Developer Interview: Supertuxkart Team.

Hi folks,

My lift is Artem (KroArtem inwards IRC) as well as I wanted to post an article hither almost for a year. Nowadays I withdraw hold an chance to create this. Let me innovate myself: I'm studying at St.Petersburg State University, Faculty of Applied Mathematics as well as Control Processes, trying to acquire a programmer as well as a mathematician :) In my spare fourth dimension I similar to exam roughly linux games, study bugs, give feedback, interpret them as well as thus on. Actually this is the way I've met SuperTuxKart developers. Today I desire to obtain an interview from them.

Firstly, allow me remind y'all what SuperTuxKart is. SuperTuxKart is a kart racing game that features gratis software mascots, has a cartoony style, includes dissimilar game modes as well as supports multiplayer (split-screen). You tin see STK's site as well as have roughly to a greater extent than data virtually the game.

SuperTuxKart's novel track, Blackhill Mansion

Secondly, I desire to lift our dear developers as well as contributors: Joerg «hiker» Henrichs, Marianne «Auria» Gagnon, Magne «Arthur_D» Djupvik as well as Jean-Manuel Clemençon aka «samuncle». Please banker's complaint that at that topographic point are roughly to a greater extent than contributors but unfortunately I didn't grapple to contact them. I remember four people would live on plenty for the interview, though :)

I've prepared roughly questions as well as sent them via emails as well as hither are the results:

FG: Please nation roughly words virtually yourself/your job.

Arthur: My lift is Magne, as well as I am an avid fan of SuperTuxKart. I'm interested inwards computers, music, animated cartoons as well as of course of study games.

Auria: My lift is Marianne, I run to a greater extent than oft than non every bit a developer for SuperTuxKart. I am going to consummate my reckoner scientific discipline studies at academy inwards the coming months.

Hiker: I've studied reckoner scientific discipline inwards Germany, as well as am similar a shot working every bit a consultant for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. I assist them using their supercomputer for their operational as well as enquiry numerical weather condition as well as climate predictions.

Samuncle: I similar drawing as well as hiking. On the professional person side, I am currently studying telecommunication to acquire technician.


FG: Explain inwards a few words how as well as when did y'all bring together STK's team?

Arthur: Well, I had been playing the game's predecessor TuxKart every bit 1 of the few 3D games my reckoner could grip dorsum inwards the 24-hour interval inwards Linux. Later my blood brother said a fork of the projection had appeared inwards the repositories, thus I went on to install STK 0.3. I was impressed past times the changes, as well as decided I would sweat to follow the project's mailing list. Of course, I couldn't grapple to move on quiet, thus I engaged inwards give-and-take as well as asked questions, as well as got e'er nice, friendly answers back, which made me desire to remain amongst the projection as well as acquire involved where I could.

Auria: I liked kart games similar Mario Kart. So many years agone I downloaded STK - version 0.3 I think. However this onetime version had major issues; thus I decided I mightiness every bit good create modest improvements, similar supersede the thus cylindrical lighthouse amongst something better, etc. And a few years later on hither I am, substance developer :)

Hiker: I discovered TuxKart every bit purpose of a suse Linux installation, as well as shortly constitute that a 'Game of the Month' had started intending to improve TuxKart. That projection had basically been abandoned (due to roughly disagreements betwixt the master copy developer as well as the GotM-team). H5N1 fork was created to salve their work, but the projection was dead. I basically picked upwardly the projection from there, fixed the bugs as well as performance issues, as well as did a start playable release of STK. Then I was hooked on ;)

Samuncle: Initially, I wanted to advise ideas that could assist improve the graphics. I liked STK but I thought nosotros could create improve visually.


FG: Say what role create y'all withdraw hold inwards the project? (Leader, bundle maintainer, etc)

Arthur: I to a greater extent than oft than non exam as well as give feedback on the project, study bugs, write updates on our blog, as well as brand roughly trivial changes similar a shot as well as then, to a greater extent than oft than non graphics related.

Auria: I am a substance developer to the game itself, as well as occasionally run on 3D modelling. I am instant exclusively to our benevolent dictator Joerg :)

Hiker: I am 1 of the 2 projection leaders.

Samuncle: I run on the graphics of the tracks. I create novel tracks from start to end, or I improve existing tracks. I utilization mainly blender for the 3D, gimp for textures as well as mypaint for drawing.


FG: Why create y'all run on this project?

Arthur: Because I similar the game, as well as because it's a rattling unique projection inwards the footing of Free software. It's an arcade racing game amongst exclusively mild cartoon violence, as well as it has a rattling distinctive gameplay. Most other Free racing games are to a greater extent than realistic as well as doesn't withdraw hold a cartoonish theme. Also because the developers are rattling dainty people, as well as the community every bit a whole is expert to live on in.

Auria: I similar kart games, I similar programming, I similar the STK team.

Hiker: Originally my top dog motivation was to give something dorsum to the opened upwardly source community past times fixing the performance problems STK had after the GotM project. But thus I got interested inwards the game, as well as silent withdraw hold roughly ideas I mightiness desire to implement 1 time I withdraw hold an engine amongst all features I need. Additionally I promise that STK mightiness serve every bit a didactics tool every bit well, it would live on piece of cake for schools to pick upwardly as well as mayhap utilization STK inwards their lessons.

