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MMORPG Ryzom Released Under AGPL 117

acemtp writes "Breakthrough for Free Software gaming. Ryzom announces full release of source code and artwork, and a partnership with the Free Software Foundation to host a repository of the game's artistic assets."
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MMORPG Ryzom Released Under AGPL

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:00PM (#32112138)

    Coming soon to the web: the first MMO with more developers than players!

    • No; that's Planescape.
      • Isn't that actually Second Life?
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Nah, Second Life is the one with more journalists than players. Well, it was in 2008, at any rate.

  • Awesome!!!! (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I finally heard about this game. Was it a success?

    • by durrr ( 1316311 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:56PM (#32112878)
      No, but it will be when i'm done stripping the artwork of clothes.
      A free Massive Multiplayer Online Really Pornographic Game, the trees and clouds may be textured with ads but that's not going to stop you from playing it now will it?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by iceaxe ( 18903 )

        There's not a whole lot to strip, especially from the Matis characters.

        I expect to see your drafts later this week.

  • by pieisgood ( 841871 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:06PM (#32112218) Journal

    After years of limbo and changing hands, with initial attempts by an open source community to raise money in order to BUY Ryzom, it's about time it went open. It's been in the eyes of open source after the original developers announced they were selling it. I once payed to play it but since development, and player base, was essentially dead there was no incentive to play. Now, maybe, it might gain something like a new life.


    • I too played it years ago and it had great potential and an incredible, although small, community. Over the years it changed hands and each company lost players as it took its time to bring the game back online.

      Perhaps now something will come of it, this would be truly great.

  • by Anonymous Coward
  • I tried Ryzom about a month ago. It was not something I would call a fun game to play.

    Hopefully some of the really creative developers out there can use this code as a base for creating some really fun games.

    • Re:Free =/= Fun (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:23PM (#32112400) Homepage

      OTOH sizeable number of people would never call WoW "fun".

      Heck, "free" could as well be actually an impediment - who knows how many people value their MMORPG, at least partially (but enough for it to be significant), because it costs them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Lifyre ( 960576 )

        I actually enjoyed WoW for a long while, since 2004 off and on. I'm trying LotRO right now and having fun. To me free is better if it delivers a comparable product but Ryzom just isn't. The one thing WoW had going for it (and eventually against it) was the ease/simplicity of playing the game and their add-on system. Ryzom was cumbersome to do many basic tasks such as attack and loot.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jurily ( 900488 )

        OTOH sizeable number of people would never call WoW "fun".

        That's because WoW is actually several games bundled together.

        - Quest & Farm - this is actually work, if you think about it, and you need to do a lot of this to get to the interesting part
        - Economy - Buy low, sell high, and you can avoid some or all of the above after a while; the auction house is basically economic PvP, with your progress measured in cash flow
        - Kill the dragon with your friends - most fun for most people, progress measured by your equipped items; probably most successful because you sh

        • by sznupi ( 719324 )

          From my exposure to "dedicated" WoW players, it's mostly a (very) glorified chatroom; and one for group of people you already know.

      • by syousef ( 465911 )

        Heck, "free" could as well be actually an impediment - who knows how many people value their MMORPG, at least partially (but enough for it to be significant), because it costs them.

        There is a very strong case for Darwinism here. Getting rid of such people is in the best interests of the game, the community, and players who actually do enjoy it. If it turns out no one enjoys it, they just have money invested in it, I'd argue the game is a waste of space and a distraction that is best removed so that actual fun games can come into being..

      • I agree with this. I'd be reluctant to play a free MMO simply because cost acts as a barrier to keep certain undesirables out of my gameplay experience. There will always be the odd few 11 year old death knights with their parents credit cards doing 600dps in full T9 but imagine how horriffic it would be were the game free to play.
    • Re:Free =/= Fun (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:41PM (#32112602)

      Too true. Game design is one of the things open source does not do well. Open-source clones are often superior, purely on technical grounds, but fully original open-source games tend to be less fun than commercial ones.

      Why is this? Simple. Game design is an art, and a complex one at that. Open-source works well for technical tasks. The Linux kernel is one of the most stable ever, Apache is the best web server I know of, and Firefox is my preferred browser. Open-source fails at artistic tasks simply because the end result is designed by a committee, not a single vision.

      I'm working on a game myself right now, and I fully plan to release the engine code as open-source. I will not, however, be making it an open-source project, because then, instead of one unified artistic direction, there will be dozens, pulling the game in different ways.

