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#1 Matrix6   Members   -  Reputation: 99

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 03:27 PM

I have an interesting question that (hopefully) can be answered relatively simply.

Background:
I take a top-down view of things. That means when I want to start working on a project, I start by figuring out what will be required (in a big-picture sense).

My partner and I have recently completed the design for an online multi-player game (probably best fitting the MMORTS genre). The game somewhat resembles games like: AstroEmpires, Planetarion, Ferion, Utopia, etc. (Some of you will probably be familiar with the games I'm talking about). I have some experience with programming languages, but only on the "ground" level. (Years ago, during the windows 3.1 era I created several applications with visual basic, for example, and I know enough HTML to create a functional web page. I also have a basic understanding of the object-oriented programming model, etc.)

I'm aware of the scope of the project I'm embarking on. I'm not joking around, and I have some resources I can bring to bear on the project, but I need to figure out where to START as far as the programming side of this goes, so if some folks who know a little more than I do would give me some pointers as far as direction, I would really appreciate it.

What the project requires:
A database back-end to store "everything" (including player info, galaxy map info, resources, etc - thus "everything").
A web browser "front-end" for user interface
This MUST include a 3-dimensional "galaxy map" that can be manipulated by the user (both to change perspective and to select elements inside the map).

In regard to this map, what I envision is something resembling Google maps or Wikisky (zoom in, zoom out, search for and highlight certain features, click to access info), but NOT using pixel-based imaging, instead relying on a simple database of coordinate-based points (stars) WITHOUT associated pixel data rendered based on current user camera perspective.

This MUST be available through a web browser interface.


Now the optional part:
I know that the above is possible using current technology (really not even that difficult, tech-wise, even though some of the spatial-reference issues could make your eyes cross). What I would LIKE to do is to pre-load star position data from the server and cache it on the user's computer, then use the USER's computer to render the star map from a given perspective, without using server resources. I'm not certain whether this is possible without creating a user-end application. Is it?
If this is NOT possible, I still want to reduce the load on the server as much as possible. I see several possible options for this, especially if I understand correctly how database requests are handled and how the user's computer can be utilized in rendering (For example, any time the user clicks and "drags" to rotate the camera, based on its focal point, if I can't pre-cache and use the user's machine to render the map in real time as it rotates, could I instead just show a compass for reference, then only render the final image once the user has released the mouse button?)

The problem is, I only have a general understanding of these concepts, so I don't know specifically which programming languages (and which technology) to dig into and start learning.

So, the simplified question is --

What are my options for languages in which to create this application, back end, etc and what are the pros and cons of each?

Thoughts are appreciated.



*EDIT*

this is what I've gotten so far:

Dynamic rendering and map interface:
html5, flash or silverlight, possibly Unity (though after looking at that, it seems like a bit more than I need)


Web front-end:
html (obviously), CSS, javascript, .ASPX


Middle tier:
C# or java, (with C# being favored), along with possibly php? the .net framework (Not quite sure how to categorize, but it has to be in there somewhere.)



Database end:
MySQL or MSSQL





I'm sure I've mis-categorized a couple of these, but that's the general gist of things.


I WAS hoping for some pro/con info on them and other opinions, but I'll take what I can get.


Thanks again, (and as I said, any further feedback is welcome


Sponsor:

#2 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3726

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 03:54 PM

There's not enough info here to give you any sort of recommendation. By and large, the language choice at this point will be determined by your core staff and what their language familiarity is.

And if your core staff doesn't have any significant language familiarity, it won't matter.

#3 Matrix6   Members   -  Reputation: 99

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 04:10 PM

I suppose the best way to reply to your post is that my partner and I ARE my core staff. (At the moment. That will change when I have a more comprehensive idea of what my requirements are and what I need to do to make this happen).

The QUESTION was, what are my OPTIONS, and what are the pros and cons associated with them.

(Example: ASPX and .Net along with Microsoft SQL are possible options, but they are not open source, so they require licensing, they are only compatible with some servers, and finding people who are expert in their use may be more difficult. They DO provide more secure options, though I've also heard that some people find them ...clunky?)


This is a hobby for me. Before I determine what I need for staff if i want to make it a reality, I need to determine what direction I'll be going. That means researching and understanding, at least to some extent, the options available to me.

At this point I don't even know what the playing field looks like.

