GSoC topics 2014

We have been accepted as a mentoring organisation for the Google Summer of Code. We can't be sure how many slots we will get, but last year we mentored 3 students who all successfully completed the program and we hope to get at least the same amount of students this year.

The actual projects we will select will depend on the students' proposals, the mentors' availability (to avoid having too much work for one mentor), and also what features benefit STK the most. Please discuss your ideas with us on IRC and try to contribute beforehand so that we can get an idea of your skills. The latter is not strictly necessary but it might help us in our selection process.

More information about how to get started as a student can be found at our GSoC overview page.


Contents

Scripting engine

SuperTuxKart race tracks are currently either static, or feature looping animations. The goal of scripting is to expose track object control and manipulation capabilities to a scripting language, so that each track may specify custom interactions, as described in more detail on our Scripting Engine page.

Prerequisites

Mentor


Online User Administration

SuperTuxKart uses a server to provide several online features. At this stage the server is used to manage addons, but it is expected in the future to also take over a role in online multiplayer. This project is about adding missing features to the server, like simple bug reports for addons (e.g. the original designer of a track could be informed about problems, and other users could be warned that a track does not work properly). We also need a way to moderate our online users (e.g. prevent offensive names from being used, allow different roles for different users, ...). Details can be found here.


Prerequisites

Mentor


GUI Improvements

SuperTuxKart uses a self written GUI engine that is based on the Irrlicht's GUI elements. Nevertheless the GUI itself has quite a few shortcomings. This project is about fixing existing GUI issues, and improving the look of the menus. This task will require you to implement additional widgets, and (re-)designing the GUI flow and look of the menus. More details about this task can be found on the GSoC GUI page.

Prerequisites

Mentor


Physics and Game Play Improvements

The physics of SuperTuxKart are very simple at this stage, and some wanted features of the game can not be implemented at this time. Some examples:

More details can be found GSoC Physics page.

Prerequisites


Mentor


Track Editor

A long outstanding problem of SuperTuxKart is the fact that good skills with a 3d modelling software (best blender) is necessary in order to create tracks. This means that many people interested in designing tracks are facing a huge hurdle. Additionally, even for experienced modeller it takes a lot of time to create a track.

More details of this project are on our GSoC Track Editor page.

Prerequisites

Mentor


Other ideas

GSoC Addon Dependencies

Currently, when an artist creates an add-on package (a kart, track or battle arena), their contribution is completely encapsulated within a single archive file for download. This presents a few problems:

This is particularly prevalent with music that artists include with their track or battle arena packages. A dozen artists may all include the same music track, with a size of 4MB, and we would have to store all dozen or more copies independently. In order to resolve this problem, a dependency system could be implemented for add-ons. A more detailed explanation on this topic can be found on the Addon Dependencies page.

Prerequisites

Mentor


Unit Testing

SuperTuxKart does not have any kind of unit testing implemented, at this stage it relies on tester to report any bugs. This project is about adding a unit test framework to STK - ideally for both STK and the addon/online server. More details on the GSoC Unit Testing page.

Prerequisites

Mentor


Race History Verifier

It is very easy to modify the kart characteristics in SuperTuxKart. This makes it difficult to have reliable online highscores. We intend to use the replay feature to help with that: any highscore will need to be submitted with a replay.

In this project the student will try to automatically verify if a given replay is based on an unmodified set of kart parameters. The verification process could look out for excessive acceleration, high speeds from zipper that last too long, too much nitro for a track etc.

Prerequisites

Mentor



Allow to take a video in game

Many people want to create videos of a SuperTuxKart race. Be it because they want to report a bug, show off a new feature, or just to post it on youtube. To do this atm additional software needs to be installed, and very often there are problems (performance, sound missing, ...). This project is about adding a built-in video recording feature. Anyone would just need to press a start and stop button, and a video is automatically created (similar to the already implemented snapshot feature).

In order to get good performance, you may need to compress frames on the GPU before fetching them. Using the hardware encoding support in latest graphics cards would also be acceptable, but a solution that works on a wider range would be preferred.

Prerequisites

Mentor


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