Contributing/Artists

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This page outlines information about the project as a whole so that you can get involved more quickly.

Before you begin

Before following these guidelines, please read the main article on contributing. It contains useful information about how the project is structured as a whole and what our philosophies are towards development.

Trying Out the Game

Information 48x48.png

Note

Please be aware that this information applies to all members of the team. You are expected to try the game at some point if you intend on contributing content to it. This is only fair to everyone else who has contributed content in the past, and ensures consistency with existing content.

Basic download instructions are available from our homepage. More detailed instructions are available as well. If you use an unsupported operating system, please read the instructions on acquiring and compiling the source code.

Although there currently are very few players on servers at any point in time, you still have a couple of options to play the game to try it out:

  • Play against bots. — There are currently a number of servers with enough bots that the game is playable even without any human opponents. The training server typically always has bots, and even has a few special game modes. Alternatively you can use console commands to add them to your own local games
  • Wait for a scheduled development game. — For the past several weeks, we have been scheduling games on the weekends to ensure an adequate number of players for testing. You can get information about scheduled games on the IRC channel.
  • Test offline. — You can always start a testing session and use some cheats to test all the different weapons and character classes.

Of course, you can always check who's playing online at any given moment via the master server status page.

Licensing

Please understand that you will be expected to license your work. You are also expected to have some basic understanding of copyright law. It is extremely important that you license your work correctly and that you understand the implications of what you are doing! Also note that assets that are of questionable origin will not be included in the game. Note that the default contribution license is CC BY SA 3.0 (see below), unless you specify another license from one listed below, by contributing to Unvanquished you are placing your work under CC By SA 3.0 licence. You must have right to.

You are expected to use one of the CC By SA 3.0 compatible licenses:

Name Features Text
Full Abbreviated Requires attribution? Allows modification? Allows commercial use? Allows relicensing? Human-readable Legal Code
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported CC BY-SA 3.0 Yes Yes Yes No License Deed Legal Code
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported CC BY 3.0 Yes Yes Yes Yes License Deed Legal Code
Creative Commons Zero (Public Domain Dedication) 1.0 CC0 1.0 No Yes Yes Yes License Deed Legal Code

All of these licenses allow redistributing your work, to be maintained by Unvanquished contributor, and mixed in Unvanquished work. Please note that we would much prefer if you would use one of the former two licenses. You must obtain permission from a project head to use one of the latter two licenses if you would like your work to be included in the game: while you are certainly free to license your work as you please, using one of the latter two licenses in certain situations might prevent your work from being included.

If you disagree with all of the above licenses, please contact any of the project leads with your concerns. If you have another license in mind, please inform us. Be prepared to defend your criticisms of the Creative Commons licenses (i.e., provide a compelling argument) and your choice for another license. Be aware that more restrictive licenses are not likely to be accepted by the project heads.

Some assets currently use some problematic licenses which are discouraged since they prevents the game to be distributed or referenced by some platforms. They also prevent some work to be done. For example rendering lightmaps using “lightfilter” or “alphashadow” techniques is a derivated work and requires asset license compatibility. Creating a machinima is creating a derivated work from all assets visible and heard and therefore require license compatibility. Those problematic licenses are CC By SA 3.0 incompatibles and mixing assets covered by incompatible licenses is a copyright infringement and therefore illegal, for that reason these problematic licenses must be avoided in game core assets (the ones that makes you unable to play if they are missing) and must not be used for newer contributions:

Name Features Text
Full Abbreviated Requires attribution? Allows modification? Allows commercial use? Allows relicensing? Human-readable Legal Code
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Yes Yes No No License Deed Legal Code
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported CC BY-ND 3.0 Yes No Yes No License Deed Legal Code
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 Yes No No No License Deed Legal Code

Assets using these problematic licenses are welcome to be relicensed under a CC By SA 3.0 licence by people having right to or replaced by compatible ones.

Marking your Work

If you are working in Blender, please add a license to your work visible in the default screen layout visible in a text editor view. Please note that you should not do this if you are not the original creator of the work. For example, if you are animating a model that was created by someone else, ask them to add a notice themselves.

You are advised to use the following template:

Copyright 2018 your real name.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Of course, you should modify this template to match whichever license your are using.

Mappers

In creating a map, you likely will end up using textures from a variety of sources. You must include copies of licenses and notices of attribution for any and all textures that you use not created by yourself. Those textures which you have created yourself should be licensed as outlined above, and a notice included. It is recommended to include a file named mapname.txt, map-mapname.txt or map-mapname-version.txt inside a directory named about in your .pk3.

Introducing Yourself

Once you have access to the developer subforums, please create a post on the Assets & Artwork subforum telling us a little about yourself.

At the end of your introduction, please add the following information using this template:

[LIST]
[*] [B]Skillset[/B]: List your skills here
[*] [B]Software[/B]: List software you know well here
[*] [B]E-mail[/B]: Please place an e-mail address that you would like to be contacted at here
[*] [B]Preferred means of contact[/B]: How would you like to be contacted?
[*] [B]Primary operating system[/B]: Which operating system (and version) do you use the most often? (E.g., Mac OS X 10.6)
[*] [B]Portfolio[/B]: Add links to any work that you have done that is visible on the internet
[/LIST]

If you do not have a portfolio and you are a 2d or 3d artist, please upload a gallery of images of your work to imgur. Similarly, if you are an audio engineer or musician, upload your work to some audio sharing site.

