Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Open Source Software Statuses

Looking for open source software is a bit like getting a (free) car.  It might look good (or not) and in order to find out whether it is any good, you need to spend the time investigating it and using it.  It might be a supercar, but look like an old banger.  It might not even be built yet, or it might look amazing but the engine doesn't work.  Unfortunately, it always takes time, often to find out that it was a waste of time.

In order to alleviate this situation, I propose a set of statuses to help determine whether an open-source project is what you want:-

* Non-existent - No code has actually been written yet.  There seems to be lots of repo's in this state
* Not yet playable - Typically started, but won't run (or won't even compile)
* Runnable - it will compile & run, but who knows what will happen
* Basic but Playable - There is something to do, but by no means a complete game
* Fully playable - It's pretty much a game ready for players.

One thing to remember with open source is that they are never finished, only (eventually) abandoned, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  If a project is fully playable, it doesn't matter if it's been abandoned if other people can use it.

These statuses do oversimplify the state a game could be in.  A game could be fully playable, but have massive bugs that cause it to crash.  Unfortunately, there's no way to easily categorise these.  But the above statuses will at least save people some time when searching.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Simple Platformer, with Source Code

I've written this simple platformer game using LibGDX.  It's a multiplayer game where the aim is to collect more coins than your opponents before you run out of lives.  The screen constantly scrolls upwards, and you have to avoid being left behind at the bottom.  I've tested it with PS4 controllers, I assume (probably incorrectly) that X-Box controllers should work as well.

Full source code is available here.