Thorium Contributor Kickoff Report

Alex Anderson 🚀Alex Anderson 🚀, October 7, 2021
Thorium Contributor Kickoff Report

This past Tuesday, 12 people passionate about spaceship bridge simulators got together to discuss the future of Thorium Nova. These people had many different backgrounds - education, music, art, software - but all of them wanted to see what this project was all about and find ways to help out.

Here's what was decided at the meeting.

Project Planning and Management happen on Github

There has to be some place where we can plan and direct the work on Thorium Nova, and we chose Github. It's a tool that's frequently used for open source projects, and since it's where the source code is hosted, it makes sense to keep it bundled together. Feel free to join a discussion as we start framing the foundation for the Thorium Nova engine.

Some interesting discussions we've already started:

I would love to hear your thoughts on any of these, or have you make your own discussions about things you want to see in Thorium Nova. All suggestions or proposals are welcome!

Thorium Nova is Apache 2.0 Licensed

We're going to get into some legal weeds for a moment, but it's important to the open source status of Thorium Nova. The license determines what you can or can't do with Thorium Nova's source code, and we picked a pretty permissive one.

You can:

  • Download and modify the code.
  • Create a derivative project.
  • Share your changes, or keep them to yourself.
  • Make money off of Thorium Nova.

You cannot:

  • Use the Thorium Nova name or logo in any derivative project without permission.
  • Blame us when Thorium Nova doesn't work the way you want.

Pretty simple. You can read the whole license document here.

Thorium Nova is Web Based

We decided that we would continue building on the web-based framework for Thorium Nova that I've been working on for a few weeks. We chose this because web tools are easy to learn, powerful enough, and cross-platform. And, by keeping the backend and frontend somewhat decoupled, we can still build peripheral screens and devices that integrate with Thorium Nova.

I'll be creating some material for getting new developers up to speed with the existing framework, but I personally think it's really nice. If you're into technical things and want to dive deep into the design and architecture of the Thorium Nova game engine, check out the architecture document. If you're interested in helping to build a web-based networked game engine from scratch, get in touch! We'd love your help.


This wasn't discussed at the meeting, but fundraising for Thorium Nova is once again open. In the spirit of transparency and community governance, fundraising is now done through a service called Open Collective. You can think of it like Patreon, except anyone can see how much money has been contributed, what the current balance is, and where money is being spent. You can already see I've donated $1000 from the existing Thorium bank account.

What will these funds be used for? Not sure yet. Probably hosting, paying for services as needed, assets and tools to help development, that kind of thing. I'll try to put together some swag items that can be given to contributors. Maybe this could be initial capital for a Thorium merchandise store, where you can purchase Thorium branded uniforms, posters, t-shirts, stickers, etc. There's even been some talk of selling hardware packages, like speakers, lights, and physical panels to spice up your at-home simulator, though that won't happen until the controls are usable.

That's all for this meeting. We likely won't have another meeting like this and instead will try to have all conversations and decisions made asynchronously via Github Discussions. Once again, feel free to join us!

As for this newsletter, it will primarily be used for announcements and updates. The long-form articles will just be posted to the blog, once decisions are made in Github Discussions.

Once again, thanks for being part of this journey. 🤗