I’ve been a member of the Spring Engine community almost since its inception. I joined the forums back in 2004 prior to the first release, and played a notable part for many years alongside many other prominent figures. The last few years however I have not been as active, and I’ve generally moved on with things. It’s been at least a year since Smoth broke through my lead on the post count front.

I’m a web developer not an AI developer, and my attempts to contribute in the last 2-3 years have mainly taken the form of AI advice, and the SpringInfo website. My AI involvement diminished around the time we moved to mingw32 only builds of AIs & the engine, and never recovered fully. My lobby projects consumed far too much time and energy to be worthwhile, and my career and studies took precedence. A string of demoralising events took hold and I’m now where I am today.

Some of you will see this as all obvious, and some will have no idea who I am thanks to my recent inactivity, but I write this because I’d like to formalise this. My current Spring related projects are:

  • Shard
  • Spring social network profiles
  • Spring Vagrant box

I’m now looking for a new maintainer for Shard. My intention being that it eventually become a gadget lua AI. The engine devs will continue doing what they’ve always done and fix compile bugs as they did with KAI and the other native AIs, but that dependency needs to be removed, and I haven’t the time or energy to do it myself. NTai is in a similar state of the living dead, and should compile but would work similar to KAI and RAI etc, don’t expect miracles.

SpringInfo will run as-is with the automation, and i will provide technical assistance, but for progress and updates, I need somebody to add feeds and collect news, categorise, and approve things. Right now it’s running on auto-pilot. I’m happy to add people to the various social networks as admins if they feel it’s necessary, but they’re either completely automated or have people with access already.

The spring vagrant box I’m passing on to Abma. He knows more about what is needed for it, and he has the most use of it. I’m happy to advise, but I doubt it’s necessary.

A Final Note On The Engine Itself

Total Annihilation was released in 1997. When the Spring Engine made its first release as TA Spring it was early 2005. TA was 8 years old, yet at the time of writing this Spring itself is 9 years old. If a new engine appeared, it would be a year overdue, Spring isn’t state of the art, new or top-end, and it’s not a modern RTS engine. It’s an active legacy project catering to a small community with minor additions.

If there’s a lesson to be learnt from this, it’s that things will remain roughly the same from now on. We have the same type of lobby as we did 5 years ago. The games of today, minus a handful of exceptions, are roughly the same as 5 years ago but mode developed and polished. Even major issues that were recognised 5 years ago are still a problem, e.g. feature vs unit rendering, the website, saving and loading games etc.

A lot has been achieved, and I’m sure there are some surprises left, but things in 5 years time will be analogous to where they have been for several years already.

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