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Last Chance to Help Free Ryzom 280

Posted by Hemos
from the i-call-on-the-community dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With the consistent influx of MMORPG's in the last few years it was obvious that many would fall by the wayside, one of those to fall is Ryzom, as you might be aware it is now going to be up for sale, and in an enterprising move for open source there is an initiative to buy Ryzom and put it under the GPL, much like Blender was in the past. However, time is short, apparently "Pledges must be made within the next few days, since the deadline for the final bid is expected sometime before Wednesday, December 19th". Already there is over 150,000 Euros donated and the FSF has donated 60,000!! If you (like me) can see the benefit of having a fully developed MMORPG that is completely open source just donate a little, quickly!"
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Last Chance to Help Free Ryzom

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  • Suckitude? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ninjaesque One (902204) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:02AM (#17285964) Journal
    If everyone's the equivalent of a dev team member, then what's to stop everyone from making a monster at the start that dies in one hit and drops a trillion gold?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by exspecto (513607) *
      The monster I create that kills players in one hit.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by LiquidCoooled (634315)
        The monster I create is nicer than yours, it only kills people with around 1 trillion gold pieces.
        • My monster will not pursue a level 4 or below unless you're a male character, it is saturday, and your nick name starts with an f!

          It has a +4 bonus against goblins or dwarves (actually, it has nothing against dwarves but it is too stupid to notice the difference).

          When struck with an unholy bastard sword of doom it immediately vanishes leaving its treasures behind, but you don't gain any experience.

          Really... it is for game balance.

          (Style blatantly copied from Steve Jacksons Munchkin series)
          • by ArcticCelt (660351) on Monday December 18, 2006 @05:01PM (#17291654)
            Mine will spawn and instantly decapitate any player that start overusing "net slang" like ROFL LMAO or intent to use the word gay as pejorative slang.

            Exemple:
            Player 1 : Meh, got a gray item this is gay.
            Monster : *Pouff* *chop* *chop*.
            Player 2 : Ha ha! pwned ROFL LMAO!!111
            Monster : *Pouff* *chop* *chop*
    • Re:Suckitude? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Enoxice (993945) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:04AM (#17286002) Journal
      The point isn't that "everyone's the equivalent of a dev team member." The point is that there is reusable code in development that anyone can take and make their own MMORPG with (using their own server). And perhaps, if the developers want, the community can contribute code.
      • Maybe in theory, but who has the money and interest to keep their own personal MMORPG running, and who will play it? Won't work.
        • by Enoxice (993945)
          Who has the money and interest to keep their own personal [MUD/Website/other internet service] running, and who will use it?

          Or, more to the point, who has the money and interest to keep their own Operating System running and in development, and who will use it?

          Hobbyists will benefit, of course, but so will the community at large. It can never hurt to have code from a tested engine floating around.
        • by Qzukk (229616)
          who has the money and interest to keep their own personal MMORPG running

          Google for personal Ragnarok Online servers. Or Neverwinter Nights persistent world servers.
        • I'm guessing that the "private" MMORPG's would be used for:

          1) Private chatrooms for a bunch of friends, or an an organization. A school could run its own MMORPG server, so could a LUG.

          2) The game master for a bunch of dedicated role-players might want one for a private campaign.

          3) Developers might run one to test-drive specific ideas.
      • You mean like Multiverse? http://www.multiverse.net/licensing/index.jsp?cid= 4&scid=3 [multiverse.net]
        • by jZnat (793348) *
          Their licence doesn't allow Free Software implementations of it (requires revenue sharing).
          • From the link - "If you don't make money, we don't make money. And importantly, if you never charge anything, you never have to pay us anything." Now don't get me wrong I tried their demo server and it has a long way to go before it's anything close to what Ryzom offers. But Ryzom has been hardcoded for one game so the idea that it'll be non-trivial to make it run another type of game seems optimistic.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by james_orr (574634)
      Sure, you could do that. But that monster would only be on your own server, so you and your friends can kill that monster as much as you like.
    • by jZnat (793348) *
      Free/Open Source software is not like a wiki...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by nuzak (959558)
      > what's to stop everyone from making a monster at the start that dies in one hit and drops a trillion gold?

