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The WorldForge Project Celebrates Three Years! 81

Posted by Hemos
from the making-it-happen dept.
cyanide writes "Well it has been three years since The WorldForge Project was first announced on Slashdot as an effort to develop open source Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORG ? ). Back then we were calling ourselves 'Altima', but since then we've released our first game, Acorn, and are now working on our next release, Mason. The project really is thriving now, and I'd love to see some new blood join us. "
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The WorldForge Project Celebrates Three Years!

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  • cheating (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eric6 (126341) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @12:12PM (#2516314) Journal
    perhaps this is a silly question, but if the MMOG is open source, wouldn't this open the gates for a ton of cheating?
    • perhaps this is a silly question, but if the MMOG is open source, wouldn't this open the gates for a ton of cheating?
      No, unless the server has security bugs that allow it to happen, or it assumes certain things to happen on client side. If there are such bugs or design flaws, they can always be corrected.

      The first rule of client/server design is not to trust the client at all =)

    • I'd guess it depends on how you look at it. <BR> <BR>If you look at cheating as a way of bypassing the integrity/security of the system, then by the game being open source it might make it easier to develop defenses - the "many eyes" concept. <BR> <BR>There again, when you consider the huge ingenuity of cheaters everywhere, making the game closed source doesn't stop people cheating - for instance, who could have guessed that someone would come up with a hacked GL driver for Halflife which made the walls transparent? How do you stop someone from cheating by using it? (the answer is to download the punkbuster client and play on punkbuster servers, BTW) <BR> <BR>Well, I can't conclude whether there will be more cheating or not, I guess I'll keep my eye on it and see what happens.
      • Hmm... I didn't type any HTML Tags, so why have my beautiful paragraphs been destroyed by &lt;BR&gt;&lt;BR&gt;'s?
        • Good question. I changed some code related to posting last night and might have broken something. What posting mode are you using?

          If you don't mind, please email me at jamie@mccarthy.vg [mailto]... thanks :)

    • Re:cheating (Score:3, Informative)

      by geekster (87252)
      Eric S. Raymond wrote an essay about this... here [tuxedo.org].
    • but if the MMOG is open source, wouldn't this open the gates for a ton of cheating?

      In a poorly disigned protocol yes. If you only tell the client what the gamer is supposed to know then there is no way for him to cheat. For example: only send the data containing the surrounding landscape where the character can see.

      Most multiplayer games are not open source, but most multiplayer games have cheaters.

    • not really (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There's very little room for cheating in an RPG- or strategy-style game, if the protocol is designed properly. As was mentioned before, rule #1 of game protocol design is don't trust the client AT ALL!!!

      Where cheating becomes a problem is where the computer-skill is better than human-skill. An example of this was Quake and its auto-aimers (once the source was opened). But with these types of games, the game basically comes down to intelligence, and human intelligence will win out over computer intelligence more often than not, so cheating isn't desirable. There are exceptions: e.g. in a strategy game where you have to balance resources, you may want to hack the client to do cost-benefit analyses for you. But for RPG's especially, the computer won't help you out much.

      The other area where cheating could be a problem is where the server gives you information that you shouldn't have, e.g. the location of enemies. This is actually pretty hard to get around unless you put a lot of intelligence in the server, which would slow it down a lot. But for these types of games it probably won't be TOO bad.

    • The client is considered *completely* untrust-worthy. So, it will not have any knowledge or controll beyond what is allowed. You can't hack the client to see if there's a trap infront of you, or a monster behind the door if the server isn't telling the client.
    • by scrytch (9198) <chuck@myrealbox.com> on Saturday November 03, 2001 @12:42PM (#2516387)
      I'm nominally a member of worldforge ... more like I hang around them all the time on irc, while my hobby projects that do directly involve them get pushed down on my project stack. There's plenty of disagreement on how to best prevent cheating, but much of it boils down to this: closed source hasn't prevented cheating in other MOG's (I like how we're boiling down the acronym from the unwieldy MMORPG to MOG -- don't really need the "massively" anymore, that's implied). Given the inevitability of failure here, the prospect of cheating needs to be treated more as a policy approach than anything else.

      One approach is to make the client dumb -- basically just a display for its inputs, the server only sends you what you need to see. Cheating is still possible here, but it'd be an impressive hack.