You may wish to include other information, such as:

  • Alternate means of contact (e.g., Skype)
  • Your time zone, so that we know when we can contact you

Continue reading for more specific instructions.

Animators

In addition to the above information, we'd like to know the following about you:

  • What software do you use?
  • How familiar are you with your preferred software? I.e., what features of your animation package do you utilize? For example, if you use Blender, do you know how to use actions and constraints?

We currently use the MD5 format for animations. Please familiarize yourself with the following documentation before beginning to animate anything:

  • Read the workflow overview. This explains the workflow shared by our artists for bringing a concept into reality. You are expected to understand this. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.
  • From the model exporting guide, please read the overview and the What is MD5? section. You will need to understand these in order to be able to create an animation that can successfully be exported from your animation package of choice and loaded into the game.

In particular, you are expected to know the limitations of the MD5 format. If you do not respect these limitations, you are guaranteed to have a great deal if difficulty when attempting to export your model. While the art lead is more than willing to provide help to get your asset in-game, you would be wasting his/her time by not reading the documentation beforehand; it is only respectful to do so.

Audio Engineers & Musicians

In addition to the above information, we'd like to know the following about you:

  • What hardware and instruments do you have access to?
  • If you are a musician, what instruments do you play? If you don't play an instrument, what do you compose music with?
  • If you are a musician, what sort of music do you like to compose?
  • If you are an audio engineer, what is your particular skillset?

You are expected to familiarize yourself with the following:

  • Please read the documentation on music and sounds. Be aware that at the time of writing (19 March 2013), this information is rather inadequate, but it will at least answer some questions.
  • Please take a look at the sound progress page for an idea of what sounds there are that need replacement.

In addition, you should be aware that as of the time of writing (19 March 2013), all of the sounds present in Unvanquished were inherited from Tremulous (with the exception of the main menu music) and must be replaced. Note that this is non-negotiable: the sounds from Tremulous were later revealed to be stolen from various sources and cannot legally be included. As this is an open-source project, this sort of copyright infringement is not acceptable.

Concept Artists

In addition to the above information, we'd like to know the following about you:

  • What is your preferred medium? E.g., do you draw with a tablet in Photoshop, or do you use pencil and paper? Be specific.
  • What is your greatest strength with respect to drawing? I.e., what is the one thing that you think you are the best at drawing?
  • How long do you expect it to take to create a concept? We're not clients from hell, so we're not going to pressure you to do things quickly, but we'd just like to know in advance if it might take a week or whatever so that know you haven't just died on us if we don't hear from you for a while!

Please be aware:

  • If you are unsure of what you would like to work on, please familiarize yourself with both the alien and human teams.
  • Be aware that you are expected to try the game at some point!
  • If you would like to know what character and weapon models have not been completed that are therefore available to create a concept for, take a look at the modeling progress page. Anything that is not being worked on is fair game, even if other concepts have been made before.
  • There is not currently a listing of all the concepts made for the game, so you will have to browse the Assets & Artwork subforum for now.

Mappers

In addition to the above information, we'd like to know the following about you:

  • What maps have you released to the public in the past, and for what games?
  • What experience do you have with mapping software? Include any and all software that you have used, even if it was not for a Quake-derived game, and some indication of your skill with that software.

You are expected to familiarize yourself with the following:

  • Please read the mapping guide all the way through. You do not necessarily need to know how to use every feature of the tools right away, but you should understand the basics.
  • How to get data in the game. This is less important when you begin mapping, but you must understand this when you approach time to release or upload your map online for testing. Ideally, you would not be creating a final release of your map without at least one beta test version.

Modelers

In addition to the above information, we'd like to know the following about you:

  • What software do you prefer to use?
  • What is your personal workflow? Do you begin with a high poly model and retopo that? Or do you begin and end with the geometry that will end up in the final game?
  • Are you capable of completing a modeling assignment, or will you need assistance? If you will need assistance (e.g., with retopoing, unwrapping, texturing, rigging, or animation), please inform us. Be specific.
  • Are you familiar with modern techniques? Specifically, we'd like to know if you know what the following are and how to use them:
    • Normal maps
    • Bump maps
    • Specular maps
    • Glow maps
    • Parallax mapping
    • Smoothing groups
  • Are you familiar with the idea of not storing lighting information in your diffuse texture? If you do not understand what this means, please ask. A guide will eventually be written on this.
  • Is hardware an issue? E.g., if you are going to be editing a very high poly model, do you have a video card that can handle that?

You are expected to familiarize yourself with the following:

  • Read the workflow overview. This explains the workflow shared by our artists for bringing a concept into reality. You are expected to understand this. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.
  • From the model exporting guide, please read the overview. If you are not going to animate your model yourself, this is less important, but it is good to know anyway.

Texture Artists

In addition to the above information, we'd like to know the following about you:

  • Are you familiar with the idea of not storing lighting information in your diffuse texture? If you do not understand what this means, please ask. A guide will eventually be written on this.

You are expected to familiarize yourself with the following:

  • Please read the texture creation guide. This contains important information about what formats the engine supports and where you can obtain special tools that you may need to create content specifically for our engine.