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Indy MMORPG development, can it be done?

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I'm not sure what exactly I hope to accomplish posting this here. Maybe I just need someone to tell me to chin up, and that it can be done. Fair warning, this is long, and a little angsty. But a girl should be avoided a little leeway. If the long slough of text bores you, feel free to skip to the last couple of paragraphs for the million dollar question. First, a little about me. I'm a 22 year old young woman currently living on disability, which means I have a LOT of spare time. When I was young I was introduced by my father who was one of the early programmers to computers, and of course games, and ever since I've sort of stayed infatuated with them. When he introduced me to adventure games, and even worse, the Ultima series, my fate was basically sealed, I wanted to make games like this. Create worlds, so to speak. Yes, a born and raised girl geek, uncommon in my generation. My brother learned programming at an early age, he was better than me at it for a long time. I was too wilful to really let anyone teach me anything, insisting I always knew to do it better. In games I was always trying to mod them and carve out my little piece of the gameworld. I loved editing games and making a little piece of their world I created, but it wasn't enough. At some point I got a hold of Microsoft Visual Studio 6, I think it was. And I endulged myself a few times trying to work out how VB worked, and failing miserably. Around the age of 15 I think I got into online gaming and MMORPGs, starting with Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds, then continuing with Dark Ages (also by Nexon), Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot, Anarchy Online, Lineage 1, Ragnarok Online, World of Warcraft, Horizons and some other various few and sundry MMORPGs I played along the years. I also became an avid roleplayer, even going as far to create an IRC roleplaying channel with a friend of mine, which is still running after well over 3 years. I coded the bot for it and a fully functional D&D 3E character generator and tracker, entirely web paged and browser compatible. Earlier than that IRC game, I wanted to make my own MMORPG. I actually managed to dabble deep enough into DirectX7 and VB6 to make something half worthy of the name MMORPG in about a year and a half time. It had a client, a server, and you could go around and kill things. Equip items, unequip, drop items, pick them up, it spawned enemies, respawned enemies, and even had an NPC scripting language. Of course, it was terribly hackneyed in how horribly I coded it. It was a damn mess, aside from the DirectX wrapper class which I have reused ever since. Coding more for it on top of an ultimately fatally flawed base became too much and I dropped the project, focussing on art instead. I had to do my own "artwork" for this 2D game, and it rather intrigued me. I tried drawing traditional art for a long time, and while I've gotten fairly proficient at it, its never of a consistantly high quality that I would consider myself a proper concept artist or anything of the sort. 3D I also tried, stupidly I've been told in Maya, and it just didn't do it for me. Maybe I don't have the spacial coordination for it, but really... Pixel art, that's where my passion lies. Beautifully crafted pixel sets like Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger and Seiken Densetsu 3 intrigued me. I actually excelled at this, and even with my lack of proper self esteem I now dare say I'm even -talented- at it, constantly pushing myself to the utter limit, settling for no less than the beautifully cute, crafted little works of art, transferring that feeling of nostalgia from when you played those console RPGs. My MMORPG projects never stopped though, I made project upon project dropping it various stages through the client development. All learning experiences though, since inevitably I could do in VB6 what a lot of people couldn't do in C++, create a nicely handling, GUI driven, lighting containing, error checking, logging MMORPG client that basically was "done" as far as client driven features were concerned. Sure, the coding wasn't done by a longshot, but I had the memory management, the special effects, the dirty rectangle updating system, the GUI class with its nested objects, the data classes with the animation methods, etc, etc. All I had to do was build onto it. Really, this wasn't too long ago, and I was never closer to thinking I could actually realize my dream. Hell, I even entered a 72 hour game development competition not long before and actually completed a fully functional sidescrolling shooter game with an interesting twist. But then I lost hope nonetheless. Even after all my expertise, being able to push VB6 to it's limits and supplying pure optimized C DLLs where its speed failed, I still knew absolutely, positively NOTHING about proper server programming. And that's when it hit me, I could either hone my skills on that for another 10 years, or just maybe for once start looking for other people to work with me. Because no way would I be able to craft a world, do the scripting, do the client programming, do the server programming, do the webpage, man the server, etc, etc, all by myself. But really, I don't know anyone with this passion to create an MMORPG, one who actually captures the "RPG" that's now lost in the commercial market. One that doesn't revolve wholly and utterly around "the grind", catering to people who have no sense of community and pride themselves on nothing but time investment, people who tear through content as fast as possible only to arrive at the end and demand more. I'm starting to ramble here. I don't know anyone who could help. Do I accept help like I did with my first project, when all the help that was offered was by people who had no skill at all and just wanted the prestige? Do I set the standard too high for myself, am I too much of a perfectionist that I want so much that I can never deliver, when an equally good, less perfect product could've made by me already? And would I be this demanding of team members? Would I be able to lead? I'm not the best at structuring and planning, despite being very experienced - maybe even talented - in graphics and client/visual programming, at least semi knowledgeable about server and scripting programming, and a tiny bit knowledgeable about sound and music, but enough to instill a sort of creative vision in team members? Will my self esteem get in the way if I have a team? Is a woman even the right person for the team? Because frankly, I don't have any of that hardassed attitude that this seems to demand, despite people telling me that I could probably be a good dev leader if I just structured things a little better. I like cooperation, not a strict rigid hierarchy where I tell people exactly how things are going to be, and how what is going to be. Brainstorming and input from other people is what I thrive on. Will people even "take orders" from a girl? I guess the thing is, I'm now at a point where I can't stand the worlds everyone else has crafted, and I know I can't make one by myself, but I don't know if I'm ready, capable or willing to lead a team. I just know this desire to build a world keeps resurfacing, because that's what I love to do, and I've worked up to this moment for a decade, maybe more. Even if I am ready and willing, where do I get the people to work with, and how can you tell if they can live up to the task? Hell, can a decent quality indy MMORPG even be done? Do I expect answers to my questions in this rambly nonsense? Not really, maybe a few helpful hints, pointers, or maybe even a contact to talk with over IMs about this stuff. After all these are questions I need to ask myself more than others. Hell, even a dumb pat on the back and a "chin up girl" would be nice right now, since at least for once it might be coming from peers. Oh and yes, I am prone to overthinking things, how astute of you. ;) (Incidentally, if anyone is curious about the work I've done, please ask and I'll spit out a few links.)

