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Last Chance to Help Free Ryzom

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-call-on-the-community dept.

PC Games (Games) 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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Suckitude? (3, Insightful)

Ninjaesque One (902204) | more than 7 years ago | (#17285964)

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?

Re:Suckitude? (3, Funny)

exspecto (513607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17285984)

The monster I create that kills players in one hit.

Re:Suckitude? (1)

Ninjaesque One (902204) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286026)

Well, speaking of monsters that kill people in one hit, perhaps they could do it nethack-style, with a secret team of devs. That would be nice, but how would we hide their identities in an MMORPG?

Re:Suckitude? (3, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286048)

The monster I create is nicer than yours, it only kills people with around 1 trillion gold pieces.

Re:Suckitude? (1)

morboIV (1040044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286186)

Continuing down this road, you might end up with an MMORPG with a collection of the silliest monsters known to man all fighting the players and each other.

Damn, it's actually beginning to sound like a good idea.

Re:Suckitude? (1)

big ben bullet (771673) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286276)

My monster will not pursue a level 4 or below unless you're a male character, it is saturday, and your nick name starts with an f!

It has a +4 bonus against goblins or dwarves (actually, it has nothing against dwarves but it is too stupid to notice the difference).

When struck with an unholy bastard sword of doom it immediately vanishes leaving its treasures behind, but you don't gain any experience.

Really... it is for game balance.

(Style blatantly copied from Steve Jacksons Munchkin series)

Re:Suckitude? (4, Informative)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286002)

The point isn't that "everyone's the equivalent of a dev team member." The point is that there is reusable code in development that anyone can take and make their own MMORPG with (using their own server). And perhaps, if the developers want, the community can contribute code.

Re:Suckitude? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286588)

Maybe in theory, but who has the money and interest to keep their own personal MMORPG running, and who will play it? Won't work.

Re:Suckitude? (1)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286666)

Who has the money and interest to keep their own personal [MUD/Website/other internet service] running, and who will use it?

Or, more to the point, who has the money and interest to keep their own Operating System running and in development, and who will use it?

Hobbyists will benefit, of course, but so will the community at large. It can never hurt to have code from a tested engine floating around.

Re:Suckitude? (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286762)

You mean like Multiverse? 4&scid=3 []

Re:Suckitude? (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286834)

Their licence doesn't allow Free Software implementations of it (requires revenue sharing).

Re:Suckitude? (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286906)

From the link - "If you don't make money, we don't make money. And importantly, if you never charge anything, you never have to pay us anything." Now don't get me wrong I tried their demo server and it has a long way to go before it's anything close to what Ryzom offers. But Ryzom has been hardcoded for one game so the idea that it'll be non-trivial to make it run another type of game seems optimistic.

Re:Suckitude? (1)

gerrysteele (927030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286942)

... and it's limited to running on Microsoft platforms

Re:Suckitude? (2, Informative)

james_orr (574634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286144)

Sure, you could do that. But that monster would only be on your own server, so you and your friends can kill that monster as much as you like.

Hopefully, this is controlled by the server (0)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286370)

A serious response to your troll post:

I hope things like spawning monsters and their attributes are controlled by the server. So only the guy running the server can use that sort of cheat, and if he overdoes it, he will find his server empty.

Re:Suckitude? (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286810)

Free/Open Source software is not like a wiki...

umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17286000)

isn't the 19th a tuesday?

whos going to host it? (5, Insightful)

huguley (87575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286010)

The cheap part is the code... How is the project going to be hosted?

Last I checked it still cost money to put a cluster of computers on the internet.

Re:whos going to host it? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17286098)

According to their site last time it was linked on slashdot, there will still be a monthly fee to use the central servers. You can run your own server, but it wouldn't be the one that most people used (Unless you were awesome).

Re:whos going to host it? (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286444)

You can run your own server, but it wouldn't be the one that most people used (Unless you were awesome).

I am awesome. I'm also pretty rad.

Re:whos going to host it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17286244)

The cheap part is the code... How is the project going to be hosted?

Remind me to never hire you as a financial planner, given your genius estimation skills.

Re:whos going to host it? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286344)

Remind me to never hire you as anything, given your genius memory skills.

Peer 2 Peer/distributed processing (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286576)

It'll probably have to be re-written but I'd have thought that would be a good way to design a game running over a high latency connection like the Internet.

Have the client and most of the server running on the user's computer, only interacting with other machines when needed.


