Where to start… MMO to single player

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Hi there. I’m a veteran video gamer but an MMORPG fan since a few years back. Most recently I was hooked on Guild Wars 2, Marvel Heroes Omega and Naruto Online. But it turns out that GW2 came up with completely unnecessary mounts so I stopped playing. MHO was shut down without any solid explanation so I’m left with Naruto even though is not a real MMORPG.

The monetization of these kinds of games –pay-to-win systems, loot-boxes, and general micro-transactions- have had influenced me in the past to even mount premade Private Servers of games like Aion and Jade Dynasty. But nowadays these tendencies are on the rise so I really want a gaming experience free from it completely.  

I miss games more focused on player skills but I also like the MMO character growing style. Whit that in mind, I remember Guild Wars, the original, to be a really good gaming experience.

So my question is: Where to start to turn an MMORPG into a single player game?

-I’m not interested in any commercialization or nothing like sort.

-I’ve been able to mount premade private servers.

-I’ve modded quite a few games via tutorials and just experimenting.

Have some knowledge of HTML, PHP, XML, Javascript and LUA.

 

Thnx in advance, I appreciate any help/guidance :)

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1 hour ago, thesargento said:

Where to start to turn an MMORPG into a single player game?

Forgive the flippant response, but if you make an MMORPG single-player, aren't just left with an RPG?

There are literally hundreds of great single-player RPGs. If none of those are to your taste, you'll have to be a little more specific about what elements of the MMORPG genre you think aren't sufficiently represented in single-player RPGs.

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1 hour ago, thesargento said:

Hi there.

Hi, and welcome to the community. Good to see new people interested in making games.

Me being critical of your choice for making games:

Spoiler

 

1 hour ago, thesargento said:

MHO was shut down without any solid explanation

Not really without explanation. It's clear the game wasn't making enough money so it was shut down. This brings me to the next part.

1 hour ago, thesargento said:

But it turns out that GW2 came up with completely unnecessary mounts

Making a game just because you don't want to spend a few dollars to support the games you play, that is like saying that instead of spending $10-$100 on a game your going to spend $50 000 - $100 000 to make your own. Not to mention the huge amount of time your going to spend on the skills.:)

To be clear I am not saying you are doing the wrong thing, I am saying you need to find your real drive because your going to need it.

If you want to make a game because, you want to prove games don't need to be so greedy that is a good reason. Making a game because you didn't want to buy in game items, that doesn't make sense. Your going to waste a lot of money.

 

Now with that said if you haven't lost hope of making games:

1 hour ago, thesargento said:

Where to start to turn an MMORPG into a single player game?

Well the largest deference between MMO and single player is amount of players. So you should start by converting the MMO mechanics to single player ones. You can do this by removing them or maybe make them AI driven.

You don't need such a large game to entertain one person so you can cut a lot.

For example removing the social part but keeping the combat part as AI driven would be a easy start. Keeping the social part is hard with only bots to talk to. You can also do this part on paper to see how it works.

 

As for starting with the game a engine is a good choice. Unity or Unreal are both good for desktop but there are lots of others if you want to explore a bit.

You could also learn openGL or DirectX, instead of using a engine. This takes much longer but the knowledge is worth the time. I don't recommend if you want to focus on the game.

As a artist I also want to say don't waste your time on art. I see this a lot now with people focused on art, thinking that the art is related to how things work. Art only shows what is going on, it's feedback like sound. If you make a good game you can hire a artist later, you don't need one for production.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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If you don't count BBS door games like Trade Wars and Barren Realms Elite, I am pretty sure Ultima Online was the "original" MMO game.

The reason MTX exists is that the original business model for MMO games, a monthly fee, failed.  Not enough gamers were willing to pay a monthly fee to play one game.  Without some form of MTX, you don't have a business model for an MMO game these days.  In 1997, when I first created it, my Pirate Dawn was a very good idea.  An MMO game for both PC and console might have done very well in 1999 or 2000.

Today... I don't think it can exist from a business perspective.  There are very few ways of incorporating MTX that anyone would care about into it.  If I found a way to make my universe, one of the first things I would have to get to work on is converting Pirate Dawn into a single player game of some type.

I'm no expert in the business side of things, so maybe others might have suggestions for how to make something like that work... but I don't think you have a viable MMO game these days if it does not support MTX well enough to survive financially.

As others have already said, an single player MMO RPG is an RPG.  But, then again, an MMO RPG is really just a single player RPG with a lot of people playing it simultaneously.  They never really fulfilled the promise of what they could have been, truly multiplayer games, but then they never really got of the ground because a truly solid business model has never been found for them.

I love the concept of MMO games, ones that are truly multiplayer, but it doesn't seem as though they will ever become a thing that works well enough from a business perspective for the people with the money to get behind them.

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2 hours ago, Kavik Kang said:

The reason MTX exists is that the original business model for MMO games, a monthly fee, failed.  Not enough gamers were willing to pay a monthly fee to play one game.  Without some form of MTX, you don't have a business model for an MMO game these days.

