Difference between revisions of "SummerOfCodeIdeas"

From The Battle for Wesnoth Wiki
(Describe your organization.)
(Describe your organization.)
Line 272: Line 272:
* best rated game at the [http://www.happypenguin.org/list?sort=avg_rating linux game tome]
* best rated game at the [http://www.happypenguin.org/list?sort=avg_rating linux game tome]
* game of the year 2007 at [http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/2007-linuxquestions.org-members-choice-awards-79/open-source-game-of-the-year-610236/ linuxquestions.org]
* game of the year 2007 at [http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/2007-linuxquestions.org-members-choice-awards-79/open-source-game-of-the-year-610236/ linuxquestions.org]
* One of the top 20 rated projects on [http://freshmeat.net/stats/#rating Freshmeat] (currently 16th highest rating, and the highest rated game).
==== Why is your organization applying to participate in GSoC 2008? What do you hope to gain by participating?====
==== Why is your organization applying to participate in GSoC 2008? What do you hope to gain by participating?====

Revision as of 17:04, 9 March 2008

This is a compilation of ideas from ML. Needs to be refined (more detailed description, deliverables, workload estimation?):


I want to be one of your Google Summer of Code student, what should I do...

wow wow wow

Google hasn't announced the mentoring organisations yet and wesnoth might not be choosen at all.

the following paragraph is here to have something ready if we are choosen as a mentoring organisation

Here is a quick list of things to do to get you started

  • Create an account on gna.org
  • Create an account on the wesnoth forum
  • Join the irc channel (#wesnoth-dev on irc.freenode.net) and introduce yourself. We will not give formal interviews, but we will clearly favor people we have learnt to know during the selection process
  • Contact one of our SummerOfCode people (Ivanovic, Sirp, Boucman, Mordante) to have your forum nick marked as a Summer of code student
  • Start a wiki page about your idea, add a link on this page
    • fill the questionnaire on this page
    • detail your idea as much as possible, look at other students pages, and please give milestones and studies you've done
  • Though not mandatory, it is highly advised to go to the EasyCoding and NotSoEasyCoding pages and implement one of these ideas (or any idea of similar scope) so we have an idea how you work. Be sure to use your gna account when submitting these patches so we know who it is coming from

Student proposals

please add a link to the wiki page with your idea

List of Ideas for the Project (Suggestions from the wesnoth developers)

Writing an AI based on the formula AI

Wesnoth has always had a simple C++ based AI. David (our lead developer) has been working on a simple language to write AI in Wesnoth WesnothFormulaAIBranch

The Wesnoth AI is used as an opponent in most campaigns, and as such is an important piece of code for the Wesnoth project. Unfortunately it is also one of the most neglected piece of code and a place where a lot of research and work could be done

General description

The aim of this project is to develop a new AI that would replace the original C++ AI. The main criterias we would want for this new AI are

  • Plugability : It should be trivial for any content maker to change the behavior of the AI in specific case. The exact cases are still to be defined but should typically include
    • hardwiring the first few turns of the AI
    • changing the recruitment pattern
    • completely controlling a given unit (scenario unit)
    • taking control then giving back control of a given unit
  • tunability : It should be easy for a scenario author to specify the general behaviour of the enemy on a given scenario (aggressiveness, intrepidity...)
  • specific behaviours : there are some typical behaviours that are not smart to win the scenario but are needed, such as guarding a given unit, a given position, wandering aimlessly, attacking randomly, always fleeing. The AI should implement such behaviours, and allow easy addition of new behaviours

Required knowledge and talent

  • A minimal knowledge of C++ is required, a good knowledge of C++ is desired : The formula AI framework is a work in progress and chances are high that some changes in the wesnoth code base will be needed. The wesnoth developer community is used to handle people that are familiar with coding but not C++, however the Formula AI framework uses advanced C++ features and a good knowledge of the language would avoid a major hurdle when plugging in new entries or functionalities for the AI
  • Good social interaction with a large player community : A preliminary phase to coding any AI is to know the strategies and game pattern used by human players. This requires huge interaction with the player community. Our Gameplay Developers are open and can give some good starting points, but a big game experience and good interaction with the player community will greatly help in the study of the design

