By Sean Perryman on October 7, 2014 at 8:30am
The breakthrough Commodore 64 multi-player experience developed by LucasFilm is making a comeback. Thanks to Alex Hardy, founder and director of the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment in Oakland, CA, 1986's "Habitat" is given a second life.
As the story goes, Mr. Handy was working on a retrospective of LucasFilm titles when he reached out to one of the co-creators of "Habitat," Chip Morningstar. When he was asked if he retained any of the old source code to the game he revealed that he actually had all of it.
Now thanks to the help of a team of individuals from Commodore, AOL, Q-Link, and even the game's original creators Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar, they are moving toward getting the game up and running again. Though the game is not quite functional yet, they have managed to reverse engineer some of the original Q-Link service code and have a proof of concept in place: a single "Habitat" room with one active player. This doesn't mean that they are nearing launch, merely that they are heading in the right direction.
The game originally ran on the obscure (and now defunct) Stratus Nimbus. Luckily a former Stratus employee was kind enough to donate a functional Nimbus to the team, providing them with the platform they need to try and relaunch one of the first graphical online multi-player games.
The one piece of the puzzle they are desperately lacking is the server source code for the Q-Link service. If you, or someone you know has any information, the museum would love to hear from you.
The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment Engadget