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    Advice for MMORPG wannabe builder please


    I have an idea for a game which would be very similar to Evony.com . When I say similar, the *logic* or background maths is what I mean.
    I do have programming skills but couldn't fathom actually building something like this.
    There actually isnt that much screen content as far as moving things.... it is more a rolling dice/maths thing with pictures to make it more enjoyable.

    Where does someone like me go/start?
    Would an individual ever get something like this off the ground? or it is stricktly for the realm of game companies and corporations?
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    Generally speaking, if you need to ask about an MMORPG, you can't build it...
    When you ask a question, be prepared to tell us: what have you tried? If you think you don't need to try anything, we will never be interested in helping you. If you agree with the link, and you refuse to answer that question, you are being a hypocrite.

    Need help with broken code? Your question should be like a good bug report: (1) It has the smallest number of steps to reproduce the problem you see (2) It tells us precisely what you expected to see and (3) It tells us what you saw and how it differed from what you expected. We need all three to help you.
    Want better answers? Tell us what you Googled for and what steps you took to answer your own question.
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    Thanks Ol, but thats not much help. Not to mention, incorrect.

    If we all lived under those guidelines, we would learn nothing.

    I just might have a couple of $mill lying around and want to get it developed.

    Where does someone like me go/start?
    Would an individual ever get something like this off the ground? or it is stricktly for the realm of game companies and corporations?
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    Thanks Ol, but thats not much help. Not to mention, incorrect.
    No, I think my made my point correctly.

    Look, your question is important to you, obviously. But to those who respond on programming forums, the "how do I make an MMORPG" with its variations is the classic example of the "noob" question. Everyone's sick of it, and everyone will patronizingly lecture you about making your own MMORPG.

    First, because your question is asked so frequently, I urge you to scour the internet for existing responses. Not just this forum, but Google and other forums, especially, and obviously programming forums and game development forums. The answers aren't necessarily enlightening, but with enough reading, you should get more clues on what to explore, and when you follow the leads...

    Second, if you really want to ask a question along the MMORPG lines, I suggest asking something more targeted than "what do I do". Because, if it doesn't look like you asked a question that you could have explored with Googling, the knowledgeable people won't care to answer.
    When you ask a question, be prepared to tell us: what have you tried? If you think you don't need to try anything, we will never be interested in helping you. If you agree with the link, and you refuse to answer that question, you are being a hypocrite.

    Need help with broken code? Your question should be like a good bug report: (1) It has the smallest number of steps to reproduce the problem you see (2) It tells us precisely what you expected to see and (3) It tells us what you saw and how it differed from what you expected. We need all three to help you.
    Want better answers? Tell us what you Googled for and what steps you took to answer your own question.
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    Where to start really depends on the type of game you wish to create. If your idea is a client/server stand alone game application, then I would suggest picking up some traditional game programming tutorials for your language of choice. At the same time, also begin studying the I/O libraries for your language, network communication methodologies, and client-server architecture. Chat server/client tutorials would be a good place for a beginner to start.

    For a web based game, are we talking about a rich client plugin for the browser (flash, java applets, etc.)? If this is the case, I would look for game programming tutorials from the perspective of creating a stand-alone application.

    On the other hand, if it's just a web accessible, web interfaced game, start down the track of learning web application development. There's probably a web-app stack for your language of choice. Or, you could find a "LAMP"/"WAMP" development tutorial.

    My answer is quite broad. If you have more details, I may be able to give you a more specific answer.
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    Originally Posted by Oler1s
    No, I think my made my point correctly.

    Look, your question is important to you, obviously. But to those who respond on programming forums, the "how do I make an MMORPG" with its variations is the classic example of the "noob" question. Everyone's sick of it, and everyone will patronizingly lecture you about making your own MMORPG.

    First, because your question is asked so frequently, I urge you to scour the internet for existing responses. Not just this forum, but Google and other forums, especially, and obviously programming forums and game development forums. The answers aren't necessarily enlightening, but with enough reading, you should get more clues on what to explore, and when you follow the leads...

