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Author Topic: Cyan plans to release MystOnline as open source  (Read 3835 times)

40hz

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Cyan plans to release MystOnline as open source
« on: December 14, 2008, 02:01:08 PM »
There was an interesting bit of news recently posed over at Heise Online.

http://www.heise-onl...pen-sourced--/112247

Seems that Cyan, creators of the legendary Myst series of interactive fiction games, now plans to release the source code for their ill-fated MystOnline MMO venture. Details are sketchy, and the announcement over at MystOnline is interesting although specific details are absent.

http://www.mystonline.com/

Quote
Open Source Uru Live

Shorah fans of Cyan,

As you may be aware, Cyan's situation has not improved on the "resources" front. We continue to work on small projects (including Myst for the iPhone/iPod Touch), and it looks like we will only be able to concentrate on projects that are fully funded for the foreseeable future.

However, all of us at Cyan and everybody that has ever worked on the creation and building of the dream called UruLive (a.k.a. Mudpie, Until Uru, MystOnline:UruLive and MORE) can not just let it die! (My definitions: "UruLive" is the original dream of the virtual world. And "MystOnline" is the current implementation of UruLive.)

So, Cyan has decided to give make MystOnline available to the fans by releasing the source code for the servers, client and tools for MystOnline as an open source project. We will also host a data server with the data for MystOnline. MORE is still possible but only with the help from fans.

This is a bit scary for Cyan because this is an area that we have never gone before, to let a product freely roam in the wild. But we've poured so much into UruLive, and it has touched so many, that we could not just let it whither and die. We still have hopes that someday we will be able to provide new content for UruLive and/or work on the next UruLive.

This is also a bit scary for the fans. We realize that this could turn UruLive into the "wild west" and lead to many fractured and diverse MystOnline servers. But it is our hope that with the help of dedicated core fans (if you are reading this, it probably means you) that a safe and secure MystOnline server set (many servers from around the world working together as one) can be created that will let people explore and live in UruLive.

We also are pretty sure that releasing MystOnline will result in some pleasant surprises for us. Our fans have always been so innovative, creative, and resourceful!

This release will probably be accomplished in stages, but we hope to get things ready for the first stage very quickly. More details to surely follow.

Exactly how this will play out, and how much control Cyan will retain on code access and use, remains to be seen.

Making code "open source" does not automatically mean it will be "free and/or unrestricted." Take a look at Java, or Microsoft's latest "open source" forays, and you'll see how the term "open" can take on many different meanings. There is no indication that Cyan is contemplating anything like a GPL licensing model at this point. And it's doubtful that they will go that route.

In some respects it almost sounds like Cyan is asking for a code and content bailout (as opposed to a  cash bailout) from its fanbase.

In the end, it all depends on what rights they retain; and under what legal terms they integrate outside contributions into their codebase. Hopefully they won't behave like Sun does with OpenOffice.

Still, if you're a coder (or just an armchair "code reader" like me), this looks to be an excellent opportunity to get a firsthand look at how a large-scale commercial MMO game is written. It's bound to be educational even if you never get directly involved.

Could be quite interesting.

 8)

« Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 02:07:07 PM by 40hz »

Ehtyar

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Re: Cyan plans to release MystOnline as open source
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2008, 04:12:13 PM »
Sweet story 40hz :)
It will be interesting to see what kind of license we end up with if they're looking for user contribution. A heavy handed one might see a lot of people alienated.
Any info on what language/dependancies we'll be looking at?

Ehtyar.

40hz

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Re: Cyan plans to release MystOnline as open source
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2008, 10:49:56 PM »
It will be interesting to see what kind of license we end up with if they're looking for user contribution. A heavy handed one might see a lot of people alienated.
Any info on what language/dependancies we'll be looking at?

Ehtyar.

Nyet so far on anything. 8)

Guess we'll just have to wait. Hope they don't make you solve a puzzle first. ;D




Edvard

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Re: Cyan plans to release MystOnline as open source
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2008, 10:41:58 AM »
Guess we'll just have to wait. Hope they don't make you solve a puzzle first.

The General Puzzle Licence?

 ;D ;D

40hz

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Re: Cyan plans to release MystOnline as open source
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2008, 06:00:29 PM »
Yup! just like some site licenses I've dealt with.

One of my clients was interested in licensing a small print queue accounting utility for a dye-sub color printer that they used for magazine advert "proofing" copies. Back then, a dye-sub 8.5 x 11, 4-color print ran about $4 in material costs. (These copies used to get billed back to the client, so it was important to keep track of them.)

This particular utility was on the market as a shareware product for quite some time, and it had gotten good reviews in the trade press. When my client called the author about what it would cost for 150-200 copies they were told "Well...I'm thinking of this very large number right now."

Needless to say, the conversation ended there. ;D


shirtour

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Re: Cyan plans to release MystOnline as open source
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2009, 05:59:13 PM »
On a more personal and less technical note: I am a great fan, having spent years solving MYST, RIVEN, EXILE and EDANNA puzzles and enjoying Cyan's breathtaking graphics and lovely music.  The point here is that I did it in collaboration with a pre-teen grandson 3,000 miles away.
The exercise taught him clear written communication skills, accountability, teamwork, and a host of other useful life skills, not to mention that we both had a whale of a good time. This grandson has gone on to become an honor student in environmental sciences at a MA University.

I wish Cyan luck and hope they find the help they need, whatever it is. They are a gifted bunch with great ideas. I particularly treasured the fact that there was no outright violence in these games, no one hitting anyone else over the head or vaporizing them, etc.

Here's to educational gaming!

Blessed be
in Love and Light, :-*
StarTrekShira