      My monster would drop as soon as you see it, and drop 2^1000 gold (needs a bigint patch)

      But I decided it was easier to just make the game say that I win, and not play at all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ultranova (717540)

      If everyone's the equivalent of a dev team member, then what's to stop everyone from making a monster at the start that dies in one hit and drops a trillion gold?

      Inflation. With such monsters gold becomes worthless in player-player transactions very soon. And you can't just make the monster drop more gold ad infinity, since even Bigints have numerical limits.

      Simply scale the prices of computer-controlled vendors by median gold income of the players who are buying that item. That way the law of supply

  • by huguley (87575) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:05AM (#17286010)
    The cheap part is the code... How is the project going to be hosted?

    Last I checked it still cost money to put a cluster of computers on the internet.
    • It'll probably have to be re-written but I'd have thought that would be a good way to design a game running over a high latency connection like the Internet.

      Have the client and most of the server running on the user's computer, only interacting with other machines when needed.

       
      • by Ingolfke (515826)
        Although it's probably not beyond the realm of possibility, the opportunity to cheat would be increased significantly and the distribution of location information across of a loosly coupled p2p network would seem like a very difficult challenge to overcome. Seems like a big gamble for 150k euros.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by drinkypoo (153816)
          It's really not as hard as you make it out to be (though that doesn't make it easy either.) You have other, randomly selected nodes (with an endlessly changing cast) doublechecking the results from the other clients. The server's job is then just to decide what to send to each client to prevent them from having enough data to cheat intelligently.
      • "Have the client and most of the server running on the user's computer, only interacting with other machines when needed."

        Which I think is how Guild Wars can afford to scrub the monthly sibscription model and make its money selling (standalone) expansions packs.

      • Instead of a central cluster, why not have it set up so that it is hosted by "selected"[*] fans, each one hosting a specific "area" of the world. This would distribute the load over the network, and depending on the number of active players at any given time, should give decent responsiveness. Cross a line, and you automatically switch to another server. That provider would be responsable for the contents of his area, but should allow for outside developement.

        You might get areas hosted by companies as adver
  • by rblancarte (213492) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:05AM (#17286018) Homepage
    The market has spoken, this game was not worthy. I get that the cause is noble and all. But just because it becomes open source, etc, doesn't mean that this is a good game.

    Now, I do see some advantages of having an engine like this open sourced, so I guess just for having this bit of code out and about, that could be a good thing.

    RonB
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Otter (3800)
      And of course it's their money, but it still seems like an odd use of 60,000 Euros of donations to the FSF.
      • I don't know much about this game, but it would seem to me that an open source Second Life type setup that isn't a vehicle for delivering advertisements and selling vapor might be a good FSF investment. Everyday people are flocking to those types of virtual worlds, and if an open source MMORPG can get into the game, they could really embed a lot of the benefits of open source into the popular mindset.

        Imagine one young girl saying to another "It's like Second Life, except you don't need to pay a bunch of mo
        • by kjart (941720)

          Imagine one young girl saying to another "It's like Second Life, except you don't need to pay a bunch of money to have nice furniture in your place.", that's the kind of mindshare this could garner if it was well done.

          So where is the money going to come from to run the game? Either it's funded by ads, subscription or _____. The first two already exist - I'm interested in what you think the third would be.

          • The costs will be the same except subtract executive and staff salaries.

            Basically you have free development and deployment and only have to pay for bandwidth and servers.
            • by TheSpoom (715771) *
              I'm confused as to who, exactly, is going to pay for these servers of which you speak. ;^)

              I don't think the point of this is to save the game; I think the point is to open the code, so others can learn from it and use it for their own projects.
        • by vadim_t (324782)
          You don't need to pay in Second Life to have furniture, there's plenty of it that's free. Now, if you want custom furniture and no artistic ability you can pay somebody to make it for you. Or you can buy something commercial, which is generally better made. But there's quite a lot of decent free stuff, if you can find it among the pile of various free crap.

          OSS won't do anything to change that situation, really.

