Recruitment

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Introduction

This article is dedicated to all aspects that are directly related to the recruitment of new developers for FIFE.

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Gamedev.net

[b]Team name:[/b] FIFE developing team.

[b]Project name:[/b] FIFE - [b]F[/b]lexible [b]I[/b]sometric [b]F[/b]allout(-like) [b]E[/b]ngine.

[b]Brief description:[/b] Just like the name of our project suggests we work on a new open source engine for isometric 2D games. The engine started as a Fallout-related project but we recognized very fast that it offers the potential to be used as a general 2D isometric engine for the development of cross platform games in general and RPGs in particular. The engine supports the assets of the original Fallout games but that does [b]NOT[/b] mean you're bound to them in any way. We are focusing on the development of the engine itself but will bundle it together with an (rather simple) example game. This way game creators have a starting point for their own FIFE-based projects.

Since we do not focus on the creation of a full featured game we're working on comfortable and easy-to-use editing tools. Engine and editor tools are meant to run on all flavours of Linux, Win32 and MacOSX.

The FIFE project is now over 2 years in development and we have released five public pre-alpha and alpha versions of the engine on sourceforge / freshmeat over this time. Our next major milestone 2007.2 is scheduled to be released at the 10th of October, 2007.

[b]Target aim:[/b] Open source <a href="http://www.opensource.org/licenses/gpl-license.php">GPL v2.0</a>; non-profit

[b]Compensation:[/b] We are confident that interested developers will find it quite exciting to work on the design and the implementation of a whole engine with other experienced and passionate open source programmers. But as we're a non-profit project the only thing we can provide is the actual development experience that you'll gain and the satisfying feeling to work on an ambitious project.

[b]Technology:[/b] Linux, Windows, MacOSX C++, Boost library SDL, OpenGL (optional)

[b]Warning:[/b] Unfortunately FIFE is a rather complicated large scale project. We're always trying to ease getting involved in the project for new developers however the nature of the undertaking does set at least a certain bar you'll have to jump over. Please have a look at our source code first before you apply for any position. There were several developers who have applied for positions in the past who did underestimate the task and did leave the team later.

As this is neither satisfying for you nor for us, the best way to find out if you want to get involved is to take a look at our code base. You should always get the most recent code from our Subversion repository. We suggest to use <a href="http://tortoisesvn.tigris.org/">TortoiseSVN</a> if you're working under Win32. The stable source packages tend to become outdated rather fast as they're just updated for every major milestone.

[b]SVN sourcecode checkout:[/b] [quote]svn co https://svn1.cvsdude.com/fife/engine/trunk/[/quote]

[b]HTTP sourcecode download:[/b] <a href="http://downloads.sourceforge.net/fife/FIFE_2007.1_src.tar.bz2">FIFE 2007.1 src package</a>

[b]Talent needed:[/b] [b]Engine engineer[/b] - position(s) open Advanced C++ skills and engine design knowledge are required for this position as you will need to make design decision about the architecture of the engine. Experience with any of the 3rd party libraries that we're utilizing would be really appreciated but isn't a must. It is far more important that we find someone who can invest a serious amount of time to improve the engine design and give the development a direction.

[b]Engine module developer (misc.)[/b] - position open We're searching for developers who are able to improve certain modules of the engine. Possible fields of work are:

  • Audio code development (OpenAL, for a more detailed description, have a look at the following paragraph)
  • General SDL-related development (e.g. rewrite of the current input manager)
  • GUI-related development
  • Map-related tasks (pathfinding, line of sight, etc.)
  • SDL software renderer development
  • OpenGL hardware renderer development
  • Scripting / Python development
  • Unit test development

[b]Engine audio developer[/b] - position filled Our audio programmer has been quite busy lately and had no time to work on the engine audio code therefore. We're trying to find a developer who has experience in working with cross platform programming in general and in working with OpenAL in particular. As there is no other audio expert on the team besides this one inactive programmer, there are unfortunately no well-defined tasks for improving the code. Therefore your task would to be to analyze the current audio code that is in place and develope a strategy for improving it feature-wise and bring up refactoring ideas if you think that even the structure of the code should be improved in specific places.

Although our former audio programmer is not on the team anymore, our other developers will help you getting into the code and support you with specific feedback about possible feature and structure improvements of course. So no need to be afraid: you'll have full support by the other developers if any issues arise so we're sure that we can tackle all upcoming problems as a team.

[b]Python developer[/b] - position open We did recently add Python support to our engine by utilizing <a href="http://www.swig.org">SWIG</a>. Python support was just meant to be a proof of concept but as it worked out very well we decided to replace our old design (lua as embedded scripting language) with SWIG (giving us the possibility to extend the engine instead and support a number of other scripting languages besides lua, e.g. python, ruby or even OCaml).

You would work on implementing features into FIFE that are not performance-critical and can be written in Python therefore. Basic C++ knowledge will be sufficent; advanced Python experience is more important for this position. Another plus would be if you would have worked with SWIG before and could help out with possible arising issues (e.g. object ownership between engine and script side or exception handling were two of the potential pitfalls we did recently discover).

