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Help making an MMO

GavinGavin Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I just posted this in the MMO thread, but figured I would move it here before I was told to anyways.

-


Sorry for the cliche thread name, but I've always wanted an opportunity to use that.

Anyways, onward towards the point:

This might belong in the help forum, but It does relate to MMOs and I thought I would get the best advice here.


So, I have this idea for a game, some basic artwork for it, and I really have the entire concept nailed.

But my issue is that I don't really know where to go to find people with the skills and interest to help me possibly birth this idea into life.

I'm a sophomore in High school, and I don't really have any friends with the necessary skills for this, but honestly, I don't even know what the necessary skills are.

I've thought about maybe trying to make a single player version in flash, just to at least have something to show, and I'm sure I could find someone capable of that, but...

Im really at a loss.

How do creators of games that look like they really could have been started by 1 person get to the point they are at?

(Im talking to you, maplestory)

-Thanks so much =D

Gavin on

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    LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Designers don't take submissions because of the legal ramifications it brings. They won't just not look at it, it will go straight into the bin.

    You have to get a concept going. You have the right idea; if you can execute it in Flash, you should.

    You should try asking around some Flash game designer forums; there will probably be some people who will hear out your idea. Unfortunately, you can't protect your idea from them ripping it off, but if it's simply a proof-of-concept they don't stand to gain much anyway.

    You can then use it as a demo for job applications. If you are looking for people to hire you as a result of the concept, you'll need either time + expertise or a lot of money to hire people with those two things to make this an actual reality.

    Lewisham on
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    GavinGavin Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Well, shit.

    Gavin on
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    GavinGavin Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    So if Im going to do it in flash, it really needs to be done by someone I can trust, I guess...

    I think, If i were presenting it to someone, I would show them my concepts, and the flash bit would just be a demonstration of a key bit of the game, something that comes up a lot.

    Like, say my game were final fantasy, my flash bit would just be a fight, but that isnt to say final fantasy is onlt a fighting game.

    Gavin on
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    krapst78krapst78 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Your best chance of getting this game made is to do it yourself. Getting help from other people is fine, but if you are really passionate about developing this game, you have to have the motivation to try and learn it yourself. Flash is a great way to make proof of concepts and even full-fleshed games (even things as complex as MMORPGs like Dofus). A great place to go for example Flash games is http://www.kongregate.com . They even have a forum where people are looking for collaborators on making Flash games, however you'll probably want to flesh out some of your stuff into a prototype before looking for partners.

    Also, the look of the game can be really deceiving. A game that looks as simple as Maple Story actually required a TON of work before it was even shown to the public. I know the original team members that created Maple Story and they are extremely high-caliber, highly motivated, and talented guys. The main producer had a proven track record by working as a programmer and designer on several other successful online games in Korea (Quiz Quiz and Crazy Arcade) prior to leaving and starting his own company to create Maple Story. He was only able to sign up the talent he did because he had shown with his previous efforts that he could be trusted in his new endeavor. The main artist had also partnered with him on those projects and also had the track record to show he could handle the art direction for a large project. The two main programmers are also some of the most brilliant guys I've ever met. All these guys graduated from the top university in Korea and worked and sacrificed a great deal to make that game happen. A lot of thought and consideration went into making that game seem as simple as it does, even when underneath it all, there is a lot of complexity in making sure everything runs properly.

    krapst78 on
    Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father prepare to die!
    Looking for a Hardcore Fantasy Extraction Shooter? - Dark and Darker
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    bagelpiratebagelpirate Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Game idea's come easy, going past that is way harder.

    I'll be frank with it tbh, you aren't going to find many experienced coders/modelers/mappers that would be willing to work for free on some idea that a sophomore in high school came up with. I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but thats the reality of the situation.

    Making a normal game is a hell of a lot of work, making an MMO goes into levels completely beyond that.

    If you are REALLY serious about your game you need to get an investor, in which case you need a complete game plan and business plan to present. You mentioned giving someone your ideas to turn into a flash game, even that is way more complex than you think it is. A good flash app will cost thousands.

    Once again, tbh, there are thousands of people like you out there with great Ideas for games, but very few that can actually make them a possibility. Its not like WoW was just a good Idea, it was a company, with millions $ backing, and a staff of talented programmers and creative leads. There is so much work in the small details, and that is where you would need the programmers and creative people, they also had Project Managers, mappers, modelers, testers, server techs, etc... etc...

    I think you are severely underestimating the scope of a game, much less an MMO

    If you don't have any money and you still want to try this, start here : http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/

    bagelpirate on
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    FellhandFellhand Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Listen, I don't want to crush your dreams, but a single man getting an mmo off the ground with little to no financial backing has about the same chance as I do of getting into space with my wooden rocketship in the back yard.

    Go to college for comp sci and learn everything there is to learn about coding to start.

    Fellhand on
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    ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Your chance of realizing an MMORPG by yourself or being able to get people on the internet to make it for free for you is basically zero.