          The one thing you HAVE to pay for is land, but land happens to translate to server resources, so o
    • by leathered (780018)
      I've just put the finishing touches to my new MMO. It's the best game ever made, and everyone who has played it agrees with me. Problem is that I don't have the marketing budget of likes of Blizzard and SOE, I can't afford to run the servers, and now my company is about to go bankrupt.

      So does that make my game not worthy in your opinion? I'm not pretending that Ryzom is the best game in the world but it certainly doesn't fit your 'not worthy' tag.

      • Open Source it!! :)

        JK, though it is theoretically possible to make a game like that semi-open and make money off it at the same time.
        1) Provide an open server architecture so that anyone can run a server who wants to.
        2) Release a small part of the game open.
        3) Sell expansion packs to server operators for a percent of profit.
      • by Rogerborg (306625)
        Your hypothetical game, like Ryzom, is a pig in a poke. Until we have the source code, we can't judge how much it's worth. Personally, I think 150,000 Euros is a lot for soon-to-be abandonware software, but if other people want to pay to make it available to me, well, good luck to them.
    • by lawpoop (604919)
      Yes, The market has spoken, and it is still speaking. If the 'community' can raise the € 200K, then the market will again have spoken. If they are unable to raise the money, and some other company buys it, the market *again* will have spoken.

      You seem to imply that because this game has failed once with a certain development cost and subscription model, nobody should ever waste their money or time with it again. That's not how the market works. Now, with the bankruptcy, somebody else has a chance to a
      • by MBraynard (653724)
        The market spoke - but that doesn't mean people have to listen. The game was pretty bad and unfinished. Those are untolerable in the days when you can have WoW or Eve - two very different kinds of games - that are finished.

        That the FSF has made a joint bid suggests it is moving from the open market environment to a charity or a political cause.

    • The same could be said of Blender. Its interface sucked and the market rejected it. However, enough people collected enough money to open-source it and it's still around and last time I looked had a decent following dispite its flaws so there ya go.
      • by Rogerborg (306625)
        And its interface still sucks, and people stick with it because of cognitive dissonance, not merit. Open source tends to do UIs very, very badly, and a game is almost nothing but a user interface.
    • by aussie_a (778472)
      I'm sure people said the same about Myst Online: Uru Live. [gametap.com] Fortunately some people didn't give up, and so I'll be able to play it come Wednesday.
      • by SScorpio (595836)
        Actually phase 1 of the beta is live right now. They are in bug fixing so the normal beta date keeps getting pushed back. But you can play right now if you don't mind losing your progress.
        • by aussie_a (778472)
          Err.. your information is slightly outdated. They're closing it down today (if they haven't already) and will perform what everyone hopes will be the last vault wipe (something pretty drastic would have to happen for Cyan to even consider a vault wipe after this point). Tomorrow on the 19th the storyline will begin once more on the Until Uru server [drcsite.org] (with a Cyan employee recommending people at the very least log in and head into the Cavern, even if they don't go to the meeting) and then on the 20th we'll be
    • by MadEE (784327)

      The market has spoken, this game was not worthy. I get that the cause is noble and all. But just because it becomes open source, etc, doesn't mean that this is a good game.

      I don't know, raising what works out to $144,000 (not including the FSF money) is a pretty good sign that people like what they see and are not wanting it to go away. That is a heck of a lot of money for a game to be completely crap, particularity one that wasn't marketed a lot. Besides there are a heck of a lot more ways then simply h

    • by Foofoobar (318279)
      The market may have said that THIS version of the game weas crap but open source can create a 50 different versions of the game with a variety of genres. Do any one of them have to come out on top? Nope. Because they all win if any of them win because all code goes back into all the other projects and Linux gets a MORPG community. The initial game may not have been able to compete due to lack of imagination of recources but when you throw a couple hundred thousands wannabe game developers looking to break i
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rogerborg (306625)

      Also, it begs the question: if the bazaar model is so great, how come the only games that it's produced are cheap knock-offs and clones of popular five or ten year old closed source games?

