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Role Playing (Games)

Build Your Own MMOG 207

yebb writes "CNet reports about a company called Multiverse that has just begun beta testing of its platform for creating and integrating online virtual worlds. They are allowing developers and companies to use their online framework to expedite development of online games. Their network is free to use as long as you don't make any money from it's usage, but they also provide open source client applications to use or modify as you see fit." From the article: "'The business model is long-term,' said Richard Bartle, one of the pioneers of online games and an editor of Terra Nova, a leading Web site about virtual worlds. 'Although Multiverse's software will help speed up the to-market time for companies, it's still going to take developers ages to create content.' While Bartle is cautious about Multiverse's business model, he's fascinated by its potential."
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Build Your Own MMOG

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  • With SWG being rumored to close down in Feb (due to a miscalculation about how many cancellations NGE would cause) I'd love to see someone impliment a pre-CU server somewhere. :)
  • Distributed MMORPGs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @02:47PM (#14196062)
    I wonder if anyone will ever get around to making a distributed MMORPG. Something where different parts of the game world would be hosted by different operators.

    I suppose that would open a whole new slew of issues, though.

    • by bigpat ( 158134 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:59PM (#14196941)
      I started working on the Varium MUD server with a couple other guys over 5 years ago, but frankly I wasn't a very good programmer at the time and I was supposed to implement the distributed stuff. It was written in Python, but we never got the distributed part working (my fault). But I had thought that we could put a graphical layer on top of the underlying game engine, to make a distributed MMORPG.

      The goal was to have a server that could be distributed, so that say you direct your avatar to go through portals which would transfer your avatar and any compatible objects you were carrying to the linked server. Really the idea was to make the equivalent of hyperlinks, but that the servers would negotiate a transfer of the avatar and in game objects.

      Some of the issues that came up (all solvable)

      *security - ensuring that game objects could be transferred from one server to another without violating any rules of the local server.
            - we looked at parsing the incoming python for undesirable code in the same way that "Wizard" created code would be validated on the local server.
            - also having several levels of trust available between servers. (ie peered servers, trusted servers, unknown servers, banned servers and the ability to specify what individual privileges would transfer and correlate between servers)

      *saving game state - assuming what if the remote server crashes, would we save any game state in the client (but what about cheats?) Probably just leave reliability up to the local admin and have a inactive copy of the avatar left on recently visited world servers so that you could just reconnect and pick up where you left off (more or less)

      *also, game experience. What would you do about themed world servers? So, that if I was say on a Star Wars themed virtual world, and then went through a portal to a Barney themed world server, would my Chewy avatar suddenly turn into a Purple dinosour or would there be some sort of "Customs" border process where by you went through and specified preferences the first time you visited someplace. But that might really interfere with game play...

      Anyway, those are a few of the things we talked about. The project is dead, codebase didn't include any distributable elements. Seems like distributed MMORPGs are wide open for an open licensed and non proprietary standard for connecting MMORPGs together to really create a workable metaverse [].
      • Just felt the desire to comment on the theoretics. Regarding Themed World, you simply wouldn't connect them, obviously one would only want to connect world that have similar rules. Sure I guess you could setup portals to other worlds more as a universal login/registration system. But gamestates would definatly need to be completly seperate per conceptual world. Think of it this way, say I travel to another country, I can probably bring with me something of value to trade with, but say I slip into a parrell
        • SuperNodes? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bhsx ( 458600 )
          The concept of trusted supernodes comes to mind. Let's say you require one supernode per ten servers. The supernodes update each other as frequently as possible, use secure logins, and store your encumberance, your portable items and your traits. Depending on the style of game, how much you can carry with you could develop with character. These servers would also keep track of themed worlds and out-of-theme worlds and your personal config for each. For those who use the "standard" rule systems and them
        • by bigpat ( 158134 )
          Just felt the desire to comment on the theoretics. Regarding Themed World, you simply wouldn't connect them, obviously one would only want to connect world that have similar rules.

