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Where to start? MMORPG

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So a couple of guys I worked with decided we were going to make an RPG. Plans started as a text-based game, but it isn't anymore. We want to make a MMORPG, and we've spent a long time planning it. But we really have no idea where to start. We have someone who is good with grapphics and concept art, ect. but no experience with game making. I'm a web coder, and I know PHP, but I don't think that will help me much. We've also got a few other people that are willing to learn with us. We've also got a copy of Maya Unlimited, though we don't know how to work that either. Heh. We are literately a bunch of idiots. But what we do have is a lot of is connections, so depending on if we have the right connections, we might be able to not worry about money costs. We also have a lot of free time (not particularily recently, but definately will in the future). So we can spend a whole bunch of time learning. And we have a big crowd that will follow and learn with us. [edit] Yes, I'm a newbie, but I'm not a complete moron. I know that an MMORPG is extremely difficult and arguably the most complicated type of game to code. Please note that I am NOT starting my game development career with an MMORPG, it's just what I want to work up to doing. I have 5 years for the specific project stated here, that should be plenty of time. So before you tell me how dificult it is, I'm starting with Tic Tac Toe, and if I never make it to developing an MMORPG, then so be it, I'll at least be able to develop a nice game of Tic Tac Toe. :D But I'm not a quitter, I'll at least attempt at the MMORPG in a couple years. ;) [Edited by - SolarFX on March 9, 2005 8:15:11 PM]

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You'll need at least one (preferably more) good (preferably excellent) programmer(s). You'll also need to produce a lot of resources (art, sfx, etc). Due to the high volume of questions such as this, a few threads have been created to help answer the common questions, I suggest reading all the linked resources:
- Game Development Isn't Easy (there are some MMO specific articles there, and check further down from the Original Post, it doesn't contain all the links in the thread yet).
- Interview with Radu Privantu (creator of Eternal Lands).

My suggestion is to visit those threads, read the articles provided, and then post again with any specific questions or queries you may still have.

Good luck.

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I've never done or was involved developing an MMORPG.

But I believe MMORPG as any other complex program it should start from creating detail specification - Design Document.

Once you have Design Document for your MMORPG you should ask here how to implement a particular part of it.

This way, IMHO, you will have a chance to succeed.

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Quote:
Original post by zenit2n
I've never done or was involved developing an MMORPG.

But I believe MMORPG as any other complex program it should start from creating detail specification - Design Document.

Once you have Design Document for your MMORPG you should ask here how to implement a particular part of it.

This way, IMHO, you will have a chance to succeed.


True. Especially due to the massive nature of such a project, good design documentation is often even more important than with other types of projects. GDNet maintains a category of articles on the topic of Design Documents here.

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Original post by SolarFX
Thank you very much, Kazgoroth and zenit2n. You are both a great help.

Does anyone have any program and language recommendations?


C++ is pretty much an industry standard for languages, but there are other viable options.

What do you mean by program? As in programs for creation of resources (art, SFX, etc)? If so, it depends on if you want to work with free programs (there are some high quality ones available), or spend some cash. Check this thread for a list of audio software, and this thread for a list a graphics software. I'll leave it up to you to do some research on the listed software packages in each of those threads, but feel free to ask additional questions about them if need be.

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Errrr... Have you ever considered that you may be in over your head here?
I've seen a lot of beginner posts (I'm a beginner myself... hehehe) that feature people wanting to make MMORPGs or 3D shooters or whatever, but they were all way over their head, the learning took too long, and they eventually abondoned the project and their dream never got made.

Quote:

Original post by smart_idiot
Is today national 'Make your own MMORPG' day or something?


I think it's national 'Make your own MMORPG' year! I think MMORPGs are the next 3D shooters for beginners. :)

[EDIT] By the way, if you're looking for language tools, I recommend either Visual C++ (industry standard) or Dev C++ (free yet very powerful). I recommend SDL if you're going with Dev C++ (very easy to learn) and DirectX/OpenGL with Visual C++ (very powerful). Also, try out freeBasic. You can get some pretty good stuff working with that, even though its only on version 0.12b!

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Hey, I have an idea: Don't make a MMORPG.

Take whatever stuff you have as concept art and graphics, and write a nice simple 1-player game. Nice and simple. Make it modular, and just add components later.

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Quote:
Original post by Oberon_Command
Errrr... Have you ever considered that you may be in over your head here?
*snip*


Quote:
Original post by Programmer One
Hey, I have an idea: Don't make a MMORPG.
*snip*


They raise a good point, and if you're reading those articles I linked to, you'll see that everyone agrees - an MMORPG is an incredibly complex project, and although it is entirely possible to succeed if you put in the time and effort, the chances are low that you'll complete anything attempting this as your first project. Most people who attempt it have at least a few years experience first.

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Whoa! I'm not going into this as being my first project. I've done my research, I know this is one of the hardest projects. I'm not looking to start tomorrow.

I've got 5 years to produce an MMORPG thats at least a semi-hit. I'm going to start with smaller projects first, don't get me wrong. But I just need a bit of guidance on where to start learning to... well, make games. :D So far you all have been really helpful! Thanks!