      Open source development of abandoned commercial games doesn't even seem to achieve much: WarZone 2100 was open sourced 2 years ago [sourceforge.net], and all that's been achieved in that time is a POSIX port, plus the addition of some crash bugs.

      This kind of pokes the argument that open source promotes diversity in the eye with a sharp

  • If it's GPL it'll get ported to Linux and then <b>my marriage will be over</b>! Please! For the love of Mike! I only just escaped from WoW!
  • by aleksiel (678251)
    i really hate to be the downer, but i played ryzom for a while and found myself totally underwhelmed.

    there's a reason why its going out of business.
    • Re:meh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:14AM (#17286150) Homepage
      The same thing could have been said about Netscape. The point is that this gives people a point to rally around, and something to improve. It's classic Cathedral&Bazaar stuff.
      • by aleksiel (678251)
        i'd totally agree if we didn't have to pay a fee to enter the bazaar.
  • I'm in for $10... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Panaqqa (927615) *
    Let's make this open source and see what's there. If there's a half decent engine behind it, then nothing's to stop one of us with the time, resources, or the inclination, from forking it and having something worthwhile pop out the other end.

    • by Ingolfke (515826)
      Your innocence and naiveite delights me. Even with forked code a MMORPG still requires big infrastructure to run.
  • benefits? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Boeboe (815330) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:09AM (#17286084)

    If you (like me) can see the benefit of having a fully developed MMORPG that is completely open source just donate a little, quickly!"
    I do not see the benefits actually, can anyone explain?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Another benefit would be the ability to migrate the client to other platforms, and hedge against forced obsolescence. If you and your friends (or larger group) didn't want to upgrade your gear, you could always fork an earlier version of the engine and host your own game for the FPS challenged - unlike commercial games that evolve away and above marginal users ability to keep up.

      As a pure money-making enterprise, PC game development shops focus their dollars on the platform most likely to provide a return
  • by RenHoek (101570)
    A democratically run MMORPG? Have you seen the Warcraft forums? 100% of the userbase will be screaming "NERF!" about all the other classes in the game. :) There can be only one captain on a ship, is what I say.

    Just as an afterthought.. what would happen if Blizzard would GPL their software? Obviously they would remain in control of the artwork and such, so nobody can start running their own little World of Warcraft. But what would it mean for other MMORPGs out there?

    It's not such an insane idea really... lo
    • by COMON$ (806135) *
      Neverwinter Nights did this to an extent. Built a toolset for the game so everyone could mod away. I think the battlefield series did it as well. It just wasnt completely open.

      However the support for the server side would be aweful, on the other hand your clients would have a plethora of mods to choose from. We would need to take a good look at the success of BF and NWN2 to see how well it would work for Blizzard.

    • Quake as an example (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mabhatter654 (561290)
      Quake 3 is a good example! Remember that there were several Open Source Mods just waiting for the engine code to be OSS... I believe you'd see the same here. There are OSS MMORG games out there, but none work "out-of-the-box" to where the focus can be on JUST art and game play not spending time waiting for basic features. All the "really good" OSS games are clones of commercial games that were able to leverage lots of free artwork made by fans for the established commercial game.. Nexius, Battle for Wesno
    • by broeman (638571)
      Since when is Open Source == Democracy? You can do open source projects, where you are the sole power of where the project turns (some of them are actually popular) and you can do projects, where a commitee decides what to do (or not do). Open Source means that you share code with others and distribute it free. Some projects demand a return of added code (GPL) and some don't (BSD).
  • by joe 155 (937621)
    I see the need for open source games that can rival the closed source ones and maybe a few moves like this might not go a miss... but do we need this game? If things have really gone that bad that they've been forced out of the market and can't compete then maybe this is because the game isn't that good. I've heard people saying that there are big problems with the way it plays - can we fix them to make this game as good as it needs to be? Even if that is possible will this be less effort than putting all t
  • Surely (Score:4, Insightful)

    by goldcd (587052) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:18AM (#17286208) Homepage
    To keep this thing ticking over you need full time sys-admins, support teams, server farms, bandwidth and various other reasonably expensive things.

    Open Sourcing it would seem to alleviate the expense of the actual game developers, but not much more.

