Featured contributor: Deiz

This time we feature Deiz, one of the more recent contributors to join the team, but also one of the more productive recently. He’s mostly been working on tons of smaller things that together have improved the game enormously, for example he’s made improvements to walls and gates, the in-game chat, added the ability to resign and improved that, and a lot more. So, without further ado, let’s get to the interview:

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’ve been dabbling in free, open-source game development for the last four years or so. The main project I contribute to is Naev, a game similar to Escape Velocity (a series which many old-school Apple users ought to know), though 0 A.D. has usurped my free time as of late.

It’s a much smaller project than 0 A.D., so although I’m primarily a programmer, I’ve ended up doing a little bit of everything along the way, from sound to art to web design.

What have you found most interesting about contributing to 0 A.D.?

The development team itself. Given my past experience, 0 A.D.’s development model isn’t unfamiliar to me. What’s new, though, is the team size. I’m used to working with a handful of other core contributors, where everybody knows what everyone else is up to, and adding a feature generally means implementing it yourself.

With 0 A.D., it’s refreshing to work with a team numbering in the dozens. There’s progress from others to be observed every day (whether through the SVN commit log, on the forums, or in the IRC channels). Not to mention the delightful laziness factor: It’s sometimes nice to be able to file a ticket and rely on another contributor coming along, sooner or later, and fixing the issue.

Anything you want to add?

I’m really impressed by how quickly 0 A.D. has progressed. I remember hearing of it around the time of the initial source release, and finally ended up playing one of the early pre-alpha releases. As I recall, the game was extremely sparse at the time — It had nice visuals, but was missing AI support, multiplayer, and a host of other critical features.

I rediscovered 0 A.D. some four months ago, and was floored by how far the game has come over the last two years, especially for being a wholly volunteer-driven project. It speaks to an active, healthy developer community, which is largely what spurred me to becoming a contributor.