Contributor Hi, I'm Devi!

dacharya64

Member
Contributor
Hey everyone!

I've already chatted a bit on the Discord server but thought I'd introduce myself over here as well! I'm Devi, a current comp sci / film student at Brandeis University and I heard about Terasology from the Google Summer of Code webpage. My background is in game development and design, and I've worked in a variety of roles from code to design and UI/UX to writing to art. I've freelanced on a bunch of different game projects, which you can check out at my site http://www.devi-a.com/, and I also have experience working in Java.

I'd love to work this summer on contributing to Terasology--I'd love to take my interests in game dev and help to contribute to free and open-source software. The tasks that speak to me most are the Exploration World (if that's happening), New Sub Gameplay Template, Player Avatar Selection, or Customizable Characters. What I'm most excited about is being able to make some more content using what you all have laid out so far, maybe working on adding more RPG elements (thinking dungeons, puzzles, loot, and working in existing modules like journal, quests, and dialog -- give me a shout if you have any suggestions!). Working on custom character avatars would be pretty fun as well.

So far I've completed the Asset System and NUI tutorials, and I'm thinking good next steps would be to keep getting to know the code base through tutorials / documentation / etc. and then start working on a proposal. Would be happy to take more suggestions and/or whatever else, since interested in contributing both as part of Summer of Code and beyond.

EDIT: Figured I should fill out the template for easy info at a glance --

  • Name: Devi Acharya
  • Social: Github: https://github.com/dacharya64, Portfolio: http://www.devi-a.com/, Twitter: https://twitter.com/dacharya64 and I'm dacharya64 pretty much everywhere else on the web
  • From: USA, currently at Brandeis University, MA
  • Skills / Tools: Intermediate Java, Game Development (Unity / C#), some 2D and 3D art (Photoshop, Blender), design, writing, UI/UX
  • Found via: Google Summer of Code
  • Interests: In general, RPG elements, writing, UI, anything to do with writing / storytelling / level design. As far as GSoC topics, the ones that most appeal to me are Exploration World, New Sub Gameplay Template, Player Avatar Selection, or Customizable Characters.
  • Extra: Would love to get some suggestions from others in terms of additions they'd like to see!
 
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vampcat

Bug Hunter Extraordinaire
Contributor
Heya! Great to see you hop onto the forum :D

Regarding the exploration world: This was actually a gsoc project last summer (search or ask around for "Lost", although it was not *entirely* completed due to lack of supporting features. That being said, it still got a lot of work done, including journals, traps, puzzles and whatnot. That means even though starting a new Exploration World is not a good idea, you can refine the old one - look at what all was lacking, and work from there. There are tons of ideas on this, in case you are interested.

Or, you can work on another gameplay template. Keep in mind that almost anything you decide to work upon will involve a lot of hiccups engine-side, so you'll be working on creating the game *and* implementing some missing supporting features in engine/other modules. However, adding more playable content to the game is kinda required at this point, so.. :D
 

dacharya64

Member
Contributor
Thanks! Yeah, I saw the info on the issue #2775 and the post on Lost, and I think ideally I'd love to work on adding more functionality and extending the features of Lost. I know the issue page lists some of the other features that could be implemented (and of course I'll play around with it some more myself to see what needs doing). What other ideas were there for refining Lost?
 

Skaldarnar

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Contributor
Art
World
SpecOps
Hi @dacharya64 and welcome :)

Coming here with a solid game dev background is definitely a huge plus! Afaik there are some technical issues still waiting for someone to work on making gameplay modules and, in particular, adventure maps a better experience for players. Although "Lost" achieved a lot feature from the gamepley perspective the mechanics for shipping a predefined map with a game mode are currently missing. I guess there are probably other taks in the direction of configuring the game play experience of any game mode in the game creation dialog better. Getting some input from the game desing and UX perspective migth be a good point to start...

Looking at last years projects and the exisiting modules a better integration of scenario creation, exploration world, gooeys quest, and our gameplay concept Light and Shadow might be worthwhile to consider as well. We have a bunch of material on each topic lying around, maybe it just needs somebody to stitch it all together ;)
 

Nihal Singh

Member
Contributor
World
Hunter
Hello there @dacharya64!