    Second, if you really want to ask a question along the MMORPG lines, I suggest asking something more targeted than "what do I do". Because, if it doesn't look like you asked a question that you could have explored with Googling, the knowledgeable people won't care to answer.
    Thanks. I do appreciate your efforts. Didnt mean to sound rude... although I did come across pretty much that way.
    Thanks again.
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    Originally Posted by jdavidw13
    Where to start really depends on the type of game you wish to create. If your idea is a client/server stand alone game application, then I would suggest picking up some traditional game programming tutorials for your language of choice. At the same time, also begin studying the I/O libraries for your language, network communication methodologies, and client-server architecture. Chat server/client tutorials would be a good place for a beginner to start.

    For a web based game, are we talking about a rich client plugin for the browser (flash, java applets, etc.)? If this is the case, I would look for game programming tutorials from the perspective of creating a stand-alone application.

    On the other hand, if it's just a web accessible, web interfaced game, start down the track of learning web application development. There's probably a web-app stack for your language of choice. Or, you could find a "LAMP"/"WAMP" development tutorial.

    My answer is quite broad. If you have more details, I may be able to give you a more specific answer.
    Thank you. very informative.
    I ill however, explain my self a little better in my next post in this thread.
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    I guess what I'm really asking for, now that I see the error of my broad question, is:
    How does someone, who does not work for a game building company or have any links to such, get a game built.
    Weather I/you are part of the build processr just a *manager*, is it possible to get an idea built?
    As I stated, I do have programming *skills* (although some wouldn't call it that) but I could most certainly not build my idea in a lifetime. So, how does someone like me go about building, or getting built, a game that requires so many man hours?
    I mean, I know I couldn't go to blizzard and say "1 of these with no sauce please", but is there anyone out there who does actually take on projects that *public* people conjure up? and then take them on or turf them out on merrits of the prospect of profit?
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    Originally Posted by SpoojGun
    I have an idea for a game which would be very similar to Evony.com . When I say similar, the *logic* or background maths is what I mean.
    I do have programming skills but couldn't fathom actually building something like this.
    There actually isnt that much screen content as far as moving things.... it is more a rolling dice/maths thing with pictures to make it more enjoyable.

    Where does someone like me go/start?
    Would an individual ever get something like this off the ground? or it is stricktly for the realm of game companies and corporations?
    Evony? That's the Browsergame with the scantly clad chick banner right?

    Browsergames are considerably easier to build than a real MMORPG - that's why there's so many of them. To start you'll need somekind of serverside programming language like PHP, JSP or ASP(.NET). Add to that a webserver to host the game and a database (like MySQL for example) and you're ready to start.

    It's conceivable that you manage to do such a game on your own depending on your persistence and the complexity of the project but it's still A LOT of work.
    - Hugh of Borg

    The first thing young borg are taught: Keep away from Microsoft software!
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    Originally Posted by Hugh of Borg
    Evony? That's the Browsergame with the scantly clad chick banner right?

    Browsergames are considerably easier to build than a real MMORPG - that's why there's so many of them. To start you'll need somekind of serverside programming language like PHP, JSP or ASP(.NET). Add to that a webserver to host the game and a database (like MySQL for example) and you're ready to start.

    It's conceivable that you manage to do such a game on your own depending on your persistence and the complexity of the project but it's still A LOT of work.
    So, are you saying that id a person already had very good programming skills in the right areas, building somehting like Evony, on your own, could actually be possible?
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    So, on the Gamedev.net forums, there's someone named Tom Sloper who basically points people to his website, which is very much worth reading as he is a professional who knows what he is talking about. His website answers most of the beginner questions without beating around the bush.

    So, when you have an idea, either you need to drive it's development, or you are someone so highly trusted that others will bet millions on you. And that's what it is, it's a business idea, with very high risks.

    So what about the DIY route? For one thing, you really need to know what you're doing. On the M for Massive level, you're a bit of a pioneer. Actually, you're always a pioneer in programming, but when it comes to scalability, approaches that work at 1 person, 10 people, 100 people, 1000 people, go out the door. Algorithms and approaches that work great on smaller scales can turn out to be unusable, so you have to hand craft a particular solution. And you can't turn to the guy next to you and say "what do I do".

    If you want to appreciate the magnitude of what you are taking on, build a good single player game, and then build a multiplayer game for say, 30 people.
    When you ask a question, be prepared to tell us: what have you tried? If you think you don't need to try anything, we will never be interested in helping you. If you agree with the link, and you refuse to answer that question, you are being a hypocrite.

