So you want to make a MMORPG

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Post: #61
The Him Wrote:A good way to get in on the MMO scene is to use middleware, I think that

http://www.multiverse.net is good, but its still in the beta. Oh and its Windows specific for those mac users reading this.

And lastly, to keep in mind how hard developing one can be.

Indeed on Windows MMORPG making software is coming out every month, just
like general game making, development software, modding software, and of course top shelf games.

Basically if you wan't to make something that will be played by a MASSIVE
audience forget the Mac, you can fit the number of users worldwide into New York State and still have room to spare.

However since you may be hanging around with a Mac at the moment, may as well learn a thing or two about developing software.
Start really small until you know so much your brain explodes into something for the world to download.

That happened to me, brains all over the web, splat!
Its taken years to clean up the mess.

The ultimate MMORPG is out there waiting to be made.
Take a look at today's latest hot thing, and say "Thats Pac-Man", then imagine twenty years into the future.

I've played it. I kicked a cripple kid into the snow earlier.
So Ghost of Christmas Future haunted me and took me Christmas shopping in 2026.

Charlie Brown Christmas: The MMORPG is going to rock.
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Post: #62
Quote:Basically if you wan't to make something that will be played by a MASSIVE
audience forget the Mac

What is your definition of massive?
I tend to look at "massive multiplayer online" as any game where there could be more players playing simultaneously and colloboratively than the average household internet connection could support as a host - thus requiring some sort of centralized server "back-end".

In short, your statement, although somewhat correct, can be confusing and misleading. WoW has a "massive" audience of millions of players, but there are times when some servers have less than 20 people playing. There's no reason why a small MMORPG developed on the Mac can't have 1000 players or more playing simultaneously at all times.

I think the reason why you would say such a blasphemous thing Ninja is because there haven't been many good MMOs for the Mac. WoW is the only one I can think of that's worthy. Any others are buggy and/or unsupported. And the rest are just crap.

On a side-note, the recent switch from PPC to Intel makes me somewhat reluctant to even pursue gaming on the Mac any more...it's kind of sad actually. Even cross-platform is starting to seem obsolete. Sad
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Post: #63
igame3d Wrote:Basically if you wan't to make something that will be played by a MASSIVE
audience forget the Mac, you can fit the number of users worldwide into New York State and still have room to spare.

Hahaha, I missed your posts! Wink
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DjBungo
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Post: #64
EvilDemonLucas....you sound like a very misinformed person and I couldn't help but reply to this one. Let's clarify a few things first: Firstly, getting a computer to display "Hello, World!" using Javascript is about as close to actual programming as hammering a nail into a piece of wood is to building the Cistine Chapel. If your going to learn anything at least make it something like C++ or Java, or even Visual Basic for that matter as it is easy and a good intro to programming. Secondly, it sounds to me like you know very little about actually designing anything and I doubt you would manage to put even an informed intelligent draft of concept together judging by your porrly litterated questions and proposals on here. Don't get me wrong I hope you go on to do some very spectacular game and I would be willing to offer advice and help out if you didn't sound like a WOW player who has delusions of Grandeur about making their own version of this type of game. Start off trying to make a brief low-res graphic game - think of it as a prototype model in the way that the original Warcraft game brought about a cult following leading to follow up games. I don't think you have bothered to research all the depth involved in even a simple MMORPG. Even if you could put together a portfolio of art work and design concepts it would be a start but this needs to be proffessional and not simply cartoon drawings....sorry. In the past I have tinkered with Basic on a C64, Visual Basic on a PC as well as being introduced to things like COBOL, C++ and Javascript, and I have recently done a course in Perl, WebServer setup/maintenance and am now looking to learn Python with a view to using Blender for 3D rendering but eve I would be hard pressed to start a project as ambitious as this - let alone someone with no experience in any of this. Good luck in your exploits but may I suggest you start off alittle smaller and work your way up. Think of a game concept and then if that is popular, expand it and look to work up from there to a future view of a massive Game, not start off at the deep end.
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Tempestfire181
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Post: #65
Ok, so I'm a person that just started learning code. I was wondering if Visual Basic was better to start at than C++. I tried C++ for a while, but didn't really have a good feel for it. Or should I just keep trying and stay on C++. I want to start off by making a simple game like snake, or pong, or tetris(you know, old arcade style games), then build on those games by modding them and making them better.
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Post: #66
Visual Basic isn't available for the Mac, so you're SOL on that count.