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Girls can't program, you should just give up.

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http://enichan.no-ip.com/tempstuff/marine.zip

Download, unzip, run. Made everything included in that game from scratch myself in 72 hours, so yes, girls can program (though I'd be better just focussing at the art if you ask me) just fine. At least this one can.

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I, myself, have no other talent but ideas. Not story or structure (though I can think up some pretty good stories) but ideas for interface, and game design.

Unfortunately, being programming illiterate and having a very exapnsive idea for an MMOG leaves me worse off than you, so consider yourself lucky, and never give up, because I'm not, and I have less resources than you.

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Will my self esteem get in the way if I have a team? Is a woman even the right person for the team? Because frankly, I don't have any of that hardassed attitude that this seems to demand, despite people telling me that I could probably be a good dev leader if I just structured things a little better. I like cooperation, not a strict rigid hierarchy where I tell people exactly how things are going to be, and how what is going to be. Brainstorming and input from other people is what I thrive on. Will people even "take orders" from a girl?

Gender has nothing to do with it. You don't need to be hardassed, but you do need to set up an atmosphere of consistency. It all comes down to picking the right team, setting the right goals for the team and giving them the right amount of "encouragement" along the way :p 95% of online teams fall apart due to lack of motivation/structure; if you avoid that, you're well on the way to achieving something big.

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I guess the thing is, I'm now at a point where I can't stand the worlds everyone else has crafted, and I know I can't make one by myself, but I don't know if I'm ready, capable or willing to lead a team. I just know this desire to build a world keeps resurfacing, because that's what I love to do, and I've worked up to this moment for a decade, maybe more. Even if I am ready and willing, where do I get the people to work with, and how can you tell if they can live up to the task? Hell, can a decent quality indy MMORPG even be done?

