SWGEmu: Wikis

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SWGEmu
SWGEmu-Logo.png
Developer(s) SWGEmu
Preview release Alpha
Written in C++, LUA
Operating system Cross-Platform
Type Game Server
License LGPL
Website http://www.swgemu.com/

SWGEmu ( the Star Wars Galaxies Emulation Project ) is an open source community project aimed to develop, maintain and expand a free Pre-CU-era Star Wars Galaxies server software set. The goal of the SWGEmu Team is to provide a complete software solution that is effective and accurate in recreating a Star Wars Galaxies service once provided by Sony Online Entertainment.[1]

Contents

SWGEmu Network

The SWGEmu Team runs a number of services to benefit its community, and assist in development. With a registered member base of over eighty thousand and growing, SWGEmu handles thousands of users daily across the Network; consisting of a Web and Forum service, IRC Chat service, Public Test Center service and Open Source Development services.

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Nova Test Center

The Nova Test Center server, funded by SWGEmu community donations, remains an essential part of the project's development. The SWGEmu Developers use the Test Center to find and fix bugs that may only arise when large numbers of players are using the server. Daily population on the TC has steadily grown since its launch, the Test Center now idles around ~900 players on weeknights. The Community Service team, created during the staff expansion in mid 2008, handle live support via IRC chat and in-game (much like most commercial online games today).[2]

Suncrusher

Upon completion of the test cycle and the release of v1.0, SWGEmu plans on hosting an official live server which will be called Suncrusher. In addition, players will be able to host and run their own independent servers.

History

Core1 / First Open Source Release

The project opened to much fanfare and began to gain in popularity. Popular Internet news sites, such as Slashdot, covered the Zone Insertion achievement.[3] It was decided in June of 06 that in order for the project to attract new developers, the Core One software had to be released as free software under the GPL. Core One, which was in internal development by Joker, went Open Source to the pleasure of the growing SWGEmu community.[4] While Ramsey, Ultyma, and Xenozephyr continued with packet research, new developers were added to the team, most notably; Antman, Anzel, Oru, TheAnswer, snow, and tmr. The community moderation team also expanded to deal with the increasing public interest. The development of Core1 was halted with the starts of the Core2 and Core3 projects, the former of which ended due to internal conflicts which resulted in the removal of several developers, most notably being Antman. Development on an entirely new server software, dubbed Core3, started soon after in November 2006.

Core2 / Closed-Source Experimental Release

Nearing the end of 2006, it was realized that Core1 had a variety of internal problems that were hampering it's development, and the team decided that a new core had to be written. Core2 was begun to be written by Antman, but fell through by December 2006, and the completed code was integrated into the then-new Core3 project—Core2 being an experimental server was officially halted in development under the official SWGEMU team with the focus being on the-then proposed release core, Core3. Core2 development continued on its own branch under Antman and he has since announced that it will soon be available open source to community members, and it remains the only fully functional SWGEMU core outside of Core3.

Core3 / Second Open Source Release

Armed with the wisdom gained from the Core One fiasco, the remaining SWGEmu Developers; Oru, TheAnswer, Ultyma, and Ramsey began work to restructure the project in 2007. Oru and TheAnswer started work on the Engine3 library and Core3. Core3 quickly began to outpace its predecessor in terms of power and scalability. The software continues to be the center of the SWGEmu project and has seen continued success even after a relaunched Open Source initiative in January 2008.

Community Restructure

Interaction with the public was heavily criticized under the old community management, something the current team wanted to change.[5] The community team worked to channel community support into a helpful resource. Client setup, support, and forum structure were all redone to appeal to new members. Support and community updates, which were previously the responsibility of the project developers, was transferred to the community team.[6]