          Actually I was thinking it would be more fun and interesting the more exotic the differences and if sometimes you could have arrangements between differently themed worlds to allow migration of items and characters with all their traits across worlds. Likely such linking could only be done across trusted servers, so that you woul
      • I did this with a small group of server operators using NWN, the biggest problem was transfering character files. The world transition mechanism for NWN expected the character file to be available as soon as the world transfer mechanism started, but the file wasn't saved out until the transition began. This wasn't a problem on a local server or servers, but once you started using a distributed filesystem it didn't work so well. We tried hacking around it by using the SQL extensions for NWN but it ended up b
    • If you've looked around any game creation forums, the idea has been mentioned at least a dozen times, but it ends up being too hackable, too bandwidth limited, and leads to fragmentation worse than a server split in IRC.

      So no, I doubt anyone will ever get around to making a truly distributed MMORPG. Keep in mind that all MMORPGs are distributed by nature (as the client and the server both have a set of responsibilies), but as far as distributing the server part, it just gets too complicated.

      But then a
      • by _ph1ux_ ( 216706 )
        The idea of the actual game world being distributed is a tough one sure, but the idea that the characters can be tranferable is not. I had come up with an idea whereby one could build an avatar and use that model in any game. I called the idea BinaryBeing - basically you would have a site where you have an account which stores your various avatars. You could have one that was a general avatar used in any games that allow your fully customized char. but you could also have theme-compliant avatars where a cer
    • by Lonath ( 249354 ) * on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @04:21PM (#14197169)
      Blizzard sort of did this with Diablo 1. They allowed people load characters from their home computers to play against each other online. I don't recall if there were any issues with exploits or cheats, however.
      • yes, yes there were.
        Since Blizz had no control over what people did on their home computers and there was no CD-Key system in D1 people could do anything they wanted, and they did.
        90% of D1 players cheated, 9% were liars, 1% were foaming-at-the-mouth elitist-legit zealots.
    • Didn't id Software say it was going to do distributed parts of the 3D game FPS with its engine? Basically, each server would be run by an operator. Then, player can jump into portals to another server. This idea was like a decade ago I think.
    • by Phae ( 920315 )
      MMOGs already have huge issues with synchronization and lag even with servers directly connected to each other, it would just add a huge level of overhead for keeping everything together. Also, as soon as they don't have direct control over servers and all game information, the potential for cheating explodes. As it is, the servers only have to validate input from clients; if it became distributed, then calculations would have to be validated as well. Currently most games have worlds in multiple states/c
    • Yup, this wouldn't be exploited at all. First rule of online play: Never trust the client software with ANYTHING important.
  • This is nothing new (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ninj0r ( 897987 )
    This is nothing new. []
  • Umm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ndansmith ( 582590 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @02:54PM (#14196146)
    I guess by Massively Multiplayer they mean "like 5 or 6 of your buddies."

    I just cannot see anyone getting a large community of players together without a large development and advertising budget. Large development budgets also lead to independent, customized systems with total control, which is the opposite of the Multiverse concept.

    • Re:Umm... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by swilde23 ( 874551 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:09PM (#14196302) Journal
      I just cannot see anyone getting a large community of players together without a large development and advertising budget. Large development budgets also lead to independent, customized systems with total control, which is the opposite of the Multiverse concept.

      Didn't people say the same thing about Linux (and its variations)? Look at all the different flavors, and then consider the select few that have a reasonable following. I imagine that's what will happen here, assuming the base code is worthwhile. We'll see a handful of good games emerge from a cool idea, but we'll also see several thousand others that die.

    • Re:Umm... Right (Score:4, Informative)

      by Esteanil ( 710082 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:17PM (#14196429) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, like for instance Planetarion, a small browser-based game with absolutely no advertising, which grew from 0 to 200 000 users in a couple of months.
      Seriously, word of mouth is and remains the main way to recruit new customers.
      Just make a good enough product and your customers are more than happy to do the advertising for you.
    • And on top of that, the administration isn't addressed either. One of the most significant aspects of any MMOG is the tight control the GMs have over certain things in the world. Cheating is always (one of) the biggest issue in all MMOGs so if those concerns (content control, data isolation, cheater detection) aren't well addressed or fleshed out, then any boutique MMOG will never be able to launch outside of a group of friends who can all trust each other.