      Another approach is that a protocol codec might be made closed source, and with a few clever techniques, you can send "booby trap" packets that flag cheaters if they are ever responded to by a client (also requiring a closed protocol codec at the other end). This isn't foolproof, and might indeed turn out to be a useless measure. But hey, we can always lock 'em up for circumventing, right? ;) Finally, if the folks who wrote the protocol code are among the GPL zealots of WF, then it might be politically infeasable to go with a "closed one-off" approach.

      Bottom line, cheaters exist for open and closed source games, and WF will be no exception. WF can provide means to catch a large chunk of cheaters, not all of them, and ultimately it's going to be up to the policy of the server admin as to what to do with them. We just make the tools, you use 'em.
    • Re:cheating (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Patoski (121455)
      I would point you to MUDs which have been around and open source for many many years yet cheating in the mature MUDs are quite low. Generally things are massively exploited at the beginning and then the holes are closed. I suspect WorldForge will be much the same way.

      -Pato
    • The massive amount of cheating I saw back when there was still a Linux UO Client (I closed my acocunt when it stopped working, and haven't kept up with that community) was, in my view, due to them having to let it any old riffraff and not having a good way to identify and remove cheaters. Nor did they have any incentive to remove cheaters since those people were still a revenue source and didn't cause that many people to leave.

      Running the server more like a MUD would make it much easier to kick cheaters out and there should be much less incentive for people to cheat anyway in a smaller, more closely knit community.

      Of course, I could be wrong...

    • The Myth I/IIcommunity on Bungie.net has IMHO the most elegant system against cheating: A force of trusted admins, designated amongst respected players, who act as moderators and can impose temporary or definitive bans on users. Of course, this creates a whole series of issues, the first one being how to pick and designate the "trusted admins", what kind of power they have, how conviction is determined, etc... It can also raise protest amongst the people who want to consider online communities as a "free" society where they do not need to enforce real life social codes... IMHO the admin factor strongly participated in the success of bungie.net creating one of the tightest, most dynamic and interesting communities in the realm of online gaming. The Myth series was not a RPG, neither was it truely massive or persistent... The concept of adminhood in a MMOG might not be valid, but it might be worth to explore it. Whatever anti-cheat technology is applied, it will never match a human judge.
    • If you can't abide cheating, play Phantasy Star Online when it comes out on Nintendo GameCube, until such time as it's hacked by man-in-the-middle PC-based attacks (what, a couple weeks, I'd say?).

      From a cheating point of view, anything with information exchange on a higher level than an X server is vulnerable to client-trust attacks. It's also practically impossible to avoid memory-retention and skill-enhancing hacks which can use nothing more than the data that must be displayed to the player.

      The embarrassing situation is that the most significant security technique in use is obscurity (usually no-source binaries such as commercial games or "blessed" clients). So, relatively speaking, I'd say for the most part yes.

    • I don't think being closed source would make it any more protected from cheats. Its all a matter of what you trust the client with, or rather what you don't trust it with. Then its all up to the server to be secure.
    • Oh, no no that's not cheating. It's called using a magic spell!
  • The site is choking..
  • For the past 2 years, WorldForge has been able to provide for all of its own infrastructural needs. We have been experimenting with SourceForge for a few weeks, and it has some nice features yet may be too limited for our future needs. Should we continue use of SourceForge for functions not yet provided by the WorldForge infrastructure, or should we strive to provide those same functions under our own control, ourselves? Would it be worth setting up the SourceForge software on a WorldForge infrastructure server for purposes of managing the sub-projects within WorldForge? Definitely something to think about this weekend.
    • I'm hainging out on the Worldforge IRC right now, and I'd like to point out that nobody there has the slightest idea what this guy's babbling about.
      • Well, I think i know what he's babbling about...

        See, 3/4 year ago or so we had to relocate our website and some other services. SourceForge was one option we considered. We didn't.