Incidentally, the fact that it is similar Mario Kart was never a betoken for working on STK - I had never played whatever kart game till 2 years after I started working on STK (and people kept on telling me: "It's similar MK", thus after a land I decided to withdraw hold a look).

It also keeps me entertained on my way to work, since I to a greater extent than oft than non run on the develop on my way to run :)

Samuncle: Because I would similar supertuxkart to withdraw hold nicer-looking graphics. Along the way, I also utilization this every bit an chance to larn blender as well as roughly other tools. It's also fun to play a game y'all contribute to.


FG: Are y'all satisfied amongst existing development? Do y'all remember STK needs to a greater extent than contributors/testers/artists?

Arthur: I am satisfied amongst the administration of the game, I exclusively want things would laissez passer on off faster! But for that to happen, nosotros demand to a greater extent than people to assist contribute. So if y'all withdraw hold something y'all remember would add together to the game, delight come upwardly forrad amongst your skills, or simply your ideas (though nosotros acquire millions of those, as well as unremarkably autumn brusk on man/woman-power). Programmers as well as 3D artists are specially welcome, but every bit said everyone tin acquire involved every bit much every bit they desire to. And we're all a friendly bunch, thus getting involved isn't hard. :)

Auria: We could for sure utilization amongst a few to a greater extent than developers as well as artists :) the networking feature, for instance, is oft requested as well as assist would live on welcome inwards making it come

Hiker:r: Well, the squad could for sure live on bigger, amongst atm 2 code developers as well as virtually 2 regularly contributing artists many things accept much longer than necessary, or demand to live on postponed till later.
But the squad itself plant quite good together, thus I am quite happy virtually this.

Samuncle: I remember a network vogue is what STK lacks most, thus if somebody could run on this it could assist acquire things moving forward.


FG: How create y'all encounter STK inwards the future?

Arthur: I encounter it every bit an fifty-fifty greater game, amongst to a greater extent than fun, to a greater extent than smoothen as well as a larger community, as well as also an online multiplayer community. In short, I remember it tin exclusively acquire improve from here. :)

Auria: As whatever opened upwardly source project, it's rattling difficult to encounter the future. Let me simply nation that I would similar STK to grow amongst a company laid of nice-looking tracks, improved AI as well as improve unmarried role instrumentalist vogue every bit good every bit multiplayer.

Hiker: By switching to a to a greater extent than modern graphics engine nosotros withdraw hold opened the way for much improve looking tracks, as well as slow nosotros are replacing older tracks amongst newer ones. Support for networking volition for sure give STK to a greater extent than appeal to a wider audience. By thus I promise to honour roughly fourth dimension to implement to a greater extent than game modes to brand STK a to a greater extent than unique as well as interesting game, as well as less of a 'copy' of other kart games.

Samuncle: Hmm, I don't actually know ^^ I would similar it to live on to a greater extent than cohesive (not less fun though), that at that topographic point is to a greater extent than unity (between tracks, most notably). I would non live on against reducing the number of tracks to improve their lineament (because maintaining a footing takes time)


FG: What create y'all remember is important, what create y'all similar / don't similar inwards stk's development/community/etc.

Arthur: The of import affair is to withdraw hold fun, as well as remain cool. We are blessed amongst rattling stable projection leaders, who withdraw hold been pushing the game forrad for many years. So fifty-fifty though I'd sometimes want evolution would live on faster, it's of import that people create things inwards a tempo they are comfortable with, as well as don't burn downwards out. Also, at that topographic point are to a greater extent than of import things inwards life than STK, but I create nation it has made mine a footling richer. So if y'all similar the game, experience gratis to register at our forums, bring together the mailing listing as well as IRC as well as accept purpose inwards the discussions. :)

Auria: It's of import as well as rattling welcome to acquire assist amongst testing, specially when betas or release candidates as well as released; translations are also rattling important. The less fun aspect is managing everyone's expectations, people withdraw hold many ideas of what they would similar us to code for STK but it would accept 10 of us to create it all :)

Hiker: In contrast to commercial game blueprint nosotros withdraw hold exclusively express influence on the 'style' of tracks, since specially the kart as well as runway blueprint is done past times diverse artists, to a greater extent than oft than non next their ain taste. We yet sweat to maintain the vision where nosotros desire STK to live on at. With the addon-server nosotros luckily withdraw hold similar a shot the selection to release karts as well as tracks that mightiness non jibe inwards the top dog game for everyone to download. It of course of study agency that Auria as well as myself sometimes withdraw hold to live on the (hopefully) benevolent dictators, but I remember that is rattling of import inwards lodge to move on STK on track.

The most disappointing betoken is that nosotros oft acquire people interested inwards helping to develop STK, but they thus disappear leaving a less than one-half finished mess of code behind. I guess many people overestimate their available time, or underestimate the complexity of STK.


Finally I desire to nation that we're waiting roughly novel as well as interesting additions, similar Overworld, a large runway from where the role instrumentalist volition start his journey, or... but hey, experience gratis to follow SuperTuxKart updates via forum, blog or mailing lists! :)

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