Is that true, though? WoW is still going strong. EVE Online is still going strong. I feel it would be more accurate to say that the market for subscription MMO's has shrunk somewhat -- more moderate gamers prefer the gentler financial slope of microtransactions/free-to-play, whereas hardcore gamers are still happy to shell out monthly fees. I remain of the opinion that there is an underserved market (maybe a growing one) of people who are fed up with loot boxes and the like, and who miss the days of subscription-based MMO's... and yes, even massive single-player RPG's.

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Gentle reminder:  This is the For Beginners forum, so replies need to address the original question and not tangential details or minutia. 

 

5 hours ago, thesargento said:

So my question is: Where to start to turn an MMORPG into a single player game?

In other words, you're trying to make a regular single-person game. 

MMO is a term for games with massive numbers of concurrent players, generally around C100K.  That is, around 100,000 concurrent players.  About that point there is an incredible shift in infrastructure.  Below that point it is something that can be handled on a small number of commodity machines.  Above that point you need global infrastructures with large support crews scattered around the globe.

I've worked on games with tens of thousands of of concurrent users, and they were readily handled with a few instances of simple servers. They're the typical online game with many thousand dollars spent annually on infrastructure.  With an actual MMO you're looking at many million dollars spent on infrastructure.

 

Since you're looking for a single player game, you're looking at the traditional typical role playing game.

The games you mentioned are called Diablo-style ARPG since that was the first game that popularized the artistic and gameplay style.  The "ARPG" is Action Role Playing Game, which differentiates it from other RPG styles like JRPG, WRGP, Text RPG, D&D-style RPG, CRPG, Roguelike RPG, and more.

 

 

5 hours ago, thesargento said:

-I’ve been able to mount premade private servers.

-I’ve modded quite a few games via tutorials and just experimenting.

Have some knowledge of HTML, PHP, XML, Javascript and LUA.

Mounting servers is irrelevant as a single player game doesn't need them. Unless you're planning on making the game on a web server, HTML, PHP, and probably JavaScript will be irrelevant.  XML knowledge may help as a data storage.  Lua might be useful if you create a scripting system, but that is usually unnecessary in a single developer project.

 

These days any of the major engines can handle a Diablo-style game easily, and both the Unity Store and Unreal Store have ready-made packages that contain the bulk of the work for you, saving thousands of hours of work for $50 or less.  The Action part of the ARPG style is the biggest difficulty in the style. 

If you're using a modern engine the bulk of the work will be art and animation assets.  Everything needs art assets, and everything that animates needs animations, usually multiple animations.   You'll need to model everything in your world and animate all the things, create all your particle systems and effects, create all your weapons and items.  Since nearly everything has actions available you'll need an enormous number of action animations. 

The scripting side (if you use an existing engine) is not particularly difficult.  There is a strong software engineering task of engineering systems that can interoperate with each other.  You can't just cobble together a few scripts and hope they work together, a big game requires careful engineering.  The better ready-made packages will have done all of that for you, and adding scripts is mostly just composing existing scripts and occasionally extending a script into something else.  Those few scripts hook up to the animation data, and it is effectively the animation data that controls the game.

Both Unity and Unreal also have HTML5 project settings, although there are some with some serious limitations for performance and memory, and concerns with the amount of data that must be transferred. If you're looking for a web game you can potentially use the engines and still launch as a web game.

 

 

Building an ARPG game from scratch is an enormous project. Even leveraging a major game engine and commercial packages you're still looking at a serious amount of work.

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48 minutes ago, shelvick said:

Is that true, though? WoW is still going strong. EVE Online is still going strong. I feel it would be more accurate to say that the market for subscription MMO's has shrunk somewhat -- more moderate gamers prefer the gentler financial slope of microtransactions/free-to-play, whereas hardcore gamers are still happy to shell out monthly fees. I remain of the opinion that there is an underserved market (maybe a growing one) of people who are fed up with loot boxes and the like, and who miss the days of subscription-based MMO's... and yes, even massive single-player RPG's.

EVE is a legacy success of a time when that was being attempted.  I could certainly be wrong, but my assumption has long been that you could not find anyone that would be willing to take a chance on a monthly fee game these days.  Maybe if it was Star Wars or a major license that still might happen, but otherwise I have assumed that monthly fee MMO games are a thing of the past at this point.

I had been saying in the earliest days of MMO games that there would always be at least 1 MMO RPG game that would be the dominant one, and 1 sci-fi MMO game that would be second too it, and that would never change.  I hadn't meant the games themselves would never change, which has wound up being the case.  I think that is because the people with the money don't think that business model works.  Realizing this right now... if you attempt such a thing you are seeking to replace one of those two games, and that as I had been saying right from the beginning those two games would always exist as #1 and #2.

That's an old, old truism for "massive games".  D&D and SFB.  The big BBS door game era RPG I can't remember the name of right now and Trade Wars.  Ultima Online and Subspace.  WoW and EVE Online.  It's always been that way, it never changes.  So, there is still room for at least two such games, and they have always existed.  You just have to replace one to have one, and today that is WoW and EVE. 

