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Saga of Ryzom, Free and Open Source Software? 164

Posted by Hemos
from the i-call-on-the-community dept.
chew827 writes "Nevrax has been suffering bankruptcy and is in the process of liquidation and are trying to sell the Saga of Ryzom, the #3 rated MMORPG on mmorpg.com, to any prospective buyers. A group has assembled to try and raise enough funds to buy the intellectual property and open it under the GPL license — something Ton Roosendaal did for Blender."
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Saga of Ryzom, Free and Open Source Software?

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  • I have several friends playing this game and do actually have it installed but only have internet in the office right now. However this is one cause I think I will be getting out the cheque book for - from what I saw of it looks a rather nice game that I would certainly like to play!
    • Question: what happens to your money if they don't reach the sum it takes to buy it? Now, if those folks had heard about fundable.org you wouldn't have to worry about that.
      • Duh, I see now that they're just solicting pledges for now. Still, using fundable could save them from unpleasant suprises when the pledges are to be collected.
  • Evil Plan (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PsyQo (1020321)
    Blizzard buys it and then shuts it down to eliminate the competition. It is evil, but hey, it has been done before and they have cash-a-plenty.
    • It's already GPLed (Score:3, Insightful)

      by _KiTA_ (241027)
      I could see some other, dumber, companies doing this, but Ryzom is a niche game, there's no way they'd waste money to but it just to shut it down.

      I find it interesting to note that Saga of Ryzom's parent company already GPLed the engine -- but offers a non-GPLed version for a fee:

      http://www.nevrax.org/tikiwiki/tiki-index.php [nevrax.org]

      So it should be trivial to get the end product.
      • The game itself is not. The content, storyline, etc. is owned by Neverax and Ryzom itself
        would have to be "bought" from them to GPL or Creative Commons license it unless the
        receivers from the bankruptcy allow it (Which is usually unlikely...)
    • by Nos. (179609)
      Definitely something they might consider, but I'm hoping they wouldn't sell it like that. This is obviously a fairly one sided crowd, but wouldn't you rather take less money to see your creation go on, evolve, and continue to be appreciated, rather than buried by the competition, even if you had no further involvement?
  • by Rinzai (694786) on Monday November 27, 2006 @11:37AM (#17002774) Journal
    ...in being #3.

    Horizons has gone through some owners, as well, and even got Peter S. Beagle to take over some of the story writing. I'm not surprised that Ryzom is hitting the skids, though, as WoW pretty much has every moron in the world ponying up for the pleasure.

    Can't stand WoW myself. Not too fond of Ryzom, either, come to think of it.

    What's fascinating to me is that City of Heroes and City of Villains continue to do well in spite of the WoW-ed world. I guess it's just the fantasy genre that's too crowded.

    All you fantasy MMORPG developers that haven't made it to market yet, take heed, sez I.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kyokugenryu (817869)
      The reason I play WoW is the massive community, the insane amount of content to cover, and most of all, the PVP. When I played CoH, there was no PVP, so I wanted nothing to do with it. City of Villains added it, but I can't be arsed trying it out. NCSoft has a far superior game in Lineage II, which is the best PVP game I've ever played. Guild Wars has decent PVP as well. WoW's PVP is fun, but it's nothing compared to L2. PVP is the main reason I keep a sub for L2 AND WoW.
      • I've played WoW, and switched over to Eve Online several months back. While WoW's PvP didn't win me over, I find that in Eve it actually means something, and it's far, far more integral to the player experience than the simple Alliance-Horde split in WoW.
      • by symbolic (11752)
        Lineage 2 - I know this sounds weird, but despite the farmers, the griefing, the endless walking, and the insane amounts of grinding required to level, I kind of miss it. I didn't get too far (only a 40 dwarf and a 30 archer), but it still had some kind of obscure appeal. I was never a strong PvP player, but I still think the environment is kind of cool.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm not surprised that you don't like WoW. A lot of people don't like it merely because it's popular. Maybe you're one of them, I don't know. A lot of people don't like WoW because they can't stand how long it takes to get the best gear. Perhaps those people should see the changes Blizzard is making with 2.0 and the expansion. And even more people think that in WoW if you don't raid with 40 people you can never compete. So that is the whole casual vs. hard-core debate. Again, I offer that these peopl
    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      Cities of X have the mixed benefit of being dead fucking simple. There's very little traditional loot (almost all of which can actually be bought in the in-game stores) and most of the gameplay is based around instanced maps. What world-map hunting there is consists mostly of 'Defeat X of Y Faction' or hunting specific critter types to earn kills toward badges... which, by and large, have no in-game effect. With the exception of the very sparse end-game content, it's focused almost entirely on casual pla
      • by araemo (603185)
        "Unless there's story being doled out in bite-sized pieces (like what City of X does, and like the original Asheron's Call did), or a steadily changing menagerie of things to hit and loot to show off, you're going to lose all but the worst fanboys and the most abjectly obsessive-compulsive players."

