Castle Infinity was the first commercially launched MMOG for children. It featured avatars and live chat in a 2D side scrolling game world. It survives as a freeware MMOG for Microsoft Windows developed by Castle Infinity, LLC, an American non-profit organization.
The official language of the characters in Castle Infinity is a modification of Esperanto.
Castle Infinity was first released in 1996, making it the first fully released MMOG designed for children. It was originally designed by Russell Ginns, Gregg Foster, and Scott Wallin. It was originally developed by Paul Allen's early internet company Starwave, but the company changed owners several times and eventually acquired by Disney. The game itself changed owners several times, from Digital Evolution to US Interactive. Access to the game became intermittent starting in 1998 and had shut down entirely by 2000. Soon after, the game servers were rescued from a dumpster by Kevin Quitt, a C programmer, who happened to be one of the game's lead players, and improvements on the game started up. From this group, Castle Infinity, Inc. a non-profit organization was born. Player population has dwindled in the years since, leaving only a few die-hard fans. Nonetheless, in 2005 there was fresh media coverage of the game by way of Slashdot and BoingBoing.
Corruption and closure
On October 6, 2008, it was announced that the database had been corrupted following a programming error. Kevin Quitt, the administrator of Castle Infinity at that time, made the following announcement: "I have... with great reluctance and many tears, closed the Castle - almost certainly forever." However following this a Facebook wall was made, and old players continued to discover the community. Talk soon emerged of redevelopment of the castle, but until recently[when?] no action was ever taken.
On January 9, 2011 a test server was launched with the help of a former player who wished to remain anonymous. With the approval of Russell Ginns and some of the original development team, as well as Kevin Quitt; Spencer Jerome (The Architect Seademond) with the help of Donald Butyen (The Architect Fonos) and Rachel Coleman (The Architect Morelia) revived the Castle and are maintaining the revived server as long as there is interest. Spencer has since founded Castle Infinity, LLC, a company to manage the Castle. A website has launched, and a beta is now available for download, with new features and content being consistently added to the game.
Castle Infinity places a heavy emphasis on player interaction. Players can take on challenges which require multiple players to participate together, activating new levels and advancing into deeper tasks within the game. For example, in order to jump to higher levels, at least 3 or 4 members are required to stand on the same spot for the lift to activate. Once all members are present, the jump activates and players will advance to a higher level.
- http://quitt.net/ Kevin Quitt
- Castle Infinity Revival Project Website
- Castle Infinity website from Starwave era
- Castle Infinity website from user-owned era
- Excerpt from Attack of the Show featuring Castle Infinity
- Slashdot thread about the return of Castle Infinity