Since the departure of @erlend_sh from the team the project has had no manager. This has resulted in the slow declination of guidance and overall managerial tasks of the engine and the forum, so I am proposing some changes to improve the workflow, appearance and future of the engine.
- Delegate a Manager
I propose that I be delegated as the project manager. I have mainly worked on the server side of things virtually since my arrival, but feel that my presence can be better utilized through improving the footprint of the engine on the internet through changes to the website and organizing the team we have to ensure the titles are recent and up-to-date. I’m happy to continue with the server stuff, but it’s so rare these days it’s barely even a thing.
My proposals to improve jmonkey are as follows:
Retiring core developers that are no longer active.
Many users listed as core developers are no longer active. I propose we attempt to contact these developers and enquire about their proposed future activity. In the case the user does not respond or expresses that they no longer wish to contribute for one reason or another, move them to a new group labelelled “Retired Core Developer”. This not only establishes the fact that they do not actively contribute (and as such aren’t @mentioned for things they no longer participate in) but gives new blood the opportunity to be promoted. There are several names that speak for themselves in the github repository that warrant such promotion, and said users should be noted as such should they accept. This also means that a “Core Developer” is an active one, not a developer we haven’t heard from in 5 years. It brings more clarity to the status of active development. Right now we “just dont know” who is and who isnt actively contributing.
This is the same for “contributor” titles.
This may take some time to get through, but as it stands now, the titles don’t really mean a lot as a result of the lack of secretarial work over the years. Titles need to mean something, and they need to be as a result of recent vetting. Nobody is saying “you need to contribute x times a month” - but if you haven’t even logged in for 5 years…
Clean up the github repositories
Several of the repositories aren’t even necessary. Some are test projects, some aren’t valid anymore. The whole area needs to be cleaned up. People that are no longer active and have no desire to be active anymore should have their permissions removed so people that are active can take their place.
Improve the homepage.
The homepage hasn’t been updated since the forum migrated. There’s nothing “wrong” with it per-se but many improvements have been made since then and they should be highlighted. PBR, Shader Nodes, GLTF models, etc. None of these are visible. The general consensus of the engine on the internet is that it is outdated, and while it may not be as cutting edge as other engines, it certainly isn’t as old as a “glancing look” would suggest. A news page, features page, a page about what our license actually means for individuals and companies. These things alone will show that the engine isn’t “stuck in the mud”.
Replace the header links with an actual FAQ page. Be it a simple dedicated/locked post or a page unto itself. We’re cramming one thing into another because we don’t have the other.
Actively support the Store
We all know that an asset store of some kind has been needed for a long time. Now that one is available the community and team should take this opportunity and allow it the opportunity to improve the engine. People will have a place to display and sell products. All funding/profits go straight back into the engine in one form or another.
Promote Modern Communication Technologies
Links should be provided for the following:
– Youtube. We are just not using it. I have no idea who owns the current one, but if we can’t get a hold of it, we should just make a new one and start using it. There are some really awesome videos out there and they should be put in a list so people can see how good this engine looks and what it can achieve. Nothing speaks better than a video.
– Discord. I hear its what all the cool kids use. We should have an official one.
I think if we have the support and sponsorship of the community to deliver a more professional engine with regular news, an up-to-date developer team and a more managed outlook the website will look a lot less “static” than it is now and show joe public that the engine isn’t “sitting still” and that it’s moving into the modern era with everybody else. Right now all we have are github commits. There should be way more information about what’s actually going on, what people are doing, what it looks like, what it means and how it improves the engine.
Let’s bring this place right up to the edge of the knife already. Amirite?!?!