#4 HNikolas   Members   -  Reputation: 192

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 04:20 PM

I would use Silverlight for the star map. Silverlight with a 3D library, like Balder, would be ideal and making it would be relatively easy. It is cross-platform and runs(and does all rendering) on the client's computer.
I would suggest you to take a look into the .NET Framework in general since it has everything there.

Based on your post I can not really give you any more pointers without knowing more about the game. I did a little Googling on the titles you provided and it seems that the game would be a resource simulation in space that runs basically in the browser environment and has a 3D map where the player can interact. Is it true?
Ruby on Rails, ASP.NET MVC, jQuery and everything else web.. now also trying my hand on games.

#5 Nypyren   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4302

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 04:26 PM

Some possibilities:

Unity
- Front-end 3D rendering inside a browser.
- Also gives you the option to make a stand-alone executable if you want people to be able to install the game in additon to run it in a web browser.
- Requires users to install a Unity Web Player (similar to Adobe Flash Player).
- Front-end game code can be written in UnityScript, C#, or Boo.
- MIGHT work on some mobile devices, but I haven't researched this.

Amazon S3
- Content delivery network (CDN)
- Hosts content files for your game, such as textures, sounds, galaxy maps, etc.

Amazon EC2
- Compute cluster
- You can rent servers to run your server code.

Membase
- Open source key/value database.
- Use this to store player data, or data that will change over time.

Language of your choice (I like C#, personally)
- You have a very wide selection of server-side technologies. Most modern general purpose languages can be used to write web services.
- If you use C# in Unity, you may as well use C# for the server as well.
- In my opinion, the Java-based technologies are complete overkill (struts, spring, etc).
- Fairly easy to write an entire web service from scratch, and might be a good idea to keep overhead low (increase request throughput).

#6 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3726

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 04:35 PM

I suppose the best way to reply to your post is that my partner and I ARE my core staff. (At the moment. That will change when I have a more comprehensive idea of what my requirements are and what I need to do to make this happen).


Right, and if you're not going to be leading development, you need to find someone who will lead development that you trust. What language they've got expertise in is... largely irrelevant. Every language can interact with databases. Every language can work with some front end technology to provide user interface. Picking the technology platform isn't going to impact your success nearly as much as picking that person (and then letting them make technology decisions based on your requirements). They can spend the time and effort to get more of the requirements to give you better answers than we can about how the different options will impact your game. They can understand what options are even in play given your requirements.

#7 Matrix6   Members   -  Reputation: 99

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 05:22 PM


I suppose the best way to reply to your post is that my partner and I ARE my core staff. (At the moment. That will change when I have a more comprehensive idea of what my requirements are and what I need to do to make this happen).


Right, and if you're not going to be leading development, you need to find someone who will lead development that you trust. What language they've got expertise in is... largely irrelevant. Every language can interact with databases. Every language can work with some front end technology to provide user interface. Picking the technology platform isn't going to impact your success nearly as much as picking that person (and then letting them make technology decisions based on your requirements). They can spend the time and effort to get more of the requirements to give you better answers than we can about how the different options will impact your game. They can understand what options are even in play given your requirements.


Telastyn, I AM going to be leading development. I may very well be the SOLE developer, and that means I'm going to have to LEARN these languages. If that takes me five years, (or fifteen years) then so be it.
The question I ASKED was what languages and systems present good options for me. As I said, this is a hobby.

*Edit: In fact, this speaks even more strongly to figuring out which option is best from the get-go. If I'm starting with a "blank slate" I might as well use the most effective option for my situation. If you need more info, just tell me what you want me to expand on and I'll write you a novel if you like*

@HNikolas and Npyren

Thanks much. This is the kind of answer I'm looking for.

If I can get some idea what options are available to me I can do some research on them to see which fits my project better.

And yes, Npyren, it seems to me that what I'm looking for is fairly light-weight and (hopefully) simple. What I wasn't certain about (and had never seen before) was a browser-based live rendering of what is essentially (speaking in graphic designer parlance-- my background) vector graphics rather than raster images. (Or perhaps I just hadn't recognized what I was seeing).

Further thoughts are always appreciated.

#8 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3726

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 05:58 PM

Telastyn, I AM going to be leading development. I may very well be the SOLE developer, and that means I'm going to have to LEARN these languages. If that takes me five years, (or fifteen years) then so be it.
The question I ASKED was what languages and systems present good options for me. As I said, this is a hobby.


There are no good options. 15 years is a closer estimate given your stated goal and described experience. It doesn't matter what technology you pick for this project since it'll be out of date by the time you're ready to implement it.