    If you want to produce any kind of game at all you basically have two choices.

    You can independently make the game: A one man team or small group of people whom may or may not be paid make the game in flash or as a mod using an existing game engine most typically. No matter how you do it you need at least one programmer--artists and designers are sort of superfluous if nobody knows how to build the damn thing. So if you want the best chances of being able to create your own game that means YOU need to learn how to program.

    The other option is to get into the videogame industry as a designer and work at a studio: This is nearly impossible to do and you are setting yourself up for spectacular failure if you think you will be hired on FRESH as an 'idea man' at any company. The way most people become designers is to work their way up to that position after years of experience as usually a PROGRAMMER or ARTIST. So again, if you want the best chance of being able to be in a creative position at a video game developer, you need to start somewhere and that means learning to program or teaching yourself 2D and/or 3D art skills to get a job in the first place.

    Scosglen on
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    Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    You can make it using this tool. Warning, it isn't perfect and does cost money but it is continuously being updated and worked on and it is a good way to get a feel for how games are made. You make a height map, populate the zone with stuff, add in NPCs, throw in special scripted crap, etc. I would check it out if I were you, which at one point I was.

    http://realmcrafter.com/catalog/information.php?info_id=6

    If you are really ambitious, I would use this as a means to put out a decent demo. If you just have a game creation itch, I think it is a fun hobby and this tool helps shave the rough edges off of some things by supplying you with basic scripts and models.

    EDIT: I don't mean to get your hopes up btw, this is a huge and daunting task, even with this tool and even with help from your friends. However, using stock models and stock animations, I was able to put together a medium sized world with very basic PvP in a few weeks. However, going much beyond that gets very difficult.

    Lucky Cynic on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited December 2007
    Fellhand wrote: »
    Listen, I don't want to crush your dreams, but a single man getting an mmo off the ground with little to no financial backing has about the same chance as I do of getting into space with my wooden rocketship in the back yard.

    Go to college for comp sci and learn everything there is to learn about coding to start.

    This, basically.

    If you want to get into game design, awesome. Pick an aspect of it you like - programming, art, whatever. Learn how to do that. Do it well. Get hired on at a good company. Build a reputation and an experience base. Then maybe you can pitch an idea to your current company and have them pay attention to you.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
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    GavinGavin Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Thanks for the overwhelming feedback, guys 0.0

    Yeah, I really didnt see it becoming a full fledged MMO by itself, with only me creating it, but the concept is for one.

    If I do manage to make any sort of playable game out of this, it will most likely be a 2d flash model.

    However, I do have a friend who is relatively talented at modeling with MAYA, what kinds of things can I do with the program you recommended? (realmcrafter)

    If you needed to make something like guitar freaks or something like WoW, could you execute on those things?

    Gavin on
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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    There are some exceptions to the rule.

    http://xenimus.com/

    This guy has been working on his project, flying solo for over a decade. He makes enough to live on. He started out just by himself and when things took off he hired out 3rd parties to do 3D modeling for him, etc.

    His game has come a long way, especially in the past few years.

    He wrote an article about solo game-development. It's somewhere on that crummy site.

    Jasconius on
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    DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Usually I post in threads like this one to discourage people, but you're young and so there's hope for you yet.

    As others have posted, making a game (or any sort of complex software system) is a tremendous amount of work. Coming up with ideas, even good ideas, is easy. It's reducing them to practice that is hard.

    Here's the hardest part about having a great idea and not having a lot of experience: you don't know what's hard and what's not. Great designers of anything have tremendous insight, yes, but they also have acute knowledge of the practical aspects of the domains for which they are designing. In their mind is a constant struggle between what's ideal and what's doable, and how to take a great idea and grow it into a practical concept within the bounds of what's possible with the resources available. It helps a lot in creating a design if you know how much effort it takes to do X instead of Y, since you can make educated tradeoff decisions. To put it simply, you don't know what you don't know.

    Game crafting toolkits like RealmCrafter can give you a substantial leg up, and in your case are pretty much your best (only?) opportunity at success. But they're not perfect. You'll be able to implement *something* in RealmCrafter, but not WoW. You're going to be limited and frustrated by the capabilities and limitations of the engine. The thing you want to do is to design something that can fit inside those limitations and still be fun.

    I remember when I was exactly your age, I coded up a great game in the Bard's Tale Construction Set, just for fun. It took me a couple weeks. It pushed the limits of the engine, had about a dozen levels, secret passages, different shops, an entirely customized set of weapons and armor, multiple mini-bosses, and a fully realized plot. It was set in my high school and the plot centered around some particular ridiculous drama that was going on with the faculty at that time, and so it was sort of an underground thing that got passed around in hushed tones on floppy disks. (All the NPCs were real teachers and students, and the final boss fight occurred against a particularly annoying teacher in his lair - a well-known local gay bar). It didn't break any ground, but I did exploit just about every trick and customization available in the engine. I had been writing code in various languages for 5 years by that point, so I had that going for me. That's the kind of project that can succeed and why engines and game construction kits are so important.

