General Discussions

Custom MMO engine – PC_Freak.dude


Junior Member

Posts: 9
From: chesapeake, VA US
Registered: 12-09-2005
I think you get by now that I am obsessed with MMOs. I heard a program call them once, "Crack for program developers", and I think he was absolutely right. I think that we have ALL messed or thought of messing with free MMO engines such as playerworlds, BYOND or Eclipse, and some of us often use RC to make MMOs. The fact is, that these tools are either too crappy or, with buying additional tools such as Blitz for RC, become too expensive to make good games like Everquest, D&D, or World of Warcraft. Most people often give up because they don't want to take the time to learn, and there goes a budding new imagination that could create something amazing, not just games, but whole OS platforms. I think that many people would become more interested in making things from simply small games for their friends and family to huge commercial games like D&D if they had a point-and-click interface in which there was a scripting and coding option for more advanced developers. The engine would be similar to RPG Maker, with events, and ways to set quests. I believe that to make this engine, one would have to use Java or C++, possibly Blitz. I would need a team of dedicated developers that are skilled and willing to work with a still learning (almost there-3 long years of experience) 14 year old kid. Oh, yeah it would be free, too. I don't believe in makeing an awesome tool that people could benefit from andcharging hundreds of dollars for it. This engine is supposed to be for people who are just getting started in gaming!

Oh, by the way, don't get ideas yet. I'm still concepting....

More to come later.

God Bless!!

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.



Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
Howdy again.

Here's a pretty good post entitled you want to make a MMORPG".

Basically, it makes a few points I think are important for budding game developers to know.

A MMORPG is the largest project possible in the gaming world, and it is likely that none of us here could do this project even if we wanted to. MMORPGs require massive budgets, a tightly integrated team of programmers, artists, designers, and content people, as well as play testers and management/advertising. In short, way outside the normal budget of indie developers. I'm not saying that your project is impossible; you do not have enough experiance/capitol to realistically undertake it at the moment.

It is extremely unfeasible for you to start out programming MMORPGs, especially 3D ones. MUDs and 2D multiplayer games are more feasible, but still very tough nonetheless. I've known people to do it, and even people at your age who programmed their own multiplayer RPG from scratch on their own. It takes a lot of work though, and it will be next to impossible to find people to program it for you. If you want to see how many people before you have tried and failed, try doing a search for mmorpg on -- you'll see that there are *dozens* of unplayable, unfinished projects for every 1 or 2 that ever even hit beta.

The best effort I've yet seen for people to create a free, open-source generic MMORPG engine is the World Forge project -- from the looks of it, they're doing everything right. If you're serious about working on a team to build a real generic MMO engine, that's where your efforts will probably have the most lasting effect.

I don't mean to be too discouraging -- just sobering.





Posts: 48
From: Tulsa, CA, US
Registered: 12-06-2003
Im afraid HanClinto makes the most important point of all.

Itd be wisest to start learning the basics of game design, then making a 2D game, and if you do move to the MMO realm, starting out with a 2D MMO would be your best chance. (And this is after much networking expiriance with both TCP and UDP networking).

At our resource website, (Project [N] Resource), we are trying out small project to get our team the feel of game design. Even though some of us have been coding for much longer, (I've been using Blitz3D for 4 years now), creating a whole game by itself is quite an undertaking. If you're interested in working in our small group setting and getting a feel for game design, you can visit our website at . Check out the forums.

"I want to know how God thinks- everything else is a detail..."-Albert Einstein



Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
I don't want to be too discouraging. My first serious game that I wrote was a graphical multiplayer space MMO, sortof like a multiplayer Asteroids RPG in the spirit of Escape Velocity and other such games. It eventually got to where you could fly around, log on, chat with other people, and fire at them. It was a great learning project, and so people *can* start out with multiplayer games -- but the idea of creating an MMORPG is quite different.

MMORPG stands for *massively* multiplayer online RPG. I highlight the *massively* because what that word means is that it uses a distributed load-balancing server system to handle more than what a single server could handle by itself.

A standard single-server multiplayer online RPG can handle between 60-80 players at the same time comfortably. If you really optimize your server, you can possibly handle 100-120 people online at the same time with a single server. So for most people's purposes, a *massively* multiplayer online game is one that has support for more than 100 concurrent players in the same online environment. That is what is so appealing about something like Ultima Online or World of Warcraft. However, that's also exactlywhat's so incredibly hard to program, even for the professionals. That's why there are so many "duping" bugs and other such things, because people find exploits in the very-complex-to-program server synchronization code and use them to "duplicate" game objects.

So I say all that to let people know that MMORPGs are really unfeasible for 99% of independent developer teams. MORPGs are perfectly feasible, and I think they're a great starting place for game developers to write games, but to write a massively multiplayer game is just incredibly complex.

I hope that explains my advice a little bit better. I'm sorry if I was too discouraging, PC_Freak.dude -- I really don't want to make you lose heart -- I just want to help you know what you're up against.

In Christ,



Posts: 311
From: I use your computer as my second Linux box
Registered: 10-30-2005
There you go again Clint, dashing another learners; hes right as far as MMorpgs go, but the Morpgs arent as hard. I would recomend that IF you are *very* good with BB and have more than *some* experience with networking; I have myself only done 1 networked game in BB, pm me if you want to see it. Its not that great and not really finished though. And it is IMPERITIVE that you design/buy/find/begfor a library/class/anything that will help you do your networking codewise. at the MININUM it must have methods for [making a host, client, adding data to a compressed format (string), sending a packet to a certian or all clients/host]

Omnia Vos Estis Cordatis



Posts: 330
From: Eau Claire, WI USA
Registered: 10-25-2004
The creation of a custom mmorpg engine from scratch by an independant team ranks just below building your own space shuttle on the scale of impossability, and just above producing your own feature length movie.

However, the dream continues! Thats right clint.. I never give up

We have the good fortune to live in an age when the rapid expansion of media technology and open source movements are blossoming into the "independant" sector with both open source projects that incorperate the efforts of dozens or hundreds or even thousands of very talented and geeky coders and companies with lots of money are beginning to see the benefit of making tools available to the common man which will enable him to produce what before was only possible for high end game studios, and holywood.

Hanclinto already pointed out worldforge as a promising open source project. RealmCrafter is a dirt cheap comercial solution, but has the drawback of very dated graphics (dx7 if memory serves).
Currently my eye is resting on Multiverse ( as a possability. It is free up front with a royalty system if you ever manage to make money on your game, and it provides a set of tools for world development, as well as promising a robust scripting option to modify the prebuilt system, and if I remember correctly open source as well if you need more drastic modifications than the scripting can provide. Also it provides very up to date graphical capabilities, providing you have the art team to produce good stuff to begin with.. which is always the problem!

There are other engines available as well. Torque engine is available cheap now, but it is customized for Multiplayer, not MASSIVELY multiplayer so its networking would need an overhaul (some have been working on this already).

UltimaOnline clones are available and can be heavily modified if your looking for 2D. I haven't seen much else in the 2D world that I could tolerate graphically.

-- All that is gold does not glitter,
Deep roots are not touched by the frost,
The old that is strong does not wither,
Not all those who wander are lost.