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So you want to make an MMORPG?


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#41 Mooglez   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 12:17 PM

I''m a powergamer, not a casual gamer. And I completed diablo2 within a single week (Something like 3 days I can''t remember.)

Yes, casual gamers are a huge market, but they''re incredibly demanding and hard to tap into. For example a little kid that would only play MMOG related to DBZ and he''s got to play Goku. Add on top of that they have very minimal loyalty toward the game. Meaning six months later when a better looking game is released, the chances of losing the casual gamers are very high.

quote:
Original post by Ixpah
Casual gamers just starting the game will quickly realise that they can *never* compete with established players who play 8+ hours per day, causing them to become disillusioned with the game and leave it.


I''m getting sick of hearing argument like this. I have heard of it many countless times over 5 years worth of mud/UO/EQ but not once have I witness anyone ACTUALLY quit because of it. The problem isn''t one playing 8+ hours a day and the other dosen''t. It''s the game forcing players to "compete" against one another for loot, mob xp, or other things. So making everything geared toward casual gamers by elminating the "level treadmill" dosen''t really solve a damn thing and you''ll just be alienating the hardcore ones.

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#42 NextOnePlease   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 01:06 PM

I followed this discussion now for a while and some parts of it sound really really strange to me

Ok as explained above there are two kind of newbies: the newbie who never designed / coded / maintained a game before and the "newbie" amateur who got some skills in various areas of design, coding, etc.

@thona

If you dont have the skills simply obtain them. Grab some books on the subject do some research thats the way someone can learn things. Or how do you think that the "professionals" did obtain them ? Generally not by sitting around in their offices looking at the computer and saying "Hell today I simply make some server and database backend". Some firms who you would like to call professional were started by amateurs (take Valve Studios and Mythic Entertainment as some quite successfull examples).

Funding isnt a problem either if you got some successfull looking project and are eager to find a some money givers you will *perhaps* find them.

@dunno who wrote that
60 -80 players sound quite massive to me cause they range in the same region as "massive multiplayer" tribes 2

My 2 cents
Regards
N.O.P.



#43 thona   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 06:49 PM

NextOnePlease - dont tell me how to become a pro. Frankly I assume that I am nearly the only one here who has successfully built up a business that involves high quality.

No, just reading a book does NOT help. We etablished a system of apprenticeship.

Thomas Tomiczek
THONA Consulting Ltd.
(Microsoft MVP C#/.NET)

#44 thona   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 09:25 PM

Oh, a last point on the TCP/UDP issue and providers.

I fully agree technically and by heart - UDP based protocols are way better suited for anything time critical than TCP, and a provider putting you bwehind NAT is not a seriousprovider. That said, they are there and rising.

Whatever comes, I would go a third way anyway: Using DirectPlay - it has a lot of stuff in it that I would need to code myself otherwise. And it is UDP based. At least, it also has some followers and is properly documented, so if the stupid NATting provider does not support this, then it is better to argue with a "used semi-standard" than with my own developed protocol.

Inbound routing, btw., is also not always a solution - nice that someone thought of it. Realistically, how do you change the inbound routing on your provider''s router? Or how do you handle multiple internal receipients? No way.

Frankly, I start hating this topic - we do some commercial video conferencing software for a customer, and we have extaclty this problem: RTP (udp) based streams and NAT. SOME groups out there do not even support SIP or H.323 gateways. And we have made some extensive research into this - the "not really ISP''s" are coming, and the users are not really aware of this. Means: what they normally do is normally TCP-based (web surfing, chating etc.) and just works, and then certain things just dont work. SHIT.

Anyhow, IMHO the best way to go is using DirectPlay - besides being a conevenient API, too, it is more standardised and hopefully will be found in any professional NAT router.

So, enough ranting over bad providers :-(

Regards

Thomas Tomiczek
THONA Consulting Ltd.
(Microsoft MVP C#/.NET)

#45 solinear   Members   -  Reputation: 145

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Posted 27 June 2002 - 07:22 PM

quote:
I wouldn''t call 40-60 players MMO...


Why not? Verant did. During beta, their best servers could handle a load of around 50-75 users, more if a portion of them were inactive. Each ''zone'' is a separate world technically, you just move between them. As better equipment became available, the usercap increased, but that''s just the nature of computer hardware, whatever supports 50 today will support 85 in a year and 150 a year after that. Citrix recommends you only use a maximum of 50 users per server, we regularly get 75-100 without the users noticing. The 50 was recommended for a quad, we''re running 75-100 on a dual.

quote:
I dont care that UDP is better, because UDP is not usable. Period.


Maybe it''s not usable by you. Everyone else seems to find it just as usable as TCP. I never suggested to hire someone that is incompetent at network programming and I''m not sure where you got that.

quote:
Anyhow, IMHO the best way to go is using DirectPlay - besides being a conevenient API, too, it is more standardised and hopefully will be found in any professional NAT router.


