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Myst Online Alive, Going Open-Source

By - Source: Cyan Worlds | B 8 comments
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Cyan Worlds has thrown open the Myst Online doors for new developers and writers.

For those who were unaware, Myst Online: Uru Live for the PC lives. Again. In fact, the game has now gone open source, granting a whole plethora of new possibilities for the persistent universe based on Cyan Worlds' classic Myst franchise.

But first a little background. Myst Online was originally the multiplayer component to 2003's Uru: Ages Beyond Myst PC game. The component didn't ship with the final product, but was planned to be added at a later date. However Cyan Worlds halted development of the multiplayer component in 2004. Thus, dedicated fans kept an unsupported version running on Cyan-maintained servers until GameTap decided to officially resurrect Myst Online in 2007.

Over on Tom's Games (before it got flashy), we were actually working on a hands-on feature regarding Myst Online just before GameTap decided to pull the plug on the MMOG (based on a lack of subscribers). But apparently that wasn't the end, as Cyan Worlds regained the rights from Ted Turner's game service and relaunched Myst Online as a free-to-play MMOG last year.

Now the developer is opening the doors to those wanting to contribute. Thursday Cyan said that the sources for the MOULA client engine and development tools (CyanWorlds.com Engine) will be made available as open source on OpenUru.org. MOSS, a MOULA server replacement, will also be released on the specified website.

"The goal of the open source CyanWorlds.com Engine and the MOSS server is to provide a "playground" where new writers can learn their craft, and new maintainers can inspect it, and new cartographers can map it," the company announced on the MO forums. "The Cyan Worlds MOULA servers will continue to provide a (relatively) safe environment for the D'ni faithful to mingle and share."

"The path forward from here seems fairly obvious and very exciting - with amazing parallels to the D'ni universe itself," Cyan added. "As new writers arise with new books, the books are tested and documented - and books that are approved by some new kind of maintainers guild will (hopefully) find their way to the MOULA server where the public can enjoy new worlds once again."

Cyan said that these are exciting times for the MMOG, but not without risk, pointing to possible disagreements and "strongly expressed opinions" within the developer community. There will be hard decisions and there will be mistakes made along the way. "But keep in mind that the big picture is a lot like rebuilding a long dead civilization - and the forest of common goals far outnumber the few trees of differences," Cyan said. "Let's keep it civil."

Looks like it's time to pay New Mexico another visit.

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  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2011 1:08 AM
    OMG that's awesome news! I loved the Myst series games and books. I can't wait to see what developers come up with!! Open source FTW!
  • 2 Hide
    FloKid , April 8, 2011 3:27 AM
    aitrus00OMG that's awesome news! I loved the Myst series games and books. I can't wait to see what developers come up with!! Open source FTW!


    I didn't read the books but I really loved the first few games, although the only two I finished completely were Myst 1 and Myst 2. It's been so long sometimes I wish I could relive those moments, maybe the new adventure will open the door for many new experiences. I am probably going to check it out... Hopefully in stunning 3D.
  • 0 Hide
    fstrthnu , April 8, 2011 6:18 AM
    How the heck would a multiplayer (much less a MMO) puzzle game work? Give hints to each other? Collaborate on things? Race against each other to clear maps? For something like Myst, this sounds very strange
  • 0 Hide
    pclee , April 8, 2011 7:31 AM
    fstrthnuHow the heck would a multiplayer (much less a MMO) puzzle game work? Give hints to each other? Collaborate on things? Race against each other to clear maps? For something like Myst, this sounds very strange


    MMOs like this are already very popular in China. Many of them are races to clear maps.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2011 1:23 PM
    Nice that it is so far now; I have not followed Myst or Cyan Worlds, but I remember reading their intentions "years"(?) ago.

    Funny thing if you start reading on top of the homepage of openuru.org:
    "Website Copyright 2010-2011 OpenUru.org"
    is the first line I'm greeted with.

    For the rest there's a GPLv3 logo to be found deeper in the site, but no Creative Commons or other copyleft scheme for storylines.

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 8, 2011 10:32 PM
    > How the heck would a multiplayer (much less a MMO) puzzle
    > game work? Give hints to each other? Collaborate on things?
    > Race against each other to clear maps? For something like
    > Myst, this sounds very strange

    Read the books (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Myst-Reader/Robyn-Miller/e/9781401382216/?itm=11&USRI=myst). The ability to create links to alternate worlds (and the ability in the game, I'm assuming, to create those words themselves) is quite compelling.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 9, 2011 2:20 AM
    ha suckers i had this thing downloaded forever and let me tell you, it's scary as hell. not so much the game, but the social aspect of it. you never know who you'll run into... and if you don't run into any other player, there's still the AI characters... it's just an incredible experience. please help support these coders.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 14, 2011 10:03 PM
    I'd just want to clarify that www.openuru.org is NOT a Cyan Worlds' website, but is a fan's website. So you won't find there everything about the game, how to build maps, storyline, etc. That's just the central place for getting the source codes. Everything else is best found on the MOUL forums: http://rel.to/moulforum
    And the place where many Uru programmers are: http://rel.to/gow