        Interesting way to put it. I've played a few MMO's(all during the beta stages, very few of them kept the fun when they started 'fixing' things for release - like how long it took to level, and the cost of items
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Bieeanda (961632)
          I'm definitely in for the lore and exploration in these games; if there's a way that I can avoid whacking the monsters, I'll take it. What had me hooked on CoX for over a straight year was that just about everything moving had a bit of back-story. If it's a quest-giver, you can click and see their background. If it's a monster, you can click a couple of times to see a textual description. Lots of mission objectives give you little clues that you can bring up in a window, and when you finish a story arc y
    • by smbarbour (893880)
      I'm not entirely sure where the #3 ranking came from...

      Looking at MMORPG.com's game list sorted by ranking descending (highest ranking first), Ryzom is ranked #6.

      For perspective though... World of Warcraft is #14, and FlyFF (a free-to-play MMORPG) is #11.

      I've never played WoW myself, so I can't attest to the ratings system, but I'd guess its based on fanboyism and the quality of the game (The #1 game, EVE Online, would be well worth the money to play in my opinion. But until I start paying for EVE, I'll b
    • by murdocj (543661)
      Can't stand WoW myself. Not too fond of Ryzom, either, come to think of it.

      Yeah, having fun in a well designed, well maintained virtual world with great atmosphere is a real drag, I can't imagine why anyone would do that.

      whups, gotta go, raid coming up...

  • Not a guarantee (Score:3, Insightful)

    by El Lobo (994537) on Monday November 27, 2006 @11:38AM (#17002786)
    Making a project Free and/or Open Source doesn't automatically makes it better no matter what some zealots may say. In this case, a MMORPG project may or may not be suitable to such a change. The advantage of MMORPGs in the form that we all know is that one or several servers are run by an entity/company by its rules and the server rules are stricytly controlled by them.

    Open Source almost always equalös division and we will see millions of variations of modifications that will be incompatible with each other and that will bring down the quality of the game.
    • I beg to differ.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CptnHarlock (136449)
      Of course there will be "millions of variations" (heh, dream on.. :P .. hundred(s) at the most i guess), but all the bad ones will die out or just be played by the gangs that cooked them together. The good ones will attract more players and developers and thus - evolve. Also, open source software being used on a server doesn't mean that a server admin can not be BOFH:ish and impose strict rules.

      Cheers..
    • Re:Not a guarantee (Score:5, Interesting)

      by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday November 27, 2006 @11:53AM (#17003032) Homepage Journal

      Making a project Free and/or Open Source doesn't automatically makes it better no matter what some zealots may say.

      Who said it would make it better? What it will do is make it Free, so lots of people who want to can run their own servers and play with their own virtual worlds.

      we will see millions of variations of modifications that will be incompatible with each other and that will bring down the quality of the game.

      Some will be much worse than the original, probably few will add high-quality content, but some may become very good indeed. I think the biggest attraction for those who want to play the games, though (as opposed to those who find it more fun to hack on them) is the ability to run your own server. I was a big EQ fan a few years ago, and I think it would be great fun to explore Norrath with a small group of friends. I probably wouldn't change the content at all, either, except to dramatically reduce spawn rates in many areas so a strategy of exploration could be successful.

