DragonBox OpenSource Coding Competition - Rules (DRAFT!)


diligentcircle

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So what you are saying is that the FSF has no purpose to wanting free software? The goal is the intention? I'm sorry, that's stupid. They must have a reason for doing what they do. If they don't believe that free software is superior in some ways then they are working on a goal with no purpose.


edit: no, I'm not sorry, that is completely stupid. I always figured that there was actual logic behind the FSFs goal. I didn't believe in their end goal but accepted that they had good intentions behind it, and now you're telling me that none of that is true? They don't actually care about whether something is better or worse, don't care about providing learning material or ensuring stable software, their end goal IS their single sole intention? If that is the case than the FSF is a terrible organization and I have absolutely no respect for them or their goal. I would rather believe you are extremely mistaken.

(Emphasis added)
 

ZXDunny

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Well, I believe I've got a solution. I'm thinking of writing the game I always wanted to, and this is the perfect opportunity. To appease those who want an open source entry, I shall open some of the code, and keep the rest to myself.


I must admit, though - I'm having difficulty in understanding just how one would open source a vegetable.


D.
 

WizardStan

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(Emphasis added)
Yes, and...? Superior in some ways, which I then followed up to mean things like the freedom to do what you want, to fix bugs, to learn from other people. It doesn't mean that free software is strictly better, just that it is better for certain things. If you don't think that one thing is better than another in at least some way then you shouldn't be promoting it. As it is, you do promote free software, quite religiously in fact, so there must be something about it that you consider superior to closed source software.


Everything said in that edit was under the assumption that you knew what you were talking about. Thankfully you weren't: the four freedoms ARE the intention of the FSF, and exactly as I said, there is overlap to what I said.
 

ekianjo

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So yes, of course you need the better artists, but the code you did develop and put money in can be used by your competitors at no cost and give them the advantage to not have to put any money in developing the tools. They can even hire your artists because they can pay them better because they don't need to invest into the tools.

Yes, that's precisely why most, if not all, game developpers do not release their code. And when they do (like for id software) they release it once it has lost all commercial value. That's hardly a coincidence. There is NO MODEL to make money with games with open source coding. And no matter if you think whether this is ethical or not, this is basis for the whole game industry. The day the code can be easily replicated, say goodbye to platform exclusivity and to the commercial value of the years developing the technologies to make the games.
 

ekianjo

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I have played nonfree games before, but if you honestly think that all games are nonfree, you are very mistaken. I have a huge list of some of them that I like on my website, but some of the many free games available include Xonotic, OpenArena, AssaultCube, Ryzom, Doom, Freeciv, Glest, Warzone 2100, Freecol, Adanaxis (<-- that's an interesting one: 4D!), Alex the Alligator 4, LBreakout, LTris, Njam, Supertux, GNUjump, Liquid War, Teeworlds, Transdimensional Hellspider, dozens of KDE games, dozens of GNOME games, and I'm barely scratching the surface.

Thanks, I am well aware of free games - no need to list them here. Note that none of them has achieved a great user base even though they are freely available and cost nothing - it's easy to guess why. They are poorer in all aspects compared to commercial games available - their usability is sometimes so backward I cannot afford to spend more than 5 minutes trying them - or their art is extremely poorly made. I'd prefer spending 5 dollars on a well-made, non-free indie game than getting a Free game that looks like it was made by a bunch of amateurs.


Face the reality: the Free games have failed to gain traction and to demonstrate that open-source could work to make great games. Of course, I am sure you can point me to an exception, but that's what it will be : an exception. While all the great games are in the Non-Free Realm.


EDIT: now if there were commercial, free-games, that were worth purchasing, I would do so. But quality comes first, just like I will not waste time reading a crappy book published under GPL just because it's free vs reading a good book protected by copyright. The day quality is equivalent on both sides the switch can happen, and I believe it will be in favor of the open-source alternatives. Just like Firefox picked up share on IE because it was a BETTER browser - almost no-one (at least 99% of Firefox users) cares whether it's free or non-free. So, instead of focusing only on Freedom principles, I'd like the FSF to focus on promoting top-quality software as a top priority. They are asking for Skype alternatives on their webpage, but the alternatives they provide are all unfriendly to most users and will never pick up any kind of market. There's a big gap between their ideals and what the community behind them is capable of delivering, unfortunately.
 
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_wb_

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There's a big gap between their ideals and what the community behind them is capable of delivering, unfortunately.

This might be true to some extent, but in my opinion, the solution is to enlarge that community so that it can deliver more great Free software, not to just abandon the project and embrace closed-source.
 

ekianjo

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There's a big gap between their ideals and what the community behind them is capable of delivering, unfortunately.

This might be true to some extent, but in my opinion, the solution is to enlarge that community so that it can deliver more great Free software, not to just abandon the project and embrace closed-source.

