Pro / cons of the various kind of MMOs ?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by Jack Norton, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Jack Norton

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    Hideo: beside nexic I know MANY developers who made a MMO alone... I don't want to make WoW :rolleyes: call it webgame, flash mmo or boutique mmo, but something really small to see if I can make it, can make decent money, and I like to work on it!

    Thanks, reading them now, they're very interesting :)
     
  2. Nexic

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    Hideo:
    I had a few years experience as an indie developer, but I knew almost nothing about servers/networking when I started, and had to learn on the way. That point is kind of void anyway since the OP, Jack is definitely not a 'total beginner'.

    Also, you said "any single dude without millions can't do it".
     
    #22 Nexic, Mar 25, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  3. Jack Norton

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    Thanks nexic but as for online/network and mmo I guess I can be considered a total beginner...:eek:
    I did some research. Google App engine sounds very cool, I can code in python :D At this point I think could already make a mmo/online game with python (renpy)+google app engine but I'm looking to see if I can integrate ajax or (less likely) even some part in flash in my game idea to have a full webgame.
    Even a simple downloadable online game would be already a good result for me (is more an experiment anyway).
     
  4. Tobias

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    Google app engine certainly seems interesting for an MMO. I'm a bit worried that it is not suitable though, what with the bigtable and possibly other issues. Anyone know of an MMO running on app engine?
     
  5. puggy

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    It all really depends on what you want to do, how you want it to look and how long you have to make it.

    php/asp route is the most restrictive design wise as your limited by what you can do with html. There are some things you can do to get round that but it's still limited. It's also bandwidth intensive compared to the other methods and not realtime. Plus due to the nature it's also more intensive server resource wise. On the plus side it's probably the easiest and quickest way to do an MMO game, more likly to work anywhere (work places restrict use of installed programs and flash) and easiest for adverts to be used.

    Flash is inbetween the two, easier design wise though what you can display is limited by flash itself. Not sure what it's like to program as i took a look at it years ago and ran for the hills hugging my copy of delphi 7. If you took the time to learn the programming it's probably the best for a small developer. You could also probably create your own activex client but there is a problem of people questioning the security.

    client/server is probably the best in terms of being free to do what you want as your only restricted in what you can do and not what your using can do. It's also going to take the longest to make and hardest to promote. It's also the most likly to make you the most money per person as well, especially if it's done well.

    I think the biggest factor is the fact that facebook and the like have allowed some companies the ability to make some games and capture a lot of users quickly but i don't expect very many companies to be able to do that but the illusion that zagna is big this is the best route to go is pulling developers in and finding that it's not as easy as it looks as people are getting annoyed with all the request to play a game in facefook (the ship has left the dock and is sailing away)
     
  6. tolik

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    "php/asp route is the most restrictive design wise as your limited by what you can do with html"

    What kind of design restrictions PHP imposes on you? How could you say that LANGUAGE is bandwidth intensive? Yeah, like AJAX calls are really expensive compared to Flash AMF.
     
  7. Jack Norton

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    Thanks for the post, very informative. Can I ask you some questions?

    What if you use ajax though? not like flash, but you can have some dynamic content on screen. my game would be niche so not really lots of anims, so ajax would work just fine (I never tried the language though)

    Why you think is the longest to make? assuming you use something like python or TGB which has all the network stuff built-in, I can just call php/python script on the server to make the logic of the game (remember my particular case is turn-based without direct interaction with other people apart trading, forming alliances, etc).

    Also why you say it's most likely to make more money? that's the opposite many people are saying :)

    p.s. and yes I agree with you about FB!
     
  8. tolik

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    www.appdata.com <--- yeah, not a lot, just hundreds of companies.
     
  9. Game Producer

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    Ajax and stuff you do with libs like jquery go a long way.

    Of course it depends what you are planning on doing.
     
  10. Over00

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    I was a "total beginner" when I built Golemizer and yes I was alone and it was done part-time over 1 year ...

    Yes it's making money. No not a whole lot but it's now online for over a year with a core player base and it's slowly expanding as I'm receiving distribution offers.

    Perfect? No. Could it have been done in a better way? Yes but you have to learn somewhere.

    All I know is that I now have experience in building and maintaining an MMO which is more than all those people pretending an MMO requires a huge team and millions.
     
  11. puggy

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    The ajax stuff is part of the 'ways around that'. I've seen some very nice site's out there which make use of things like that to create better looking and functioning websites, unfortuantly there's not that many (relativly speaking).

    As for longest to make, yes you could use 3rd party stuff to cut down on the time, though it could restrict you on what you can do so getting something that works for what you want is important. Even mixing a client up with asp/php parts is possible (starpeace uses asp for parts of the game).

    As for the money part, it's all about percieved value, a downloaded client based game has more percieved value than a browser based game. So it's easier charge people more, however it is harder to gain those users, so while you make more money per person, you will also have less people. whether you make more money overall one way or the other is hard to judge and depends on the quality of the game and the quality of your promotion.

    tolik: yes, html/php/asp will use a lot more bandwidth, i know this very well as my mmo uses both, on average a user has about 700B/sec usage and the web parts are about 56k on average on the page plus images. The images do get cached by the user but the users can access page's every 10-20 seconds and the web parts arn't the most important part of the game. It's the extra html tags and rubbish that up's the web parts as the actual useful data is a very small part of that. Stripping the html stuff and about 1-2k per page is useful.

