The fun began when we were accepted as a participating organization and prepared the ideas list to be discussed with the students. As an interesting statistic, I do remember that people joining our IRC channel increased by 20% during that time. We didn't expect so much interest, and my best guess is that it was because it's always fun to code for a game, and Hedgewars in particular offered a lot of uncommon initiatives, like programming with FreePascal or experimenting with SDL-1.3.
The only negative part of our experience lies in the fact that of the 2 student slots that we were given, one project wasn't carried out at all which meant that the AI implementation had to be called off. Perhaps a more experienced organization might have noticed subtle hints from the student and avoided this situation, but what counts is that we learned our lesson and will be able to evaluate our students better in the future.
On the other hand, we've had an outstanding success in our second project, Hedgewars on Android: the student was able to fulfill the task requirements and implement a few optional features in the time allocated. He also documented his code (rarity!) and interacted with developers of our dependencies. What I particularly liked was the fact that all of our active developers helped in this project with testing and suggestions.
Overall I feel like we've all had our share of fun gathering ideas from the community, sorting out students' proposals, managing student’s work, and achieving results. Our student is sticking around to finish and maintain his project and is about to join our development team, so my guess is that he also enjoyed his time with the Hedgewars team during Google Summer of Code.
Finally, with our repo full of new code and our bag full of experience, we look forward to next year’s Google Summer of Code where we plan to have just as much fun and success (and hopefully even more).
Thanks to all the people involved, mentors, students and admins.
By Vittorio Giovara, Hedgewars Organization Administrator for Google Summer of Code
This post is cross posted from the Hedgewars blog, where you can find additional details about their experiences with the Google Summer of Code.