Do you actually know the difference between an API and a protocol? DirectPlay is NOT a protocol, it is an API that utilizes EXISTING protocols (TCP and UDP). What you are suggesting makes about as much sense as saying that the router will support Microsoft Word 2002. Neither DirectPlay or Word 2002 are protocols, so it''s irrelevant whether it ''supports'' them or not.

quote:
Casual gamers just starting the game will quickly realise that they can *never* compete with established players who play 8+ hours per day, causing them to become disillusioned with the game and leave it.


Really? Why don''t you explain the 200k casual gamers who have played EQ for God knows how long. They don''t have 400k powergamers playing their game. I know because I only know a few powergamers, all the rest of them are casual gamers. Even some of the people who spend 30 hours a week playing are casual gamers.

It''s a style, not a time devotion. Powergamers can hit the level cap in 3 hours a day faster than a casual gamer can in 8 hours a day. It''s how they play. I know one person who spends 8 hours a day during the week and 12 on the weekends playing EQ. He has been playing for almost 2 years now and JUST got his first character to 60th level. His next highest is level 35 or so. I know a couple of powergamers who play maybe 20 hours a week that hit the level cap within a few months of starting and ended up with 4 characters over 50 last I knew.

Reality is that casual gamers aren''t playing to compete with the powergamers. If they are, they''re idiots. The same reason why a casual ''mom&pop'' computer store worker who tries to do the same networking stuff that I do day in and day out is an idiot. The same reason why I would be stupid to go out and pick up a random pile of components (if I hadn''t spent 2 years working at a mom&pop) and trying to build a wonderfully stable system.

quote:
Casual gamers are a huge market.

I myself played DAOC 2 months ago :-) Now, after a lot of work, I think of going back in. But what for? Finding new friends etc.? Hm, no, in a month I have a hot phase again and cant play for some weeks. So what do I do? Orecisely: I quit the game.


Um... you very obviously don''t know much about the casual gamer market because you aren''t one. You are a powergamer who doesn''t have time to keep up with your powergamer friends and it frustrates you. Stop mistaking your gameplay time with your gameplay style. They are completely independent and if you ever decided to stick it out you would eventually catch up to them simply because your friends will start other characters, it''s part of the powergamer mentality. They get the rush from leveling and gaining power, not having it. This is why a number of the largest EQ guilds left to play DAoC, because they could restart the power climb.

quote:
NextOnePlease - dont tell me how to become a pro. Frankly I assume that I am nearly the only one here who has successfully built up a business that involves high quality.


After you climb down off that horse, I''ve got a cross for you so that you can climb up on it and nail yourself to it whenever you''re feeling particularly divine. Assuming that we''re all idiots (when you''re the one who can''t figure out how to program UDP worth a damn and just go with the M$ build-in crap) isn''t going to earn you any bonus points, just irritate us.

Maybe you DO need someone to tell you how to become a pro. You specifically avoid using the BEST things at your disposal and that''s something that a professional does not do. At least not over here in the area that I''m in. We spend the time and figure out how to use the best tools at our disposal, or we go out of business. Apparently Germany is a much more forgiving market.

I think I''m going to stop there because when I read most of your (thona) posts they just sound condescending, rude and like you really don''t know what the hell you''re talking about, but are more than happy to jump on other people because you don''t know what you''re talking about.

#46 Khaile   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 27 June 2002 - 09:54 PM

quote:
Original post by solinear
Apparently Germany is a much more forgiving market.




LOL
Where did that come from? As if all developers in America are more professional than in Germany In my opinion it was too bad that you didn''t think before you wrote, because until that sentence I thought you had something interesting to say.


My Stuff : [ Whispers in Akarra (online rpg) || L33T WAR (multiplayer game) || The Asteroid Menace (another game) ]



#47 solinear   Members   -  Reputation: 145

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Posted 28 June 2002 - 06:29 AM

quote:
Original post by Khaile
LOL
Where did that come from? As if all developers in America are more professional than in Germany In my opinion it was too bad that you didn''t think before you wrote, because until that sentence I thought you had something interesting to say.


I apologize. After reading his many statements, he really started to irritate me. That''s why I stopped where I was. He very obviously does not know what he''s talking about, contradicting what every single game programmer knows intimately (that UDP is necessary), then stating that he''s one of the only people here who has built a business based upon quality. Apparently the rest of the professionals here have built businesses based upon crap.

He states pretty clearly, though not in these terms, that basically he can''t program networking stuff and uses Microsoft''s built in stuff.

