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[Freeciv-Dev] Re: Documentation, Usability and Development

[Freeciv-Dev] Re: Documentation, Usability and Development

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To: Andrew Sutton <ansutton@xxxxxxx>
Cc: Justin Moore <justin@xxxxxxxxxxx>, Freeciv Developers <freeciv-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Documentation, Usability and Development
From: Raimar Falke <hawk@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 09:14:50 +0100
Reply-to: rf13@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

On Tue, Nov 27, 2001 at 03:21:17PM -0500, Andrew Sutton wrote:
> On Tuesday 27 November 2001 11:04 am, Justin Moore wrote:
> > It talks about what the average user wants in terms of documentation, but
> > also drifts into usability.  Freeciv may have a pretty good game engine
> > under the hood and be pretty flexible, but quite frankly the UI leaves a
> > lot to be desired.  And I'm not just talking about the dialog boxes or
> > which mouse buttons do what.  I'm talking about just getting the game up
> > and running.
> > <snip>
> actually, alot of what you're saying is some of the general principles behind 
> software engineering - more focused at the gui and usability, but software 
> engineering indeed - something i've learned to really, really appreciate in 
> my 2 years since graduating college (are you taking a class or something?)
> anyway, if you're going to start ranting about quality, requirements, 
> testing, and configuration management, then don't stop there :) talk about 
> problem domain analysis, solution domain, some of the real stuff that drives 
> good development. hacking isn't everything, and when you're trying to 
> implement a highly complex rule-based, extensible game like free-civ, a good 
> place to start is a complete analysis of the problem.
> for example, freeciv aspires to
>       a) implement the game rules of civ 1, 2, 3?, ctp, etc.
>       b) provide some framework to allow others to develop rules, nations, 
> tiles, 
> etc.
>       c) implement various aspects of civ progress
>               - population
>               - land
>               - production
>               - culture
>               - etc...
>       d) multiplayer
>       e) accessibility of all game aspects by user
>       f) player automation of micromanagement
>       g) computer players
>       h) algorithmic variation (parameter tweaking) (e.g. corruption debate)
>       i) i'm sure there's lots more.
> i've never seen this for freeciv - besides an older features list that still 
> claims the game ships with 40 some odd civs and now that's up to, what 62? 
> actually, its very rare to see this kind of analysis for any open source 
> project - in fact, i don't know if i've heard of too many commercial games 
> that go thru a software engineering process. hell, game developer magazines 
> description of the diablo2 development process was laughable as far as 
> software engineering goes: lets start with a prototype and then add features 
> with no real roadmap...
> anyway, if anybody's interested in doing this, i'd love to help. software 
> engineering was one of my focuses in college and i think it would be great to 
> sit down and do it for something the complexity of freeciv.

I agree with most of the stuff about.

> p.s. justin, did you think about a qt client? that would eliminate alot of 
> cross platform woes and still allow the client to retain its open source 
> status under the gpl. IMHO C++ is the only way to go for gui... and... well, 
> everything else. e.g. rewrite the network IO stuff to use ACE, city classes, 
> unit classes, player classes, nation classes, map classes, the list goes on :)

IMHO if you want to change freeciv to use C++ that open another
project. Because I think that C is a basic for freeciv and should be
mentioned in your list above.


 email: rf13@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.

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