How to Help
Are you interested in helping Thrive, but you don’t have any skills in game development? Don’t worry, you can still get involved! Keep reading to see how. (If do you have game development skills, see the Getting Started page)
I want to gain the skills to help Thrive!
Perfect! We’re glad to hear that you are interested in learning skills to help contribute towards the game. Many of these skills are also useful to know anyways and can help you in ways outside of Thrive.
Programming is a tough skill to pick up but a useful one to have. Make sure you have realistic expectations before you start. You are not going to become a computer whiz overnight. It takes a while of learning and practicing, but once you've gained a good grasp it's a skill that is crucial in helping to implement the many concepts we have for Thrive into reality. Don’t be afraid to start small. Take lessons, practice what you learn, start with simple projects, and work your way up from there. It’s how all the greatest programmers did it as well. The following are some good places to check out:
- https://www.codecademy.com/ - A free online website that teaches a variety of languages.
- https://code.org/ - Another free online website that teaches a variety of languages.
- https://www.freecodecamp.org/ - An actually free and open source website that teaches programming with web technologies.
- https://www.edx.org/course/cs50s-introduction-computer-science-harvardx-cs50x - A free online course offered through Harvard University on programming and computer science.
- https://www.reddit.com/r/learnprogramming/ - A helpful online community with many resources and discussion on learning how to code.
- Visit your local library! You will likely find loads of books on programming and computer science and taking the time to read them can teach you a lot!
Here are a few C++ specific learning resources:
- Here is a video tutorial series by Cherno: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18c3MTX0PK0&list=PLlrATfBNZ98dudnM48yfGUldqGD0S4FFb&index=1
And the following are tutorials specifically aimed at video game programming:
- http://www.lazyfoo.net/tutorials/SDL/index.php - A tutorial designed to teach you how to code your own games.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20150225192601/http://www.arcsynthesis.org/gltut/ - A tutorial for learning graphics programming with OpenGL.
- https://learnopengl.com/ - Another OpenGL tutorial.
Digital graphics and design is another very useful skill to have even outside of working on Thrive. Graphics covers a variety of skillsets: animation, modelling, rigging, textures, sketching, UI design, and more! anything visual can be classified in this category. As any other skill, learning these take time and a lot of practice and there are a ton of tutorials out there for those willing to learn. Here are some useful ones:
- https://www.youtube.com/user/Feroyn - A channel with many videos about digital painting and concept art basics
- https://www.youtube.com/user/marcobucci - Another useful channel for learning digital painting
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLn3ukorJv4vs_eSJUQPxBRaDS8PrVmIri - This playlist teaches how to use blender 2.8 for begginers. The channel also offers more advanced tutorials on this program.
Theory / Game Design
This is more a loose and overlapping category. We’re not really looking for standalone “game designers”, but rather that developers with skills in the other fields have some understanding of the concepts behind the stage they are working. This helps them better implement features while balancing fun with realism. This involves understanding of mathematics, demography, anthropology, history, economics, sociology, technology, biology, chemistry, ecology, geology, physics, astronomy, or other associated fields relevant to the stage being worked on. It especially helps to have holistic and interdisciplinary knowledge of these fields to be able to help design holistic systems to handle the broad scope of the game. Of course there are exceptions to this, such as music composers who don't really need any background knowledge other than the ability to make good music.
The following are some good sites containing research for the game:
- http://speculativeevolution.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page - An online evolution wiki with plenty of content on speculative alien biologies and societies, with many processes categorized and quantified.
- http://www.xenology.info/Xeno.htm - A book available online on many of the concepts of theoretical alien biologies and civilizations and the mechanisms by which they would exist.
- http://pcg.wikidot.com/ - A wiki with loads of research, examples, and discussion on procedural generation, a cornerstone of Thrive's concepts.
Sound concerns both in-game music and sound effects. People with experience creating music using software or recording/producing sound effects are welcome.
Here are useful music production/composition resources:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTKhUdPIHIuhhCrMuKJWcjnXUfAN3f5Mn - Music theory taught from the basics
- http://oliverlugg.com/composing-part-i/ - Written guide (now discontinued) made by Oliveriver, the Sound Team Lead
- https://www.reddit.com/r/WeAreTheMusicMakers/ - Useful place to find tutorials, discussions and examples about music production
Outreach consists on letting people know about the project. This includes managing social media accounts, advertising, making devblogs and promotional videos.
What we’re looking for here is a little bit more loosely defined. It basically boils down to people with experience working on projects before and task management and how we can improve the organization and workflow of our team. This also extends to documentation and managing of the wiki and how that can be maintained and improved.
I don’t want to/have time to learn the skills for game development!
No worries, there are still plenty of ways you can help out. Here are a few to choose from.
- Try looking at the files of the game and make small tweaks or changes. Did it work? Made a change that was not half bad? Work your way up from there! Post your mods to the forums!
- Produce concept art or promotional art:
- Concept art: Art to help developers imagine what a feature would look like in-game.
- Promotional art: Art to help build excitement about the game and showcase its awesomeness to other people.
- Post the art to social media outlets or the fan forums to stimulate activity and interest.
- Contribute to the fan wiki. Help fill out wiki pages on the current state of the game as well as posting pictures and videos.
- Join in on brainstorming and crowd sourced idea threads (found on fan forums or reddit).
- Start or join discussions on the reddit and fan forums about theory and design and gameplay.
- Play the game and find things that can be criticized or improved.
- Make videos playing the game and post them on youtube and reddit and other sites. These can be: Tutorials, walkthroughs, let’s plays, gameplay showcases, funny montages, etc.
- Make and share comics and memes and parodies of the game.
- Read the dev or fan wiki and look for inconsistencies or areas that lack content. Not only will this help us find small mistakes that are otherwise hard to spot, it gives you a chance to familiarize yourself with the current concept!
If all goes well, practicing these will help you develop the skills to one day join the development!