Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD


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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 02:11

Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

bananaken wrote:I think this change blindsided a lot of people, not everyone can stay up to date with forum discussions 100% of the time.

Without commenting on anything else, this is a silly argument. If you're playing Trunk, you can either keep up with the developers' work, or you can accept that big changes can go in at any time. If you'd rather not do either, you can play a stable version.

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 02:26

Re: Incoming Amulet Reform Discussion

archaeo wrote:
bananaken wrote:I think this change blindsided a lot of people, not everyone can stay up to date with forum discussions 100% of the time.

Without commenting on anything else, this is a silly argument. If you're playing Trunk, you can either keep up with the developers' work, or you can accept that big changes can go in at any time. If you'd rather not do either, you can play a stable version.


Would it be possible to let devs sticky GDD threads about topics that are being seriously considered or being developed on? I usually try to follow GDD to read up on things before they potentially hit Trunk, but in this instance I was busy around the end of October (when the discussion occurred), and was focusing on the 0.17 tournament for most of November (so I never really caught up on what I might have missed), so this was quite a shock to see.

At the very least, even if the idea doesn't change all that much from having more opinions, it would definitely help to stem the feeling of surprise to large changes compared to just seeing it show up one day.

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 02:39

Re: Incoming Amulet Reform Discussion

archaeo wrote:
bananaken wrote:I think this change blindsided a lot of people, not everyone can stay up to date with forum discussions 100% of the time.

Without commenting on anything else, this is a silly argument. If you're playing Trunk, you can either keep up with the developers' work, or you can accept that big changes can go in at any time. If you'd rather not do either, you can play a stable version.

I read tavern more than I'd like to admit, and even then I missed the part where some sort of "amulet reform" was coming. I almost always play trunk when I do play as well (the exception being the 0.17 tournament). It's not really an argument, more of a reasonable observation considering the amount of time I pay attention to Crawl in some way or form. :P
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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 02:42

Re: Incoming Amulet Reform Discussion

Huh, maybe I'm full of crap CanOfWorms. I generally don't have 16 spell levels to spare when I get cblink online, but I can see your point.

Floodkiller wrote:Would it be possible to let devs sticky GDD threads about topics that are being seriously considered or being developed on? I usually try to follow GDD to read up on things before they potentially hit Trunk, but in this instance I was busy around the end of October (when the discussion occurred), and was focusing on the 0.17 tournament for most of November (so I never really caught up on what I might have missed), so this was quite a shock to see.

While a dev can feel free to correct me, I'm afraid this is very unlikely to happen. Trunk is how the devs let players know that topics are being seriously considered. GDD is not, in any way whatsoever, part of the official development process, and asking devs to volunteer even more time to keep the peanut gallery around here informed is just a non-starter.

If you're interested in keeping up with development, you can follow changes on github or on neil's mirror. Someone usually updates the changelog every few weeks, which you can even view in-game by hitting ? V.

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 03:07

Re: Incoming Amulet Reform Discussion

archaeo wrote:Trunk is how the devs let players know that topics are being seriously considered. GDD is not, in any way whatsoever, part of the official development process, and asking devs to volunteer even more time to keep the peanut gallery around here informed is just a non-starter.

If you're interested in keeping up with development, you can follow changes on github or on neil's mirror. Someone usually updates the changelog every few weeks, which you can even view in-game by hitting ? V.

Devs don't have to do anything like this, you're right; they can do whatever they want. That said, I think it would ultimately help everyone if there was an easier way (like a simple sticky thread) for people to be aware of particularly big changes for trunk, even if it's just a copy/paste of the commit messages. If anything it could get more players to test those specific changes in trunk.

Also, calling us the "peanut gallery" seems pretty excessive, I think most of us just want to push the discussion in a positive direction, and I don't think this helps.. :?
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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 03:27

Re: Incoming Amulet Reform Discussion

bananaken wrote:That said, I think it would ultimately help everyone if there was an easier way (like a simple sticky thread) for people to be aware of particularly big changes for trunk, even if it's just a copy/paste of the commit messages. If anything it could get more players to test those specific changes in trunk.

If you or somebody else is willing to summarize the development progress in a sticky thread every day, it'd be worth considering. Anybody want to step up to the plate in order to do that? PM me and we'll discuss it with the other mods/take it to S&C.

Also, calling us the "peanut gallery" seems pretty excessive, I think most of us just want to push the discussion in a positive direction, and I don't think this helps.. :?

I mean, I'm including myself and lots of quality posters in that number, bananaken. It's hard for me to read "peanut gallery" as truly excessive, but I apologize if I was offensive.

