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A Beginner with a design.doc

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Heyas; I'm not sure where to really start, so I guess let me give a brief introduction; I'm an owner of a small tech company, and a web developer with about 10 years of experience. I'm just starting out in the game development scene, in a manner of speaking. I have a lot to say here, but I'm going to cut through the crap as best as I can, and then if anyone wants to know more about the game I'm going to talk about, you can contact me via email (beemer127@comcast.net). While I have made any number of mods for existing commercial releases such as Half-life, Unreal (in all its incarnations), Neverwinter Nights, Dungeon Siege, and a variety of other games, I've never made the plunge to try and make my own game, though I've always wanted to. I guess I was waiting for that one game idea that would be my "first". Well, I found that idea - though it's not quite what I expected. After a week of feverish typing and careful thought, I have a very formidable list of features, and a formulas that will be needed to perform the calculations for this game. There's a story behind how I got my ideas, but I'm sure most would not be interested in that, so let me try and cut to the chase; I want to build a massively multiplayer strategy game in which empire management is rea-time, and yet combat would be turn-based. The game will be entirely server-side initially, accessed through your browser, though that could easily change through the use of graphics packs, and various other features. I intend on using PHP & MySQL, though I might also have to include Java. The problem is, as my thread title suggests, I'm a beginner. I know enough to know the game can be built, but my programming knowledge starts and stops with ASP. Why don't I just use ASP then? The answer is speed. From what I have seen thus far, PHP (which I am learning, now) and MySQL tends to perform better, and resolves programming code in a more timely fashion. Anyhow, I've said all that to ask two questions: 1. Does anyone have any suggestions as to alternatives for this project? 2. Would anyone be interested in helping with this project? I need someone who would have a better grasp of MySQL than I do. I'm not expecting a deluge of volunteers, but if you are interested, I would be more than happy to share what I have so far in terms of my design document, such as it is. Understand, this is not a professional project. I do not intend this game for commercial release. Conversely, the game balance will take into account the fact that players could donate for certain in-game perks that may expedite various actions, such as repairs on military units, as well as recovery for wounded personel. On the whole, this is a game that I want to build because I have a passion for it. Others that wish to be involved with this project should feel the same. Regards, Beemer

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As you can see elsewhere (anywhere) the general rule is:

If you do not know how:
1. Learn how to do it using baby steps. Start very, very (did I say very?) simple.
or
2. Find someone who does know.

Drop the design (keep it for later) and make something very simple.

Cheers

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I have a great design for a car. The doors don't swing open, they slide underneath. And it has a 1000 hp engine and it has a top speed of 300 mph and goes 0 to 60 in 1 second.

I want to build it from scratch, but I've never built a car before. I've never built anything before.

Where do I start?

1. What is the best welder for building this kind of car?
2. What are the best tires?
3. I want it to have a sweet paint job, but all those layers of paint will add too much weight. How do I optimize the paint?

Anyone want to join my project?

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Original post by Anonymous Poster
I have a great design for a car. The doors don't swing open, they slide underneath. And it has a 1000 hp engine and it has a top speed of 300 mph and goes 0 to 60 in 1 second.

I want to build it from scratch, but I've never built a car before. I've never built anything before.

Where do I start?

1. What is the best welder for building this kind of car?
2. What are the best tires?
3. I want it to have a sweet paint job, but all those layers of paint will add too much weight. How do I optimize the paint?

Anyone want to join my project?


Good analogy.

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Beemer: You may have noticed that some of the answers were very agresive... well, don't worry about that, it's just that it is very common in some boards of GameDev (particulary Help Wanted, Game Design, etc) to have some teenagers who just got an idea for a brand new MMORPG, have no gaming experience and are looking for a team willing to implement their idea for free.
While this is not your case (at least your not imature - can't think much more than this), there are a lot of things that work both for these teen guys with an idea. Therefore, I sugest you take a look over these MMORPG threats allready over there - it might give you some tips over your project - and it will at least explain why are people bein do harsh over you.

AP and Oberon: Well, I just think that this guy is diferent from the standard MMORPG-kid we all love, while he is just an guy with an idea... well, at least he has his own bussiness or whatever. Anyway... that was actually a good analogy in the end, I realised that after reading it for the second time (and after typing all this... oh well...). Just tought that was too harsh.

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Quote:
Original post by Oberon_Command
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
I have a great design for a car. ...


Good analogy.


I don't completely agree. He wants to make a strategy game with turn-based combat. Assuming that it doesn't include an open 3D world, the undertaking is probably at least an order of magnitude less difficult than an MMORPG.

