1.0 roundtable

Anything related to PR, release planning and any other non-technical idea how to move the project forward should be discussed here.
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raevol
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1.0 roundtable

Post by raevol » 04 Sep 2016, 10:59

I was reading back through the 0.40.0 thread, and I noticed that I threatened to have a discussion about 1.0 after this release. So here's me putting my money where my mouth is.

The last time I brought up this discussion, it was about entering a "beta" before 1.0 That got swiftly shut down by scrawl, who leveraged my definition of beta to point out that we still have features left to be implemented. Now that scrawl has stepped down from being our sole active developer (and MANY MANY THANKS to him for his RIDICULOUS amount of work contributed to this project btw, I am being a bit of a jerk to him with this post right now but let me take an excessive parenthetical here to say that I am ETERNALLY grateful to him for all his work, and this project probably would have floundered and evaporated long ago without his UNSPEAKABLY significant contributions to the project) I think we really need to have a serious discussion about getting this thing done.

Our issue tracker, at the time of this posting, lists 14 "feature" issues as open for the 0.41.0 release, and the rest as being "openmw-future", I assume meaning post-1.0. Let's take this seriously. If we can close these 14 features, are we ready to enter a final testing phase before release? Are there any unaccounted for features that should be added to this list? And once we have a final list of "todo" features nailed down, what is our strategy for getting them done? Leaving scrib jelly offerings on the alters of our ancestors isn't going to cut it- we need to find contributors and get this stuff done. Let's have a serious discussion about knocking these things off and getting ourselves on a real course to 1.0.

A really big issue I have with this project right now is how the direction is being held so tightly in the reigns of zini and scrawl, with basically zero communication as to where we are going. Again, I can't overstate how eternally grateful I am to you two for your contributions to this project: in open source and even in the proprietary world that I have worked in, I have never seen two people so tirelessly dedicate themselves to a project. We would be nowhere without you, and I am not trying to cut you down with this post. But it's time to own up to the fact that we can't keep dragging this thing out as if it's never going to end. It's a complete disservice to the community to not be transparent about what's holding us back from reaching 1.0, and what explicit steps we are going to take to accomplish it.

Please everyone, speak up. I am taking a step of faith here, assuming that everyone else wants to know where we are going and when. If I am just being rude an inappropriate here, please let me know, it's not my intention to be negative. I'm trying to drag this ship on course to get this project done: it seems to me like we are *so close*, and that bit of extra effort will give us the momentum to sail past our goal with flying colors.

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Atahualpa
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Re: 1.0 roundtable

Post by Atahualpa » 04 Sep 2016, 12:04

Wow, raevol, you are on fire right now. :D

I must say that I generally agree with you. It often appears to me like black magic how we have come so far without extensive communicational micro-management. As a non-developer I often have problems to follow certain discussions about a feature or to find any information at all. That said, an internal "Team" forum where some of the communication among team members can be directed to would be nice to have. But we have to keep in mind that everyone works on a voluntary basis here, and that we don't want to put too much pressure on our developers.

I only want to add, that our course to v1.0 is also most important for the upcoming FAQ video(s) I just started to work on. (I haven't set up the corresponding thread yet but will do so soon.)

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Capostrophic
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Re: 1.0 roundtable

Post by Capostrophic » 04 Sep 2016, 12:11

You have a point, however in my opinion if 1.0 release should be ASAP, this acronym'd better mean «as smooth as possible».

«Final testing phase» is vague concept.

Biboran
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Re: 1.0 roundtable

Post by Biboran » 04 Sep 2016, 13:04

Like user, I personally see 1.0 without major bugs, cool optimisations and some basic featurs that not exist in vanilla, but exist in musthave plugins, like MGE, different mod managers, etc. and with some new features that was not possible in past, like you already have - pre-loading interriors, different water levels, all like that, but with some more - possible physics, smart AI etc.
Sorry if it too hard or something :(

robcbwilson
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Re: 1.0 roundtable

Post by robcbwilson » 04 Sep 2016, 13:10

Before I start, I would echo what raevol said. This project is awesome and the work done already by Scrawl and Zinni is incredible.

I think you are right, the release video said it all to me. No new features, just bug fixes. The previous videos all had something big (or cool) to announce, this one was just small bugs.

It will become increasingly obvious if the project goes to .42 and beyond that the plan for 1.0 is not defined and people may become frustrated. In my humble opinion, ensure that (as you correctly asserted) 0.41 is the last iteration unless all features can't be done. If this is the case, I would be upfront about those 14 features and plan their implementation.

Allofich
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Re: 1.0 roundtable

Post by Allofich » 04 Sep 2016, 14:39

Assuming we are aiming for something that can do everything Morrowind can do as the 1.0 release, I think we still have a long way to go unless the development pace suddenly speeds way up. Little issues, bugs and missing features, that aren't currently on the bugtracker continue to show up, so in no way is it a complete listing of everything that is missing compared to the original game.

