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CaseyHardman

How hard is it to make an MOFPS with instanced rooms?

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CaseyHardman    2765
Hey,

(cough) I'm back to the beginners forum for this thread...


I know MMOs are very money/time consuming and hard to make, but I've been wondering for a while how much easier (or harder?) it is to program instanced 'rooms' in FPS games.
For example, take Genesis A.D, Soldier Front, A.V.A, Wolfteam, pretty much every PvP MOFPS out there. You join a 'room' that a player created and it can hold up to 12-16 or so players (depending on which of those games you're playing) and they all play in one map FPS style.

Certainly this kind of multiplayer game would be much easier to program than the multiplayer aspect of an MMORPG or similar, right? But, then again, if you still have many players, even if they're in different 'rooms', there would still be server maintenance to worry about (...right?)

Basically, the question is "Is it equally as blasphemous and impossibly hard for indie teams to make room-based multiplayer games as it is to make MMORPGs?"

Thanks!

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ravengangrel    406
[quote name='GHMP' timestamp='1303023243' post='4799396']
Basically, the question is "Is it equally as blasphemous and impossibly hard for indie teams to make room-based multiplayer games as it is to make MMORPGs?"
[/quote]

[url="http://tremulous.net/"]I don't think so[/url].

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crosstantine    102
I'm just a beginner but I also have been thinking about this for a while, and the easier and better way to achieve this will be to redirect the group to a virtual server (VM Ware or something like that) that will avoid any sharing of resources and will get the group isolated, you can have as many VMs as you can hold in your machine, and VMWare server does this very well... ok that's if you have the money and you will get some from your players, every server will have an IP and you will get all the players happy.

The second way that comes to my mind it's to create a fork (that will be a separate process in your machine) and giving it a new port address to receive the new calls, that will be very easy to create, but you could have some problems if one instances blocks or get too many resources, the other one will reflect the problems in the first (due to the shared resources).

I think this problem is not as hard as others, but I'm a newbie on game development, so maybe I'm wrong and this is a big problem to solve.

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MeshGearFox    158
[quote]Basically, the question is "Is it equally as blasphemous and impossibly hard for indie teams to make room-based multiplayer games as it is to make MMORPGs?" [/quote]

The difficulty/cost isn't the reason you shouldn't make an MMO. The reason you shouldn't make an MMO is because the world seriously already has WAY more than it needs and if you make one you're going to be slowly killing gaming as a medium.

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SimonForsman    7642
[quote name='GHMP' timestamp='1303023243' post='4799396']
Hey,

(cough) I'm back to the beginners forum for this thread...


I know MMOs are very money/time consuming and hard to make, but I've been wondering for a while how much easier (or harder?) it is to program instanced 'rooms' in FPS games.
For example, take Genesis A.D, Soldier Front, A.V.A, Wolfteam, pretty much every PvP MOFPS out there. You join a 'room' that a player created and it can hold up to 12-16 or so players (depending on which of those games you're playing) and they all play in one map FPS style.

Certainly this kind of multiplayer game would be much easier to program than the multiplayer aspect of an MMORPG or similar, right? But, then again, if you still have many players, even if they're in different 'rooms', there would still be server maintenance to worry about (...right?)

Basically, the question is "Is it equally as blasphemous and impossibly hard for indie teams to make room-based multiplayer games as it is to make MMORPGs?"

Thanks!
[/quote]

Room based multiplayer games are far easier as you're effectivly cutting away the first M from MMO, the servers will be far easier to handle as you can effectivly launch one instance of the server software for each room that is running, load balancing can be as simple as starting new rooms on the least busy machine.

I'd recommend doing like games such as Battlefield 2 did it however, allow players to host their own servers and only use stat tracking, achievements, persistant character progression etc on trusted servers (These can still be hosted by third parties, just not joe random)

You'd lose the ability to have integrated leagues like for example starcraft has though but your own hosting costs would drop dramatically as you only really need to host a master server that the other servers report to.

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yewbie    677
[quote name='GHMP' timestamp='1303023243' post='4799396']
but I've been wondering for a while how much easier (or harder?) it is to program instanced 'rooms' in FPS games.
Thanks!
[/quote]

From the content editors I have used in the past most 3d engines don't support this at all.
Some of these newer FPS engines or a home brew one's could possibly.

There are still a lot of engines that do terrain lighting etc when you "compile" the map, BSP, etc.

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way2lazy2care    790
[quote name='MeshGearFox' timestamp='1303097461' post='4799735']
The difficulty/cost isn't the reason you shouldn't make an MMO. The reason you shouldn't make an MMO is because the world seriously already has WAY more than it needs and if you make one you're going to be slowly killing gaming as a medium.
[/quote]

I'd say this is the symptom of the actual cause of why you shouldn't make an mmo; that being that you will underestimate the amount of time and resources needed to create a decent one.

You think, "man, WoW does a lot right, but it does this one thing wrong. I'll just make a game that does the same but fixes that one thing and then all we have to do is generate all the content... blah blah," and what you don't realize is that there are literally decades worth of content design in something like WoW. That's before the centuries of content implementation. Eventually this makes you have to cut things or stick in filler and you end up with a crappy mmo like all the others that are over saturating the market right now.

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PropheticEdge    150
[quote name='MeshGearFox' timestamp='1303097461' post='4799735']
[quote]Basically, the question is "Is it equally as blasphemous and impossibly hard for indie teams to make room-based multiplayer games as it is to make MMORPGs?" [/quote]

The difficulty/cost isn't the reason you shouldn't make an MMO. The reason you shouldn't make an MMO is because the world seriously already has WAY more than it needs and if you make one you're going to be slowly killing gaming as a medium.


[/quote]

No, I don't think so. Really it's a genre with stagnant innovation, and I feel it's quite similar to blockbuster Hollywood movies. Game companies know that a solid MMO will sell (or they THINK it does since they want a slice of that sweet, sweet WoW pie), so they craft a solid time-progression model MMO from the tried and true formula started way back with EQ. Since MMO's are a hefty expenditure, they tend not to take many risks with them but rather try to sell games based on polish and scale of content.

Truth be told, MMO's are one of the least explored genres in games. You CAN make an indie MMO, but you cannot make a traditional indie MMO ala WoW. Look at Minecraft. You can setup persistent Minecraft servers. Sure, they don't house a tremendous number of people, but imagine if they could. Imagine if you could make a Minecraft server that housed 256 people, or 512, or 1024. At that point, it would certainly be an MMO, but would be completely different from WoW. Also, there was an indie MMO I really liked called A Tale in the Desert that was superb, but not well known. Most indie MMO's I've seen that are good use user generated content and emergent gameplay systems rather than static content to generate depth and complexity.

Anyway, back to the OP.

Yeah, I think what you're proposing is reasonable. Certainly more reasonable than trying to make a true MMOFPS (from what I understand, there are a lot of technical challenges there that make it a tough nut for anyone to crack). There is a difference in technical requirement and scale between having 100 instances of a map with 10 players per map compared to 1000 players in 1 map.

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Hardcharger    151
Unless you want to incur server costs, I'd go with letting players host their own instances and use your server as a matchmaking server (not 100% sure on this).

If you absolutely NEED to host your own servers (see Simon's post regarding leagues, ratings, achievements, [anything you dont want the player tampering with]), you can either host ALL servers, or only host servers for league/rated play and let players host servers for unranked/casual play.

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way2lazy2care    790
[quote name='Hardcharger' timestamp='1303152589' post='4800013']
Unless you want to incur server costs, I'd go with letting players host their own instances and use your server as a matchmaking server (not 100% sure on this).

If you absolutely NEED to host your own servers (see Simon's post regarding leagues, ratings, achievements, [anything you dont want the player tampering with]), you can either host ALL servers, or only host servers for league/rated play and let players host servers for unranked/casual play.
[/quote]

An interesting game that did something like this was chromehounds. It had player hosted games that affected a kind of mmo world. You could have battles in different areas and based on the players' factions and the results of all the battles in an area the area could be won or lost; each battle being one of the player hosted games.

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