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Open Source Role Playing (Games) Games

Myst Online: Uru Live Returns As Free-To-Play 58

Posted by Soulskill
from the uru-is-dead-long-live-uru dept.
agrif writes "Shorah b'shemtee! Uru Live has been released for free, as a first step towards opening its source. This game, an MMO released by the makers of Myst and Riven in 2003, has been canceled, zombified, resurrected, canceled again, and is now about to be released as open source to its dedicated fan base. Massively has written a brief newbie guide if you're unfamiliar with the game."
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Myst Online: Uru Live Returns As Free-To-Play

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  • How open? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:40AM (#31166734)

    Will the art be open, or just the code?

    • Re:How open? (Score:5, Informative)

      by walshy007 (906710) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:52AM (#31166816)
      art will be too, slashdot has covered the discussion of this being open sourced previously [slashdot.org]
    • Re:How open? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:13AM (#31167240)

      "The 3D models and textures that were used to create Myst Online: Uru Live will not be part of the open source license. We will probably release some of these models and textures, but under a different license than the code source."

      From the Myst Online website, on the 'Developers' link.

    • by agrif (960591)

      I believe Cyan plans to continue offering the content for free (as in beer) for as long as they can. They also want to be able to make content for it, but they're tight financially right now and have no resources to spare. It's sort of like their baby... they spent so much time and money and thought on it, they have as much an attachment to it as the community does. A perfect future would have them back making ages, but nobody realistically expects that to happen.

      It seems they'll also be releasing parts of

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Cyan's hubris is what killed Uru the first, second, third, and fourth times. It will be no different this time. The promise to go open source has been up for nealry a year, with no sign of it actually happening. The community went to Cyan and requested it to be open source, or even open world development, after it died the first time. Yet, Cyan insisted on driving itself into the ground with a poor, thinly veiled story line.

    Good luck Cyan, good luck.

    • It's sad when someone posting the truth needs to do so as an anonymous coward.
      • by WarlockD (623872)

        Then I will say it, the game is crap:P Why do you think it was canceled so often?

        I was there on the release, before ubisoft killed it, and on the rez done on gametap. It was a grand idea to have live actors, but it just never felt right in the game. The whole balancing act all mmorgs have is to show how important you are make 1000+ players feel the same way. There was just nothing "different" about any of the other players. It was like being part of those improve local theater where your hand was held

        • I've been there every time as well. I love the game, as in, I like the content - the puzzles and scenery and whatnot. I don't mind playing it again every couple of years, even. But, while it's fun seeing other people around and discussing things directly - as well as solving the puzzles that require multiplayer coordination - there really isn't much incentive to play it online, and the trickle of content that was being released every month doesn't in any way justify a subscription.

          Also, the whole live actor

          • by tsa (15680)

            I totally agree with you that Cyan has no business sense. Putting all their money on the next Myst game, and as a result being continuously on the brink of bankruptcy has never really done them good. Giving or selling (part of?) the rights to Uru to GameTap also wasn't a smart decision in the long run. Cyan is run by artists, not business people. I don't think Cyan opening a server but not doing anything else now is 'throwing a bone' at their fans. I think they genuinely wanted to show they still care about

            • It may be better than nothing, but it's less than what they SAID they'd do. I'm not saying I'm unhappy about the game being back online - and for free even - but that doesn't change the fact that Cyan didn't fulfill their promise yet. Pardon my cynicism, but after all these years I'll believe it only when I see it.

              • by tsa (15680)

                As far as I know they have troubles getting the rights back from GameTap. I don't understand why they hadn't expected this. I think we should call this a bit too much of careful optimism by Cyan.

  • Still Wondering (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wisnoskij (1206448) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @05:04AM (#31166888) Homepage
    Still Wondering, after reading the guide, if they managed to put enough content into the game to make it make sense to be a mmo game, Are you expected to explore the same age over and over again?
    And how does it differ from Uru: Ages beyond Myst, The screen shots looks like at least a large portion of it is in the same places.
    • I also never understood the MM part of Uru.

      How is interaction supposed to be? I ask where I have to go, somebody tells me, and we each go our merry way?