        And seems he has been twisting that discussion beyond recognision.
    • It would be more correct to say SourceForge has never been considered as more than a interesting toy. All of WF's infrastructure is in house, thanks to our great infra team. Bug tracking, newsgroups, mailing lists, irc, cvs, web, ftp, game servers, zope, wiki, eidetic, we all run our own. Besides, SourceForge is way more confusing than WorldForge. :)
    • Well we've got CVS, IRC, mailing lists, request tracker and a website. The machines hosting them should scale to a few more game projects, at least. You're all welcome, but I guess we're going to have to get some more folks with spare machines and bandwidth to support the whole open source gaming community. That said, we've done pretty well with the odd collection of boxes our developers have lent us.
  • development pace (Score:3, Interesting)

    by b-side.org (533194) <bside AT b-side DOT org> on Saturday November 03, 2001 @12:55PM (#2516404) Homepage
    not to be rude or anything, but WF makes Mozilla look like linux - development is just plain glacial.

    a lot of the slowness seems to center around the core design of building dozens of tiny servers to manage each part of the protocol stack, but a large part of it also can be attributed to a lack of clear goals. it seems like no one is really certain what's going to be done and how it's going to get done.

    not that there's anything 'wrong' with that, but it's interesting to see the way large products take shape. it seems like the success or failure of most open source projects can be directly correlated to the amount of obsession some central figure has about getting them running.
    • Besides, I have exclusive rights on dissin' Worldforge's procrastination, and even I'm sure that one day (2010?) someone is gunna idly say to me "I was playing worldforge last night and.." and I'm just gunna stare blankly at them and say "you were what?" and they'll repeat themselves and I'll say "but it was slow/broken/lame right?" and they'll say "no, it kicks arse man, it's a triumph of open source development" or something and I'm just gunna freak the hell out and start stabbing myself with a fork or something.
    • Re:development pace (Score:3, Informative)

      by ZephyrAlfredo (14610)
      >not to be rude or anything, but WF makes Mozilla look like linux - development is just plain glacial.

      I don't fully understand your analogy - a 3 year project (WF) makes another 3 year project (Mozilla) look like a 9 year project (linux) - but I believe WF has done well for a distributed volunteer effort. Unlike mozilla, none of us are employed by WorldForge, and unlike linux, we don't have a heritage of bad and good OS design to learn from. MOGs are the bleeding edge, which is a good place to be. :)

      Also, I believe some careful examination of WorldForge will reveal that we only have 2 different game servers, Cyphesis and STAGE, and that our goals are clearer than many open projects. Witness the rapidly growing Mason documentation at http://moria.mit.edu:8080/wf/dev/systems/in_develo pment/mason and the almost completely defined acorn rules at http://www.worldforge.org/website/rules/acorn/rule s . I believe that WorldForge seeming slow would only be because we need more help, not that we're unfocused. ;)
      • Re:development pace (Score:2, Interesting)

        by b-side.org (533194)
        I don't fully understand your analogy - a 3 year project (WF) makes another 3 year project (Mozilla) look like a 9 year project (linux)

        In three years (!) mozilla has a useable browser, but only barely. Linux changes daily. Sometimes it makes a little move backwards, but it's generally been a straight curve forward and up.

        Compared to that, in three years WF is, well.. it's pretty much exactly the same as it was 2 years ago. When did the first Acorn betas start showing up?

        Actually, it's not at all my intent to diss WF - you guys are working on a huge project. I'm just sayin', it's slow like death.
    • by SpeedBump0619 (324581) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @02:18PM (#2516547)
      ...just plain glacial.

      Yep, huge, slow, steady, and relatively unstoppable. Good description.

      ...dozens of tiny servers to manage each part of the protocol stack...

      hmm...I think you may misunderstand the reasons for those "dozens of tiny servers". I won't dispute the WF has created many servers, but most of them are developmental. As I see it, once everything is in place a world will be made up of 4 servers:
      1) a metaserver (so you can find the game you want)
      2) a media server (providing all the graphics in your chosen game)
      3) the game server (you know...the thing that actually does something)
      4) the AI "server" (which looks like a client to the game server, running the NPCs)

      all of these can be colocated if you choose, but we are developing with a goal of distributed world processing, so it makes *sense* to do some subdivisions.

      ...no one is really certain what's going to be done and how it's going to get done.

      This is really only half true. We *do* have a good idea of what is going to be done. I suggest you look at the documentation on the Mason game. All of that is planning, determining what needs to be done, and what *doesn't* need doing (yet in some cases).

      Sadly, I do have to admit to not knowing how it's all going to get done. As I've never done it, or anything like it, previously this is new territory. I find that part of it's appeal, the exploration of something new.

      ...the success or failure of most open source projects can be directly correlated to the amount of obsession some central figure...

      This is close, but not quite correct I think. Who is the obsessive figurehead behind Mozilla, Linux, Gimp? Maybe they do have one, but my guess is on something more fundamental: Vision. The developers of all successful open source projects have a common vision, and that vision is what binds and drives them. Sometimes that *is* one inspired person, and at other times it is a community vision.