I've only been around a few months, and many of the remaining issues are fairly minor, granted, but taking it literally that 1.0 is supposed to have all bugs fixed and all features from the original game in, and basing off of what I have seen in my time here, I think we will see quite a few more development cycles before 1.0 hits.

If we had more developers maybe it would go faster, although they need to be ready to accept criticism of their work, make changes that are requested and be careful to test both their work and the original game to make sure that things are working as they should.

I suspect it's a bit difficult to give a timetable, or to make a list of features remaining to be implemented, as I think we, even scrawl, are still learning about everything that's in the original Morrowind. I, for one, am limited in what I can do because I'm inexperienced at programming, but I mostly just attempt issues that look like they are simple enough to be within my ability to fix. Often while working on an issue I'll come across a few new ones, which I then add to the bugtracker.

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AnyOldName3
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Re: 1.0 roundtable

Post by AnyOldName3 » 04 Sep 2016, 14:44

This might be a good time to apply the MoSCoW principle which I've been taught should always be used everywhere and for everything otherwise everything will go wrong (although the project's got this far without it). Basically, we split thins into different groups and prioritise them accordingly. If the groups are discussed with people who aren't Zini and Scrawl, it will hopefully give them a good idea of what the community feels should be in 1.0.

This is my current idea, but feel free to copy and/or edit it if you think it aids this discussion.

Must (mandatory requirements that are fundamental to OpenMW):
  • Have all the features of vanilla Morrowind
Should (important requirements that could be omitted):
  • Fix every perceived bug in the vanilla engine (not things that might just be bad game design or that could be fixed by a mod).
  • Allow the vanilla game and most standard mods to work without alteration.
  • Have a mostly-functional editor.
  • Have a mostly-functional launcher (e.g. maybe make it possible to add data files directories from the GUI and modify more graphics settings without actually starting the engine)
Could (optional requirements only to be added if someone wants to and has time):
  • Allow graphical improvements over vanilla Morrowind (e.g. distant land)
  • Have a 'good' example suite
  • Have extensive editor documentation aimed at users
Want (bells and whistles that are nice to have, but probably should be post-1.0, if ever, unless they're trivial to implement)
  • Allow greater modding freedom than vanilla
  • Add all the features of popular exe tweaks for vanilla (e.g. MWSE script compatibility, SSAO, anything MCP lets people tweak)
  • Enhanced physics, AI etc.
  • Support for every other Gamebryo game ever, and hell, why not Unreal, CryEngine, Unity, IdTech etc. too!
  • Bring about world peace
Some of these are pretty much done, and others are obviously not going to happen ever, but this should be a decent outline of priority. Post 1.0, a lot of these things should probably be bumped up the list, but definitely aren't requirements right now.
AnyOldName3, Master of Shadows

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sjek
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Re: 1.0 roundtable

Post by sjek » 04 Sep 2016, 15:02

went trought features with no version tag and there weren't much vanilla possible addition candidates for those 14. the bug list is kinda bigger but doable. this list also is little bit biased naturally.
filter:
Spoiler: Show
and chosen features:
Spoiler: Show
"life is crazy"
"craziness has beauty which only crazies understand" some movie clip in the head.
https://wiki.openmw.org/index.php?title=Testing

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MrAnonGuy
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Re: 1.0 roundtable

Post by MrAnonGuy » 04 Sep 2016, 15:14

Just a casual observation from an outsider. Consider this..

"Art is never finished, only abandoned." - Leonardo da Vinci

As with any creative endeavour, it's never really finished. If you're only wiling to accept perfection, there will never be V1.0. At some point, it becomes ready for release and any little issues that are still hanging around, or happen to pop up, can be handled in maintenance releases.

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Atahualpa
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Re: 1.0 roundtable

Post by Atahualpa » 04 Sep 2016, 18:48

AnyOldName3 wrote:
Spoiler: Show
Nice list.
robcbwilson wrote:[...]
I think you are right, the release video said it all to me. No new features, just bug fixes. The previous videos all had something big (or cool) to announce, this one was just small bugs.

It will become increasingly obvious if the project goes to .42 and beyond that the plan for 1.0 is not defined and people may become frustrated. In my humble opinion, ensure that (as you correctly asserted) 0.41 is the last iteration unless all features can't be done. If this is the case, I would be upfront about those 14 features and plan their implementation.
Thinking about shiny features which will be added anyway, I came up with the following for v1.0:
  • Shadows
  • Distant Land
  • AI improvements (flee, door AI, pathfinding, ...)
  • Water Effects & Water Sounds
Given someone is willing to work on these tasks, we could have one or two releases before v1.0 in terms of bigger features. In any case, let's hear Zini's opinion first [taken from the v0.40.0 thread]:
Zini wrote:@Atahualpa I will comment on the new roadmap in my OpenMW 0.41.0 posting.

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