    Need help with broken code? Your question should be like a good bug report: (1) It has the smallest number of steps to reproduce the problem you see (2) It tells us precisely what you expected to see and (3) It tells us what you saw and how it differed from what you expected. We need all three to help you.
    Want better answers? Tell us what you Googled for and what steps you took to answer your own question.
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    Originally Posted by SpoojGun
    So, are you saying that if a person already had very good programming skills in the right areas, building something like Evony, on your own, could actually be possible?
    Yes, but like I said it would be a lot of work. I'm talking 1+ years of freetime work until you have anything resembling a competitive game.
    - Hugh of Borg

    The first thing young borg are taught: Keep away from Microsoft software!
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    Cheers.
    Thanks for the responses guys.
    Very much appreciated and educational.

    I digress.....

    ====

    Here is a game idea I had.. not the one I'm thinking about builder now... this one would be way to big, complex, difficult, time consuming, expensive........
    Anyways.... Since I will never build it, I can let it out in the hope someone will build it one day.
    I would love to see this game get invented.

    Imagine a game where your:
    First level, as you enter the game, is like say a cross between Duke Nukem and Diablo. A first person shooter but where you keep player stats like a role player. (maybe even more complex like WoW or Ultima)

    Second level is like say Starcraft or Command & Conquer... but heres the kool bit.... All the units you are commanding, are people who are playing the first level!!!!!
    You send them into battles and the battles they are having on their world, are battles the 2nd level players has caused/created/organised

    Third level woulkd be a global view where you are using second level players as a means to conquer other planets.
    Maybe a view kinda like sim city (but can zoom out to show the planet) where you need to resources to create more places for people to live and build more weapons etc etc.

    It wouldn't be just level 1-2-3, there would be missions etc inside each level where you could progress and eventually be *invited* to the next level.

    And the resources would have to be collected by 1st level for use by 3rd level to build cities and take over other planets

    It would be extremely difficult to build and the logic behind how it *could*work would be enormous.
    There would have to be massive co-ordination between players to be able to organise, say a battle between planets.. but it would be possible.

    I rekon, if you could build it, it would be very popular.
    Seriously... What do you rekon? Rekon it would be a good, popular game if it could be built?
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    It's funny how this idea keeps popping up all around the web, on various forums and with small variations. Usually, it's presented by someon who doesn't have that much experience, and it is often criticised, which usually leads to the OP being pi**ed off. The thing with this game idea is:

    It won't work.

    The problem is not that it isn't an interesting concept. The problem is in how, on a practical level, to solve some of the inherent problems with the idea. You'll have to consider, and solve, things on a detailed level - and personally, I don't think it is possible to do, while still making the game fun to play. There's ususally people to disagree, and say that "sure it's possible", but they are usually curiously unwilling to discuss the details.

    There's a lot of issues with the game, but a big one is this: how to make the game work on different, but interacting, scales of gameplay.

    Example: What if a person in the FPS-style game doesn't do as he's ordered - that would be like playing Starcraft and have units which doesn't respond to the players commands, which would be frustrating to the player. Or if you somehow force the FPS player to obey orders, or punish him for not obeying... that would take away a lot of the freedom from him, making the game less fun.

    And even worse on the higher levels, where you're talking about city-building and resource managment. What if the player decides to demolish, to rebuild somewhere else, a structure which are currently used by either the second-level player, or which some of the 1st, or FPS style players, are currently attacking or defending. Imagine the frustration when your whole gaming session is aborted just because another player decided to move a building a bit.

    This is the big one to solve, and if you can't find a solid solution for it, you don't even have a game idea - you have a "wouldn't-it-be-cool-if", and those have even less value...

    And remember that every limitation you put down on what the player in one level can do (to make the game less frustrating for players of the other levels), the less fun it will be for him. Is there really a balance where the limitations are enough to make the game playable on all levels, while being light enough to make players put up with it?

    Wouldn't you rather play a "normal" FPS game, with the usual freedom in what you can do, than one where there's some jerk on the internet telling you what to do?

    Wouldn't you rather play a "normal" Starcraft game where the units does as you command, rather than one where they *might* obey you, unless they feel like doing their own thing?
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    While I agree with Mattias that this would be a far more complex game to manage than most others, I dissagree that it would me completely impossible. Take other complex virtual realities, like Second Life. Just because something seems extremely daunting prior to its development, doesn't mean it is impossible (I often have the same reaction when I look at the complexity of a motherboard - I honestly have no idea how it was ever accomplished).

