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MMO programming/middleware resources

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Hello, for our next game I want to make an indie-style MMO, and I've spent some time scouring the interwebs for information about programming a modern MMO but have been having trouble finding any large stores of information that's been created in the last ten years. Can anyone recommend good books/articles/blogs on the topic?

The kind of questions I want to answer:
- What technology options are out there for creating a server/client architecture? Scaling/virtualized servers, cloud computing, etc.
- What programming techniques are used to create networking architectures of potentially thousands of players? What algorithms and libraries are used for this kind of thing?
- What middleware is out there for MMO development?

Thanks in advance, and I'll continue searching and post anything interesting I find here.

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- What technology options are out there for creating a server/client architecture? Scaling/virtualized servers, cloud computing, etc.

First you ask options of server/client architecture, then you ask about virtualized servers and cloud computing, these two subjects are vastly different and does not relate to each other.
Try go to scholar.google.com and search for server client architecture, you will likely end up with thousands of articles on the subject.
About scaling/virtualized servers, cloud computing, many people are using amazon which is probably good enough unless you are making an FPS or something else that requires fast response times. However, during the development of your game, you could also get a small VPS or two at any web hosting company, it might be cheaper.


- What programming techniques are used to create networking architectures of potentially thousands of players? What algorithms and libraries are used for this kind of thing?
[/quote]
That is heavily dependent on your game, I am making an MMORPG myself, so I use asynchronous binary messing protocol I implemented myself on TCP. If I would make an FPS, I would probably do all sort of jinxy stuff with UDP etc.


- What middleware is out there for MMO development?
[/quote]
The only middleware I think is good (I have never tried any of these solutions) are Hero Engine, their solution take care of pretty much everything I believe. You just get a tool to design your game and let them worry about servers, networking protocols and all that.

If your goal is to learn about client/server architecture, networking algorithms, virtualization and all that, I recommend you start reading articles found on scholar.google.com, and also start trying to find different kinds of middleware on the web for comparison. But I can promise you that you will likely choose the wrong things, having to re-write your software, but and the end you will become a domain expert :)

If your goal is just to create the game, I would heavily recommend Hero Engine or similar service so that you can spend your precious time on the game, instead of protocols, servers, architecture etc.

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