Post 1.0 and tes3mp

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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Post 1.0 and tes3mp

Post by aesylwinn » 09 May 2018, 00:04

Hello all. It’s been a while. This past semester was hell for me, but fortunately it has ended. Anyway, I’ve been catching up with this project, and there is something I believe needs to be addressed. I see that Zini has made significant progress on a design document for the next major version of the project (post 1.0). This is great and I’m looking forward to reading it once he releases it. I see he is planning to have Scrawl give feedback on it for his graphical expertise, which will no doubt make it that much better. However, there is a party that should be involved with the design phase, but isn’t: the main developers of the tes3mp fork.

There are three important reasons why the tes3mp team should be involved with the design phase. First, it would allow both teams to work on a single project. Currently, development efforts are being split across two separate projects which is unhealthy considering that the only important difference between the two is networking. New developers have to choose between working on the openmw project or the tes3mp project and being involved with both communities. They should not have to choose between the two.

The second reason is that joining the two projects would be much is easier if planned during the design phase. The main requirement is to use a client-server model (and maybe a plugin system) where logic is split from rendering graphics. This major change was discouraged previously because the project had not hit 1.0 yet. Now that major changes are being considered, this is no longer a deterrent. This should be done at the start, and not several months after development has started.

The third main reason is related to the second. If multiplayer is not considered at this stage, we are probably looking at another fork of the project in the future. David, one of the main developers of the tes3mp team, has done a great job of merging in changes from openmw. However, once the core engine begins to have major changes, it’s unlikely he will be able to continue doing so. If the changes are as big as I think they will be, then either progress will slow dramatically until the design of the core engine stabilizes or the two projects will diverge. At that point, someone may decide to add multiplayer to openmw again starting from scratch. This should be avoided if at all possible. It is unhealthy for both the community and future development.

I hope that the two projects can become one in the next major version of openmw. I wrote this on behalf of the tes3mp team after asking if they were already involved and discovering it was not the case.

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Re: Post 1.0 and tes3mp

Post by davidcernat » 09 May 2018, 02:01

I feel like there are a lot of difficult considerations in a situation like this.

On one hand, my main priority has been to not distract OpenMW's development in any way, as requested by Zini himself:
Zini wrote: My main concern is still the same. Dealing with MP at this stage in any way will eat man power that we need for other parts of OpenMW. Or rather it may be that we simple do not have the man power to deal with MP at the moment. That being said, I don't think a subforum would cause any harm, as long as it is made clear that MP is currently very low priority for us and we may not always be able to provide assistance in timely manner or sometimes at all.

On the other hand, multiplayer adds a lot of value and potential to the project that are hard to pass up. The prospect of adding multiplayer to OpenMW used to be intimidating, but we now have a fork where a lot of time and effort has been spent on doing it reasonably well.

In the early days of OpenMW, a decision was made to not design the project with multiplayer in mind, and that was probably the right decision at the time. In fact, it may be the decision that allowed OpenMW to get this far in the first place, by focusing mental resources on clear goals instead of spreading and thinning them out on everyone's whimsical ideas.

We have now returned to weighing that decision... with the difference being that multiplayer now exists, is mostly playable as of its last public release, and will become more playable as time goes by.

Should OpenMW now embrace multiplayer wholeheartedly? I actually don't know.

I'm in the interesting position of seeing things from both my perspective as the person who made TES3MP playable and from that of someone who wasn't consulted for major decisions in it, because I joined the project when its overall structure had already been decided by Koncord based on his previous experience with San Andreas Multiplayer and the Vault-Tec Multiplayer Mod for Fallout 3.

That's not too different from Zini joining OpenMW when its original structure had been put together by Korslund. In both cases, we saw something that didn't work and we decided to make it work. In nearly every regard, Zini has succeeded, which is why OpenMW 1.0 is on the horizon. I want to do my best to follow his example and make TES3MP succeed in every one of its more limited goals... but what does that mean for OpenMW?

At the end of the day, the two main authors of TES3MP aren't even Koncord and David. They're Zini and scrawl, who – by creating OpenMW – had oversight over 86% of the code used in TES3MP, as well as writing massive amounts of it themselves. I'm going to do what they want me to do.
Last edited by davidcernat on 09 May 2018, 09:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Post 1.0 and tes3mp

Post by psi29a » 09 May 2018, 06:52

We've yet to see the document, we have no idea what is in it, only speculation.

That being said, Multiplayer is important enough that we always listed as a long-term goal and it has its own FAQ entry.

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Re: Post 1.0 and tes3mp

Post by Zini » 09 May 2018, 09:32

Multiplayer is still a long term goal. It is not consistent with the short term plans for post 1.0 development which mostly focusses on incremental changes that result in quick user-facing improvements.

That being said I already have a small number of improvements listed that will be useful for multiplayer development. And the version I will publish once scrawl had a look at it isn't necessary the final version. We do intent to take in further input from the developer community, which includes multiplayer developers.

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Re: Post 1.0 and tes3mp

Post by aesylwinn » 09 May 2018, 16:11

I'm glad to see the concern I had is not an issue. :D

Edit: Just a side thought. Editor + Client-server model =? Live in game editing/previewing.

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