      -SpeedBump the verbose
      • Re:development pace (Score:3, Interesting)

        by praedor (218403)

        I had forgotten its existence until this Slashdot article. I slipped on over, expecting something new and...nope, pretty much the same as when I last checked it out.


        Since I am not a coder, I can't join up on that front. I went to see about possible clients. Same old thing, you click on the clients link and get a short list of clients, none of them playable. The really interesting ones (the 3d clients) are all but useless...and Geosil, you get a page telling about it and bunch of bforken links to screenshots. It is absolutely not downloadable. There is NO download link anywhere. What's the point? No source, no alpha or beta level client, nothing.


        None of the 2d clients are really usable yet either. Nothing beyond 3 lvl and 3 lvl is not playable.


        Oh well, I guess I check back in a couple of years and see if anything has changed.


        Quick question...is Worldforge going slower or faster than Golgotha Forever (the game that is literally taking "forever" to get anywhere)? The problem here is that by the time anything is useable and playable, the graphics tech will be sooo far behind it will be like playing Centipede in a world of Half-Life or Halo.


        I would like to see something really cool come of this but games are just not an area where open source works well. Companies push the envelope and are constantly getting places with really cool AI and REALLY great graphics, etc. The glacial development time for all the open source game projects assures that anything produced will ALWAYS be generations behind LAST year's commercial games.



        • I had forgotten its existence until this Slashdot article. I slipped on over, expecting something new and...nope, pretty much the same as when I last checked it out.

          Couple reasons for this. First, development at WorldForge (like most open source projects) is kinda seasonal, and so over the summer development was in fact slow. Second, most of our website developers have been focused on our next generation website (you can preview here [seul.org] and here/A>). [seul.org]

          However, there *has* been a great deal of low level achievements - libraries, server code, databases, etc. And activity has really picked up a huge amount of steam over the last month, now that summer's over and everyone's ready for more development. Most people are extremely enthused about our new game Mason [mit.edu], which just entered implementation.

          I would like to see something really cool come of this but games are just not an area where open source works well.

          Common fallacy. *Some* types of games may not do well if following open source principles. Plots are difficult to keep secret, and of course it is by definition no prob to determine all of the rule algorithms, AI secrets, etc. But in my opinion, relying on "secrets" to make a game fun is foolish and destined to break as soon as someone posts a spoiler list to the Internet. I believe most *good* game designs would have no particular issue with open source development, any more so than a photoshop-clone or an alternative desktop. It's just a matter of getting enough folks to put the work into chipping in to create it.

          Another oft-cited reason why open source games "can't be" is that they are by nature multi-disciplinary. You need musicians, writers, and artists, in addition to programmers. But I feel this is just a difficulty of mindset. Other game projects have had difficulty finding and coordinating such people, but WorldForge hasn't; there are lots of these people out there, and while the idea of allowing their work to be shared under the GPL is novel to them, many are willing to work under that condition anyway.

          It really boggles me why people who can be so gung-ho about open sourcing everything under the sun would stop shy of games? FreeCiv, TuxRacer, NetHack, and thousands of smaller games prove that such assertions are in fact false. Yeah, making good games is difficult, but not nearly as hard as making a good operating system, web browser, office suite, or desktop system, which I think we can agree that are well within our community's grasp.

          WorldForge *will* succeed. It might take us a heck of a long time, but we set out our plans and objectives a couple years ago and have been achieving the milestones slowly but surely. Trust me, we too would like to see results come more swiftly. The only thing we need to accelerate is your help. :-)

          • I like and support open source but do not expect that EVERYTHING should or reasonably could be open source. Just isn't going to happen and needn't.


            Games, in general, are NOT interchangeable with wordprocessors, graphic manip apps, mathematics apps, email apps, browsers, etc. Games are a special case of software. You hit on a few examples: Freeciv (sorry, not as good STILL as is Civ II but it will do in a pinch), Nethack (of limited interest - a VERY special genre), Tuxracer (cute, which about sizes it up...I frickin' HATE arcade-like games like this). Not a single open source game even comes close to coolness, beauty, and technical greatness that is there in Quake, Half-Life, Deus Ex, and so forth. There isn't even a single open source game that can hit the coolness and fun level of Duke Nukem 3D. It had a level of sophistication that just isn't there for open source games. There isn't anything out there that can approach Diablo or Diablo II for finish and sophistication.