      Game design is not, as most people imagine, a simple task. It takes experience and judgment, knowing not only what to add but what NOT to add. When making Wolfenstein 3D, they originally implemented things like dragging corpses into corners and searching through pockets. These were cut not because they were themselves bad, but because they conflicted with the other elements of the game. If you were to open-source a game without a strong player base with strict ideas of what belongs in the game and what does not, you will end up with a jumbled mess of ideas.

      Perhaps, however, an MMO could be made to work. If you limit most contributors to only making new quests and dungeons, it might work. Large-scale balancing and other major changes should be limited to a few people, less than a hundred.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Let me toss up an analogy: Imagine a thousand Morrowind modders all constantly pushing their mods into one big ol' shared install.

        Now, imagine trying to maintain a coherent artistic style. Imagine trying to keep the game's economy and progression balanced. Imagine trying to ferret out and shut up all the backdoors and logic bombs the cheaters and griefers are dropping into the game logic. Heck, imagine trying to keep the game stable on multiple platforms. It blows MY mind, anyway.

        • Heh, I actually did something like that, except in Oblivion. On my second playthrough, I just added every mod I thought looked good. I ended up with extremely crazy stuff, like having both a Legend of Zelda outfit and WW2 Wehrmacht uniforms. Riding a dragon around a rebuilt Kvatch was pretty cool though. It was fun for a second playthrough, but it annihilated the mood.

          • Two mods that have revived the game for me a fifth time are conduit magic, and oblivion xp. On-the-fly weapon enchanting and a leveling system so I no longer need to keep a spreadsheet on my characters.
      • Re:Free =/= Fun (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bonch ( 38532 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:11PM (#32114502)

        Your'e overthinking it it. The obvious reason is that quality developers and artists expect to be paid for their work. There's no incentive for someone with a lot of talent to slave away on some boring but necessary part of an open source project for no reward when Blizzard will happily pay you to model those Stormwind streetlamps or program the boring bag interface code. Even Linux development is funded by large corporations whose business depends on Linux. Once again, capitalism reigns.

        • by cas2000 ( 148703 )

          Once again, capitalism reigns.

          that word [wikipedia.org] does not mean what you think it means.

          • Yes, it does. That word can have a lot of meanings and different definitions are usually applied in different contexts. So yeah, in this case, it does mean what he thinks it means.

          • by bonch ( 38532 )

            Yes, it does.

            The "does not mean what you think it means" meme is ridiculously tired at this point, by the way.

      • I don't think so. It think it's because a game, like a film or a book, is something to consume and then move on from, i.e. by its very nature it's hard to maintain user and developer interest over years and years, even with the continual addition of new features.

        Open source works very well were the software is not an end in itself, but a tool. Eg you don't get bored of vi, you get better and better at it.

      • by hlee ( 518174 )

        As you already suggested what you need to do is you need to separate the core engine and game content.

        I agree that content development is hard to open source and seem best developed by an individual or a small group.

        The successful open source projects you mention all have a plugin/module system. Ensure the game engine supports a good scripting language for content creation, and plugin system that can modify any aspect of the game, and I expect it will do well in the open source world. Your game in effect sh

      • I was hired as an engineer on Rizom 7 years ago to work on the tools to create the world (I remember seing my name in some of the sources), but I quit after one month.

        The real problem of such large games is that there should be a guy who is able to create an universe and be able to communicate his view to his team.

        However, there was nobody like that (or perhaps nobody communicated about it ?), and I sensed that there was no clear direction. I was a very experienced game programmer at that time, and I was ab

        • by am 2k ( 217885 )

          Giving the project to the OSS community won't change anything, since nobody has a clear view how to create an universe that is both logical and fun.

          How come you know everybody on the world? The OSS community is not a clear-cut group of people (there's no membership card, at least that I know of). Maybe somebody will pick it up and instead of doing design-by-commitee development, will actually be able to create a vision and stick to it, and get a small group to implement that vision (and not their own).

      • Open-source fails at artistic tasks simply because the end result is designed by a committee, not a single vision.

        No, it fails because artistic tasks are best handled by artists (i.e. designers), not programmers.

        • by am 2k ( 217885 )

          Game Design is a wholly different thing than graphics artistry. It actually involves a lot of systematic thinking, which is easier for programmers.

          I think the biggest problem is that many people think they know what it takes to design a game because they played so many of them and just do something without any kind of guidance. Just like programming, it's a craft you have to learn. That takes time and a lot of reading and understanding.

  • Excellent News (Score:4, Informative)

    by Reapman ( 740286 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:17PM (#32112346)

    I think this is great, if only from an academic standpoint. I don't see someone creating an FOSS WoW entry level game here with it, but I do see this being a big boon to developers looking at the code to learn how to code something like this. It could actually spawn a lot of specialized mini-mmo's too.

