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[.net] any professional mmo engines in development?

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I was wondering if anyone here knows of any "professional" mmo engines either released or in development, written in .NET? I know there might be some hobbiests on codeplex, etc who claim they might be writing a .NET MMO engine, but I wouldnt count those as "serious" until they can provide a tech demo. Also, somewhat related, is there somewhere I can find a list of other "professional" middleware solutions for .NET game developers? I know of course about XNA, and of TorqueX, and the Lidgren network library, but otherwise I dont really see .NET middleware out and about. Thanks for any leads guys, -Jason PS: in full disclosure, I'm trying to write a mmo engine, so i'm asking this more from a "understanding the players" perspective.

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[opinion]
Any MMO engine would be too limiting or too complex to really make them practical. Each MMO is pretty unique, so to make an engine that would work, either the MMO has to adjust itself to fit in with the engine or the engine has to be so complex to allow all the different types of MMOs that it would be way to complex. Now using a graphics engine, physics engine, nework libs are all very practical.

theTroll
[/opinion]

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There are companies out there who produce MMO middleware for example the one from http://www.monumentalgames.com/tech_introduction.php.

However I don't think there is any "pro" MMO written using .NET. Also I don't really think there is any "professional" middleware solutions available for .NET really. Obviously this depends on what your definition of professional is. After all there are things like TorqueX and I'm sure a couple of physics libraries are available that have been translated to managed code.

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You do realize that a MMO is made of two parts, a client and a server, and while you might find some bits to build the server using managed technologies, it's going to be harder to find code to manage the server part.

Most of the time, the MMO server has to run in a dedicated optimized environment (I'm not saying that .NET is not an option to build a MMO server or that .NET is too slow; I'm merely saying that the typical MMO server is built with ultra-performance in mind, and that current managed technologies have a hard time competing with established C++ technologies - in the commercial way, not in the technical way).

To be more precise: I don't think that anyone ever tried to build an optimized cluster environment to run managed programs so since noone knows if it's possible, you can bet that any serious company who wants to develop some MMO middleware will chose a path that everybody knows: C++.

Now, you are free to prove that .NET will be able to handle the job.

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I actually have a better feel for backend architecture than client side, but that said, I have no experience with clustering (beyond the simplistic database-centric designs)

Thankfully, I dont need to take clustering into consideration for an alpha, so i'm right now targeting a single-server solution. obviously it wont scale beyond perhaps 100 people, but if i ever get to the point that's an issue, i'd be in pretty good shape i think :)


overall, my idea is to leverage as much middleware as possible, right now that includes

XNA/TorqueX (it's a 2d Mmo for simplicity reasons)
Lidgren library (or xna2's network support, depending on what it is)
ThreadStorm framework (for multithreading, written in-house)
Sql2005 (perhaps 2008 if they release beta early enough)
some random ecommerice solution
Trac for project management (right now only using mediawiki, so i dont know how useful switching to trac will be)
???? (phpbb?) for customer relations

Clustering isnt a high priority for me right now, but if anyone happens to know of good clustering solutions for .NET, I'd love to hear. I dont have any experience with comutational clustering, and havent done any research into that field. I know that microsoft is producing a version of 2003 server called cluster server that's supposed to allow for .NET clustering, but I dont know anything about it beyond that.





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