Lost was my GSoC project and I'm glad you're interested in adding features to it and extending its functionality. I'd love to see it shape into something more mature than what it was when I left off.

This was my final GSoC proposal. After a lot of discussion with everyone else here, I shifted a few items to "Bonus" and got almost all of my primary goals completed. The bonus section still has a few great ideas that were a result of discussions from last year, and can still be implemented.
My blog contains a week wise summary of the additions I made last summer. Definitely, take a peek there to see all the stuff that got made.

@Cata parallelly worked on the Scenarios project last summer. This could be coupled with the gameplay additions from Lost to bring together a great gameplay module.

I'm not so active on the public channels currently, but you can definitely personal ping me on Slack if there's anything you need :)
 

dacharya64

Member
Contributor
Thanks for the replies! Sounds like there are a lot of really great opportunities for contributing. My main goal is to go where I'm needed in terms of contributing. I'll be thinking more about solidifying a definite proposal over the next few weeks as I work with Terasology more; happy to field some more suggestions on here as well.

I'm not on the Slack right now (do I need to do something special for that? Is there a secret handshake?) but happy to join if I can.

I did want to ask, (though not sure if this is the right place for it), how does mentoring / proposal review work for Google Summer of Code? If I got a draft of a proposal done, should I post it to the forum for review? Are there any things I'm missing in terms of good next steps to take?
 

vampcat

Bug Hunter Extraordinaire
Contributor
Regarding slack: As much as I wish otherwise, no secret handshake. It needs an invitation, which we hand out pretty freely, once everyone - us, and you - feels like you plan on sticking around. Give it a week or so, you'll get your invitation :D In the meantime, since all general chat is bridged between slack, irc and discord, you're not losing out on anything.

Regrading the proposal: It's upto you, how you want to share the proposal. Students usually just share the proposal on the gsoc site and then post the link on chat/forum as well, since that means higher visibility, and hence more feedback. Also keep in mind that mentors other than the one related to your area might look over your proposal and give you great feedback, so I would definitely recommend keeping it public. As a student last year, I shared my proposal publicly, got tons of feedback from fellow students, reviewed their proposals as well.. it was fun :D

The best step I can recommend is, get coding. I seem to recall you already setup your local workspace and looked at a few tutorials? Move onto small bug fixes or features, to get familiar with the codebase. It is not just the proposal that is considered, since the ability of the student to gel in with the community and complete what they started matter a lot as well - in fact, more so than the proposal.

Lastly, forum is a great place for small discussions, but most of the people hang out on slack/irc/discord, so you're more likely to get responses there.
 

dacharya64

Member
Contributor
Thanks vampcat!

I've written up a first draft of my Summer of Code proposal, "Google Summer of Code Proposal: Extending “Light and Shadow” Gameplay and Functionality", and would appreciate any feedback! Please let me know if you think the pacing of the schedule needs work, if the priorities of tasks needs to be changed, or if you have any other feature requests for it!

The full proposal is available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pWsCea_bn8l7agVbbI2ZIfo2eu9oHhfdbdin7gPWjoo/edit?usp=sharing

Also putting goals and timeline here in spoiler tags, if people want to review those separately:

