of trying. I've attempted to find others to help out at communities we've been successful at pulling from before, but for some reason this project doesn't seem to attract the talented and dedicated people that it used to. I'm not completely certain why this is, given that we are in a better position than we ever have been to start really producing playable content. But I speculate that lack of interest may be due to the following.

Hosting Platform
Most popular open source projects these days are hosted on sites like Github or BitBucket while we are still on Sourceforge. Some have told me that simply moving to these platforms will make our project more attractive. It's something we're certainly considering for the future, but right now I'd rather our efforts be focused on making the game, not fumbling around with updating our platform and processes.

Competition
When Allacrost was birthed, gaming in Linux was barely worth mentioning. Today, distributors like Steam and GOG provide native Linux ports. Not to mention the number of games produced in general feels like it has really climbed over the years. It's hard to be noticed among so many other fine projects (not that I'm complaining, as a Linux gamer myself I love how the platform has grown).

Ageism
Allacrost is now over a decade old. That's a really long time, and I can imagine people being deterred simply because they don't want to contribute to something that's taking so long to complete. I can't say I blame people who think that, and it's unfortunate. People also tend to like to join a project early, when they can influence the direction and style of the game more easily. The only solution is to pump out releases so we can show the world we're still around and kicking.

To put it simply, we (I) am desperate for additional help. Its a real struggle to work solo on such an enormous project. Truthfully, there isn't much that remains in the way of completing the development release I had planned back in February. But it's a lot of little things including some programming, map scripting, artwork production, and map design. It feels a little overwhelming for just myself to wear so many hats and do all of this alone. But, I will do so alone if I must. But if you'd like to help, please have a look at the Contribute page and find out how you can.

With any luck, the next news post will be an announcement of the next development release. Look for that sometime in May or June.