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Erik Johansson Steps Down from Project Leadership, Michael D. Hafer Assumes Role


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#1 Jeru

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 07:55 PM

Erik Johansson ("feneur") has announced he will step down from managing the development of the free, open-source game 0 A.D., citing his wish to focus on his writing and other hobbies. Johansson, 27 from Sweden, has been the project lead since 2008, and the team thanks him for his sustained leadership of the project. Back in '08, 0 A.D. was a small, proprietary freeware project, but under Erik's watch, the project has gone open-source and developed tremendously to a global community with thousands of fans and supporters. Erik has emphasized that he wishes to remain on the team, and he will continue to assist with certain administrative tasks, including serving on the Treasury Committee, a committee of contributors who make financial decisions for the project.

Longtime 0 A.D. contributor Michael D. Hafer ("Mythos_Ruler") has agreed to take over leadership of the project pending the success of a crowdfunding campaign, tentatively set for May and June 2013, which he will plan and carry out. If the campaign succeeds, Hafer will work in a full-time capacity for one to two years from his home in Indiana, USA to promote all aspects of development of 0 A.D.

Starting from now, Michael will be replacing Erik on the Design Committee, which decides which features will be included in the 0 A.D. software. He will still answer to the Treasury Committee for all decisions concerning raising and disbursing project funds. If the crowdfunding campaign succeeds, the Treasury Committee will pay Michael's salary according to the terms of a pending contract.

Current committee members are:

Design committee: Enrique, Michael ("Mythos_Ruler") and Jonathan ("quantumstate").
Treasury committee: Erik ("feneur"), Kieran ("k776") and Aviv ("Jeru").

Edit (April 5, 2013): The new project liaison to SPI is Aviv Sharon ("Jeru").

We invite contributors to advise our upcoming crowdsourcing campaign and help with related tasks. If you are interested, please let us know on our forums or on our contact form. Thanks!
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Aviv Sharon [ aka Jeru ]

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#2 MishFTW

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:12 PM

Best of luck to Erik (y)
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#3 fabio

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:40 PM

Thanks Erik and welcome Michael :)

Maybe you could summarize on how the funds for the previous two campaigns were used to incentive a third campaign.

Edited by fabio, 04 April 2013 - 08:41 PM.

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#4 Jeru

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:50 PM

Maybe you could summarize on how the funds for the previous two campaigns were used to incentive a third campaign.


We will definitely do this in the interest of transparency.
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Aviv Sharon [ aka Jeru ]

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#5 feneur

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:54 PM

We definitely will both summarize the results of and the use of the money from the previous two campaigns, and most importantly what we've learned from them and will do differently this time :)
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Erik Johansson [ aka feneur ]

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#6 Almin

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 09:35 PM

Thanks, Eric, for what you've done, and good luck for your personal life! (y)
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sry for my english

#7 Lion.Kanzen

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 10:24 PM

A New Age. :) Thanks to both to make this Project best day to day.
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Retired- Without Michael the project is not the same.


#8 Mythos_Ruler

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 06:04 AM

I really look forward to working with Erik on any transition work that needs done. Erik has been a good friend and will continue to be! :)


Maybe you could summarize on how the funds for the previous two campaigns were used to incentive a third campaign.

We will definitely do this in the interest of transparency.

We definitely will both summarize the results of and the use of the money from the previous two campaigns, and most importantly what we've learned from them and will do differently this time :)

Yes, we learned a lot from the first campaigns, especially what not to do, and how to use funds towards larger goals. At least that's what this new campaign will be about--pushing the big picture. Hopefully, I and we can create a presentation that addresses most of the questions folks will have and give a compelling reason for fans to contribute. It'll be a tough task, but it's one I am committed to. :)
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#9 zoot

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 11:23 AM

A word of warning from Karl Fogel (a co-creator of SVN):

However, funding also brings a perception of control. If not handled carefully, money can divide a project into in-group and out-group developers. If the unpaid volunteers get the feeling that design decisions or feature additions are simply available to the highest bidder, they'll head off to a project that seems more like a meritocracy and less like unpaid labor for someone else's benefit. They may never complain overtly on the mailing lists. Instead, there will simply be less and less noise from external sources, as the volunteers gradually stop trying to be taken seriously. The buzz of small-scale activity will continue, in the form of bug reports and occasional small fixes. But there won't be any large code contributions or outside participation in design discussions. People sense what's expected of them, and live up (or down) to those expectations.

I'm quite skeptical what a paid 'manager' would be able to add to the project, but we'll see :P Good to see that feneur stays around in some capacity, though.
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#10 sanderd17

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 11:35 AM

Many thanks to Erik, it's a fine game you brought.

Also thanks to Michael for taking up the lead.

I'm sure you two can keep the steady and continuous growth of the game.