We're using the Python-based <a href="http://www.scons.org">SCons</a> tool as build system for our project. Experience with this build tool would be another fantastic additional skill for any interested developer as we intend to improve our build scripts before we ship our next major public release.

[b]Team structure: (only currently active members listed!)[/b] anxs - software engineer (sound) iggins - mac porter Jasoka - software engineer (engine core) jwt - software engineer (engine core) mortiz - software engineer (pathfinding) mvBarracuda - project management prock - software engineer (sound)

My job as project manager is to keep the team together and to ensure that the communication structure inside the team works so everyone enjoys working on the project. Among other things I'm responsible for the recruitment of new developers, writing <a href="http://mirror1.cvsdude.com/trac/fife/engine/blog">developer blog updates</a>, maintaining the <a href="http://wiki.fifengine.net">project wiki</a> and to provide the official win32 packages and prebuilt SVN snapshots.

[b]Website:[/b] <a href="http://www.fifengine.net">Homepage</a> <a href="http://wiki.fifengine.net">Development wiki</a> <a href="http://wiki.fifengine.net/index.php?title=Getting_started">Getting started guide for interested developers</a> <a href="http://docs.fifengine.net">Doxygen code documentation</a> <a href="http://wiki.fifengine.net/index.php?title=Category:Design_Documents">Design documents</a> <a href="http://blog.fifengine.net">Developer blog</a> <a href="http://roadmap.fifengine.net">Roadmap for the upcoming releases</a>

[b]Current release:[/b] [b]Stable:[/b] <a href="http://downloads.sourceforge.net/fife/FIFE_2007.1_win32.exe">FIFE 2007.1 Win32 (official release based on r1004)</a> <a href="http://downloads.sourceforge.net/fife/FIFE_2007.1_src.tar.bz2">FIFE 2007.1 src package (official release based on r1004)</a>

[b]Experimental:[/b] <a href="http://members.fifengine.net/bin/FIFE_r1222_win32.exe">FIFE r1222 Win32 (SVN snapshot, rather outdated, to be replaced soon!)</a>

[b]Ways to contact the team:[/b] IRC channel: irc.quakenet.org | #fife eMail: mvBarracuda AT web DOT de ICQ: 98600423 MSN: mvBarracuda AT web DOT de AIM: barrafife

[b]Important:[/b] We've moved away from our Fallout roots over the last months. The next stable FIFE release won't support loading Fallout maps anymore but just our own XML-based map format. If you want to use the Fallout maps with older FIFE releases you will need a legit copy of Fallout 1 or 2.

To give you an impression of the current status of FIFE we took sample screenshots of the current release (The latest two feature customs maps of the 2007.1 release, however the majority of the shots were taken with Fallout maps and older releases of the engine):

[b]Upcoming Zero-Projekt / FIFE techdemo:[/b] <a href="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/5/52/2007.2.005.jpg"><img src="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/thumb/5/52/2007.2.005.jpg/300px-2007.2.005.jpg" alt="Official 2007.1 demo map: official_map.xml." /></a>

[b]Official 2007.1 demo map: official_map.xml:[/b] <a href="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/f/f0/2007.1.005.jpg"><img src="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/thumb/f/f0/2007.1.005.jpg/300px-2007.1.005.jpg" alt="Official 2007.1 demo map: official_map.xml." /></a>

[b]New map with buildings created by wulax:[/b] <a href="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/e/e1/2007.2.003.jpg"><img src="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/thumb/e/e1/2007.2.003.jpg/300px-2007.2.003.jpg" alt="New map with buildings created by wulax." /></a>

[b]FIFE with real square tiles. Useful for the creation of classical non-ISO 2D games like jRPGs:[/b] <a href="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/1/18/2007.2.002.jpg"><img src="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/thumb/1/18/2007.2.002.jpg/300px-2007.2.002.jpg" alt="FIFE with real square tiles. Useful for the creation of classical non-ISO 2D games like jRPGs." /></a>

[b]Split personality. The new multiple cameras feature:[/b] <a href="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/3/33/2007.1.001.jpg"><img src="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/thumb/3/33/2007.1.001.jpg/300px-2007.1.001.jpg" alt="Split personality. The new multiple cameras feature." /></a>

[b]FIFE offers a console interface to debug your games with:[/b] <a href="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/c/cb/2007.0.002.jpg"><img src="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/thumb/c/cb/2007.0.002.jpg/300px-2007.0.002.jpg" alt="FIFE offers a console interface to debug your games with." /></a>

[b]Transparency for roof tiles:[/b] <a href="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/a/ad/Prototype1_010.jpg"><img src="http://wiki.fifengine.net/images/thumb/a/ad/Prototype1_010.jpg/300px-Prototype1_010.jpg" alt="Transparency for roof tiles." /></a>

[b]Feedback:[/b] Feel free to add whatever feedback you like :-) Criticism will help us to improve the project.

Sourceforge.net

For more information see this thread featuring screenshots, a detailed description of the position and test version of the engine: http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=461013