    Now the game has already been written, so I'd have thought dev expenses would currently be minimal - so not too much saving moving it to OSS.

    The first load of expenses are fixed(ish) and have to be covered, so either OSS as a whole is going to have to pay for other people to play - or people themselves will have to pay to play - and we can't let everybody run about compiling in their own stuff...and the more people come in, the more it's going to cost to run..

    And it's not even as if the damn thing is covering it's costs at the moment - hence the sale...

    The whole concept seems bizarre.

    Seemingly there is something that is losing money, so OSS thinks it's a good idea to buy it?

    Imagine this were some failed Microsoft product - would the OSS community all start bouncing on their chairs clammering to take it over and give up on this 'Linux thing'?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Odin_Tiger (585113)
      The point isn't to get the game itself running. The point is a F/OSS MMORPG engine. Getting the graphics and network code available in a way that people can use and learn from it...lower the coding time / expense barrier to entry in the industry a tad.
      • by kyouteki (835576)
        Actually, the point is to keep the game running. The engine itself is already GPL.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Squiggle (8721)
          For me, keeping the game running is secondary to getting the rest of the code base and art and other resources free to go along with the NeL GPL engine. For the sort of coding I do, access to that code is much more valuable than the engine code.
    • by quantaman (517394)

      To keep this thing ticking over you need full time sys-admins, support teams, server farms, bandwidth and various other reasonably expensive things.
       
      Open Sourcing it would seem to alleviate the expense of the actual game developers, but not much more.
      I can't load the site right now but I've looked before and that they state in their FAQ that to play on official servers you will have to pay.
    • by nonlnear (893672)

      Imagine this were some failed Microsoft product - would the OSS community all start bouncing on their chairs clammering to take it over and give up on this 'Linux thing'?

      Actually, a lot of OSS peole would LOVE to open source some MS projects. The only problem is that MS won't do that for many projects because of their IP centered business plan. They can afford to sit on old IP in hopes that new value can be found - like what they tried to do with FAT. (I know, it was a patent issue - not exactly the sam

    • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Monday December 18, 2006 @12:57PM (#17287826) Homepage
      The 200k Euro will be initial funding for a new company to develop, run and maintain the game. Not just to free the software and arts (the software is actually already free). They will start with the current user base.

      The French bankruptcy law is different from American, a judge is deciding for which plan for the company is going to win, and he will take into consideration such issues as keeping French jobs. Not just paying the debt.

      Most of the player base is French, and seems to be large enough to keep the game going. The company went bankrupt due to some bad business decisions.
    • by Reziac (43301) *
      I'm wondering if there's a practical way to make a MMORPG run on a P2P network? that would at least take care of the need for servers, and surely there'd be enough interested participants who'd take on some of the admin chores.

      I recognise the "everyone compiling their own hacks" issue, but if the game ran in a specialized P2P client, perhaps it could be set up to disallow illegitimate clients, or to compartmentalize players depending on which set of "allowed hacks" they're using.

  • I've never played MMORPGs, and might never do so. I don't have the time to get sucked into something like that. I'm more into games that I can save and walk away from, then come back later.

    However, by adding this game class of game to the open source arsenal, we increase the overall attractiveness of open source systems like Linux to people (especially kids and young adults) who are sitting on the fence. I may donate for that reason, rather than from having a personal attraction to the game.
    • by westlake (615356)
      However, by adding this game class of game to the open source arsenal, we increase the overall attractiveness of open source systems like Linux to people (especially kids and young adults) who are sitting on the fence.

      Yes.

      Of course.

      Because it is the development model and the code which draws players into a game.

      Not the game play. The story. Art and animation. Vocal performance. Music. Oblivion sells poorly, because it demands bleeding-edge performance.

      It does a driver for sales of the XBox 360. Dual cor

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:23AM (#17286264)
    They were called MUDs.

    What surprises me is that no one has written an open source 3D graphical MUD (which is all MMORGS are) from scratch yet. I realise its difficult but when has something being difficult stopped many projects before?
  • by rar (110454) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:27AM (#17286288) Homepage
    Can someone who knows about this tell me if the textures, art, and models are included in open-sourcing this? Preferably in a commerical-use-friendly license? Because then I would absolutely consider donating.

