Welcome to the second edition of Game Bytes, where we highlight some of the latest and greatest game development-related repositories, success stories, and other game-related tidbits.
If I had a nickel for every minute I spent playing David Braben’s Frontier – Elite II when I was a kid, I’d probably be a millionaire. Imagine my excitement when I discovered a free, open source game just like it!
Pioneer is an open-ended space exploration game that lets you explore the wonders of the universe by doing something as simple as landing on a planet or space station to burning up while flying between binary star systems. You can make your fortune by engaging in trade, piracy, smuggling, mining, or bounty hunting and then use your riches to buy or customize ships. There are thousands of unique planets and star systems to explore and hundreds of missions to undertake.
In addition to the large player community, Pioneer has a very active and extremely welcoming development community. The maintainers encourage you to take a look at the Issues and take care of any low-hanging fruit. No idea where to start? Help is a click away in their IRC channel, #pioneer on Freenode.
Here are some recent contributions:
- fixing a planet’s outer rings
- translating the game into Catalan
- adding a new ship
- adding some face-generation assets
- updating an advertisement on a space station to shamelessly promote your company
If you’re an up and coming game developer looking to get some valuable experience collaborating with a game project on GitHub or looking to add some impressive work experience to your resume, you might consider helping out in one of these area:
- Engine work i.e. AI, physics, graphics, terrains, etc.
- Mission development (read the guide)
- Models e.g. ships, space stations, cities, etc.
- Music + sound effects
- Artwork e.g. cockpits, identikit faces, etc.
- Story development
- Testing i.e. playing and filing bugs
- Documentation e.g getting started, how to fly, writing missions, etc.
Go forth and play it, fork it, and/or contribute to it! You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more welcoming community.
If you have any comments, questions or suggestions for future editions of Game Bytes please email firstname.lastname@example.org.