Milestones and deliverables

It is hard to give milestones at this point, but here are some ideas of what could be done

  • AI design description, and basic function library : This first deliverable aims to conclude the study and analysis part of the project : becoming familiar with the formula language, study of multiplayer strategies and of the need of scenario writers with regard to AI. We would like to have a description of the code structure of the AI, some basis of the play strategies it would use and how external scenario writers could configure it for the particular behaviour they need
  • Main AI delivery : This milestone's aim is to deliver a working AI implementing the strategies described in the first phase. It would not have to systematically beat the standard C++ AI at this point, but should be able to play the game correctly (recruit, early deployment on villages, grouping units to attack, holding its ground, protecting weak/important units). Moreover most plug-in entries should be available and a test-case for these entries should be provided.
  • Fine tunning and behaviour library : The third phase would validate the actual strategy of the AI. The AI should consistently beat the default C++ AI, and do fairly well against an average human player. At that stage a library of scenario behaviours should also be delivered. The AI does not need to be as efficient with all scenario tweaking, but should act correctly with regard to the particular behaviour desired.

Extending the Multiplayer server

When the development team met at FOSDEM, we had our multiplayer community, though it is strong and healthy, had its growth restrained by the interface of the multiplayer lobby.

General Description

The general idea of this project would be

  • To study the current lobby,
  • To present some ideas of evolutions both in interface and functionalities of our multiplayer interface to allow it to scale to a much larger community
  • To present some well constructed thought on our MP community and how that interface would develop it
  • Of course to implement those changes :)

Some ideas that we had (but that are in no way mandatory)

  • Having a simple way to register and authenticate nicknames, similar to what IRC offers. The point is not to have cryptographically safe logins, but to have something simple that gets the job done
  • Having a simple room system? Again, inspired by IRC
  • Having some way to find the type of games you are interested in.
    • game type
    • number of free slots/players
    • any other criteria you might find interesting

Other ideas we are not convinced are good, but that are certainly worth studying (especially how the communities based around these concepts are different from ours)

  • ranking players
  • guilds
  • official tournaments
  • titles for players
  • metaservers
  • game matching when players are ranked (poker, bridge...)

The scalability of the project, both in term of number of players, and in term of the possibility for players and developers to extend the concept will be a valued criteria

Administration/moderation problems and techniques should also be studied

interaction with the Add-On server/forum might be an interesting field to expand to

Required knowledge and talent

  • A fair amount of experience with C++ is required. Wesnoth uses some advanced C++ features and is heavily based on BOOST and STL. We can train you in some of the libraries used, but learning all of them would be a big hurdle.
  • Experience with multiplayer games, in order to have a good idea of what multiplayer lobbies of other game look like, and (more importantly) a good idea of the social behaviours of multiple MP communities, how teams are formed in games and things like that

Milestones and deliverables

  • A first milestone would be a presentation summarizing the different studies, and the proposed interface. preliminary informal stages would probably be desirable, to make sure the proposed idea is already a consensus within devs
    • Study of other MP game-matching interfaces and functionalities
    • Study of other MP communities
    • Study of other MP moderation practices
    • Study of the Wesnoth MP community, including needs, various opinons from different developers and players
  • A second milestone would be the main code delivery. Code should be functional for it will be delivered in the next Wesnoth development release

Scenario/Campaign editor

Currently, in order to create campaign or multiplayer scenarios, it is necessary to manually edit WML files - XML-like configuration files. The goal of this project would be to create a graphical editor allowing the same.

