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I (along with a few others) are looking to make an MMORPG game and we are currently hard pressed for some answers from some experienced developers.

I'm no noob, I can program proficiently in C++ and plan on writing the MMO server in C++ from scratch (Okay, well I'll probably be using RakNet to aid in the development, but what I'm saying is that I'm not looking for some ready-to-deploy solution). Currently, our team suffers the most in the area of artists (3D/2D/etc), which seems to be contrary to most.

We'll start out with mysql for our database and maybe move to oracle if needed. But this is more of a learning experience for my friends and myself. We don't really intend on making a profit. If we do actually produce something playable then we will likely put it online free of charge and accept donations. Unless we get large enough to the point where a single dedicated server isn't enough anymore and we can't fund it with our own pocket change.

Currently, we are undecided as to what engine we should use for the client-side. We aren't necessarily looking for an MMO engine, just a nice flexible game engine will suffice. We need something that is flexible enough for us to easily integrate it with our server-side stuff. We don't want to have to have to reinvent the wheel, however we don't mind getting our hands dirty. We've been looking into Unity which seems like it would work well. However, the features of Unity Pro are invaluable and we can't do much without them. Unfortunately, we can't afford to pay for an engine (Unless it's absurdly cheap like below $200). We may just go with Unity Free and try to cope with the free version and see what we can get done, it looks so flexible.

Any ideas? All help is appreciated :)

[Edited by - Dougbrowne on November 14, 2010 1:43:17 AM]

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If you want to make an MMO with a few friends and treat it as a learning experience, I'd recommended you just go the browser based route and make a modest game like Crellan. Sticking with whatever JS/PHP/MySQL can give you should save you costs on third party solutions, and the languages are high level enough to get something going fairly quickly.

If you want to go higher than a relatively small community and bare bones gameplay, then we need more information about what the game needs. But considering you are not seeking profit, keep it low-brow and grow from simple concepts.

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You should first get a good understanding of what the engine should be capable of and then decide whether you want to build it or buy it.

If it is just a learning exercise: determine what it is you want to learn.

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