Re:Peer 2 Peer/distributed processing (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286652)

Although it's probably not beyond the realm of possibility, the opportunity to cheat would be increased significantly and the distribution of location information across of a loosly coupled p2p network would seem like a very difficult challenge to overcome. Seems like a big gamble for 150k euros.

Re:Peer 2 Peer/distributed processing (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286848)

"Have the client and most of the server running on the user's computer, only interacting with other machines when needed."

Which I think is how Guild Wars can afford to scrub the monthly sibscription model and make its money selling (standalone) expansions packs.

Can you save a sinking ship (3, Insightful)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286018)

The market has spoken, this game was not worthy. I get that the cause is noble and all. But just because it becomes open source, etc, doesn't mean that this is a good game.

Now, I do see some advantages of having an engine like this open sourced, so I guess just for having this bit of code out and about, that could be a good thing.


Re:Can you save a sinking ship (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286206)

And of course it's their money, but it still seems like an odd use of 60,000 Euros of donations to the FSF.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (0, Troll)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286428)

It will do more good than some uses [] .

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286460)

I don't know much about this game, but it would seem to me that an open source Second Life type setup that isn't a vehicle for delivering advertisements and selling vapor might be a good FSF investment. Everyday people are flocking to those types of virtual worlds, and if an open source MMORPG can get into the game, they could really embed a lot of the benefits of open source into the popular mindset.

Imagine one young girl saying to another "It's like Second Life, except you don't need to pay a bunch of money to have nice furniture in your place.", that's the kind of mindshare this could garner if it was well done.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286510)

Imagine one young girl saying to another "It's like Second Life, except you don't need to pay a bunch of money to have nice furniture in your place.", that's the kind of mindshare this could garner if it was well done.

So where is the money going to come from to run the game? Either it's funded by ads, subscription or _____. The first two already exist - I'm interested in what you think the third would be.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286574)

The costs will be the same except subtract executive and staff salaries.

Basically you have free development and deployment and only have to pay for bandwidth and servers.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286646)

You don't need to pay in Second Life to have furniture, there's plenty of it that's free. Now, if you want custom furniture and no artistic ability you can pay somebody to make it for you. Or you can buy something commercial, which is generally better made. But there's quite a lot of decent free stuff, if you can find it among the pile of various free crap.

OSS won't do anything to change that situation, really.

The one thing you HAVE to pay for is land, but land happens to translate to server resources, so open source or not it has to be paid for anyway.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (0, Offtopic)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286660)

Ok then, I'd just like to take this opportunity to say that I'm a MMORG, and I need donations quickly to, um, make myself open. Can I have some money please?

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286296)

The market is not a better judge for valor of a game, than the elections are for valor of a man.
      These being said, it is possible the game was not worthy (but there are plenty of worthy games that had little success on the market)

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

leathered (780018) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286358)

I've just put the finishing touches to my new MMO. It's the best game ever made, and everyone who has played it agrees with me. Problem is that I don't have the marketing budget of likes of Blizzard and SOE, I can't afford to run the servers, and now my company is about to go bankrupt.

So does that make my game not worthy in your opinion? I'm not pretending that Ryzom is the best game in the world but it certainly doesn't fit your 'not worthy' tag.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286448)

Open Source it!! :)

JK, though it is theoretically possible to make a game like that semi-open and make money off it at the same time.
1) Provide an open server architecture so that anyone can run a server who wants to.
2) Release a small part of the game open.
3) Sell expansion packs to server operators for a percent of profit.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286362)

Yes, The market has spoken, and it is still speaking. If the 'community' can raise the € 200K, then the market will again have spoken. If they are unable to raise the money, and some other company buys it, the market *again* will have spoken.

You seem to imply that because this game has failed once with a certain development cost and subscription model, nobody should ever waste their money or time with it again. That's not how the market works. Now, with the bankruptcy, somebody else has a chance to acquire these goods for considerably less than it cost to develop, and maybe with the reduced costs they can make money with a cheaper subscription and less initial cost to recover. Or, if people chose to donate money to get it released as open-source, that is also the market speaking.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286384)

The same could be said of Blender. Its interface sucked and the market rejected it. However, enough people collected enough money to open-source it and it's still around and last time I looked had a decent following dispite its flaws so there ya go.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286404)

I'm sure people said the same about Myst Online: Uru Live. [] Fortunately some people didn't give up, and so I'll be able to play it come Wednesday.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286656)

