PlaneShift is an open-source MMO you might have missed

    
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This past Saturday, we posted a column discussing open source MMORPGs — and specifically, how rare they are even after thousands of online games have been launched over the years. In providing examples, we overlooked one interesting title that might be one of the bigger open source graphical MMOs out there: PlaneShift.

PlaneShift is a multinationally developed MMORPG that’s been online since 2002 in several iterations. It may have a lot in common with other fantasy MMOs, but PlaneShift does differentiate itself with more of a focus on mysteries, exploration, death by aging, a death realm, and of course, the open source nature of the project. It is completely free to play, if that’s a consideration.

PlaneShift is an open source project, based on community contributions, and made to ensure people can learn from what we made, and we can learn from them,” the team said. “Code is under GPL license, this means you can get all our source code, study it and reuse it in any way you want as long as you keep it open (GPL) and give back to us your changes.”

While the code is open source, PlaneShift’s art, music, writing, music, and models are all proprietary, so you can’t just copy everything wholesale and run your own carbon copy PlaneShift server.

It’s a more wild and wooly project than you might be used to, but it’s interesting to see the developers work on ideas such as utilizing the Unreal Engine. The dev team hosted a public Q&A last week, with another one planned for later this month.

Source: PlaneShift. Thanks Jeremiah and Rasmus!
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Ludwig D

Yes, PlaneShift is Open Source.
Yes, PlaneShift is “is completely free to play”, meaning there are no hidden fees whatsoever, there is no way to gain in-game advantages for real money. In other words, it only matters how you (role-)play the game.
Yes, the game is being moved to Unreal Engine – a major move, a huge project, but also a huge prospect.

Minor corrections:
1) “death by aging” is not implemented for the moment. It may or may not come after the move to Unreal Engine.
2) The public Q&A sessions have been going on for several years and happen twice per month. Check the PS website for details: https://www.planeshift.it/calendar/

Rialto
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Rialto

I kept wondering why this game wasn’t mentioned in the recent Open Source article, but then forgot to comment about it. This game is awesome for what it is, though, and has possibly the most unique setting of any game, let alone MMO, I’ve played.

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Vorender

Thanks for sharing. I hadn’t actually heard of this one before. I feel like I should have my MMO card revoked.

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Cervator

That was fast! :-) Good to see Planeshift get its day in the sun like this

Yeah pity about the assets, that’s been a similar experience for me in open source land. Code is a lot easier for multiple people to work on together over time. Artwork usually gets replaced entirely rather than changed.

Nice other option with Worldforge as mentioned by zoward here in the comments. That one is full open source including assets, but looks a fair bit less mature.

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Nathaniel Downes

I enjoy Planeshift.

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zoward

I looked for one I could work on, some time ago (Worldforge springs to mind as one of the ones I looked at). What I came up against is the same thing you see here – that the code is open source, but pretty much all of the other assets are proprietary, so, while you can tweak the code and behaviour of the game, you’re limited to doing whatever you can do with the existing assets. It’s a lot harder to find artists who want to work on open source games than programmers who want to work on open source games. These days, I tinker with open source WoW private server code, and that’s about it.

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zoward

Having said all that … I’m totally gonna try this game.

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

So PlaneShift is still going? I remember it from what must be well over a decade ago, maybe a decade and a half. Used to pop in and look around once in a while but haven’t thought of it for years.

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deekay_000

my guildies and i have played around with doing FOSS games before. sundial was working on an engine for a worms clone i was involved in for several months before he got bored that would be released as FOSS.

whenever i see the idea brought up i come against people who ignorantly think FOSS code for a game would make it somehow easier to cheat. which is absurd really. and ignores that closed source games all every last one of them have cheats/bots without challenge beyond invasive anti cheat systems.