Home Forums Free SciFi Gaming Projects Pioneer I gave a presentation at Datarama 14

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A lot of scifi games are for sale on Humble Bundle, deals end on 8/19/2019

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    I went to Datarama tonight. It’s a bit like a very short BarCamp. I went along to see all the cool things that people had to talk about; basically a show and tell.

    Well, there was an empty slot at the end, and despite having prepared nothing, I was encouraged to have a talk about Pioneer by the guy who organises it.

    So I did. I had net access from an Apple laptop of some sort. s20dan’s latest video was shown on the big screen (the venue was a local independent cinema), as well as the various videos I’ve made.

    No, not *that* big a big screen! It was this one (click for more):


    People loved the terrain, the 3d galaxy (they really loved that) and most of all our development model. I think they could sense my enthusiasm for the way we work, and how accessible it is, not to mention my enthusiasm for the game itself.

    So, it went down a treat! I was buzzing after I’d finished, and had people talking to me about it afterwards. One memorable quote: “I’m going to have to add a new chapter to my thesis.”

    I went from work, via the coffee shop. While I was at the coffee shop, I indulged in some mission design whilst chatting on IRC. As you can see, I have a unique workflow!


    A lot of scifi games are for sale on Humble Bundle, deals end on 8/19/2019


    Here I am!



    Hey that’s great Brianetta, well done! 🙂 Hopefully those you spoke to in turn will spread the word. Also, I hope you told em about the SSC. New members are always welcome.

    As for the missions, I dont know if I have the ability, but I would love to try and do a few too, but I think I would need a templet to work from. When you finish that mission is there any chance I could take a look at it to see how you put it together Brianetta?


    Hey Brianetta

    Unless I am navigating their website wrong what is Datarama focused on games? Or just open-source projects in general?

    It’s great that Pioneer was well received after your presentation. Great job!


    It’s democratic. The content is whatever interests the attendees. Other talks that evening were on counter culture of the 1960s, common plants that can be used to purify spacecraft atmospheres, and visualisation of human body movements through architecture and sound. That last one didn’t make a hell of a lot of sense to me, but the guy who gave the talk liked Pioneer. (:

    I had about 30 seconds’ prep time, which basically consisted of me making sure that there was net access. There was, and I winged the whole thing.


    Which videos did you show? And what did you talk about? I’ve thought a bit about what I might talk about if asked in 30 seconds to talk about Pioneer and I’m not sure where I’d start. I think I see Pioneer differently to a lot of people, because to me there’s lots of code and project management mixed in with the game. I suppose it depends on the target audience though.


    First I explained verbally what Frontier was, bring up the Wikipedia page so that the classic Merlin screenshot was visible. Then I described Pioneer, illustrating the grand scale (using s20dan’s terrain video), the mechanics of flight (using my manual flight to Gates Starport video, fast-forwarding the six minutes of coasting) and the 3D galaxy, using the two preview videos I made for that. I described what I did in the project (testing, bug triage and some minor coding) and that led to lots of interactive discussion with the audience about our development model.

    This was the interesting part. There were a few people there who got the free software concept, and knew of the barriers to participation. Some were amazed at how many of those barriers were removed by our development model, and our embracing of the Github paradigm of project forking and merging. Using myself as an example, I showed that in a very short period of time it was possible to prove oneself to the project’s current “leadership” (I know that’s vague at best) without them having to jump through hoops to allow that. Anybody can submit code, and massage and work on that code until it’s fit for inclusion, without anybody being given extra access to anything at all. Somebody asked if there was ever the opportunity for somebody to disrupt the project, with it being so open; I explained that it was quite the contrary, that it was extremely robust, and that nobody could just take their ball home with them.

    As a result, some of them will be looking at the Pioneer project from an entirely academic viewpoint. I don’t know if that’s going to be visible to us or not.


    It might be interesting to show it at Game City Nights (http://nights.gamecity.org/) one day. It’s in Nottingham and we used to go along after work sometimes.

    Typically I’m not there for a few months because I’m doing some contracting in London, but otherwise the idea is good! 😀

    They’ve shown a mixture of professional and indie game developers and there’s TVs/monitors setup sometimes for independents/students to show of what they’re working on.

    I’ve met the organisers a few times so it should be possible to get either a slot or just a bit of room to setup some PC’s etc.

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