Still, I would recommend starting with a much much much easier project.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
did any one mention PHP Game Programming Book
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/159200153X/qid=1121641259/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-4687393-5315921?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

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you can make MORPGs with any language you want..so I disagree with the suggestion that it "needs" to be in C++..

There's loads of such games that I found with a quick search through google.

I'd avoid ASP though..just stick with a PHP frontend to MySQL. If you've been in the webgame, then you'll pick up pretty fast that PHP is somewhat like ASP syntax, only it doesn't hang your browser (as much)..;)

Though if you do want some simple graphics..(ie. Like Ultima III or something), then I'd vote for a Flash front end with DB calls to the MySQL.

Again, there's a few projects using that tech already, so it's more than possible.

Myself, I'm only interested in making games/projects I can sell.

I'm old and just want the greenbacks. :)

hth,

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The problem with turn based combat based on a browser, is what happens when 1 party disconnects? Do they forefit the match? How much time must elapse before it is considered a disconnect? For this, you may have to go with a java applet, or an activex form, so it can talk to the server and make sure everything is on the up and up.

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Heyas;

Thanks for the link on the PHP game programming book. I was actually looking for something like that. Also, thanks for the input, for those of who you have supplied it.

For the others who saw fit to jump into flaming, I think that you misunderstood my post, which is entirely my fault, because at the time I was thinking more about going to bed than anything else, having just finished with working about 20 hours straight on a business project. As such, I don't believe my second question from my first post was very well communicated, so I will attempt to clarify.

My calling for a MySQL programmer was not an attempt to get someone to do the project FOR me. I believe I specifically used the word 'HELP' as in be available to provide input, answer questions, and yes maybe even provide a script or two. I did NOT in any way intend to insinuate that I wanted others to do the work for me. I am currently learning PHP, and I have a very good grasp on MySQL. I realize the road to development for me will be a long and bumpy one at this stage of the game, but I DO intend on travelling it. I just do not wish to go it alone, as I had thought there was a great community here that might be kind enough to provide a bit of insight/input via the whole mentor/teacher and student relationship.

Maybe, as I get quite a bit further into development I'll ask for someone who might be willing to participate in the project, but currently I want to do the groundwork myself.

As for the question concerning turn-based combat, and someone losing connection, I am glad you asked. It is an issue I mentioned, and hope to address in my design document. Basically, a rudimentary AI would take over. Granted, it will be somewhat limited at first, but at least the combat units wont just sit there and do nothing. Also, empires cannot be completely destroyed all at one go. I intend on implementing a surrender system that would help prevent total annihilation, as I realize that the nature of the game is such that you may not be online when attacks take place. Another option I've played with a little bit is limiting what can happen to an empire while its owner is offline, but that idea is vague at best.

Also, as stated in my first post, I realize that Java may be a better, more viable alternative when it comes to combat engines. It is in this area I wish the most input, as I know the combat engine will be the most difficult to build. So, if you wish to seriously be involved in this project in the capacity of an advisor or mentor, I welcome the input of those more experienced than I. As time passes, and development progresses, I would welcome participation, but I will not push it.

The project will be split into 3 main stages (databases):
1. Login & user administration
2. combat engine
3. Empire management

Thanks again for all of your input, especially metion of the PHP book. I appreciated it.

Regards,
Beemer

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Quote:
Original post by TheOther
you can make MORPGs with any language you want..so I disagree with the suggestion that it "needs" to be in C++..

There's loads of such games that I found with a quick search through google.

I'd avoid ASP though..just stick with a PHP frontend to MySQL. If you've been in the webgame, then you'll pick up pretty fast that PHP is somewhat like ASP syntax, only it doesn't hang your browser (as much)..;)

Though if you do want some simple graphics..(ie. Like Ultima III or something), then I'd vote for a Flash front end with DB calls to the MySQL.

Again, there's a few projects using that tech already, so it's more than possible.


Ah yes, the flash solution. I DO have flash, but there's (IMHO) quite a learning curve on that. It might be a viable upgrade/expansion, but flash is a bit much for me right now. As for the graphics, you've touched on the one issue in which I am completely overwhelmed. I intend on a 2d hex-based battlefield with unanimated icons for the units. There are a LOT of units to be implemented, and implementing the units themselves will be challenging, though I will begin with just a few at first. The units are already done, as far as design goes. I just have to input all of that information in the database, once I have it built. The units will have a variety of weapon configurations, armor, and internals. (once armor is gone, internals take damage, increasing the likelihood of critical hits, and/or destruction based on the location in which you take damage.) Again, its a bit much to get into on the forum, but is in the design document.

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