That said; C# is a fine general purpose language for doing the middle tier work. You'll need javascript, CSS, SQL, and HTML4 at least. You'll need html5, flash or silverlight to do the dynamic rendering. I believe that there is free versions of MSSQL now, otherwise there's a variety of other database options to learn with.

I would perhaps focus on HTML development first given your background and since that will get you results faster. Get some menus working, tie them into a web service back end, tie that into basic db structures. Take it one step at a time, focusing on learning and prototypes before working towards the game.

And most of all, look through these forums. They are replete with people that want a mmo, think they know the scope of things... they invariably get stuck trying to do the hard things instead of learning. Or learn a little bit only to realize all the plans, design, work they've done is now a bad idea (under the light of experience). Then they do a re-write and spend another few months just re-doing what they've already done (and still aren't anywhere closer to getting something people can play).

I'm not here just to bust your chops. I've years of development experience; years here on the forums seeing people make the same stupid mistakes.

#9 FlyingDutchman   Members   -  Reputation: 207

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 04:36 AM

Hey Matrix, after reading ur post my first thing was.. "phew,that guy has high expectations "... so IMO you should now focus on creating a team consisting of people you can trust. Programming everything on your own without being a code head is a little bit hardcore ... You have to learn the languages, the engines, AI, The Game System, ... just everything. Even a professional coder would need a long time to make everything ready to ship out..

I dont want to discourage you, i think it is wonderful to have a dream and to work on a project, so go on and dont give up even when the hurdles are high. But be realistic . Henry Ford didnt assemble his cars by himself.. He found people to do it for him.

I open sourced my C++/iOS OpenGL 2D RPG engine :-)


See my blog: (Tutorials and GameDev)

http://howtomakeitin....wordpress.com/


#10 Matrix6   Members   -  Reputation: 99

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 10:34 AM

Hey Matrix, after reading ur post my first thing was.. "phew,that guy has high expectations "... so IMO you should now focus on creating a team consisting of people you can trust. Programming everything on your own without being a code head is a little bit hardcore ... You have to learn the languages, the engines, AI, The Game System, ... just everything. Even a professional coder would need a long time to make everything ready to ship out..

I dont want to discourage you, i think it is wonderful to have a dream and to work on a project, so go on and dont give up even when the hurdles are high. But be realistic . Henry Ford didnt assemble his cars by himself.. He found people to do it for him.


Hmmmmm..... Was that an offer? Posted Image


There are no good options. 15 years is a closer estimate given your stated goal and described experience. It doesn't matter what technology you pick for this project since it'll be out of date by the time you're ready to implement it.


...I'm not here just to bust your chops. I've years of development experience; years here on the forums seeing people make the same stupid mistakes.


...I was half expecting to get this sort of thing when I posted here, but I WAS hoping I'd get at least enough real, useful feedback to get me started (and I believe I have; I now have at least a direction for my research). And now that you two have finished lecturing me (in Telastyn's case I saw it coming the first time he posted, and by the way, Telastyn you ARE "busting my chops," even if you think you have a good reason.)

What you two have been providing is NOT real or useful feedback. At best it's cautionary advice (if I was some kid who thinks he can spend a couple of years solo-programming the next gen MMORPG). I believe that the only thing I have put in bold up to this point is that I'm aware of the scope of the project I'm embarking on.

How about, just for a second, you give me the credit for a little intelligence instead of just assuming that I actually DON'T understand what I'm getting into, and (this applies specifically to Telastyn--Dutchman was at least kind) look at your posts from my perspective under those conditions.

All you're doing is insulting me and patronizing me.



Now in regard to the project itself

The first thing I did when I started working on this project was to approach a friend of mine who IS a "professional coder" (who works primarily in Microsoft .net, .ASPX and MSSQL, at least currently) and ask him how long it would take him to create the project, from start to finish, and how long he thought it would take me if I were doing it all alone.


So no, Telastyn, you DON'T know better than me. ...and your input up to this point has mostly been just useless interference.

I would much rather NOT do it all by myself, and as it stands I have a partner who's already been working on the design with me for quite some time now who will be digging into the front end. I also have some friends who I might be able to rope in on the project as time goes on who have far more experience than I do with various aspects of it. I even have a friend who's genuinely interested in the project who controls millions of dollars of investment money (targeted at high-risk, high-return enterprises) who I may be talking to in a few weeks after I know what I'm dealing with. I also own my own business, and so I DO have resources I can devote to this over time.