In March 2008, SWGEmu launched regular BiWeekly Updates and frequent Q/A events.[7] Prior to the BiWeekly, there was no regular update schedule, meaning the project would oftentimes go months without a new update being posted. A “Round Table” section was created in the BiWeekly, where each developer could write a personal update to the community without having worry about the update at large. Project Administrators quickly found that the BiWeekly struck a successful balance with the time schedule and community satisfaction. The team also launched frequent Question Answer events held over IRC chat which allowed the community to directly interact with the team and ask questions that were not being address through project updates. Establishing this loop provided valuable and unbiased feedback as to what the team needed to improve upon.[8]

Phase Testing and Development

On March 4, 2009, The SWGEmu Team launched the Phase Testing and Development program. Phase Testing was a way for every member of the community to easily test the SWGemu Code Base on the public Test Center with objectives, tasks and a more defined purpose. Each milestone or "phase" coincided with the current tasks being worked on by the SWGEmu development team. Each week, a new set of tasks are posted across the SWGEmu Network. The SWGEmu Development Team was also refactored into Phase Development stages. Major milestone tasks are assigned and set, and the development team was tied into a tight structure between the Assembla development portal, Mantis bug tracker, and the Developer Forums. Phase Development was established to allow the community to harness the development team so relevant bugs and features could be implemented & fixed in a timely manner. As the codebase matured to v1.0, the team needed to be placed into a tight and timely structure where dates were assigned to features (a first in the projects history).

The bug reporting system at SWGEmu was switched to the Mantis reporting software. Mantis quickly proved to be an effective way of reporting bugs, as opposed to the outdated Trellis help desk.

Technical Specifics

Employed Technologies

The SWGEmu's server software, named Core3, is a dedicated gaming layer written in C++. Due to its basis in Unix framework, Core3 is able to be compiled for almost any *nix operating system, including Windows using Cygwin.

SWGEmu's gaming engine, built from scratch by Oru and TheAnswer (SWGEmu's Software Architects), is named Engine3. It is a closed source proprietary library written in C++. Limited public libraries are available for open source testing and development, which have a timeout of 1 hour and a maximum user connection of 20. These restrictions, however, will be lifted upon the v1.0 release of Core3.[9]

Core3 utilizes CORBA technology (paired with an IDL) to allow for server clustering and distributed object brokering. It also uses a packet encryption method designed by Sony Online Entertainment, which was reversed from the client and used in order to communicate with the SWG Client (the client source code is property of SOE and unavailable to the public). Core3's database compatibility currently includes only the mySQL open source server, which features the same compatibility options as Core3. In 2009, preliminary work began on converting Core3 to utilize the Berkeley Database architecture system for improved performance and management.

Scripts for Core3 are written in LUA to allow flexible content management without recompiling the source code.

Core3 is able to be compiled to target both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures (x86).

Licensing

Core3, SWGEmu's Game Server, is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), and is available for download from the SWGEmu Development website.

Developers

As SWGEmu is open source, a full account of who has contributed to the project is impossible. However, as of 2009, the Official SWGEmu Development Team consists of the following people, some only known under their aliases:

  • Ramsey Kant (Ramsey)
  • Jason Marion (Ultyma)
  • Victor Popovici (The Answer)
  • Akos Rajna (Oru)
  • Tanner Kalstrom (Seaseme)
  • Kyle Burkhardt (kyle)
  • Joe Sylve (Bobius)
  • Synter
  • PanchJr
  • McMahon
  • Chris Rush (cRush)
  • Farmer_john
  • Todd Hooper (Thoop)
  • Anakis
  • MrTopas

There were also many former developers, including:

  • Xenozephyr
  • Joker
  • Michael Kuklinski (Antman)
  • Anzel
  • Snow
  • tmr

A full and current listing of the SWGEmu team can be found on the SWGEmu Website

Public Perception

Media Attention

SWGEmu has gained the attention of several gaming websites, such as Crunchgear.com, Examiner.com, and Slashgear.com.

See also

External links

  • SWGEmu.com — The main website, community backbone, forum, support base and bug tracker for the SWGEmu Network
  • SWGEmu on Assembla — The Open Source Developers' portal of SWGEmu, with the project's SVN repository and information/tools for developers
  • Crunchgear.com - SWGEmu's Crunchgear Interview

References


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