As a reaction to Zoot, there's nothing wrong with a staff that's paid full time or part time, if others can also have the possibility to earn something. If you take something like a bid-for-fix system (http://www.bidforfix.com/), people can just take up the challenge, and if a fix gets released, the money can go to the developers who worked on that fix (it doesn't matter if they're part of the regular paid staff or not). Or some other system that gives rewards to the casual contributor.
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#11 zoot

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 11:47 AM

As a reaction to Zoot, there's nothing wrong with a staff that's paid full time or part time, if others can also have the possibility to earn something. If you take something like a bid-for-fix system (http://www.bidforfix.com/), people can just take up the challenge, and if a fix gets released, the money can go to the developers who worked on that fix (it doesn't matter if they're part of the regular paid staff or not). Or some other system that gives rewards to the casual contributor.

How does that relate to having a paid manager? Anyway, we'll see how things turn out.
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#12 Jeru

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:28 PM

I have added a notice indicating that I have volunteered to replace Erik as project liaison to SPI.
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Aviv Sharon [ aka Jeru ]

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#13 liamdawe

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 02:11 PM

I would also like to know what happened with all the money we donated previously in a proper news post before I donated again.
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#14 Mythos_Ruler

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 06:20 PM

I'm quite skeptical what a paid 'manager' would be able to add to the project, but we'll see :P Good to see that feneur stays around in some capacity, though.

We've had tons of internal discussion no this. In a nutshell, WFG does not have to be the same experience for every contributor. There are different levels of commitment that can be given by contributors based on their availability and desired involvement, from paid temporary or permanent full-time and part-timers (contractors), to those who we give commit and forum privileges to (staff members), to (last but certainly not least) open sourcers whose involvement is akin to a hobby. We feel that WFG has room for all of these people. It just so happens that my personal and professional life right now allows me to make the leap and take the commitment of being a full-time contractor for WFG. What that will entail is a laundry list of things, but suffice it to say what I will be doing and how I'll be doing it will be as transparent as possible, including livestreaming, daily blogs, weekly videos, and constant availability via IRC, forums, Skype, e-mail and cell phone. We feel such commitment from a project leader who will be able to make decisions and develop the game on a full-time basis will be a huge asset to development as we push to go Beta and then on to Gold release. And ideally, I'd love to grow WFG to the point of having at least 2 other paid developers around the globe or more, for a truly 24/7 coverage of team members able to make crucial decisions on a moment's notice and assist contributors on an around-the-clock basis, but that's just a long-term goal in my head. For now, starting with one person is just the first step. And just because I'd be a project leader does not mean other voices are ignored. In fact, we are consolidating procedures on how to make voices more effective, via our treasury and design committees, and making the design forum available to everyone. I'd be able to facilitate that kind of openness on a full-time basis. And in regards to money, I think we should go ahead and release monthly expense reports available to all fans and contributors. Please join the e-mail list on the play0ad website.

And all of this we'll go into exhaustive detail in the next month or so as we put together the crowd-funding pitch.

As an aside, zoot, I would love to see you and alpha123 and a couple of other contributors join the team. (y)
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#15 zoot

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 07:01 PM

We've had tons of internal discussion no this. In a nutshell, WFG does not have to be the same experience for every contributor. There are different levels of commitment that can be given by contributors based on their availability and desired involvement, from paid temporary or permanent full-time and part-timers (contractors), to those who we give commit and forum privileges to (staff members), to (last but certainly not least) open sourcers whose involvement is akin to a hobby.

Lots of people with full-time jobs are not committed or even outright slackers, while, on the other hand, most of the work on this project has been done by unpaid "hobbyists". So nominal work hours doesn't really seem like a good measure of quality. But if all unpaid contributors on the team are behind it, and don't feel like they are being robbed, I suppose it could work, depending on how many more years they are willing to volunteer :P
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#16 historic_bruno

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 12:34 AM

I'm quite skeptical what a paid 'manager' would be able to add to the project, but we'll see :P Good to see that feneur stays around in some capacity, though.

I think the point is to not pay just anybody, but to pay someone with vision and significant hands-on experience with 0 A.D. from the beginning, who will not have available time to contribute otherwise. If you have any doubts, I encourage you to read through SVN logs and forum posts and see Michael's past contributions and then infer what the project would lose without him (of course for fundraising we and Michael have to make this case, but until then, it might be enlightening research).

It's true, hobbyist unpaid work has made 0 A.D. what it is today, but for some people, it hasn't been and won't be a little thing they do on the side for an hour a week without care, it's been more like a full time job with no pay. That may be OK when people are in school and not yet "in the real world". But it's not fair to expect people to do that indefinitely, nor is it unreasonable to offer them compensation, if the quality of work they do merits it. In fact, it's the least people could do, if they enjoy and care about 0 A.D. and the future direction of the project.

Even people who contribute nothing are benefiting from a piece of quality, free open source software with fairly generous licensing, that will benefit the community as a whole, I think that's an advantage that justifies paying someone to lead such a project.
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#17 zoot

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 01:01 AM

I guess what matters is whether you can sell that argument to a sufficient number of developers. Right now the pace of development doesn't seem huge. Will the employment of a manager affect it positively or negatively? I guess time will tell.
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#18 HG-Alex

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 02:50 AM

Erik, I wish you the best on your writing and future endeavors. 0 A.D. is turning out beautifully - you have a lot to be proud of. :)

And Mythos, I'm sure you'll rock it and do wonders in your new capacity and give the team the leadership it needs to finish strong.

Best wishes from a longtime fan. :)
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