That brings me with another question though, what exactly should I start with, and then build up to to get to an MMORPG?

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Quote:
Original post by Kazgoroth
Quote:
Original post by Oberon_Command
Errrr... Have you ever considered that you may be in over your head here?
*snip*
Quote:
Original post by Programmer One
Hey, I have an idea: Don't make a MMORPG.
*snip*
They raise a good point, and if you're reading those articles I linked to, you'll see that everyone agrees - an MMORPG is an incredibly complex project, and although it is entirely possible to succeed if you put in the time and effort, the chances are low that you'll complete anything attempting this as your first project. Most people who attempt it have at least a few years experience first.
Timmy agrees.

I recommend making a Tic Tac Toe game using the console. With that knowledge, you could then make a very nice text-based RPG. To get some ideas stirring, you could have it load all content from XML files so that you could expand the game while you're playing it. MSPRPG!

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MMORPGs are quite possibly the most difficult kind of game to make. And that's just to build them. People who have been there and done that will tell you how many hundreds of manhours they waste on an ineffectual, moronic and angry customer base, often for absolutely no reward.

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...
Quote:
Original post by SolarFX
Whoa! I'm not going into this as being my first project. I've done my research, I know this is one of the hardest projects. I'm not looking to start tomorrow.

I've got 5 years to produce an MMORPG thats at least a semi-hit. I'm going to start with smaller projects first, don't get me wrong. But I just need a bit of guidance on where to start learning to... well, make games. :D So far you all have been really helpful! Thanks!

That brings me with another question though, what exactly should I start with, and then build up to to get to an MMORPG?

;)
... ravuya? What a small web! I see your all over the game development world! Hehe.

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Ah, that's alright then.

First of all, there's some excellent information to be found here and here on getting started in game development (the focus is on the programming side of things). They have links to some good tutorials, and compilers, etc that you can use.

Now, you'll firstly need to learn your language of choice. For now, I'll just assume C/C++, but the advice translates to most languages as well. To begin with, you need to learn the basics of your chosen language. This unfortunately entails writing a few console mode (ie. text) programs, such as the infamous hello world, and some simple games such as guess the number, hangman, tic-tac-toe, etc - basically a couple of simple things you can represent as text to learn the fundamentals.

From there, you learn basic graphics, using an API such as DirectX, OpenGL or SDL. You should start off with some very simple 2D games - Pong, Breakout, and Snake are common suggestions. These are fairly simple, and don't involve too much code, but contain many similarities to full sized games. After that, you begin learning 3D (unless you want to make a 2D MMORPG of course). At this point, you'll probably want to also do a larger project. Doing a single player RPG is an excellent option at this point - it's still a very complex project, but has a lot of the problems inherrent to the MMO genre removed, while still including a LOT of the features.

By that stage, you'll probably be ready to attempt your MMORPG project. [smile] Along the way, it may be helpful to get one or more books to assist you in learning, as many people find that these include information that may be hard to find in online tutorials, or may explain things a little clearer.

Again, feel free to ask any additional questions.

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Astonished! Extremely helpful. I shall ask questions in the future, but I have to jet right now. Server problems. Gah!

I am really grateful for your help, I've been all over the web looking for a start and only gotten replies here and one other place. Thanks. :D

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Maybe MUD game programming is worth a look. It has the MMORGP concepts... without time-consuming creation of the bells-and-whistles. If the game play is solid then adding graphics on top as a next version will only be a bonus.

Good luck

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Quote:
Original post by possom
Maybe MUD game programming is worth a look. It has the MMORGP concepts... without time-consuming creation of the bells-and-whistles. If the game play is solid then adding graphics on top as a next version will only be a bonus.

Good luck


This had completely slipped my mind, but since possum posted it, I'll second it as another excellent potential option. This type of game IS basically an MMORPG, but without graphics.

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Quote:
Original post by Kazgoroth
Quote:
Original post by possom
Maybe MUD game programming is worth a look. It has the MMORGP concepts... without time-consuming creation of the bells-and-whistles. If the game play is solid then adding graphics on top as a next version will only be a bonus.

Good luck


This had completely slipped my mind, but since possum posted it, I'll second it as another excellent potential option. This type of game IS basically an MMORPG, but without graphics.

thirded

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Quote:
Original post by possom
Maybe MUD game programming is worth a look. It has the MMORGP concepts... without time-consuming creation of the bells-and-whistles. If the game play is solid then adding graphics on top as a next version will only be a bonus.

Good luck


It's worth looking at, but still a daunting task. I'm building one myself, and I can tell you, it's ALOT of work if you want it to be extendable.

Toolmaker

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Wow! I'm sending that little comic book to my printer!

Uletus.

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Just an aside question if you guys don't mind: Is there one thing in particular that makes MMORPG development difficult, or is it many factors combined? Let's say I have full mastery of C++ and some graphics library, have adequate experience with networking, and have good knowledge of game design (i.e., code organization, AI, etc.). What then? Is there still something hard about coding an MMORPG at that point?

I'm not as experienced as I described myself, and neither am I planning on actually making an MMORPG anytime soon. However, such a high number of people have posted that they wanted to make one and they all got the same reply, "It's not easy", so I became curious about why.

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