    A large library of free 3d-models with textures would be incredibly useful as a starting library for other open-source engine projects.
    • by Xarius (691264)
      The engine behind it all is already GPL I believe. This bid will be for the whole package, including all of the art assets.
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        The 'engine' is GPL, but the specific code for this game was not GPL. Of course the poor site is slashdotted now, but I believe it DID include all the assets for the game as well, as it would be nearly nothing without them. (And I believe there was a discussion about needing so much money because of the assets.)
  • Way to help (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by chrismcdirty (677039)
    I'm not usually one to criticize how people spend their own hard-earned money. But given the time of year, if I had an extra few dollars to spend, it would not be to buy a game to have it open-sourced, it would be to help sick kids enjoy life. [childsplaycharity.org]
  • Contrary to popular belief, an MMOG requires a lot of logistics, financial backing and personnel to be run. It also requires a lot of users to be fun (which requires a lot of hype and a wisely-chosen release to get started). Neither of those points could really be met in an OSS project. OK, there may even be three or four people having enough time and motivation to try and understand the system, and they might even get it to run on a small scalle, supporting a few hundred players.

    A lot of people without th

    • by bigpat (158134)
      Contrary to popular belief, an MMOG requires a lot of logistics, financial backing and personnel to be run.

      The same could have been said about websites 10 years ago, but that didn't stop tens of thousands of people from giving it a try. And... some succeeded. Or at least made a living at it, and the number of people just trying made the Internet a better thing to connect to.
      • by GeekDork (194851)

        The same could have been said about websites 10 years ago, but that didn't stop tens of thousands of people from giving it a try. And... some succeeded.

        It is infinitely easier to create and run a website than to run an MMO. Just have a look at the number of successful "open" MMOs. I know of only one that got to the point of having a few dozen players and was actually halfway self-sustaining, in contrast to the numerous amateurs that try to start one and then just have to give up because they lack the skill

  • Topic related : I do like the idea of the "community" essentially buying the code and releasing it to the public. Ryzom did not have some neat ideas and it was a "professionally developed" MMORPG. I am only curious if there are many dependant libraries that are commercial that are required to make the code work.

    On a side note, yet another game Jessica Mulligan joined that closed. She/he came about during AC2s early days with the promise of improving the game and keeping it going. AC2 closed, but only af
  • by TBone (5692) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:51AM (#17286668) Homepage

    ...The point is to create (or buy and free, in this case), a complete MMORPG gaming system. It's the MMORPG version of the Unreal Engine, for comparison's sake.

    So the game wasn't that great. It's open source now, get a group of people together (a la Legend of the Green Dragon [lotgd.net]), and make a new world system based in the engine.

    So it might take several servers and people to run the system. Set it up distributed, get someone to contribute the services of their 3DNS server somewhere, and now not only are you distributed, but you have geographical load balancing.

    Commenters are talking about this as if the idea that a group of people on the IntarWebs can't democratically organize a large distributed server environment and keep it running the latest code and staffed with admins. I wouldn't mention that to the people at all of [undernet.org] the various [efnet.org] irc networks [freenode.net], who have been doing exactly that for years, you might discourage them and make them shut down networks that have been running for longer than a decade.

    And even if the whole Massive part of the game doesn't take off, who's to say specialty environments won't crop up, with admin tools and pre-formed game world content, a la AD&D or GURPS Modules and Expansions, letting players run actual 3D immersive campaigns on a single server somewhere for relatively small groups of people. For that matter, the idea of online 3D Battletech with the whole army of people that I used to play with years ago, instead of going through all the work to build huge tables, seems like a pretty fun concept.

    The fact that such a beast could be released to the public is a good thing, even if you didn't like what the front end (Ryzom) was; the backend is what's important here. It's like the Unreal engine - there's a lot of games using it. Some of them suck, some of them are pretty good, but the content, and the engine to support the content, are two separate things. Yes, the bad (in the opinion of some people) content comes with it, but so does the engine that will let people drive whatever content they want.