      • Re:Still Wondering (Score:5, Informative)

        by brandorf (586083) <brandorf@brandorf.com> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:20AM (#31167270) Homepage
        In a nutshell, the entire city of D'ni was the common area of the game, with all the other ages behaving like instances. All players belonged to a neighborhood which behaved a bit like a guild hall. In addition to the social aspects, you could bring other players with you into an age to cooperatively work together, and several of the new ages that were released after the retail release required multiple people to solve. However the core of the MMO experience was this: there were live actors playing characters in the game a certain times throughout the month. These staff members represented the fictional org (D'ni Restoration Council) that was attempting to exhume/restore the remains of this lost empire. How the players interacted with them (roleplay!) and the decisions that they made determined what new areas of the city were opened up and any plot developments that occur because of that.
        • by Ihmhi (1206036)

          I've never played Myst.

          Before anyone threatens to remove my geek cred, keep the following in mind:

          • My first computer was in 1999 and had a blazing fast processor speed of 199Mhz.
          • I didn't have Internet access until 2005.
          • I became a heavy PC gamer around 2007.

          I understand the basic appeal of Myst is its great story and puzzles. Since it seems like you know a good bit about the game, where could I go about finding the originals legally? Are they open souce/free to download yet, or am I going to have to hit up Am

          • by tapo (855172)
            The Myst series is pretty awesome, but you need to be the type of person that enjoys a difficult puzzle and a slow pace. GoG.com (Good Old Games) sells Myst and Riven (the sequel) in modern compatible versions for $6 each, no DRM. Those are by far the best games in the series. Myst itself comes in two forms, Masterpiece edition and RealMyst, a real-time 3D remake where you can walk around in first person. I prefer masterpiece, but its a matter of preference.
            • Not a gamer here, but when I first got my own job after grad school, I bought myself a nice fast computer (for that time) and RealMyst as a treat; it was only $10 at the EB discount bin.

              There were bugs in the game. In particular, I had quite obviously solved 2 of the puzzles but the gateway wouldn't open (or whatever magical thing was supposed to happen when I solved the puzzle). I checked some walkthroughs to make sure I wasn't missing something.

              But RealMyst was very cool. I haven't seen any other vers

              • by brandorf (586083)
                RealMyst was the prototype engine for Uru and later Myst: End of Ages. As far as Myst goes, there are two sets of games as far as the story goes: Myst: Riven: Myst III: Exile Myst IV: Revelations (My personal Favorite) Then Uru Myst: End of Ages
                • by brandorf (586083)
                  I always forget that Slashdot strips out extraneous spaces and newlines. Sorry for the lack of commas there. Myst, Riven, Myst III : Exile, and Myst IV: Revelations. Then the second story arc of Uru, then Myst V : End of Ages.
      • by Aladrin (926209)

        Think of it as a chatroom on myst worlds. Because that's basically what it is.

        You -can- solve the puzzles together, but after the first time, well, it's not like you forget the solution or anything.

        Back when it first came out, solving the puzzles with a few online friends of mine was great fun. But obviously, as everyone is pointing out, it never changes after that, and there's not much point in going back.

    • Re:Still Wondering (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Calmiche (531074) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @07:12AM (#31167528)

      The answer to that is yes and no.

      Maybe I can shed some light on this, having played the original beta and also when it was live on GameTap.

      It depends on what you mean by MMO. No, it's not WoW. It's more of a graphical chat-room. All of "Ages beyond Myst" is here. (Ages beyond Myst is the original beta live game, altered for offline play and with a couple of ages that Cyan finished before canceling the beta.) Almost certainly there will be some added content from when the game was available under GameTap. (At least most of the files are included in the download).

      When the game was actually live, there were monthly events put on by Cyan staff. These included plot and storyline events, opening of new areas, multi-user puzzles to unlock new content and from time to time, new clothing for avatars. These almost certainly will not happen in the foreseeable future.

      The big draw, however, were user created events. There were regular meet-and-greets, poetry nights, dance parties and heek competitions (Similar to rock-paper-scissors but with up to 5 players.) There were D'ni language classes, tours of Bahro glyphs and paintings and discussion groups, especially about in game history and working translations of D'ni scripts and books.

      Cyan released several new ages during the course of their run on GameTap. Some of the puzzles were altered to make them only solvable in groups or with at least two people. There were also at least ten other ages in various stages of development as well as quite a few fan created ages that are still being worked on.

      So, if you are looking for fighting, leveling, auction houses and monsters, this probably isn't the game for you. If you like adventure games, long discussions, thought puzzles and linguistics, this might be something you would like to try. Don't expect any official updates, new content or bug fixes in the foreseeable future. Supposedly, the source code will be released. There are quite a few very capable coders and programmers in the Uru community so there is the possibility of fan created patches and updates before to long.

