The idea of writing an online role-playing-game emerged during autumn 1995, when we realized the great potential of the Internet. Unlike the text based multi-user-dungeons at that time, our game should have a graphical user-interface, thus giving the player a better impression of the world he lives in.
In the Easter holidays 1996, the project started with concrete plannings. We developed basic routines for handling objects and implemented an editor (MudEdit) for creating the map and the objects. Moreover, we experimented with sockets and the TCP/IP-protocol in order to set up a communication between two hosts. By August, we had a server program running on Linux and a client program running on Windows ready and could do our first steps with an avatar on a map created by MudEdit.
During autumn, the functionality of Tibia grew rapidly. The avatars got names and individual outfits. They could take, drop, and move objects, as well as talk to each other. In the Christmas holidays, we enabled object-using, implemented the user management including saving the account data, and created the first version of our homepage. We were ready to go online! Tibia's birthday was January 7th, 1997, when we launched a permanent server on rrws27.uni-regensburg.de at the University of Regensburg.
Only few users came to Tibia, because the only advertising were some entries in search engines. Our first guest was Albe on January 10th, welcomed enthusiastically by three gods. Besides that, the development went on. The first non-player-characters (Sam) and monsters (trolls, spiders, cyclopses) entered Tibia. Of course, it was possible to fight against the monsters. Moreover, the third dimension was introduced, at least graphically, and there were papers to write permanent messages. Enough stuff for an update to version Alpha 2.0 on June 3rd, 1997.
In the summer holidays Tibia made great strides: temporal effects, cumulable objects, liquids, a new fighting system, the automap, movement in all three dimensions, different times of day and light sources, and a complete move/use-system. Additionally the small map (160 x 160 fields) was replaced by a bigger one (512 x 512 fields) that contained the first buildings of Thais (the Temple, Frodo's tavern, Gorn's equipment shop, Sam's armoury, the Castle) and several dungeons inhabited by new monster races. This was worth another update: to version Alpha 3.0 on October 28th, 1997.
More and more players detected Tibia, mostly from Germany but also some from all over the world. Some were even so fascinated that they created Tibia-homepages of their own. The first was Yorin's Tibia Homepage, published on January 28th, 1998. Meanwhile we developed a system for magic, introduced skills and vocations, and implemented the Royal Tibian Mail and the depot system. Additionally, we changed our homepage giving it a modern outfit. Tibia seemed to have grown up. Therefore we decided to start the Beta phase on May 20th, 1998.
This update was a great success. People stayed longer in Tibia, and so there was someone online nearly at every time. As the server got too small for so much activity, we bought a server of our own (tibia.uni-passau.de) and set it up at the University of Passau on July 2nd, 1998.
Unfortunately, due to the rapid growth the source code had become very opaque and unmaintainable. It was nearly impossible to add new features without adding new bugs. Therefore we decided to swallow the bitter pill of completely rewriting the server! It took us nearly one year to fulfill this task. On June 18th, 1999, we finally succeeded in starting phase Beta 5.0 with the new server, more stable and open to further ideas.
After that, a lot of improvements took place, too many to mention them here. Many users helped us by designing areas of the even bigger map (1024 x 1024 fields), drawing new objects, writing stories, or taking care of the game as a game master. The average number of players online grew from about 50 in summer 1999 to about 150 in summer 2000, thus making Tibia the greatest online role-playing-game in Germany.
All those graphics you see on this site from the early days where not origonal creations of Cipsoft. They where game designers and programers, not graphics artists or a company like Blizzard. So an early game had its graphics punked, and surprisingly this online game still attracts players. Ultima Online VI boasted many early renditions of Tibia's items, over time eventualy being replaced by the ingame players. Many item renditions where used over the years, most of the changes where preserved in our weapons, armor, and soon to be coming items list on this site. For whichever reason, Cip removed their project section that had the names of graphic artists and map editors that helped build tibia, so they have been relocated below to remember the many contributers to Tibia, without them Tibia would never of been a success!
Morgan le Fay
Additional Graphic Artists:
Altar the Sage
here and here are a few links to some places where you can see Cip's borrowed graphics at work.
From the past early days of Tibia's creation to the hustle and bustle of todays multi-span servers, Tibia has changed a lot. This is dedicated to the varous changes that have occured at each step, the innovations that changed the landscapse, and the very heart of Tibian history.
January 7th, 1997 Tibia went online
June 3rd, 1997 alpha phase two goes online
Octorber 8th, 1997 the third phase of alpha goes online
Yorin's Homepage, the first ever Tibia forums came online for the first time January 28th, 98
May 20th, 1998 Tibia moves to Beta phase.
June 18th, 1999 the second beta phase goes online
November 3rd, 2000 Tibia version 6 goes online
August 28th, 2002 Tibia version 7 goes online
(reserved for v7 screenshot)