Actually phase 1 of the beta is live right now. They are in bug fixing so the normal beta date keeps getting pushed back. But you can play right now if you don't mind losing your progress.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286940)

Err.. your information is slightly outdated. They're closing it down today (if they haven't already) and will perform what everyone hopes will be the last vault wipe (something pretty drastic would have to happen for Cyan to even consider a vault wipe after this point). Tomorrow on the 19th the storyline will begin once more on the Until Uru server [] (with a Cyan employee recommending people at the very least log in and head into the Cavern, even if they don't go to the meeting) and then on the 20th we'll be able to log into the Myst Online: Uru Live servers once more with the story continuing until and beyond the official launch.

You can make canoes out of his wood. (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286436)

Having all this medias to play with, will be really helpfull to zillions of open source proyects. And people can really start to make different games out of this engine + medias.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (1)

MadEE (784327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286476)

The market has spoken, this game was not worthy. I get that the cause is noble and all. But just because it becomes open source, etc, doesn't mean that this is a good game.
I don't know, raising what works out to $144,000 (not including the FSF money) is a pretty good sign that people like what they see and are not wanting it to go away. That is a heck of a lot of money for a game to be completely crap, particularity one that wasn't marketed a lot. Besides there are a heck of a lot more ways then simply having a bad product to run a company into the ground.

Re:Can you save a sinking ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17286500)

The engine is already GPL. They're trying to free the game - the art, game design, etc.

Open Source MMORPG (1)

ximor_iksivich (666068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286030)

I seem to recall there being quite a few open source MMORPG already present. Wouldn't it make sense to use/work on the them rather than trying to opensource an existing game?

Re:Open Source MMORPG (2, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Don't Donate! (1, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286064)

If it's GPL it'll get ported to Linux and then <b>my marriage will be over</b>! Please! For the love of Mike! I only just escaped from WoW!

meh (1)

aleksiel (678251) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286066)

i really hate to be the downer, but i played ryzom for a while and found myself totally underwhelmed.

there's a reason why its going out of business.

Re:meh (4, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286150)

The same thing could have been said about Netscape. The point is that this gives people a point to rally around, and something to improve. It's classic Cathedral&Bazaar stuff.

Re:meh (1)

cjjjer (530715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286402)

Yeah but you can only kick a dead horse for so long ....

Re:meh (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286490)

Yeah but you can only kick a dead horse for so long ....

Yes... I guess that's true if your intention is to motivate the horse... but if you just like kicking horses... well you can kick them for quite a long time, dead or otherwise.

Re:meh (0, Offtopic)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286524)

Cathedral & Bazaar... oh shit, does anyone still read that crap? Oooh... wait... I think I just disrespected someone's holy book.

Re:meh (1)

aleksiel (678251) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286948)

i'd totally agree if we didn't have to pay a fee to enter the bazaar.

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

Panaqqa (927615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286072)

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.

Re:I'm in for $10... (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286704)

Your innocence and naiveite delights me. Even with forked code a MMORPG still requires big infrastructure to run.

Re:I'm in for $10... (1)

Stocktonian (844758) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286770)

Can someone confirm the accuracy of the wikipedia page [] which states that the games engine is already licenced under the GPL?

I'm very cynical in general but since this already GPLed why are we being urged to pledge money. If it's for the graphics, models and hardware that was used to run the game then fine, if it's because the Free Ryzom project founder, Olivier Lejade, was the CEO of Nevrax (Ryzom's creator), then all this money will certainly help cushion his fall with all that bankruptcy and the creditors who are out for blood.

Disclaimer: I am completely uninformed as to the history and details of this project. The site is down too so I can't check all the facts. I hope someone can answer my questions and convince me to donate.

benefits? (4, Insightful)

Boeboe (815330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286084)

If you (like me) can see the benefit of having a fully developed MMORPG that is completely open source just donate a little, quickly!"
I do not see the benefits actually, can anyone explain?

Re:benefits? (0, Troll)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286614)

No. There are no benefits. This is a complete and total waste of money.

Nerf! (1)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286090)

A democratically run MMORPG? Have you seen the Warcraft forums? 100% of the userbase will be screaming "NERF!" about all the other classes in the game. :) There can be only one captain on a ship, is what I say.

