Google Summer of Code 2018: Introduction

Hi! My name is Ruxandra, but friends call me Ruxe [/ruːksɛ/], and throughout this post I would like to better introduce myself and give you a hint of what my summer journey with GSoC is going to look like.

I have quite a few interests, from photography and digital drawing, crafts and music, cooking and experimenting with not-so-good tasting cocktails (but they’ve been getting better, I promise 😊), to traveling and attempting to take better care of the environment. I try to allocate more or less time for each of them depending on a number of factors, but there’s one thing that has always been a part of my weekly activities: games.

When it comes to games, well video games have pretty much always been a constant in my life, in various forms; from the Disney Active CDs my dad used to bring me and my sister as kids, to the console ones I still enjoy playing with friends and family. Recent years did not, however, find me in front of my computer playing games, but rather discovering the open source world and developing applications.

Although I have worked on multiple game development projects, both by myself and in a team while studying for my Computer Science Degree at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, the one experience which I believe turned me from occasional player into dedicated game developer consisted of working on my first mobile game for my diploma project. It turned out to be appreciated by both my kind friends and colleagues at the university who volunteered to play it as testers, and the jury alike. It was then when I decided to continue studying and enrol for a masters program in Computer Graphics, Multimedia and Virtual Reality, which I am currently pursuing, to further hone my skills.

This summer I will be working on modernising Five or More, one of the few gnome games which haven’t been rewritten in Vala as part of the Games Modernisation Initiative. It’s a simple and fun game whose objective is to align, as often as possible, five or more (no pun intended 😊) objects of the same shape and color, causing them to disappear. Besides the Vala rewrite, there are some other items that have to be tackled, like updating artwork, adding sounds and gamepad support, or some that I have already completed while preparing my application, such as migrating to Meson and dropping autotools, porting to gettext and integrating libgnome-games-support.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in GSoC 2018 to work on this project, and more so I am grateful for my mentor Robert Roth (IRC: evfool), who has been kind enough to guide me throughout the pre-GSoC and the application process and has made the entire process easy and straightforward.

In my next blog post I will try to offer a more technical view of my project, by explaining the process I will undertake in order to port the game to Vala in a timely and productive manner, and make sure that anyone who is interested in my project can easily track my progress in order to be able to offer valuable feedback in early stages of the development.

Thank you for sticking with me until the end of this blog post. Head over to my page and subscribe to my RSS feed if you wish to keep an eye on my progress or to the About section if you would like to get in touch with me.

Until next time,