I'd work with Python/Pygame instead of C++ as a beginners' language.

Newest game: Glow, a sci-fi RPG with lots of zombie bashing. Get it: OS X
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Spartan
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Post: #67
Alright, i have just signed up for this forum after looking into some interesting posts and liking all the ideas. Now i post my first "reply". But it isn't a reply. Heres my point; I would like to have creating of games as a hobby. But a pretty serious one. And i would like to end up with a serious and nice looking MMORPG. I mean one that looks like the upcomming Age of Conan (go to ageofconan.com to see how nice). Now i know the staff and money they have is Alot more than i do. So...i have no dea what i'm really doing. Yes, i have no experience. Where do i start with coding and programming? Can this be done free? Is what i am talking about even remotely possible? And...is this where i am supposed to post this question?

~~Thankyou~~
Wink
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Post: #68
Spartan Wrote:Can this be done free? Is what i am talking about even remotely possible? And...is this where i am supposed to post this question?

1) Yes, it can be done free
2) Yes, but it will take loads and loads and loads of time and effort, and you will probably need help from very dedicated individuals
3) Yes.

I would start somewhere much more basic, like Pong. Trying to make a MMORPG as your first project is a bit like trying to genetically engineer Sharks with lasers just after graduating high-school.

"Gameplay Uber Alles. And if you can make it psychedelic too, great!" - Jeff Minter
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Post: #69
Spartan Wrote:Alright, i have just signed up for this forum after looking into some interesting posts and liking all the ideas. Now i post my first "reply". But it isn't a reply. Heres my point; I would like to have creating of games as a hobby. But a pretty serious one. And i would like to end up with a serious and nice looking MMORPG. I mean one that looks like the upcomming Age of Conan (go to ageofconan.com to see how nice). Now i know the staff and money they have is Alot more than i do. So...i have no dea what i'm really doing. Yes, i have no experience. Where do i start with coding and programming? Can this be done free? Is what i am talking about even remotely possible? And...is this where i am supposed to post this question?

~~Thankyou~~
Wink

I mean this in the nicest possible way, but:

With $0, you won't be making an MMO
With $0, you won't be producing graphics like age of conan
With $0, I doubt you will find any skilled enough person to join you

Now if you're to be a venture capitalist, then you might have a chance in hell of possibly getting started on this adventure called failure.
You should read the entirety of http://gucomics.com/comic/ which makes light of MMOs, and you will see many big game companies fail horribly at this brand of game.

SO STOP IT.

If you want to make a multiplayer game (maybe 8 people max), that's something entirely different, and about 100x easier. (I still think this is above your level)

I also hate you for not having read the first post, cause it shoulda crushed EVERY dream you had hoped for in this post.

But have no fear, I don't have a COMPLETE lack of faith in you.
In fact, if you can make a "game" that has 32 player controlled cubes that do nothing but move across a plane via wasd. I will help you discover what your next step is! Actually, you probably wouldn't need me to know that, cause you've just laid down a large amount of the grunt work.

*gets off soapbox*
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Post: #70
skyhawk Wrote:...you can make a "game" that has 32 player controlled cubes that do nothing but move across a plane via wasd.

I'd play that. You could cooperate with the other players and try to make pixel art. It'd be awesome.
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Post: #71
I've actually seen something like that, except instead of cubes, players move letters around. It's insanity.