"Eternal Lands" by Raduprv; our resident GDNet celebrity [grin]

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Original post by Tim Cowley
"Eternal Lands" by Raduprv; our resident GDNet celebrity [grin]

Ah! So now I know who the competition is, thank you! >_>

And thanks for the two positive replies. That troll post up there was uncalled for, oh well, some people.

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Its not impossible to independently develop full blown MMORPGs even on your own. There are just two things to keep in mind, patience and paperwork.

Of course, patience is needed for any project of any size, especially when it may take a year or maybe more. However, its the paper work that can save you along the way. In organized crime, they tell you not to leave a paper trail, in organized programming and software development, you ALWAYS leave a paper trail. Its not for others, but rather mostly for yourself. Documentation is vital as you may have learned from past projects.

Documentation comes in two forms, documenting what you've done and documenting what you will be doing. In the end, everything comes down to the basic software principle of structured reusability. A good foundation will take you a long way. Also, there must be a little foresight. When faced with two solutions to a problem, a specific and a generic one, the choice of which usually depends on which stage of development you are on. Personally, when possible, I always go for the general solutions, because they can be more flexible in the long run.

It seems you've done alot thus far and the list is quite impressive. And as a previous poster wrote, gender really isn't an issue. Personally, I feel that a team must have a shared vision, so, though you occassionally want someone with a different perspective, most of the time, you really do need people you can work with, get along with, and share a vision with.

Just my penny worth of thoughts....

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Original post by Shanira
Earlier than that IRC game, I wanted to make my own MMORPG. I actually managed to dabble deep enough into DirectX7 and VB6 to make something half worthy of the name MMORPG in about a year and a half time. It had a client, a server, and you could go around and kill things. Equip items, unequip, drop items, pick them up, it spawned enemies, respawned enemies, and even had an NPC scripting language.

If you really ever got this far, then I have no doubt that you can do it, eventually.
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3D I also tried, stupidly I've been told in Maya, and it just didn't do it for me. Maybe I don't have the spacial coordination for it, but really...

Pixel art, that's where my passion lies. Beautifully crafted pixel sets like Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger and Seiken Densetsu 3 intrigued me. I actually excelled at this, and even with my lack of proper self esteem I now dare say I'm even -talented- at it, constantly pushing myself to the utter limit, settling for no less than the beautifully cute, crafted little works of art, transferring that feeling of nostalgia from when you played those console RPGs.

I don't think RPGs look better in true 3D; Diablo II's graphics are much more attractive to me than Guild Wars'. Staying 2D simplifies many steps of development, too. Especially if you can do a good job on the art yourself.

In answer to the rest of your post, I would say a few things:
- The fact that you are a girl is not intrinsicly relevant. You can make it a problem if you let it discourage you, or if you try to form a team with people who can't handle it, but there are plenty of people out there who can, and talent speaks for itself.
- I agree that it will take you a very long time to finish without the help of a team, however I don't think you should take anyone who doesn't seem likely to pull their weight. Don't wait for perfect team members, or you'll never get any help, but keep control of the project for yourself and don't take anyone who doesn't seem to have some truly useful skill to offer and don't take anyone who balks at "taking orders from a girl", as you put it.
- Visual Basic 6 and DirectX 7 are both old. Since it sounds like you have a lot of good code around for them, don't throw it away. However, if you decide at some point that there is no way you can make it work, start over in a better language (I would recommend C#, C++, or Visual Basic .NET, in about that order). Also switch to DirectX 9.0c; DirectX Graphics is a vast improvement over the old Direct3D and DirectDraw.
- It's not clear how much other programming you have done, aside from MMORPG projects. If you are getting frustrated or feel like you don't know enough, take a break and try making a simpler game, or other program. Completing any project as you intended is very rewarding, as you no doubt remember from your sidescroller. Any time spent programming helps you toward your goal, because it is time spent practicing and learning.
- Don't be discouraged. You have already got much farther than most people who dable in game programming ever will. You apparently have plenty of the single most important resource to the indy developer: free time. You have a good chance at succeeding if you keep trying.