None of that matters right now.

What matters is that I need to understand the technical side of what I'll be getting into. There's no way I'm going to just turn it over to someone else. That would totally defeat the purpose of starting the project in the first place, and I want to know where I'm going and what the cost of getting there will be (time, money, expertise) before I start pulling others into it.

That requires that I get my hands dirty and see what it looks like on the ground level. (It's what any intelligent leader does.)



Now, as a final request for feedback, this is what I've gotten so far:

Dynamic rendering and map interface:
html5, flash or silverlight, possibly Unity (though after looking at that, it seems like a bit more than I need)


Web front-end:
html (obviously), CSS, javascript, .ASPX


Middle tier:
C# or java, (with C# being favored), along with possibly php? the .net framework (Not quite sure how to categorize, but it has to be in there somewhere.)



Database end:
MySQL or MSSQL





I'm sure I've mis-categorized a couple of these, but that's the general gist of things.


I WAS hoping for some pro/con info on them and other opinions, but I'll take what I can get.


Thanks again, (and as I said, any further feedback is welcome, especially if it's getting to the point instead of just telling me how wrong I am.)

#11 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3726

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 11:17 AM

What you two have been providing is NOT real or useful feedback. At best it's cautionary advice (if I was some kid who thinks he can spend a couple of years solo-programming the next gen MMORPG). I believe that the only thing I have put in bold up to this point is that I'm aware of the scope of the project I'm embarking on.

How about, just for a second, you give me the credit for a little intelligence instead of just assuming that I actually DON'T understand what I'm getting into, and (this applies specifically to Telastyn--Dutchman was at least kind) look at your posts from my perspective under those conditions.


With all due respect, you have said nothing so far that leads me to believe you know what you're getting into. If anything you're worse than the kid that thinks he can spend a couple of years solo-programming; you're the idea man who doesn't have the experience to make technical decisions, but won't yield that to someone who does. I respect that you have identified that as a problem and have come and asked a good, pointed question to help fix that. But programming skill comes largely with experience (which you should know; having done programming before and owning a business). Getting answers from us and doing research on the internet is no replacement for years designing, debugging and maintaining programs. If I thought you had no intelligence, I wouldn't think that advice might help you in a direction that will help you succeed in making the game.

All you're doing is insulting me and patronizing me.


Where exactly have I insulted you?
Rereading, some of my replies can be taken as a bit patronizing. I'm a bit sorry about that, but realistically you're someone in For Beginners coming asking for advice. Any reply is going to be patronizing to some degree.

The first thing I did when I started working on this project was to approach a friend of mine who IS a "professional coder" (who works primarily in Microsoft .net, .ASPX and MSSQL, at least currently) and ask him how long it would take him to create the project, from start to finish, and how long he thought it would take me if I were doing it all alone.


And what did he say? And what makes his advice more credible than the community here?

So no, Telastyn, you DON'T know better than me.


Heh. If you say so.

What matters is that I need to understand the technical side of what I'll be getting into. There's no way I'm going to just turn it over to someone else. That would totally defeat the purpose of starting the project in the first place, and I want to know where I'm going and what the cost of getting there will be (time, money, expertise) before I start pulling others into it.

That requires that I get my hands dirty and see what it looks like on the ground level. (It's what any intelligent leader does.)


An intelligent leader also listens, even when what's being said isn't what they want to hear. An intelligent leader knows their limitations.


I'm not telling you you're wrong. I'm explaining how I think you can better achieve your end goal of getting this game made. If you want to ignore 20 years of development experience, and ~8 years of experience within this gamedev community seeing projects just like this crash and burn, that's your call.

#12 Matrix6   Members   -  Reputation: 99

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 12:35 PM

Ok then let me put it another way.
I would appreciate it if you would either butt out or just answer the question the way I've asked it.



Now, since we're in the business of giving unsolicited advice (actually, advice that I particularly discouraged), I'll see if I can't do something similar to you to what you've done to me. (The following paragraphs provide what I consider to be an accurate estimation of your behavior toward me and the personal problems you've evidenced thus far in this thread. Oh wait... you didn't ask for my opinion? Well I know better than you, so guess what, I'm going to tell you anyway.)

