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i'll try to keep this short and to the point i'm thinking of making a game that's maybe like command and conquer. it'll be medieval-like. and depending on the game, there will be several factions who have their own dominant race, or there will be players who create their own castle. my question is, tho, should i make it single-player with a story-line (with all the factions), an MMORPG (like single-player but with more ppl of course), or a Stronghold Crusader type game where u create your own castle from races and connect thru a host's IP to play together, but still be able to do single-player to build stats for troups. i'm iffy on the Crusader type game, but the single-player and especially the MMORPG (i'll like playing with others) sound like great ideas to me. things look big in my mind, i just need oppinion to know what the majority of ppl would want. thanks for taking time to read this, and i hope for any comments/suggestions on this idea.

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For now I think you should just skip the MMO idea unless you're not very serious, and if you aren't, then you might not want to expect too much help.

But, ultimately what you're doing is creating either a single-player game or a single-player game with some sort of LAN/multiplayer option. Either way, it's up to you what you want the focus to be on. Is it the kind of game you're supposed to play with other people, or is it centered around a story? Alternatively, you could have it similar to a Warcraft game, where the single-player game follows a story, whereas playing the game with other people is basically building the strongest army and defeating your opponent - of course, with smoe innovation and original/refreshing implements.

I would actually recommend you to have the game like a strategy game based on a story, with perhaps some sort of hero to control the army. You could create a multiplayer save file where you and a few others follow either the same storyline or a different storyline. Of course, to keep consistensy, you would be forced to play with the same players in that save file... you could probably work around it, I'm just throwing out some random ideas.

But generally, I think that combining a strategy game with adventure elements could be fun, if you do it right. There's so much you can do with a strategy game, and it all boils down to what kind of game you want it to be, and you're not entirely clear in your post on that point.

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well,i had an idea of making the battle system like Dynasty Warriors, and that would playout fine if i do a lan connection co-op game, wouldn't it? or maybe even if i did an MMO but u go around as only ur character and ur group is whoever is in ur party, not like an army, but a party like FFXI? of course, better battle system than FFXI.

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Well, you seem rather uncertain about what you really want? You're kind of wobbling around, unsure if you want an MMO or not, if it's going to be an RTS, an RPG or an action game... I'll try to make it easy for you.

What you could do is create a game (not CREATE a game) but more like... starting a game, which other players could join, perhaps. Seen from a single-player perspective, you could just start the game by first building up a base, expanding it to a castle with perhaps a fortress, a city or such that will let economy flourish, allowing you to fund whatever army or small group of soldiers you're leading, and stuff like that. So what you could have is a single-player normal Adventure game, with events where you have to prepare for a large, full-scale war.

In a multiplayer game, I suppose you could just skip the entire "build your own stuff" thing and just team up with other players in a "created game" (like Diablo II, for instance) where you can adventure together, or one can like, infiltrate the enemy while the other party member works around the government of the home nation, and the rest might be gathering information and equipment and making sure you have enough money to fund whatever expedition/adventure/war you're later going to carry out.

Sorry... I'm just... shooting off ideas and that's probably not what you want. But essentially, you have to first decide what you want the game to be like. And having a battle system that's superior to FFXI's is a very good idea, as I despise the whole auto-attack, untrue interactive battle system that you find in most MMO's.

Look at Hellgate: London. I think it's more fun to play that game than FFXI or WoW. However, I'm not very fond of the whole questing system of MMO's...

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Original post by PokeDestiny
i'm iffy on the Crusader type game, but the single-player and especially the MMORPG (i'll like playing with others) sound like great ideas to me. things look big in my mind, i just need oppinion to know what the majority of ppl would want.

What is it with the MMORPG genre? It's like a true zombie plague. And only gamers are susceptible to infection.

MMORPGs are crap. Or at least I think so. And there are enough medieval MMORPGs on the market right now to drive anyone to hate them. I would sway back toward your dreams of real time strategy.

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Kest, you should try to explain why MMORPG's, as you put it, suck.