      I mean huge for-profit MMORPGs are having a hel
    • Because everybody knows that Counter-Strike needed a massive development and marketing budget to become popular...
      Really this sounds like a Good Thing(TM), and I'm really curious to find out what this is capable of in the long run.
    • Re:Umm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by podperson ( 592944 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @04:24PM (#14197203) Homepage
      Plenty of NeverWinter Nights servers attract larger consistent followings with no advertising.
      • Re:Umm... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by _Sharp'r_ ( 649297 ) <sharper.booksunderreview@com> on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @07:42PM (#14198686) Homepage Journal
        Apparently I'm starting to get too old for the /. crowd.

        I made it through the entire page of comments (ok, only 2+, didn't read the others) and not a single person mentioned where this has all been done before in the MU* (MUSH/MUX/MUD/etc..) realm. You know, hundreds of players at a time in a multi-user game. Game services that did nothing but rent game accounts for you to build and run your own. All of the software highly customizable, with the better ones (Like PennMush, TinyMU*, etc..) having an in-game programming language that still has list and string functions easier to use than most high-level languages today have.

        You know, the things that today's MMOG are built on top of? Heck, if you looked at Everquest, you could tell it was just a MUD with a GUI thrown on top.

        This "Multiverse" is simply bringing the current crop of graphical MUDs back to the previous realm of how things were before some big budget guys starting spending the cash necessary to stick a GUI on top of some MUD software.
  • Oh great (Score:4, Funny)

    by jackcarter ( 884148 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @02:56PM (#14196160)
    Just what I need: joining some guy's MMOG and start standing inside the goatse guy's ass.
  • by glengineer ( 697939 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:00PM (#14196206)
    How about an MMORPG wherein the users can create content? So, after I play a while and become famous, rich whatever, I can build my own dungeon, castle, create my own army, my own artifact, create my own quests that other players undertake... There are a LOT of users out there with good content ideas who cannot get past the large undertaking to create their own game system, but who would love to create their own content in an existing one.
    • While it could be a nightmare to implement, I think that this sort of thing could be a breakthrough. Creating an entire world is too much to expect somebody to do, but if some established MMORPG let users create instanced or separate zones where user created content can be accessed then it could be like CounterStrike is to Half-Life.

      Now, there will be issues with items and EXP. Either you have to have all EXP and items not appear in the common world or (less likely) force a computer generated cap on EXP
      • User content would be the equivalent of towns, not a starting point for enemy/ai/mobile attacks but houses, villages, defensive structures. Any of those would have to be generated as random attacks (ala invasions) or from game mechanics (enemies being simulated to grow/expand or from PVP style factions). Balance would come from making construction cost, some nontrivial cost of game money and/or time. In game economics have been poor at best, with players having either too little or way too much influence
    • by John Hurliman ( 152784 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:36PM (#14196690) Homepage
      Second Life []
      • by Solder Fumes ( 797270 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2005 @01:49AM (#14200229)

        Scrolling through the comments, I see:
        1. People who read about a similar universe in a book.
        2. People who think this is a new great idea.

        Seriously, guys, anyone interested in a collaborative freeform 3D world should have already registered an account at Second Life. It's been out there for a couple years already. The client *is* a 3D modeling tool, everything from clothes to massive Klingon spacecraft are built inworld. You can build anything you want in one of the sandbox areas if you don't own land. You can attach scripts to do almost anything to almost any object; everything from animating a sculpture to running a store or party game.

        Second Life is now free. That is, you can register, have an avatar, get a weekly stipend, build anything you want, but you can't own land. No excuse not to try it out. One hint: turn off local lighting to speed up the framerate, Second Life is CPU-bound.
        • I would like to see the dev's get thier stuff together for secondlife. It has great potential but they drop the ball on a lot of stuff.

          There's been lots of promises of things that are supposed to be out in the next update, then it comes, and there is no mention of it.

          These things include html on prims, new havok physics engine, and a new rendering engine.

          Interestingly I don't see the new features being developed helpping the main features of secondlife. Building and socalizing. I see no mention of work on i
    • There is an MMOG somewhat like that already: <URL:>.
      If I recall, it's something like $12/year.
    • by zoomba ( 227393 ) <mfc131@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:38PM (#14196717) Homepage
      Sounds sorta like the dream behind Neverwinter Nights multiplayer where you could build your world and link it to other servers via portals. In theory it would create a zoned MMORPG if you had enough people working together to build and host content. In reality though, it never came to be since it required more work than the average user wanted to put in.

