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About starting an MMORPG.

Share your own game ideas, inform the community about your own works in progress, or appraise of other yet-to-be released games.

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Sylon
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About starting an MMORPG.

Post by Sylon » Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:28 am

So I guess it's about time I came out with this.  Have nothing to do right now except wait for class  :cry: .

I've been seeing a lot of stuff on forums about how difficult it is to make a MMORPG.  Seeing as I have wanted to design one of these, after I get experience with Allacrost, I guess it disappoints me (before joining Allacrost I was figuring I'd just design the art and music and ideas for my game during my college years, then to later find/hire coders and stuff).  So I'd like to discuss it here with you guys.

Bad news I read about MMORPG creation:

1. Tough to code?
2. Costs way too much money for even one server?  I read some guy said that an MMORPG needs at least $1,000,000 to get up and running on a solid server.  This doesn't make sense to me because look at games like "Wyvern" http://www.cabochon.com --it looks so primitive that these guys could not have had that much money!  No chance.  I was hoping it wouldn't need that much money and even a TRICKLING of say $6.00 per year per player account would suffice?  I mean, hey, as long as there are thousands of them why should I ask for more?  The cheaper it is the more people will care to spend money for it.  Of course they have to see that it's a quality game for what it's worth.  That would mean that 3000 players would bring in $18,000 per year.
3. LAG would be a MAJOR obstacle for the type of game I want to make: An action MMORPG, where "packets" become so numerous because of the amount of button-pressing, where fighting is more like Secret of Mana (but better in my game, hopefully!).  Pressing buttons in real-time battles to fight and perform skill moves will cause a load of packets, especially when there are many people in the same room.  But I want my game to be a 2d isometric one, not 3d--and WoW is 3d AND a button masher, isn't it?  So how do those people get through lag?  Are they faring well?

I also know that to run MMORPGs you need to hire many people to "moderate" or whatever.  You know, the "Gods" they call them.  The server people, the online staff members.  I can understand that but I still don't see why 6 bucks per year could be a problem as long as the game is good enough so word spreads and people join up.  Making money is fine, but getting super-rich is another story.  Chasing money ain't the way to go.  I would just like enough to get by in life, and anyone I hire should think the same--if it causes me to raise the yearly fee to like $12 or something, that's okay.  That's still $132 less than a year of FF11.  The game itself should be fun to play and fun to create.  Of course I don't know what my future will be like, nor what my game-creating future will be like.

So can anyone explain to me if it's a dream in a far-off land, or if it's possible?
-[Sylon Shanings]-, A Servant of Allacrost.
I owe my allegiance to Roots and only Roots! Hail to the dictator!

"DAD GUMMIT I NEEDA GET MY TORUS DOWN." - Sylon's art jabber
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Steu
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Re: About starting an MMORPG.

Post by Steu » Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:59 am

Making a MMORPG gets a bad rap alot of the time, because a lot of new game programmers want to tackle one as their first game, which makes it impossible.  Doing an indie MMO certainly is possible look at eternal lands.


Sylon wrote:1. Tough to code?

There is alot of other stuff to consider then when doing an offline rpg.  Gotta think about hacks, tight server code, balancing issues especially if you have open or semi-open PvP, etc....
Sylon wrote:2. Costs way too much money for even one server?  I read some guy said that an MMORPG needs at least $1,000,000 to get up and running on a solid server.  This doesn't make sense to me because look at games like "Wyvern" http://www.cabochon.com --it looks so primitive that these guys could not have had that much money!  No chance.  I was hoping it wouldn't need that much money and even a TRICKLING of say $6.00 per year per player account would suffice?  I mean, hey, as long as there are thousands of them why should I ask for more?  The cheaper it is the more people will care to spend money for it.  Of course they have to see that it's a quality game for what it's worth.  That would mean that 3000 players would bring in $18,000 per year.