General description

A scenario editor for Wesnoth supporting everything possible by Wesnoth's engine would be a huge project, so the scope of the actual project would of course be limited - what exactly should be implemented would be decided by initial discussion. Implementation details and choice of language/tools would also be up to the student to choose. The main ideas would be for the scenario editor to be:

  • cross-platform (at least Linux, OSX, Windows)
  • easy to use (someone who tries reasonably hard should be able to create a simple scenario/campaign with it, even if not knowing WML)
  • powerful (there already is a map editor coming with Wesnoth - the scenario editor will provide more/different things)
  • extensible (also after the SoC project, it should be easy to add additional features)

There exist at least two attempts at a scenario editor, an OSX-only one which shipped with early Wesnoth versions, and CampGen, an external tool written in WxPython. The student could look at them for ideas or even use one of them as base, but that should be discussed first. The below assumes a new application is developed from scratch (which likely will be much more motivating for the student than reviving an existing attempt). The actual things to be done would be:

  • Decide on a cross-platform GUI which would be best suited (Qt4, Wx, GTK, Wesnoth's builtin GUI (in that case, could maybe integrate with the existing map editor, but would have serious other problems), or others...).
  • Decide on a platform/language to use (C++, Python, or others...). Wesnoth is written in C++, so it's what most developers would prefer, but as long as it can be expected to work on Linux, OSX and Windows, this is completely open.
  • GUI design. This is the main part of the project. The editor should make it easy to create scenarios, so the GUI must not be confusing/hard to use.
  • Decide on base features. ReferenceWML lists everything currently supported by WML. Theoretically, the scenario editor could support everything, but for the timeframe of the SoC project, it will be necessary to decide on the most important features and implement those.
    • WML-centric or not? Two opposite views for such an editor would be to either strictly follow WML, as extreme case have one dialog for each WML element. Or on the other hand make a scenario creation tool which completely hides WML and then simply can export to WML, translating features as necessary. The final design likely would be somewhere in between.
    • Ability to read existing WML? The editor will export to WML, but need to decide if it also should be able to read it.
    • Built-in map editor? Wesnoth comes with a map editor, but it can only be used to define the terrain. The scenario editor has to allow placing events and units and other things, so it will need a way to display maps as well. Would be worth investigating if the existing C++ map-drawing code of Wesnoth can be re-used.
    • Ability to enter custom WML code? For advanced users this might be nice, if it can integrate well.
    • Story screen editor for campaigns?
    • How powerful should the events editor be? WML basically is a turing complete language, so must decide what should be supported and how to present to the user.
    • Custom unit animations?
    • Custom multi-hex terrains?
  • Extensibility (leave the possibility to extend the application with plugins for some of the above things, either with a plugin architecture or by making the source code modular enough)
  • WML-export. The second major part besides designing and implementing all the GUI will be exporting the result to WML, and depending on some design choices this could prove more or less hard to do.

Required knowledge and talent

  • Knowledge of C++. Even in case the editor is not written in C++, it will be necessary to look at some parts of Wesnoth's source code (WML-parser, editor, ...) and understand them, possibly even integrate/re-use them.
  • Ability/interest in GUI/application design. A not negligible part of the project likely will be spent designing various GUI dialogs.
  • Prior use of level creation tools/modding tools. Knowing existing tools for other games will help a lot in the design phase, as many good ideas can be seen there. Not required though.
  • Having played Wesnoth and knowing what scenarios look like would help. Someone who never played Wesnoth before would risk losing a lot of precious time playing the game instead of working :) But it's not required of course.
  • Knowledge of WML. A candidate who already knows Wesnoth's WML could save the initial time studying it. (On the other hand, not knowing WML might mean less technical bias and might lead to an application which is easer to use for non-technical users.)
  • Ability to interact with developers/users. Presenting GUI mockups and test versions and incorporating early user feedback likely will improve the end result a lot. The Wesnoth community is big enough that there should be quite some willing testers.

Milestones and deliverables

The initial design will decide on many later things, and likely a lot of talking to developers and users will be necessary. But some general milestones I'd expect:

  • Create a base test application in the chosen language/platform. This will not do much yet, maybe load some WML and display it as text. Try to package it for Linux, OSX and Windows (there will be help from the Wesnoth community, so no need to have access to all of them), and see if it can be expected to work. If a standard GUI like C++/Qt4 is used, this will be rather trivial. Something like Python/Wx or C#/.NET might take more time.
  • Add ability to edit some very simple, maybe only textual properties of a scenario, and export to WML. It should already have base features like Save/Load/Undo, copy/paste, multiple documents, and so on. Depending on the chosen GUI this may be easy or already require some work.
  • Finish design. Should list the intended features and demonstrate how the GUI will work.
  • Start implementation, a natural milestone would be to make it possible to create and export a very simple, but playable scenario.
  • Add more of the features (which ones and in which order depends on the design above, a detailed roadmap will be part of it).