I could put my two cents on why MMORPG's tend to be less than viable good games. First of all, their "addictive" factor isn't solely due to fun gameplay. It may seem addictive because you get quests - lots of them - that take time to complete, and if you leave them alone for too long, you won't know what the hell you were actually supposed to do in the first place (yes you can re-read the objective but yo still need some refreshment). Most quests are also fetch-and-receive type of quests, others are plain "kill, collect and deliver". Therefore, it just consumes lots of time.

And these days, you only play with others if you're endgame. Millions of people are playing games like WOW, so there must be some certain appeal to it, but as both a veteran gamer and an aspiring game designer, I think MMO's tend to be shallow and bland.

I would very much so suggest you go the RTS direction. It's a genre I feel isn't all too much fun but it's a different gamestyle and many people like it and I can understand why and I don't judge them for it; it's a matter of opinion :) But even I used to play some Warcraft 3 and Red Alert in my younger days. RTS has so much potential, and I think you should try to play around with the genre because you could come up with pretty interesting stuff, if you know what you want to do with your game.

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As of two days ago, you couldn't get Hello World to compile. Focus on something very simple. This precludes MMOGs entirely. I would suggest taking one of the things that you mentioned - making a castle, for example - and building that component as a single-player sandbox. Then add elements of scoring, resources, troops, what have you.

Once you're sure that part of it works, add network browsing of high scores. Then try your hand at adding the ability to connect two people together. See where it goes.

What I'm saying is, break off small tasks and do them first. Even the best game makers in the world had to start with simpler stuff.

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As of two days ago, you couldn't get Hello World to compile.


first of all, my dislexia was the problem, and i have my gf to thank for that. second, my real idea for this game is to actually be able to do whatever u want, really, whether it's to be good or be evil. that's if it's MMO.

i don't really like single-player games too much anymore because i've been playing them all my life (i'm an only child and have hardly any friends in real life) but i still like RPG games, and an RPG u can play with others i think is the best.

and truthfully, this game doesn't have to be medieval, i had thought about creating a space pirate game too, or some kind of fantasy game that would put FFXI and WoW to shame. not saying my idea will, but i would certainly love to try. and about maybe being like Stronghold or Warcraft, i just suggested something to get a reaction, but i still like the idea of a battle system like Dynasty Warriors, or even KH-ish.

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Most of us would love to create games that would put the aforementioned games to shame, but it's easier said than done. If you create a space game, you know plenty will tell you that you can't compare these two games with your space game.

Also, your game might take a completely different direction depending on what you choose to make. What genre for the game, and what setting and mood you want for the game. What you're sometimes forgetting is that MMO's do not necessarily equal having fun playing with others. In such a case, a simple Online game would be bettr, where you are between 4-8 per created game, so to speak. Because 99% of MMO players don't really care about the other people around them.

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Original post by PokeDestiny
first of all, my dislexia was the problem

Your problem was that you were trying to compile with the wrong compile target, and there was a linker error message that told you the basic thing you needed to know in order to figure that out. If you're the lead programmer for an MMO, that is an issue that you have long ago and far away learned to deal with. What I'm saying is, hone your skills first. Find much smaller targets that are interesting enough to work on. The game you're talking about writing is well beyond your current capabilities, so develop your capabilities until that statement is no longer true.

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my real idea for this game is to actually be able to do whatever u want, really, whether it's to be good or be evil

You have to be able to do something before you can do anything. So, write the ability to do something. That's how software development works. You write something, then something else, then look at the common things between them and decide that there's a better way to support both things.

I'm not trying to tell you not to try to attain your goals, but I am trying to differentiate between the goals you've enumerated - WoW-killing sandbox title with an MMO universe - and the ones that lie on the path to that - implementing a working version of, say, checkers.

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Original post by Metallon
Kest, you should try to explain why MMORPG's, as you put it, suck.

Because the RPG video game genre will never be fun with massive amounts of human players. Human players are annoying. They jump in line for extraordinary events, hog glory, and generally rip the life out of everything that makes a role playing game fun. The very concept of an on-going world that needs to continue to please brand new players destroys a large part of what makes RPG gaming fun: The ability to dramatically change things.

