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Orechalcos

So...How do I begin on my journey to create an MMO?

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I'm young - still in my first few years of high school - and made my first computer game when I was 5 or 6 I believe, a pathetic little maze game that I created using the program Game Maker. Anyway, ever since then, after I gave up on Game Maker, as it was tricky to make games that were good with it and I wanted an easy route (I was ignorant, and didn't know how hard it was to make good games), I had searched for a way to make games. I looked for programs like Game Maker that let me do more things - I found Scratch, but that was just pathetic - then, at the age of 11 I started looking into Java. The Gower brothers became my heroes, for they showed me that with determination you could build a small, pathetic game and build it into a Massively Multiplayer Online Game. I looked for books and web resources on Java, but most books were written for adults, and most web sites were outdated. Then I found the book Programming Video Games for the Evil Genius. I am learning from it, I have built a racing game, though there is a problem with the compiling. Anyway, that isn't my point. My point is, I want to learn at least some of the things I need to have for an MMO by the time I reach university, but I don't know what I need to learn. Also, my life goal is create an MMO like WoW or EverQuest, not like RuneScape. I am learning Java because I want to keep my options open in the future, and I also wish to work for Jagex for a few years, maybe working on my MMO with some friends I make there in my free time, before working on the game full-time. Well, that's my question. What do I need to learn to make an MMO? Some resources on learning the subjects would help to. Thanks. EDIT: Oh, also, it would be useful to know how each thing fits into the everlasting system of the MMO.

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From a programmers view a MMO isn't anything special, the only really special about MMOs is the network part, which has to be more scaleable than a standard MP game.

The real challange of a MMO is its size (i.e. WOW: take a few years(3-5), 50-100 people, $ XX mio cash, a few 1000 computers and you are happy :) ).

So, the best advice sofar is, just start with a simple MP game(max 10 players), after that start to extend it to more players (100-200 players, which could be the base of a zone based MMO). The most experiences will be gained from a finished game even if it is a small one, not a 1000-players-network-techdemo :)


--
Ashaman

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I have friends that are willing to work with me when we graduate, well, one, actually, but as I said, Andrew and Paul Gower did it, albeit with a small, graphics-impaired game. Also, by the time I get a job, technology may well have advanced far into the future. When I think about it, that worries me. By the time I wish to create my game, game development may have advanced, and I might of been left behind.

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Or wrote:
>What do I need to learn to make an MMO?

Assuming you mean to do the programming yourself, you should get a Computer Science degree, and make mods in your spare time.

>By the time I wish to create my game, game development may have advanced, and I might of been left behind.

Hogwash.

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My $.02(or $2.00) I don't know....

MMO are a lot harder to make than regular games or games that have a multi-player option. You should pull out a few minor games building your knowledge. And while you are doing that you can put together a design document of what will make up your MMO. As in if it will be 2D or 3D, if 2D will it be tile or isometric, if 3D what model and textures will it use/need. What Sound effects and background music will need to be made. So on.....

You would need to also make it upgrade friendly so adding new stuff like items or quest or other things not source code related would require little work and require little tapering with the source. How will you handle distribution of the resources and how will it keep track of everything in the world.

While to are making other games and mods and such, put together a plan that will show where the project should be at every stage of development. Maybe even a timeline to when something should be done and ready for testing.

Check out the book section on gamedev for books you might need or/and ask around. First after you picked out what type of MMO type you want it to me(2D,3D) decide what main API it will use. SDL,OpenGL,DirectX, ext. Also try checkign out some of the journals on the site for some hints and tips on what you might be looking for.

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Quote:
Original post by Daaark
Quote:
Original post by Orechalcos
bump
RealmCrafter.com?


What? RealmCrafter is pathetic. But that might just be because i got the demo.

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On what grounds do you judge it "pathetic?"

As with any creation-assist utility suite (such as Game Maker, et al) or engine/framework there will be limitations in the system simply because designing such a system involves making choices about the implementation, which in turn dictates what restrictions the system must impose on the end-user for the sake of practicality.

RealmCrafter may certainly have limits. But whatever system you created would be equally as limited, all other things being equal. The difference is that you may not notice the limitations since they are limitations you didn't consider to be that problematic. Still, it's a bit presumptuous to generalize the entire thing as "pathetic." Those sorts of toolsets can be extremely useful to a lot of people.

It's also worth noting that "all other things" won't be equal here, and it's unlikely that you will be in a position to develop a technology base equivalent to RealmCrafter's for a long while. As Tom and others have said, what you need to do -- assuming you want to program the thing -- is get a good CS education and work on smaller programming projects and games. The fundamental issue issues behind MMOs are common computer science problems and are solvable by somebody or small team of developers who have a reasonable chunk of experience and a solid background in concurrency, networking, et cetera. Don't jump right into it, but as soon as you feel comfortable building single-player graphical games with your programming language of choice, start looking into multiplayer and networking, because you will want to understand those in detail.

The other half of the equation is the scale of the product, which requires a detailed understanding of the aforementioned domains because you need to build a system that can scale really well -- also, lots of money and/or time is required to pay for the servers to host a massive amount of traffic and to create the massive amount of content. However these are actually lesser concerns since it is extremely unlikely that a hobbyist "MMO" project will attract the requisite number of actual players to warrant a truly massive content or server cluster base. That will take years, if it happens at all.

As far as "everything fits together" in an MMO, there is no one answer to this question: it is a far too open and general in any case. All the successful MMOs out there right now do things in slightly different ways, tailored to their specific needs and scope.

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It is wildly impractical for us to detail every little thing you need to learn in order to build an MMO on your own (and that's assuming you have the perseverance to keep at it for years on end or the ability to get others to help, train them, and keep the project coherent). It's like telling someone how to design and assemble a car when they've no idea how a car works.


Anyways, some tidbits:

1. Stop with the game centric learning resources. Learn to program first, then application design, then some of the game specific bits.

2. Make a chat program. It's relatively easy enough to do, but difficult enough to require research and work. And that sort of thing is required for an MMO, but able to stand on its own.

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