You probably have some questions, right? Let's try to answer a few of them.
In what may now be considered the mists of time (the year 2000), Nexon decided to bring the Korean MMORPG Legends of Darkness to the US market. The first director, David Ethan Kennerly, created a rich and vibrant world drawing from a variety of influences, from Lovecraft to Celtic mythology.
Dark Ages, uniquely, had functioning, player-driven political, religious, and social systems, all of which had real and tangible impacts on the greater world, allowing for an unprecedented empowerment of its inhabitants. Many players (or, in the language of Temuair, Aislings) who played Dark Ages during its heyday widely consider it to be one of the finest MMORPGs ever produced, in spite of its (obvious) age.
Project Hybrasyl is an effort to create a viable private server for Dark Ages in tribute to that ancient Temuair, or more specifically: a DOOMVAS v1 emulator. DOOMVAS, or Distributed Object Oriented Multimedia Virtual Active System (phew), was one of the first MMORPG server / client architectures, designed and implemented in collaboration between Nexon and IBM Korea in the late 1990s.
Project Hybrasyl currently consists of Heiler, Kedian, and Acht. Heiler and Kedian are the nominal directors of the project, making decisions on balance, game design, and general project direction. Heiler focuses on content direction and community outreach, and the reimplementation of old Temuair. Kedian and Acht are collectively responsible for the actual implementation of Hybrasyl from a technology standpoint. Along the way we have had quite a bit of help, input, and support from these fine Aislings.
Hybrasyl is free software. You are free to download and run it, modify and update it, and contribute back! If you run a Hybrasyl server, in fact, you are required to provide your source code to your users. We suggest you start by forking us on Github, and submitting a pull request!
You can also join our Google Groups lists to discuss Hybrasyl, or what you wish to work on: Hybrasyl Users for general discussion and help on using Hybrasyl components, and Hybrasyl Developers for development / technical issues.
The project, from a technology point of view, consists of four major components:
The server itself. The project was started by Acht in C#; when Kedian joined the project, he simply made a few commits here and there. Acht, who is active on a number of projects, didn't really have the time to contribute actively, and so Kedian took over stewardship of the project. Acht still contributes from time to time in very important ways (most recently with metafile support and bug fixing). Kedian has implemented many new features and refactored Hybrasyl to support, among other things, quadtree storage of in-game entities, usage of Microsoft's Entity Framework for Hybrasyl's data access, full item support, and more.
Ealagad (Aisling historians may remember her as Temuair's fourth Empress), is a Ruby on Rails application that powers this website and drives the Hybrasyl administrative interface, which allows editing of maps, items, worldmaps and more via a custom ActiveAdmin interface. Ealagad is also the canonical data store and schema source for Hybrasyl's data model.
The Hybrasyl World Editor is a work in progress, and will allow users to edit their worlds from the comfort of an easy to use GUI tool.
The Hybrasyl Launcher is a simple .NET application that makes it possible to connect to Hybrasyl. It supports connecting to different servers (production, staging, or localhost, for developers).
Throughout the history of Dark Ages, a number of individuals, either working alone or with others, have attempted to do what we have done. All of those efforts have fallen by the wayside, or have simply vanished utterly. We intend for Project Hybrasyl to be a solid foundation, creating a bright, vibrant future for what some of us still consider the best MMORPG (with the deepest and richest thematic elements) we have ever played.
To that end, Project Hybrasyl has made the commitment to do the following things:
We here at Project Hybrasyl also commit publicly to releasing all of our code immediately upon disbandment or abandonment of the project; as the steward of all project code, Kedian in particular is committed to ensuring this happens. If we do falter, the rest of the Aisling tinkerers out there need not start from scratch. "Mundanes work with little progress" will not be an entry on our timeline!