History of EUO

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Mid 1989

Max Breedon (aka eggmceye), 14 years old, gets his hands on a copy of Ultima 5 for Commodore 64 from a friend at school, and immediatlely falls in love with the box, the map & the 8 sides of 5.25" floppy disk.

Mid 1992

Egg (age 17) gets a copy of Nethack. It did little to inspire at the time, however it's worth noting since early versions of EUO were meant to be a multiplayer Nethack-like (or rogue-like).

July 29, 1998 (approx)

Warcraft 2 clan buddy and good-ol-boy Astro (Adam Maxwell) asks Egg if he can write him a dice rolling progam for DnD. Egg gets ideas and the concept of a 4 player dungeon crawler is born.

July 30, 1998

The next day, Egg goes to his crappy dayjob at Alcatel Australia (C++ debugger at this stage) and starts his first Balrog notebook (the name Balrog taken from LOTR), instead of doing work. Early design specs called for a game server that could accomodate 4 players, where there would be real time player movement & combat, and maps were either randomly generated or prefab. This initial High Level Design was directly inspired by Diablo (a four player server with random maps, and RT combat, etc), however graphics were going to be implemented using ncurses (ie, it was going to look pretty much like rogue or nethack).

Click here for a scan of the first page of the Balrog notebook

Coding was probably started immediately, on the company's HPUX (HP Unix) servers. Soon ported to linux so that development could continue outside work hours.

August 15, 1998

It's unknown when a working Balrog build where actual players could connect and move around was 'finalised', but a build dated 15th August, 1998 actually exists and works (it is rough as guts however). More info & screenshots.

September 1998

It's hard to pin down exactly when, but it was decided to use allegro (then a graphics library for linux) for a tile based Balrog at around this time. An early version of Joshua Steele's Ultima 4 tileset was used, and the idea to make Balrog an Ultima inspired multiplayer game was born.

It is interesting to note that for quite a while, possibly a couple of years (not that Balrog was being worked on a lot in these early days), Ncurses support was retained (a makefile option). It was finally ditched once it became a burden.

1999-2000

Early draft of the Balrog manual completed. Balrog renamed to EUO. Work extremely slow, usually in spurts of a couple of weeks between months off. Overall frustration with linux as a development platform slows progress.

November 2000

EUO finally ported to Windows, however, it was using djgpp and some really crappy BSD socket library for networking. It totally did not work with Winsock 2.0, and AFAIK, there is still no djgpp support for windows sockets, not that the author has been looking very hard.

Also around this time that Adam Maxwell returns from his overseas holiday to inspect the work created at his request in 1998. Looking nothing like his dice roller as originally conceived, he shows no visible interest in EUO whatsoever (absolutely no offense taken, mind you).

EUO would have been shelved totally from this time till around June 2002. This version would have had support for more than 4 players, primitive quest system, maped would have been complete, spawners, etc. There was probably no repeat use skills (ala UO) at this stage, such as weapon types, magery, etc. It would have all been class based using DnD rules for Thac0, AC, etc based on class/level.

March 11, 2002

swut.net forums created, but for different reason altogether (ozwl).

June 2002 (probably)

Egg pulls his finger out and decides to resurrect EUO, by getting it to build natively under windows (thus requiring proper winsock support) using Visual C++. This mostly meant rewriting the socket code to work with winsock, which meant lots of research and googling.

July 2002

Egg, a member of Something Awful Forums, posts a thread asking if there would be any interest in a multiplayer Ultima 5 (titled something like Bigger than morrowind or Everquest, it's Egg's Ultima 5, online). The crowd response was unexpected and very encouraging, and a tentative date about a week into the future was set to have a working Alpha online.

In this time, a bit of work would have went mainly into getting the server stable, and running more like a persistent world (eg U0), rather than an instance of one (Diablo). If the author remembers rightly, a chat system was frantically added in these last few days, among other things.

July 10, 2002

The alpha is complete, and the annoucement is made. SA forum members immediately start connecting in the half dozens. It's estimated that most of those who tried to connect in these first days couldn't connect properly due to all sorts of shitty network code and other bugs and probably never tried to connect again.

The first player's name was 'fuck' - thanks SA. It was also this day that Oceanman was created, named after a Ween song. The Oceanman character that exists on the current version now is the exact same character (while eggmceye may have actually been recreated), thus making Oceanman the oldest character on EUO, even if it is the creator/author's own avatar.

July 17, 2002

Chat is logged for the first time.

July 31, 2002

Egg emails Josh Steele asking for his blessing to use his U4 tileset for EUO, and gets it.

October 16, 2002

Egg emails Ultima Reconstructed asking to be listed on their site with all the other Ultima remakes and inspired games. It wasn't until April 2003 that a reply was obtained (however it changed the course of EUO history for ever).

October 29, 2002

EUO is shut down due to complete lack of forum interest (the SA forums was the only mode of advertisment for EUO at this time).

April 3, 2003

Antibodies posts on the swut forums wondering where EUO had gone, after someone else linked to it from XU4 - Ultima IV recreated forums on sourceforge. Egg fires up the EUO server and starts tinkering with the code again, after 6 months off. The EUO server has not been shutdown since (except for 12 hours or so when Egg had a nervous breakdown or something).

April 23, 2003

Co-incidentally (within 20 days of EUO becoming live again), Egg finally gets a reply from Ultima Reconstruction: EUO is listed and a steady flow of Ultima enthusiasts try out EUO.

May 1, 2003

Number #1 EUO Personality Broden joins for the first time. Broden's influence on EUO is highly underestimated: not only did he make a tonne of maps, such as Abyss, Ogretown, his Keep, & Shoreline, but he was one of the first players to genuinely care for the fledgling game & and its community. Nobody else (with Extell coming a close thesedays however) has given more input to the evolution of this game & moral support to its creator.

June 10, 2003

The first of only 2 ever DM'd EUO games is held on a private server. The contestants were Broden, Mandrake and Dvalin. Apart from everything that went wrong, it was a smashing success.

August 5, 2003

Another EUO personality, Neinar, submits EUO to mpogd.com and the influx of Tibia rejects begins.

August 11, 2003

MACRODAEMON logs on for the first time; created purely to kill AFK macroers in a time of great cost-of-bandwidth conciousness. MACRO soon evolves into the retarded cousin and spends most of his time being drunk or telling stupid jokes incorrectly.

Macro.png

October 2, 2003

EUO version 1.0 released; with server side player saves (as opposed to player data stored on the clients' computers) being the most notable improvement.

October 16, 2003

Permanent death server created.

March 24, 2004

EUO servers move to the US to save on bandwidth costs.

August 15, 2005

This Wiki manual becomes active.

December 17, 2005

The PD server begins to use the same maps as the regular server.

February 6, 2006

Work officially ends on EUO. Click here for the official post. It never really ended of course.

August 16, 2006

Egg announces he is thinking about "EAO" (the Apocalypse mod) based on EUO. The 2 big features in the EAO engine were to be Lua scripting and a whole host of new server configurations.

April 3, 2007

EUO's 4th birthday: Egg announces a EUO like game called "Escape from Brownthorne's Dungeon" which uses the new engine. This game was only short lived: the main reason for its existence was to flush out bugs with the engine. It was shut down 12th of June. Work begins with retrofitting & shoehorning EUO into the new engine.

July 26, 2007

EUO 1.2 released using the 'new engine'. The engine is named moa (acronym for Multiplayer Online Adventure).

January 23, 2008

After a couple of years work on and off, first release of EUO with a 3d engine. Client is called moaGL - using openGL for 3d rendering, the new client connects to the current servers with no modifications to the servers required.