Just as an afterthought.. what would happen if Blizzard would GPL their software? Obviously they would remain in control of the artwork and such, so nobody can start running their own little World of Warcraft. But what would it mean for other MMORPGs out there?

It's not such an insane idea really... look at the Unreal engine which gets used in dozens of other games. Would it improve or destroy the MMORPG market? Would Blizzard go bankrupt or be able to buy even more solid gold humvees?

Re:Nerf! (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286254)

Neverwinter Nights did this to an extent. Built a toolset for the game so everyone could mod away. I think the battlefield series did it as well. It just wasnt completely open.

However the support for the server side would be aweful, on the other hand your clients would have a plethora of mods to choose from. We would need to take a good look at the success of BF and NWN2 to see how well it would work for Blizzard.

Re:Nerf! (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286260)

The Unreal engine is licensed, for one thing. It's also a great deal simpler, both from a client and a server perspective.

I'd guess that it might cause a minor flood of 'me too' titles, but nothing spectacular. Software development is a huge expense that would be largely obviated, yes, but not so the similar expense of art asset development and, of course, servers.

Any real effect that it might have on the MMOG market would probably be felt overseas, and by Blizzard itself-- the Korean market's apparently used the Serious Sam engine at least once or twice, so parceling out or recycling huge parts of the WoW engine would be a given for other development houses. At the same time, there's going to be a huge influx of hackers working for WoW gold farming concerns, trying to parley quirks in the code into new, exploitable glitches.

Quake as an example (2, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Nerf! (1)

broeman (638571) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286774)

Since when is Open Source == Democracy? You can do open source projects, where you are the sole power of where the project turns (some of them are actually popular) and you can do projects, where a commitee decides what to do (or not do). Open Source means that you share code with others and distribute it free. Some projects demand a return of added code (GPL) and some don't (BSD).

hmmm (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286094)

I see the need for open source games that can rival the closed source ones and maybe a few moves like this might not go a miss... but do we need this game? If things have really gone that bad that they've been forced out of the market and can't compete then maybe this is because the game isn't that good. I've heard people saying that there are big problems with the way it plays - can we fix them to make this game as good as it needs to be? Even if that is possible will this be less effort than putting all that money towards one of the open source MMORPGs which already exist and making them a lot better?

How will this make money seems to be the other question? Will it be charged for or free as in beer aswell, if it is then how do we keep things ticking over with the servers etc? and who will own it? the FSF? the contributors? the donators? I can't get on the site but I really do hope that they have decided on these things and decided well... and would want to know the answers before I gave a penny (or euro, it seems)

Re:hmmm (1)

Psymin (154718) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286172)

Too bad the site is down. Last time this was linked on /. the site had the answers to your questions. IIRC there would still be a monthly fee to use the official servers. Anyone would be allowed to copy the code and run their own server freely.

Wednesday the *19th*? (1)

blank_vlad (876519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286118)

The deadline is a full year away then, no need to panic.

Bah! (1)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286156)

If you want money, you have to pay for it, like the rest of us!


GNAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17286158)

Surely (3, Insightful)

goldcd (587052) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286208)

To keep this thing ticking over you need full time sys-admins, support teams, server farms, bandwidth and various other reasonably expensive things.

Open Sourcing it would seem to alleviate the expense of the actual game developers, but not much more.

Now the game has already been written, so I'd have thought dev expenses would currently be minimal - so not too much saving moving it to OSS.

The first load of expenses are fixed(ish) and have to be covered, so either OSS as a whole is going to have to pay for other people to play - or people themselves will have to pay to play - and we can't let everybody run about compiling in their own stuff...and the more people come in, the more it's going to cost to run..

And it's not even as if the damn thing is covering it's costs at the moment - hence the sale...

The whole concept seems bizarre.

Seemingly there is something that is losing money, so OSS thinks it's a good idea to buy it?

Imagine this were some failed Microsoft product - would the OSS community all start bouncing on their chairs clammering to take it over and give up on this 'Linux thing'?

Re:Surely (2, Informative)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286390)

The point isn't to get the game itself running. The point is a F/OSS MMORPG engine. Getting the graphics and network code available in a way that people can use and learn from it...lower the coding time / expense barrier to entry in the industry a tad.

Re:Surely (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286488)

To keep this thing ticking over you need full time sys-admins, support teams, server farms, bandwidth and various other reasonably expensive things.
Open Sourcing it would seem to alleviate the expense of the actual game developers, but not much more.
I can't load the site right now but I've looked before and that they state in their FAQ that to play on official servers you will have to pay.