            I am going to give worldforge a try, but I certainly can't see it taking much game time from Deus Ex or reruns of Half-Life for me. It, like FreeCiv are likely to be things I occasionally do for a little simple variety and rest. I really do not intend this to be an insult, for the worldforge work, is an impressive thing for hobbyists and rare/part-timers.

            • Have you ever seriously tried Nethack? ZAngband? Any of the better text adventures [textfire.org]? If you're only talking games which appeal based on whiz-bang graphics and slick packaging, you're right -- commercial ventures tend to do much better. However, I don't think I've ever played a commercial game with the depth of Nethack or the flat-out fun of BZFlag (on a low-lag, very busy server), and no commercial game gives me the fun of being able to meddle with the code in the manner that these do (QuakeC and its ilk just don't cut it).

              Of course, that may just be me. I didn't particularly like Duke Nukem 3D, and Half Life bored me quickly. While the Diablo games may have the eye candy, the older dungeon crawlers have much more detail in their worlds and potential ranges of action -- you'd just have to play 'em to see.
        • Quick question...is Worldforge going slower or faster than Golgotha Forever (the game that is literally taking "forever" to get anywhere)?

          Last time I heard anything from Golgotha Forever, they were "trying" to restart the development - the team wasn't too eager to continue anymore. The code [sourceforge.net] is out there though...

          Last time I checked the actual game, the engine looked pretty nice, the game was missing =)

          And hey, the fact that game gets long development things isn't a factor - usually it's just an indicator that game may actually be [bwgame.com] pretty good [codemasters.com]. (or not. [werewolves.org])

      • This is close, but not quite correct I think. Who is the obsessive figurehead behind Mozilla, Linux, Gimp?

        Mozilla, the slowest of the bunch, doesn't have one. Gimp was Mattis and Kimball, and went from .0 to 1.0 in a blaze, and has stalled since. Linux, I believe, has an obvious obsessive figurehead.
    • Actually, it's more like the problem is clear but unprioritized goals that have zilch to do with actual gameplay fun. This might have changed since I hung out with WorldForge people- dunno- doesn't sound like it.

      By this I mean: by the time you actually _have_ elves and barbarians and such, or whatever you have in the way of gameplay, you also have houses composed of zillions of individual 'brick' objects which are independently quarried and sold by autonomous mason software 'agents' so peasants make their houses brick by brick and you can do the same- it'll take several months- and at some point you have to ask, why? WorldForge much more closely resembles an academic project than any sort of game. This is a fine thing- but I don't think that means it's going to turn INTO a game, ever.

      What's going to be done is 'everything'. If you needed half a brick, you'd be able to go to a house anywhere, break the wall, get a brick out, break the brick and dynamically form two half-brick objects. A new type of object! Exciting! Who knows what you can do in a game where you can dynamically create wholly new types of objects due to the great flexibility of the underlying software! I'll tell you- you can sit there holding half a brick. If that bores you, you can break it again, and sit there holding a quarter of a brick. Maybe you can hit somebody with it, though there is a (laudable) pacifist streak in WorldForge development that makes it questionable you'd be allowed to do unkind things like that.

      WorldForge is an impressive dream- but it shouldn't be considered a game. Perhaps it'd be better considered an artificial-life or artificial-world project.

      • I'm not entirely certain I know how to respond to this, but the thinly veiled sarcasm and factual inaccuracies beg a response so I'll give it a try.

        ...you also have houses composed of zillions of individual 'brick' objects...

        This isn't really true. You seem to be taking concepts from *one* game, taking them to absurd lengths, and applying them to the whole of the project.

        Therefore, to clarify, we are talking about Mason, a game which is primarilly a proof of concept game. I suggest the interested look at the overview, located here [mit.edu].

        Since this game is centered around *construction* there is a high degree of user involvement in the construction of new things. This does not imply that *all* games will focus so tightly on this one aspect, but rather that future games will be built upon the discoveries and developments made through implementing Mason.

        ...peasants make their houses brick by brick

        This is highly deceptive. Peasants *can* make buildings brick by brick if they so choose, and in a large game you can be certain several will want to (see the "I want to bake bread" article [imaginary.com]). However there are higher level methods for building objects. You could contract to get your house built, paying an NPC to build it from a blueprint that you provide, or that you select from the ones the builder might provide. Or, if you don't really want the immersive feel, just have the builders point and click and *bamf* insta house. These options are *game* specific, not specific to the underlying software.