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Yes, it can be done, even by Indies.

It appears to me your problem is your constitution (And that your a girl).

At one point, in any large project your going to feel like giving up. The way to approach this is not to try to avoid this occuring (Its almost inevitable), but being able to deal with it when it does occur: eg, cut out features that are causing you design crisis.

Your base code may be perfectly fine, but you may disagree because you no longer understand everything about it (Due to the sheer number of lines).

I myself have wrote a fully functioning MMORPG, complete with HTTP account generation. Infact, its been my summer project improoving it, since not only is the server unstable, but game-balance is a little off, plus the matter of getting time to program all the features that I cut out... [rolleyes]

Of course, I started rather simple...

"Procedural-C, DIBs (Win32), Winsock.", is there a more striaghtforward approach than that? Not likey... [razz]

Just don't forget to bookmark this site for when you run into code problems. A quick search will reveal to you all the questions I've had to ask.. [rolleyes]

Best of luck! [smile]

[Edited by - Thevenin on July 31, 2005 12:24:02 AM]

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Articles by Radu Privantu about MMOG

With C++ being the main stay of game dev it will be harder, but I don't think impossible to dev server in VB. It will mean that you will have to try harder & do more research/testing. But I think that the fact that you have already done some server programming is a huge help. Unless you're a pro. with alot of exp., that you will need to go back "clean-up" old code that is sloppy. The main thing is to learn from it. [wink]

The fact that you are a young woman, I personally see only being as much of a problem as you allow it to be. Any team that you build will have to be interested in the game & not social/gender sterotypes.

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Well I'm actually considering scratching and starting over, simply because its VB and the stigma attached to that language, even to non programmers who just spew out the same smacktalking that some programmers like to while no even understanding what they're saying.

I'm also not quite sure if it does what I want. See, this was more an exercise in finalizing my client making abilities more than anything else, and in that I was succesful. I know enough about the client, and server logic, to be able to tell people how something should be or should be done. I've been fiddling with some code in C# for servers, and I have to say it's just really hard to get my mind around the networking issues and the threading issues and the like: I don't have extensive knowledge there.

What I'd prefer is to start from scratch, finally make a real design document for a real game, not something to tinker on for practice more than anything else. Then hopefully attract people and myself stick to utility programming (yes, I've done programming in a lot of fields, and VB6 lends itself quite well to fast utility programming :)) and the artwork and managing things. I'm not sure if that's a too lofty goal, but I do know that in the pixel artist community I hang around they tend to go by the rule "talented artists are harder to find than talented coders".

If someone else did the client as well, that means it could be in C++ and potentially be better, faster, stronger, etc. Not that VB6 can't do the job, I'm sure its just easier to do in C++ if you're actually fluent in that language. Doing the client in C++ would also hold the advantage of graphics libraries like SDL and portability. I'd prefer to use SDL over DirectX7. All later versions of DirectX get rid of the DirectDraw API and consolidate it into one big jumbly, hard to work with for 2d API that's also just plain slow compared to DirectDraw, but fact is DirectDraw is flawed in many ways and won't ever be getting better. Using SDL would probably fix all that.

But first I suppose need an interesting setting and a world, some concept art, a beefy design document, and a page with my work jumbled all across it to show people that I do have the know how.

Or is hoping that I can focus on the art side of things (which I frankly am better at) while other people tackle the client/server and me just doing utility programming on the side hoping for too much?

PS: It's nice to hear opinions from other people who do this for once. :) Very helpful.

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It most certainly can be done. I can think of a few successful indie MMORPGs off of the top of my head. Runescape, Tibia, Dransik, to name a few.

In my own experience, what I have found to be the center of a successful MMORPG is progress, of course, you need progress in order to get the job done. Talent is nice, but even the less talented can do their best and always get help later from others. Original ideas are nice, but that usually only affects the popularity of your product, not whether or not you can finish.