    Now, to avoid falling into the "unwilling to discuss the details" category that Mattias mentioned, I am more than happy to throw around some ideas about how to get something like this out of the "wouldn't-it-be-cool-if" category and into the realm of a formal game concept. Obviously, I'm not going to be able to tell you exactly how to do it (any more than I could design my own motherboard out of stone knives and bearskins). Getting to that point would require extensive discussions and many participants to iron out the details and conceptual flaws.

    Just to get the conversation started, let me start with a broad overview. If I were managing a project like this, I would start by extensively researching how its done in real life, since basically what you would be doing here is creating a virtual military force structure. I would read every available literature I could find on military force structure, command, and protocols. I would go out and interview active military members - enlisted, NCOs, and officers at various levels of command. I would try and apply what I learned from this research to my evolving game concept, and discuss it extensively on the forums. When I ironed out the actual game concept, I would then start putting together a team of experienced game developers, artists, and networking specialists. I would also hire a couple of expert military consultants (retired Colonels, for example).

    Now to address some of the specific problems inherent to this type of game. I am in no way a military force structure expert, so I can only offer some limited advice. Using one of Mattias' example problem areas - if a military commander wants to move a building or base in real life, how is it done? My guess is that it will depend on which military ideology you are following (basically your force structure will fall somewhere between the spectrum of a dictatorship to a democracy). How much input do the lower-levels have in the decision-making process, and how are those rules enforced by the game? Is it different during the different phases of peace, crisis, and war? Does the game enforce a certain command structure, or does it allow complete chaos? Lets assume the latter for a moment: let the players sort out the command structure and politics themselves. Obviously, lower-ranking players won't want to work with commanders who have no regard for their subordinates. If lower-ranking players have the option of defecting to other more likeable commanders, this would require the higher-ranking players to consider the feelings of those under their command if they want to maintain a competitively sized force. If they don't, then they lose support and will eventually be defeated. On the other hand, if a commander takes so much time reaching a concensus with his subordinates, he may be too indecisive in battle and also be defeated.

    To address the other problem that Mattias pointed out: what if the subordinate doesn't want to follow commands? Again, this is going to fall into one of two categories: either the game will enforce compliance, or players will have the freedom to do whatever they want. Assuming the latter again for a moment, commanders would need the authority to "punish" their subordinates (courtmartials for example). As before, if a commander is too harsh, the lower-ranking player will side with a nicer commander. Completely unrulely players will simply be unable to become part of any command, and be forced to either band together as mercenaries to harrass the structured military forces, or start behaving so they can one day hope to move up the ranks.

    Let me bring up another problem I see that is inherent with this type of game, and discuss possible solutions. You have a basic pyramid structure here. I don't know if you are familiar with some of the pyramid schemes out there (where each person pays a percentage to the person above them, in the hopes that they will one day be higher on the pyramid to make lots of money). The problem is that the higher you get on the pyramid, the fewer available slots there are. Let me put it another way - the more commanders you have in the game, the more (exponentially) level-one players there would need to be playing the game as well. Now, obviously a game like this would experience some massive growth soon after its birth, but eventually that growth would level off, because the number of new players entering the game would drop off. At that point it would become impossible for players to rank up until the higher-ranking players left the game to make room for advancement. The problem would become compounded by the fact that the level-one players at that point would become discouraged with being unable to rank up and leave the game, making the game discouraging for the higher-ranking indivuduals as well.

    So how could this problem be solved? Well, I can think of a couple of ideas. The first might be to use some kind of "filler" NPCs to fill in the gaps when there aren't enough real-life players. Obviously, the more NPCs you add, though, the more your game becomes Command and Conquer and looses the uniqueness which makes the game concept attractive in the first place. Another idea would be to make players die "for good" when they are defeated. So when one force battles another, those who die start back at level one. This would allow a large force to be anihilated and free up room on the pyramid for future advancement. This, too could become frustrating if ranking up is too monotonous. You would have to ensure that the game was highly action-packed and fun at all levels of play, to keep players around.

    That's probably enough for now. It is an interesting concept and I will be happy to continue providing input.
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