      It's entirely possible that an open source MMORPG could even spark some more competition in the genre by lowering the barrier to entry. There's no reason multiple companies couldn't be founded who charge for access to their Ryzom-based worlds, perhaps collaborating on engine features while competing on content.

      All in all, I'd say we have no idea what might result from the availability of a high-quality Free MMORPG. I pledged 20 euros because I'd like to find out.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by simm1701 (835424)
        Actually there are a couple of groups which provides such servers

        One I played on for a while is http://www.shardsofdalaya.com/ [shardsofdalaya.com]

        Its free but they accept donations and is several versions of the game behind (ie lots of the new content is not there) but I prefer that. The storyline for the world has also been largely rewritten - its not the same game at all - just using a lot of the same engine and zones.

        They also heavily enforce role play which was my main apeal in playing it. (and they enforce it consistantly
      • by archen (447353)
        I was a big EQ fan a few years ago, and I think it would be great fun to explore Norrath with a small group of friends.

        Heh, I never thought of that. You know many of these MMORPGs I tend to hate because of the traffic and people, but letting you on a server with a bunch of friends really does sound like an all out blast. I wonder if World of Warcraft would survive one day in this manner.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ImTheDarkcyde (759406)
        making something Open Source does not make it free- look at quake 1, 2, and 3. Source Code freely downloadable, but not the game content.
        • by swillden (191260) *
          True, but in this case, there wouldn't seem to be any reason the liquidator would sell the engine and content separately. About the only way I could see that happening would be if the content was actually licensed from a third party and the liquidator didn't have a right to sell it. It seems more likely that components of the game engine would fall into that category, actually.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by KDR_11k (778916)
          The engine is opensource already, what they're trying to buy is the rest.
    • by gigne (990887)
      No, it doesn't necessarily make it better, but someone with time and inspiration could do so.
      I play text based MUD's (yes, still), and most of those are forks from the original (open Source) DikuMUD [wikipedia.org] code. This then led to the more widely forked MERC engine. Some forks are good, some are bad.

      It's the choice that matters.
      • by Drey (1420)
        It's not correct to call DIKU open source; DIKU has a profit prohibition in its license which is incompatible with most open source licenses.

        Your comment about the DIKU code base is misleading as well, since the "original DikuMUD" comment makes it sound as if that's where MUDs began when DIKU itself was not in the first generation.
        • by gigne (990887)
          Interesting stuff. Thanks for filling me in on the info.

          I only mentioned Diku as it was (in my limited experience) the most widely used codebase.

          Correct me if I am wrong.
        • by Huff (314296)
          The earliest mud was written at Colchester University back in 1979. Check out http://www.mud.co.uk/ [mud.co.uk] for a history.

          It's modern day versions are still running at www.mud2.co.uk and www.mud2.com
        • by drinkypoo (153816)
          It's not correct to call DIKU open source; DIKU has a profit prohibition in its license which is incompatible with most open source licenses.

          Open Source is a design methodology. You mean "Free Software". Diku is indeed Open Source. It is not Free (as per the Stallman definition.)

          • DIKU has a non-commercial, gotta e-mail the authors license, with an obnoxious author on the main intro screen name clause. But the source code is available and most people just ignore some of the license terms. Most people keep the author names in the intro screen out of respect though. The most bandied around example of license infringement is probably Medievia. They basically pissed on the license by making a commercial MUD out of it and ripping out the author credits.

            DIKU is however an awesome hack'

    • Sure, this is true. But no one was asking for a guarantee or expecting one. Fact is, it will not likely improve, and it's optimistic to think someone out there will maintain the current level of quality/service. But it will still be there in some fashion.

      What I think will improve are the development tools. An area where pretty much all companies skimp on (skimp is probably a generous term) even when the tools are part of the released product.

      As an asside...
      You ever meet someone who spends hours and hours ro
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Making a project Free and/or Open Source doesn't automatically makes it better no matter what some zealots may say.