  • I was just browsing the site and forum, and I get no sense of their impending doom...at least from the stickys, unless I missed one tucked away. Is there some expected timeline for closure here?
  • What's the deal with SecondLife? Isn't it open source? If not, isn't there a SourceForge project building a server that can interop with its network?

    Seems like $150K plus all the developer/activist interest would be better invested in extending access to an existing popular multiverse than just getting an unpopular one, which needs a new budget to compete.
    • by MadEE (784327)
      Isn't it open source?
      Nope
      If not, isn't there a SourceForge project building a server that can interop with its network?
      There may be but not one that I can find doing a search of "SecondLife". Linden labs sells collocated servers that you can lease though but that is hardly the same thing as having the code and artwork.
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        Nah, I found the "Open SL" roadmap [wikipedia.org]:

        Cory Ondrejka, Vice President of Product Development, has stated that a while after everything has been standardized, both the client and the server will be released as open source.

        1. Throughout 2006 the built-in instant messaging system will be replaced with Jabber
        2. The current proprietary LSL virtual machine will be replaced with Mono
        3. uBrowser, an OpenGL port of the Gecko rendering engine [...] will also be used to display webpages on any of the surfaces of any 3D obj

  • The FSF? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by InfinityWpi (175421) on Monday December 18, 2006 @12:05PM (#17286882)
    Y'know... if that's where the money I donated to the FSF went... screw them. No more donations. That's like donating money to the United Negro College Fund and finding it went to buy scholarships for upper-class basketball players. A nice gesture, but -so- not what it was intended for.
    • by GodInHell (258915) * on Monday December 18, 2006 @01:48PM (#17288730) Homepage
      So.. you didn't donnate to the FSF to promote free (as in birds) software?

      Look, the ideal here is to create a new culture for the MMORPG community that matches the idea behind all the other open source projects - let you build your own system to your own specs for your own goals, without putting in all the dev time and work it takes to get the foundation down. MUDS have survived for decades on the idea that anyone can write a persistant world where people can come and play.

      This is to be the MUDing of 3D worlds. Every person who wants to design a few meshes and work up a couple maps can create a world for their buddies to come play in. With a bit of additional development the community could produce a product which creates "small worlds" for people to get together in. Perhaps even taping some of the other potential uses of MMORPGs, like conducting on-line confrences and visible databases. There are reasons to promote the "freeing" of a generic 3d world interface.

      Can't imagine how that would work? Imagine logging into a library as a floating eye-ball (not graphically, but just limiting the avatar to a floating camera). Ctrl-F to bring up a search window. Type in name of author or title.. boom, the camera jumps to the shelf that has a visiual representation of your file.. which you download by double-clicking on it. Around that file are visual representations of other files matching author or subject - just like a real library. just as a quick example.

      -GiH
  • I don't care about MMPORGs so much since those tend to require huge fanbases and a Microsoft operating system. However, I think it would be awesome to have a F/OSS VR engine ala the "Metaverse" of Snowcrash or the "Matrix" of Neuromancer.

    Some applications of such:

    1. Training simulations. Emergency response, medical procedures, aviation, driving. All of these require learning how to coordinate with other people.

    2. A VR space for business meetings.

    3. A permanent VR space (ala Metaverse). Transfer files
  • There are a few MMORPG engines in development that are FLOSS. Aside from the fact that this one is functional at the moment as a game, what distinguishes it against these other engines? Would a similar amount of money aimed at getting these other engines in a releasable state be better than buying code that is essentially sight unseen (I've seen some impressive looking apps that had a completely dead end code base more than once)?
  • by Kedian (142868) on Monday December 18, 2006 @01:22PM (#17288288) Homepage
    Wow. Not only do 90% of the commenters miss the point, they are woefully uninformed as to the goals and the outcome of the project.