    As for the app data, check out both the developer and application leaderboards user DAU (daily average users) and see how quickly number 1 zagna at 64.8million go's to number 40 aa at 0.5 million. It's a steep drop in only 40 developers from a list of 33230 developers. Thats not even taking into consideration the number of those which are silly wee apps that get high numbers of a month or so and then die.
     
  12. Hideo

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    Well, well. I will have to reconsider... Some folks are indeed making MMOs alone. BTW, I didn't notice it was Jack. I thought it's another of those "boy wants to make a WoW clone" type of questions? :)

    Nonetheless, I still think MMO is one of THE most demanding projects one can attempt. It requires so much dedication to maintain one. It's only for the most patient of us.
     
  13. Psychochild

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    I'm a fairly infrequent poster, but saw a link to this thread from GameProducer.net. I ran the game Meridian 59 for about a decade. I've also advised a lot of indie MMO developers, including Over00 and his game Golemizer.

    First, I'd advise making sure your scope is small for your first game. If you're interested in the technical bits of making your own MMO, start small. Over00 tried to do a big sandbox game for his first game, and while it is impressive, he points out that there's a lot that could have been improved. MMOs aren't like other games where you can start on version 2 right after making the first one. If you get people playing your game, you'll have to support it and keep those players happy; otherwise, people won't trust you enough to stick around for your second game.

    I would also advise against trying to go at it completely by yourself. Yes, a single person (+ outsourcing) can make an MMO. But, you can do so much more by sharing the load, usually. Of course, you always have to deal with unreliable people unless you're paying salaries. Even if you are paying people, there's the chance they might take the money and just run. ;)

    Anyway, if anyone wants advice on building and running an MMO, feel free to visit my blog linked in my signature. Or, you can drop me an email. Sadly, I don't check these forums as often as I used to, so PMs on here might not be the best way.

    At any rate, good luck to anyone who wants to do an MMO. It's probably one of the more extreme forms of indie game development you can do. It's also very high profile since generally you make your money by getting people to play over a length of time. Consider your options carefully!
     
  14. Over00

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    I'd like to put focus on Brian's (Psychochild) post here.

    While I was alone behind the keyboard while coding his support and advice were what get me through the end of this project.

    In no way it is easy but it can be done. Having someone that kick your butt once in a while and bring you back to reality helps a lot. :)

    The scope of the project is important to define. I started with a wild idea and somehow made it to reality though maybe not the way I would have hope. If I would get to start again the scope would be much more smaller, specially since I had no knowledge at all of thing like community management, decent marketing and ways to monetize the game.

    If you're wondering of ways to properly monetize your game than I'd advice to drop Brian a mail about it. He's the one that can really help you on this topic.
     
  15. Jack Norton

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    Yes, I made some experiment in last days and I realized there's no way I can make it alone :rolleyes: I'm probably going to outsource the big programming part and concentrate on what I do best, the game design/marketing/management (that's a good excuse eh).
    Also I don't want all my time sucked into a MMO because if doesn't do well, I'm probably going to make less than now. So will definitely make an attempt with a simple one :)
     
  16. puggy

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    I wouldn't count out a WOW clone either. While doing the whole thing from scratch would be a really REALLY bad idea there are also tools out there to do it.

    Realmcrafter ( http://www.realmcrafter.com/ ) is basically an mmorpg system where is just scripting, layout and models and there pro version looks very nice. Start off with a small world and build up and you could get a nice small community though the MMORPG market is saturated so don't expect big things.

    infinity (http://www.infinity-universe.com/ ) looks like it has the potential to compete with eve though it has been in development for a very long time with only a few developers part time and a lot of contributions model wise.

    the universal ( http://theuniversal.net/ ) is a nice mmo that been around a long time and has evolved a lot with only 2-3 coders, though it's more of a fun project rather than a money making game for the developer.

    A client/server game can be done my small or even one man teams it's just a LOT harder to do and maintain.

    To be honest, the best advice i could give is if your thinking of going this route is to split your time with the major MMO with some other project like a normal games or a smaller php or flash games, that way you can make some money along the way. You could even use the smaller MMO php or flash games to get some experince though stepping up to a server/client system is a big step.
     
  17. Jack Norton

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    I actually bought realmcrafter a while ago (I think 2 years ago). But I never managed to use it, and doing a 3d MMORPG game is probably the worst thing I could do :D
    (too much competition, lots of expenses for 3d models, etc)
    I actually could probably spend 1 year working on the MMO with my recurring income, but I am not sure I want to be "chained" to a single game.
    I mean with my normal games, once finished, I don't need to worry about them anymore. I see now that while MMO are cool and can make good money they also require LOT of time to mantain and/or a full team, and I'm not really sure that's what I want :eek:
     
  18. defanual

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  19. tolik

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    This is blasphemy as I've mentioned - AJAX is a solution and pointed to lordofultima.com.

    First of all, learn to spell Zynga. Then, define a point of interest - that's apps with >50k daily audience. Then, count those companies. Hint: Hundreds.
     
  20. tolik

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    BigWorld is too big for small projects.
    With Jack's Python knowledge, he could easily make a game with SmartFoxServer (ugly outdated AS, Python or Java) or even ElectroServer (Java, JavaScript or AS in that case).
     

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