 

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7 hours ago, thesargento said:

Where to start to turn an MMORPG into a single player game?

Do you mean making a game from scratch, or do you mean taking an existing MMO (which you do not own the rights to) and converting that into a single player game? You mention modding and private servers...

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8 hours ago, Lactose said:

Do you mean making a game from scratch, or do you mean taking an existing MMO (which you do not own the rights to) and converting that into a single player game? You mention modding and private servers...

Yes! Taking an existing MMO (which I do not own the rights to) and turn it into a game customized for me, no profit or anything like that.

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7 hours ago, thesargento said:

Yes! Taking an existing MMO (which I do not own the rights to) and turn it into a game customized for me, no profit or anything like that.

I hope you understand "no profit for you" doesn't make it ok to promote or release it anywhere.

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Best/worst case scenario: IF and WHEN I pull it off, I still have no rights on it, so the only ones I can contact are the original developers. Here is how the conversation would go:

"Me: Hey guys, I've made a single-player version of your game 'cause I like your game but I don't like the MMO system. Here is the code.

Devs: Ah! you SOB! we'll sue you till you die! no, wait...

Me: Okay, I'll be here having the time of my life, nice talking to u guys."

...or: I pull it off, don't tell anyone, have the time of my life modding-playing until the end of days :) 

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14 hours ago, Satharis said:

I'm honestly rather confused what the OP is even interested in doing. What defines turning an MMO into a single player game? Wouldn't that just be an RPG?

Isn't the OP after making some kind of offline version(clone) of a MMO game.

I think a single player MMORPG isn't exactly a RPG. Because I remember when World of Warcraft first released there was a mod to play it offline. The resulting game was not what I would call a RPG but it had bots and you could do all things you could in the game.

Because of how MMORPGs are structured they actually make bad single player RPGs.

Edit: Grinders is what I would call it. A game that is designed to last but without the social part doesn't have much point. But some people liked it so maybe there is a player base for it.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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58 minutes ago, thesargento said:

Ok, looks like we've passed all the judgments, opinions, whys and why nots

At least you didn't give up that is a good start.xD

 

58 minutes ago, thesargento said:

Some guidelines? The original question stands the same.

What are you actually asking with: Where to start?

Do you know how to create object classes? Do you know how to design mechanics?

See we don't know what you mean by start, because I already explained how to turn a MMORPG into a single player game and that would have been the starting point for me. 

 

Have you ever made a game before and do you know how to code?

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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17 minutes ago, thesargento said:

knowledge of a few languages. Willing to learn any and everything I need to get my goal.

So this tells as you can program and load in art, so you can probably skip starting with a small game.

If your using a engine you can go strait to designing the combat, considering that combat a key part of most of these types of games it would be my starting point.

At the same time you can start designing the game flow. Like how does the game go from menu to game play, is there some kind of character designer or such. Then when your done you can start making the menu.

 

Starting with combat actually is a good place if you never developed a game before but have most of the skills needed. I often find when working with modders they understand advance concepts but never implemented simple things like health bars before.

You will also need many files for the same game, as you will do things like design combat outside of the game, then bring it into your main loop when it's done. This way you can also test new combat mechanics without breaking the game.

 

Software I recommend is Blender, Gimp/ Inkscape and Audacity as they are all free and good. But if you made mods then you probably have software you are comfortable with.

For a Engine Unity if you like working with code, Unreal if you like working more on the art side of games.

 

My biggest piece of advice is you will need to do it all by yourself, at least when you start, but you don't need to do it all well.

For example I always write messy code and just use sound samples I get from the net.Then when my game starts taking form I look for people to help me. This way they can see the idea I had, even if I didn't have the skill to do it well.

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People turned Elder Scroll games into multiplayer with modding, the other way around is also possible.

It depends on how modable the game is. Some games have modding tools powerful enough to change core mechanics while other games don't have any way to mod other than very basic things.

I would first find the game that you want to play and find out how modable it is. Then learn all the modding tools and you should be on your way.

Edited by Michael Aganier

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Not to in any way suggest that I sanction this course of action, but there are complete private server implementations on github for quite a few existing MMOs (for example, Vanilla WoW).

If your goal is literally to play such a game by yourself, you can grab one of those, install it on a home server, and be playing sometime later today.

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On 12/5/2017 at 3:36 PM, thesargento said:

So my question is: Where to start to turn an MMORPG into a single player game?

 

If you have the code. You use break points to find the pesky bits you dont like and bypass it. Next you code out the dependencies on the code you bypassed. Rinse repeat. 

If you dont have the code then your hacking a game and you will need to learn asm and c++

Either of these will be years worth of labor and learning. Both can be done but I would expect you could program a clone yourself quicker. By example their were folks hacking a D2 trainer for over 2 years and it wasn't complete at the end of the day.

Good Luck!

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