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MMORPG idea

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I was browsing MMORPG.com today and i had a small idea. DISCLAIMER: i haven't given a lot of thoughts to this idea, i don't even know if it's good. What about recycling content between different servers of a MMORPG ?

Imagine this: most MMORPGs consist of multiple virtual servers, which are all instances of the same world but with different players. They are copies of each other.

Now, using the same content & design, what if different servers proposed different worlds ? The cities, the NPCs, the monsters, the items, would all be the same.. but spawned at different locations. The world map would be different. A city that was in the west coast on server A could be located on the east coast on server B. The cities/dungeons would have exactly the same design, they'd just be located at different places.
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Wouldn't you have trouble finding your way around? It may be a little annoying if your favorite city moved every time you logged in, depending on which server you were on.

BTW, the art work on this Journal is excellent. Are you an artist or a programmer?

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No, the location of a city is fixed on a specific server. As long as you log in to the same server, you'd find the exact same world than when you left before. However if you'd connect to a different server, the city could be somewhere else.

I'm a programmer. I couldn't model or draw something even if my life was depending on it :) But a few of the projects in my journal (Minas Tirith, the oil Plat form) were done by real artists. The rest (basically, anything related to my space/planet engine) is done procedurally by myself.

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You're simply a "generative artist". ;) To look at your screenshots and say you are not an artist, is to be excessively modest. :)

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By server do you mean shard (uo speak)? If you log into a location, there are usually a cluster of servers running it.

Oh and kudos on your procedural work... I wish I had your skills.

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I'm curious...how many different star color/types do you plan to have? Same with planets...will there be earth-like, volcanic, methane/nitrogen, oceanic, gas giants, & cratered atmosphere-less types? How about procedural cities, i.e. Descensor or CityBuilder?

Sorry if I'm pressing [ignore]...I'm just interested in eventually using your engine.

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I plan to have all of that, in the more or less distant future. I'm taking my time to do quality work (and quality code! Designing a huge codebase like that is not easy), which could mean an additional 6 months to 1 year before it can finally be "usable".

The planets, specifically, are generated in two ways:

1. Using a specific "global" map dataset (think Earth/Mars/Moon where we've already got all the datasets): elevation data, color maps, specular maps, cloud maps, etc..

2. Or generating the datasets procedurally: in that case the input is a set of parameters (type of planet, temperature, mass, etc.. ).

The high-level datasets should give details up to the kilometers resolution. Low-level details are then added procedurally (detail texturing, noise, etc.. ).

There will be cities in my game, but the buildings will be artist-made, and placement done procedurally by duplicating the buildings according to some rules. This won't be part of the engine though, as it's kind of specific to my game.

As for stars types.. i'm aiming for a semi-realistic universe here. You'll find unary/binary/trinary systems, as well as many type of stars (brown dwarfs, red dwards, red giants, solar stars, hot blue stars, etc.. ) and a few other bodies (pulsars, black holes). I haven't started to do the rendering of these, though, but i have some ideas.

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Sounds like you'll have interesting stuff to post about for some time then! [grin]

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So, what (if any) external libraries are you using? Allegro? ORGE? Also, I'm curious, will the engine be able to support irregular-shaped moons/major asteroids?

Also, yes, we would love to hear more about how you plan to impliment your Elite game. :)

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External libraries currently used:
- OpenGL/DirectX for 3D
- OpenAL for sound
- ODE for physics/OPCODE for collisions
- IJL for jpeg images

Libraries that i'll probably use when i'll need them:
- Jasper for JP2000 support
- MySQL for databases
- FFTW for fast fourier transforms
- Angelscript for scripting

Most of these are encapsulated in generic DLL interfaces, so you can provide your own alternative implementation for, say, physics (Novodex, Havoc, Meqon, etc.. ), etc..

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Quote:

Also, I'm curious, will the engine be able to support irregular-shaped moons/major asteroids?


Yes, it will.. as long as the basic shape is a deformed sphere.

I will also try to support Dyson spheres, Ringworlds (ala Halo) and Cylinders (ala Rama).

Quote:

Also, yes, we would love to hear more about how you plan to impliment your Elite game. :)


Not much infos to give now (it's top secret). This journal so far is more technical, but when i'll announce the game i'll speak a bit more about the design.


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Had a similar idea a few months ago for a sci-fi MMORPG, where each server represented a different planetary system. Each system would be connected by some kind of jumpgates, which a player could use to jump to a different system (server). The backstory would include something about the unreliability of the jumpgate system, so occasionally you couldn't jump to a particular system -- a good way to limit the number of people on a particular server.

Of course, the problem was, you'd need different content for each server, unless you provided the tools to build a system, so people who had servers could host their own part of the game universe.

Make sense? Probably not, I'm still at work, had a job interview this morning, spent two hours running around a dep't store with my fiancee and her mother making a wedding register, then back into a weekly meeting. It's 3:30, and I'm about to have lunch.... [dead]

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