Addon server

Wesnoth has an addon server which offers users to upload user made content (UMC). This allows all other users of Wesnoth to easily download and install this content. The server was originally written for user made campaigns but contains a lot more types of addons nowadays. Both the server side and the client side need to be improved.

General description

Neither the server nor the client side of the addon server have seen much improvement over the years; both are overdue for a reworking. The client side GUI needs polishing. For the server side we would like to allow better integration with various tools (such as wmllint), which improve the quality of the addons.

Server side

The server code either needs to be updated or rewritten, the student is free to make this decision him or herself. The student may choose the language for the server, but because some of the code that needs to be integrated is Python we'll need to hear a specific justification for any other choice.

  • The server only needs to run on Linux systems. Cross-platform portability would be nice but isn't required.
  • At the moment there's a rudimentary integration with our translation project Wescamp. This needs to be improved. Upon uploading the new content needs to be send to Wescamp (via a svn commit). And the translations need to be fetched on a regular basis.
  • We have various tools to check the WML code and also upgrade it to newer version. The addon server needs to be able to run those tools on the content.
Client side

The client side needs improvements, there are two main clients the ingame version and a standalone version in Python.

  • Upgrade the GUI. Mordante is working on a new GUI library which is intended to make it possible to make the wanted changes.
  • Make it easier to see summary and status information on addons. At the moment a lot of new users download something and have no clue what kind of addon it is.
  • Make it easier to see whether a newer version of the addon is on the server and update the addon.
  • Make it easy to select which translations you want to download and also look for newer versions of the translations.

Required knowledge and talent

  • Knowledge of C++, the game is written in C++ and modifications need to be made there.
  • Knowledge of Python, various tools have been written in Python which need to be integrated with the new server.

Milestones and deliverables

  • The first step is to determine what exactly needs to be done and determine in which language the server will be rewritten. This includes, but isn't limited to:
    • Determine the exact feature set.
    • Protocol changes needed.
    • Methods to integrate with both the WML tools and Wescamp with the new server.
    • Determine the GUI for the client side.
    • Justify the choice of language.
  • These points will need to be presented and discussed with the mentor(s).
  • The next thing in to implement the feature set. The code needs to be fully functional and committed in trunk.

Map editor

The map editor in Wesnoth serves two goals, making it easy to create a new map and helping the terrain artists to test their new terrains.

General description

The current editor hasn't been actively maintained for quite a while and the quality of the code isn't up to par with the main game. The student will either revive the current editor or start from scratch, the latter will probably be easier. When rewriting from scratch the student can pick the language of his/her liking as long as the result is crossplatform (at least Linux/Windows/OS X).

(Note: Unlike the add-on server, there is no specific code-integration reason to prefer Python for the editor rewrite in advance. However. the project has been trying to reduce its dependence on other scripting languages in order to hold down overall maintenance complexity. Thus, the student should be prepared to justify the choice of any language that is not Python or C++.)

Some of the things the new/revived editor should be able to do:

  • Include all features of the current editor.
  • When rewritten, great care must be taken that the render engine works the same as the render engine in the main game. When rewritten in C++ it can simply use the game sources, otherwise the student needs to turn the main game C++ files into a library which can be called in the language the editor will be written in.
  • The editor needs to be able to handle so called custom terrain, these are terrains used in maps but not loaded by default.
  • The editor needs to be able to reload the terrain graphics config files, this way terrain artist can test the changes to the config files without having to reload the editor.
  • The current editor can generate random maps with help of a config file, which contains a generator definition. The editor can only use one generator hardcoded. This needs to be modified to be able to use every generator config the user has installed.
  • Various ideas exist to help the artists to make it easier to tune their terrains and config files, this is a secondary goal. We think it will be too much work to do this in one summer.