      Actually, yes it does. Being Free/Open source is a feature. Your argument is like saying "adding support for other platforms doesn't make it better." Sure it does, although the end result of such additions will not necessarily be positive.

      The advantage of MMORPGs in the form that we all know is that one or several servers are run by an entity/company by its rules and the server rules are s

  • Learn to count for fuck sake !

    From the website: !

    Highest Ranked MMORPGs

    EVE Online Rating: 8.3
    Guild Wars Rating: 8.3
    EverQuest II Rating: 8.3
    Dark Age of Camelot Rating: 8.2
    Ryzom Rating: 8.2


    Looks like number 5 to me
    • by GooberToo (74388) on Monday November 27, 2006 @11:45AM (#17002888)
      Learn to count for fuck sake !
      Dark Age of Camelot Rating: 8.2
      Ryzom Rating: 8.2


      Looks like number 5 to me

      LOL. Looks like it is tied for number four to me! LOL!
      • by iainl (136759)
        Unless the numbers on the web are rounded, of course. Which would explain why the otherwise joint-first holders aren't in alphabetical, or any other obvious order.
    • The first three are joint-first.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aceticon (140883)
      I've played EVE Online in the past and although it's interesting at first, sooner or later one figures out that it overwelmingly consists of time sinks (eg travelling, mining, missions).

      I find it highly suspicious that it has 1st place. I seem to remember a "Vote for EVE Online at mmorpg.com" campaign (i still receive EVE Online newsleter e-mails).

      If the 1st place is suspect i reckon the rest of the list is suspect too.
    • by Saffaya (702234)
      In my tongue, it would be told as follows :

      EVE Online & Guild Wars & EverQuest II, First place ex-aequo with a Rating of 8.3
      Dark Age of Camelot & Ryzom , Second place ex-aequo with a rating of 8.2

      Yes, yes, I know.
      There is no room for the Ex-Aequo concept in the US culture. Every competion MUST have a WINNER and a LOSER, right ?
  • Rated for what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rhys (96510) on Monday November 27, 2006 @11:43AM (#17002862) Homepage
    It sure isn't quality. A friend of mine downloaded the free trial they have. He played for an hour or two then uninstalled it because it was that bad. I hit it back in open beta and concluded I wouldn't be buying it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aladrin (926209)
      Sadly, open beta was just after they destroyed the skill system. Prior to that, it was FUN. There were ways to use healers that could keep the whole team healed, if everyone worked together. You could go on long rampages and have a TON of fun. Nevrax had a 'it should take 6 months to max a character' policy and it could be done in 2 weeks with that skill system. So they didn't just nerf it, they completely reworked it.

      I quit open beta, and I played the free trial several times, and you're right. It ST
  • I played this game when it was back in beta. It wasn't horrible, but it didn't have that much that set it out from all the other generic MMORPGs I've seen.
  • Best of luck! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Monday November 27, 2006 @11:48AM (#17002968) Homepage Journal
    Link seems slashdotted, so here's the mirrordot. [mirrordot.org]

    While I personally hate MMORPGs, I wish these fans the best of luck in acquiring the game. Something as large and mainstream as the #3 MMO going FOSS can only mean good things for open-source in general.

    What I wonder, though, is who would actually run the game. A perusal of your fandom of choice's lower levels of fanfic will raise questions of the ability of even the most enthusiastic and well-meaning fans to actually run the canon.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jandrese (485)
      I wonder who's bright idea it was to make the donation meter Penis Shaped [mirrordot.org]. I can see where they were maybe trying for the thermometer look, but the proportions are all wrong.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      "Something as large and mainstream as the #3 MMO going FOSS can only mean good things for open-source in general."
      Not really.
      It could be a disaster. In fact I am betting that it will.
      Who is going to pay to run the servers? Bandwidth costs, and servers cost.
      How are you going to control cheating?
      It could be a great example of how FOSS can fail. So not it could also mean bad things for open-source in general.
      • Who is going to pay to run the servers? Bandwidth costs, and servers cost. How are you going to control cheating?

