Lacuna Expanse Goes Open Source
The Lacuna Expanse is a massively multiplayer empire builder game written in Perl. Long ago we open sourced the iPhone and web clients for the game, today I'm pleased to announce that we're open sourcing the server as well.
Some of you may be asking, "Why would you do that?" and "Does this mean you're shutting down the server?"
No we're not shutting down our server! As long as it's at least paying for itself, we'll continue to host the server and all related infrastructure forever.
The truth is that while the game is profitable, it is not profitable enough for us to keep an entire team of developers working on it. Rather than see the game languish at the slow pace we can afford to put resources into it, we thought we should turn it over to it's loyal fans, so they can continue to improve it. The revenue that we do get from running the game will go toward funding the infrastructure. We'll also continue to invest in art assets for the game as needed so it can expand.
We've also not stopped working on the game just because we're open sourcing it. For example, we have a big patch we're working on that adds 20 new planet types and 5 new asteroid types to the game. It will also redraw the universe in a few new interesting ways.
Another reason we're doing this is because it was one of my original stated goals for The Lacuna Expanse. I wanted to bring more people into Perl by creating a game in Perl. I think we've done that nicely as there are a lot of people learning to do a little Perl so they can automate tasks against the game. However, by releasing the server (which is 100% Perl), we can potentially reach even more people.
If you're unfamiliar with Lacuna and would like to know more about how it came about, and a little about it's architecture and internals, watch Graham Knop's talk about it at YAPC::NA 2012.