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Cyan Worlds To Open-Source Myst Online: Uru Live 39

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-thoughtful dept.
644bd346996 writes "Cyan Worlds, Inc., creators of the Myst franchise, has decided to make their unsuccessful MMORPG Myst Online: Uru Live into an open source game. They will release all the source code for the client, server, and tools. They will continue to host the data on their own servers. Uru was originally intended to be an online-only game. The publisher, Ubisoft, requested that a single-player version be made as well. They then canceled the online version in February 2004, while it was still in a closed beta. Cyan allowed fans to run their own servers as part of a completely unsupported service known as Until Uru. In February 2007, GameTap picked up Uru as one of their biggest games, only to cancel it a year later."
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Cyan Worlds To Open-Source Myst Online: Uru Live

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  • I wonder any code base was reused from the older games? And if so, how would that affect those games? It's not uncommon for a company to reuse old software if its allows them to get farther and faster then they normally would if they had to write it from scratch. Even if only in part, Could that code allow others to port Myst to other platforms?
    • by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @12:41AM (#26100103)

      The engine Uru is based on (Plasma) was acquired by Cyan from a startup that hadn't released any products with it yet. Cyan bought it expressly for building what eventually became Uru. Along the way, they did make RealMyst, a fully 3d remake of the original Myst.

      RealMyst and Uru were the first Myst games that weren't all pre-rendered graphics. The previous games (Myst 1-4) were built with various technologies, and by various 3rd parties. Myst 5, however, was built off the Plasma engine, because the content of the game had originally been planned to be part of Uru.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hardburn (141468)

      Isn't the original just a hypercard stack? It certainly could be written that way. I'm sure it needed some emulation doohicky for the Windows port, but nothing that can't be done.

      If it is a hypercard stack, I doubt there is any leftover code. But the game is basically a sequence of hyperlinked image maps with some quicktime vids thrown in. You could implement the whole thing in HTML and minimal JavaScript.

      • by - r (136283) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @01:05AM (#26100231)

        yes, the first myst was a hypercard stack, which is why it came out on the mac earlier than the pc. and why, if you had the developer/s hypercard, you cou find out different things (not that i remember that far back - i *do* remember deleting hypercard and seeing myst die a horrible death).

      • by Etcetera (14711)

        The original was indeed just a Hypercard stack. And, if I recall, Riven as well was done solely with HC and Quicktime (its fundamental difference was with the quality of the images, rendering, and QT/audio integration). Both of those were built by Cyan.

        Myst III: Exile was done by (now defunct) Presto Studios under license (and with consulting by Cyan). I'm not sure what technology they used, but it allowed for full 3d-look at the node points. Kind of QTVR-ish, but not using that.

        All three of those (along wi

  • Bravo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eggman9713 (714915) <{eggman97132007} {at} {mac.com}> on Saturday December 13, 2008 @12:47AM (#26100143)
    As Atrus would say, "Sometimes the past is painful to remember..." "I've opened the door for my dreams to escape." That is esentially what Rand Miller has done. Bravo, Atrus, bravo.
  • Good news (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tsa (15680) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @12:54AM (#26100187) Homepage

    This is very good news. Myst Online has an amazingly dedicated fanbase consisting of people who have patiently waited for years for the game to come back up after it went back to a coma. This is now the third time it will rise from the ashes. Like a phoenix it keeps coming back. A big 'hurray' to all the Cyan people out there for doing their best for their dedicated fanbase! I will be very happy indeed to be able to roam the Ages again.

  • by saladpuncher (633633) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @01:17AM (#26100285) Homepage
    To me the best thing about Myst was that you were alone and trapped in a mysterious place left to discover what happened to the world and its inhabitants. In a way it reminded me of Planetfall. You "crash land" onto a world and have to fix what is wrong and find out what made it that way. I don't know how you could extend that to an online MMORPG. I never played it though so it may be the best thing since free cake...but the original with its isolation, loneliness, and haunting music is what made it fun.
    • Agreed.

      I had hoped this would be the future of interactive fiction, as it has the potential to be way more deeply immersive than the original Infocom engine, given the fully-rendered real-time aspect of gameplay.