Once you strip away the parts of an RPG that cause problems in an MMORPG, there's nothing left for me to enjoy.

Just for clarity, I'm referring to role playing as in the RPG video game genre, which is not equal to simply playing a role. I can have a lot of fun playing the role of a grunt soldier in a FPS MMO.

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Original post by Kest
Because the RPG video game genre will never be fun with massive amounts of human players. Human players are annoying. They jump in line for extraordinary events, hog glory, and generally rip the life out of everything that makes a role playing game fun. The very concept of an on-going world that needs to continue to please brand new players destroys a large part of what makes RPG gaming fun: The ability to dramatically change things.


Just a question, have you played an MMORPG? In particular, have you played one at the raiding level?

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Original post by liquiddark
Just a question, have you played an MMORPG? In particular, have you played one at the raiding level?

Yes. But I'm not sure of what you mean by raiding level. Are you referring to raiding dungeons, Diablo style?

Exactly which MMORPG do you think rises above crap status? I have yet to see one. Let me guess: you're working on one? The only gamers I've ever seen that don't hate MMORPGs are the drones trying to build one.

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Raiding is when you're around endgame levels, and go into these dungeons with over 20 people along and take on really hard bosses.

Which is not at all what an RPG game should be like, and what MMORPG's have essentially become is a type of game where you don't have time/need to interact with other characters. Thing is, MMORPG's has many grave flaws in the realistic terms, when it should try to be most realistic considering it's supposed to represent a world to live in.

Let's not switch topics now ^^

I agree with liquiddark. Don't attempt an MMO now. Create a working, well-designed single-player first that's good.

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Original post by Kest
Yes. But I'm not sure of what you mean by raiding level. Are you referring to raiding dungeons, Diablo style?

I'm talking about the large-group (10+ people) high-coordination content that congregates at the top of the content chain. In World of Warcraft, for example, this is defined by Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Ahn Qiraj, Zul'gurub, Naxxramas in the pre-expansion game, and then Karazhan, Gruul's Lair, Magtheridon's Lair, Zul'Aman, Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep: The Eye, Caverns of Time: Battle of Hyjal, and Black Temple.

At that level of play, there's a whole different ethic about stuff. It becomes very much a metagame, and you end up working with everyone else in your social unit to achieve progression. Raiding is the only thing you worry about most of the time; the rest of the content becomes either stress relief or a means to some other end. Social structure becomes critical, with people rising and falling in status much the way they would in a profession in the real world. This is what people mean by it becoming a job to play at the high levels. What most people forget to say about that is, if you don't over-indulge (which can be quite difficult, given the basic addictive nature of the game and the sense of obligation to the unit), and if you find a group of people you actually like, it's a lot of fun, like playing rec league sports several nights a week.

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Exactly which MMORPG do you think rises above crap status?

Given the right group of people, every MMORPG on the market is a blast to play. The reason I asked in the first place is that your criticism focuses on the game rather than the (much more important, in my experience) social aspects. MMO gamers are literally impossible to please in any meaningful way, because there are so many of them and they lose their minds over the dumbest stuff. But if you're playing with a group of friends - even in-game friends - that tends not to matter, because you're having fun playing and joking and generally doing the things people do in social gatherings.

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Let me guess: you're working on one?

Nope. As with anyone who's played a particular type game (or read a book, or seen a movie), I have some idea about what would suit me better. But for the moment, I'm content to let other people worry about that particular set of problems, and build my physics sandbox.

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Original post by liquiddark
Given the right group of people, every MMORPG on the market is a blast to play.


Given the right group of people, every multiplayer game on the market is a blast to play.

You don't need to pay for a WoW subscription and log countless hours of grinding time to enjoy that social experience; you can play *any* multiplayer game that has an online community, and/or that your friends can play too. To cite this as a specific feature of massively multiplayer games seems a bit much. Particularly since the 'massive' part invariably comes with so much baggage that actually detracts from the experience.

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Original post by Sandman
You don't need to pay for a WoW subscription and log countless hours of grinding time to enjoy that social experience; you can play *any* multiplayer game that has an online community, and/or that your friends can play too. To cite this as a specific feature of massively multiplayer games seems a bit much. Particularly since the 'massive' part invariably comes with so much baggage that actually detracts from the experience.