It's my fault we went off-topic here, but let's try to get back to dragging Lasty to the stocks discussing the amulet changes.

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 03:50

Re: Incoming Amulet Reform Discussion

archaeo wrote:If you or somebody else is willing to summarize the development progress in a sticky thread every day, it'd be worth considering. Anybody want to step up to the plate in order to do that? PM me and we'll discuss it with the other mods/take it to S&C.

See, the way this is worded it's obviously overkill. No one wants to do this. You don't need a sticky for discussing the introduction of juggernauts, shock wasps or octopode crushers being merged into iron giants. Amulet reform would have been a good candidate (and still is, stickying this would be a good idea now that's in trunk, IMO).

archaeo wrote:I mean, I'm including myself and lots of quality posters in that number, bananaken. It's hard for me to read "peanut gallery" as truly excessive, but I apologize if I was offensive.

From Wikipedia:
  Code:
A peanut gallery was, in the days of vaudeville, a nickname for the cheapest (and ostensibly rowdiest) seats in the theater, the occupants of which were often known to heckle.

You get the idea ;)

archaeo wrote:It's my fault we went off-topic here, but let's try to get back to dragging Lasty to the stocks discussing the amulet changes.

I have nothing more to say in any case, feel free to disagree but yeah, probably better to leave it for another topic.

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 04:07

Re: Incoming Amulet Reform Discussion

I thought there was a DCSS development mailing list in which things like this were discussed. I recall devs being rather emphatic that GDD is neither preferred nor standard for getting new stuff in -- rather, some discussion on the mailing list and usually an issue filed in Mantis; occasionally a new branch is created, for stuff that's big enough that it needs time to develop before it's ready to go into trunk.

Can Lasty, Ontoclasm or another dev comment on the accuracy of the above? I feel like some posters in this thread regard GDD as a 'primary place for developing new elements', which in my understanding just isn't true to the reality of things, am I off base here?
Last edited by savageorange on Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 04:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 04:12

Re: Incoming Amulet Reform Discussion

savageorange wrote:Can Lasty, Ontoclasm or another dev comment on the accuracy of the above?

Not a dev, but you're mostly correct. Neither C-R-D nor the development wiki are as active as ##crawl-dev is, however. As it says in the "You Must Read This Before Posting in GDD" thread:

GDD Rules wrote:Note that this forum is not where Crawl is being actively developed, and is not farmed for ideas by developers. Some developers do read and participate in the forum, so there's always a small chance of an idea catching the attention of someone who is willing to go to the effort of implementing it, but there is no expectation that interesting or popular ideas will necessarily make it into the game in any way.

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 04:21

Re: Incoming Amulet Reform Discussion

the entitlement people feel about a free game is incredible. also, you can rss changes here: https://github.com/crawl/crawl/commits/master

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 04:28

Re: Incoming Amulet Reform Discussion

What are trunk builds released for if not testing and feedback? What is the game design discussion forum for if not feedback on design?

I don't know why you think complaining about people leaving feedback in the feedback forum based on the testing builds released for feedback would be anything other than the most useless shit in the whole wide world.

"Bu...bu...but it's free you can't complain" is not, in any way, a contribution to this thread or this forum or to crawl or to anything.

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Barkeep

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 04:56

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

And welcome to the new thread, where this is now on-topic.

lazorexplosion, nobody is complaining about players providing constructive criticism. It isn't particularly constructive, however, to complain that the devs don't communicate their intentions to the players when they have an open, logged IRC channel, a mailing list, a development wiki, commit notes, and ample presence in the community elsewhere.

edit: FYI, a report came through as I was splitting the topics. I closed it, but I'll take this opportunity to remind everyone that there's never a good reason to get mad about video games, and even fewer reasons to get mad about online forums. Let's be good to one another.

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 05:05

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

lazorexplosion: I think what allbefore is trying to say is, try to be more thankful that there are people who voluntarily devote a lot of their free time to improving something that you clearly care a lot about.

And it's really not constructive to deliver your personal opinion from a position of "I'm absolutely right about this and refuse to hear anyone attempting to convince me otherwise". Which (whether you intend it so or not) is a vibe I'm getting from most of your posts!

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 06:07

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

To say something explicitly which Walker and Archaeo talked about above: GDD is not the only place GDD takes place. In fact, most GDD by devs takes place in ##crawl-dev on IRC, which anyone is welcome to join (like I have). Also, keeping up with trunk changes is best done by reading every commit message in the trunk log like what All Before linked.

