GSoC topics 2014

This is currently a brainstorm list of projects students could work on for GSoC 2014. It's not even certain that SuperTuxKart will get reaccepted to participate in 2014, nor are we sure how many slots we will get. Last year we mentored 3 students who all succesfully 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 definitely not necessary but it might help us in our selection process.

For now consider this to be a brainstorming list - to be discussed and fleshed out later.


Contents

User Administration Web Portal (and Lobby Server API)

For online multiplayer we've build upon our STKaddons code base (live at http://stkaddons.net) to reuse a lot of the account code. This has a nice side affect that the accounts at the addons site, can also be used for online multiplayer. The aim of this project is to revamp the STKaddons website and generalize the already present user panel, and most importantly add an moderating/administration panel. Moderator roles will need to be created along with a permissions system to allow certain user managing actions.

In addition to the user moderation, this project can head into different directions :

Suggestions for this project highly appreciated. Be sure to discuss your ideas with us!

Prerequisites

PHP(OO), CSS and HTML. A sense of (My)SQL. Little work in C++ is possible.

Mentor


Scripting engine

SuperTuxKart race tracks are currently either static, either 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 interaction. Examples include birds/animals that flee when you drive near, driving over a button opens a gate, cows stop eating grass and look at you as you drive by, play sounds depending on what's happening in the race, and so on and so forth. Furthermore, certain features that are currently hardcoded (help popups when you reach a certain point in the tutorial, offering to start a challenge when driving near a challenge node in the story mode overworld, the gates to the final story mode challenge opening only when you have completed all challenges) could be rewritten with scripting, and thus clean our code of specific hardcoded actions for certain objects.

More specifically, this project will involve :

Prerequisites

C++ programming, notion of how scripting works

Mentor


Battle Mode AI

At this stage our NPC's our only configure to do simple lap-based races. STK already supports different game modes, especially a battle mode. Goal of this task is to implement artificial intelligence that allows computer controlled karts to take part in battle modes. More details can be found on our battle AI page.

Prerequisites

Strong C++ programming, AI techniques, path finding

Mentor



Game Lobby and User Profile improvements

For last year's online multiplayer projects a lot of functionality has been added, but not much attention was spend on the interfaces presenting the features. So one part of this project is to upgrade the current interface and add any obvious missing features.

Some other nice features we want to add to online multiplayer that can be part of this project (and other ones may be suggested of course) :


Prerequisites

C++

Mentor


Improve in-game add-ons interface

The current in-game addons interface is a flat list, with no screenshots and limited search, filtering and sorting options. Text is also used for many pieces of information that could be visual. This project will implement a new more user-friendly interface, with more screenshots and images and less text, and better search capabilities.

SuperTuxKart uses its own GUI engine, based on the irrlicht widget set and XML files describing the layout. It may be necessary to extend the STK GUI engine to produce the desired results. The proposal for this project may be extended with interface improvents for other parts of the game. (Highly recommended, though make sure that your timeline seems reasonable.)

Prerequisites

C++ programming, experience with HTML or XML GUI's might come in handy

Mentor


Improving graphics

STK graphics can be improved in a variety of ways. What's currently requested by our main artists is compression, GPU skinning, better shadow implementations and SSAO.

Prerequisites

Strong C++ programming, GLSL, graphics programming

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

Some C++ programming.

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).

Prerequisites

Some C++ programming, experience with video creation (existing libraries can of course be used).

Mentor


Track Editor

This is for now a place holder. It can be anything from tools to simplify track creation, for example a tool that allows people to draw the outline of a track in 2d, convert this into a mesh that is imported into blender. Maybe add height-fields to that. Or a full stand-alone track editor, which either directly exports the files we need, or create data to be imported in blender for fine tuning.


Include tux racer

The tux racer project is mostly dead (not sure if this is still true, I think there was a rc recently - under some other name ... extreme tux racer?), but anyway: the intention of tux racer was to support multiplayer and proper physics, all of which we already have. Instead of having tux racer as a separate project, it would help everyone to pool our resources and include a tux racer mode. It would involve supporting heightmaps (so that tracks from tux racer can be imported), etc.

Retrieved from "http://supertuxkart.sourceforge.net/GSoC_topics_2014"

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