(And to answer the next question: no, they can't really get it to spell anything)
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LittleBrownDuck
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Post: #72
Hey all-

Great forum. Here's my story:

About me (just the basics):
-32 years old. Wrote my first code in BASIC on an Apple II in 6th grade.
-Professional recording engineer and game sound designer. My most recent work involved recording the music for Guitar Hero and Rock Band, so hopefully that gives me some street cred
-Familiar (meaning: I understand this stuff, but don't use it regularly) with coding Apple Script, Visual Basic and some old school PASCAL skills left over from high school
-Some server admin experience. I program the server at my studio. NAT, DHCP, Firewall, FTP, AFP, etc.

What I've got:
-An incredibly good idea for a MMO. No, seriously. It's really, really friggin' good. Completely new IP.
-A lawyer who's already fired up an NDA for me to start scouting the idea, along with a the necessary trademarks and copyrights
-A character animator from a major publisher who's willing to help me out
-An angel, who happens to have a bank account healthy enough to get a prototype built

I know this is going to be hard, but I feel that I have enough experience and connections to make this game fly soo...

Why I'm here:
-I need few experienced professionals (that's you) to help me weigh out the plusses and minuses of hiring my own team (coders, modelers, animators, etc) to create the prototype versus hiring a developer directly. I'm currently looking at Cryptic along with a few others for the actual development. Is it better to partner with a developer early or try to get as far as you can on your own with a small team, before handing it over?

-Also, what I really need to know is what state does a MMO need to be in as a "prototype" before I show it to a publisher or venture funding groups? In a perfect world, the game would be near completion, but that simply isn't going to be possible so realistically, how much of the game needs to be "working" before I show it to the world?

Thanks much for your time.
b
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Post: #73
If I were you and I wanted to have the game be completely mine (as far as copyright) I would go to a reputable programming - game programming company (possibly local just to be sure) and have it done by them. Assuming it's doable with your budget.

Setting up a team on the internet by visiting forums is a recipe for disaster.

As far as how much of the game needs to be "working" before showing it to publishers, the more of the game is done (well) the more likely they will be interested. Then again, the more of the game is done the more money you will have thrown away if they are not interested.

If your project is very complex (requiring funding or to be produced by a big software company) it will be a tough call, no matter how good it is.

©h€ck øut µy stuƒƒ åt ragdollsoft.com
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Post: #74
Seeing some of the responses, I got the impression that the unwashed still wasn't cluing in on what is involved. I'm hoping this will clear it up a bit. (I'll be disappearing for a bit, vacation, so I won't be responding to queries in the short term.)

What's Involved When Making An MMOG

As has been pointed out many times already. MMOGs are the opposite of a simple game. Mainly for the fact that they include so many different and potentially difficult computer science problems. Lets take a look at the difference at a big picture level. Breaking down the programs to their major components.

Case 1: A Very Simple Game
  • Graphics. The text, images etc. shown to the user.
  • Input. The input handling from keyboard, joystick, mouse, etc. for controlling the game.
  • (Game) Logic. What to do with the input and how to display the results as output.

Case 2: A More Complex Game typical of many online competitions.
  • Graphics.
  • Graphics data. The loading of the graphics. The graphics need to come from somewhere you need to create it.
  • Input.
  • Logic.
  • Logic Data. The loading, storing and definition of game data. Config files, level information, etc. Sometimes you will need to create a tool to develop levels more economically.
  • Sound. The playing of sound along with the display of
  • Sound data. The loading of the sound. Like graphics, the sound needs to come from somewhere or you need to create it.
  • Persistence. Storing of player information.

Case 3: A typical MMOG that a lot of users have dreams of making.
The Client Side Program.
  • Graphics.
  • Graphics data. The loading of the graphics. The graphics need to come from somewhere you need to create it.
  • Input.
  • Logic.
  • Logic Data. The loading, storing and definition of game data. Config files, level information, etc. Sometimes you will need to create a tool to develop levels more economically.
  • Sound. The playing of sound along with the display of
  • Sound data. The loading of the sound. Like graphics, the sound needs to come from somewhere or you need to create it.
  • Persistence. Storing of player information.
  • Communications. You have to talk with a server somewhere in order to talk to other people playing the game.

