The Fall of the Giant
A short story about management, drama and failure. Amethyst, open source game engine. Myself and various other nice people were working on it. Then, as we grew, management became a problem. People were getting burnt out, no one wanted to do maintenance and everyone wanted to make new features. Then, Fletcher came along. He wanted to help out. He proposed making a non-profit foundation, and he did with the approval of the majority. A lot of work is getting done, management is managing, things are great (except for the extremely high burnout rate). Fast forward a year, things aren't great. Our pace slows down to a crawl, management isn't managing, developers are complaining and slowly losing interest. Our refactoring work is massive and takes forever to complete. No one wants to do it, except the very few dedicated developers. Then the inevitable happened: Bevy engine. A brand new engine. It instantly captivated the attention of developers. They rushed to it, replicating very quickly the situation that happened at the start of Amethyst: lots of people wanting to experiment and add new features. As such, Amethyst lost most of its developers and motivation ran low. That's when management had an idea. A grand plan, if I might say. They gave up. Instead of taking competition as a gate for innovation, they took the other route: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." As such, the Amethyst socials quickly became advertising for various games and for the Bevy engine. But in the background, something darker was lurking. A deal. A secret secret deal. The plan: make a for profit company to fund work on an open source game engine. Or "open core", as they called it. Whatever this means. The weird part about it was that management (of Amethyst) would take the lead of this for-profit company, and the main developer of the Bevy engine would get the main developer role. Not the people who spent years working on various part of the biggest rust game engine. No, the developer of the most *popular* engine of the moment would. As you might guess, yes, I had a personal problem with this. But I just got over it and moved on. What I couldn't get over, however, was the fact that no real leadership was happening anymore. Amethyst had been a wasteland for months, the for-profit company didn't happen, the trust in management was gone. The Giant had Fallen.