Required knowledge and talent

  • The current editor and the main game are written in C++ therefore knowledge of C++ is required. Even if the editor is rewritten in another language the render engine needs to be converted to a library.
  • The student needs to be able to make a user friendly user interface.
  • Depending on in which language and toolkit the editor is (re)written in the student will need to have skills in that language and toolkit. The current editor uses the SDL toolkit with our own widget toolkit.

Milestones and deliverables

  • The first step is to make a priority list of features. This means the student has to interact with the community and determine what is most wanted.
  • From this list the student needs create a sublist of items he/she will be able to do within one summer.
  • This needs to be presented and discussed with the mentor(s).
  • The next thing in to implement the feature set. The code needs to be fully functional and committed in trunk.

Make your own ideas

If you have your own idea the best thing is to join IRC wesnoth-dev at irc.freenode.net and discuss the idea with the developers there. If the developers think your idea is interesting and like the feature you can start to turn it into a full proposal. Once done discuss it again on IRC so the developers can accept your idea.

Other ideas to be fleshed out

  • A MapGenerator rewrite - better scalable for outdoor maps, plus the possibility to define areas (similar to the caverns in the cave generator) etc.

Other info to provide for GSoC

Describe your organization.

The Battle for Wesnoth, or simply Wesnoth, is a free turn based strategy game with role playing elements designed in June 2003 by David White (Sirp). David currently works at Google.

The first stable release (1.0) was on October 2 2005, the latest stable release (1.4) was on March 8 2008.

  • A turn­-based strategy game
  • On a hexagonal board
  • Role playing game style elements
  • Single player and multiplayer modes
  • Runs on a variety of platforms
  • Highly customizable and 'moddable'

What makes Wesnoth stand apart from the other open source games are the following aspects:

  • A large developer and player community
    • two servers (stable and developement) with a usual minimum load of more than a hundred players
    • more than two thousands downloads a day
  • A mature project, but with active development and many improvements
  • High quality artwork: both graphics and music
  • Very well­-balanced by a tireless team of playtesters
  • Fun, unique gameplay
  • Even after five years of development, and a very solid, fun product has been created, there are still plenty of new developers, and the number of commits to SVN is still increasing

The general Philosophy of the game (both for gameplay and coding) puts an emphasis on simplicity. The core rules are meant to be learnt easily but provide interesting gameplay and diverse strategies.

On the other hand, Wesnoth scenarios provides a simple language to easily customize scenarios, which has lead to a huge modding community providing us with a wide amount of content.

  • Advanced C++, with some use of Boost
  • The Simple Directmedia Layer (SDL) libraries:
  • SDL, SDL_net, SDL_ttf, SDL_image
  • gettext for internationalization
  • Python to allow scriptable AIs
  • Otherwise, most of Wesnoth's technology is “home grown”:
    • WML : the scripting language used to write scenarios
    • FormulaAI : our AI developement language
  • 2.1 million downloads via sourceforge.net, many more via various mirrors of Linux Distributions
  • best rated game at the linux game tome
  • game of the year 2007 at linuxquestions.org
  • One of the top 20 rated projects on Freshmeat (currently 16th highest rating, and the highest rated game).

Why is your organization applying to participate in GSoC 2008? What do you hope to gain by participating?

Most of our developers have particular areas of interest in which they work. Though they are efficient in their areas, there are other, presently uncovered, areas of the code with a need for improvements but a high barrier to entry for casual contributors.

If a student were dedicated to any of these uncovered areas, we believe that person could be brought up to speed relatively quickly and function as a peer of the existing developers.

By bringing new people in and allowing them to be actively responsible for an area of code, we hope to kickstart some areas of the project that have lagged behind

Did your organization participate in past GSoCs? If so, please summarize your involvement and the successes and challenges of your participation.

This is the first time the Wesnoth project has applied to Google SoC.

If your organization has not previously participated in GSoC, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?

This is the first time the Wesnoth project has applied to Google SoC.

Who will your organization administrator be? Please include Google Account information.

Nils Kneuper aka Ivanovic

crazy.ivanovic |ATTT| googlemail.com

What license(s) does your project use?

Our project is entirely GPL.

All code is GPL.