The Server Side Program.
  • Graphics. Probably a simpler program, text based, but still part of the problem.
  • Input. Probably simpler than a Very Simple Game but still part of the problem.
  • (Server) Logic. This is one of the BIG problems. For a MASSIVE or not MOG you are going to have to be clever here as well with Communications.
  • Logic Data. Most commercial and some not so commercial MMOG use databases. This part is a hell of alot more involved than Logic Data in Case 2. Databases are difficult just on their own.
  • Database. Logic is one thing. Dealing with a database is another.
  • Communications. To be efficient you really need to know you Socket coding. Even if you do you will still be challenged.

Notice how much more complex Case 3 is to Case 1? In fact some of the big picture items are glossing over how difficult they can be. Each of these big picture items have at least 3 or 4 big challenges for the programmer. This is true for seasoned professionals as most pros aren't pros with every big picture item. That's why most big game companies have one or two programmers in each big picture item (or a sub item in that big picture item.) which are considered the go-to guys.


So lets break things down a little more. This time explaining effort each of these big picture items can mean in a final game. Estimates based on what I would expect to spend on each item if I were to do it myself, alone. I won't say I'm a pro 'game' developer even though I was paid working on few completed for pay games, my main employ is working on a CAD base program for the mining industry. I may be slightly pessimistic but I usually forget to include the swell factor for debugging, and oh boy there will be debugging. Also I'm making an assumption that content is completed to a level that is 'shippable'/'salable'. Yeah, no placeholder scribles and stick figures.


Graphics and Graphics Data.
  • Text based. Days to weeks to complete.
  • 2D graphics. Weeks to months.
  • 3D graphics. months to years. (even with the help of canned engines.)

Input.
  • Any game. Hours to months. This is probably the least difficult thing of the whole process.

Logic
  • Text based game. Hours to months (It really depends on the complexity of the game)
  • 2D graphics game. Weeks to months (ditto)
  • 3D graphics game. Months to years (even with the help of canned engines. You still need to learn the limitations and stuff.)

Logic Data
  • Text based game. Hours to months.
  • 2D graphics game. Weeks to months.
  • 3D graphics game. Weeks to years.

Sound and Sound data.
  • Text based game. Sound really?
  • 2D graphics game. Weeks to months.
  • 3D graphics game. Weeks to months.

Persistence.
  • Any game. hours to weeks.

Communications.
  • Text based game. Weeks to months. (debugging a client and a server is not that easy.)
  • 2D graphics game. Weeks to months.
  • 3D graphics game. Weeks to years.

Database.
  • Any game. Weeks to years. (Really depends on how fancy you are going to get.)

So being completely optimistic but totally unrealistic (unless you don't care about having a life, burning out, a day job or making a good game)...
... A text base "stand alone" game can take about 3 days.
... A text base "client-server" game can take about 3 weeks.
... A 2D graphics "stand alone" game can take about 4 weeks.
... A 2D graphics "client-server" game can take about 5-6 weeks.
... A 3D graphics "stand alone" game can take about 3 months.
... A 3D graphics "client-server" game can take about 4-5 months.

I'm not dreaming of a quake like game when I'm saying 3-5 months for a 3D graphics game. It's probably safer to say a super simple turn based game or a VERY UBER SIMPLE real time game. But anything realtime and network communications will have a significant hurdle to overcome.


But that best case estimate is really for a super simple game. The next question is; What kind of game do you want to make? A list from easiest to most difficult...
  • A stand alone single-player game with no Artificial Intelligence (AI). EG: Sudoko, crossword, word search.
  • A stand alone multi-player game with no AI. Possibly not much different than above. EG: Any board game.
  • A stand alone turn based single player game. AI can get real tricky EG: Chess, checkers, XCom etc.
  • A stand alone real time single or multi-player game. EG: Pick a side scroller. Tetris, Arkanoid, Pong etc.
  • A networked turn based multi-player game. EG: Networked Chess, networked Xcom.
  • A networked real time multi-player game. EG: Quake, Warcraft, Starcraft, etc.
  • A networked turn based massive multi-player game. EG: I can't think of any.
  • A networked real time massive multi-player game. EG: Everquest, World of Warcraft, Second Life, etc.

