Introduction & overview
This is the application of the ScummVM project for the Google Summer of Code. Let's start with a quick overview of the facts before turning to the more elaborate parts of this document.
Please address all items in RED ;-)
Part 1 - Application Form
Why does your org want to participate in Google Summer of Code? (1000 characters)
Every year from 2007 to 2014, the program has given us the opportunity to have talented and motivated students working with us.
We are particularly enthusiastic to participate this year as we are broadening our scope to include RPG games for the very first time, which brings with it a whole new group of potentially interested developers, students and users, and the opportunity to relive a new genre of classic games.
What we hope to gain is valuable code contributions, and new developers for the project. In previous years, we've had students take up and complete tasks which were on our Ideas page, including for example full new engines ports. But also, some students have come up with new functionality, proposing and finally implementing it. These have been our favorites.
A number of students have stayed involved after the summer to become full team members and continue working on their projects, and we hope to make this happen this year as well.
How many potential mentors do you have for this year's program?
- klusark (joelteichroeb)
- botje (dharnie)
How will you keep mentors engaged with their students? (1000 characters)
First of all, we have an internal rule that GSoC students have 2 mentors and not only one, for the highest possible availability.
Then, we want our mentors to have the following qualities:
- Be a volunteer and be able to commit to participating for the entire duration of the program. They have to be available to their students and the mentor team.
- Have a considerable track record hacking on ScummVM or ResidualVM. They can help the students more effectively and in an immediate fashion this way.
- Have the patience and skills to explain to their respective students how to tackle their tasks. Also, to be able to help the students out when they are in sticky situations.
- Have a clear vision on how a task should proceed, both in broad strokes as well as in the technical details level, with of course some freedom movement to the students.
- Be regularly present on our #scummvm-gsoc channel, where we continuously inform each others of the progresses and issues of the students.
How will you help your students stay on schedule to complete their projects?
We ask our student to give regular feedback to their mentors, at least once every 2 days. We also ask them to blog at least once a week about their progress.
We also strongly encourage the students to ask questions on our IRC channel. As an empirical fact, on IRC any student will be able to get support literally 24/7, as our developers are scattered all over the globe.
With those rules in place, it's very easy for the mentors to detect any difficulty a student may experience, and help them to fix it or work around it.
In parallel, the mentors regularly check if the plans are achievable and realistic. If the student is ahead of schedule, some extra work may be discussed. At the opposite, if the student is behind schedule, discussions will occur very early among the mentors and then with the student to define what can be put in place so that the student completes the projects nevertheless.
Before and during GSoC, we'll consider students as special developers, but developers nonetheless.
They will therefore have equivalent rights, privileges and duties. For instance,
- We first ask our students to write introductory letters to our development list and their blog so everyone is familiar with their background, skills and assigned task.
- We created documentation in order to help the students to familiarize themselves with the project, particularly 'Developer Central' and our wiki.
- They are encouraged to take part in discussions, whatever the medium on which these discussions occur.
- They will be able to get support from and chat with the team 24/7 on our IRC channels. They are voiced (+v) so that everybody knows who they are.
- We noticed during previous summers that merging the student code early make them feel more involved, so we plan to do it again this year.
The latest two times we participated, we decided to require the GSoC student code to be merged into our Master tree much earlier in the process if possible. Our past experience told us it should be very motivating for students to directly interact with our main repository and that this could potentially make some of them stay after the end of GSoC: it seems we were right as several former students have kept contributing for more than a year afterwards. This is obviously a very positive sign for us and we plan to proceed in the same way this year again.
Has your org been accepted as a mentoring org in Google Summer of Code before?
Which years did your org participate in GSoC?
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
What is your success/fail rate per year?
- 2014: Pass 5 / 0 Fail
- 2013: Pass 4 / 0 Fail
- 2012: Pass 3 / 1 Fail
- 2011: Pass 1 / 1 Fail
- 2010: Pass 4 / 0 Fail
- 2009: Pass 4 / 1 Fail
- 2008: Pass 5 / 1 Fail
- 2007: Pass 5 / 2 Fail
Are you part of a foundation/umbrella organization?
What year was your project started?
Part 2 - Organization Profile
Very Short Description of the Organization (80 char)
ScummVM is a GSoC umbrella for game preservation projects
End user applications
C++, SDL, OpenGL, Assembly
Game, Engines, Software Preservation
Short Description of the Organization (180 char)
ScummVM is a GSoC umbrella for game preservation projects focused on reliving games by providing a replacement for their executables on modern platforms.
Long Description of the Organization (2000 char)
Since 2014, ScummVM acts as a GSoC umbrella for game preservation projects, such as its sister project, ResidualVM. The purpose is only to replace the game executable, not to enhance or replace the game assets.
ScummVM is a collection of game engines for playing classic graphical point-and-click adventure games on modern hardware.
ResidualVM is a sister project of ScummVM and was created in 2003. ResidualVM shares large blocks of common code with ScummVM, some developers and even a mentor.
- ScummVM supports classic 2D adventure games such as Monkey Island, Simon the Sorcerer, Space Quest, and many more. To this end, the Virtual Machines (called Engines) are complete reimplementations in C++ of the engines used in the original games. The number of engines is constantly growing thanks to a very agile and diversified development team and ScummVM is currently able to run more than 200 games. The VM approach followed by ScummVM results in efficient code, which has been ported to numerous Operating Systems (over 30). ScummVM has a highly productive team of about 45 currently active developers (out of an all-time pool of over 110), working together on a codebase of 2,400,000 lines of code. In addition ScummVM has many non-developer contributors, and a huge and highly active community.
- ResidualVM is a cross-platform 3D game interpreter which allows you to play some 3D adventure games, such as Cyan's Myst 3 and LucasArts' Lua-based 3D adventures: Grim Fandango and Escape from Monkey Island, provided you already have their data files. Like ScummVM, ResidualVM replaces the executables shipped with the games, allowing you to play them on systems for which they were never designed.
- This year, we will also accept that students propose a task for RPG games, in the scope of our soon to be announced sister project RogueVM, also based on the ScummVM OSystem framework.
Application Instructions (1500 char)
Your application has two important purposes: It should clearly identify the goals of your project, and it should convince us that you are the right person for this task.
In particular, your application is your opportunity to show us that you understand what you'll be doing for the task, and to demonstrate that you've spent some time thinking about it, its difficulties, strategies for overcoming these, and have a good estimate of how much time they will take. Based on that, we will ask you a realistic planning for the 12 weeks of GSoC, including the deliverables expected at mid-term and at the end of the GSoC. In order to be complete, we also expect you to make a pull request, for example for a bug fix. The purpose is to ensure you know how to use Git, and that you had a look at our coding conventions.
We don't expect you to produce a perfect application without any help at all. We strongly encourage you to discuss your plans and your application with us while you're preparing it, to ensure your ideas align well with our own thoughts on the tasks, and that your objectives are achievable. It is also the perfect chance to already get to know your potential mentors and the rest of the team. Don't hesitate to join the IRC channels and ask questions: keep in mind that there are no stupid questions!
In order to help you structure your application, we summarized our requirements in a template:
new game engine, scummvm, residualvm, roguevm, refactoring