All art is GPL, 99% was made for the project, everything else was taken from content that was checked to be GPL.

What is the URL for your ideas page?

Our main summer of code page is located at http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/SummerOfCodeIdeas

This page contains various coding ideas and the thought the development team has already given them.

It also contains a list of the developers that are the most active on IRC and their domains of interest.

What is the main development mailing list or forum for your organization?

Most development work takes place on "wesnoth-dev |ATTT| gna.org". Beside this some work happens at http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/.

in particular, all art developement takes place on the forum.

What is the main IRC channel for your organization?

All our IRC channels are on the freenode network

  • #wesnoth-dev is the main development channel, where most discussion takes place
  • #wesnoth is a generic channel for the community
  • #wesnoth-mp is a separate channel for multiplayer games and balancing

Does your organization have an application template you would like to see students use? If so, please provide it now.

We plan mainly to meet potential students through our IRC channel, but the following questions are wesnoth-specific and are worth pondering for any student, even if we don't need a formal answer

  • Basics
    • Just write a small introduction to yourself.
    • State your preferred email address.
    • If you have chosen a nick for IRC and Wesnoth forums, what is it?
    • Why do you want to participate in summer of code?
    • What are you studying, subject, level and school?
  • Experience
    • What programs/software have you worked on before?
    • Have you developed software in a team environment before? (As opposed to hacking on something on your own)
    • Have you participated to the Google Summer of Code before? As a mentor or a student? In what project? Were you successful? If not, why?
    • What development model would you use (e.g. keywords: V-model, XP programming, agile programming, iterative; with the help of prototyping, formal specifications, tests, etc).
    • Open Source
      • Are you already involved with any open source development project? If yes, please describe the project and the scope of your involvement.
    • Gaming experience
      • Are you a gamer? If so...
      • What type of gamer are you?
      • What type of games?
      • What type of opponents do you prefer?
      • Are you more interested in story or gameplay?
      • Have you played Wesnoth? If so, tell us roughly for how long and whether you lean towards single player or multiplayer.

We do not plan to favor Wesnoth players as such, but some particular projects require a good feeling for the game which is hard to get without having played intensively.

  • Communication skills
    • Though most of our developers are not native English speakers, English is the project's working language. Describe your fluency level in written English.
    • Are you good at interacting with other players? Our developer community is friendly, but the player community can be a bit rough.
    • Do you give constructive advice?
    • Do you receive advice well?
    • Are you good at sorting useful criticisms from useless ones?
  • Project
    • Did you select a project from our list? If that is the case, what project did you select?
    • If you have invented your own project, please describe the project and the scope.
    • Why did you choose this project?
    • Include an estimated timeline for your work on the project
    • Include as much technical detail about your implementation as you can
    • What do you expect to gain from this project?
    • What would make you stay in the Wesnoth community after the conclusion of SOC?
  • Practical considerations
    • Are you familiar with any of the following tools?
      • Subversion
      • C++
      • Python
    • Which tools do you normally use for development? Why do you use them?
    • What programming languages are you fluent in?
    • What spoken languages are you fluent in?
    • At what hours are you awake (please specify in UTC)
    • Would you mind talking with your mentor on telephone / internet phone?
  • Detailed answer (optional, but writing skill is a good predictor of ability to work on a programming team, so you will improve your chances by responding to this).
    • Write a small essay (750-1000 words or more) explaining why you want to participate in a Wesnoth GSoC project. You can use the above questions as guides, but feel free to throw in more information if you feel it is relevant.
    • What is your perception of 'open source'? Briefly explain what you think of the whole 'open source' concept, how you discovered open source, what you expect to gain/experience by participating in an open-source project. (Answer separately or as part of above mini-essay)
    • What motivates or inspires you to write programs and develop software?

'to be completed'

Who will be your backup organization administrator? Please include Google Account information.

David White (davewx7@gmail.com)

Who will your mentors be? Please include Google Account information.

David White (davewx7@gmail.com)

Jeremy Rosen alias Boucman (boucman2|ATTT|gmail.com)

Mark de Wever aka Mordante (mordante.wesnoth|ATTT|gmail.com)

Jörg Hinrichs alias YogiHH (joerghh.hinrichs|ATTT|googlemail.com)

What criteria did you use to select these individuals as mentors? Please be as specific as possible.