      User generated content is only good if it's made so insanely easy to do that it's a no-brainer. As soon as you make it so users "design" the content, you're toast.

      The general solution is to have pre-fab structures and templates for users to plop down and then to some limited extent fill in *some* custom content (usually smaller prebuilt objects the devs provide).

      Player generated content is the holy grail of a lot of MMORPGs, but the trade off in a system like that is so much work has to go into making a workable world for players to create within, and a system robust and simple enough to make creation accessable to players, that there is almost always very little GAME built. Look at Star Wars Galaxies for an example of that. It's a beautiful sandbox system (prior to NGE) that allowed the users to define a vast majority of the game world through the economy, player towns etc... But there wasn't any gameplay or real content in there.

      The portion of MMO players who want a toolset to create a universe is vanishingly small. Most people want a game to play, so devs like Blizzard don't bother with the player creation and focus solely on game content.
    • Won't you want to get paid for creating content though? I can see creating some content for free, but if you want to make it your day job, you'd probably want to get paid for it. Level designer is a paid profession right now, and probably for a good reason. I said, "probably".
    • I think this would solve a lot of problems as far as content in MMORPGs. It costs a lot of money to hire people who can write decent quests, stories, and epics. You could have the users do this for free if you allowed them to build their own empires, strike deals, backstab, take vengance, etc.

      Stories are always about the human element. It sounds like current MMORPGs are to restrictive and don't allow the full range of human interaction. Thus, we have no human drama. So MMORPG companies have to hire people
    • What goes around (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zatar ( 131299 )
      You mean like so many text-based MUDs have done since forever?

      I remember playing a MUD in the early 90s where when you hit the max level you could plant a dungeon somewhere (just connected your dungeon to an existing room node) and write object oriented code to implement monsters, puzzles and treasure. I always figured it would be a good way to teach OO design since it's a lot easier to think of a monster or a magical scepter as an object with attributes than it is to start with abstract data structures...

    • Years ago, I maintained a MUD that had online creation. Certain players could extend the world and create items and such. Of course, it was all text based, but it really wasn't a lot of work to add the code to the regular MUD code. I can't imagine it would be too difficult to do with an MMOG. The trick would be in the user interface. It is one thing to build maps and items (a lot of single player games have this already). But scripting good quests could be a fair amount of work.

      • But the existing games don't have "good quests" as you define it (ie: those that would require work to script). LPMUDs aside the most advanced quest I've seen in an MMORPG had you talk to a guy (after fulfilling a number of get-the-items and talk-to-bob tasks) who turned around and attacked you (with two of his buddies who'd been 'hiding in shadows') ..
    • I had (on paper) a world for which the physic/law would have been the following : * the profession would have a true incensitive to have other way than hack and slash. Builder (see below for dungeon) material researcher, cook etc... A way to do that is to have a few tools that each profession would be able to use (5 as far as i remmember) then a few dozen material and a few "law". Then each person would have a random matrix set by the system, unbeknown to them, setting how good they would be at using tools
    • Yeah, they're called MUDs. Players create rich, detailed zones.

      The problem with MMORPGs is 3D art is the barrier to most development. All the other elements besides art players are more than capable of doing.
    • It sounds like you might want to check out Secondlife ( []).
      While not exactly an RPG, it is versitile enough to let you create your own little fantasy subworld and invite other people in for some leveling up on orcs and trolls. While I don't play it, I'm thinking of signing up sometime soon, it looks pretty fun.
  • Win* only (Score:2, Informative)

    Their games are for Win* users only. I'm out.
    • However, one shouldn't count them 100% out; it all depends on whether they're interested in getting someone with experience on MacOS or Linux as a target platform as a contractor. The likelihood of them being just Windows developers is pretty high, even if they were founded by former Netscape developers.

      Now, having said this, I'm not interested if they're not going to come to the table to discuss. There's enough projects that are really, really close to this in the first place that could be commercially s
  • Tech (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kevin_conaway ( 585204 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:03PM (#14196237) Homepage
    What are the technical details? Platforms? What apis are available? In what language?
    • What are the technical details?

      Don't know - you have to "sign up" to get that info.


      They don't mention anything for the server software, but the client is apparently Windows XP only. []

      I guess I'll be sticking with NWN for the time being :o)
    • by Cyno ( 85911 )
      This is News for Nerds, not News for Geeks.
    • Re:Tech (Score:2, Informative)

      Our server software is written in Java, so that gives you some flexibility with your server OS.

