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3d Graphics and Multiplayer Games

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OK folks, Everquest and Asheron's Call have done what many in the MUD industry felt was impossible. They have created a 3D game that is 100% networked. I am interested in hearing how this was built into the engines. I have looked at some engines out there today like Crystal Space and Genesis3D and have determined that it would take a rewrite of the underlying file based system that supports the meshes and graphics rendering. Please tell me I am wrong about this as it would require an advanced cahce system on the server to deal with it. In light of a massively multiplayer game the performance issue is even more likely to cause problems. Am I way off base here or is there nothing more that can be done except to implement a caching scheme to stream the file based data to these engines? If so I am seriously thinking of writing instead of licensing for my new online game.


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I wouldn't know about the games you mention (haven't played them, let alone read anything about the techincal side of things), but I CAN tell you about the approach we've taken :

The client is written in Java, server currently in JavaScript (probably ported to something faster when it is done ), all gfx, map, code etc. is downloaded on connect (<200K) and thus always up to date, additional data is streamed as needed, making it possible to run the game on "any" Java enabled computer on the Internet.

The key to success here, however, is not Java, the small client or platform independence (though all are nice features ), but rather the way the game focus on a small part of the world at a time. Essentially it works as a large number of traditional multiplayer games that are connected in a way that allow players to move seamlessly from one to the other. (I REALLY mean "seamless" - the player sees one game only).

I assume a similar approach would work for a game based on Genesis or other engine...


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