Habitat was a glimpse into the future way back in 1987, and was to take the SCUMM engine of Maniac Mansion and push it into an online world.
The game was to be multi-player based and used in conjunction with a Quantum Link phone number. It would have allowed almost all users to create new objects and locations, which could then be used/stolen/destroyed by other users.
The game had various screen shots scattered in magazines of the time, some of which are present on this website. Here is also a video from a Lucasarts advert showing the game running…
A beta was actually up and running of the game (so technically it was sort of “released”) for a few years, but was later replaced with a very slimmed-down and more limited for-pay system called Club Caribe, available again through Quantum Link (an online service for Commodore 64/128 users). Club Caribe had improved graphics and added facial expressions, but it was a very small world with far fewer features and possibilities. The game would live on in various forms for other platforms which you can read more about here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habitat_(video_game)
Of course, with the game being replaced by Club Caribe, much of the original Habitat was now lost. With it being an online based service, could anything be recovered and made available in a viable form?
For years, there were only bits and pieces of Habitat to be found, but in July 2016, all of the source code for Habitat was fully preserved. It was hoped that the game could finally be resurrected and ran once more in some shape or form.
We are pleased to say that the has come where you can now actually play Habitat once more. Take a look over at http://www.neohabitat.org/. where the developers (including some of the original team) have got the game up and running once more, and you can now join in and play. It’s an amazing effort and a wonderful recovery of a long lost MMORPG.
Contributions: Martin/Stadium64, Jogge, Tobias Hultman, Mike, Dumbflag, Brendan Phoenix, Michael, Charels Haley, Randy Farmer, Nemo, Joe Fiat, Stuart Cass
First link consists of many documents based on the game! (I apologise for any deadlinks)
- http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue77/habitat.php (New! – Habitat review)
- http://www.dsgames.net/qlink /habitat/pictures1.htm
- 06/07/20 – Heavily tidied up the terrible write up (clearly written when I was 17!) and added links to the game that you can now download and play!
- 11/03/19 – Corrections to connection thanks to Joe Fiat
- 13/06/15 – Video addition thanks to Nemo