If I were your employer:
In this case, I would either fire you outright (if you were in a human resources or managerial position) or, more likely, I would insure that you were NEVER placed in a leadership position, mostly due to the fact that your conduct demonstrates the following: 1. think you know better than others and refuse to grant them the benefit of the doubt. 2. You are so arrogant and hard-headed that you feel driven to insert your opinion where it has already clearly been stated that it is not wanted 3. You lack the judgment or introspection to understand how you come across to others.
This demonstrates a clear lack of personal maturity, so much so that unless you showed particular skill in your field (presumably as a programmer) I wouldn't want you working for me at all, and I CERTAINLY would NEVER put you in a position to enforce your arrogance on others.

If I were your friend:
In this case, (provided I would put up with a so-called friend who had the obvious personal problems that you do--normally I wouldn't), I would thank you politely for your advice, while trying to save you the embarrassment of pointing out your obvious arrogance, insensitivity and social awkwardness.
I would then avoid asking for your advice ever again.


Now if I wanted to tell someone what you've told me, the way I would have done it would be simply this:
1. Answer the question as best I know how (with a brief list of the possible resources needed to complete the project and a few pros and cons to them).
2. Point out to them that yes, i know they said they know the scope of the project, but really this is probably even bigger than they had already assumed.

Instead what I got was two posts that said "Don't worry your little head about it. Find an expert. Hire him. Let him decide."

Then a third post that was marginally helpful, but managed to call me stupid and question my judgment at the same time.

I probably should have just slapped you upside the head at that point and sent you out to play like the child who should be seen and not heard. ...In fact, if you possess any kind of ability for introspection (which I doubt), you might consider this an indicator that your self-presentation in general needs serious help. If so, then congratulations, this wasn't a total waste of my time.

Otherwise, from here on out, unless you can be helpful, just keep your opinion to yourself (like the hundred other posters who read this message and had the same thoughts that you did, then didn't bother replying--notice the page view count?)



The funny thing is, I suspect if you set your mind to it, you could have given me about a paragraph of information during this point that would have informed me about the general options available to me and how each one functions (plus the pros and cons associated with them).

Instead all you've done is get in my way.

*EDIT: I should also note, if you care, that you've made this, on-balance, an unpleasant experience when it could have been a pleasant one.*

#13 Ashalah   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 12:54 PM

I'm reading these replies and the Beginners forum in general, and I'm... I'm just dumbstruck. I can't believe this kind of attitude is allowed, even by the standards of an internet forum... I've only been on GD.NET for a week but the arrogance, stupidity and obscene lack of respect from people like Matrix6 just make me want to torch down this whole section of the forum and pee on its ashes.

#14 pulpfist   Members   -  Reputation: 528

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 01:24 PM

I'm reading these replies and the Beginners forum in general, and I'm... I'm just dumbstruck. I can't believe this kind of attitude is allowed, even by the standards of an internet forum... I've only been on GD.NET for a week but the arrogance, stupidity and obscene lack of respect from people like Matrix6 just make me want to torch down this whole section of the forum and pee on its ashes.


Are you serious?

Matrix6 said what he had to say, and replied what he had to reply. Get over it.
Telastyn admitted he's tone may have been a little patronizing. And thats that.

As for the OP, its a hard question to answer. Break it up into smaller parts, and leave the Massive in MMO for later, just to avoid getting into this kind of grumped discussions.
They are plenty on here, one should use the search service to dig in rather than starting another one.

#15 shadowisadog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2523

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 01:31 PM

Ok then let me put it another way.
I would appreciate it if you would either butt out or just answer the question the way I've asked it.



Now, since we're in the business of giving unsolicited advice (actually, advice that I particularly discouraged), I'll see if I can't do something similar to you to what you've done to me. (The following paragraphs provide what I consider to be an accurate estimation of your behavior toward me and the personal problems you've evidenced thus far in this thread. Oh wait... you didn't ask for my opinion? Well I know better than you, so guess what, I'm going to tell you anyway.)

If I were your employer:
In this case, I would either fire you outright (if you were in a human resources or managerial position) or, more likely, I would insure that you were NEVER placed in a leadership position, mostly due to the fact that your conduct demonstrates the following: 1. think you know better than others and refuse to grant them the benefit of the doubt. 2. You are so arrogant and hard-headed that you feel driven to insert your opinion where it has already clearly been stated that it is not wanted 3. You lack the judgment or introspection to understand how you come across to others.
This demonstrates a clear lack of personal maturity, so much so that unless you showed particular skill in your field (presumably as a programmer) I wouldn't want you working for me at all, and I CERTAINLY would NEVER put you in a position to enforce your arrogance on others.