      And as I mentioned in a different thread, the client that's in beta right is WinXP, but other platforms are on the roadmap. We are a bunch of early-days Netscape folks, so we've been pretty committed to the cross-platform thing for a decade or so.

      We'll be posting more info on our tech specs at our site in coming weeks and months. You won't have to be an early developer on our beta platform to find out the importan
  • by Minwee ( 522556 ) <> on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:06PM (#14196265) Homepage
    This sounds like the same sort of business model that companies like Kaneva [] are offering. "Play with our tools, build games, host them on our servers and we'll take a cut of the money."

    It could be good if it works out. If not, at least it will let more people see that game design isn't about eating donuts and throwing darts at the "Nerf This" board.

  • by design by michael ( 924422 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:08PM (#14196283) Homepage
    Somehow I think you'd be subject to a lot of loading screens -- like switching from a fantasy theme to say a WWII shoot-em-up setting. I can see how some things might be used centrally, like the engine itself; but other visual and audio resources?

    Somehow I find it hard to imagine how they could provide enough universal resources to accommodate many possible different themes and gaming environments -- unless you don't mind using a "thud" sound for your AK-47 as you storm the beaches of Normandy on your shimmering unicorn.
  • It the moment it just sounds like you can play multiple games on one client. But You have to wonder if the individual game developers would want to make client changes that would break that compatibility. Anyway, if the were to make it possible to 'travel' from one game to the next you could wind up with a really interesting Spell Jammer like multiverse. That could be entertaining.

  • How much different is this than say Id releasing the Quake engine (I think that was what they released a while ago) and saying "Build games on this." If I remember correctly, there were some alright games built on it, but really most of them were bargain bin lookalikes. When FPS games got real popular I believe 2-3 different engines were released to be licensed... and can anyone name a game that was really all that good that was built on them? Maybe 1 game? Its just like movies, 1-2 companies come out with
  • by Lord Satri ( 609291 ) <> on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:13PM (#14196367) Homepage Journal
    If you take a look a TomeNet [], you get a MMORPG open engine. The sad thing is, you must go to the forums [] to learn anything about it because the website isn't updated often.

    TomeNet is a roguelike multiplayer online rolepaying game based on Tolkien's work. The single player game is also getting closer to version 3.0, with a revamped game engine (open, with source code available). Great game and great community.
    • For the last decade I dreamed of a multiplayer, online Nethack. Then I found TOME. Then I tried TomeNet... and I realized what a bad idea my dream was. The problem with putting a game like Tome or Nethack online is that they are turn based. Both games are designed in such a way that players are expected to sit back and think about certain moves. And when the player stops, the game stops. It does not map well to realtime. Each player is going to want to move at their own pace. Then you have to find some way
      • Both games are designed in such a way that players are expected to sit back and think about certain moves. And when the player stops, the game stops.

        That's not how it works anymore. You can also set automatic actions if there is lag, like auto-defense and auto-attacking. I can't tell you a lot more about it simply because you reached the limits of my knowledge. But read the TomeNet forums and ask questions there if you haven't found any answers. There's also an insightful Tome wiki linked from the site.

        • That's not how it works anymore. You can also set automatic actions if there is lag, like auto-defense and auto-attacking.

          I know. I played it briefly. TomeNet loses much of what makes Tome so great to play. No serious Tome/Nethack player would trust "auto attack." Tome is more like Chess than it is like Diablo.


  • WoW (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cmburns69 ( 169686 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:20PM (#14196463) Homepage Journal
    How long before somebody creates a knockoff of World of Warcraft (ala the bnetd fiasco), and this company gets sued by [insert Blizzard parent company here]?

    But seriously, what's to stop people from implementing their favorite games here, and what kind of liability is assumed by this company for providing the platform? With the current legal climate, services (such as Kazaa, morpheus, even bit-torrent) have been held accountable for copyright violations despite not having any control over the contents.

    How long until the same issue effects this system?
    • [insert Blizzard parent company here]


    • How long before somebody creates a knockoff of World of Warcraft (ala the bnetd fiasco), and this company gets sued by [insert Blizzard parent company here]...But seriously, what's to stop people from implementing their favorite games here, and what kind of liability is assumed by this company for providing the platform? With the current legal climate, services (such as Kazaa, morpheus, even bit-torrent) have been held accountable for copyright violations despite not having any control over the contents.