        Now that I think about it, I guess if the game goes FOSS anyone willing to agree to the license and donate the work and bandwidth will be able to start up their own Ryzom server, thus taking on the responsibility for maintainance and rules-enforcement individually. There won't just be one Ryzom game, there will be good and not-so-good private and public servers just as with other games out there

      • by Harker (96598)

        Who is going to pay to run the servers? Bandwidth costs, and servers cost.
        How are you going to control cheating?
        It could be a great example of how FOSS can fail. So not it could also mean bad things for open-source in general.

        FOSS does not necessarily (have to) mean free to play. If they can keep the game up and running, with a reasonable player base who pays their monthly dues, the game can at least break even and keep going.

        Most MMO's are priced so the company can make a (huge) profit off of it. It's wh

        • by LWATCDR (28044)
          I didn't say impossible I just said that it has the potential to be not good for FOSS.

          The really big problem I see is how to you police cheating? It is hard enough with closed source but how would you do it with an FOSS client?
  • Ryzom is rough, the graphics could use a touch of work, and it's nonetheless a bit quirky in the movement. All the downsides considered, Ryzom has interesting features like stanzas, supposed always moving roots in the sky, and a pretty decent looking enviroment. Open source doesn't always mean free however, and providing the means for thousands of people to connect and play would be a problem. However, it seems like enough people not unlike myself would be happy to host a server for a few hundred people mi
  • by nuzak (959558) on Monday November 27, 2006 @11:54AM (#17003040) Journal
    ... I haven't exactly seen an explosion of free MMORPG's hit the scene despite the core engine of Ryzom having been GPL'd for as long as I can recall.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by chew827 (1032396)
      The NeL engine is a very powerful engine and could have been the framework behind a lot of open-source MMORPGs. The problem is that it is only meagerly documented. Nevrax nearly abandoned the community (with a couple exceptions of developers from within helping us in their spare time) so none of this documentation was ever updated and completed. Recently they converted to a wiki and some of us have been putting together documentation ourselves. One of the big issues, that opening Ryzom up would help with, i
      • by grimwell (141031)
        You might be interested in Torque [garagegames.com]. It is an open-source engine but not free.

        There is a fair collection of how-to [garagegames.com] articles [garagegames.com] and one author has put together an "add-on" product [mydreamrpg.com] for the engine.

        I've played with the Torque engine a bit and it's interesting. The thing I like the most is the server-side can be linux and the client side can be both windows & linux. I haven't played with the MyDreamRPG products, so I can't comment on them but they look interesting.
  • I think the biggest problem with Ryzom is that it's an also-ran in the fantasy MMO market. Frankly, I can't think of many reasons to play this over WoW (and I don't even play WoW). I'm also not sure how the whole "community owned" aspect is going to work. I mean someone has to pay for the bandwidth and servers to host it (it's an MMO after all), so it seems likely that they're going to have to have a monthly fee still. I'm really not convinced that these people have though this all of the way through.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer (890720)

      Frankly, I can't think of many reasons to play this over WoW (and I don't even play WoW).

      Well, if the content (& source) gets GPL'd and some of the servers turn out to be free-as-in-beer, that can be a pretty compelling reason to play this over WoW.

      I mean someone has to pay for the bandwidth and servers to host it (it's an MMO after all), so it seems likely that they're going to have to have a monthly fee still.

      If that were to happen, I think it's likely we'd see different pricing structures from diff

      • by murdocj (543661)
        Well, if the content (& source) gets GPL'd and some of the servers turn out to be free-as-in-beer, that can be a pretty compelling reason to play this over WoW.

        By that same logic, sitting in front of a TV beats doing anything. People aren't solely motivated by cost... there is enjoyment to consider as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Assuming that link worked when this was posted, has it ever occurred to any of you that the Slashdot effect is a very irresponsible way to kill websites that either aren't hosted on powerful servers or can't afford high-throughput hosting?