Yeah, I have no problem about that. I wish they get more support.
 

_wb_

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There's a big gap between their ideals and what the community behind them is capable of delivering, unfortunately.

This might be true to some extent, but in my opinion, the solution is to enlarge that community so that it can deliver more great Free software, not to just abandon the project and embrace closed-source.

Yeah, I have no problem about that. I wish they get more support.

Yes, me too. Hey, I have an idea! Let's organize an Open Source programming contest to promote Free / Open Source software! ;)
 

Ziz

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Do it. Sorry to say that, but it is disappointing, that the competition maker of this contest doesn't post here anymore.


I know, ED has a lot to do and so on, but in that case, he shouldn't start a competition on his own. -_-


So now we hover about rules, that may be. Or may not maybe...
 

Miner49er

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I kind of don't like the idea that somebody could easily cheat on a game by looking at the code and switching off collision detection or something.


Releasing the source straight away makes this possible.
 

_wb_

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Releasing the binaries also makes that possible, it just makes it a bit harder to do. If you really want to avoid cheating, you'll need to either not give the binary to the player (e.g. by making it a web game where all code gets executed on your server and the player only gets a thin client; even then some client-side cheating is possible, e.g. bots that react faster than a human could), or make sure that the player cannot modify the binary (e.g. by forcing him to use a cpu that only executes encrypted code which is cryptographically signed by you).


There simply is no way to prevent cheating completely: e.g. you can always replace the human player with a computer program that fakes the keypresses, etc. You can make it as hard as possible to cheat (e.g. by keeping the source code secret), but this tends to make it an interesting challenge in itself to find a way to cheat, and cheaters will feel like they "earned" the cheat because they spent a lot of time to find it. So by trying to avoid cheating, you are in fact creating a "meta-game" that encourages cheaters to find ways around your anti-cheating obstacles.


I prefer the opposite approach: make it so easy to cheat that it isn't really a challenge. E.g. I'm now coding highscores in Microbes; they are stored in a very simple text file, so if you want to fake highscores, this is trivial to do. I'm assuming that most people will try to get a highscore by playing the game without cheating, because I think that will tend to give them more satisfaction. But of course they could easily fake it, or modify the game to get "god mode" or whatever. Why would they? To brag on this forum with a screenshot of an impressive highscore? Even if cheating was impossible they could do that, simply by photoshopping the screenshot.
 

iprice

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I'm now coding highscores in Microbes; they are stored in a very simple text file, so if you want to fake highscores, this is trivial to do.

Windows MineSweeper used to do that - one of my work colleagues used to appear to get superb high scores and others didn't know how. I guessed why straight away. I edited the file one day and just put on the bottom "Cheating bastard." He never bragged about high scores again after that :p
 
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I prefer the opposite approach: make it so easy to cheat that it isn't really a challenge. E.g. I'm now coding highscores in Microbes; they are stored in a very simple text file, so if you want to fake highscores, this is trivial to do. I'm assuming that most people will try to get a highscore by playing the game without cheating, because I think that will tend to give them more satisfaction. But of course they could easily fake it, or modify the game to get "god mode" or whatever. Why would they? To brag on this forum with a screenshot of an impressive highscore? Even if cheating was impossible they could do that, simply by photoshopping the screenshot.

That's a nice thing but when it comes to online scores and every entry in the list says "OLOLOL 999.999 points", you could have also saved your time and make something else for the game. Making cheating easy for everyone does not prevent it from being done.
 
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ZXDunny

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Well, why not cancel the competition?


It's obvious that nobody can agree on what the rules should be - and people have threatened to take their sandals and go home if the competition has any closed source entries at all, whereas others have made it plain that they do not want to open their source.


My vote is to cancel, and next time announce the competition with rules set in stone and not up for public debate. Maybe this summer?


D.
 

Amnykon

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I don't think canceling is required. Since the compo is a public vote, I can decide how I vote. I will vote based on a programs potential. I do not believe that proprietary software has as much of a potential because only one person (or group) may work on it. Closed source programs are always limited. There are people who think the same way as me. If you want to throw away votes, go ahead and not release the source code. Maybe we should start a vote for whether people are willing to vote for limited proprietary programs, this way people will see the impact of open source vs closed source on the compo.
 

EvilDragon

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Updated the draft again.


I think this goes pretty much into final now.


Closed Source is allowed, but to encourage OpenSource projects, I increased the prize money in case your entry is OpenSource.
 

_wb_

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No more community votes, only a jury? I would prefer a hybrid system: 50% of the points are given by a jury, 50% by forum votes (or some other ratio).


Maybe closed-source entries should only be allowed in the "original games" category. In the other categories having the source is more important:


- Applications and emulators are more likely to be programs that other people will want to add features to etc.


- Judging a port of a closed-source game is very hard since there's no way to tell how much effort was needed to make that port.
 
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