Questions about the development time taken for Release 1.0

All discussion about the Commander Genius project (a Keen interpreter + more).
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gerstrong
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Questions about the development time taken for Release 1.0

Post by gerstrong » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:16

Some might have wondered why it took so long to create version 1.0 of CG and maybe, why is it called that and why so many tough decisions.

Well, this thread is for the people who wondered what has been happening to CG and I'm trying to answer these questions on those threads. If you have anything other than those, even a Rant put it here. Just keep in mind, I like to answer questions the best way I can. This not a Q/A thread like Pizza2004 opened time ago. On that thread technical questions are answered. Here it is about the Release 1.0 making of. So, let's get into it!

Questions:
  • 1.- Q: Why did the development cycle take more than a year, when every release update got pushed every month?
    A: I think a month is too short for a release if you want to put some greater features, which take more time in order to get done. Yet again you can split using GIT the project with a branch, which works fine, but then again you get more work managing those. Galaxy Keen was the main goal and this was a pretty big goal to achieve. So I prefered to take more time on that getting things right and release it, to surprise you even more then having to public every month chunks of unfinished business. The monthly cycle also showed me that people started to loose interest because they don't see that many changes. The next release won't last a year, that is for sure.

    2.- Q: Why did you change the version number from 0.4 to 1.0?
    A: Well, Commander Genius had a certain goal from the beginning and I talk here about CloneKeen. I was searching a way back then support and enhance the Commander Keen series, I really love those games in its style. There was no interpreter, you could only play them using Dosbox. I wished Keen on a newer system so hard and even with more features, less problems like controls and stuff, that I looked many times on the net to find something usable. I don't like playing this on Dosbox, so one day I discovered that so called CloneKeen and tried to build it. I like Keen 1 but I like the Galaxy Keen games more. Good thing is, that Tulip thinks a bit different and I searched for ways getting Keen 4 supported and also enhanced Keen 1 the way I really wanted to play it. It was a wish for about these years and we finally got it, with this first release including galaxy engine for Keen 4.

    About the numbering. 0.4 would fit well to Keen 4 and 0.5 should have been Keen 5 but those were plans by others, people who weren't mature enough to manage a project, so I had to quit that madness. I would have left that version number if those people helped me more on project, but they just left, so sorry. The second reason as I told before, is that my fundamental goal was to support Keen 4. In my opinion it is the most wanted and best Commander Keen game they ever produced. It is essencial for a good interpreter to support it. So my goal is reached and a finished application deserves IMHO the version 1.0. Though the cut of long version number was another reason why I did that. Similar to Linux getting to version 3.0 I think here it also made sense to do so.

    3.- Q: What problems did you have with the development team?
    A: This is my first opensource big project in which, well, we don't earn money for doing that, and I have to manage. I really had to learn a lot and also by doing, I failed on some people being sometimes insultive or hard. I'm sorry for that, really!

    So, the reaction of people who wanted to contribute was something new to me and I couldn't foresee what would happen in the future with them.

    Many might know those problems. They promise to help on it, they see it is too difficult, they don't talk about how hard it is because, or they are too proud or they are timid. Whatever the case, some people just never showed up I trusted to and that really made me angry.

    Others were so proud, they thought they would be better than the entire team I also had trust they would get things done and they took very dumb decisions which I had to iron out and also took away time in the development. That is also another reason for the last long development cycle. Good thing all those bad code desings are now out.

    4.- Q: What is status of the team now?
    A: Main development and coding is performed by me, most of the official team members haven't been doing anything since a long time and most of the time I work lonely on that project. I'm fine with that. Some people eventhough, not even being part of the team, have supporting me and helping which is something I appreciate a lot. They really have been helpful and it really pushed CG on top and beyond.

    5.- Q: What is about people who want to be part of the team?
    A: I'm open for newcomers, but it won't be that easy anymore. I have seen an interesting phenomena of distraction in a lot of people they don't have control over themself and really haven't found a life to live. So yeah, everybody is welcome to join and help on this code, but getting into the team is a decision I have to make and I need to see some prove that you really mean and deserve it. Also one thing, I normally don't insult people, especially if they want to learn from the project. I only get insultive, if their behavior gets stupid and arrogant. Even in real life I don't have tolerance for that.

    My methods might sometimes be hard, but here is the prove. There is a fully working Commander Genius intrepreting Keen 1-4 and the project on this stage is really finished. The goal after four years is finally accomplished. So my managmenent skills can't be that hard if I think about other projects that never got even really started before they were teared down.

    6.- Q: So CG is finished?
    A: A project like this is never finished, but I really like what it became. We now will support Keen 5 and later, we will see what fans demand. I also want to support Keen 6, Dreams and then in future other games like Bio Menace and Duke Nukem I and II. Can't tell what is next, but for now Keen 5 on CG will become a reality.

    7.- Q: Netplay and networking in CG?
    A: There were plans, but as people didn't show up to implement it, it got lost. I might eventually support it, but my priorities lie on Keen 5 now, so, sorry, not right now. There is Netkeen use this in the meanwhile.
Having fun developing stuff...

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