I'm going to ask you the same question I asked Kest. Have you played an MMORPG, specifically at the raiding level, and specifically for an extended period of time?

It isn't like playing another type of game in a multiplayer setting. The persistence of experience, gear, and personal relationships is much different. The social aspects of the game are key. You make friends playing these games as an automatic part of playing them up into the higher echelons. You don't have to go to a convention or competition, you don't have to do anything but play the game the way it is meant to be played. That's the difference. The social experience is part of the game in a way that is not true of any other type of game.

That's not to say there are no other social games out there, of course. There are party games, sports games, coop games, what have you. But the social experience of those games isn't the same at all. The difference with an MMOG is that you're not going to enjoy the game until you engage with it in a social way.

What exactly do you refer to as the "baggage" of a massive game?

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Original post by liquiddark
I'm going to ask you the same question I asked Kest. Have you played an MMORPG, specifically at the raiding level, and specifically for an extended period of time?


No, and nor do I intend to. I find the early gameplay insufficiently entertaining when compared to similar single player or small-scale multiplayer games (with friends and small communities) to have ever progressed that far in a MMORPG. And furthermore, if I have to sit through (and pay for) countless hours of that crap before the gameplay 'gets good' then that is one big strike against the design model in itself.

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You don't have to go to a convention or competition, you don't have to do anything but play the game the way it is meant to be played. That's the difference. The social experience is part of the game in a way that is not true of any other type of game.


I'm still struggling to understand what's so different about the social experience with late game MMORPGs vs. any other multiplayer game.

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What exactly do you refer to as the "baggage" of a massive game?


The baggage is of course, the massive number of players. First of all, there are the players who make the experience less enjoyable in various ways, whether by griefing or cheating/exploiting or just by generally being obnoxious internet idiots. Then of course, you have the problem that people are looking to enjoy the game in different ways - and those different playstyles can interfere with each other even with the best of intentions.

With smaller communities, those communities can be tailored to a specific playstyle rather than having to try and be all things to all people (and failing).

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Original post by Sandman
I find the early gameplay insufficiently entertaining when compared to similar single player or small-scale multiplayer games (with friends and small communities) to have ever progressed that far in a MMORPG. And furthermore, if I have to sit through (and pay for) countless hours of that crap before the gameplay 'gets good' then that is one big strike against the design model in itself.

I guess it depends on what you want in your games. If you're not playing the early levels of an MMO with friends, you will certainly not enjoy them nearly as much. Having said that, the early levels of these games involve rapid acquisition of new abilities and the learning of game mechanics. You constantly test your character's limits and learn the ins and outs; if you don't like the playstyle of your current character, there are usually many other choices to try out.

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I'm still struggling to understand what's so different about the social experience with late game MMORPGs vs. any other multiplayer game.

The social experience is part of how you play the game, by design. This would be similar to party games, if party games supported a much richer means of interaction with people you've never met before. You can solo for a while, but after a while, you want to see the social side of it. It just works that way.

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The baggage is of course, the massive number of players.

This pretty much precludes you from the set of people who can enjoy an MMO. Massive numbers of players mean inherent socialization, and if you don't want that, then yes, the MMO scene is never going to be your bag.

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First of all, there are the players who make the experience less enjoyable in various ways, whether by griefing or cheating/exploiting or just by generally being obnoxious internet idiots.

This is no different from any other online game - to wit, counterstrike, Starcraft, hell, even certain online chess and poker systems.

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Then of course, you have the problem that people are looking to enjoy the game in different ways - and those different playstyles can interfere with each other even with the best of intentions.

They can. But in practice they don't. In actual fact, the different playstyles is what ends up making the game a rich experience, because you have fun people and hardcore people, and everyone in between, and the hardcore form the core group of "progression, 5-nights-a-week" people and the fun people form the core of the "hey! let's do an instance {group of people I like}!", and everyone else can kind of bring their own particular values and goals to the fore.

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With smaller communities, those communities can be tailored to a specific playstyle rather than having to try and be all things to all people (and failing).

