You've completed your creation. You've tested it, polished it, and tweaked it. You feel confident that your add-on is the greatest achievement since the sandwich was invented. Now what? Make it available to the world! How? You can either share your content via the forums, or via the add-on server. Both methods are discussed below.
The Wesnoth forums is a good way to distribute small creations, like single multiplayer maps. Larger creations, like multiplayer eras or campaigns, should be compressed before uploading them. Note that you may encounter a size limit on attachments.
Also, there is a legal announcement that you should read before distributing anything on the forum. Basically, by posting you say that you own the license to what you are posting, and that you are giving rights under a Gnu or Creative Commons license as stated on Wesnoth:Copyrights.
This option allows for feedback and is pretty easy for the content creators to do. However, it requires extra steps on the part of the downloader and limits the add-on's exposure to players who regularly visit the forum.
The Add-on Server
The add-on server is the preferred way to distribute your creations, but it is more suited for larger projects. It currently lacks advanced organization features such as reviewing (although it does have a filter text box), so adding hundreds of little things makes it harder to find anything. Basically, the server should not be used to post single maps, units, songs, or artwork, but map packs, campaigns, entire eras, music packs, and unit packs are fine.
In in order to publish and add-on to the server, you need to create a _server.pbl file inside your add-on's directory. Detailed instructions on the syntax of the file are located on the PblWML page. File _main.cfg is also required, even for resource addons.
Once you are ready to publish:
- Open Wesnoth
- Select Add-ons from the main menu
- Connect to the default add-ons.wesnoth.org add-on server
- Select Publish add-on: Your Add-on Name (in 1.12 it will be the last entry in the list of add-ons, in 1.13/1.14 it will be sorted like every other add-on in the list)
Note: By default, all files and folders inside the add-on's directory are uploaded, except those that begin with '.' and those that end in '~'. If you want to exclude any others, you may do so by creating a _server.ign file and listing within it the files or folders you wish not to be uploaded (see IGNFileFormat for more information).
Note: A command-line interface to publish add-ons exists for those who prefer it. The script is located in a path like "/share/wesnoth/data/tools/wesnoth_addon_manager" (may depend on your OS and wesnoth version).
Whenever you upload or update your add-on, you will have to accept this agreement: "All add-ons uploaded to this server must be licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). By uploading content to this server, you certify that you have the right to place the content under the conditions of the GPL, and choose to do so."
When a user downloads your add-on, it will include a COPYING.txt file containing a copy of the GNU GPL version 2, signifying the content is licensed under such.
Version control distribution
Wesnoth hosts a SVN repository to allow content creators to collaborate with each other in developing their content. Several high-profile add-ons were developed using it, including a few that ultimately ended up in mainline.
Alternatively, you could create your own personal repository on a service such as GitHub. Several UMC authors such as shadowm, vultraz, and bumbadadabum have done this recently.