How to Contribute

Introduction

Thanks for your interest in contributing to FlatRedBall. The FlatRedBall Engine and associated tool are continually-evolving, and your involvement can help move the technology forward even faster. There's a lot of ways to get involved.

Community Management Needs

Community management for FlatRedBall is the highest-impact way to contribute to FlatRedBall. FlatRedBall is a healthy, actively maintained engine with a long history of bug fixes and feature improvements. However, despite all of these qualities, FlatRedBall is not as popular as many other game development technologies. We believe that FlatRedBall exposure is very low relative to what it provides. Fortunately, you can help!

We can see evidence of FlatRedBall's activity and health by looking at the commit history on GitHub. The following is a snapshot of the activity from the point when FlatRedBall was added to Github until May 2024. Keep in mind that FlatRedBall had been developed for over a decade prior to being moved to GitHub, but the Subversion history was not preserved on migration, so even the graph below represents less than half of the commit history!

Of course, FlatRedBall also benefits from having more code contributors and we encourage contributions of all type. The point here is to emphasize the importance of community management, not to discredit code contributions.

If you are interested in helping FlatRedBall grow but you do not have a lot of experience with FlatRedBall, or even game development in general, this is great news! It means that you can have a large impact without needing to absorb the vast body of knowledge about FlatRedBall. You can start making an impact today!

If you'd like to help out, see the sections below for specific ideas.

Discord Chat

The FlatRedBall Discord server is an active place to ask and answer questions. The more activity in the Discord server, the more confident new developers will feel when evaluating FlatRedBall. Joining the server and chatting can help the community grow and stay active.

FlatRedBall Discord: https://discord.gg/tG5RBgw

Report Bugs and Make Feature Suggestions

The best way to find and report bugs in FlatRedBall is to use FlatRedBall. Inevitably if you use FlatRedBall long enough you will run into issues, whether these are bugs or friction that slows down development. You can report issues on FlatRedBall's Github page, or chat in the discord.

Contribute Code

FlatRedBall accepts pull requests for bug fixes and new features. If you're not sure where to start, you can brows the open issues on Github. Of course, most contributors are encouraged to address issues found through development on their own projects. By fixing issues which affect your project, you already have a test case, not to mention stronger motivation to fix the issue.

Content Packs

If you can create content such as sprite sheets, Tiled maps, Gum components, music, or sound effects, you can provide these packs for use with FlatRedBall. General-purpose content can be uploaded to websites such as itch.io and opengameart.org, but

Spread the Word

FRB is a mature and powerful engine, and the more people who know about it, the better! Let others know that you're working with the engine, show off your progress, and invite others to join the community.

If you want to help spread the word, there's lots of ways to help. The best way to show off FRB is to show off work that you or others are doing on various social media. If you have a game or demo that you're working on, then you can create screenshots, gifs, and videos of your project.

If you don't have anything to show off, that's okay - you can join the Discord server and look at what others are doing. Specifically, check the 💊| showcase and 🚀| frb-updates channels. You can contact the author of any post and ask if it's okay to promote their content on any social media platform such as reddit or twitter.

Create Tutorials and Blogs

You can help spread the word by creating tutorials and blogs about how to use FlatRedBall. This type of content not only serves to educate potential developers, but it can also be motivational. It gets people thinking "Wow, I can make that too!".

You can create video tutorials or written blog posts. Here are some ideas on things to cover:

  • How to get started making games in FlatRedBall. This could be general-purpose, or it could be focused on a particular genre

  • A deep dive into a particular topic, such as how to make your collisions run efficiently

  • Covering a particular tool or feature in FlatRedBall, such as how to make animations in the AnimationEditor

  • Covering technology adjacent to FlatRedBall, such as how to add steam achievements to your project

  • Integrating FlatRedBall or Gum technology with other technologies, such as how to use Gum in a MonoGame project

Update Documentation

All documentation is stored in a dedicated repository at https://github.com/flatredball/FlatRedBallDocs

This can be forked and edited as markdown files. Alternatively if you would like to edit the documentation in GitBook (recommended for heavier edits such as adding new pages or reorganizing docs), you can request access in the discord server.

Add FlatRedBall to Game Development Lists

A variety of lists exist for game development tools including lists on reddit and GitHub. Some of these have been identified and added as GitHub issues. You can look through the issues and find areas where you can add FlatRedBall. You can also do searches online for lists of game engines and tools and see if FlatRedBall is listed. If not, this is a great way to spread the word.

Join a Project

If you'd like to be involved in FlatRedBall, but don't have a project that you'd like to start you can still join others in a project. The FlatRedBall community always has a number of active game projects and many of these are willing to take on help, whether it's through code, art, testing, promotion, or general feedback. Ask around to see who is looking for help.

Of course, if you have your own project you can post about this project in Discord and see if others are interested in joining.

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