SUPER DUPER WIP RIGHT NOW. I just gotta get this posted so I can start chipping away at it bit by bit.
This handbook is the central repository for how we run the Amethyst organisation. I will be writing it in collaboration with anyone willing to participate. We will be borrowing shamelessly and liberally from the GitLab Handbook and Basecamp Handbook and Chef guides. (if you know of any other good ones, let us know!)
We’re gonna start with the very basics. Do feel free to skim through the parts that don’t seem new to you; there won’t be a test.
Amethyst is a lot of things:
- a game engine
- a collection of game tooling
- a non-profit organisation
- an open source project
Let’s explain these in reverse order
Open source project
Open source speed intro for the uninitiated:
Open source is both an ideology and a strategy. Probably the most agreeable reason for any of us to be here is that open source products, more often than not, are ethically superior to their proprietary counterparts. Open software is just inherently more trustworthy. It’s also more equitable in terms of ownership of work output.
Proprietary licensing says "The company owns all your output done in service of the product"
Open source licensing says “You own your output done in service of the product; you also grant non-exclusive ownership of your output to the general public.” I.e. you share your work with the (Digital) Commons."
We do not detest the existence of proprietary software, nor do we reject its usefulness as a proven way to pay software creators what they’re due. Open source software development has historically been very difficult to monetize, in countless cases leading to burnout as a result of doing unpaid work to an unsustainable extent.
This is rapidly changing as more and more companies are starting to figure out how to incorporate open source practices into the very core of their business strategy.
Open Source Strategy
- https://oss.capital/blog (recommend starting at #1)
When using the word “Amethyst” in the broadest sense, we are referring to a collective of people that have chosen to band together under a single banner to make game development more enjoyable. The work we do as a collective is very valuable, in great part exactly because it’s done as a collective with a cohesive vision. The best way we know how to make that value distribution equitable is by creating an actual organisation that is designed to govern transparently and unintrusively.
The Amethyst organisation (henceforth AmtOrg) presides over all Amethyst properties such as the Amethyst Engine and Rendy. AmtOrg controls these properties in the sense that they reside in containers (e.g. in the form of a code repository or a web server) which AmtOrg has administrative control over. This control is very limited, since anyone can freely copy and redistribute AmtOrg’s properties.
A key responsibility of AmtOrg is to keep Amethyst the open source project sustainable. One way in which the organisation aspires to do that is by paying the contributors. Right now we’re only to pay for maybe 5% of all the work that goes into Amethyst. Our long-term ambition is to be able to provide fair compensation for >99% of all contributions.
If you’re not being paid, you’re not required to do anything at all for the Amethyst project. You should ultimately do the work because you want to, regardless of compensation.
Collection of game tooling
As made obvious by the many paragraphs above, Amethyst is a lot more than just an engine. What’s more, the engine is just one interchangeable part of the complete Amethyst tooling story. Game developers can use most of our major utility libraries without using the Engine.
…all that being said, the engine is undeniably our centerpiece. Perhaps most of all because it’s a lot easier to make a large cluster of things understandable if you can point to a center from which learners can choose their own adventure