So, regardless of the talent of you and your team and whether or not your ideas are good, you need people that are dedicated enough to keep up the progress of your game. If you choose to lead them, you need to ensure you hire people that have proven their ability to progress. Hire those who have work to show you that proves they can maintain enough progress to complete something.

As long as you continually progress, you WILL finish what you start. Just make sure everyone involved is shooting for the same goals as everyone else. ;)

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It may sound strange, but from personal experience i would recommend you to go 3D. While it may sound hard, in the long run is better and easier when it comes to some stuff (especially if you want to add some eye candy :-)).

I also recommend you to forget Visual Basic for various reasons and stick to C++ for speed and portability reasons :-). Something that will help you with writing tool software is BSGUI GUI, an OpenGL and SDL-based GUI library i wrote (and still writing) for developing my tools. Currently i use it mostly in two tools:

Immortal Editor - the world editor for Undead Engine, my 3d game engine and
Slashy2D Editor (aka SlashEd) - the map editor for Slashy2D, my 2d game engine :-)


Also i would recommend you to use SDL and OpenGL: both are more than enough to be used as a base to create a very good game :-).

Designing server/client games may be a bit hard, but there is plenty of information at the internet on how to do it properly :-).

In any case, if you think you'll need any help, drop me a mail at badsector at slashstone dot com.

EDIT: if you -or anyone else- wants BSGUI, mail me to send you the latest WIP which fixes some bugs and changes a bit the API...

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If you'd be interested, my mmorpg could use an artist. And of course your previous development experience would be a welcome plus.

http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=334886

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Well I have personal objections to going for 3D:

- I want to make an MMORPG that captures that nostalgic look and feel of oldschool console RPGs. (although more advanced due to advancing technology probably) This is one of the major and foremost design principles, and I don't feel you can do that kinda thing in 3D. This is a target audience that has yet to be really catered to in MMORPGs, and I know for a fact that just about everyone I know in gamer circles would -definately- appreciate such a game.

- Artists are hard to find, 3D artists are harder to find, and talented volunteer 3D artists are as far as I know damn near impossible to find. Considering I excell at pixel art, and not 3D art, it makes sense to capitulize on the fact that I can do a lot of high quality art myself, as well as having other pixel artist contacts who I might ask to work with me later, when there's something to show to convince them to.

- I think 2D is more conducive to certain features I'm planning. Plus, I always did prefer the overview 2D in an MMORPG offers versus 3D. Not to mention that making 2D engines ARE as a rule easier to do than 3D engines.

So, really, unless a miracle happens and a few talented 3D artist volunteers and an engineer for a 3D engine fall into my lap, I doubt I'll be revising the 2D part of the game. ^^; There's just certain things about 2D that fail in 3D, and vice versa, and personally I favor the 2D approach. There's too much of a 3D craze without me contributing, IMHO.

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Original post by Shanira
I'm also not quite sure if it does what I want. See, this was more an exercise in finalizing my client making abilities more than anything else, and in that I was succesful. I know enough about the client, and server logic, to be able to tell people how something should be or should be done. I've been fiddling with some code in C# for servers, and I have to say it's just really hard to get my mind around the networking issues and the threading issues and the like: I don't have extensive knowledge there.

What I'd prefer is to start from scratch, finally make a real design document for a real game, not something to tinker on for practice more than anything else. Then hopefully attract people and myself stick to utility programming (yes, I've done programming in a lot of fields, and VB6 lends itself quite well to fast utility programming :)) and the artwork and managing things. I'm not sure if that's a too lofty goal, but I do know that in the pixel artist community I hang around they tend to go by the rule "talented artists are harder to find than talented coders".

I don't know much about server programming myself, but if you are really having trouble with it, I would caution you about trying to make a detailed design document. If you don't know what you are doing with the server, you may accidentally create a design which calls for miracles from the server programmer. I would suggest either continuing to learn more about server programming yourself, or finding someone to help you a bit with that part of the design document.
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If someone else did the client as well, that means it could be in C++ and potentially be better, faster, stronger, etc.

