Ben Curtis, a global prop lead artist at Cloud Imperium Games, came to the University of Bolton to give us a talk on many interesting topics. One of the topics mentioned in his talk that grabbed my attention was ‘open source’.
Open source is a big thing with today’s gaming industry as many companies open their code for community collaboration. Popular game engines such as Unity and OpenGL are open source which is a huge benefit to the companies that created them. From (Moses, 2016) online blog titled ‘Open Source Video Games?’ he goes on to mention that ‘game engines that follow the Open Source model and benefit from community support to improve their products, cut development costs, and shorten time-to-market releases’. This allows the company to save a lot of money and time as their community are assisting them for free. In return this also allows the community to gain experience as they are working alongside a company to improve upon what they already have.
Open source jobs have become more popular over the years as developers can be seen to have experience with their tools already and companies will be able to clearly see that the user has experience. (Moses, 2016) goes into some statistics that ‘tells us that 59% of hiring managers said they will be hiring open source talent over the next six months’, which shows us that open sourcing is a big deal with companies when looking for people to hire.
However, it doesn’t stop there as there are open source companies that specifically work on multiple gaming projects to lend a hand if it is needed. (Justin, 2013) blog titled ‘Open Source: Why Your Company Should Contribute and What You Should Expect to Get Back’ mentions that with source control such as ‘GitHub’ , they are able to help ‘build the code faster’ allowing the other workers to focus on more important features or bug fixing in their game.
Open sourcing with other companies or people, can face major problems. From the (Golden, 2005) book titled ‘Succeeding with Open Source’ he mentions that open source has a risk of facing ‘intellectual property infringement’. The reason for this is ‘an engineer might place code into an open source product that he or she did not create’. This is a huge issue as that company might be sued for something that they didn’t do.
To conclude, open source can be a huge benefit to companies as it allows them to focus more on the important aspects of their project. It also allows the community to get involved with these projects and gain experience from doing so. There can be problems faced with open sourcing but with a strong producer, these problems can be cut down.
Moses, D., 2016. Open Source Video Games?. [Online].
Available from: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/open-source-video-games-doug-moses
[Accessed 07 May 2016].
Justin, 2013. Open Source: Why Your Company Should Contribute and What You Should Expect to Get Back. [Online].
Available from: https://airbrake.io/blog/uncategorized/open-source-why-your-company-should-contribute-and-what-you-should-expect-to-get-back-2
[Accessed 07 May 2016].
Golden, B., 2005. Succeeding with Open Source. 1st. Addison-Wesley Professional.
The Linux Foundation, 2016. 2016 Open Source Jobs Report. [Online image].
Available from: http://go.linuxfoundation.org/download-2016-open-source-jobs-report?utm_source=linux.com&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=2016-open-source-jobs-report
[Accessed 08 May 2016].