      Of course the best tools in the world for creativity are no good without well-written stories, which Infocom provided in abundance.

      My previous experiences with Myst and Riven, began to convince me that my conjecture would be borne-out in the future.

      As a full-time Linux desktop user (no, I'm not twi

  • Guys totally ran out of ideas and made boring games.. Open-sourcing this MMORPG won't do a thing because without resourceful company any decently sized MMORPG is doomed to fail - there's to much to consider and develop.

    • You'd be surprised how resourceful fan communities can be.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kiyoshigawa (844575)

        On that note, you might want to take a look at the Guilds [mystonline.com] already in existence. These are all fan-run groups that are working on the future of Uru and have been since before the servers were even shut down.

        In particular, the Guild of Writers [guildofwriters.com] has made many fan-created ages already using Blender and a custom plugin for Myst. I have no doubt that with the release of the Myst Online source from Cyan their tools will become even more refined, and lead to much greater development from the fans.

        If the Uru communit

        • "If the Uru community has shown anything, it is that they are resourceful, determined, and refuse to let Myst die no matter how much time or effort they need to spend."

          Good. Now all they have to solve is the same problems all MMORPGs face. Who pays the bills?

  • by SIR_Taco (467460)

    I actually had the pleasure of beta testing this one. It was quite fun (if you like the complex puzzles that Myth/Riven presented you).
    One of the best beta-testing experiences I have had and if I remember correctly, I'm actually in the credits on the retail CD.

    Besides all that, it's a great game and I'm pleased they are open sourcing it!

    • Were you in Choru, Ubiru, Cyan internal, or other? (If you don't know what any of that means, that's answer enough. :) )
  • They will release all the source code for the client, server, and tools. They will continue to host the data on their own servers.

    So, I'm guessing they won't open source their data/models/resources?

    This is a good initiative, like id releasing their engines, and who knows what will come from it. However what would really be interesting is if the resources to a game like this were open sourced as well.

    I've been fooling around with a game of my own, and although there are plenty of open source engines there ar

    • Cyan's the kind of company that might actually attach a free license to their textures and models. One of the major settings in Uru is an underground city. Only a small portion of it is accessible, but Cyan's already tacitly endorsed fans building more areas of the city. (So far, they've prohibited fans from modeling any part of the city that's important to Cyan's plot.) It wouldn't be at all surprising if Cyan decided that fans should be able to build new areas of that city in the style of what we already

  • by dpilot (134227)

    I have the standalone game, and have tried on and off to get it running under WINE. Never success, but varying degrees and types of failure, and I was hoping for maybe one of these days. A native version will obviously be better, and I know that members of the Uru crowd have been asking for this.

    Uru is my last reason to dual-boot Windows.
    The Eddie Bauer website doesn't format/view under Linux, but does work OK under WINE. (My wife's need for Windows)

    • by Hatta (162192)

      I am looking at the Eddie Bauer site under Firefox 3 on Linux right now, it displays just fine.

      • Heck, it works in Konqueror as well (kthml didn't try webkit.)

      • by dpilot (134227)

        I get overlays that go right over the pulldowns to select size, color, etc. It displays, but is unusable for ordering - or at least it was a month or two ago. Did you just look, or did you try to go into the detail selection process for an item?

        • by Hatta (162192)

          I went all the way to checkout, seemed to work fine.

          • by dpilot (134227)

            Still doesn't work for me. I picked a sweater at random - the left side of the frame is an oversized blank that should probably have a picture. Pulldown fields are hidden, can't see the picture, etc.

            Maybe I should try "export HOME=$HOME/emptySpot firefox" and see if it's my settings.

  • If they're going to open source the game where is it? All I see is plans to open source, they could turn around at the last minute and change their minds.

  • Sorry you have the information incorrect. Cyan is going to allow access and to share some of the source code but not total open source. Fortunately they will oversee and keep the rescources protected from wild and chaotic exploitation, something a small minority of the game community for URU have tried to do for years. The URU story is a wonderful one and one of the best Multiplayer games developed yet for there is no killing, no violence, no greiefing, no faction boring resource grinding, and a wonderful a

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