Faster, certainly, unless the programmer sucked.
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Not that VB6 can't do the job, I'm sure its just easier to do in C++ if you're actually fluent in that language.

Very few things worth doing are easy in C++, unfortunately. It's one of the flaws of the language. Be warned that using C++ for anything will most like slow down development, although it may result in a higher quality end product.
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Doing the client in C++ would also hold the advantage of graphics libraries like SDL and portability. I'd prefer to use SDL over DirectX7. All later versions of DirectX get rid of the DirectDraw API and consolidate it into one big jumbly, hard to work with for 2d API that's also just plain slow compared to DirectDraw, but fact is DirectDraw is flawed in many ways and won't ever be getting better. Using SDL would probably fix all that.

That was kind of confusing. Just remember that if you use SDL, it will be slow. I don't know exactly what sort of graphics requirements you have, so it may be plenty fast enough, but SDL does a lot in software, so it will be much slower than DirectX Graphics would be, and probably slower than DirectDraw, as well.
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But first I suppose need an interesting setting and a world, some concept art, a beefy design document, and a page with my work jumbled all across it to show people that I do have the know how.

Or is hoping that I can focus on the art side of things (which I frankly am better at) while other people tackle the client/server and me just doing utility programming on the side hoping for too much?

Maybe. I wouldn't count on being able to stay out of them completely. If you want good people to join, you will probably need to lay the framework for both yourself, so that you have a demo.

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Writing something using C/C++ is not necessarily going to take longer. You just need to make sure the developer is experienced and good enough.

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Original post by Shanira
Well I have personal objections to going for 3D:

- I want to make an MMORPG that captures that nostalgic look and feel of oldschool console RPGs. (although more advanced due to advancing technology probably) This is one of the major and foremost design principles, and I don't feel you can do that kinda thing in 3D. This is a target audience that has yet to be really catered to in MMORPGs, and I know for a fact that just about everyone I know in gamer circles would -definately- appreciate such a game.

- Artists are hard to find, 3D artists are harder to find, and talented volunteer 3D artists are as far as I know damn near impossible to find. Considering I excell at pixel art, and not 3D art, it makes sense to capitulize on the fact that I can do a lot of high quality art myself, as well as having other pixel artist contacts who I might ask to work with me later, when there's something to show to convince them to.

- I think 2D is more conducive to certain features I'm planning. Plus, I always did prefer the overview 2D in an MMORPG offers versus 3D. Not to mention that making 2D engines ARE as a rule easier to do than 3D engines.

So, really, unless a miracle happens and a few talented 3D artist volunteers and an engineer for a 3D engine fall into my lap, I doubt I'll be revising the 2D part of the game. ^^; There's just certain things about 2D that fail in 3D, and vice versa, and personally I favor the 2D approach. There's too much of a 3D craze without me contributing, IMHO.


Well, there are definite advantages to 3D over 2D, one being onscreen property. If everything is in 2D, then having 100 or more characters on screen at once may become rather crowded depending on how you handle this, not to mention lots of overlapping. This is still a problem in 3D, but just less an issue with the added dimension.

Trying to capture the nostalgia feel is great, so have you considered cel shading? It gives 3D art a 2D look. Or, if 3D artists are hard to find, there's no rule against a 3D environment and billboard characters based on sprites. That in itself may be interesting visually.

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That was kind of confusing. Just remember that if you use SDL, it will be slow. I don't know exactly what sort of graphics requirements you have, so it may be plenty fast enough, but SDL does a lot in software, so it will be much slower than DirectX Graphics would be, and probably slower than DirectDraw, as well.


Well, SDL may actually not be much slower considering that it gets hardware acceleration in the backend. So, by using SDL, you are indirectly using DirectX when on a windows platform. If you don't want to use DirectX, then you can always use OpenGL with SDL, which will almost definitely get you hardware acceleration.

The other advantage of SDL is that the networking functions are fairly nicely bundled and easy to use. I've written some simple server client software with it without knowing too much about network programming and they work fairly well.