Goals:
Core Gameplay
  • Capture-the-Flag (CTF) gameplay mechanic -- Players will compete to capture a relevant “McGuffin” (ex. flag) from the other team’s base, and return it to their starting base. Alternatively, the goal can be to kill the enemy faction’s king who resides within the enemy’s base. When a player satisfies this goal their faction wins the round, and the level will be reset
  • Factions -- Players, NPCs, and other relevant in-game objects will be given divided into factions (red, black, unaligned). Factions will determine the team of the player and the player’s starting base.
  • Bases -- Each faction will have its own base that must be defended from other factions.
  • Scoring -- Score is determined by the number of successful flag captures made by each faction
  • Map / Level Design -- The level(s) will consist of a finite, somewhat symmetrical world with bases placed at either end. The world will have varying terrain features that can help/hinder players
Secondary Goals
  • Flora and tree generation -- Replace current generated flora and tree assets with themed assets (ex. card-based flora, board game-based trees)
  • Players can choose their own faction (ex. from menu or in-game dialog)
  • Faction conversion -- Unaligned items can be “taken over” by players to convert them to the same faction as players. This provides some benefit to the player’s faction (ex. converting unaligned flora to faction-specific flora produces faction-friendly NPCs)
  • Destructible bases -- Bases and other base buildings / items in the base (ex. turrets) can be damaged by the opposing faction
  • Base building -- Players can add onto their base to help defend it, for instance with guard towers / turrets. This can take advantage of the crafting system as well.
  • NPC mobs AI and pathing
  • Combat System integration for NPCs -- Player can damage and be damaged by NPCs
Stretch Goals
  • Multiplayer support
    • Lobbies
    • PvP
  • Art Asset Creation -- 3D modeling and animating additional assets for the module
  • Additional resources -- Ex. ores, that can be found and extracted by players for crafting (For items? Base modifications?) or glyphs (discussed in the Art forum thread)
  • Power -- Players can power elements of their base such as weapons
    • Weapons have two varieties, the high-power version of which doesn’t work without power but does much more damage when powered than the regular version does when powered
  • Procedurally generated maps -- Placement of base position and terrain varies within certain limits, but level is roughly symmetrical
  • Custom map support
  • Support for more than two factions
  • Quest system integration -- Completion of tasks that benefit your faction are built into quest notifications
    • Collection quests (ex. Convert 10 flora to your faction’s side) give some additional benefit to your faction
    • Victory condition quests are what must be completed for the player’s faction to win the round
  • “White Scepter” item (https://forum.terasology.org/threads/las-light-and-shadow-art-discussion.762/page-3): King of the hill-style item that provides a large benefit to the faction / player holding it
  • Currency and Vendors -- Players are given money and / or earn it in game to purchase items
  • Items and item trees -- Players start off with helpful items (or buy them) and can craft them into better items (ex. equipment, traps)
  • Player Improvements
    • Individual scores -- Players get individual scores based on their play, such as time with the flag, number of items converted, etc.
    • Player levels / rankings
  • Custom characters -- Players can pick which avatar they want to play as (ex. different chess pieces)
  • Skills -- Certain units have certain skills and abilities, may have prerequisites to being unlocked (ex. player attaining a certain level)
  • Commanding and ordering NPCs
  • “Command center” minified map / game board
Lore implementation (Intro screen? Books? Architecture?)

Timeline:
Pre-GSoC (Apr - May):

  • Connect with appropriate mentor(s) and community bonding
  • Continue to explore code base through appropriate tutorials and issue fixes
  • Evaluate current L&S module, seeing what currently implemented, functional
  • Relevant PRs to the current L&S module to fix conflicts with develop and master branches
  • Review current information on potential project directions and reach out to community about suggested work on L&S
Week 1 (May 14):

  • Initial map design / generation and soliciting feedback / redesigns
  • Initial base designs and implementation (red base and black base)
Week 2 (May 21):

  • Implement factions -- player and other in-game objects (ex. NPCs, flora) given specific faction type (red, black, unaligned)
  • Begin implementing CTF gameplay
    • Adding faction-specific “McGuffin” (flag) to each base
    • Changing flag behavior according to player faction
      • Can be picked up by player of opposing faction
      • Dropped on player death
      • When dropped, can be picked up by opposing faction player (added to inventory) or friendly faction player (moved back to spawn point in base)
Week 3 (May 28):

  • Finish implementing CTF gameplay
    • Players score when the flag is returned to base
    • Level resets on player score
  • Implement score and score UI
  • End of milestone 1 -- all Core Gameplay mechanics completed
Week 4 (June 4):

  • Begin base building implementation
    • Evaluate what additional buildings can be placed within the world and how to craft them (ex. guard towers)
    • Begin design / implementation of additional base buildings
Week 5 (June 11):

  • First evaluation
  • Continue base building implementation
    • Create and implement weapons that can be added to bases / additional base buildings
    • Set up a system for allowing bases to be destructible (and repairable)
  • Rework flora / tree generation with new L&S-specific assets
Week 6 (June 18):