Our first criterion was that all the people had to be volunteers. According to other open source projects, being a SoC mentor takes a lot of time and the person has to be ready to spend quite some time with the student.

Dave is the project leader and one of the most knowledgeable in C++. He has also written the Formula AI code which we plan to develop via the SoC. He is well known in our community for formulating simple but effective explanations for complicated topics, and has good design intuition. The growth of Wesnoth demonstrates his capacity to get other developers to work together and keep them involved in a thriving community.

Boucman is one of the oldest active developers around. He has rewritten the whole animation engine and made it an easily pluggable system allowing artists to easily specify exactly how they want the units to appear. He also started many community oriented projects like the Art Contribution section of the wiki (now automated) and the WML Reference Manual. He is responsible for dispatching and sorting the patches at http://patches.wesnoth.org and has created the new developer process we currently use.

Mordante is one of the most active developers on our IRC channel. Not only has he done preliminary studies and coding in multiple areas that are candidates for Summer of Code ideas, he also is one of the coders with the best overview of the Wesnoth code. A large part of his work involves refactoring polishing existing code. Next to that he's very active with fixing bugs which leads him to all areas in the code base.

YogiHH has been with the project for more than two years. He did a major refactoring to the gameplay engine and worked quite a bit on the multiplayer code. He also has been a professional trainer for C/C++, Java and C# for many years. Right now he works in a project where he serves as a mentor for a junior developer.

All other developers listed in the ideas page are the leading capacities we do have for the respecting areas. Have a look at our list of people who to contact for which regards. In general all our developers will mentor all students. That is, questions should just be asked in our IRC channel, where basically every developer who has an idea can directly answer.

When choosing the mentors, we have kept in mind that most developers can answer most technical questions, and we have chosen people that are well known for interacting with new-comers/external developers and can provide general guidance and design advice, more than people with specific technical knowledge.

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?

The first thing to do is to avoid this situation altogether.

Wesnoth is a game, and as such has lots of developers that are not coders. In particular, artists are well known in the Wesnoth community for being very sensible about criticism and our community is used to people being sensible to critics.

We will try to choose students that accept criticism and are able to filter constructive criticism from useless one. The Wesnoth developer community is used to judging people according to these criteria and the special title we are going to give to applicants will allow us to easily spot any such problems and discuss them before they grow out of control.

If a student disappears, his mentor will be in charge of recontacting him to see what is going wrong (available time, tension with other developers, with members of the community etc...). Depending on the actual problem, the mentor and the student will have to agree on possible ways to defuse the problem.

If a student disappears completely and there is no way to get back to him, there is little the project can do except salvaging whatever can be salvaged from the code (the students will have SVN write access, so most of the work will be committed either to trunk or to a specific branch) and find a core developer to take on the job. This will probably be slower and less effective for the project, but it's the best we can do.

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?

All our mentors are long time developers that volunteered for the job, so we don't expect that to happen. We took the time to ask other former GSoC projects about the workload needed to be a mentor, and our mentors accepted the job knowing the amount of work it involved.

However, should it happen, we would continue to mentor as a developper community the student until we find a new "official" mentor to take on the job.

What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your project's community before, during and after the program?

Wesnoth has a particularly healthy community, both for developers and for players.

Our general policy regarding new coders has always been "two patch... you're in" In other word, anybody that is able to get two non-trivial patches applied is offered commit right.

We have a developer responsible for applying patches and guiding new developers into our community. This is a well known and effective process we plan to apply to students, directing them to our EasyCoding pages (these project are usually a couple of hours long and has been chosen to provide easy access to code)

Usually, patches go back and forth a couple of time, to make sure that all secondary things are in place (indenting, coding style, modified makefiles etc.) The idea is that coder education should take place before the coder gets commit rights, but that getting new coder in is one of the most important things to maintain our project alive.

If the student is a little proactive and ready to join IRC, all the developers are usually very welcoming, and good at directing newcomers to quickly give useful results.