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I think you're doing the best and most critical thing you can do before you start any venture: Self assessment. But before you go further into the details of what it takes to build a MMO game, I'd like to ask you if you know why it is that you want to create this type of game, and what you want out of players and the entire effort as a result. Why is it important to have hundreds or thousands of players? Would 10 people playing together be able to have the same experiences? The reason I ask is because I wonder if you can distill the essence of what it is that you want to create-- which can take many forms, even as a card game-- and then figure out what the most essential form of that essence is. How much does it take to make the game work, IOW? If you kept cutting things back, when would it stop being your core idea?

From here, I think you'll be in a better position to consider time, talent and resource constraints. I think it will aid you in drilling down past the dreamy, feel-good ideas that are fanciful but not really critical to your project (so you get real focused about what it is you are trying to do).

Personally, I have mixed feelings about MMOs and MMORPGs. I've talked to several game business guys who say it's where the money is, but I also know that there's a glut of people who want to do the exact same thing. If you're more in it for the creative expression, not as a means to help sustain yourself, then you have more flexibility--but not much, as limitless horizons can be as destructive to your project as severe financial constraints.


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Original post by Shanira
Will my self esteem get in the way if I have a team? Is a woman even the right person for the team? Because frankly, I don't have any of that hardassed attitude that this seems to demand, despite people telling me that I could probably be a good dev leader if I just structured things a little better. I like cooperation, not a strict rigid hierarchy where I tell people exactly how things are going to be, and how what is going to be. Brainstorming and input from other people is what I thrive on. Will people even "take orders" from a girl?


Lose this concern. It won't serve you or your project. Whether it is a barrier or not needs to be approached with the same creativity that you'll approach technology and resource concerns-- IOW, if you can figure those out, you can figure this one out as well. If you have a more collaborative style in working with others, then you'll likely want to surround yourself with people who are more self-directed and team-oriented. You'll also need to surrender some authorial control over the ultimate shape of the project, as democratic processes tend to pull the vision toward something that's in harmony with everyone's goals.

FWIW, when I worked in the game industry I had, in two different companies, women as lead programmers and knew of dozens of women in technical and managerial roles in art, marketing and programming. One of the first attitudes I had to drop as a person of color was paranoia over whether or not I'd be accepted. The nice thing about geeks is that we tend to remember what it was like to not be accepted because of difference, and as a result tend to pitch a wide tent.

Your difference is an asset, never a liability, unless in your mind you sell it to yourself that way. Yes, there are most certainly obstacles--everyone has them, though not to the same degree nor in the same form. But your vision can only take shape to the degree to which you first have faith in your own strengths, then share those strengths with others.

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Impressive; very. If you are looking to start a team, or something, or have time to work on multiple projects I would be very, very interested in working with you to develope story and game ideas. If you would like to talk further I urge you to email me at peekafreakinboo@hotmail.com (this also doubles as my MSN, but I have IRC if that works better for you). I see you having very little problems if you pursue a future in game developement.

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First off, I played the game that you made, it's a fun little shooter.

Now, as for the question, yes I think that it's very possible for an indie MMORPG, other posters in this thread have listed a few. However, what I think it boils down to is how much you want to do it, if you have the time for it, and if you're willing to put in a lot of effort. From your post, it seems like you meet all three, but here's a bit of advice from Raduprv, in the Read Before Posting about MMORPGs thread in the Help Wanted forum:

"BTW, now that I want to brag or anything, but I am working at my second MMORPG (as those who read my dev journal know) for about 8 months or so. Except for some help from two EL developers, I am doing almost everything by myself. And I am not posting asking for help here (well, I did once, but offered some money for a few tools, and I also posted looking for some map makers, but couldn't find any so I gave up).
The bottom line is, you should post here to ask for HELP, not to ask for people that will do the game for you. If you want to build an MMORPG, you will have to write at least as much code as the other developers, preferably much more.

Another thing: It took me almost 10 years of programming until I started working at Eternal Lands. And I did have two failed attempts before."

I agree with Wavinator's advice, a little reflection on what the core of the game will be, will help a lot in building the game.

Best of luck to you.

-Kaisel

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