He jumps on someone else, saying "don''t you tell me..." as if he couldn''t possibly learn anything. I guess it''s possible, but from his UDP related statements, it''s clearly not very likely that he knows everything. The person that he jumped all over was giving honest and polite advice. The tone of the statement "Frankly I assume that I am nearly the only one here who has successfully built up a business that involves high quality." is pretty damn arrogant, considering most of the people that I interact with here are professional programmers who build complex client/server application suites, hand code their own network layers. Their quality is most definitely what I would call unquestionable. He is either assuming that everyone here is either a hack or 14 years old. I think incompetent is more insulting though and I think that was what was in his mind.

#48 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

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Posted 28 June 2002 - 03:44 PM

Ooh, looks like I started a miniature flame war while I was away.

quote:
Original post by solinear
Good thing that you laughed at people wanting to make MMOGs, AC was done by a group of amateurs. DAoC was made in 18 months, including a rewrite of the skills.

As someone else already pointed out, ''newbie'' is not the same as ''amateur''. Amateurs are often equal to or better than professional programmers and have fewer limitations. Of course they can do well. I wasn''t talking about them.

Oh, and Asheron''s Call featured several people who had worked on previous titles, including the producer who is a crucial part of any team.

And I don''t quite see what relevance the ''DAoC was made in 18 months'' comment has. I didn''t make any reference to timescale. Mythic Entertainment has been behind several games before they did DAoC, and were neither newbies or amateurs. Therefore your point does not exist.

quote:
I''m suprised that you are a moderator in the forums for a game development site that is (95%) compromised of amateurs and ''newbies'' (at least to the gaming industry) and you spend most of your time laughing at them. Maybe you should resign your position if all you do is laugh at the ''newbie'' developers, or maybe qualify your statements a little better.

I don''t talk about ''newbie'' with regards to the gaming industry, I talk about ''newbie'' with regards to programming. Why would I base everything around the industry when, as you rightly point out, this is a hobbyist site? Your assumption was flawed which has led to you taking what I said the wrong way. Consider this to be your requested qualification to my statement. Given the distinction between newbie and amateur, I don''t think we are in too much disagreement about much else.

While I''m here, I may as well answer a few other criticisms or counterpoints to what I said.

quote:
Kalvin B wrote
Gang Wars (MMORPG) was written in 10 days from design to release (see site for source code).
...
It took a week to turn Tombstone from single player to MMO having never done an MMO before simply because the code was designed like an MMO even though it was single player.

Although Gang Wars is probably impressive, there is still the problem that a detailed RPG will have a lot more data per player than Gang Wars does. And you have to send enough data to each player so that they can process the local area properly, but not so much that they can easily hack the game. All this is non-trivial if you want to do it properly.

quote:
Khelz wrote
Motivation and perseverance may lead you everywhere.

Don''t listen to those defeatists people around here. When I started my project with some friends, some people laughed at us. Now that''s us who''re laughing at them.

And if you have not the recquired competence to accomplish your dream, the time spent for your project will not be lost, you will gain experience in every cases.

Well done to you. I said in my first post that it was certainly possible, and you have proven that. But, the simple fact is, most people will fail, and it is an almost proven psychological fact that failure reduces your productivity. Remember that failure may only teach you yet another way not to do things, and that if there an infinite number of wrong ways, you''re no closer to the right way. The most certain way of succeeding is to start small and build upon it. That way you still have something to show for your efforts, you have the benefit of experience, but you are without the negative vibes that come from failure.

I''m not interested in stopping people chasing their dream. I am just trying to help by pointing out that the best way is rarely the most direct way.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost | Asking Questions | Organising code files ]

#49 fingh   Members   -  Reputation: 142

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 01:07 PM

Those who know me should have expected me to chime in to beat this dead horse to... well, death! I''ve seen people hammer on nomenclature such as newbie, MMOG etc, so I will use it where applicable.

I started out as a NEWBIE programming a MUD that had about 10-200 simultaneous users throughout it''s lifetime. This was NOT a MMOG. Sorry, it''s a single server process that polls a fairly small amount of connections. There was persistence, but no load balancing, no fault tolerance, no back-end billing systems. And since it used TCP, any user count in excess of ~200 would cause insane INHERENT lag to take over and ruin the playability.
I moved from being a NEWBIE to an AMATEUR here. I learned a lot.

I got a job programming high-availability distributed client/server applications. I moved from Amateur to professional at that job, and we used a combination of TCP and UDP. TCP was only used for local processes to communicate low-load, vital messaging. Everything else was UDP (only some of which was reliable).

Then I got a job in the game industry. Where I work, we use UDP almost exclusively. Some chat is TCP based I believe. There is a known problem with DirectPlay that it needs an entire range of ports to do anything. I''d suggest sticking with UDP. NAT? Hmmm. I''m of the impression that most routers and NATs open the ports for outbound connections. shrug. It seems to work fine so far for hundreds of thousands of users...

