Interview with SWGEmu Developers
- SWGEmu aims to recreate the Pre-CU game experience of Star Wars Galaxies, when did the project start exactly and how? How did you recruit developers?
The project, known as SWGEmu, started on December 24, 2004, before the first Combat Upgrade. Ramsey and Ultyma were part of the original development team.
Core One, which was in internal development by Joker, went Open Source to the pleasure of the growing SWGEmu community. While Ramsey, Ultyma, and Xenozephyr continued with packet research, new developers were added to the team, most notably; Antman, Anzel, Oru, TheAnswer, Snow, and tmr. The community moderation team also expanded to deal with the increasing public interest.
Nearing the end of 2006, it was realized that Core1 had a variety of internal problems that were hampering it's development, and the team decided that a new core had to be written. Core2 was begun to be written by Antman, but fell through by December 2006, and the completed code was integrated into the then-new Core3 projectCore2 being an experimental server was officially halted in development under the official SWGEMU team with the focus being on the then proposed release core, Core3. Core2 development continued on its own branch under Antman and he has since announced that it will soon be available open source to community members, and it remains the only fully functional SWGEmu core outside of Core3.
Armed with the wisdom gained from the Core One fiasco, the remaining SWGEmu Developers - Oru, TheAnswer, Ultyma, and Ramsey - began work to restructure the project in 2007. Oru and TheAnswer started work on the Engine3 library and Core3. Core3 quickly began to outpace its predecessor in terms of power and scalability. The software continues to be the center of the SWGEmu project and has seen continued success even after a relaunched Open Source initiative in January 2008. (I'd like to see a mention of 'newer', but long time devs here, like cRush and kyle, feel free to phrase it any way you want)
In November 2011 SWGEmu became an officially, globally recognized 501(c) Non-Profit Organization registered by Oru in Hungary.
- What are the legal problems you have met?
None so far. A verbal agreement was made with LA and SOE back in 2006 which states that if we don't make a profit out of SWGEmu, there will be no legal action taken against us.
- Have you got contacts with SOE ?
The only contact was made back in 2006, explained in the previous answer.
- What are the difficulties of such a project (organization, financing)?
Being a volunteer project, our largest challenge is keeping a steady pace of the development. Developers come and go due to real life issues, work, studying, etc. There are times with large development activity and times of no real progress. Financial wise, thanks to our great community, we have no issues at all.
- We meet a lot of people on Liberator contrary to the Nova Test Center, is it difficult to find involved beta testers?
This has always been a struggle. It is very difficult to keep the community interested in playing on a test server that they know will be gone in a matter of days or months. Whether we like it or not, the Pre-CU community is getting old, they are all grown up, have families, kids, jobs. There are not many of us left. Sure, the official SWG Servers shutting down did bring us quite a lot of new community members and our numbers grow daily, but it is becoming extremely hard to find dedication and passion in community members that had never experienced the original Pre-CU SWG
Take Nova and QA for example:
Test Center: Nova is much like SOEs own Test Center with a few slight differences.
On Nova most people tend to start in Coront (Corellia) and that's where most of the testing takes place. In my experience you can often times weed out persons who are there to just play around with the new features vs the long term testers. We encourage both as some times even the most dedicated testers can miss things.
As an example to the above a character named "Simie" would often get stuck places I'd never even think of. With the interaction of Quality Assurance on Nova Simie decided to stick around and help us iron out the bugs on Structure implementation. Quality Assurance is a huge part of the development process. Not only does QA handle, categorize, and prioritize bug reports we are at the front of Test Center: Nova interaction with the player base.
- Star Wars Galaxies is finally closed its doors on December 15th and The Old Republic will take over. Do you think that the game of BioWare can "compete with" SWGEmu and delay the project?
SW:TOR and SWGEmu are completely different games. The only thing they have in common is the Star Wars Theme.
- What is the current development status? Is a release date envisioned?
Developers are currently in the overdrive mode, as they are rushing towards one of our largest milestones that we call "End of Liberator Milestone". As for the release date, this being a volunteer project, we have the "No ETA" policy and we will continue to stick to it.
- The main weakness of SWG was its lack of quest content (despite the sandbox gameplay). Once version 1.0 will be finished, will you add some post-CU (especially NGE) content or do you consider it useless ?
We would like implement the tools and subsystems required to build and put in new planets. As it stands we have received a lot of help from the community since we went open-source. There are some working on world builder tools, script editors, converters for models and animations, or working on building new content. I think we can add the planets in the client that SOE never used and even create new ones later. For 1.0 we want to release a server that is as close to Pre-CU as possible, while maintaining a modular structure to which individual server communities can add their own content and feature. While everyone on the team has their own ideas what content or features we could add to our own play server no one really knows what may come after 1.0.
Original interview in French can be found here: http://www.playin.fr/billet/swgemu-l...s-developpeurs