The first topic discussed was the KDE Games Survey. Survey results can be analysed online, and are available until Dec 15th at http://www.surveymonkey.com/Report.asp?U=274837292751
Most people agreed that the game ratings (see survey) were very useful, especially to identify which currently non-maintained applications we should focus our efforts on for KDE 4. So the question of finding active maintainers for some applications was raised, again. The components who still do not have candidates are libkdegames, KSirtet, Klickety, KFoulEggs, Kolf, Atlantik, KSame, KSokoban and KAtomic.
During the meeting, we already identified people willing to step up and work on some of these applications. Dmitry Suzdalev is already working on KAtomic, and has volunteered to maintain it for KDE 4. Johann Ollivier Lapeyre (from the Oxygen art team) will team up with him and improve the graphics.
Paul Broadbent renewed his former proposal made on the kde-games-devel mailing list, and is already reviewing Kolf. He intends to work on it for KDE 4, and is currently getting familiar with the code. But there are still several unmaintained applications. If you want to consider maintaining one of them, please get in touch with us through the kde-games-devel mailing list. An updated list of maintainers is now available.
The next issue was about removal of unmaintained games from the module. We also considered the removal of games that are starting to show their age and that were rated low in the survey. One proposal was to remove duplicated functionality, and some mentioned KSame/Klickety as an example of this, which was not agreed by others. The discussion proceeded for some time, but it was clear that we would not reach a consensus on this. The survey results regarding this topic are also divided.
As a way to deal with this issue, we discussed what was tentatively called the "kdegames guidelines for KDE4", a loose set of rules specifying what we are looking for in games that will be part of the KDE4 distribution. Following the results of the survey, we agreed on some basic minimum standards:
- Scalable windows and graphics (preferrably SVG based)
- Theme support
- Usability improvements
- Some form of network support (where applicable)
For the same reasons, the proposal to move some games from kdeedu to kdegames is on-hold. There is really not much difference to the end user where the applications reside in the KDE SVN repository, the important point is to make sure these are grouped using freedesktop.org standard .desktop categories, which will end up grouping blinKen, KHangMan, KTuberling and Kanagram anyway under the "Games/Kids" category. It was noted that the games in kdeedu all have active maintainers, so they are in better shape than some in the kdegames module. Collaboration is needed, but we already have developers working on both modules actively.
Following the agenda, we then discussed the inclusion of new games in the package. Initial candidates are KSirk, KBoard, KSudoku and KBilliards. KSirk and KBoard are already in KDE SVN (playground) We will invite the developers of ksudoku and kbilliards to join the module. We will follow the KDE procedure for inclusion of new applications, with a move to kdereview before games are accepted into kdegames.
There was discussion on the issue of using custom widgets for games. The general consensus was that we do not want to create a new widget set just for games, and will generally use what KDE offers in terms of dialog boxes, toolbars and other widgets. But the in-game GUI does not have to follow this rule, developers are free to use what is more appropriate for buttons, text areas and other control elements. A good example is blinKen. The in-game elements should preferably be themeable as well.
It was suggested that all games for KDE4 ship with at least one Oxygen theme, for visual consistency with the rest of the desktop. Johann is already working on this and has committed a suggestion for KWin4 as a start. Other games that are already being revamped following the "kdegames guidelines for KDE 4" are KMahjongg, KPat and KReversi.
All in all, a very satisfactory result, considering it was a first meeting, and the chaotic nature of IRC communication. In the end we agreed to repeat the meeting experience next month. The scheduled time will be announced via kde-games-devel mailing list.
Current development screenshots: