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Rogue-Foxx

2d or (2d like 3d) mmorpg creation: How?

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In your opinion, how were these games made? Did they make their own engines most likely? Or tweak ones already in exisitance. Here are a few examples: Oldest of the old... Ultima online- http://www.uo.com/#screena Diablo II- http://www.blizzard.com/diablo2/ Dark Ages - www.darkages.com How were games like this built? Did they comission programmers to build game engines for them? Or did they purchase a game engine and simply tweak it to what they needed? Then you have a game such as Ragnarok Online that cleverly uses 3d graphics in away that it mimics 2d mmorpgs, but higher quality (also more cartoonish). http://iro.ragnarokonline.com/ How do you think this game was created? What kind of engine was used. If I were to make a game that was like diablo II or Dark ages, what software would I need? (Obviously it would be a team effort) But what would a programmer be happiest to use? Is there a powerful solution out there, or something thats powerful that could be tweaked? What about for a game such as ragnarok, what software would be needed. If you were to make a game that was similiar or better, how would you go about it, strictly Graphics engine or game engine wise. Your helps greatly appriciated. I've been wondering this for some time and my internet search are coming up futile.

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Also, what about AI, would that have to be programmed from scratch, is there a solution? Is there a decent AI out there for these types of games that could be tweaked?

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I'm pretty sure each of those games wrote their own engine. They didn't so much "commission" the programmers, as use the programmers that were on the team to write the engine. In fact, for some of those games, the programmers were part of the "they" that built the game.

As far as doing your own, it really matters most what the programmers that are part of the team are most comfortable with. You can make 2D and 3D games on engines such as Torque (indie license) or Ogre3D (open source). For 2D/isometric games, it's also such a well-known space that writing your own engine isn't very hard; it's more a question of what tools you're using (level editing, etc).

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Understandable, it seems that there is no real easy starting point to creating a game like this, where as, you could pick up a freeware to expensive middle ware solution game engine and have at it changing it to your desire.

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Second question, what kind of programmer/s would I look to find to create the back bone for games such as these. What languages would they need to be versed in, what prior experience should I want them to have?

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You'd probably need quite a team. Just off the top of my head, you might need specialists in:
- Graphics
- Gameplay
- Sound
- Networking (a must)
- AI
- Scripting (probably a good idea)
- GUI and interfaces/input (probably)
- Databases
- Some other general game programmers

On top of that you'd need:
- Artists (2D and 3D)
- Musicians and composers
- At least one game designer
- Level designers
- Producer(s)
- Network staff
- Network security specialists (probably consultants)
- Writer(s)
- A marketing team (may be supplied by the producer)
- A management team
- QA testers
- Helpdesk/service hotline staff
- Lawyers for license agreements and contracts
- Administrators for the game
- Other operational staff (from accountants to cleaners)

Give them 2-3 years with competent leadership, probably in a company. It's very unlikely that an individual or small team will create an MMORPG, much more likely a relatively large team with lots of industry experience.

This would probably have to be written in C++ with DirectX or OpenGL for the graphics, DirectPlay or Winsock (dread) for networking, OpenAL or DirectSound for music and sfx, SQL maybe for databases and a host of other helper libraries which can be bought for large sums of money.

I could be wrong however, just guessing. :p

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Thank you very much, that's possibly the best explaination I could hope for.
And your preaching to the choir about the time and money involved. I worked as an intern for a co. named www.sojdev.com They were on the verge of making an mmorpg already a year + into dev. until internal conflict (greed) on the part of an individual in the co. and convincing the investors to let the CEO go caused the project to shift from a game to lincensing they technology the harvested. -> www.meta4.com (sigh) Some of the technology you've probably heard of or will hear of, butterfly.net's grid, mojo world, gamebryo. Etc would have been cool, oh well. The CEO and I are good friends now (met thru the tribes mod community, chivalery in particular -> chiv 2 for t2 -> sojdev established to make a game named glympse -> internal betray. Back to the drawing board.
Needless to say, we have the design for the game (a change in story etc) however, I have alot of art contacts and sound contacts, but the field i'm most ignorant in is programming, thus your explainantions been invaluable.

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No problem, I'm only a uni student of Game Programming at the moment though, so I've not worked on any actual projects of that magnitude yet. I'm guessing that it's much bigger than anything I've worked on but the principle jobs should be the same. Make sure you get a very good network programmer, I know first hand the problems and pain which is network programming.

If you plan on programming an MMORPG make sure you get the absolute best possible when it comes to network programming. The whole team must communicate with the network programmer and the network programmer will have to work with the core team right from the start of coding. The nature of network programming is such that it can't be "tagged on" the end of the project, it must be part of the core engine programming.

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