Re:Surely (1)

nonlnear (893672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286560)

Imagine this were some failed Microsoft product - would the OSS community all start bouncing on their chairs clammering to take it over and give up on this 'Linux thing'?
Actually, a lot of OSS peole would LOVE to open source some MS projects. The only problem is that MS won't do that for many projects because of their IP centered business plan. They can afford to sit on old IP in hopes that new value can be found - like what they tried to do with FAT. (I know, it was a patent issue - not exactly the same as open sourcing project code, but the point is still clear.)

Benefit (1)

pkcs11 (529230) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286212)

I've read the article and most of the replies.
What exactly are the benefits of having an open-source MMORPG?
The load balancing costs, server costs, bandwidth costs will force every instance to be a pretty small one.
Admitedly it's super-cool to run your own little world, so from that angle I can see a benefit.
But is there some sort of greater-good benefit that I'm missing?

A reason to donate (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286228)

I've never played MMORPGs, and might never do so. I don't have the time to get sucked into something like that. I'm more into games that I can save and walk away from, then come back later.

However, by adding this game class of game to the open source arsenal, we increase the overall attractiveness of open source systems like Linux to people (especially kids and young adults) who are sitting on the fence. I may donate for that reason, rather than from having a personal attraction to the game.

There used to be plenty of OSS role playing games (3, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286264)

They were called MUDs.

What surprises me is that no one has written an open source 3D graphical MUD (which is all MMORGS are) from scratch yet. I realise its difficult but when has something being difficult stopped many projects before?

Daimonin (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286482)

Daimon []

Re:There used to be plenty of OSS role playing gam (1)

netcrusher88 (743318) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286532)

It's actually considerably more challenging. First, there's the art. You need a lot of people with a lot of time to do a lot of models. Second, there's the bandwidth. Consider that a MUD could work with the bandwidth, of, say, and IRC server. In fact that's not a bad idea... but I digress. MMOs require streaming multimedia, massive patches (since not everything is server side), download-on-demand textures and maps, and so on. And the servers also need to track the exact 3d coordinates of every player, NPC, monster, and item. In short, the main reason that the only OS MMO I know of (PlaneShift) is not particularly complete is a lack of infrastructure to work with, not to mention the sheer complexity of tracking all the required information server-side.

Web 2.0 it! (1)

morboIV (1040044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286270)

I vote we buy it, and make it all web 2.0ish. It'll be a socially collaberative MMORPG, where the common man develop patches and the community will vote for it. It'll go the way of Digg, and then the trolls will get to it, so you'll end up fighting greater goatse monsters in the dungeons of 'BIlL O'REILLY'S VAGINA LOLZ!1!'. It'll be fantastic.

Good game (1)

LittleImp (1020687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286282)

Ryzom wasn't very good when it was released, but now it's actually really fun. The dev-team has already released an addon that allows players to create their own adventures. The graphics are also quite good for an MMORPG, so it should be possible to create a cool open-source MMO.

The engine itself is already released under the GPL: [] But there seems to be very little documentation available.

Re:Good game (1)

lucychili (987345) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286426)

I think this is the interesting thing about the engine is that it was designed for the players to be able to have impact on the story
most MMORPGs have a fixed route that everyone plays through and there is not a sense of changing the world youre a part of.
think of this as a framework for an open secondlife? Janet

Is the textures, art, models included? (3, Insightful)

rar (110454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286288)

Can someone who knows about this tell me if the textures, art, and models are included in open-sourcing this? Preferably in a commerical-use-friendly license? Because then I would absolutely consider donating.

A large library of free 3d-models with textures would be incredibly useful as a starting library for other open-source engine projects.

Re:Is the textures, art, models included? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17286394)

Yup, everything....

Re:Is the textures, art, models included? (1)

Xarius (691264) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286880)

The engine behind it all is already GPL I believe. This bid will be for the whole package, including all of the art assets.

Wednesday, December 19th... (1)

JBHarris (890771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286290)

We have an entire year...the next time we have a Wednesday, December 19th is in 2007.


Way to help (1, Offtopic)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286310)

I'm not usually one to criticize how people spend their own hard-earned money. But given the time of year, if I had an extra few dollars to spend, it would not be to buy a game to have it open-sourced, it would be to help sick kids enjoy life. []

FAQ (from slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17286386)

Informations and contributions
Q: Where to get news, discussions about and contribute to the project?