    For this kind of thing, I would say it'd have been a much better idea to either let people do their own legwork or host a temporary mirror of the relevant article rather than bringing down the little guy without even thinking about it.
  • by CompSci101 (706779) on Monday November 27, 2006 @12:02PM (#17003170)

    It seems like people are criticizing the effort because they've only considered the code that will be saved, or that the game itself wasn't very good, or that nobody will be able to run it with commercial success. But what about the various other assets like art (models, textures) and music that would be saved?

    I think it would kick ass for smaller dev groups to have a production-ready (well, it's been used in production, anyway...) library of (L?)GPL-ed art to pick from, even if it was just to have available at production time and not polishing/shipping time. All that stuff sucks up resources and gets in the way of little shops producing anything commercially viable.

    Granted, it ain't Oblivion but it's sure better than looking at a blank page to start with.
    C

  • by sinij (911942)
    Open Source if done right can be good for projects where access to data and source code, community contributions and decisions by community consent are good things. That is clearly not the case for mmorpgs due to data security and balance decisions that clearly cannot be done by public.

    Data Security: Assuming that potential cheating issues are somehow resolved, even that all mmorpgs out there use security by obscurity approach due to non-trusted client AND need to offload large chunk of computations client-
    • by Xugumad (39311)
      Personally, I think it would be good to see SoR open sourced so budding MMO designers could look through what the Ryzom developers did, and learn from it. However, I seem to remember large parts of the core engine are already OS, and I also wouldn't suggest it's worth the sums it's likely to cost to get the source.
    • by Saffaya (702234)
      "simple access to formulas will take min-maxing to the extreme and will make balancing nearly impossible."

      umh .. no. At all.
      A properly designed game has absolutely no problems with that. Only shoddy crafted ones do.

      "Good luck getting anyone to agree how to balance the game"

      You are missing the point entirely.
      MMORPG as free software means ... Freedom to compete.
      You don't like the balance on this particular server ? Then go to another ! The choice is yours.

      Commercial RPGs lock you into a monopolistic micro mar
    • by jandrese (485)
      All games have min-maxing, however giving players access to the formulas directly doesn't affect that much. In fact all hiding the formulas does is make it take slightly longer for the players to start min-maxing. City of Heroes showed this quite well I think. Cryptic Studios were extremely tight lipped about the formulas and tables used, but in the end the playerbase reverse engineered the whole thing and still min-maxed.

      In fact, it is easy to argue that the min-maxing was good for the game in the end
  • by Lejade (31993) * <.olivier. .at. .mekensleep.com.> on Monday November 27, 2006 @12:22PM (#17003396) Homepage Journal
    I find it immensely sad that it has come to this.

    When I started Nevrax it was with the idea that all the code would be GPL both on the client and the server side. Following a dispute over corporate strategy with the VCs funding the company, a good chunk of the core team left (myself included).
    From that point on, the remaining managment and shareholders slowly closed more and more of the code - destroying in the process the spirit and the vision over which the company had been founded. In the end, destroying the company itself.

    If Xavier Antoviaque and the folks behind this initiative think they can bring the ideas underlying Ryzom back to life , I sincerly wish them the best of luck.
    • I was very sad we never saw a linux client for Ryzom (if there was, they forgot to email me to tell me to re-activate my account). I had a lot of fun and I liked what it *appeared* to have going for it at the time.

      It's great that you were able to accomplish as much as you did. I hope your next project is even more successful.
    • As a member of the NeL community this effort signifies great hope for me and my project. We've been in the NeL community and contributing bugfixes and updates to the engine that runs Ryzom for over 3 years. The community has supplied the engine more than 1k bugfixes in the 6 year lifespan of the GPL'd version of the engine and all of this with dwindling interest in the community from the company, as Olivier Lejade stated. For more than 2 full years we were next to ignored by the company (except for the wond
    • Welcome to the process of "growing" from a startup to a venture-funded firm. This is, unfortunately, the way of things. After all, those who control the purse strings ultimately control the way things are operated.