If I were your friend:
In this case, (provided I would put up with a so-called friend who had the obvious personal problems that you do--normally I wouldn't), I would thank you politely for your advice, while trying to save you the embarrassment of pointing out your obvious arrogance, insensitivity and social awkwardness.
I would then avoid asking for your advice ever again.


Now if I wanted to tell someone what you've told me, the way I would have done it would be simply this:
1. Answer the question as best I know how (with a brief list of the possible resources needed to complete the project and a few pros and cons to them).
2. Point out to them that yes, i know they said they know the scope of the project, but really this is probably even bigger than they had already assumed.

Instead what I got was two posts that said "Don't worry your little head about it. Find an expert. Hire him. Let him decide."

Then a third post that was marginally helpful, but managed to call me stupid and question my judgment at the same time.

I probably should have just slapped you upside the head at that point and sent you out to play like the child who should be seen and not heard. ...In fact, if you possess any kind of ability for introspection (which I doubt), you might consider this an indicator that your self-presentation in general needs serious help. If so, then congratulations, this wasn't a total waste of my time.

Otherwise, from here on out, unless you can be helpful, just keep your opinion to yourself (like the hundred other posters who read this message and had the same thoughts that you did, then didn't bother replying--notice the page view count?)



The funny thing is, I suspect if you set your mind to it, you could have given me about a paragraph of information during this point that would have informed me about the general options available to me and how each one functions (plus the pros and cons associated with them).

Instead all you've done is get in my way.

*EDIT: I should also note, if you care, that you've made this, on-balance, an unpleasant experience when it could have been a pleasant one.*


Matrix6,

I know that you do not wish to hear what I have to say to you, but I felt compelled to reply to this. You have come to this forum seeking our advice... and people have taken their valuable time to try and provide what they feel is the best advice that they have to offer... Rather then graciously accepting that advice even if it is not what you want to hear you instead insult the people trying to help you. Even if you feel insulted, responding in kind does not highlight THEIR faults, but rather YOURS.

I know I would never want to work for a boss who would contemplate firing me for providing an honest and truthful assessment of a potential project. In this case I would say that Telastyn DOES know more than you on this subject. Just because your "friend" quoted you a particular time frame for completing a project, does not mean that others can not have different opinions for different reasons. We do NOT know you, but we can tell a lot about you from your online behavior.

For what it is worth, I wish you luck in your project. I would probably use JMonkeyEngine 3.0 to do what you describe, but there are a lot of options.

#16 Ashalah   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 01:32 PM

Well I guess there aren't as many thread like this as I thought there are, but the ones that are it's like they are taken straight out of MMOChamp.

#17 Matrix6   Members   -  Reputation: 99

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 01:51 PM

Matrix6,

I know that you do not wish to hear what I have to say to you, but I felt compelled to reply to this. You have come to this forum seeking our advice... and people have taken their valuable time to try and provide what they feel is the best advice that they have to offer... Rather then graciously accepting that advice even if it is not what you want to hear you instead insult the people trying to help you. Even if you feel insulted, responding in kind does not highlight THEIR faults, but rather YOURS.

I know I would never want to work for a boss who would contemplate firing me for providing an honest and truthful assessment of a potential project. In this case I would say that Telastyn DOES know more than you on this subject. Just because your "friend" quoted you a particular time frame for completing a project, does not mean that others can not have different opinions for different reasons. We do NOT know you, but we can tell a lot about you from your online behavior.

For what it is worth, I wish you luck in your project. I would probably use JMonkeyEngine 3.0 to do what you describe, but there are a lot of options.


I think you've got me wrong in saying that I don't want to hear what you have to say.


I acknowledged Telastyn twice before ever objecting to his opinion. The third time, I pointed out that he wasn't answering my question but was making points that I had already acknowledged as his opinion (but noted were unhelpful to my cause). It was the fourth post before I spoke to his behavior as it deserved.

Normally, in online forums, the OP is given some leeway in saying "this is how I would like this thread to proceed" and people who refuse to take a hint and persist at trying to redirect the thread (or get in the way of the original intent) are considered "Hyjackers." In this case, that was what telastyn became, and frankly I was personally offended by his unwillingness to take a hint, so I thought it only appropriate to return to him EXACTLY what he had given to me.


What it all boils down to is this.