    Kudos to whoever was involved in making this happen.

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:34PM (#32114946)
      I've already got an idea to create a text-only MMORPG. I mean, without the graphics, the overhead will be cheaper and we won't have to charge people to play. It's a simple but elegant idea, and you all have me to thank for it. It could really take off too, if everyone else follows my lead. You can thank me for the idea later.
      • You have to have one without all that combat and PKing and stuff for all us carebears so we can stay out of your fightin' games and just sit around looking at all the pretty flowing ANSI colors. ;)

      • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )
        Um, thanks ... from four years ago? That's how long ago I started coding my own text-based MMORPG, and another one that I've been playing has been around for 7+ years.

        I know you're joking (or at least modded funny) but there ARE text-based MMORPG's out there. Quite a few of them. Many of them do tend to be free for casual players, with either a donation model or a "pay for expanded content" model, or something along those lines. Often they're not "no graphics" but just static images, which is probably ne
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by dAzED1 ( 33635 )

          using numbers like "4" and "7" to describe "years ago" for this is...odd. I was playing text-based mmorpgs 20 years ago.

      • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @08:35PM (#32120196) Journal

        I've already got an idea to create a text-only MMORPG. I mean, without the graphics, the overhead will be cheaper and we won't have to charge people to play. It's a simple but elegant idea, and you all have me to thank for it. It could really take off too, if everyone else follows my lead. You can thank me for the idea later.

        It is dark. You and your online friends are likely to be eaten by a grue.

      • Actually I'm working on a similar vein. Goldchest [sourceforge.net] will eventually be a MMO based on the the old gold box games and will have an interactive infocom styled parser for puzzles....

  • Wonderful news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ProfMobius ( 1313701 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:21PM (#32112382)

    This is a really good news. For what I remember, the whole 3D part / textures of Ryzom is of really high quality. This will be a huge boost for many independent developers who can't access quality 3D models easily.

    Now, just have to fire up my install of OGRE3D, and check if I can load those models in it :)

    • Exactly, especially the models and textures are a long time coming. Current "FLOSS" MMORPG's have a different (restrictive) license on the media, never has there been a significant FLOSS-compatible 3D artwork repository.

      Time to grab the media torrent and dust off that old game engine!

    • by am 2k ( 217885 )

      Unfortunately, the models are all in 3D Studio Max .max format, which cannot be loaded by anything except 3D Studio Max, which is kinda expensive

  • I'd be more interested if they were releasing the sound assets. Open, free to use sound effects are hard to come by.
    • On that note, I wonder if iD used a commercial sound pack in Quake? There is one particular sound effect in Quake, a sound of water dripping in a dark dank place, that I have heard in countless movies and TV shows since.

      • bungie certainly did with marathon. the "elevator starting" noise still shows up in ads on a fairly regular basis.
  • by Skuld-Chan ( 302449 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:18PM (#32113268)

    If anything this might lead to development of MMO middleware which might help to curb the enormous costs of developing one of these games.

  • That sounds like Metroid ... the Chozo combined magic and science, and all the enlightened races in the Prime series (Chozo, Luminoth, Bryonians) eventually learned to do so as well. The Bryonians were least fortunate, only one individual learning to do so after a war caused a separation between those interested only in technology and those only in magic.

    These considerations, I find, are interesting. Too much fantasy is all magic, where people haven't thought to work in the raw physics of the world at al

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by iceaxe ( 18903 )

      Must be an interesting game.

      It is.

      As with any game, some like it, some don't. The primary strike against it at the moment is that not enough people play it. Over and over I hear, "If there were more people playing, I'd love this game." There's an obvious remedy, of course...

      As may be, I have rather enjoyed playing it for a few years now, off and on. (more on than off)
      Much more so than other games which released the same year. ;-)

      The client is a free download, and there's a generous free trial period, so give it a shot, if you think

    • The essential missing ingredient in a lot of games, books, movies and similar artistic endeavours is mystery. When magic becomes commonplace, predictable, or well-understood, its then just another form of technology. People like the idea of a forest where a civilisation once thrived, but now they are gone, they like the idea that dark forces and pacts may be behind the wizard's rainbow lightshow. Routine, widespread, or industrial level arcane powers lose the magic of magic. As far as science goes, its not
      • And how does this prevent you from building technology incorporating magic? Have you seen the iPad?
        • Have you seen the iPad?

