YoFrankie! Unsupported!

First some specs on this brand spanking new laptop:

Intel® Core™ i7-840QM (1.86GHz, 8 threads, turbo boost up to 3.2GHz, 8M cache

6GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 Memory

NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 445M 3GB

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS installed with all the latest updates installed and the latest Nvidia drivers from their site installed.

It can play games. More on this laptop possibly later since there’s a lot that’s gone on in my life since I last posted here.

So this morning I decided to put it to the test and try some nice games. Osmos is an awesome game and looks unbelievable on here. I have paid for Worldofgoo 3 different times and rightly so. It also plays amazingly and is fun as always. Tux racer is always fun. Then I thought I’d try out YoFrankie! from the blender project. While The game is playable, the experience is just not there. I have tried this game on other, less powerful computers and, while a bit choppy, I could see everything and play the game. On this computer there is no choppiness, but there’s a lot missing in terms of graphics. The opening sequence has a bird fly by and “drop” some words. This bird is completely invisible. Only the droppings and words show.

Playing the game is not as bad, but is still missing some details here and there as well as some animations just looking a bit last generation. Now, none of these issues I have seen in the past on other computers. With a good enough graphics card the game looks great but a bit choppy for movement since the past machines were’nt powerful enough.

So, to the community! Wait …. where’s the community? I tried their website. Nothing about a community, forums, wiki or any type of support. Ok, then to IRC! Being an Open Source project I joined #yofrankie on Freenode. Empty. Ok, this being written using blender, lets try those guys. #blender. AHA! I pose my question:

<leftyfb> where would I go for support with yofrankie?

The response:

DexterLB> it’s, sort of, kinda, actually, a bit unsupported, so you will, if I have to put it that way, support yourself :)

A little more dialog from #blender:

<leftyfb> support myself? So all the users are expected to be developers and support technicians?
<leftyfb> DexterLB: is that the official word from the Apricot Open game project?
<DexterLB> the official word is that only the community can help you
<DexterLB> and since there is no community as yofrankie is out of date…
<DexterLB> well technicly there is community but it’s very tiny
<leftyfb> out of date?
<leftyfb> so where is this very tiny community?
<JacobF> #yofrankie
<leftyfb> nope
<JacobF> >.>
<JacobF> it’s the official channel
<leftyfb> it’s completely empty
<JacobF> ya small community

We’ll get back to them in a minute. So I try to dig more on blenders website. I come across the blender institute site where I find #gameblender. Ok, this sounds more promising. Here comes some long IRC dialog. Turn back now if this makes your stomach turn:

<leftyfb> I have a core i7 with 6GB of system memory and an nvidia graphics card with 3GB of video memory. Ubuntu 10.04 with all updates and compiz turned off and latest nvidia drivers from nvidia installed. Yet yofrankie does not show the bird in the opening sequence and it seems like the graphics aren’t all there.

<leftyfb> per topic, I’m still using blender 2.49

<OOPz> not wishing to cast aspersions or anything, but with an nvidia card… almost certainly something youv done wrong

<OOPz> exactly what that may be tho, in nix… is anyones guess ;)

<leftyfb> what?

<leftyfb> something i’ve done wrong?

<OOPz> nvidia have always been rock solid with blender

<OOPz> almost never even hear of issues, and most that you do are solved by putting new drivers on

<leftyfb> this computer is 4 days old. It’s a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04 with the latest nvidia drivers installed from their site. All other graphic intensive games and applications work just fine.

* OOPz shrugs

<OOPz> its linux… the price you pay for having all that control is.. you need to do it all yourself ;)

<leftyfb> wow

<OOPz> ‘wow’ what?.. coz if you cant take a joke, you need to get your sweet pink arse off the internet quick sharp, coz nobody is going to take you seriously

<leftyfb> OOPz: I didn’t come here looking for jokes. I came looking for help. Instead of telling me that I’m unsupported because I run linux, you could just say you don’t know how to help

<OOPz> newsflash, youre not in control of what kind of mood the people you run into are going to be in

<OOPz> and i believe i made quite clear, all pertinant facts at my disposal

<OOPz> beyond that.. JFGI

<leftyfb> I have found nothing on google since apparently this project is unsupported by it’s original developers or it’s non-existent community

* OOPz points and laughs

<OOPz> i have never run into a community that provides better support than the blender guys

<OOPz> but seriously, that rod lodged in your small intetine really isnt going to help you, at all

<OOPz> and i cant pretend im supprised you didnt find anything, like i said, nvidia are rock solid

<leftyfb> <DexterLB> it’s, sort of, kinda, actually, a bit unsupported, so you will, if I have to put it that way, support yourself :)

<leftyfb> <JacobF> #yofrankie

<leftyfb> <leftyfb> nope

<leftyfb> <JacobF> >.>

<leftyfb> <JacobF> it’s the official channel

<leftyfb> <leftyfb> it’s completely empty

<leftyfb> <JacobF> ya small community

<leftyfb> that’s from #blender

<leftyfb> i’m not seeing the support

<OOPz> odd that nobody is supporting a project that basically died 2 years ago, yeah

<OOPz> it wont be yf, itll be blender, your OS or your hardware

<OOPz> its so massivly unlikely to be the game, it hadnt even crossed my mind

<OOPz> 2.49 is as far along the dev cycle as it gets, so.. highly unlikly to be that too…. if  you were running 2.5x, yeah.. thatd be a very real possiblity, but… id bet big against it being blender itself

Back in #blender, I receive what I’m considering my final answer on the subject from someone who has done actual development on the project:

<neXyon> leftyfb: that’s a bug that’s fixed in svn, just check out the repo

Since I have no interest in checking out code and compiling software just to play a game which is supposed to be my time away from such tasks, this game is now considered dead to me. It seems to me that it is unsupported and no longer developed by it’s original developers. At least I can find no information to the contrary.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go play my XBOX where I don’t need to compile anything or reboot for my games to play.

  • Pēteris Krišjānis

    Well, you have unrealistic expectations, that’s for sure. However, I too don’t like RTFM attitude which pops up there and here, so I understand your anger. However, I would definitely jump on recompiling game than trying to force someone to support it. Official support costs a lot and even most commercial apps won’t do it for you.

  • Benjamin

    Just for your information: I uploaded yofrankie 1.1b~svn106-0ubuntu1 to Ubuntu 11.04 (natty).

  • Daniel

    A note that should be made:

    From what I understand, the Blender Foundation released Yo Frankie and Big Buck Bunny (an open movie) at the same time. The Foundation uses these projects as catalysts for developing new features for the Blender program. I’m pretty sure they’re not intended to be 100% professional games/movies such as a real studio would make – more like a technology showcase for new features, in some ways.

    After they released BBB/YF, they also created another movie (Sintel, released recently this year), in the process developing new features and such.

    So what I’m getting at is that the Foundation more or less seems to intend to develop these movies/games as demonstrations of and chances to enhance Blender technology. It’s a bit difficult to expect the Foundation (who seem to be consistently working up new projects) to support individuals’ problems in what, to them, seem to be more technology showcases for their main product (Blender) than full-fledged games/movies.

  • Alex

    As I recall, this game was kind of a big deal. It was supposed to showcase what the open-source world could do in terms of making a game. Letting it languish like this is inexcusable. From reading this blog post, it isn’t clear to me where the exchange with OOPz took place, but if it took place on any sort of official Blender IRC channel, then I will be staying very far away from the Blender community in the future.

    If there is ever another Blender open game project, I will not support it in any way if this is the fate in store for the resulting game.

  • http://popey.com/ Alan Pope

    Really! Old code in “not supported” shocker! Film at 11.

    I concur with OOPz, and you really don’t come out of this blog post well.

    • http://leftyfb.com leftyfb

      The “Old code” which you are referring to is the only released version of the game for public use for a game that was hyped up very much upon it’s release. One would think that a game which got a lot of public acknowledgment would have some form of support. Instead, it’s developers have abandoned the project completely while still allowing people to download it.

    • http://gkn.me.uk Greg K Nicholson

      I disagree here. I think it’s entirely reasonable to ask politely for support, and to be surprised when absolutely none is forthcoming for such a high-profile project.

      OOPz’s “newsflash” comment seems to suggest that because OOPz happens to be in a bad mood, they’re entitled to be rude to leftyfb, and leftyfb just has to either put up with it or leave.

      Imagine if OOPz was in the mood for some misogynist jokes, for example—that shouldn’t be tolerable.

      I think the attitude shown here demonstrates how quickly one rude individual can make a negative first impression and in one fell swoop completely alienate a newcomer from a community.

      Lack of support is acceptable (albeit unfortunate), but there’s no need to be rude about it.

  • http://none Habub

    Actually that is used to be a common problem of mine before, but cheer up it is becoming a very rare phenomena. I rarely compile anything now-days. So, take it as being part of the past, you know like when you had your 286 where you had to push turbo for extra juice. The button was left there for a long time but nobody used those CPUs any more. Hardly any body plays with that game any more, so just pretend it does not exist anymore and be happy about osmos for example. By the way I did buy it too worth every penny and more.

  • Pedro

    Man, you’re a self-entitled asshole,

    • http://leftyfb.com leftyfb

      I’d say elaborate on your stated opinion on me, but you weren’t brave enough to post with any of your contact information so you probably won’t ever see this reply.

  • Ellipsis

    I am wondering why Canonical hasn’t started making commercial games for Ubuntu… it is one of the most requested features and there is a huge opportunity to profit from it.

    Nintendo, Sony (now that it has acquired a bunch of small studios) and Microsoft all make games for their own platforms. Even Valve used games like Counter Strike, Portal and Half Life to draw people to Steam.

    Canonical could really set a standard to which games for Ubuntu/Linux could be measured. Moreover, Canonical having in house experience building games for Ubuntu could support other companies thinking of porting games.

  • Nece228

    Well, i guess you made a big mistake by buying high end laptop with powerful video card. Why people would need gaming computer if they have xbox already?