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 09:05

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

As archaeo said, if someone with reasonable judgement and neutrality wanted to maintain a kind of list or summarization of trunk changes in a tavern thread, it could work, but there are a lot of caveats. This person would have to be relatively disciplined to not encourage a lot of negativity, and it's easy to misconstrue the motivation of the dev and/or contributor who made the change. Depending on your background, the commits can also just be difficult to understand. Reading discussion in ##crawl-dev can help to some degree, but the channel is....often off-topic (I'm certainly a big offender wrt off-topicness there, but we try to keep a light-hearted attitude).

Ideally the dev team would have the time to do this, but it's just not a responsibility that can be handed out. PleasingFungus was doing weekly trunk updates for a while, which were much appreciated, but even a relatively simple listing like that takes time to make. It's even more so if you want to add some commentary on the notable changes.

As far as feedback directly from the devs in GDD goes, I don't think there's much more you can expect other than a dev updating a thread with an "I made this commit" post when the commit was based on discussion in the thread. They may not even have time to do this, and it's more difficult if the discussion was based on multiple threads.

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 22:54

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

gammafunk wrote:As archaeo said, if someone with reasonable judgement and neutrality wanted to maintain a kind of list or summarization of trunk changes in a tavern thread, it could work, but there are a lot of caveats. This person would have to be relatively disciplined to not encourage a lot of negativity, and it's easy to misconstrue the motivation of the dev and/or contributor who made the change. Depending on your background, the commits can also just be difficult to understand. Reading discussion in ##crawl-dev can help to some degree, but the channel is....often off-topic (I'm certainly a big offender wrt off-topicness there, but we try to keep a light-hearted attitude).


A big problem with the amulet reform thing is that dev motivation was nearly impossible to understand until it was elaborated on in a later post. The commit literally read like "This is the first step in a series of amulet changes: rMut removed, use tactics instead!", which is not the same as "This is the first step in a series of amulet changes, other aspects like malmutate may be changed to compensate".

I think if commit logs properly express the intent behind particularly complex changes that would be enough for the crawl community to be savvy enough to pick up on it and begin discussion, I don't think an appointed person is really necessary for this. A tavern reader created the original amulet reform thread, after all. I'm almost 100% sure that at least *some* of the members of the dev team were befuddled by that log (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here).

That said, PleasingFungus's updates are wonderful and he also engages with players outside of tavern fairly often (through SomethingAwful), and I think that goes a long way.

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 23:03

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

It is not our job to write treatises on motivation. There is the commit log for inter-team communication, and that's openly accessable.
However, if you ask nicely, you will certainly get an answer. If you (not bananaken, plural you) call for Lasty's head (happened on SomethingAwful), you get no useful answer.

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Post Tuesday, 1st December 2015, 23:30

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

dpeg wrote:It is not our job to write treatises on motivation. There is the commit log for inter-team communication, and that's openly accessable.
However, if you ask nicely, you will certainly get an answer. If you (not bananaken, plural you) call for Lasty's head (happened on SomethingAwful), you get no useful answer.

Developing this game, period, is not your job. Trying to appeal to the entire playerbase on every commit log is not anyone's responsibility (and also impossible). I get that. But Lasty posted anyway on the amulet reform thread to clear up the commit message:
..these changes are the first steps in a large suite of changes that will no doubt include changes to malmutation in general.

I think 1 extra line does not qualify as a treatise, and would have cleared up much of the misunderstanding for a lot of players that come from SomethingAwful, DCSS reddit, tavern readers and no doubt other places on the internet. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

I think some people got a little too worked up (in SA at least), but most were just discussing the change and/or joking about it. For what it's worth, I think there were some funny lines that came out of it:
  Code:
Candy Necklace (rF rC rN rPois rCorr rElec rMut MR+ Clarity sInv AC+1 EV+1 Slaying+1 Wiz Regen), every time you become hungry, you lose a random modifier and get a fruit's worth of nutrition.

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Post Wednesday, 2nd December 2015, 02:46

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

bananaken wrote:I think if commit logs properly express the intent behind particularly complex changes that would be enough for the crawl community to be savvy enough to pick up on it and begin discussion, I don't think an appointed person is really necessary for this.


There's no appointed person necessary for this because we don't appoint (i.e. assign) responsibilities to developers or anyone else, because we can't. People volunteer to do work on crawl, in whatever the capacity. If a developer or any other reasonable person wants to make or otherwise facilitate summaries of trunk commits, that's certainly appreciated. Trying to enforce "good enough" commit messages that will assuage the fears and concerns of various groups of people won't work; developers simply do the best they can with commit messages, and they often change their minds anyhow. That's what follow-up commits and reversions are for.

bananaken wrote:I'm almost 100% sure that at least *some* of the members of the dev team were befuddled by that log (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here).