Yes. I'm aware that the scope of this project is large. Yes. I see that people think I'm out of my league. ...And my reply (again) "You don't know what my league is. I've heard it all before. You're getting in my way."
...And yes, I'm the new guy here, which means you don't accord ME the same respect that you do someone like Telastyn (who's obviously been a contributing part of the community for a long time). Take away that "respect" that he's earned and the situation is exactly what I've laid down. Regardless of how highly esteemed his opinion is, he's still essentially hyjacking my thread and wasting my time, then refusing to let me get on with it by stepping aside when he disagrees. (And it's funny to me how I'm being demonized for returning exactly the same thing to him that he's perpetrated upon me---not at all unexpected, but it amuses me.)



Two more things.

1. You said this: "We do NOT know you, but we can tell a lot about you from your online behavior."
...Which is exactly what I was basing my response to Telastyn on.

2. Regarding "For what it is worth, I wish you luck in your project. I would probably use JMonkeyEngine 3.0 to do what you describe, but there are a lot of options."
Thanks. I'll look into it.

*EDIT-- At first glance that looks like exactly what I need. Thanks so much.*

#18 shadowisadog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2523

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 02:08 PM


Matrix6,

I know that you do not wish to hear what I have to say to you, but I felt compelled to reply to this. You have come to this forum seeking our advice... and people have taken their valuable time to try and provide what they feel is the best advice that they have to offer... Rather then graciously accepting that advice even if it is not what you want to hear you instead insult the people trying to help you. Even if you feel insulted, responding in kind does not highlight THEIR faults, but rather YOURS.

I know I would never want to work for a boss who would contemplate firing me for providing an honest and truthful assessment of a potential project. In this case I would say that Telastyn DOES know more than you on this subject. Just because your "friend" quoted you a particular time frame for completing a project, does not mean that others can not have different opinions for different reasons. We do NOT know you, but we can tell a lot about you from your online behavior.

For what it is worth, I wish you luck in your project. I would probably use JMonkeyEngine 3.0 to do what you describe, but there are a lot of options.


I think you've got me wrong in saying that I don't want to hear what you have to say.


I acknowledged Telastyn twice before ever objecting to his opinion. The third time, I pointed out that he wasn't answering my question but was making points that I had already acknowledged as his opinion (but noted were unhelpful to my cause). It was the fourth post before I spoke to his behavior as it deserved.

Normally, in online forums, the OP is given some leeway in saying "this is how I would like this thread to proceed" and people who refuse to take a hint and persist at trying to redirect the thread (or get in the way of the original intent) are considered "Hyjackers." In this case, that was what telastyn became, and frankly I was personally offended by his unwillingness to take a hint, so I thought it only appropriate to return to him EXACTLY what he had given to me.


What it all boils down to is this.

Yes. I'm aware that the scope of this project is large. Yes. I see that people think I'm out of my league. ...And my reply (again) "You don't know what my league is. I've heard it all before. You're getting in my way."
...And yes, I'm the new guy here, which means you don't accord ME the same respect that you do someone like Telastyn (who's obviously been a contributing part of the community for a long time). Take away that "respect" that he's earned and the situation is exactly what I've laid down. Regardless of how highly esteemed his opinion is, he's still essentially hyjacking my thread and wasting my time, then refusing to let me get on with it by stepping aside when he disagrees. (And it's funny to me how I'm being demonized for returning exactly the same thing to him that he's perpetrated upon me---not at all unexpected, but it amuses me.)



Two more things.

1. You said this: "We do NOT know you, but we can tell a lot about you from your online behavior."
...Which is exactly what I was basing my response to Telastyn on.

2. Regarding "For what it is worth, I wish you luck in your project. I would probably use JMonkeyEngine 3.0 to do what you describe, but there are a lot of options."
Thanks. I'll look into it.

*EDIT-- At first glance that looks like exactly what I need. Thanks so much.*


Your welcome. I would also check out Panda3D. It has a web runtime and is fairly cross platform. I would probably shy away from Silverlight or Unity in this instance... C# is a great language and Unity is a great product... however it is quite a heavy investment and I would advise you to check out and evaluate all potential technology platforms before reaching a final decision. I am also not sure how great Silverlights cross platform support is... If you are just targeting windows then it might be ok... but I would be more inclined to use something that I knew focused on 3D out of the box. Sure Balder might be good for Silverlight, but if you check the site they are in Alpha and the project was made in October of 2010... It is not exactly very mature yet. Also there have been numerous and serious cross platform concerns for Silverlight... Such as the fact Silverlight introduced Com integration for Windows..

