Issue tracking systems

I think it would be good if Knights had a public issue tracking system, this would be useful for keeping track of bug reports (of which there have been a few following the recent multiplayer beta) as well as feature requests.

I’ve spent a bit of time looking at the different bug tracking systems out there (and there are a lot of them), but eventually I think I’ve decided on using Trac. This is an open source system that seems quite popular and has most (if not all) features that would be needed for a project like Knights.

Of the alternatives, I liked Flyspray and Redmine, which are both very simple and easy to use, but they seem a bit limited in terms of features (imho) compared to Trac. I also considered JIRA which is what I use at work (and it’s free for open source projects to use); JIRA is a very nice system, but unfortunately it’s an enormous Java application which my server doesn’t really have enough RAM to be able to run properly, and anyway it is probably overkill for a small project like Knights.

In other news, I have now got most of the bugs from the multiplayer test fixed, and have been working on getting observer mode working in multiplayer games as well (so you can change who you are observing by using left/right arrow keys). I also want to get a player list and end of game statistics set up before releasing a “stable” multiplayer version.

After that I think the next priority would be making the game simpler for newbies. I think there are a lot of people who try the game out once or twice, can’t work out how to play, and then never come back (I sometimes see people like this on the server). Sadly people do not read manuals these days. Some sort of tutorial mode is probably the answer here.

3 thoughts on “Issue tracking systems”

  1. Sounds fine too me. A tutorial mode for beginner is probably the best, there should be a “first played” screen, that comes up when you start Knights for the first time, with instructions (or probably a demo video, what leaves space to an other feature, that I will state, when the Trac is set up.)

  2. Tutorial would be great for new players… It could show how the controls work, and what all the items are for..
    It’d be nice if the player had to use all the features.. Could have a stationary enemy you have to hit with various things, or a “robot” enemy knight or something who can be the “victim” of traps the player has to set etc..

    And as for me, I think a forum should be adequate for bug tracking etc.. Could just have a seperate section in the forum for that.

  3. A proper bug/issue tracking system has several advantages over a forum, for example:

    1) Search facilities. For example you can quickly find all issues that are due to be fixed in a particular version, or that relate to a particular component (components for Knights might be the dungeon generator, quest design, interface/controls, etc), or you can do a text search. In particular this is useful if there are a lot of issues — it would be difficult to keep track of a large number of issues in a forum format.

    2) Release notes – I can search for all issues that were resolved in a particular version which makes writing release notes much easier.

    3) Voting – people can vote for issues to be fixed then you can query for a list of issues with the most votes.

    4) An proper issue tracking system just makes things a bit more organized. With a forum issues might get “lost” or accidentally forgotten, but with a proper system everything stays in the database forever so nothing can get lost.

    5) If there are multiple developers then issues can get assigned to individual developers so you can see at a glance who is working on what. (Admittedly that is not a concern for Knights at the moment but who knows what would happen in the future.)

    So in summary I think a forum would be fine for a small number of issues but would not really scale up to larger numbers of issues.

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