Habitat

Lucasfilm

Status: Full Game, Findability: 5/5

Updates made

  • 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
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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.

Case closed!

Contributions: Martin/Stadium64, Jogge, Tobias Hultman, Mike, Dumbflag, Brendan Phoenix, Michael, Charels Haley, Randy Farmer, Nemo, Joe Fiat, Stuart Cass

14 Responses to Habitat

  1. I stumbled across this site since I saw it as a referrer to mine, and noticed the question about the Habitat disk. I do in fact have the original Habitat disk, the label peeled off of it and I don’t know if the disk is still readable but I purchased a 1541 to USB adapter… I just need to get my hands on a 1541 to try and rip the disk.

    • That sounds great Keith – if you get stuck, then i’d be happy to port the disk for you – though i’m based in the UK.

    • Thanks Zoran, it’s currently already under the “Downloads” section 🙂 Cheers for the heads up though!

    • Amazing news, and hopefully it will get fully resurrected and playable. At least it seems all the data is safe for the game?
      Probably time really this GTW entry was closed off, as it wasn’t technically an unreleased game.

  2. From https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3838990/Credits%20Page%20from%201988%20Habitat%20Manual.png

    For Lucasfilm Games:

    Chip Morningstar was project leader, programmer and principal designer. Randy Farmer and Aric Wilmunder wrote theCommodore 64 software. Gary Winnick created most of the artwork and animation, with additional artwork by Ken Macklin. Chris Grigg created the sounds. Additional technical
    contributions by Charlie Kellner (the original cel animation system} and Ron Gilbert (the original Commodore object memory manager).

    Additional creative support was provided by Noah Falstein, David Fox, Douglas Crockford, David Levine, Mary Paterno, Chris Werner and David Martin.

    The “Official Avatar Hanbook” was written by Jamie Williams and Chip Morningstar.

    Production Manager was Nancy Mohler. General Manager of the Lucasfilm Games Division was Steve Arnold. Thanks to Janice Morningstar, Pamela Farmer and Lori Wilmunder for extraordinary support and understanding.

    Special thanks to George Lucas.

    For Quantum:
    Janet Hunter was the primary Q-Link host system programmer.

    Additional technical support provided by Doug Coward, Mike Ficco and Ken Huntsman. Rob Martyn managed operations. Project schedule coordination at Quantum was handled by Cathy Anderson.
    Marc Seriff was technical manager at Qunatum. The support and interest of Steve Case from Quantum and Clive Smith from Commodore Business Machines were essential in making Habitat possible

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