How Open Tibia Started

Seeing as there are many versions of this stories, parts of this might be inaccurate or even wrong.

Ever wonder how OTS started? Who had the first server? How did anyone even start mimicking CIP’s game?
Now im not going to summarize the whole history of Open Tibia, but focus on its inception.

We must go back to 2001, here we see the first evidence of what we call Open Tibia.

An individual by the name of Shiv’Voc wanted to have a game that was similar to Tibia. He asked another individual by the name of Tliff to make a program to extract the graphics from tibia client. (CIP Tibia was only version 6.4 back then)

After a while, Shiv got tired of the project and passed it along to Tliff. He made him admin on the SOURCEFORGE (where all open tibia related aspects were posted) so he could keep updating it. (Now it seems only Remere and Ironyt are updating it)

In 2002, the people who were running this project started posting topics that had to due with Open Tibia were posted on tibia.de aka World of Tibia. Eventually they got their own section and that’s where most of the people involved in it convened. (The open-tibia/otserv subforum on WOT later got deleted at CIP’s request)

I managed to get a hold of DeathfireD, who was one of those few people who worked on the project back then to provide his insight.

Here’s a condensed version of what I witnessed as one of the oldest OTserv members apparently still around. OTserv was a pretty small and an otherwise dead project in the old days. 1 programmer, several non full time code contributors. Only 6 or 7 of us where the “the community” on WoT back then, with the occasional new person showing up asking when a working battle system would be added. It was kind of a running joke for us. When we’d chat we’d always ask “So Tliff got a battle system yet?”, Most of the time it was just Yorick, Gecko Slayer, Nibble, Tliff, Me DeathfireD, and one or two others tossing ideas around on the forums about what OTserv should be like and how we’re gonna find programmers to keep the project alive

Even though this project called “Otserv” got started in 2001, it was only in 2004 that it started to become more stable and aspects such as a functioning spells and a battle system were made.

Eventually Tliff passed on the project lead job to a new programmer named Haktivex. It was a little after Haktivex was appointed that things dramatically changed. Fandoras, another new programmer poped up out of nowhere to show off his own version of OTserv which was coded in C#. It had a battle system with spells and a working map editor. He eventually joined Haktivex in coding OTserv. Their contributions are most definitely what saved and otherwise lit the OTserv popularity fire so to speak. Once people started hearing that there was a tibia clone with a working battle system things just blew up. Tliff and Shi’voc came back. The WoT forum went from a very few people discussing OTserv to a few thousand in a matter of weeks. Discussions where cropping up on Official Tibia forums and in Tibia itself. Tibia News (http://www.tibianews.net/) even did a few feature stories on it before Tibia started sending out emails to affiliated sites asking them to remove all things related to OTserv.

In 2004 an individual named Fandoras makes his own version of otserv in an attempt to avoid any legal action from CIP. This server was called Tibia Dark Age or TDA. Most people agree this was one of the first Tibia Servers due to its stability. However, this is debatable, and I will not focus on TDA in this post.

As time went on more contributors started to help with the coding of OTserv. More fan sites and servers lists popped up too. People started making their own Distros of OTserv, account managing tools, experiment with paid accounts, and making money from their sites. It was indeed a very innovative and profitable first 2-3 years after Hak and Fando joined OTserv. OTserv essentially went from a project about to die to a project of over several thousand users in just a few months.

So who are the people who made it possible?

About 12 years ago a small team was set up. Their soul purpose, to make an Open source tibia server that everyone could enjoy and edit to there liking. Little did they know that in a few short years their little project would blow up to be something so big as it is now.

The original staff Credits.
Shi’Voc – Coding of initial OtServ
Acrimon – Coding of initial OtServ
Tliff – Coding, some kind of project leader
TiMMit – Coding
Reebow – special support, protocol
Matkus – Front end coding
Privateer – Documentation on the protocol
Torvik – Item list
Yorick – Board mod
Decar – Fansiter
Nibbles and MMN-o – Decoration on IRC

The people above coded much of the stuff you see today. From the walking and talking to the outfits and map editing, the code was done to the best of there knowledge at the time. However after a few years the project was forced to a stand still. Manny of the staff had grown older and tired with Otserv. They moved on with their life (stopped playing games).

Stats of people updating OTS on sourceforge over the past 12 years.

