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How to contribute to FreeOrion

As an open source project, FreeOrion both relies on contributions from long time developers and one time contributors. This guide should help you to create contributions that can be easily integrated into the FreeOrion project.

I found an error in the game or I want to file a bug report

So you stumbled on a reproducible error in FreeOrion? You can report it in FreeOrion Issues. Please check before reporting the error if someone else has already posted it. When creating a new issue, you will see a template of required and suggested information. Please fill in the template with all the information that you can, as applicable and appropriate.

After reporting the error, a developer will review the report and may ask you for further information and feedback, so please stay responsive. Follow up may take some time, however, depending on when someone has time to review the submission.

I want to contribute code

We gladly accept useful additions to the project code and scripts. However, before you start developing something, please inform the developers about your endeavours to avoid duplicating work. If you're trying to fix a reported bug, please state that you're working on the bug. If you want to implement a new feature, get in touch with the developers via the FreeOrion Forum to check if the feature complies with our idea of the game.

To start contributing, first clone FreeOrion Git repository. After that, create a branch with a concise name; if the branch implements an issue call it fix-<Issue Number>. To publish your contribution, create a Pull Request and wait for feedback from the developers.

By submitting a pull request, you agree to license its contents under the applicable FreeOrion license(s).

To ensure your PR won't be rejected, please make sure that:

  • The code changes match the Code Standards. For Python code we follow PEP 8.
  • The commits of the PR are atomic. This means that one commit should only contain a single logical and indivisible change. If you need to describe the change inside the commit with a list or any other enumeration, you're probably doing it wrong. Avoid lumping together functional changes and code style changes; whenever possible, put style changes into a separate commit.
  • The Commit Messages follows the rules for a great Git commit message.
  • The PR IS concise on the topic it addresses. If you want to address different topics, create different branches and PRs for them. If the topics/PRs relate to each other, document this in the PR message.
  • The PR DOES NOT contain any merge commits from any other branch. If you want to update your branch to a more recent master, use the git rebase command.

To build FreeOrion please refer to the Build Instructions.

Further documentation

There are further specialized documents available that should be considered when working within the FreeOrion project. Those are:

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