Introductions


#1

Hello Synfig,

My name is Jason C. McDonald. I’m the CEO and Lead Developer of MousePaw Games. We are dedicated to creating innovative solutions for education, especially educational games.

I have been programming for over six years, and specialize in what I call “offroad programming” - software development where there is little to no documentation. I designed a scripting language, Ratscript, the first version of which was built in ActionScript 3 to speed up testing of my Adobe Flash game project. My team is currently building Ratscript 2.0. I also designed and built the first few versions of our game engine, Trailcrest.

I’m a huge fan of open source, and an Ubuntu lover to boot. One of my favorite hobbies is to convert people from Windows to Linux, and then help them set up and learn their new Linux-based computers. I’m also an open-source gamer - Oolite, SuperTuxKart, and FreedroidRPG are three of my favorites.

I found Synfig Studio while browsing through the Ubuntu Software Center, and decided to give it a go as a possible replacement for Flash. It has been mentally flagged as the software we WOULD adopt in a couple of years (while making the next game), but circumstances led us to switch THIS game’s platform to Synfig as well.

C++ and Python are my languages of choice. Before I started using Adobe Flash, I wrote code to simulate many of its capabilities (animation, movement, drag-and-drop functionality) in other GUI toolkits, including PyGTK, wxWidgets, and WinForms (Microsoft Visual .NET).

In addition to programming, I also write and speak on the topic of programming soft skills. (You can find me on YouTube if you look for “A Field Guide to Common Nerds”) I tutor math and computer science at our local community college, and train my company’s interns in various languages, technologies, and programming techniques.

As I mentioned in my other post, my company has just abandoned Adobe Flash as a platform, and we are looking at adopting Synfig in its place, and contributing our own skills to help add “Game Platform” to its feature set.

While my company’s core technologies are closed source (educational software is a surprisingly hostile market, wherein opening that code could put us out of business overnight), I believe strongly in the open source movement. We work almost exclusively with open source software, and we contribute however we can. Some of our own open-source projects can be found on our Labs page.

Chances are, my team and I will be spending a lot of time here as we get acquainted with Synfig studio, its interface, and its code. We’re excited for this new chapter in our development process.

NOTE TO ADMINS: My employees will likely be joining soon as well, for obvious reasons. Some are learning how to animate in Synfig, and others are helping with the coding mentioned in my other post. Most of them are interns. If you have any trouble with any of them, feel free to contact me.


#2

Hi Jason,
thanks for this detailed introduction of yourself although your first post is enough self explanatory of you.

Although I don’t spend my time coding Synfig now, I’ve been coding it some years ago and I’ve been trying to add my little contribution to this fantastic project.

Currently there is a small core of active people dedicated to Synfig, some of them more time some of them less time. In the last months there have been a professional paid coder that has made the core of the big recent changes, you can read about him on the news of the website.

I see very interesting your proposal of contribution to the Synfig project and turn it into a game engine in some way is a natural transformation in these days (see Blender). Also, the scripting ability would be very interesting for the community in order to allow third party contributions without need to change the code of the program, just adding scripts as plugging. They would make create animations more easy and productive.

Oh, man! what kind of employees you have?! :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth:

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: Don’t worry, we are very friendly and permissive. If they just avoid to put links for FIFA downloads and to advertise about kitchens, they are welcome! :mrgreen:
-G


#3

Hmm. I don’t think any of them have any kitchen makeovers to sell, but I’ll keep an eye on them. :laughing: They’re great people, and I think they’ll fit in well here.

It’s good that your team is, as you said, small but dedicated. Scott Rosenberg said in his book “Dreaming in Code” that the ideal programming team is one. Of course, one is impractical in real life, but to that effect, the smaller the team, the better. Otherwise, you wind up with entirely too many cooks in the proverbial kitchen.


#4

Hello CodeMouse,

Welcome in here… quite exciting news you send … good luck for all your projects… !