A: Discussions, news and decisions regarding the project are open to the public, you can check them or participate by the following means :

        * English and French forums
        * The project dedicated chat (freenode IRC network, chan
        * mailing-lists

Q: What is the goal the donations have to reach?

A: The first goal for the donations pledges is 100.000 euros. This sum has been estimated as a reasonable target, in order to have some credibility with the administrator, to cover part of the expenses linked to Ryzom buyout and recovery and last, to provide to the Association enough involvement as a - at least - third part in the SAS (Société par action simplifiée) structure offered by the buyout plan.
Q: How to help the project except by doing pledges?


        * Discussion: first, you can contribute to the project development, in the forums and chat discussions.
        * Diffusion: "Spread the word next steps". You can also help diffusion and knowledge about the project by communicating and debating on it around you and in the various places of speech you are used to be active (forums, etc.). doesn't want to give a strict guideline about it, nor "news model", which can simply appear as spam. The Community think the conviction of each one's own is the most precious strategy of communication. Nevertheless if you have no idea of how to communicate, and in order to coordinate actions (the deadline is very short), you can find on the forums some threads making proposals (French, English) and listing websites which have been may have to be contacted by the community (English).
        * Translations and various skills: at last, some help regarding to the online writings translations (Call for translators), website improving and update, or more largely every genius and constructive idea, any goodwill are welcomed !, the buyout plan and the Association

Q: What is Nevrax's position toward this project?

A: Nevrax France is nor linked to and does not support project.
Q: What are the project's chances of success?

A: Our chances are weak but not nonexistent. In fact, the stronger your investment will be, the more the project will stand a good chance. At this time, the project's credibility is growing exponentially with time and each one's commitments.
Q: What are Ryzom's alternatives?

A: Some potentials purchasers will propose buyout plans which will be studied by the judge. Priority will probably be given to the financial offer, to the viability of the plan over the time and to the preservation of French employments.
Q: Who is actually driving the project?

A: At the moment and as a temporary situation due to an urgency context, a decision-making committee has been made up with four personalities of the community (following the 27th of November chat's decision) :

        * Ace: Technical (ensuring the website is running, configuring the shards if we get the code, getting new servers, etc.)
        * Quim: Community Communication (ensuring the information is everywhere, writing news on the forums & MLs, translations, etc.)
        * Thanys: Juridical (making the best proposal the judge will ever see, checking everything is made according to the law, etc.)
        * Xavier : Philosophy (checking the social contract is respected, staying in touch with everyone, answering to contact demands, etc.)

NB: "These are position to serve, not to command".
Q: What about the juridical form? The Plan.

A: If the first idea was about a buyout and management by a community of donators, it appeared after careful consideration and feedbacks from various consultations that other kind of organisation should have more credibility with the administrator, and should also provide a more reliable management of the project.

        * A tripartite "Société par actions simplifiée" (SAS) (cf. to the statutes - in French) The plan will propose the legal structure of a Société par actions simplifiée (S.A.S.), with three associates: the Association (non-profit organisation), Mekensleep's company and Valentin Lacambre. These three associates will be able to offer a more important sum, shared between the three parts.
        * About the three associates:
                    o The Association. This is the legal structure chosen for the donators and volunteers Community involved in the project. This is a non-profit organisation (law 1901, in French).
                    o Mekensleep is an independent videogame studio, which alternative positions on development are explicit. Mekensleep's chairman is Olivier Lejade, one of Ryzom's pionneer.
                    o Valentin Lacambre (Gandi, Web Altern) is a well known personality in France for his involvement to the Free Software movement.
        * So, what about the "Free Ryzom Campaign?

The choice of these associates is legitimated by the share of values and aims for Ryzom and for a free persistent virtual universe. The essence of the creation's impulse and call for donators is still there and warranted by this legal structure: meaning especially the will of opening Ryzom code, and the accordance to the Social Contract for the Association's management (especially self governance of the community).The Association is meant to have a major role in the inner workings of the project as associate owning a third of the votes.
This plan was proposed to the community for a vote, closed the 3rd of December (6pm) with the following results :

95 respondents, 94 pros (98%), 1 cons(2%). See the results and coments around the vote.
Q: And if it works?