In a massive game, those communities form naturally from the larger pool of players. When you want to shift your playstyle, moreover, you can do so without losing contact with all your friends in the process - as opposed, to, say, moving from casual to competition play in one of the mainstream competitive multiplayer games.

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The baggage is of course, the massive number of players.

This pretty much precludes you from the set of people who can enjoy an MMO. Massive numbers of players mean inherent socialization, and if you don't want that, then yes, the MMO scene is never going to be your bag.

Come on, you have to be kidding. I've never witnessed a massive group of normal human beings coming together where 70% of them weren't annoying morons. I hate to put it that way, but it's always true. Most likely because the majority are 10-13 year old kids. I don't consider kids to be true morons in real life, but it's difficult to be tolerable in a simulation where age is always unknown. In many ways, MMORPGs are like a science experiment to see what would happen if kids ruled the world. The answer is lord of the flies.

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First of all, there are the players who make the experience less enjoyable in various ways, whether by griefing or cheating/exploiting or just by generally being obnoxious internet idiots.

This is no different from any other online game - to wit, counterstrike, Starcraft, hell, even certain online chess and poker systems.

The rules of those games are often much more clear. There are no obvious rules in an MMORPG. Only the abstract rules put in place to govern the idiots and stop them from hurting each other when they're not supposed to. Sometimes those rules aren't even there.

MMORPGs = goof off worlds.

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Original post by Kest
Come on, you have to be kidding. I've never witnessed a massive group of normal human beings coming together where 70% of them weren't annoying morons.

You've never tapped into the vast majority of the players, then. Like the job market, the enjoyable people don't advertise very often, because they already have people they know to be non-idiots. So you have to get lucky. Happily, if you play for a while, you find non-idiots. Alternatively, if you self-educate, you can find the guilds (or whatever) on your server (or whatever) who seem sane, and apply to their ranks.

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The rules of those games are often much more clear. There are no obvious rules in an MMORPG. Only the abstract rules put in place to govern the idiots and stop them from hurting each other when they're not supposed to. Sometimes those rules aren't even there.

Having said that, the reduction in fun from rules violators in an MMO is tiny compared to the reduction in fun from those in other games, and there are, at a certain point, far more of them in non-massive games than in massive games.

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If there is one thing you're not seeing clearly, liquiddark, it is the fact that you're directing most of the fun to endgame. My friends, who love WoW, for instance, they agree completely that the first 20 levels are very, very dull. One of them goes as far as claiming that the game/fun doesn't truly start until you hit Level 40. That's past 50% into the game, in terms of reaching final levels. Level 20 accounts for around 28%.

Raiding is probably really fun. But, the road to get there isn't. WoW is a game that seems like a game that becomes increasingly fun. Its problem is that it doesn't start as very fun. It doesn't even begin "so-so" fun. Its beginning is very, very dull. This is wrong for a game. This is true for FFXI, another MMORPG I play and know of.

I don't know how to create great MMORPG's. I don't know the appeal of an MMORPG. But I do know that in many ways, the game fails because no matter how important the social part of the game is, it's still a game, and it should be fun playing. Sure, you can have fun with friends while playing through that boring part but the problem is still there; the part is boring! It should not be boring, it should be fun! How is spending hours upon hours during the beginning of the game doing nothing but kill things to collect and give their loot for rewards, or deliver stuff to people? I can't really see the fun in that. I don't pay X amount of $ to escape a life of seemingly repetitive work in order to enter a game where the work is also repetitive and dull. I pay to get sucked into a world that is way much more fun than real-life, even if real life will always offer billions of things that games can't offer.

To put it shortly, all MMO's I know of are designed to simply improve and improve and level and level until you reach that final level where you can stop levelling and start focusing entirely on the good parts of the game: raiding, intances, and collecting the items you want.

Each to his own, I suppose, but I haven't seen a hint of any argument that speaks for MMO's PRIOR to all that raiding endgame stuff.

By the way, I think we're straying a bit too far off-topic now....

