Richard Bartle – the man when it comes to MMO design – held a very interesting talk at IMGDC. In it he’s discussing the different types of MMO designs, and how “social” mmo’s contrast with the linear World-of-Warcraft design and the more freeform games like Eve Online. His talk is definitely worth a read, I just wish there was a recording.
If you allow me an aside from my usual design work: The defunct MMO Myst Online will be released under an open source license.
The company stated on the Myst Online webpage:
Cyan has decided to give make [sic] 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, of course, major news – Especially since the Free Ryzom campaign failed after Ryzom was bought up by someone else. Details are scarce at this point. The license picked by Cyan will be a big issue, and it is not clear whether they will make the data available for use only, or whether they will also publish it under an open license as well.
Either way, this should be a great boost for future open-sourced MMO projects.