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PC Games (Games) IT

Last Chance to Help Free Ryzom 280

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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  • I'm in for $10... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Panaqqa ( 927615 ) * on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:08AM (#17286072) Homepage
    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 Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:29AM (#17286318)
    This game DOES have a small fanbase, and (from what I remember from beta) is fairly well-programmed. Unfortunately, near the end of beta, they made a greed-based design decision with the skill system and the game took a huge dive. They never realized why, and so that decision stands.

    I pledged a donation because if this goes open source, the first thing I'll do it work on reversing that decision and making the game fun again. I'll have a rogue server, and probably only a few friends on it, but it'll be fun. Maybe my change will even make it back to the regular code-base and I won't even have to run a rogue server.

    This differs substantially from FOSS MMOs that were free from the ground up in a few ways:

    I can't figure a way to make them fun.
    They don't have artwork that was paid-for. (Like it or not, graphics can make or break a game.)
    It's got a fanbase of non-developers.
  • Quake as an example (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mabhatter654 ( 561290 ) on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:32AM (#17286374)
    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 Wesnoth, FreeCiv, etc. The open source "artists" and "gamemasters" are a different breed than programmers and they prefer to be in already working places like Neverwinter or Diablo2 for example where their work gets a large audience. The real NEED is for an artwork repository for OSS games with tools to migrate art between OSS engines. An extension of CChost just for game art would be really useful so engine writers would have something to work with... think of all the game mods out there...Quake, Unreal, Neverwinter, Dungeon siege, Diablo...but it's all over the web right now in incompatible formats... that needs fixed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:33AM (#17286394)
    Yup, everything....
  • I'm an old school online gamer. You know, telneting from IBM 3270 terminals from one of the last bitnet [] 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 [] 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 [] 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.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Monday December 18, 2006 @01:44PM (#17288662) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • The artwork (Score:2, Interesting)

    by inigo_jones ( 1041346 ) on Monday December 18, 2006 @04:02PM (#17290762)
    one way in which the purchase / open-sourcing of ryzom would be of GREAT benefit to the open source (gaming) community would be the instant availability of a library of pro-grade 3d models and textures.

    Anyone who has worked on the dev team for an open source game knows just how hard it is to come up with quality artwork. especially quality 3d models and textures! If one can find artwork to use, it is almost always licensed under a (non GPL compatible) CC license.

    Having the library of graphics for a whole world would do outstanding things for MANY MANY open source projects. I dont think it can be understated how difficult it would be for the open-source community to develop this mouch content on its own. there simply (currently) arent enough artists with the time and talent developing open source models.

    I dont think that it would mean that all the games would look the same either. Many artists/developers who dont have the ability to create these models and animations from scratch by themselves, COULD modify the Ryzom models to fit th need of their project.

    so... in short... this would go a long way to making a lot of open source games look a lot better. which is one of the biggest areas in which open source falls short of commercial.
  • Re:Suckitude? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Monday December 18, 2006 @06:44PM (#17293392)

    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 and demand kicks in while still allowing infinite supply of basic supplies, and this kind of scamming becomes pointless.

    Or simply make a game where the players are gods (read "Deities & Demigods" D&D-book to get an idea of the applicable game mechanics) instead of rat-killers. With the right attitude it could become absolutely hilarious and very engaging gameplay - just look at pretty much any mythology to see the possibilities for political scheming and over-the-top action; and of course such a game doesn't need to be the least bit balanced powerwise. Begin at divine level 0 quasideity (who has to do a heroic deed to advance to level 1 demigod, which acts as a tutorial) and work your way up to level 20 greater god; and of course dying isn't a problem, since everyone has Revujenation (which rises the slain deity from the dead after a while).

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas