do you still remember Ultima Online? It is an MMORPG that was first released in 1997, and still has a large user- and fan base. EA is still developing updates for this incredible game, and over the years an extensive scene of free servers has grown. Most of the game was reverse engineered (file formats, network protocol) and enabled developers all around the world to create their own worlds.
While there are a lot of free server emulators and free game servers available, they still rely on the original game client maintained by EA. This client comes with a lot of hardcoded restrictions, for example an outdated user interface and no support for high resolutions.
The aim of my project, fluorescence, is to create a free, customizable client for this still popular game. It relies on the textures, sounds, data and network protocol of the original game, so you need to have a working installation of Ultima Online in order to use fluorescence. But it is not just a copy, it offers three major advantages: First, it gives server developers more possibilities to customize their shard. Second, it aims to subtly enhance the charming ISO-2D graphics of the original game. And third, is has a customizable XML defined user interface that can hopefully bring this gaming gem to the current century.
Unfortunately, you need a working installation of Ultima Online as well as an account on a server (or your local homeshard) to try out fluorescence. So here are some screenshots to and videos to give you an idea what the game looks like:
A simple water shader: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crA-XquiQVA
One of the first particle effects: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxxegXu_iM0
While a lot of features are already implemented, the client is not yet playable, and far from complete. Also, the windows build is only maintained sporadically and does not reflect the current feature set. So if you are an Ultima Online nerd too and want to give it a try, please do so on Linux
You can find more information and videos on the project homepage at http://fluorescence-client.org/
The project is open source, you can check out the code at http://code.google.com/p/fluorescence/