Are you aware of the PvPGN project? Have you ever played on a PvPGN powered server?
PvPGN stands for Player Versus Player Gaming Network. Currently it supports many game clients.(1)
PvPGN has been around for a long time, and with many volunteer based game servers running with PvPGN up to now. PvPGN needs love.
A recent discussion in PvPGN forums is about a users requesting some help, and when PvPGN mods did not respond he asked why they do not. Reply came fast and it says; ” Everything in this world has a price. PvPGN has no price to download it or pay for using it, but it has a price to understand and configure it. That price has to be payed by someone, that person has to be the user (as with any other open source software). Of course, if PvPGN were to be some very successful project, then it whould have a big community of users willing to pay that price and just answer other user’s questions directly. But this is no case in here. We are too few to even develop on pvpgn, not to mention giving support to it. ”(2)
As the quote says, these days things are not going that well for PvPGN. There are so few mods / doc writers that even PvPGN can not be developed actively. It’s easy to understand why PvPGN mods can’t support users.
Think of any other successful open source projects(3) - developers just code, documentors just prepare docs, fans and users support each other in forums and mailing lists.
What’s wrong with PvPGN? Why does it lacks love of users?
Actually I don’t know the reasons, but I know that PvPGN is one the most succesfull open source projects out there. Why? A regular open source project only needs to deal with teaming & planning and coding etc. For the PvPGN, additionally PvPGN had to deal with other issues as it is a bnetd based project(4) (Actually this not the topic of this; for more information see the links below).
From the beginning PvPGN and the team already made up quite good work.But as the time passed motivation decreased and PvPGN team lost blood everyday. These days only 3-4 developers hangs around. It’s not enough for a big project like PvPGN. PvPGN really needs love of community & developers.
PvPGN really needs the love and actually deserves it more than any other project. PvPGN has recently been given the “Linux+ Magazine Recommended Project” label.(5) Isn’t that a enough reason for some love?
From the technical perspective, PvPGN is really quite a successful project. Latest development release 1.7.8 and CVS version 1.7.9 successfully run on servers around the world, allowing gamers to play their favorite games.(6) It has minor bugs and needs some improvements, but if we think about the initial projects aims, we can say that its feature complete. Code is quite good, readable and new developers can easily adapt to it.(7) The PvPGN powered servers around the world shows the power of PvPGN and its code.(8)
Why a feature complete project needs love?
I said that if we think about the initial aims, we can say that its feature-complete. It still needs bug fixes & new features. But the motivating part is that its name is PvPGN, again Player Versus Player Gaming Network. This name is such a generic name; PvPGN is a not a just war3/diablo/starcraft or WOL only project. Its aim is to become the world-wide gaming network server.
Tell me more!
Actually I can’t give very specific details of the plans, but i can give a general idea.
These days PvPGN waits for its next release,(currently in CVS as 1.7.9).(9) After this release, as far as I know, PvPGN will go for a new milestone. There are two milestone steps for it:
- Introduce PvPGN, module system, where a core will be rewritten with basic networking & storage & module sub-systems. The game specific codes will all moved to modules where a developer could easily write its own game module and attach it to PvPGN core in runtime. Personally I hope this will make the PvPGN much better, easier to understand, administrate, and for the best - develop. This will make it move one more step to its names aim; “Player versus Player Gaming Network”. If these can be achieved, may be game developers would choose PvPGN for their games server-side needs and just write a module for PvPGN.(10)
- Move PvPGN to C++. I’ll not comment more about this; it self-explanatory.
So PvPGN needs your love - your help. With 3-4 developers, who are just volunteers and do not gain any money, it is really hard. But if PvPGN gets more developers & supporters, these steps can be achieved and PvPGN can become the worlds leading open source gaming network software.
How to help?
If you’re a gamer, developer, open-source lover, etc... what ever you are - come help PvPGN!
Start with visiting these:
And also hang out on irc.freenode.net #pvpgn
1 Warcraft 3, Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne, Starcraft, Diablo, WOL Clients (Redalert 1, Redalert 2, Tiberian Sun…)
2 From pvpgn forums; 
3 Usage of the word from the quote; ” if PvPGN were to be some very successful project, then it whould have a big community of users willing to pay that price and just answer other user’s questions directly “
7 For example me; i spent a few days reading the code before actually starting to code
8 See servers with >+2k users in http://pvpgn.mivabe.nl/
9 With next release a new sql layout will introduced and also will be there bugfixes and a few small feature implementations.
10 These things, and the whole articles is what I know and what I heard. Do not blame PvPGN team if these are wrong, but me. They’re not responsible for anything that writen here. I hope that no PvPGN developer gets mad with me over anything in this article /raistlinthewiz