As far as your backend goes, I would suggest something like Google App Engine (or the Amazon services mentioned earlier). The prospect of having a proven architecture that can scale to meet your demands is probably worth the price of admission. Google App Engine has both Java and Python API's (and Go) so if you go with either JMonkeyEngine 3.0 or Panda 3D, you can code your backend in the same language (which can be good).

One area you do not want to skip on is security... I know you don't like the "hire an expert" line, so I will at least suggest buying some books on the subject.... It is a fairly critical component!

#19 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3726

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 04:31 PM

Really? You have the gall to identify others as lacking in personal maturity after your string of posts in this thread? Classic.

I really wish your game succeeds just so I can see your reaction when people actually insult you and your art.


Oh right, that's not butting out or answering your question the way you asked it... Let's see if I can't answer it the way you asked it. The answers aren't going to help you, but that's not what you want...


As always, these are opinions based on my experience and expertise based on the limited information I have about your project. YMMV.

A database back-end to store "everything" (including player info, galaxy map info, resources, etc - thus "everything").


I would personally lean towards MSSQL; it's what I am most familiar with and will provide the most options for the rest of our stack. Sybase, MySql, even Oracle are all options, but don't know enough to give pro's/con's (except that Oracle is weird and bad).

This will need to be on a dedicated box, and will need serious scale testing and requirements gathering to determine what is needed. I learned scalability testing on the job and have no great links about doing this. I suspect hard architectural decisions will be needed based on requirements to get a MMO sort of scale. If you're fine with limiting the number of users per instance, that's a lot easier to implement. Further, since you have a lot of specific games in mind, I'd do research to see what infrastructure they use/need. A quick google search didn't yield anything for me.

You will also likely need a separate clustered caching environment. Membase (as mentioned earlier) is good. I've used it before but don't know enough to evaluate pro's and con's vs alternatives. A NoSQL or other in-memory database representation might be needed based on requirements. I don't know enough about them to speak intelligently about your options.

A web browser "front-end" for user interface


Html, css, javascript. Flash and silverlight are options, but will limit browser/platform compatibility and that will only get worse as time goes on. HTML 5 is your best bet because of that. JavaScript will be necessary for client side control, probably a bit of it depending on requirements.

...


You're missing some sort of web tier for the browser to connect to. I don't know enough about how it'd need to be clustered in order to keep sessions going to the same box. I'd likely do this in C# + IIS due to familiarity, consistentness with the rest of the stack, niceness of WCF as opposed to Java services, availability of libraries, deployment ease, etc. I'd probably use MVC3 because it provides a nice interface for doing REST-y like services. There would likely be a separate web services middle tier that would have to have a similar session management system or be stateless by itself. Again, requirements will determine the complexity/hardware need.

You're missing some sort of workflow setup to handle the 'every N time, advance universe state'. It might be in an independent tier or might be able to run on some of the middle tier boxes depending on scope. The largest architectural decision you'll need to make is how to tell clients (or have clients identify) when that universe state has changed (if it's a requirement).

In regard to this map, what I envision is something resembling Google maps or Wikisky (zoom in, zoom out, search for and highlight certain features, click to access info), but NOT using pixel-based imaging, instead relying on a simple database of coordinate-based points (stars) WITHOUT associated pixel data rendered based on current user camera perspective.


You should be able to do this in javascript by itself, but HTML5/flash/silverlight would make this easier (from that I understand). I'd do that as a standalone tech-demo sort of prototype.

What I would LIKE to do is to pre-load star position data from the server and cache it on the user's computer, then use the USER's computer to render the star map from a given perspective, without using server resources. I'm not certain whether this is possible without creating a user-end application. Is it?


Sure, as long as you're using any of the client side technologies listed (javascript, flash, silverlight) it will be done on the client side. Caching though only works for static stars. Stars that move, ships, allegiances... stuff that is updated on the server without input from the client will be more challenging.


Like I said; none if this will actually help you, but at least now some random guy on the internet isn't derailing your doomed project.

#20 return0   Members   -  Reputation: 444

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 05:28 PM

You're asking questions, that if answered correctly, could only be effectively implemented by an expert, on a beginners forum.

The fact that you refer to your friend and their potential financial investment in your endeavour behooves responsible replies. It would be wrong to mislead you on the extremely high probability of your failure.




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