( If you are wondering about other Open tibia forums before todays popular Otland, this was the order. Tibia.de —> OTcommunity —> otserv —> otfans —> otland )

Lastly, this is an intervew conducted 6 years ago with Tliff by DeathfireD

1.) To start off this Interview I’d like to ask, who was the person who
started OTserv? Thought it up and actually put the first lines of code on
paper.

Ok, sit down kids, uncle Tliff now tells a story of ancient times…
It started back in like in February 2001 when Snyder released the first
Version of his Tibia server emulator. The site is untouched and still
looks like in those times. Check it out at
http://members.fortunecity.com/snyder8/ The background on the site is
also how that version looked like. It still had the old graphics, a
style of it’s own. I was active on the “World of Tibia” forum and it’s
irc channel, so I knew Shi’Voc. He had heard about Snyder’s idea and
started an own tibia server emulator. Snyder’s version only ran on
windows and was rather limited and it was hard to work with it.
Shiv’Voc’s goal was to create a prototype for a cross platform server.
Much of the packet sniffing and decoding was done by Protos, back in the
day. I myself was a very bad programmer back then (today I’m a not that
bad, but not quite good programmer). I tried some simple stuff like
writing a small program to extract the graphics from the client (that
was damn hard with no knowledge or programming skills, believe me ;)).
After the prototype had progressed quite well – it was possible to run
around and chat, throw items around – and it was evident, that it would
really work Shi’Voc and Acrimon designed a completely new tibia server.
This was called OTServ.

2.) What’s the story, how did you and Shi’Voc start OTserv and why?
Oops, I think I accidentally answered the question a bit already. Well, I
wasn’t very much involved in starting it, I rather took over after
Shi’Voc decided to move on to other projects. I can’t tell you what his
motivation was but mine was the challenge. I hadn’t played Tibia for
quite some time and I didn’t plan to, my interest was more to get it working.

3.) So how did you, the almighty Tliff, get to be project leader of the
great OTserv?

Well, when Shi’Voc had left, Tibia was still for the “old” Tibia (Tibia
6.x). The forum on WoT got more and more empty and I thought OTServ
would die. I asked Shi’Voc if he would mind giving me admin rights on
sourceforge and I took it over and started building support for Tibia 7.x

4.) How old is OTserv exactly? Is it as old as the first OTserv CVS
entry date or older? Also how old where you when you started as project leader of OTserv?

It might be off a week or two, but it should be quite accurate. I took it over when i was 17 or 18.

5.) So what was your major goal when starting this project years ago?
Was there a goal or was it just a “Hey lets make a server” kind of deal.

Hey lets make a server!

6.) Was your goals met or are they on the verge of being met?
Well as I had no real goals I am quite impressed with the progress right
now. It’s damn cool to try to build something and then it works, that’s
so great. Having spent weeks on the code and the client is able to login
the first time, that’s great. But what has happened since then is quite
amazing.

7.) What were your first thoughts about OTserv when you noticed people
started posting about it on tibia.de?

[I don’t know if I got this question right ;), In case you mean how I
found out about otserv then I didn’t, I knew it already, I assume you
mean how I reacted on the posts in the forum]
It’s great to see people appreciate your work. It takes oftens A LOT of
work to get something working, and it’s nice when people say: “Hey, what
you did is cool.”. This really kept me working.

8.) Did you think OTserv would progress to what it is today?
I hoped, but I didn’t think so, to be honest.

9.) So since we all know your one of the oldest staff (aside from
Shivoc), how do you feel about all these new and younger people joining
OTserv?

I think it’s great. More people means more work gets done 😉 To be
honest, Shi’Voc left OTServ quite some time ago and I’m inactive for
over a year.

10.) If you could change one or two things with OTserv or OTserv’s
community what would it be and why?

Better coordination among the unofficial and official developers. Could
should be shared freely.

11.) Well last question, what do you think is in store for OTserv in the
future?

We’ll see, we’ll see. I don’t see anything big coming, more gradual
improvement.

12.) Anything you would like to say to the OTserv news readers out there?
I thought you said 11.) was the last question? Anyway… Something i
want to tell the readers?
Yeah, a lot:
Don’t pee against the wind.
During night, wear bright clothes.
NEVER pet a burning cat.

No, seriously: Don’t think about doing it, do it.

hehe well thanks Tliff for answering our questionsand shedding light on who you really are to the people that dont know you. We hope to hear more from you in the comming months.
Posted on 02 Jul 2006 by DeathfireD

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