In 2020, as the pandemic had shut down all possibility to attend events in person, I pushed very hard for Unity to allow us to start a new initiative to engage with the community. This idea was scary and exciting in equal parts: develop an open-source game, starting from scratch, together with community members. At the same time we would do livestreams about it, keeping the community updated (the series was called The Journey). In retrospect it was really a crazy idea, especially for our small team of three, but my manager at the time and Unity’s CMO saw the potential for it, so they gave the greenlight.
So in the summer, my two colleagues Chema Damak and Amel Negra and I kicked off preparation work. A couple of months of planning, and we were ready to launch at the end of September.
We called it Unity Open Projects:
The news were very well received, and we were soon joined by a couple of hundreds collaborators and by tens of thousands attending the livestreams; as we kicked off the creation of an action game that would be eventually called Chop Chop.
I was in charge of planning and leading the livestream sessions, and of producing pre-recorded videos with a 3rd party contractor. And of course – together with the rest of the team – work on the game, handle community conversation, and review pull requests and issues on the repository.
Those 9 months were a blast. The community response was insane, and despite having a hard time coping with the amount of work involved, I really think we produced some positive effect. I have had many testimonies of people saying that they loved what we did, that they improved as developers or got started by following our videos.
All in all, Open Projects was a fantastic learning experience for me as I matured a lot as a programmer, learning to handle a bigger, more complex project, a HUGE team, and putting in place a pipeline of code reviewing and project management. It also left a warm sensation of having done something good for many, and I’m sure my teammates Chema and Amel share the same feeling.
All works and words on this website by Ciro Continisio, except otherwise specified.