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Original post by Metallon
If there is one thing you're not seeing clearly, liquiddark, it is the fact that you're directing most of the fun to endgame. My friends, who love WoW, for instance, they agree completely that the first 20 levels are very, very dull.


Yes. AFTER the first time you've done them, ASSUMING you don't enjoy your new class all that much, the game isn't fun until later on.

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One of them goes as far as claiming that the game/fun doesn't truly start until you hit Level 40. That's past 50% into the game, in terms of reaching final levels. Level 20 accounts for around 28%.

Level 20 accounted, the first time I played through, for about 5-8 hours of play. Level 60, on my character, accounted for about 100 DAYS. Level 61-70 accounted for another 50, maybe.

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Raiding is probably really fun. But, the road to get there isn't. WoW is a game that seems like a game that becomes increasingly fun.
Its problem is that it doesn't start as very fun. It doesn't even begin "so-so" fun. Its beginning is very, very dull.

Not really. The problem with the beginning is having to do it twice. The first time you do it, it's amazing. The second time, it's terrible. But the second time is a very different thing, because you're just powering through trying to get the goodies and get to the endgame.


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But I do know that in many ways, the game fails because no matter how important the social part of the game is, it's still a game, and it should be fun playing.

Very few games are endlessly replayable. The sub-cap levels of an MMO go by pretty quick once you get the hang of them, but by that time, unfortunately, they have become old hat.


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How is spending hours upon hours during the beginning of the game doing nothing but kill things to collect and give their loot for rewards, or deliver stuff to people?

Quest design gets interesting pretty quickly - you have to find ways to manage multiple threats, or make some friends, pretty quick, and every once in a while they throw you a curveball. In WoW, about 4-10 hours into the game (depending on your playstyle), for example, they send you on a quest with a time limit for the first time. If you're from the wrong place, you have no real clue where to go, so you end up cutting it pretty close, and the intervening terrain is populated with significantly higher level monsters, so you have to find a way to avoid those and make your way to a new zone. The art, the music, and the monsters are all new the first time through, if you're lucky, and everything seems pretty fresh and bright and exciting.

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I can't really see the fun in that. I don't pay X amount of $ to escape a life of seemingly repetitive work in order to enter a game where the work is also repetitive and dull.

That's certainly one of the great problems with MMO design right now. But having deficits is not the same as being unplayable. City of Heroes is a terrible game, except when you treat it as a sandbox title and start enjoying your character, which, guess what, is the most heavily emphasized part of the game. World of Warcraft is mediocre unless you dig into the lore and the social aspects, but then, those are what the game is about. Everquest is pretty frustrating and boring if you're trying to solo or even if you're trying to progress at the endgame, but, guess what, it has the strongest group of hardcore players because of it.

Every MMO has its individual tweaks. Every MMO has a chorus of people bitching about how shitty their character is and how they're going to quit and how the devs are getting fat off the money.

Don't believe the hype, frankly. That's all I can say about it. Learning raid encounters with a group of 39 or 24 or 19 or 9 friends, half of whom I never met in real life, was one of the most enjoyable times of my life. I miss it dearly.

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To put it shortly, all MMO's I know of are designed to simply improve and improve and level and level until you reach that final level where you can stop levelling and start focusing entirely on the good parts of the game: raiding, intances, and collecting the items you want.

You never experienced the thrill of finding a group for the "rare" instances in WoW - Blackfathom Deep (18-25), Shadowfang Keep (25-30), Uldaman (35-45), Scholomance (52-60(ish)).

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By the way, I think we're straying a bit too far off-topic now....


at least someone other than me said it ... now i regret my question :P

edit: also, i happen to like FFXI. the best part of that game i ever experienced was taking on the Rank 5 boss with my linkshell (type of guild) because they were all my friends, and that is the best part of an MMO, making friends and playing with them

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PokeDestiny, I still believe your question was a viable one, and I hope you've gained something from our replies. In essence, you're strongly advised to create a game that isn't an MMORPG. In the future, you could make a spin-off of this game and have that game as a spin-off. That way you'll already have a fanbase that are willing to play the game and support you, and the gaming community in large will have a fairly okay idea of what your game is.

I wish you the best of luck!

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