      It's free. If you don't like it, that's fine. If you do, maybe I'll see you at the next poetry slam or Guild of Archivists meeting. Also, think about dropping a donation on Cyan. The more money and support they get, the more likely we will see real progress.

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        Oh man, that's everything I would want a MMO to be. Fuck the game, that sounds like an awesome community.

        The stuff you do when you're bored - organized a parade or a game of leapfrog with a few random people - that will tell you more in 5 minutes about the community of MMO than listening to public chat or reading the public forums for 2 hours.

        • by tsa (15680)

          It was so much fun. When the European football competition was going on, in 2006 or so, all not-football lovers would gather in the City and have conversations about anything but football there. When the Dutch were playing I was dressed in orange. And of course everybody still wanted to know if 'their' club was winning or not.

    • It has ABM, PotS, more Relto pages to collect, all the Great Zero marker missions, a new Age for multiplayer games, two garden ages to be solved in groups, and two new normal ages/puzzles to solve, as well as all the extra little areas and collectibles. But then it died so there is nothing else beyond that (until they open source it).
  • Am I missing something or is it not available for Mac and Linux?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Fred_A (10934)

      Am I missing something or is it not available for Mac and Linux?

      According to the website :

      System Requirements:

      * Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7
      # 512MB of Memory, 1GB or more recommended
      # Video Card: 32 MB RAM, DirectX9.0 -compliant video card and compliant audio card
      # DirectX 9.0c

      Might work in a virtual machine or in emulation/wine. Or not.

      • by agrif (960591)

        There was a Mac version available in the Gametap days (using Cider), and I've heard good things about this client working under cider, as well.

        Uru has always been semi-playable under Wine in Linux, but apparently the new client is even better. It seems like the mouse cursor is sorta funky, but everything else works as expected.

        With the plans to Open Source, as well as the dedicated Linux fans within the community (and Cyan itself, though they have little time to spare), I expect an OpenGL renderer would be

      • I know there are at least 5 people currently playing on Linux using WINE, because I have talked to them in-game.

        This thread [mystonline.com] has a discussion about how to get things up and running in linux.

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by Aladrin (926209)

      It has always only worked on Windows. Why would you expect that to change?

      • Because alternative OSes have started picking up more market share and general use ever since back then.

        I'm not saying they should've ported it, I'm just answering your question about why you could expect ports to exist.

    • by eugene2k (1213062)

      It isn't available, but once it is released as open source (provided all of the code is released), nobody is there to stop you from porting the client to Linux or Mac, which for some should be an interesting project to take part in.

    • From their About [mystonline.com] page:

      • Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7
      • 800MHz PentiumIII or AMD Athlon or better Processor
      • 512MB of Memory, 1GB or more recommended
      • Video Card: 32 MB RAM, DirectX9.0 -compliant video card and compliant audio card
      • DirectX 9.0c
      • 3+ GB free Hard Drive Space
      • Broadband Internet Connection
      • 800 by 600 16 bit displays

      One of their forum topics asks about Mac users running this. Several replies indicate that it does work, mostly, under emulators.

    • When it was hosted by GameTap, there was an official build using one of the proprietary Wine forks. The game works fine under the standard Wine as well.

  • Great news! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rogerborg (306625)
    Now all that remains is for everybody and their dog to create their own Dragon Rider Teen Vampire Pirate themed fork, run a yo-yo server (it's up, it's down...) on their home ADSL, and watch it die in a spread out whimper of indifference.
  • Zarf's FAQ (Score:3, Informative)

    by agrif (960591) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @09:57AM (#31169148) Homepage

    I would like to mention here for those interested that Andrew Plotkin has written a FAQ [eblong.com] that he has maintained meticulously through all of Uru's incarnations. Interestingly, this is the very same FAQ that was linked when Uru's first demise was posted to Slashdot.

    Uru attracts dedicated fans, and Cyan has some of the best fan relationships of any company. This is a game worth trying out, if you haven't. You may not like it, but I guarantee, if you like it at all, you'll love it.

  • Will someone please post a .torrent?
  • The game is mostly written in python. Going to love to see the code...

    I can only hope there is effort put forth to convert the game from DirectX to Opengl and have it run in a Linux environment. A while back there was also effort to make open source shard servers.

  • ...They didn't actually finish or polish the game, hope that open-source devs will pick up the code to do it for them, and have open-source haters criticize how bad the game is and how it's all the fault of open-source, right?

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