We also plan to give a special forum title to any students. This will allow all forum members to tell them apart from normal users and give them read/write access to the developer only forums. This will also allow us to quickly spot any problem they might have interacting with the player community. We have a very mature developer community, but our player community is made of all sort of people of all age and education, and it can be rough at time.

What will you do to ensure that your accepted students stick with the project after GSoC concludes?

Since our community has a history of having developers easily and quickly join, we expect the student to be a full-fledged developer quite fast (probably a little after the end of the bonding period).

Thus there will be no "end of GSoC" transition. At the end of the Summer of code we expect the student to be responsible for the part he developed, and to continue taking care of it, like other developers are responsible for their part.


People to bug on IRC

Everybody feel free to edit/correct his entry!


As our "patch monkey" he accustomed to critiquing patches of every kind. Beside this, he knows many areas of the game due to working on applying patches. He is particularly used to answering question from new coders, and doesn't mind explaining trivial stuff. He was the one who started the "two patches, you're in" policy and the ReferenceWML part of the project.

Dave alias Sirp

Sirp started Wesnoth and is our lead developer. He is currently our C++ expert and is also the one that is working on the new Formula AI. Any questions regarding the formula AI should be directed to him.

Elias Pscherning (elias)

He wrote the original version of campgen and as such will know a lot about what is needed to to make such an editor work correctly. The work on a scenario editor might be based upon campgen and as such his knowledge will be really helpful.

Eric S. Raymond (ESR)

ESR is our project toolsmith; he has written several tools that semi-automate various aspects of WML maintenance. While most of our developers/designers concentrate on either the C++ core or WML but not both, he has a balanced understanding of both levels and may be helpful in helping students develop a grasp of the overall architecture. Finally, he did the last overhaul of the Wesnoth UI and understands UI design principles; he is well-equipped to guide students working in that area.

Karol Nowak (grzywacz)

Last year he participated at GSoC as a student, so he will understand the situation of GSoC students. Beside this he is our top expert on embedded devices, and is actively working on the gp2x support.


Many of the possible projects involve the code for which he is an area expert. Also, many of the possible projects currently listed on the ideas page require GUI parts to work. Given that Mordante wants to tackle a rewrite of large parts of this, he will be our expert there as well as already being our area expert for the terrain engine.

Nils Kneuper (Ivanovic)

He is doing nothing special, he just does some "administrative work" like packaging fresh tarballs when it is time for them and works on setting up any kind of deadlines and timetables related to releasing. He has administrative powers in most areas, no matter if website, forum or IRC. Beside this he uploads translation updates, tries to communicate with the translation teams when it is required and translates a little bit himself every now and then. But in general he is not a real expert in anything, just has a look at things that come up and redirects people to the correct contacts.


Noy is an oddity among developers; he's got no coding skills whatsoever and possesses a limited understanding of computers, which is illustrated by his difficulty operating a Mac. Instead, Noy makes his contribution in gameplay and multiplayer design, drawing upon his background in social sciences research, military strategy and playing games online, to understand the effects of development on the playing community behavior. Along with Soliton, Noy is a useful conduit to discuss any issues in this area; just don't ask him about revising the level of randomness in the game.


Another versatile developer, on the C++ side he doesn't concentrate on a particular area, did some tweaks to improve translations in some languages (like enabling the female forms for names in various place) but know quite well the C++ side of units, abilities and WML. On the WML side he's an expert.


He knows our MP server setup best. Beside this he has already done a lot of work on the MP server himself. So he probably has most knowledge about it and, being one of our MP-developers, might provide important help from the perspective of the MP player community and what is needed there.

YogiHH or Piotr Cychowski (cycholka)

Since they are the two developers who know most about building under Windows, they will probably be really helpful. Either if the student comes from the Windows side, or to help test resulting work to make sure that it does work on Windows and, for the case that it does not, to show them where problems are.

zookeeper or Mythological or Rhuvaen

As our leading WML experts those are to be contacted when it comes to anything related WML problems since they know this stuff best. They do maintain most of the campaigns and improve them whenever they have a good idea for changes.