        Who knows what you can do in a game where you can dynamically create wholly new types of objects due to the great flexibility of the underlying software! I'll tell you- you can sit there holding half a brick.

        First of all, half a brick isn't a new type of object, it's just a different sized brick. As to the *point* of what you are trying to say, yes, you can dynamically create things in Mason which were not initially in the game. That is the *point* of the game. The natural question that follows is: "Is this useful? Will it make the game more interesting?"

        to this I can only respond with an opinion:

        This is this same flexibility that will allow truly innovative solutions to game problems. The ability to create new, unexpected things (traps, weapons, mazes with sliding walls), to alter the game world (avalanche/mudslide, dams, earthworks, canals) and to integrate those things into the world will add to the richness of the world. An interesting, changing world will captivate the imagination of the gamer, something sorely lacking in most computer games today.

        ...there is a (laudable) pacifist streak...

        I have no idea where this notion came from.

        Though pacifism may be laudable, it is not overly present in the hallowed halls of worldforge. Combat is not central to our current development. When we have more foundation, combat systems will be implemented. If you look around the web site you can probably find references to how such things will be designed. However, there are more fundamental things to develop before any usable system could be implemented. If you can't wait I suggest you go play quake.

        -SpeedBump the even more verbose
      • Actually, it's more like the problem is clear but unprioritized goals that have zilch to do with actual gameplay fun. This might have changed since I hung out with WorldForge people- dunno- doesn't sound like it.

        By this I mean: by the time you actually _have_ elves and barbarians and such, or whatever you have in the way of gameplay, you also have houses composed of zillions of individual 'brick' objects which are independently quarried and sold by autonomous mason software 'agents' so peasants make their houses brick by brick and you can do the same- it'll take several months- and at some point you have to ask, why? WorldForge much more closely resembles an academic project than any sort of game. This is a fine thing- but I don't think that means it's going to turn INTO a game, ever.

        There's a lot of stuff that a game requires that don't have sqat to do with 'fun'. Some of the initial specs laid down may have been over the top, but that is why some of us are going through and cutting down on the chaff that isn't needed to get the game made. Not to say that it may not be added later, but quite a few people are working on going through and prioritizing this kind of stuff. You seem to have knowledge of it, so if you'd care to come back, I'm sure your input would be welcome.

      • We plan to have low-level building blocks, with high-level facades. So, once you've built a brick wall, it will be represented as a "wall of bricks", not "a brick", "a brick", "a brick", "a brick", "a brick", "a brick"....

        Likewise, you won't direct your character "put a brick here, and another one there, and another there." You'll give her a blueprint, and she will decide where the bricks go.

        Also, bricks aren't quarried. :)

        Worldforge isn't pacifist (in its gaming), it's anti-Hack-And-Slash. That means that we don't consider combat the first priority, but we do plan to implement it. Since building a MMORPG is such a huge task, we're building in stages: first a simple game to just get the base technology in place (Acorn, completed), then a game to get more complex entities, servers, and physics (Mason), and then more games, which will eventually include combat.

        Questions? Find me online: novalis on irc.worldforge.org, #lounge. We like newbies.

        P.S. to Chris: I don't remember you being involved with WF, but we would love to have you -- I've always admired your Slashdot posts.
    • "not to be rude or anything, but WF makes Mozilla look like linux - development is just plain glacial."

      Yep, glacial is about right. I don't think anyone knew how long it would take to get a working game out, even one as simple as Acorn. At least now we have a core team that actually has experience in getting a game out there. I think that will be the key to our success from now onward.
  • by cartographer (12282) on Saturday November 03, 2001 @01:34PM (#2516465) Homepage
    This is a list from a website mirror a couple months old, so you might have a few broken links. But here are some locations where you can get wf code and media without going through the bogged down main page.

