From Dan’s post to Thumdar:
Bruce has managed to resurrect the tools download pages (on the QA cluster, not in prod yet) and it’s looking pretty good, with a few blemishes.
As soon as we can make it properly ‘safe’ we will merge that to prod so you all can start vetting the tools to see if they still work 🙂
Hopefully the submission process will ‘work’ with the proviso that we will refuse the submission 🙂 (so we don’t end up with 90 zillion designs queued up before we’re ready for them).
Then we will pick a handful of ‘extra special favorite people’ (i.e. as random a selection as we can, while still picking people who actually know how this stuff works already… used to work…) and allow JUST THEM to actually submit designs. Which we will then NOT approve, but it will be another step forward.
Unfortunately, it sounds like we will have to rewrite the ‘product to sord activation’ process *before* we can re-write the approval process (the act of approving a design still requires too much access to in-company assets. Specifically, we can’t approve without access to our corporate source control system, and that’s not something we can provide access to externally, even if we were of a mind to do so (which we aren’t, in case that’s not clear) 🙂
When There was first built, we didn’t have a Developer program. We knew we wanted one, but it wasn’t exactly fleshed out up front.
Consequently, assets (textures, models, etc) were stored in a source control system, just like any other Game Development Shop. This made sense, since the only people who were changing these assets were in-house.
When we added the Developer Program, the There-side of the system actually shoehorned YOUR assets into the source control system too, so they could be distributed to the servers just like There products. It probably “seemed like a good idea at the time”.
Fast forward to now, where we’re going to try and make the “There Side” of the Developer Program operate more automatically. As Dan says, there’s no way we’re going to give this process direct access to our source control system, so we need a “better” way. Actually, “better” means “the right way”, since what we want to do is just shoot the assets right out to the servers instead of the meandering path it takes now. A little side affect of that could mean that products would become available instantly once they’re approved (in the best of all worlds).
Of course, like all good solutions, there are lots of things which need to be figured out/solved first, so as Dan says, we’re “not out of the woods yet”. If it looks like it’s going to take too long, I may consider resurrecting the old “back office” approval system for a while, provided it can be done economically.