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Author Topic: Release early, release often  (Read 4472 times)

Offline freegamer

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Release early, release often
« on: November 27, 2009, 11:17:49 am »
It's the mantra of a successful open source project:
"Release early, release often."

http://ufoai.ninex.info/wiki/index.php/Releases

Last major release (2.2) was in January 2008 - nearly 2 years ago

Between the 2.1 and 2.2 release was just 8 months

Development activity has been higher (at least in terms of commits/month) has been higher between 2.2->2.3 than for 2.1->2.2.

Perhaps it's time to get 2.3 out of the door?  It won't be perfect, but it is already a lot better than 2.2.1 and you can always do a 2.3.1, 2.3.2 release etc or even a 2.4 if there is significant difference.

Nobody will be upset or complain about more regular releases, the community will appreciate it, and you'll get more publicity and more players and (so follows) potentially more contributors.

Food for thought!

PS. Congratulations on creating a great game project.  This is meant as nothing more than a friendly nudge.  I can grab it from SVN, I know hands are always short on a game project, that help is always needed, but I'm not saying this because I want a new version for me; I just want to see you guys succeed.

 - C aka Free Gamer

Offline Duke

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2009, 01:07:23 pm »
Not much to add :)

We are currently working on the last remaining issues with campaign and playability.
Users *will* complain if they can't finish the campaign properly after investing so many hours of playtime. At least they did in the past.

Offline ojasper

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2009, 07:41:34 pm »
Tbh "Release early, release often" is why i switched from Ubuntu to Debian. Punch out all the bugs and issues before a release, please :) Two years is really long though..

Offline shevegen

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2009, 08:03:20 pm »
I would like to comment on this, and I think I can understand everyone.

For developers it is often easier to just focus on SVN and similar.

For users, a simple way to install something is preferred (like an installable .exe)

Personally, in regard to UFO AI, or also wesnoth, I never care about the stable releases.
Stable means boring (for me). I don't have a big problem with bugs, I rather appreciate bugs but keep the "feeling" that things improve, that a game can evolve and similar. This is why I avoid downloading stable releases of Wesnoth or Ufo:AI, but I can understand if users prefer stable versions. (This is just my personal opinion btw)

I love to try out new things! It feels as if your opinion has a tiny impact on game evolution. (And active help is of course even more important than just giving opinion and feedback)

Users will always complain, of course - people love to complain. It is in their nature.
But a project needs to show that it is alive.

The monthly updates are COOL to have, and so are the unstable releases.

Not every complaint is important. But, I think the complaint about two years since last solid release is an important one, and should be addressed in the next... let's say... two or three months. :)

But again, just my opinion here.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 08:05:18 pm by shevegen »

Offline Duke

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 12:53:19 am »
Not every complaint is important. But, I think the complaint about two years since last solid release is an important one, and should be addressed in the next... let's say... two or three months. :)

But again, just my opinion here.

It will.
Just my opinion, though ;)

Offline freegamer

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2009, 06:35:48 pm »
Is there any way to gauge what is blocking a release?

I know there's quite a few untaken items in the 2.3 TODO but not all of them need block the release.  You can always do 2.3.1, 2.3.2 releases adding additional content that doesn't break save games (i.e. 2.3.0 saves will load in 2.3.1,2.3.2 although not the other way around).

Offline Mattn

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 07:13:14 pm »
it all about open bugs - a lot of bugs are still in the tactical missions and the inventory handling.

Offline Kildor

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2009, 03:43:04 am »
And I`m afraid alienbase handling (discovering) is not good enougth.

Offline freegamer

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2009, 06:24:43 pm »
And I`m afraid alienbase handling (discovering) is not good enougth.
Perfect is the enemy of good.  If it works and is usable then it's good enough - it can always be improved upon in a later release.  Blocking bugs on the other hand...

Perhaps it would be useful, Mattn, for somebody with the requisite knowledge to triage the bugs list and identify those that must absolutely be fixed and those which it would be ok to fix in a 2.3.1, 2.3.x releases?

Offline Bartleby

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2009, 07:36:11 pm »
my favorite movie says: a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow..... but, freegamer, the team from ufo ai do all for free and i guess they dont like plans as much as a company. and until now i dont know how many active coders ufo ai has.

they already said, that they know that they did maybe a fail when it was decided to make less releases. nevertheless, i think they do quite well :).

Offline Duke

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2009, 01:06:48 am »
... and until now i dont know how many active coders ufo ai has.
Talking about *coders*, not mappers nor artists etc.
We have 1 coder (Mattn), who nearly does a fulltime job (allthough he has a job in RL; I'll never understand how he manages to do that much).
We have 3 'part time coders' that sum up to 1 full time coder imho.
Plus several (around 6?) occasional contributors (including me), that sum up to somewhere between 0.5 and 1.0 full time coders.
Considering the amount of code we have to handle with a total of 2.5 devs, I think we're doing fine, even from the professional's point of view :)

Quote
they already said, that they know that they did maybe a fail when it was decided to make less releases.
Afaik it wasn't *decided* to do less releases. We added some features and ran into severe problems :(

Quote
nevertheless, i think they do quite well :).
Thx on behalf of the team :)

Offline freegamer

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2009, 05:33:01 pm »
I think you guys do a great job as well.  UFO:AI is a really good game, and would attract more contributors if you made more releases!

Offline Battlescared

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2009, 11:11:17 pm »
Patiently waiting for the developers to feel it's ready for full release.  Was really hoping for a Christmas gift out of it this year, but more stability later is a good price to pay for waiting.  It looks like the change list is getting more focused now.  Thanks for all the work you guys are putting into it. 

Also, I seem to recall seeing a link where all the major releases were spelled out with exactly what features would be included in each.  Was that removed?  Or was it completed?  I can't seem to navigate to it any more.  Thanks in advance if anyone replies.

Offline rynait

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2009, 11:39:52 pm »
Hello,

I wonder what wrong with playing with their revision versions, or helping them develop? 

Consider playing revisions as compared to "watching" & "seeking bugs" like seeing the development progress.

At least you would know when stable version is coming out.  :)

Roy

Offline Duke

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Re: Release early, release often
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2009, 12:32:35 am »
Also, I seem to recall seeing a link where all the major releases were spelled out with exactly what features would be included in each.  Was that removed?  Or was it completed?  I can't seem to navigate to it any more.  Thanks in advance if anyone replies.
Look for the TODO-articles in our wiki. Not sure if it's really up to date, though.