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Gonebowlin

3D MMORPG Engine

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Hello Everyone, I am learning C++ and DirectX 9. I am getting the book "Programming Role Playing Games with Direct X Second Edition" I know it teaches you how to make a basic engine in that book, but I have a question. I heard the Quake II Engine could be downloaded and built and edited upon. Should I make my own from scratch or build on that. The type of game would be a MMORPG with combat like FFXI or Guild Wars, or something like that. Please point me in the right direction if this would even be the right engine for me. Plus, If the game were good enough, would I be able to make a profit out of it. Thanks.

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Before you go any further with your MMORPG plans, consider that it will take you many years to finish. Forget the MMORPG for now, work on a goal that you can achieve.

As for the Quake II code, you would probably learn a lot from looking at it and using it.

Finally, your chances of making any money as an independent are pretty close to 0, even if you make the best game ever.

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This type of question is actually asked quite frequently - "Can I make a MMORPG". And generally, if you need to ask if you can make a MMORPG with your current skills, the answer is usually no.

Sorry for being frank, I know you have big aspirations about an awesome MMORPG that you made.. But games like Guild Wars were made by a somewhat large professional team of programmers and artists, and it took them quite a while.

My advice is to scale down your goals just a bit, or you are only going to be dissapointed. Seriously, if you plan on making a MMORPG, do yourself a favor and make a couple of simple games first. Here is what I'd suggest doing to build your skills up to making a MMORPG.

Make a simple single player RPG. If your MMORPG is 3d (I HIGHLY recommend against it, 2d simplifies stuff so much.. And there are plenty of very fun 2d MMORPGs) then make the RPG 3d. You'll find that making the RPG is plenty difficult in its own right.

Make a simple multiplayer game. I don't care what you make, but make sure that an unlimited number of people can 'log on', move around, or whatever the game is, and log off.

At that point, you should know if you are capable of making a full MMORPG or not.

As for the engine.. I actually have no experience at all modifying engines, so I really can't help you there. Someone else will have to comment on that.

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Thanks for the help. I know Ill have to work up. I have more experience than I said and the book teaches you how to make a basic mmorpg not a full guild wars one. My comment was just that is what I wanted the combat to be like.

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@OP: Making money as an indie is very possible. If you target the right market such as cell phones, adventure games, side scrollers, etc. There's an interview on here I believe with an indie or it was on gamasutra.com who is making ends meat. Will you be able to quit your day job? Doubtful. But honestly, make your first few games for fun, if they end up being something you can sell (after you make a few "learn to program better" games that is) even better. There are a lot of nay sayers about indies but they are alive and well. You don't have a 1 in 2 shot or anything but trying will not hurt.

As for the MMO... Make a game (small, single player), then make an RPG, then think about going bigger. Build up, build up your engine. See where you are in 2 years.

@JohnBolton: Let the guy dream. Why bash him down now :-). Encourage him to try. It's better to have tried and failed then never tried at all. It's at best a few thousand dollars maybe 2 years down the road (besides hardware but that he can always use). In a year he'll have to register a company, that's about it honestly. *shrug*.

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Quote:
Original post by Mike2343
@JohnBolton: Let the guy dream. Why bash him down now :-). Encourage him to try. It's better to have tried and failed then never tried at all. It's at best a few thousand dollars maybe 2 years down the road (besides hardware but that he can always use). In a year he'll have to register a company, that's about it honestly. *shrug*.

You are right. My advice wasn't very constructive. How about this:

Your best path to creating a published game is to work for a game developer. At some point you will gain the experience and connections that will enable you both make the game and get it published. You might even have your own company some day. For many independents, making the game is more important than making the money. Many people just make games for fun. You can take the independent route, but if your goal is to make money, your chances are slim (especially with no experience and no connections).

Many years ago, I interviewed a programmer, Erik Bethke. He had no experience in games and didn't even know C, but he seemed pretty smart (he was working on his Masters degree) and he was very determined to get a job making games. We hired him and he turned out very well. In less than 5 years, he went from level designer to lead programmer to senior group producer. Now he is the CEO (and founder) of GoPets.

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I actually thought JohnBolton was being fairly kind about it.

Making MMORPGs has devastated some well-funded, experienced, established developers that have taken stabs at it. I don't know any details personally, but anyone remember the recent layoffs at a certain NCSoft subsidiary? And, last I checked, NCSoft isn't exactly hurting for cash, so that most likely means the project wasn't gelling.

As I mentioned to someone else, making an MMORPG is like building a 777. It's complicated, and you don't try it as your first (or third, or probably even seventh) attempt.

Try something more reasonably scoped, learn plenty from the folks who have been doing it awhile, and then try something more ambitious.

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As a first project or as something to learn C++ I agree that a MMORPG might not be the best place to start. BUT it really is a matter of where your set your goals.

For example, as a start for your MMORPG you may just want to write a simple IRC/client based type thing. This will get you familar with networking and the client/server relationship. Many commands are / type commands ( /who /attack /give .. ) so making a irc server handle those is a very good first step.

A full MMORPG might be a 777 but you can start with a paper airplane. Given enough time and enough monkeys you can build a 777 :). If you set reasonable goals you won't be nearly as fustrated and it will be a lot easier to reach your final goals.

BTW, we use the Crystal Space engine for our project. It's opensource and OpenGL based and works on Windows/Linux/Macs.

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I am recommending against RPG programming with directX. It took some time getting the samples to compile, due to the DX version issues. I feel like the engine from the book was not good. There were a lot of parts that didn't make sense. And I never got a good collision system in place with it. Of course this is just my opinion, and I could be totally wrong.

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Quote:
Original post by Gonebowlin
Thanks for the help. I know Ill have to work up. I have more experience than I said and the book teaches you how to make a basic mmorpg not a full guild wars one. My comment was just that is what I wanted the combat to be like.

The book doesn't teach anything at all regarding MMORPGs. It teaches you very basic rudimentary single player RPGs with some old school DirectPlay thrown in the mix.

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