Yes and no, it all depends on how well coded your network stuff is, and how many people are on the server.  I'd say a well coded MMO with 50-80 people could probably run on your run of the mill cable connection, with tolerable lag.  You could even get lucky and have someone donate a nice connection :heh:

As the player base grows though you would need to increase:
a. server hardware.
b. connection bandwidth.

Sylon wrote:3. LAG would be a MAJOR obstacle for the type of game I want to make: An action MMORPG, where "packets" become so numerous because of the amount of button-pressing, where fighting is more like Secret of Mana (but better in my game, hopefully!).  Pressing buttons in real-time battles to fight and perform skill moves will cause a load of packets, especially when there are many people in the same room.  But I want my game to be a 2d isometric one, not 3d--and WoW is 3d AND a button masher, isn't it?  So how do those people get through lag?  Are they faring well?

WoW has some really bad lag at time, especially when you get alot of players in the same place at the same time.  

This really has alot to do with your network coding, you can reduce alot of lag if you get some really tight network code.

Hope this helps answer some of your questions.  Also developing a decent MMORPG takes years and requires alot of dedication.  If it's something you go through with, I wish you all the luck in it.
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Re: About starting an MMORPG.

Post by Sylon » Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:30 am

Steu wrote:There is alot of other stuff to consider then when doing an offline rpg.  Gotta think about hacks, tight server code, balancing issues especially if you have open or semi-open PvP, etc....


Yeah, i think I've thought of the balancing issues, but not the coding because I don't know code.

Steu wrote:Yes and no, it all depends on how well coded your network stuff is, and how many people are on the server.  I'd say a well coded MMO with 50-80 people could probably run on your run of the mill cable connection, with tolerable lag.  You could even get lucky and have someone donate a nice connection :heh:

As the player base grows though you would need to increase:
a. server hardware.
b. connection bandwidth.


So...the server hardware and connection bandwidth would cost more money, annnnnd...that's it for financial issues?

Steu wrote:This really has alot to do with your network coding, you can reduce alot of lag if you get some really tight network code.


I guess this means that it depends on the coder, too.  So I would have to find some professional coder who can do all this tight stuff?

Steu wrote:Hope this helps answer some of your questions.  Also developing a decent MMORPG takes years and requires alot of dedication.  If it's something you go through with, I wish you all the luck in it.


Thanks!  Yeah I think i could be dedicated, at least to the art and music portions.
-[Sylon Shanings]-, A Servant of Allacrost.
I owe my allegiance to Roots and only Roots! Hail to the dictator!

"DAD GUMMIT I NEEDA GET MY TORUS DOWN." - Sylon's art jabber
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Post by Steu » Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:48 am

It's very hard to find all of the balancing issues, with out some testing and having a lot of people actually playing.  As a game dev, you have no idea what some people will do.  Remember there is some really wacked out people out there who will try all kinds of crazy things.  Also NEVER NEVER NEVER trust anything to the client software in an MMO, if it's on the user's machine it can and will be hacked.

Besides people costs (dev, artists, GM's etc...) I think that would be it, of course how much hardware you need will depend on a lot of things.  How resource-intensive is your server, game website (probably wouldn't want that on the server machine), game forums, possible game stats posted to a website from the game.  For an example of that look at everquest 2, you can see alot of "in-game" info through the eq2players website.

Take a look at http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article2100.asp.  It's a pretty good article about things to think about when starting an MMO.
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Post by Sylon » Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:39 pm

I read it, and at the end it mentioned "middleware".  What do you think of middleware?  How about "BigWorld"?

I should e-mail them and ask them about whether they can host 2d games and other questions.

http://www.bigworldtech.com/index.php

Hmmm...!
-[Sylon Shanings]-, A Servant of Allacrost.
I owe my allegiance to Roots and only Roots! Hail to the dictator!

"DAD GUMMIT I NEEDA GET MY TORUS DOWN." - Sylon's art jabber
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Post by Steu » Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:07 pm

Me personally I'm not a fan of middleware, I just like to do things myself.  I find middleware can be limiting if you want to do something that's not built into it.
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