          I'm waiting for the release of the footPad, with integrated iCosh(tm) technology. Being thrifty, I like my machines to pay for themselves.

  • http://media.ryzom.com/?query=ball&start=320&asset=96ad7f2ea3fb55b77c0e6ba849717ea7 [ryzom.com]

    Some things are just begging to be modded into TuxRacer... :-)

  • Interesting Story (Score:3, Informative)

    by kenp2002 ( 545495 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:38PM (#32113726) Homepage Journal

    The front end of an MMO is relativly canned. DAOC\Warhammer uses Gamebryo (same front end framework that Civ4 uses.)

    The real detail is in the backend which are largely proprietary.

    The basics of an MMO, front end or back end are rather simplistic. The real dirty work is in the optimizations of data storage and hard core mathmatics in optimizing game logic for execution efficency.

    Case point:
    (In full disclousure I have been working on a MMO from a design standpoint for about 3 years)

    One of the algorithms I have been working on\researching is a random city seeding algorithm (I am interested in procedural MMO world development) that takes either a pregenerated world map or proceedurally generated world map and scores the "desirability" of terrain. Using that heatmap village markers are deployed then a series of passes are made that merge nearby villages into town, towns into cities, and cities into capitals leaving behind unmerged locals (somewhat like evaporation).

    I grabbed ArcEmu (a wow emulator) as well as EQ and a few other emulators and stitched a basic randomly generated map in there to test out the algorithm.

    Now based on how the two engines worked my map either took up 6mb of ram or 12 mb of ram.

    The algorithm itself was brute force. A math geek friend of mine rewrote it from a mathmatical point of view and reduced the map generation time from about 4 hours to 2 1/4th hours. Not bad.

    With a full commerical release it allows people to view the strengths and weakness of a particular implementation and see what optimzations can be made.

    CCP right now with Eve Online has one of the most exotic database architectures I've seen to date, I can only imagine the code behind it. Sharding is easy, 1 concurrent world... mind boggling the data reduction, data isolation techniques needed.

    Seeing their code in not only a technical education on their architecture but you can see the results of a commerical development process had on the code base versus say an emulator like ArcEmu or any open source driven backend.

    Perhaps this may give those aussies a run for the money now...

    • CCP right now with Eve Online has one of the most exotic database architectures I've seen to date, I can only imagine the code behind it. Sharding is easy, 1 concurrent world... mind boggling the data reduction, data isolation techniques needed.

      Pfft. REAL games use BLOBs.

  • A wonderful MMO (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:50PM (#32114010)

    My son and I each had ~level 235 (max:250) characters in Ryzom, there is a lot there that is wonderful.

    The Good:
    The mobs are great, and very aggressive. I see something in a lot of the Aion mobs that reminds me of Ryzom.

    The harvesting is the most complex and interesting of any MMO I have played, between gas, explosions and ticking off the local kami, it will kill you quickly if you aren't on your game.

    The Mixed:
    Very, very few meaningful quests, which meant the goals were largely tied to hunting, harvesting and crafting.

    Travel is dangerous, really really dangerous. Moving between zones can require a full group of high level folks. There are often groups that will "trek" lower level folks to other zones to buy transporter tickets, but until you catch one of these you are stuck in your starter zone.

    The Bad:

    There are significant issues with who controls the best resources, with player-bases in one time zone scheduling attacks on Outposts owned by players in another timezone during times the defenders could be expected to be at work.

    Healing will make you nauseous IRL if you get dizzy easily.

    Kippis NEED a new sound. It's a car crash, you spend a lot of time around kippis harvesting, meaning, you have to listen to constant car crashes. Love the Kippi, fix the sound.

  • I perused the project website, and was pleased to see that they hope to have native clients for OS X and GNU/Linux by year's end.

    I'm happy to see efforts in this direction, and hope that it might lead to more gaming options on those client platforms.

    More details on these specific plans here: http://dev.ryzom.com/versions/show/15

  • Free Ryzom pledges? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Does this mean that the pledges/donations from the former Free Ryzom project have now been called in?

    I was not a donor and the Free Ryzom project's forums are down so I'm unable to verify this but it would be very interesting to know, since the amount raised was impressive--the total was about $255,870 USD.

    • No. That project was an attempt by fans and at least one former Nevrax employee to form an organisation and buy Ryzom after Nevrax went bankrupt, and also after Gameforge France went bankrupt. There is no correlation between that and Winch Gate's open-sourcing move.
  • by myowntrueself ( 607117 ) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @05:59PM (#32118024)

    When you sign up for this thing they send you an email with your username and your password (in plain text).


"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre