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Flightgear on steam

Questions about the FlightGear organisation, website, wiki etc.

Re: Flightgear on steam

Postby Octal450 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:31 pm

Alant is correct here.

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Josh
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Re: Flightgear on steam

Postby Thorsten » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:26 am

Anything which adds numbers to the Flightgear community should be encouraged.
If a small proportion become sufficiently interested that they become Flightgear contributors/develpoers the project will progress faster.


FG has finite manpower resources - the active people have the amount of spare time T during which they can document and develop (D), interact with users (U) or promote (P) such that T = D + U + P.

Newly arriving users have a certain need for interaction before they do anything else - there's a (small) chance they become active developers over time, but they need some interaction even before this becomes clear. If the FG community decides to take care of new users,it automatically follows from the limited resources that the development pace will slow down - in proportion to the number of new users arriving - if more people come, development will slow down more.

Now whether this eventually pays off or not depends on the probability of a new user to become an active developer. It is quite possible that the situation worsens for a prolonged time and that the project will progress slower (or not at all) due to influx of new users.

Whether that happens in turn depends on from where the new user was 'recruited' - the probability is very low in a gaming environment and much higher in a scientific or coding environment. A Linux forum for instance will produce a far more likely recruiting ground.

It also depends on what the active people decide to do, because they can opt to not invest their time into user interactions and continue with development (the majority is pretty much doing this). In this scenario, advertizing will re-bound because there will be an initial influx of people who are left alone and then, by virtue of social media, spread their own version of the story - so word of FG will reach quite many people, but it won't be the word you are imagining when planning to promote FG.

Case in point - if you advertize a product, you need to make sure before you're able to deliver it in the number it is demanded.

We're all idealists here because we believe in creating something for no money - but idealism carries only so far (and best if it meets other idealists) - I think at the current state of FG with the release process stalling, terrain re-generation not really under control yet and the documentation in terms of the Wiki in need of an overhaul, the influx of many new users will most likely not have the effect people hope for. And during the last decade, the idea that 'the community' will pick up task XY because it has a low entry barrier and everyone can do it have not worked in a single case unfortunately. 'The community' for instance is currently busy criticizing the core developers for missing the release dates, rather than trying to participate in the release process to speed it up.

Having said that - there's plenty of lousy screenshots circulating in the internet - the current Wikipedia page for instance shows one of the 0.9.9 version - gradually trying to replace them by something more up to date would not be the worst idea - currently in many places we 'present' a product 10 years out of date.

And having said that, there's no single entity controlling FG. Anyone can 'market' it how he likes to as long as it adheres to the GPL license. That includes selling it or putting it on a platform.
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Re: Flightgear on steam

Postby bugman » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:11 am

Maybe the advertising pitch should be "come to our flight simulator and help build your own world"? If you pitch it based on the user expecting that they are here to 'help', it might produce more contributors. You would probably have to also mix in the idea that FlightGear is trying to simulate reality and is not a game.

About that ancient, 10 year old plus wikipedia article, I had considered revamping it a long time ago, but never had the time. It could do with a "Features" section after the history section. That could then be laced with the Screenshot of the month graphics.

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Re: Flightgear on steam

Postby frtps » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:25 am

Thorsten wrote in Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:26 am:
We're all idealists here because we believe in creating something for no money - but idealism carries only so far (and best if it meets other idealists) - I think at the current state of FG with the release process stalling, terrain re-generation not really under control yet and the documentation in terms of the Wiki in need of an overhaul, the influx of many new users will most likely not have the effect people hope for. And during the last decade, the idea that 'the community' will pick up task XY because it has a low entry barrier and everyone can do it have not worked in a single case unfortunately. 'The community' for instance is currently busy criticizing the core developers for missing the release dates, rather than trying to participate in the release process to speed it up.

Having said that - there's plenty of lousy screenshots circulating in the internet - the current Wikipedia page for instance shows one of the 0.9.9 version - gradually trying to replace them by something more up to date would not be the worst idea - currently in many places we 'present' a product 10 years out of date.

[/quote]

Interesting hint at current issues in there, some of which non-programmers could help with without a great commitment of time - so is there an issues tracker for the nebulous project as a whole as opposed to the narrower program focus of the "Bug tracker" link at the top of this page? Perhaps a project issue tracker is another thing for the list of things to do.
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Re: Flightgear on steam

Postby Kafovofa » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:08 am

@Thorsten:

I was basically thinking if we had a donate button instead of a buy now button on Steam, the increased visibility would allow us to address most of the major stability and gameplay issues within a month (maybe by hiring a dev from upwork or something to do the dirty work we don't have volunteers for like patching the nagging stability issues we have) without much trouble as long as we pitch the game like Alant and Bugman are describing. However, I just checked to see if we were even making the goals to upkeep the map and servers here and was pretty disappointed, and I forgot about the state of terrain which is a much bigger problem than we could really tackle in such a short time with so few people... Anyway, you're probably right about Steam not being the right place for the game right now, but if we don't consider increasing our rate of development, possibly by increasing our visibility somewhere to showcase the game's potential with a little elbow grease, it's possible the project will stagnate indefinitely and fade into obscurity. It might be worth it to risk some exposure to keep a healthy pool of casual developers around, but a linux forum is probably the safest place to try to find devs like that, as you've mentioned. So, I guess maybe that's where we should start if we want to start considering something like Steam someday down the road as a community before crashing the servers and download mirrors by accident.
Last edited by bugman on Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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