    Enjoy
    _____________________________________________

    Main Download Site

    The primary worldforge ftp site is at this location:
    ftp://victor.worldforge.org/pub/worldforge

    Mirror sites are also available at the following locations:

    ftp://two.woovis.com/pub/worldforge thanks to James Nugen
    http://grimicus.dyndns.org/pub/worldforge/ thanks to Dan Tomalesky
    http://kafka.i-site.com/~novalis/mirrors/wf/downlo ads Pennsylvania, USA thanks to Dave Turner
    http://kafka.i-site.com/~novalis/mirrors/wf-debian / Pennsylvania, USA thanks to Anders Petersson
    http://purple.worldforge.org/wf/downloads/ Colorado, USA thanks to anubis
    ftp://ftp.fr.gnome.org/pub/worldforge/ Paris, France thanks to Alexis de Lattre
  • Um, if you're interested in networked applications involving 3D graphics, such as most modern games (including MMORPGS), you might want to check out Verse [sourceforge.net].

    Briefly, Verse is a system (network protocol, client library, and a lightweight server) to make development of such applications easier. It's based on cool tech (such as subdivision surfaces), almost completely free and open (we use GPL, LGPL and BSD licenses), and best of all: not vapor!

    Verse has been under development by two full-time developers for over 20 months, so we sure have code. If this sounds interesting, swing by the above SourceForge page and take a look. Thanks.
    • Interesting (Score:1, Informative)

      by Rykard (519520)
      But I don't quite see what an re-invented and extended VRML has to do with WF ;)
      Unfortunately, a dedicated 3d protocol doesn't do us all that much good, as our clients all use the same protocol, and vary from text clients to isometric 2d clients and fully-3d clients, which means our protocol has to be 'generic' as possible. I can see the use if we were making a game that was dedicated to 3d only clients, but unfortunately, this is not the case.
      That being said... one of us will probably pick it apart to see if there is anything we can use :)
  • ...in an open source project with a task as broad as "make an MMORPG", how do you guys decide what KIND of MMORPG to devote your energies to? Fantasy? Sci-Fi? Historical? Western? Horror? Noir? There are so many options.

    My question is, what is the decision-making process you folks go through to get all the development troops working on the same code, when some of them want to code in Elves and others want to code in Stormtroopers? And how is/was the Elves vs Stormtroopers decision reached?

    -Kasreyn

    • Easy. You simply program them both in, and let the Stormtroopers blow the elves back to Kingdom Come.

      Seriously, though. The main point of WF is to create the infrastructure that someone can build any game they want on top of. The games that WF puts out are, as I understand it, meant to be proofs of concept and testbeds for testing and improving the underlying architecture.

      Once the foundation is up and running, it can be used for the basis of an MMORPG western, feudal Japan, dystopian future, or "run around with a mallet bopping other players on the head" game. A cool game coming out of this will simply be icing on the cake.
    • THe simple solution: Having the core being generic as possible. I'm not saying that someone who wants to make a game using WorldForge will not have to do any coding, but they won't have to tear apart the whole server/client to change one little thing. Individual games that we are working on producing are laid out in a battleplan, and are what we use for milestones and targets. I.E. Stage (our server software) must have X functionality to implement Mason (our current milestone target project), so.. time to get cracking on it. However, the game-specific stuff is isolated into RIMs (Rule Implentation Modules) which provide for the resolution of game-specific things, and sit on 'top' of Stage... I probably have half of this bass-ackwards, and I'm sure the rest of the crew will correct me where I am wrong (not to mention kick my ass)
      So basically... we skip over the Elves/Stormtrooper issue for the most part. The games we have/plan on making are mostly set in a world that has been more or less jointly developed by Worldforgers. We basically operate as an anarchy with a large degree of co-operation and agreement.
    • ...in an open source project with a task as broad as "make an MMORPG", how do you guys decide what KIND of MMORPG to devote your energies to? Fantasy? Sci-Fi? Historical? Western? Horror? Noir? There are so many options.

      My question is, what is the decision-making process you folks go through to get all the development troops working on the same code, when some of them want to code in Elves and others want to code in Stormtroopers? And how is/was the Elves vs Stormtroopers decision reached?


      Generally this sort of thing is decided in a similar way that it happens in commercial games. A document (an example for Acorn is here) is written which contains all of the basic elements which are to be included in a game. This document is submitted for peer review and the details are hashed out then. Of course there is flexibility in this document and if a person can convince the project head to include it then the idea is adopted and implemented. If the person can't convince the project head then they're free to implement their own version of the game with the feature that they desire. Therein lies the beauty of Open Source/Free Software. If you don't like something then you're free to change it! :-) [worldforge.org]

      Our eventual goal is that WorldForge will be easy enough to use that a person will be able to easily create their own games with only a modicum of technical expertise.