If a dev team member is confused, we have a channel where they can communicate with each other. We don't sit in isolation, divining the motivations of other developers solely from commit messages. The channel is even logged so we can read previous discussions, if we're so inclined.

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Post Wednesday, 2nd December 2015, 04:36

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

Fair enough, I feel like the consensus here is to find someone zealous enough to keep up with IRC logs, commit messages and the overall development plan for trunk and update tavern accordingly, but that person is not me (as much as I enjoy reading tavern).

I get that I come off as I'm bluntly saying "improve commit messages" which is vague and difficult, but I think it was worth mentioning given recent events. Thanks for hearing me out anyway :)

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Post Wednesday, 2nd December 2015, 13:45

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

Good commit messages are something we should all strive to do, but it can be hard to remember to include all the details that led you to make a given commit in the commit message, and if you leave something out there's no (reasonable) way to go back and edit it. I'll continue to try to be sufficiently verbose in my commit messages, and no doubt I will also continue to sometimes leave out important details or find that I later have more to say than I had to say at the time.

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Post Wednesday, 2nd December 2015, 15:05

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

gammafunk wrote:We don't sit in isolation, divining the motivations of other developers solely from commit messages.
When Linley handed over the game to the first devteam (with Brent and JMF), they took turns in working on the code. So they were doing exactly that: divining the motivation of their fellows, only that they'd scrutinise comments instead of commit messages. :)

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Post Wednesday, 2nd December 2015, 21:20

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

FWIW, I'm already in the habit of scanning the commit log almost every day and this discussion has prompted me to try to develop the habit of also posting PSA (public service announcement) threads when I notice things that I think Taverners might have opinions about.

I think it would be great to have a more structured (or even semi-automated) system for this, and have said as much to a few folks by PM. However, any method of publicizing commits that's worth implementing will need to be curated*, and no objective criteria can reliably determine which commits "ought" to bubble up to the awareness of the player base. Regardless of how info on fresh commits gets publicized, there will always be a fair amount of human judgement involved -- and that means some people will sometimes feel that a change was not highlighted or explained properly when it should have been. But that's the compromise you have to make unless you're willing to follow the commits directly and/or ask devs (nicely!) for explanations.

* Because the majority of the commit log is source code cleanup, documentation changes, bug fixes to address edge cases, minor UI tweaks, and other stuff that almost nobody in the player community would have much to say about (except to maybe thank the devs for continuing to chip away at these little tasks, mostly uninteresting in themselves, that add up to support a well-crafted game).
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Post Tuesday, 15th December 2015, 21:13

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

Assuming that the PSA vs. New Race poll is in any way based on an actual complaint: Is it a problem that they're "game design" threads that are being posted outside of GDD? I've been creating them in CYC because I wasn't sure what kind of reactions they would give rise to, and figured there was high potential for snark and armchair-design whinging instead of productive conversation; and because the potential for "clutter" felt against the spirit, if not the letter, of GDD. I do think there is useful GDD-style discussion coming out of at least some of them, though. I'll follow the lead of the mods if y'all think they'd be better off as native GDD threads, but for now I'm assuming mods would move threads to GDD individually if it were appropriate.
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Post Tuesday, 15th December 2015, 21:16

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

tedric: Don't worry about that thread. I think the PSAs are great: if the commit is contentious (and you've only picked relevant commits so far), they will be discussed anyway. May as well start properly informed, which is where you PSAs enter the picture. Keep it up!

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Post Tuesday, 15th December 2015, 21:46

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

What dpeg said. I've been thinking that I should start to follow the commits so I would be more prepared to what changes will happen, but now I don't have to. Saves me and probably many others a lot of effort.

(And we get occasional heated debates in the Tavern, which is always a bonus :) )
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Post Wednesday, 16th December 2015, 22:57

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

I appreciate the PSA threads too. Bad tavern discussion will always be bad tavern discussion, regardless of the thread.

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Post Thursday, 17th December 2015, 14:17

Re: Development Tracker/Purpose of GDD

Just wanted to say that I appreciate the extra description/insight in the patch notes for the bigger changes recently. Being able to see the thought process behind these changes (as well as identifying future issues that may need to be addressed due to the change) definitely has helped with understanding what direction development is focusing on. I also appreciate the PSAs that tedric is doing, as they sometimes point out a change I may have scrolled past while skimming the change log.

Thank you!

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