  • Implement NPC mob spawning, pathing, combat
Week 7 (June 25):

  • Implement NPC AI -- Reactions to opposing faction NPCs, reactions to opposing faction players, reactions to opposing faction bases / buildings
Week 8 (July 2):

  • Create mechanic (ex. specific tool) for player to perform faction conversion (ex. convert unaligned flora to faction-specific flora)
  • Determine and implement benefit from faction conversion
  • Create and implement “lobby box” for player to choose faction
  • End of Milestone 2 -- all secondary goals completed
Week 9 (July 9):

  • Second evaluation
  • Implement basics of resource-gathering mechanic (ore)
  • Implement basics of power mechanic (ore needed to generate power, which improves weapons)
Week 10 (July 16):

  • Implement individual player scores / rankings / level based on ingame performance
  • Implement wearable equipment and equipment crafting / upgrades
Week 11 (July 23):

  • Evaluate current multiplayer support and provide fixes to easy problems, document larger problems
  • Investigate procedural map and custom map implementation. Provide as much of a solution as can be developed in this time; document what still needs to be done
Week 12 (July 30):

  • Final additions and code review
  • Completing additional documentation and comments where necessary
  • Evaluating and documenting what goals were completed, what still needs to be done overall
  • End of Milestone 3 -- stretch goals either completed or documented as future possibilities
Post-GSoC (Aug 6 - on):

  • Final evaluation
  • Final code submission and project summary
 

manu3d

Active Member
Contributor
Architecture
Devi, you wrote:

I did want to ask, (though not sure if this is the right place for it), how does mentoring / proposal review work for Google Summer of Code? If I got a draft of a proposal done, should I post it to the forum for review? Are there any things I'm missing in terms of good next steps to take?

The GSOC website is the official repository for draft and final proposals. It is also the place where potential mentors will evaluate them in-depth. Some of us do not have a lot of time to look through multiple places where the proposals might be stored: to obtain general feedback it might make sense to publish a proposal in the forum, but not all mentors might see it. To be sure you get feedback from mentors the draft should be published through the GSOC website.

Another aspect is that the selection of proposals is a competitive process. While you can gain more feedback by making your proposal public, you will also provide information to competing students. If they honestly reciprocate by making their proposal as public the playing field is level. But they are (so far) entitled not to and this might represent an advantage. This is something to be aware of.

By the way, I wouldn't publish your proposal right in this thread. I'd suggest to create a separate thread so that people can give you feedback there, leaving this thread for replies to your introduction and more general orientation discussions.

Manu
---
2018 GSOC Org Admin - 2017, 2016 GSOC Mentor
 

dacharya64

Member
Contributor
Thanks!

To be sure you get feedback from mentors the draft should be published through the GSOC website.
Just wanted to ask for clarification, by GSOC website you mean the one run by Google (summerofcode.withgoogle.com), right? Not a separate Terasology repo for GSOC/drafts? I'll be posting it to summerofcode.withgoogle.com once that opens for student submissions in mid-March.

While you can gain more feedback by making your proposal public, you will also provide information to competing students.
Thanks for the heads-up. I'm fine with this, though, as I'd prefer public feedback to keeping it more private (but at some potential advantage).

I'd suggest to create a separate thread so that people can give you feedback there, leaving this thread for replies to your introduction and more general orientation discussions.
Got it! Made a new post here with the proposal draft info: https://forum.terasology.org/threads/gsoc-proposal-draft-seeking-feedback-extending-“light-and-shadow”-gameplay-and-functionality.2105/
 

manu3d

Active Member
Contributor
Architecture
Yes, the GSOC website is the correct one.

Manu
---
2018 GSOC Org Admin - 2017, 2016 GSOC Mentor
 

Skaldarnar

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Contributor
Art
World
SpecOps
Hej @dacharya64 I hope you're doing fine? :)

There are only a few days left before the deadline, which means there's not much time left to collect more feedback from mentors on the proposal. If you do another quicker iteration you might get some last tips before submitting the final proposal (also: don't forget to submit the proposal as final on the GSOC website ;))
 
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