      If you'd like to see some ideas for games that we're thinking about making then you should head over to:

      http://www.neptune.net/~bryce/Wiki/wf_plan/main. cg i/18

      The site is a little dated and the games we make could change but the games listed as planned will give you a good idea about the things we're looking at doing.
    • My question is, what is the decision-making process you folks go through to get all the development troops working on the same code, when some of them want to code in Elves and others want to code in Stormtroopers? And how is/was the Elves vs Stormtroopers decision reached?

      We reached a rough concensus, then wrote it down and are sticking to it. ;-)

      The compromise we came up with was to modularize and generalize the hell out of the code, so it can be used for either. The cost? Such code is a heck of a lot harder to design and takes a heck of a lot longer to write. But the benefit, of course, is that then it can be used for a lot of really creative ideas that probably would never have seen the light of day without it.

      In general, when approaching a problem we first encourage people to try a variety of solutions and compete. This usually shakes out a few good options, from which a decision is pretty easily made. We'd follow that same approach when choosing game concepts - give us a solid, detailed, implementable design document, or artwork collection, or engine, or whatever, and we'll support it. In general, we believe that more choice means more goodness, and we try to follow that principle as much as we can.

  • Does anyone know specifically where to download the Win32 binaries of the UClient for Acorn? The only place I see win32 mentioned, it points to an ftp site, and I don't see em there.

    I'm currently downloading the Linux "Min" ISO. Does anyone know if they're contained on this cd? I hella wanna tryout Acorn but I don't currently have a Linux box/partition running.
  • I'm not much of a computer gamer, but I do love a weekend session of Dungeons & Dragons with good friends. However, the core group, I used to play with now live all over Europe. We have been looking for software, which could enable us to play together online. However, the few pieces of software, we have found are just too poor.

    Someone told me that NeverWinterNights might be what I am seeking with the tools it's being released with. I wouldn't know, but personally I would prefer an open-source piece of software, if it could meet requirements.

    What we want is something, which just allows the 7 of us to join up online. We need to role dice, send secret messages, chat, character management, combat situation setup, push pictures (from GM), movement of characters and that the Game Master has total control over all of this. (additional points on the desire list is: webcam conferencing, audio chat and GM controlled background music depending on situation).

    Is WorldForge the right direction to look? Is something like this already available using the WF engine? Half the group are coders, so how much work might it take to develop such an app built on WF?

    • How about www.openrpg.com [openrpg.com]? The screenshots [openrpg.com] look pretty cool.


      -- juju
    • GRIP has a server and a client, and it runs an IRC like chat utility, has mapping (including a neat fog of war/visibility capability and maps that reveal as you move through them), GM to group and GM to player interactions, the ability of the GM or players to exchange media, the ability to make requests for die rolls from players, built in dice rolling, and lots of other neat stuff.

      My only complaint was a little while back it had some limited capability re: firewalls, but that was being worked on.

      Take a gander at Fantasy Realms [rpgrealms.com] - Look for the little links at the top to GRIP and iPC.
    • OpenRPG [openrpg.com]

      Open source role playing application - I believe it's written in Python and can run on both Windows and Linux platforms. Offers dice rollers, maps, minature battles, adventure building, chatting, etc. ... I haven't used it yet, but it seems to work for others and I am planning to give it a try soon ...

    • What we want is something, which just allows the 7 of us to join up online. We need to role dice, send secret messages, chat, character management, combat situation setup, push pictures (from GM), movement of characters and that the Game Master has total control over all of this. (additional points on the desire list is: webcam conferencing, audio chat and GM controlled background music depending on situation).

      Is WorldForge the right direction to look? Is something like this already available using the WF engine? Half the group are coders, so how much work might it take to develop such an app built on WF?

      WorldForge has a very broad set of ambitions, and in fact what you describe sounds very cool and very much like something we'd want to be able to provide to the world. Some of it can be done via IRC, and in fact WF has done some gaming this way. Our game server STAGE will support being able to do this eventually, but it does not do this yet. Mostly it's just an issue of getting enough folks who are interested in creating it involved in WF. We can teach you how to do it and provide the tools and design ideas to implement it.

  • I'm just going through the acorn screenshots and they are truly slick. What I like most about them - taste. Balance. Realism. Detail.

    A big improvement from when I last look in a few months ago, keep it up guys, this is great, it's really getting that professional fit and finish.

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