Lets drive a little deeper for the uninitiated. What tools will you need to make something of the above.

Text games
  • Any programming language. Hell, even javascript in HTML pages will do.
  • Maybe some extra libraries depending on your choice of language. DOS days are no more, things aren't as simple.
  • Immagination. For text based games, you had better have a hell of an immagination if you want people to play your game.

2D graphics games
  • A paint program. You will have to at least resize, crop, combine, break apart graphic tiles for the game. If not make the graphics yourself. EG: Paintshop Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Gimp etc.
  • Any programming language will do. You could use javascript in HTML but, geez, do yourself a favour, don't. Side scrollers could be done in any language and most game maker type programs but you may have imposed limits on what you can do. To be free of most limits you will have to look to a compiled language (C/C++/Obj-C, (assembly if you are sadist)) although most semi-compliled languages (java, .net languages, python, etc.) will suffice for most scrollers. You just may need to tweak a bit more to eek out the best performance. Adobe FLASH is 'good enough' to create these types of games as well and Flash, being like a sort of .NET, has a lot of things included.
  • Sound editor if you are playing with sound. EG: Not as many choices here but they are out there.
  • Depending on language or tool used, you may need other libraries to go along with that language/tool to load the sounds and graphics. Even to handle input and window management. EG: libSDL, Allegro, Glut, Carbon/Cocoa.
  • More complex games will include scripting. Meaning, they embed Python or LUA or a home grown scripting language to infintely customize and tweak a game. This adds a bit more difficulty to a project.

3D graphics games.
  • A 3D program. You will probably need one to modify the models to be suitable for your program. Not many are free and this can limit what your program can end up doind. EG: Blender, 3DStudio Max, Maya, LightWave, Carrara, TruSpace, Poser, etc.
  • A paint program. 3D models have textures. Textures are images. You'll still need that paint program to modify the textures. See above.
  • An engine. A canned engine (Torque, Quake, whatever etc.) or write your own.
  • Sound editor if you are playing with sound.
  • Potentially a scripting language embedded for more flexibility.
  • A programming language. You could make simple games with DarkBasic and BlitzBasic but there will be much more limits to what you will be able to do in the end. If you go with an established engine like Torque or Quake then it's likely you will be in C/C++/Obj-C and a much steeper learning curve.
  • Again depending on language choice you will need to use other libraries for image, sound now 3D Object importing. Also if you are going completely old skule and writing your own 3D engine, then you will definitely be in C/C++/Obj-C and learning the joys of OpenGL (maybe DirectX if you are so inclined.)
  • More complex games will include scripting. Meaning, they embed Python or LUA or a home grown scripting language to infintely customize and tweak a game. This adds quite a bit more difficulty to a project.

Networked games.
  • A library for communications will help. Although with a little more effort you may be able to figure out socket programming with out too much trouble. But as we like to say, why reinvent the wheel. Someone's gone through the pain already and wrapped the difficult bits in a nicer, easier to use library.

I've probably missed a few things but that's a lot up above.

So... Do you want to make a MMOG? Well, you start with

"A Very Simple" - "2D Graphics" - "stand alone" - "single-player with no AI" game and work toward the

"Complex" - "3D Graphics" - "Networked" - "Massive Multi-player" game of your dreams.

Conquering all those hurdles, pitfalls, and insurmountable mountains one at a time. It'll be a long trip. Most of us have been to some of those places and will help but you have to put in the effort to understand each problem before we can meaningfully help you in solving it.
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Post: #75
Methinks Zekaric's post deserves its own thread, plus a sticky. Or an edit into [Joseph Duchesne?]'s "So you want to make an MMORPG" post.

Edit: Whoa! It's already in there! I did not notice. Heh.

My web site - Games, music, Python stuff
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