I was fleshing out the Brief History of OGRE page on the OGRE wiki whilst I waited for a monster build to finish, and it gave me pause for thought for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I realised that I started this journey five years ago next month, since I started the first real development on OGRE in October 2000. I was in fact adapting & refactoring some code from a year before to begin with, but very little of the original code now remains. Now, if I take conservative estimate, I think that means I’ve spent at least 3000 hours on OGRE so far, which is a around 1.5 years of full time work. And it’s probably a fair amount higher than that in reality.
Second, it became clear just how much OGRE’s feature set has developed since the start of 2003 - it’s been an exponential curve. I attribute this mainly to new team members coming on stream and the fact that the OGRE community itself has mushroomed in the last 2 years. I’m very proud of the fact that we seem to attract a good number of experienced, battle-hardened veterans to OGRE which means feature contributions and patches have been really great. I don’t mind saying that there is no way OGRE would be the engine it is today without all these people chipping in, helping out and making suggestions. It has meant that a lot of my role in the past 2 years has been ‘steering the ship’ rather than being just cutting code all the time. It’s a gathering snowball, since better features and a stable codebase mean more users, which leads to more contributions, etc etc - and it’s shown no sign of slowing thus far.
Lastly, looking back makes me remember how naive I was in those early days. When I was tinkering away on my crappy Pentium 200 laptop or my GeForce1 based desktop (and back when I still tested on a Voodoo2) I had absolutely no idea what things would be like by 2005. Hell, if you’d told me I would have laughed at you 😀It was a personal project, for fun, which I never really thought many people would be interested in. Now we have this and this, among many, many others. Who knew? I look forward to being surprised by the next 5 years (hopefully pleasantly!).