  • Blender (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LetterRip ( 30937 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:24PM (#14196532)
    I would think that Blender would be an ideal match for this, since they need a way for potential users to create content - models and animations, cheaply and easily.

    • Well, Cyan Worlds "Uru", which tanked commercially and was revived as fan-hosted servers has recently seen the creation of a Blender Plugin, so fan-made content is now possible... Read about it here [] and get access here Page []. Just be careful, there are a lot of unwritten rules in the Uru-Community.
  • by gtshafted ( 580114 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @03:32PM (#14196639)
    I could be wrong, but doesn't Neverwinter Nights and Second Life already let you do this?
    • As an avid Second Life player, I can answer with "yes".

      There really is not much limiting to what you can do in Second Life. Basically, you're only limited by your imagination and your pocket book. You make the rules.

      It's really quite fascinating.

  • As a developer, I am always interested in looking at new tools. I went over to take a look and it seems that they are mainly soliciting ideas for games? I know that a genre or basic architechture of the game engine is necessary to code properly, however isn't this what is being made available? The specs for a engine, why would a designer look at these tools? Even if I was a game designer, I don't think I would be telling them what my game design would be...


  • by podperson ( 592944 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @04:30PM (#14197261) Homepage
    The only real difference between this idea and NeverWinter Nights is that:

    This product supports ANY setting (although it probably requires a ton of work to make it support anything other than the vanilla fantasy setting they first thought of)

    This product supports ANY ruleset (although it probably requires a ton of work to make it not support something other than the default fantasy ruleset)

    This product is MASSIVE whereas NWN isn't. Although NWN or a descendant probably will be before they ship anything.

    This product provides developers with an SDK. NWN provides developers with a fully functional IDE allowing a person only one skill (e.g. writing / programming / art) to contribute to or create a world.

    This product provides a revenue model for content developers. NWN kind of does (they can commercialise a module you develop) but so far this hasn't worked out well for anyone except the developers of NWN.

    This product doesn't exist. NWN does.
    • Well, the biggest problem is see is this..." free to use as long as you don't make any money from it..."

      Considering that the largest part (time and effort) of the game development is in creating a story line, objects, quests, dialog, NPC's, etc. and all they're offering is an engine, there should be a one time fee for the engine and it should be free or nearly so. I would say that better than 90% of the total development effort is centered in these areas. These areas are also the ones that make or break a
  • Mac Support (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zobeid ( 314469 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2005 @05:31PM (#14197781)
    The Multiverse website says nothing about Mac support -- in fact, I couldn't find where it says anything at all about hardware requirements or operating systems. However. . . There is something on the Kothuria website. Their FAQ says:

    Q: Will your game appear on other platforms?
    A: Currently we aren't developing for other platforms than Windows PCs.

    Based on history, I would assume if it's not being developed for both Mac and Windows simultaneously, then it's highly unlikely that it will ever support Macintosh (or Linux for that matter). As a general rule, it's not economically viable to take an already-developed MMOG and make a Mac port of it. (That was the official answer to our question about a Mac version of Star Wars Galaxies, in fact.)

    Almost all the MMOGs that have appeared on the Mac platform came out of a combined PC-and-Mac development process: WW2 Online, Shadowbane, Second Life, and World of Warcraft.

    Of MMOGs that began on PC and were later ported to Mac, the only one that comes to mind is Everquest. It was so late arriving that EQ2 and WoW were already knocking at the door, and it lacked compatibility to allow Mac and PC users play on the same servers.

    Another example is Neverwinter Nights, which is not quite really a MMOG but is similar in some respects. It was ported to Macintosh, but the whole Aurora toolkit was left out -- excuse being that it depended on some developer library provided by a vendor who promised Mac support but never came through with it.

    Multiverse are setting themselves up to be the same kind of obstacle. Basically, they're creating an ecosystem that locks out Macintosh not at the consumer level, but at the developer level.
  • I guess I'll have to move in to a Storage USA container and wait for the Snow Crash virus to hit. Sweet.

The cost of feathers has risen, even down is up!