    That said, you can't do anything with just pointing and clicking. You're going to need to learn to code - at least scripts, for something like RealmCrafter, and having an artist around definitely helps (especially when there's already a large palette of pre-made objects and things available for your use).
    If you needed to make something like guitar freaks or something like WoW, could you execute on those things?

    Note that there is a substantial difference between a game like Guitar Hero and a game like WoW. Given four weeks of complete freedom (and an appropriate guitar controller with a documented interface) I could definitely build you a simple clone of Guitar Hero. It might not look as good and it wouldn't include fancy things like multiplayer, but the basic gameplay will be the same. I understand the challenges involved - you have to build the UI (which is pretty basic), a controller interface, an audio subsystem and then you have to hook them all up together with some data (audio + button-press data).

    Building a game like WoW, on the other hand, is a comparative nightmare. You've got a massive UI, you've got to build your servers and design the protocols, you have to deal with latency and cheaters, you have to give everybody a consistent view of the world, you need AI and instances and a million other things. Yes, you can buy off-the-shelf components for doing things like the 3D engine, a physics engine, audio subsystem, etc - all for $TEXAS each, but integrating software isn't like legos.

    - - -

    Your job right now is to go get a copy of RealmCrafter and devour it. Take it apart. Deconstruct the sample applications that they provide and then make selective modifications to them. Know the engine inside and out. Then you'll know what's possible and can move forward from there. If you like it, you can turn some of those skills into a career later.

    DrFrylock on
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    GavinGavin Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    And lo did the mighty frylock bestow his great wisdoms down unto the lone nubzors.

    Thanks so much =D

    Ill read some of that info posted earlier on coding and get myself a copy of realm...

    But, are those skills going to be necessary for me later?

    If I ever got into the game business, it would be as an artist, sketching or modeling.

    Can I make my own models in that program?

    Or at least edit theirs?

    Gavin on
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    Deviant HandsDeviant Hands __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Look into BYOND. That's probably the best shot you will have at making a successful MMO all by yourself.

    I'm working with BYOND right now to create a shitty little game.

    Deviant Hands on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited December 2007
    Gavin wrote: »
    And lo did the mighty frylock bestow his great wisdoms down unto the lone nubzors.

    Thanks so much =D

    Ill read some of that info posted earlier on coding and get myself a copy of realm...

    But, are those skills going to be necessary for me later?

    Any skill you can acquire that pertains to game design will be useful, even if it's not going to be your focus. An artist who has a grasp of level design, or programming, or story development, is more useful and more able to work with his team. It never hurts to understand even the things you're not responsible for.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
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    krapst78krapst78 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Gavin wrote: »
    And lo did the mighty frylock bestow his great wisdoms down unto the lone nubzors.

    Thanks so much =D

    Ill read some of that info posted earlier on coding and get myself a copy of realm...

    But, are those skills going to be necessary for me later?

    Any skill you can acquire that pertains to game design will be useful, even if it's not going to be your focus. An artist who has a grasp of level design, or programming, or story development, is more useful and more able to work with his team. It never hurts to understand even the things you're not responsible for.

    Those tangential skills will make you a stronger candidate and help you contribute more in a team setting. Of course your main bread and butter will be your art skills, so continually hone those skills, but you can definitely earn the respect of your peers with a good understanding of the other fields.

    We had once added a new feature that gave users special cards that added bonuses to their team. Unfortunately the original design was a little flawed and the probability of the high end card coming out of a low level item was too high. When we were alerted to the problem in our weekly meeting, it was our art director who was able to figure out the formula to correct the problem. It was really funny because he was able to remember the formula faster than all our software engineers. That earned him a new level of respect from the team and also lead to some gentle ribbing towards our SEs.

    krapst78 on
    Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father prepare to die!
    Looking for a Hardcore Fantasy Extraction Shooter? - Dark and Darker
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited December 2007
    I was generally respected by the coders on our team (I was an artist) for my ability to grasp programming essentials and develop algorithms and more efficient processes. The other artists, particularly the art director, not so much. Whenever I suggested doing things in a slightly different way because it was more efficient or resulted in better final work or made life easier for the programmers (or all three), I was basically told to fuck off. The art director figured if he couldn't figure something out, it wasn't worth figuring.

    Still, on balance, having a broad knowledge base outside your specific field of expertise is an asset. You will find, though, that different disciplines often think on a fundamentally different level. Artists often don't get programmers, and vice versa. Being able to serve as a liaison between the different groups is extremely valuable.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
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    GavinGavin Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Thanks everyone =D

    I didn't expect so much help to pour in all at once like this, and I feel like I should do my best to take advantage of the resource.

    My plan now is to draw up some sketches, write a little bit about what it is I would like to do, and hopefully I can get some more advice.

    If it gets stolen, oh well, that means it was a good plan, right?

    I've learned so far that good ideas arent that hard to come by anyways.

    Gavin on
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