As the 22nd anniversary of Infantry Online passes us by, we look back fondly on the community that is still with us today. Although the population is nowhere near what it once was at the height of the game’s popularity, it is steadily climbing back one die-hard fan at a time.
Free Infantry dubs itself the “benevolent custodian” of Infantry Online. We do not claim ownership to the intellectual property of the game, although many of the contributions that our community has given had made their way back to the official Sony Online Entertainment servers while they were still up and running. We are a non-profit, player driven community. All development and operating costs are covered by us.
Through creative use in how we implemented some of the features of our server, we have empowered the community to build their own zones with dynamic, run-time scripting capabilities that have allowed for more emergent gameplay through the use of AI-like opponents.
Since the official shutdown of Sony Online Entertainment servers in March 2012, Free Infantry has been patiently rebuilding the community. We have implemented all of the core infrastructure needed to host the server, and have seen zone developers and players contribute in building new content. Refer to the project homepage to see the latest updates and screenshots.
Every day we see new players joining our Discord server and proclaiming, “I can’t believe this game is still running!” They participate in the daily matches that our team arranges and promotes, and they invite their friends that they have met while playing the game in their youth.
Free Infantry is not the only Daybreak Game Company product that has seen its community continue on, actively and lively, after official server shutdown. An EverQuest Classic project called Project 1999 is running strong with Daybreak’s written agreement.
Looking into the future, there are a number of opportunities that we would like to explore:
- The game client that Free Infantry uses is still the original Infantry Online client. It uses DirectDraw which has more compatibility issues with each new Windows version since the client was released. Some of the tools used also require the zone developers to run them in compatibility mode which may not always work. We are unsure of how much longer the game client will remain usable, and would like to maintain and update it.
- Infantry Online is not present on the premier game publishing platform Steam, which we believe would help further grow and promote the community. We would like to get Infantry Online published on Steam.
With your guidance and assistance, we are eager to make the above happen.
– Free Infantry Group