A: If our plan is accepted, we will have to quickly complete the legal stuff (registering the statutes, choosing the people in charge, etc.), and take the necessary steps in order to keep the servers online.
Q: When Ryzom has been purchased by the community, will I still have to pay to play Ryzom?

A: Yes, for the official project Ryzom server, you will still have to pay, since servers and internet connections to run a large game like Ryzom is quite expensive. Even though we still have to charge to play on the official servers, the goal of this project isn't to make money, but rather to cover the costs of the operation and keep Ryzom alive for and by the players (for more information refer to our budget). We estimate that the monthly fee will be approximately 10 . Note that player run servers would likely be free to play since their playerbase would likely be much smaller.
Q: Will you start off with only one shard / server?

A: First it will be necessary to keep renting the servers at Jolt, which is a quite important cost, to avoid stopping the service (this is not including the customer-support service currently also provided by Jolt). This situation would last 3 months, which is the necessary time for Valentin Lacambre (a web hosting specialist) to setup a cheaper internal solution. Once past these 3 months, we will probably chose to have only one multilingual shard/server online. We want to run a tight shop initially, so the project will have long viability. There would be nothing worse than bringing too many servers online and then have to take them down, because we aimed to high, too fast. Once a sufficient number of people are registered on the server, we will open new servers.
Q: What will be done with surplus money, if there is any?

A: Our first priority would be to buy new servers and to hire (or rehire) developers, graphic designers, level designers, sysadmins, testers, etc. who would work full-time to improve Ryzom. Their contribution would be combined with the volunteers of the project. New developers will be chosen by vote, and the developer's work will, of course be distributed under a Free licence.

About the webpage
Why do you embed non-free video streams on your webpage?

A: We are aware that embeding YouTube streams on our webpage uses non-free technologies, but like many other things in the campaign, we did not have the time to convert the video to a proper format. We are currently working on finding free alternatives to stream the movies directly on the webpage and/or provide URLs to the movie files on a proper format.

What *is* the reason? (1)

GeekDork (194851) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286396)

Contrary to popular belief, an MMOG requires a lot of logistics, financial backing and personnel to be run. It also requires a lot of users to be fun (which requires a lot of hype and a wisely-chosen release to get started). Neither of those points could really be met in an OSS project. OK, there may even be three or four people having enough time and motivation to try and understand the system, and they might even get it to run on a small scalle, supporting a few hundred players.

A lot of people without the necessary skills will start forks, which in this case is very damaging. If you have, say, fifty slight variations of the same thing (all with programmer art, or at least with the same assets and rules), neither fork is likely to ever attract the necessary manpower and player base to reach a critical mass and stay alive.

Also, realise that I used the word "release" above. This is not something OSS people are generally very good at. Unless development is strictly centralised, there will be a never ending slew of broken and incompatible client- and server versions which no user can even hope to understand. Current commercial MMOGs are extremely stable. Sure, they make changes to core rules now and then, add new assets and do other kinds of maintenance, but large-scale overhauls are rare. If such a thing happens, there usually are enough resources to update a good part of the userbase within a few days, which involves moving massive amounts of data, which, again, is not something the run-off-the-mill OSS project would be able to cope with. Generally speaking: "Massive Multiplayer Online" and "Release Early, Release Often" are pretty much mutually exclusive. So, any such project would have to be strictly regulated and changes would take very long to go live.

IMO, the FSF is just wasting a lot of money for something that can't end well.

Re:What *is* the reason? (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286840)

With Neverwinter Nights, lots of people splintered off an ran their own little mini-mmorpgs, and it thrived. Just because this game can support thousands of players, doesn't mean an operator has to. Limit your server to 25 players, it worked fine in NWN, it can work fine here. It was fun having small communities where everyone knew everyone else. You knew who the good guys were, you knew who the bad guys were, and it wasn't just hundreds of random players passing you by.

As long as you get together a community site where people can post their server connection details, and their rules, you can have a strong following for the game.

Re:What *is* the reason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17286872)

Also, realise that I used the word "release" above. This is not something OSS people are generally very good at.

Hear, hear! Leave software development for those who can release, proprietary vendors.

Interesting result (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286440)

Topic related : I do like the idea of the "community" essentially buying the code and releasing it to the public. Ryzom did not have some neat ideas and it was a "professionally developed" MMORPG. I am only curious if there are many dependant libraries that are commercial that are required to make the code work.

