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 Post subject: Itch.io release
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 6:05 pm 
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Space Krill

Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 11:46 am
Posts: 2
This was originally a Github issue https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/issues/2127

Suggestion:

With some polish to the interface and ergonomics releasing freeorion on Itch.io could be beneficial in terms of renown -> new developers influx -> more awesome stuff.
Gameplay as it is now feels quite solid.
Also releasing process on Itch is less strict then on Steam - not too much formalities involved (in fact, there are almost none).

Zero-K RTS was already successfully released on Itch last year and this year - on Steam, so I guess it's a way to go?

Effort needed:

Initial effort

  • Get an Itch account (trivial)
  • [OPTIONAL]If voluntary donations are to be collected, set up payment options (existing PayPal makes it quick)
  • Make separate zips with builds for major systems (esp. if portable is possible) and/or links to packages (like in AUR).
  • Make a nice Itch storepage and write/draw sth (artistic). (Adding a youtuber letsplay video makes this perfect, adding a github link is also nice)

Maitenance:

  • Update zips every release.
  • Maybe sometimes write sth change-log style.
  • Hear out comments.


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 Post subject: Re: Itch.io release
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 6:22 pm 
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Programmer
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Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:52 am
Posts: 1072
Location: Germany
Can you explain your association with that page?

Also FO is not an "indie" game and as far as I know there are not plans to change this.

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 Post subject: Re: Itch.io release
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:53 pm 
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Space Krill

Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 11:46 am
Posts: 2
Oh, now that I'm thinking about it, it DID sound as an ad ^_^.

I'm not an associate of Itch.io.
I do have an account there and plan to eventually make an Itch release of my firstborn RepoMaker though.
And maybe to participate in jams, they kind of have a nice infra for that.
I use it to find some new cool (and often opensource) stuff to play/commit sth.
That's really it.

About "Indie" - that is a very vague term.
According to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indie_game FO can be pretty much classified like that.
And there are games on Itch sharing similar to FO dev model. Quite many of them in fact.
And Zero-K that I mentioned is a FOSS (greatly improved) successor of Total Annihilation which is kinda what FO is doing with MoO here.

Free Orion is not really a _remake_ of MoO.
Right now as it seems it is a small team+community effort to deliver a MoO-inspired _great_ 4X strategy.

I've seen and played Stellaris and GalCiv and the new Orion thingie, but they never have the great feel of, for example, Endless Sky.
You know, when the game does not treat you as a customer (although I did like GalCiv I as a child).
So my motivation here is that I want to see a great space 4X free of proprietary BS and play it.

Unfortunately the thing with modern development is that if you can't gain enough development speed you fall behind and get forgotten. A crapton of obsolete legacy code will make starting a new space 4X in, for example, Godot engine much more feasible than to reanimate stuff.
(That's why people want to get rid of Xorg and rewrite my daily workhorse-KiCad for example).
Pretty much the only way to gain the devspeed for opensource is to broaden community and to recruit devs from community.
So broading the playerbase by any means is a matter of survival of the project.

And platforms like Itch that have a solid playerflux and simultaneously don't cripple you with bureaucracy are great for exactly that.
Also publishing on Itch does not ban you from Steam or anything since it is all free.


Last edited by Houkime on Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Itch.io release
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 8:46 am 
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Release Manager, Design
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:56 pm
Posts: 4594
Location: Sol III
At a quick glance, the effort to maintain releases on itch.io seem to be managable. Still, it has to be done, and as release manager it's most likely me who would have to do the work...

What do the others think about this suggestion?

Houkime wrote:
Pretty much the only way to gain the devspeed for opensource is to broaden community and to recruit devs from community.
So broading the playerbase by any means is a matter of survival of the project.
Considering FO has been around for 15 years, and has made slow, but stable progress most of the time, I'm currently not too worried about the survival of the project. But of course, more people contributing is always a good thing. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Itch.io release
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 9:03 am 
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Programming, Design, Admin
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Posts: 12237
Location: Munich
Vezzra wrote:
Considering FO has been around for 15 years, and has made slow, but stable progress most of the time, I'm currently not too worried about the survival of the project. But of course, more people contributing is always a good thing. ;)
While it's been going for quite a while, a few key people disappearing could be project-ending. That said, for a few months this year we had arguably too many productive people contributing code, such that I couldn't effectively review the massive pull requests in a reasonable time. That said, that's a good problem to have, and while I like having time to do some actual coding, I'd still prefer if (eg.) LGM-Doyle was submitting more than I could review rather than nothing like the last 3 months or so.

(That all said, longer-term concerns for project viability are perhaps the trends away from desktop/laptop systems towards portable devices for personal use...)


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 Post subject: Re: Itch.io release
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 9:41 am 
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Vacuum Dragon

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:01 am
Posts: 505
Vezzra wrote:
Houkime wrote:
Pretty much the only way to gain the devspeed for opensource is to broaden community and to recruit devs from community.
So broading the playerbase by any means is a matter of survival of the project.
Considering FO has been around for 15 years, and has made slow, but stable progress most of the time, I'm currently not too worried about the survival of the project. But of course, more people contributing is always a good thing. ;)

Well actually the people I needed badly the last cycle were not developers but playtesters (Again: big thanks to Oberlus!!!). Increasing player base hopefully would help in that area

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 Post subject: Re: Itch.io release
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 2:54 pm 
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Vacuum Dragon

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:15 pm
Posts: 559
Geoff the Medio wrote:
(That all said, longer-term concerns for project viability are perhaps the trends away from desktop/laptop systems towards portable devices for personal use...)

That's a consideration. Does FO even run on Windows tablets? I've only had an iPad.

Porting to iOs or Android would be . . . substantial effort.


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