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The path of a MMORPG

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Hello folks So, its one and a half years now since i had my idea "for the most uber MMORPG ever" :) Here I go a little bit into detail, if you want to skip directly to my questions, just look for the Linebreak ------------------------------------ I attend a school for data processing and am pretty good in programming for my age, i would say... I never knew if i would even get to the first stage of the game, but i knew it was good practice for an oingoing programmer, as it covered all topics of programming: DB, NW, Server/Client, Graphics, Physics, AI, etc... What i thought was, "well, even if i never finish the game, i will learn a great deal in how to make a game" I already made two games in school, it was part of the programming course. Making an MMORPG is a lot more advanced and takes a great team. I didnt had a team, i just had my friends. We discussed ideas and started prototyping. I worked one year on the "Engine". I first started off with some Nehe-Basecode :) my first thoughts were: nehe can write good tutors, but his code needs lot improvement... so i worked on my first OpenGL Class After two weeks, i got my first version, i had some simple content. I decided to start the codebase from scratch. I learned that it needs a engine behind the graphics engine... And it contained my physics... i enjoyed my time creating physics and seeing them in opengl After the version finished after two months, i had some nice application made. It simulated a simple solar system. ( SIMPLE ) I decided to start the codebase from scratch. I learned that you need a kernel to run your game. The next version took pretty long. Starting from version 0.3 i am about 1 year into development now staying at version 0.6.7 Not that my engine has some great improvements to other engines, or is in any way advanced... but it is my engine. I learned what a engine makes up. I learned what work is in it, how it affects your life doing one. My girlfriend already dislikes it, if i start talking about my great new ideas to the engine. I do not know if i keep on programming on my engine. I tend to go over to the next level and take some opensource engines as kickstarter. ---------------------------------------------------------- So, whats this topic all about? I read all i could find on the Internet about making an MMORPG what i found in the last two years... Most projects stoped, little got their success ( like Planeshift ). But I want to keep going. I am able to program. I am able to lead a team. I have my ideas and i know my path. I saw many projects to stopped, and try to understand why and to go further. I am right now at a level where i have very concrete ideas about the game and about how the development process works... I registered a domain some time ago and I am ready to go to public. I have some friends covering my back. What i need next, are some members for the team, some artists, a little bit of everything. I can show them a prototype, i can explain the concept and concrete ideas, I even can give them an API or Engine to start right working. Now here comes my question. I know this can be done. But it feels like i have to load a mountain giant on my back. Its just a project, it can go good or wrong. I have put a greathttp://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/post.asp?forum_id=17&gforum_id=0&method=post effort of my past two years of life in it, developing concepts and so. But now, the next level awaits and i fear to spend to much hope in it. What if it fails. I am nearly finished with school and now the fun part ends and it gets serious. Shall i give it a try?

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quote: But it feels like i have to load a mountain giant on my back

I'd say that is not a good mind state to begin.
and a tip: don't put up a web site too soon if there's little or no content.
Anyway, good luck with the project.

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Quote:
Original post by Marmin
quote: But it feels like i have to load a mountain giant on my back

I'd say that is not a good mind state to begin.
and a tip: don't put up a web site too soon if there's little or no content.
Anyway, good luck with the project.



well, im in a good mind state :)
i know that the time has come to ask people to work with me on a project that could be a flop, to convince them and so on. my thoughts are, that if the project is running some time, everything will be fine again, but right now im very dreaded about what to do first.

The website is not really like public, but should be the starting point for a community page. I am posting news on a bi-weekly base.

The next stept shall be the first version of a multiuser environment, and then i want to make some promotion with the first public board etc

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"What I fail has only made me stronger"

Shoot for your capable dreams don't let other conclude to your failure. It may look far away to success but maybe in the end all the expierence and concept will develope you to make a really good game in the future.

My vote is go as far as you can. When you lose interest only find stronger reasons to make your decision worth wild. Everyone despises MMORPGS but I support anyone who trys their best and dreams. Its all capable, commercial wise maybe not so, but for time and maybe earning a few extra dollars its VERY possible.

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It sounds to me like you have *exactly* the right mindset for this.

MMO's are just about the most complex game development you can undertake.

As you'll progress you'll find more pitfalls - all of which can be overcome with determination. MMO projects fail not because they are technically infeasible, but because they are difficult and time consuming, both in terms of development and management. If you're willing to put in the work learning how to overcome each problem as you find it, you'll get there in the end.



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Don't be too worried about failing. Most MMO's fail before they get off the ground. If that happens for yours, well, you'll have learned a lot, and you'll do better next time. [wink]

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Honestly I think it's cool to pick an MMORPG project as a learning project. It bugs me when people think they have a formulae to go commercial and really make a killing.

On the technical side MMO's are learning gold mine. Good luck ;-)

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My planeed learning project is an MMORPG. I can't see a better project as you get to combine networking, (probably) databases, AI, (probably) multithreading and many other aspects of programming in one project. It may never work but it should be great learning. (and if it does you may have a job for the rest of your life :) )

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I think, the key to success is to start simple and than see what you can extend

I plan the project in three steps, the first one is just a multiuser environment

The second step is a multiplayer game for maximum 8 ppl

The last step will be the persistant world

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Your second step is not (that) useful!

There is very little similarity between an MMO and a small multiplayer game, either in terms of how traffic is handles or in terms of simulation.

Although you'll learn a lot doing it, you'll end up scrapping that part of the codebase to handle very large player / connection counts, although you may end up using it as part of your cluster communications layer.

A better plan might be:

1) Network communication (n clients, 1 server)
2) Persistance (database) access
3) Write a simple MUD (login, persistance, action-on-object parsing)
4) Spatial partitioning in the MUD to cut traffic (rooms)
5) Server-passing (x clients over y servers handling discrete areas (zones), 1 master server to hand off incoming connections)

That pretty much covers (in simplified form) the networking aspects of an MMO.

Then you've got the simulation (game mechanics) layer to deal with, but by the time you've learned what you need to do the above, you'll have a very good idea on how to tackle it.

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I can't really help with the actual "making of", since I'm actually behind you, as far as where in the process we are. But I can tell you to try, that it's actually proper to look at the undertaking of a small-budget, indie MMORPG and go "Holy cow, this is Mount Everest." You probably will fail; I think Tom Sloper said it best when he called it Quixotic. Still, you never know til you try. If you don't do it, you fail at making one, too.

There's a ton of difference between the "how do i mak gam?" posts and the "I have a great idea. I'm going to sink my money and effort and years of my time, and I know I have a small chance of success, but dangit, I must... I must try!"

Grab some good project management software (I'm using projectpath.com, because the more free stuff, the less it costs, sourceforge for version control, and we're using Panda3D instead of scratch coding) and steel yourself for the ride. :)

Edit: Oh and I have run a MUSH for a few years, and definitely do advise doing it. They're very cheap (or free) to run, they give a basic idea of programming and you learn a TON about player behavior, which doesn't actually change. Give it a go.

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My idea to create a multiplayer title first was to create the client engine first and to introduce my team into network programming.

We currently can only afford a 60kbyte upload server and want to do some multiplayer xp first.

But i will follow your ideas... thanks for your advice

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By all means work on the client engine - I didn't say the MUD had to be a console app - in fact a graphical one would be a really nice (fairly simple) project.

The trick is not to get too hung up on 2d vs 3d (or indeed plain old text). The mechanism behind it all is pretty much the same (especially in terms of command parsing).

Have fun with it!

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i wanted to know what you think about the Microsoft Solution Framework

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/msf/default.mspx

I think its a great tool for plannung a software project... I just found it yesterday and its a powerful plan on how to begin a project :)

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