      'course, different funds have different policies regarding the companies they finance. So, in part, you can blame management for not doing their homework and working with a fund that was more hands off. *shrug*
    • I don't know when you quit Nevrax, but I'm hoping that it's around the time in Beta when they totally changed the skill system. Ryzom was SO MUCH FUN at that time. Yes, you could 'exploit' the healing system if your group was willing to work together, and yes, that made levelling quicker than it you wanted. But it was FUN! After that, levelling was so slow that I didn't care anymore. It was obviously that Ryzom was about stretching out the grind so you couldn't max your character within 6 months. (Nev
  • Reminded me of Wes Mantooth [wikipedia.org].

    Spinning off of what others have already said I think this will only be successful if they modify the code to allow individuals to run a single server with a piece of a world and a somewhat standard ruleset. Without that, you're dependant on another business (or a very generous individual) to run multiple servers to host the game. A peer-to-peer MMORPG would be a major step forward.

    It seems to me that this group is going to be as successful as the Star Trek nerds that tried to
  • by micromuncher (171881) on Monday November 27, 2006 @12:32PM (#17003542) Homepage
    The attempt to hit OSS is really a recognition that the game needs a LOT of work in a short period of time, more than anyone is likely to put into it ($).

    The market is pretty much saturated with EverQuest and WoW. There is huge money and tons of time behind polishing these apps. Even lesser crud like GuildWars.

    You can't do A1 titles on a shoestring budget, and if you build it they don't always come because you need to support it. (So capital and operating costs...) So they're looking for a buyer; and one buyer is suggesting an OSS because its sisyphysian in nature.

    There are other open alternatives around. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_open_source_g ames [wikipedia.org]

    The story of some of them is the same; source company can't keep the burner going without income so does whatever it can to keep the dream alive.

    Software development is almost pure labor. Labor is the most expensive part of any endeavor. You can't take from the huge pot of $ without an equal amount of $ comming in. And there is a boatload of competition.

    • by Patoski (121455)
      Software development is almost pure labor. Labor is the most expensive part of any endeavor. You can't take from the huge pot of $ without an equal amount of $ comming in. And there is a boatload of competition.

      A couple of points... You don't need huge budgets to create quality software. Just look at what Apache, Linux and even Blender [blender.org] did with little or no budget. If people are willing to donate their time, then you have just taken the most expensive component of software development, and you have drive
      • You don't need huge budgets to create quality software. Just look at what Apache, Linux and even Blender did with little or no budget. If people are willing to donate their time, then you have just taken the most expensive component of software development, and you have driven it to virtually zero.

        And here is the flaw of open source software. It works great for things like Apache and Linux that have broad horizontal application. But... you take it to a vertical, whether it be a game, a simulator, or anyth
  • I remember text based MUDs that you could log into the world over. There were several means you could take to becoming an admin (god) on that realm, but what it really let you do was program your own series of encounters or quests in an area set aside for you.

    Granted, a graphical MMO is in an entirely different class, but I think that having a core continent or two for the core developers, and outlying areas / dungeons / instances for people that want to sign on and develop would be a great idea.

    Problems :
    -
  • I played Ryzom for more than 9 months, roughly from the introduction of the encylopaedia missions to shortly after the introduction of the PvP outposts, and for the most part, I loveed it, and made many friends there, some of whom I am still in contact with on a daily basis. One of the tings I liked most about it was the fact that it was so different to the other games around.

    One of the high points in my eyes were the crafting system, which was, Shock! Horror!, more complex than 3a + 2b -> Sword No 5. En
  • The life blood of any MMORPG is adding new content. Look at the original EverQuest; seems like they pump out an expansion every 6 months so there is some new quest to solve or item to gain.

    Now you want to trust the content to programming geeks? Have you SEEN the state of the average fan fic?

    Talk about Dork Ex Machina.

    Every quest will involve having to visit the 99th level Wizard/Paladin/Thief in their trans-dimensional fortress who is surrounded with topless wenches while he watches a death match between Pi
  • I enjoyed this game during beta.

    I made a toon that looked like (and was named after) Lion-o from thundercats. haha
    I'd put a couple bucks towards making the content GPL.

Wishing without work is like fishing without bait. -- Frank Tyger

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