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crazyman_games

Software to use?

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I'm wondering what software you would all recommend for making a game that supports MMO and is similar to world of warcraft. I'm starting on a concept of taking some interesting features together. The engine would have to be similar. For something of that scope I'm assuming Photoshop and 3DS Max is a given. What I'm wondering is what other packages to use to bring all the modules and graphics together. Also any other software that would be recommended for use in making this sort of a project work. I want to know everything I'm going to need. What do you all think?

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Sorry to be harsh, but what you will most need is a reality check.

An MMO is by far the hardest type of game to build, and also the most expensive. Beyond the large team of highly skilled programmers you need to build any large commercial game, in a fast-paced MMO like WOW you will need some real wizards at designing and implementing networking, a large server farm, a couple of fully staffed IT departments to maintain the servers and handle tech support... oh yeah, and a staff of full time maintenance programmers to keep the thing stable and balanced.

On another note, Photoshop and Max are content creation tools, and while these are an important part of the game making process, they are also don't have much to do with the actual game software. There is no piece of software that is going to let you point-and-click your way to a finished MMO (and if there was, everyone would be doing it). Instead you need a large programming team who will develop probably a few million lines of code to reach the finished software.

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Theres no real definitive thing for development to be honest, you could use very little and produce a nice game. But there is a "checklist"

Here are the ingredients required for a MMO game, at a level of the professionals at Blizzard, I have placed a few examples of such things in brackets where possible:

2D Graphics Programs for 2D art (Photoshop, The GIMP, MS Paint)

3D Graphics Programs for 3D Art (Maya, 3DS Max, Blender)

Sound Studio for recording sounds, and producing sounds out of everyday household objects for dramatic effect.

Database Server (MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server)

Server Farm (With a decent system specification for realistic load balancing, testing and eventual use)

A compiler or IDE (Depends entirely on the laguage intended for use, could range from expensive Industry standard IDE like Microsoft's Visual Studio all the way down to a simple command line compiler or interpreter).

A coffee maker/kettle (Plus a near unlimited supply of tea/coffee bags/powder)

30-100 skilled AND devoted team members to produce artwort, program client/server applications, etc. Who are willing to devote a few years of their life on a project that could compete realistically at retail level as an indie title.

The most important bit is bolded.

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I would use:

Java and Sun Gaming Server (Darkstar) for the server
OGRE with Python bindings for the client
SCons for build files
MySQL for the DB

Have fun, let us know when we can play it.

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I will start with a question: How much money do you have?

As most people have stated here, you will need a fairly big team. Most people will on average take around $60,000 per year depending on where they live... With a small team of around 30 people that is $1,800,000 for one year and if the project takes two years, then you are looking at $3,600,000.

Keep in mind that you will also need a large volume of dedicated servers... I can't really recommend any particular model but for reference here is the Dell PowerEdge .

You will probally need around 100+ of these servers as well as a space to put them in, commercial grade internet connections (Probally T1 lines), IT guys, and extremely powerful air conditioners (as servers generate a lot of heat).

So once you get all of that together then you "might" be able to make a game that can compete with World of Warcraft. Of course the problem is that your team of highly trained professionals with years of game design experience are not used to working with each other like Blizzard's highly trained professionals are, so it will be hard to produce a better game.

So if you do not have a multimillion dollar budget, then I would seriously recommend starting smaller. Focus on making a smaller game and I think you will see a much better reward.

When you really start to learn what you are doing, you will realize how much work is involved trying to make a "Simple" game with a few people... It can easily take 3 months+ and that is for a 2d game without network code.

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Money is no issue. I Have 3dS max payed for as well as photoshop CS3. Im just trying to figure out what the best tool for writing the engine in is. I'v done games before just never an MMO. I'v done something similar to WOW but it was single player. Now Its mostly going to end up that Im starting from scratch. The GUI and the Networking look like there going to be the biggest problems.

Is there any Package that lets you construct the differnt MMO elements more easily.

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There is a library called OpenMMO with which you can create you MMO fairly quickly. Another new MMO layer for the Torque engine was also recently released for free. Their sample game looked great! There are also commercial applications which give you the basic foundation (as money was not your problem it might be a good idea to have a look at these).

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Quote:
Original post by crazyman_games
Money is no issue. I Have 3dS max payed for as well as photoshop CS3. Im just trying to figure out what the best tool for writing the engine in is.

To the tune of 7 figures? Wow, wish I was that wealthy.
Quote:
I'v done games before just never an MMO. I'v done something similar to WOW but it was single player. Now Its mostly going to end up that Im starting from scratch.

Can we see screenshots? It should be an impressive game!
Quote:
The GUI and the Networking look like there going to be the biggest problems.
Is there any Package that lets you construct the differnt MMO elements more easily.

GUI shouldn't be much of a problem, there are several libraries you could use for this, take a look at CEGUI. Networking is of course the hardest part of the code for an MMO, since you are basically trying to run a real-time distributed super computer [grin]
There are a couple of libraries intended to help with this, I believe most of them are mentioned above.

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Quote:
Original post by crazyman_games
Im just trying to figure out what the best tool for writing the engine in is.

Depends on what language you plan to program your MMO in. Very generally speaking, this could be Eclipse or NetBeans or IntelliJ IDEA for Java, Visual Studio for C++.

Quote:

Is there any Package that lets you construct the differnt MMO elements more easily.

There are no drag'n'drop solutions for MMO development, at least none that I am aware of. Multiverse is probably the closest to what you are asking for, and hasn't been mentioned here yet. pinacolada mentioned Darkstar, and it could be a viable solution in the future - however, it's far from a general solution, as it tries to solve only a very specific subset of MMO problems.

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Greetings crazyman_games.

It might seem people are being harsh towards your question. In reality they are trying to warn, protect and save you from a hopeless quest. As it was carefully pointed out,
Quote:
Original post by swiftcoder
An MMO is by far the hardest type of game to build


Not to discourage you, because anything is possible. Only ask yourself if you have what it takes, or do you need a little more time, studying and other essential elements needed to accomplish your goal.

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