    First of all, the FSF did not just mail the Free Ryzom project a cashier's check for $60,000. The *pledge* has conditions: mainly that the software and artwork be released under entirely free licenses. Many commenters seem to be particularly confused as to what is free and what is not: let me clarify. The goal of the Free Ryzom project is to license the client, the *server*, and all of its related content, code and technology under free software licenses. All of it. The entire thing. Ryzom's Social Contract is modeled on Debian's, with slight modifications - including the assertion, which is rather revolutionary as far as MMORPGs are concerned, that the avatar belongs to the player.

    This would be an entire commercial MMORPG - client, server, libraries, artwork, models, etc - entering the free software realm. People who can't understand the utility in this need to have their heads examined. As another commenter put it, I'm sure a bunch of other people said "What good is Netscape, anyways?" many years ago.

    The project proposal would create a French non-profit that will function as the caretaker of the existing Ryzom shards. The players will determine how Ryzom will evolve as a game. And, again, 90% of the people commenting are missing the big picture, and why the FSF made its pledge: this will enable anyone to build MMORPGs using the Ryzom engine as a base. The FSF sees this as a stellar opportunity to push the advancement of free software gaming - a typically neglected arena. This is also a wonderful opportunity to bring the tools for making MMORPGs back into the hands of the users, and allow anyone to set up a world and modify it however they like. The FSF feels that this donation will encourage, in time, a vast collection of unique worlds, all based around the same basic toolkit.

    An auxilliary effect will hopefully be to help advance the cause of free software drivers. After all, complex 3D applications are pretty good for testing, eh?
  • I'm an old school online gamer. You know, telneting from IBM 3270 terminals from one of the last bitnet [wikipedia.org] nodes, or hopping across nysernet or psinet's gopher servers, that sort of thing. (Yeah, the BBS & mainframe gamers are crustier than I, but that's where I'm at.)

    I've flirted with a few MMORPG's and they've all left me flat. They've got pretty pictures, but they're essentially just graphical MUDS. You kill stuff, you get gold, you buy items, you level up, rinse, repeat. The better ones at least have some faction based intrigue beyond just bragging on who cleared the new expansion dungeon first.

    The thing is, those old text based games evolved beyond all this hack & slash dungeon crawling stuff. On DuneMUSH if you got into a violent altercation it means that you were either fighting a duel or you had seriously blundered somehow. At its peak it had hundreds of users with characters, factions, and settings spread across a dozen or more factions on multiple in-game worlds.

    GarouMUSH [garoumush.org] is still running after all these years! They are extremely exclusive as to whom they accept as players, to the point that you have to submit an application with a character concept for approval before joining. They would often reject them at first draft and offer suggestions on how to make the character more three dimensional and "real." While there were occasional moments of ultraviolence (it was a Werewolf: the Apocalypse game, after all), most of the time you were just interacting in character, researching mysteries, tribal politics, mentoring cubs, whatever.

    In both cases, they had such depth for two reasons. One, was that everyone got to build items and to some extent environments using a simple C-ish language. You could even code special attributes and behaviors on to your own character to some degree. The other (and more important) reason was that the games were ROLEplaying communities. I don't just mean having a message board and giving advice to newbies. I mean that everybody (at least the ones who stuck around) was invested in making the game an rich world full of interesting characters living out engaging stories. Most of the time you didn't break character except in the chatroom areas and nobody built areas (at leas In-Character areas) that broke with the setting.

    Second Life is approaching and in some ways exceeding the versatility, but that's not exactly a game. Because MMORPG players are customers/renters, they (in general) have a very different attitude than volunteers/owners. The scale required to run one of those things profitably (coders, designers/artists, admins, servers, etc) beans they have to go for the lowest common denominator dungeon-crawl play style that appeals to a mass-market. WoW is amazing, but it's still all about dungeon crawling and leveling-up.

    What would be amazing about a working Free Software MMORPG engine is that you could have a small, comunity based game. Imagine a close knit community where you trusted your fellow players enough to create your world together. Worldforge [worldforge.org] has been trying for years to make this happen, but for as far as they've come it always seem sjust around the corner. Dropping a fully functional world, physics, object library,game engine, etc into the wild would free creators from having to develop software, and let them start developing worlds.

  • How's an open source MMORPG going to stop cheaters who have the source code to presumably both the client and server software?

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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