July 6, 2010

Contribute - it keeps getting easier

First of all: sorry for the lack of updates recently, but since development time has been scarce for the developers, and interesting news have been somewhat lacking I haven't had much to write about. Not to say there hasn't been things going on; it certainly has. But some of it might fit better later, and other things aren't significant enough, so I put several of those together in one post instead of making many small posts. Also, Auria has sometimes beat me to it - thanks for keeping the community informed that you and hiker are still working to improve this awesome game. :)

With this, and perhaps later postings, I hope to encourage those of you who might want to contribute to STK, but don't know what to help with, don't have any special skills, or just don't feel you got enough time to do so.

What needs to be done?
Simple answer: a lot. This thread at the FreeGameDev forums shows a small overview of things you can do, and some guidelines on how to do that.

It is no secret art is the most wanted contribution. Especially track improvements, and totally new tracks are very welcome. Better music is also a recurring discussion topic on the forums, and while sound effects and icons are mostly covered there's certainly room for improvements (better licensed sound effects in some cases).
This seems rather big and demanding by first glance, but in reality, there are lots of small things you might be able to improve on. Converting the rest of the remaining tracks is an important task, which the developers hopes the community will help with, thus reducing workload for them. While you're at it, why not replace a model or find a better texture/improve the texture tiling somewhere? It's the small things and annoyances that often count in the user experience.

I am not an artist, programmer or whatever. I can't contribute.
WRONG! There's plenty of things you can do nevertheless, if you keep looking for them. Translating STK is one of them. A rather new translation method introduced recently by xapantu is utilizing Launchpad to translate SuperTuxKart from English to whatever language(s) you are using. It's a simple process which almost anybody can do, how little or how much they want.
Providing feedback and/or ideas are also ways to contribute. The forums are a great place to do so; however, in the case of negative feedback, try to have a positive tone overall. Your post have better chances to be seen as the friendly advice it really is, and the developers will probably consider it more seriously. (In most cases, the reason for why things are as they are, is the lack of man- and womanpower.)

Another thing STK could have in the future, is a storyline with animated scenes. While creating a good storyline isn't easy, it should be possible with dedicated people teaming up and collaborating in order to make SuperTuxKart a more story-driven, coherent game. Other long-term ideas can be found at this wiki page. If you are up for leading a task, let the devs know, and they will certainly help to get something rolling. But be aware that they have other, more critical aspects of the game they want to spend their time on as well.

Last, but not least: let people know about STK, and let them know we want their contributions! ;D