On a side note, yet another game Jessica Mulligan joined that closed. She/he came about during AC2s early days with the promise of improving the game and keeping it going. AC2 closed, but only after selling its players a new expansion and annoucing that close less than 4 months after selling the expansion (they closed later that same year). Perhaps past history with computer games (Jessica's stretches back to compuserv ) is not guarantee you can help the current generation survive. Of course its hard to survive today when the behemoths are so highly polished. The bar has been raised considerably and anyone without a highly defined and functional support system is going to fall flat on their faces.

Ryzom was cool in some ways but honestly it sucked otherwise. Another game released too early and with horrid support. Most of the people I knew who played it beyond beta (I didn't go retail) dropped it quite quickly.

Re:Interesting result (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286886)

Don't even bring up that freak of nature known as Jessica Mulligan. That fool ruined Asheron's Call. "It's" complete hatred/reviling(word/sp?) of PVP brought about the nerfing and destruction of one of the best PVP scenes in an MMORPG. Now the game is dead, and "it" jumped ship shortly after everyone realized what had been done.

Heeeeeeeeey, wait a minute (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286644)

If you (like me) can see the benefit of having a fully developed MMORPG that is completely open source just donate a little, quickly!"
This is starting to look a little like that email I got from the nice young man in Nigeria a few months ago, which reminds me, I need to call the post office to see if my tribal masks have arrived yet.

The point isn't "Free Ryzom"... (2, Insightful)

TBone (5692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286668)

...The point is to create (or buy and free, in this case), a complete MMORPG gaming system. It's the MMORPG version of the Unreal Engine, for comparison's sake.

So the game wasn't that great. It's open source now, get a group of people together (a la Legend of the Green Dragon [] ), and make a new world system based in the engine.

So it might take several servers and people to run the system. Set it up distributed, get someone to contribute the services of their 3DNS server somewhere, and now not only are you distributed, but you have geographical load balancing.

Commenters are talking about this as if the idea that a group of people on the IntarWebs can't democratically organize a large distributed server environment and keep it running the latest code and staffed with admins. I wouldn't mention that to the people at all of [] the various [] irc networks [] , who have been doing exactly that for years, you might discourage them and make them shut down networks that have been running for longer than a decade.

And even if the whole Massive part of the game doesn't take off, who's to say specialty environments won't crop up, with admin tools and pre-formed game world content, a la AD&D or GURPS Modules and Expansions, letting players run actual 3D immersive campaigns on a single server somewhere for relatively small groups of people. For that matter, the idea of online 3D Battletech with the whole army of people that I used to play with years ago, instead of going through all the work to build huge tables, seems like a pretty fun concept.

The fact that such a beast could be released to the public is a good thing, even if you didn't like what the front end (Ryzom) was; the backend is what's important here. It's like the Unreal engine - there's a lot of games using it. Some of them suck, some of them are pretty good, but the content, and the engine to support the content, are two separate things. Yes, the bad (in the opinion of some people) content comes with it, but so does the engine that will let people drive whatever content they want.

Re:The point isn't "Free Ryzom"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17286946)

"It's pretty clear by reading the responses that people don't know that the engine is already GPL. This is to free the game."

wtf - don't people read?

Did anyone tell them? (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286738)

I was just browsing the site and forum, and I get no sense of their impending least from the stickys, unless I missed one tucked away. Is there some expected timeline for closure here?

engine is already GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17286748)

It's pretty clear by reading the responses that people don't know that the engine is already GPL. This is to free the game.

Buying In (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286766)

What's the deal with SecondLife? Isn't it open source? If not, isn't there a SourceForge project building a server that can interop with its network?

Seems like $150K plus all the developer/activist interest would be better invested in extending access to an existing popular multiverse than just getting an unpopular one, which needs a new budget to compete.

Che Cocksuckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17286782)

The communists
are trying to snag a Proper Commercial MMO
because they're too Inefficient to come up
with a good one of their own.

Where do you che-cocksuckers think Mozilla/firefox, openoffice,
and all the other "great" open source apps came from?

They were originally projects started by capitalist entrepreneurs,
they went down hill and the communists snagged them. But they can
never come up with something good on their own, because there
is simply no incentive to under the socialist model of
software production.

The FSF? (3, Insightful)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17286882)

Y'know... if that's where the money I donated to the FSF went... screw them. No more donations. That's like donating money to the United Negro College Fund and finding it went to buy scholarships for upper-class basketball players. A nice gesture, but -so- not what it was intended for.
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