Google Summer of Code
BZFlag plans to participate in the 2007 Google Summer of Code and if selected as a mentoring organization, we will be accepting applications and proposals to work on BZFlag. While there are lots of [Ideas|ideas] floating around of varying utility to the game, the ideas listed below are specific areas that we are interested in seeing worked on as part of the GSoC. These tasks are selected according to the overall impact that they can make to the game, feasibility of implementation within three months, and overall interest in having such modifications made to BZFlag.
One of the long-standing desires for BZFlag is to improve the graphics capabilities in the game by integrating with an existing rendering engine. This task would be to integrate BZFlag with a graphics engine like OGRE, Crystal Space, or Irrlicht.
The basic idea is to improve BZFlag's networking by performing dead reckoning on the server along with context-sensitive packet delivery culling. Much work has gone into the game towards moving more and more of the game state to the server, but there is additional migration and protocol changes required. Similarly, network utilization can be optimized by not relaying certain packets (like miniscule position updates to distant players) based on the current game state. Some useful background reading for this task include "Fairness in Dead-Reckoning based Distributed Multi-Player Games (pdf)" and "Accuracy in Dead-Reckoning Based Distributed Multi-Player Games (pdf)".
Work on creating a clean stand-alone version of the game client that is headless (i.e. requires no GUI to run) and scriptable. Ideally, a scripting interface that is compatible with an existing framework such as the Robocode API would be made available for controlling AI tank players so that collaboration with other AI efforts could be leveraged.