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News: GunChleoc is Passing the Chieftain Baton to Nordfriese


GunChleoc is Passing the Chieftain Baton to Nordfriese

Five and a half years ago, GunChleoc took over the Chieftain role of the Widelands project from our founder SirVer. During this time, she has contributed more to the project than any other developer. She has implemented hundreds of features, fixed thousands of bugs, and overseen major changes such as the project's transition from Launchpad to GitHub, and much, much more. The entire community is deeply grateful for the enormous amount of work she has put into Widelands.

More recently, GunChleoc has found less and less time for coding for Widelands, and I, Nordfriese, have slowly been taking over most of the Chieftain's duties. Now we made it official.

I joined the project five years ago, a Biology student dabbling in computer sciences looking for some hacking help. After a warm and helpful reception from the community, I stuck around, contributed some Lua scripting and other easy patches, then learned advanced C++ coding and Blender 3D design while working on bigger features for Widelands. This project, in which I invest the largest part of my spare time, has taught me a lot, and it's all thanks to Widelands that my C++ skills developed to a level where I now work as a professional C++ engineer1. As a senior developer, I have overseen some major changes such as the transition of our CI from Travis to GitHub Actions, and I have been managing the last two stable releases of Widelands. I promise to keep contributing to the Widelands project to the best of my abilities as Chieftain for what I hope and intend will be a long time yet.

But wait, there's more! The project has many developers, and two of the most senior active members, hessenfarmer and tothxa, are taking over two posts of responsibility: Let's all welcome hessenfarmer as the first Elder of Scripting and tothxa as the new Elder of Graphics! Here's what they say:

tothxa – Elder of Graphics

I would like to thank being appointed to the position of Elder of Graphics.

When I was added to the elders team on GitHub, I wrote that I have hardly any programming experience. Fortunately this time around I can actually claim some technical and theoretical expertise in both 2D and 3D computer graphics, face-smile.png being a mechanical design engineer with over 2 decades of experience in 3D CAD. Unlike previous Elders of Graphics though, I have no artistic skills, and no previous experience in Blender, our main graphics tool. So feel free to consider me the Acting Elder of Graphics until someone better comes around. face-smile.png And of course, I'd be more than happy to step down if any of my predecessors returned to reclaim their rightful position. face-smile.png

My CAD background means that Blender is at the same time quite familiar and quite alien to me. Fortunately I'm coping with it so far, and I'll keep working on bringing you high resolution images for the old tribes, keeping the old look and feel of the game alive.

hessenfarmer – Elder of Scripting

Many thanks to the developers who chose me to be the newly introduced Elder of Scripting.

Being a player socialised by the Settlers and Anno Series who loves playing slowly, I found widelands quite some time ago and directly got addicted to it.

After having played for some years trying almost every map and every tribe, I felt that the things I miss most are more scenarios. So I started to create one and learned some lua for this. While doing this and testing it I learned that the AI might need some help as well. So my second passion in contributing to widelands was discovered.

As more scenarios are only one good idea to get more variety in the game, but new tribes are another very good idea I realized I could contribute a lot by implementing or reviewing the scripting of new tribes. This comes together with calculating balance scores and making the AI handle them.

All in all these are my three passions in Widelands: Scenarios, Tribes and the AI. So anybody who might have an idea for new content or improvement might just open a new thread and I will be happy to assist / implement the ideas.

May we create lots of new stuff together.

Best regards

  1. Our founder said much the same when he looked back on his time as Chieftain in this post which is well worth a read :) 

2 comments Posted by Nordfriese on 2022-05-09, 14:30

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Many thanks to GunChleoc for her tireless hard work and best wishes for the future. Nordfriese, I'm glad to have someone as thoughtful and talented as yourself at the head of this great tribe and congrats to hessenfarmer and tothxa for recognition of their contributions.


Indeed, many thanks to GunChleoc, not only for her time as elder, but also the huge amount of work that she has put into Widelands. I remember from a conversation with her that for her the experience of growing technically with Widelands was very similar to mine and Nordfriese's.

Congratulations and a hearty thank you to everybody who steps up to their new roles here, i.e. tothxa, hessenfarmer and of course Nordfriese! I have no time these days, but I am still following and try to be responsive when my help is needed, so do not hesitate to reach out.

Widelands will be 21 years this year and it fills my heart with joy to see that still people are carrying it forward, making it better and more fun. As a fun fact, it is now the favorite video game of my oldest daughter (who turns 6 this year), which is quite surreal and joyous to me.

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