Now, can a Newbie make a MMOG? doubtful. if he understands threads and can code up a reliable UDP layer, he''s probably not really a newbie anyways. Can an amateur do it? certainly. But will it compare to EQ, AO, AC, DAoC etc? Nah, probably not. But that''s okay too. The point is to have fun.



#50 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 12:26 PM

Excuse me, but wasn''t this topic suposed to help people create MMORPGs? I didn''t come here to hear a bunch of damn pessimists discouraging dreamers. Newbies, amautuers, and everyone has a right to make anything, and I think the last thing they need to hear is you people telling them they can''t make a game. There are people, even if they haven''t made a game yet, who have the percistance and diligence to make a good game on their first try. You dont have to walk first to drive a car, just to learn how to walk before you get the car going to fast.

I''ve been expirementing with programming, and its worked okay for me so far. I''m on my way to creating an MMORPG even, but it will definetely take a long time. Me and my friend are working on it together, and where not expecting anything like Everquest, or anything close, to come out of our project. It probally wont even be in 3D. Thats not stopping us from trying, though. And neither will all you damned people. You should spend some time laughing at the fact that you wasted your time insulting people who have a dream and have the courage(and optimism) to try and work it out.

Its kind of sad that people honestly would think that closed-mindedly as all of you who are saying this. Everyone starts out aa a newbie. If there werent those newbies who went against the odds, you wouldn''t be able to play any of your favorite games, because people would be to scared to have started the project. You guys should think more before you make these stupid comments.

#51 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 06:47 PM

Just wanted to add onto this topic because it hits near and dear. I''m not a programmer, nor a professional game developer. I was considering as a hobby working on my own MMORPG. I''m still debating; However, While I do believe making an MMORPG is a very daunting task - I would hardly call it impossible. Making a "good" mmorpg that can compete and be successful is another story altogether.

Now to actually contribute something useful to this thread:

Regarding UDP and NAT, technically speaking UDP can work with NAT with no issue whatsoever. NAT or network address translation is typically used to describe what we in the industry call "Static NAT", "One-to-One NAT" or simply NAT. If your IP address is 1.1.1.1 and you are "static NAT''d" to 200.200.200.200, you will have no issues using Unreliable Datagram Protocol.

However and this may be where Thona got confused, if the users edge router is using PAT (Port Address Translation) or "many-to-one address translation" or "hide NAT", your users may have issues connecting.

PAT = you are 1.1.1.1 your neighbor is 1.1.1.2 you both are PAT''d as 200.200.200.200 behind the router/firewall. The router/firewall/whatever rewrites the source port address so when it gets a response back it can differentiate traffic destined for different internal clients i.e. "oh, this source port is 10001. Source Port 10001 = 1.1.1.1 I will send this to 1.1.1.1.". This allows you to both show as IP address 200.200.200.200 yet still receive reply traffic.

Again, in PAT the router or firewall rewrites the source port strictly to distinguish traffic between the internal clients and an outside server/resource.

What defines whether a game will have problem with PAT''d users?

Very simple. If the client (user) must use a specific source port address, typically the edge router will use the one the client requested but if another client has already been assigned that source port the router/firewall will assign the new client a different source port. If your program requires a specific source port address you will have problems when multiple clients try to connect:

A. because one client has that source port already
B. because even if the server did you the same source port for both internal clients, how would it know which traffic was destined for which client?

Situations in which UDP fails is most prevalent (identifiable) in IPSEC communications with older VPN software in which the client must always use source port 500 . As soon as that port is used by someone else (or another session) no other user will be able to use it.

The solution is to use public IP''s on the inside network (which is not always feasible/affordable) or to assign static NAT to the machines which will be going to that server OR TO SIMPLY BUILD A GAME WHICH DOES NOT REQUIRE A PARTICULAR SOURCE PORT ADDRESS FROM THE CLIENT.

Summary: If youre programming a network game don''t be an idiot and define the client source port, just define the port the client needs to connect to (destination port) and NAT or PAT clients will work fine.

UDP is a fast protocol and works great where speed/lag is an issue... and UDP can be load balanced and reliable (at higher layers) as well. If I ever make a MMORPG I guarantee it will use UDP.

It''s late but I hope that made sense and helps clear up some confusion.

J. Ross
MCP +I , MCSE, CCNA, CCSA, CCSE, CCSI

#52 Sandman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 2136

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 10:56 PM

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
It''s late but I hope that made sense and helps clear up some confusion.



Yes it was late - almost 2 years late in fact.

The general rule with thread necromancy is: if it''s really old (ie more than a month or so) it''s better to start a new thread but include a link to any previous discussion you want to reference than to dig up an ancient 4+ page thread full of posters half of whom don''t post here any more.





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