PC Game Development

Discussion in 'PC Gaming' started by AceHighDev, Jan 20, 2013.

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What's important to you in a PC MMORPG?

  1. Depth to player-driven economy

  2. Depth to player-versus-player

  3. Graphics

  4. Other (Please reply!)

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. AceHighDev

    AceHighDev Junior Member

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    Hello PC World Forum-Goers!

    My name is Nick Mustaro from New Jersey, USA and I'm the founder of Ace High Development, a NJ based Software/Web development seeking to get our feet wet in the MMORPG market. I'm conducting some research in to what people are looking for in that next MMORPG. Also, Ace High Dev. is looking for team members talented in areas such as 3D graphical design, 3D modelling, Object-Oriented Programming (C#,C++,Java, LUA), Sound art and testing!

    Please take the time to answer my quick poll and toss in a reply with some specific details of what you'd like to see in an MMORPG!

    If you're interested in a development position with Ace High Dev., head over to our website at: http://www.AceHighDevelopment.net78.net and fill out the short application under the "Join Ace High" link at the top. Someone will be in touch with you within 48 hours!

    Also, feel free to join our dedicated message board to join in on the development process!

    Thanks for your time,
    Nicolas Mustaro
    Admin
    Ace High Development
     
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  3. Fanatical Meat

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    1st welcome & good luck Nick, I'll keep my fingers crossed that this thread doesn't get deleted.
    I voted other, I want a challenging game where I can adventure with friends/meet new people to adventure with. I am no longer interested in delivery quests, hand holding and massive exclamation points above npc's heads (!).
    In ok paying a monthly fee but I prefer the guild wars strategy of frequent expansions.
    I have a question for you, why does every MMO shoot for $15 per month or free to play with an obnoxious cash shop? Why doesn't anyone get creative with pricing? Like $50 for the year or $6 per month with small paid expansions every now & then?
     
  4. AceHighDev

    AceHighDev Junior Member

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    Hey, Fanatical Meat! Plans for any financial gains off this project are minimal and will most likely be based off a small monthly subscription. Just enough for me to recoup initial investments, the team to eat and maintain our servers. This "initial" project will be more-or-less for us to get our name out there as "innovators" in the mmorpg world, and depending on our 1-2 year post-release popularity we will decide whether or not to pursue future mmorpg endeavors.

    I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that our plans for the questing system are already well hammer out and they involve no exclamation points (or other gaudy notifiers for that matter!) In fact, very little of the presentation of quests will be in text - All quest presentation will be cut-scene voice animated cinematic!
     
  5. imaheadcase

    imaheadcase Diamond Member

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    It really varies from day-to-day game play. I love me some pvp, but its so hard to balance and make right in MMO. I also love me player drive economy.

    I think MMO try to hard to put everything in a game to appease everyone, but that just is not the case in today's market. You might not have a huge player base, but you will have a more dedicated player base if you focus on one or the other. I would much rather have the framework for player driven economy first, and then eventually you can put other things in.
     
  6. Chiropteran

    Chiropteran Diamond Member

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    Other: real consequences for dying.
     
  7. AdamantC

    AdamantC Senior member

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    Other: A freakin' dynamic game world. I'm so sick of MMOPRGs where everything is jam set in stone. I want regions to change hands, serious repercussions for players who go on murder sprees in low level towns, an option for factions to form alliances to fight bigger threats or simply for trade and economic growth.

    Don't tell a story to the players, let the players be the story.

    Also for the love of God and all that is holy don't use a fantasy setting.
     
  8. AceHighDev

    AceHighDev Junior Member

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    This has been a long-standing idea of my mine as well. I was always a fan of Diablo II's Hardcore mode because it gave players a reason to think before they acted. Do you have any specific suggestions for consequences of dieing?

    The theme is going to be an enlightenment/industrial era. Before you start thinking "Steam punk", don't worry, it will be far less cartoony than the typical steam punk game.

    You'll be happy to know our plan is to have a 90% dynamic world. For instance, harvesting raw materials will be done by players building structures wherever they please in the world, and the amount/type of resource harvested will depend on the location of the structure and specifications of the structure. Also, most harvesting and crafting will be done in an interactive way making harvesting and quality of crafted items dependent on a developed skill of the user as opposed to a numerical skill point value.

    Thanks for all the great input! Keep it rolling!
     
  9. Fanatical Meat

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    Ace, I'd love to see some game mechanic that allowed players to play random monsters in the game occasionally. Don't flag them as player controlled and don't allow them to chat or communicate so it's harder to game. It would allow mobs to seem less scripted, give us something different to do and maybe a different area to explore.
     
  10. Jumpem

    Jumpem Lifer

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    A good PvE experience. Classes and gameplay that are balanced for PvE. I don't care about PvP in the least, and have seen many games ruined because of nerfs and changes to balance PvP.
     
  11. AceHighDev

    AceHighDev Junior Member

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    I love this idea. This will be a huge talking point at our next team meeting!

    Initial plans are to have the game mostly centered on economy and PvE. Would you say you prefer advancement to be achievable as a solo player, or for it to require an aspect of cooperation?
     
  12. Fanatical Meat

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    ^^excellent! Pm me a beta key when you're ready.
     
  13. Jumpem

    Jumpem Lifer

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    Definitely solo. Make grouping an option, not a requirement. That was my biggest gripe with WoW. That it forced you to group if you wanted the best rewards.
     
  14. Chiropteran

    Chiropteran Diamond Member

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    I'd like to see something between the current MMO penalty (30 seconds or so wasted, no real loss) and hardcore Diablo death (character gone forever).

    I am not sure it's best way to go for a mainstream appeal, but I think there is a certain type of player who would like to play a game with a serious death penalty, but something less than total loss of a character.

    One MMO style MUD I played on had you lose about 1/3 a level worth of XP and drop your gear where you died in your corpse. I'm not sure that would fly in a more modern style MMO, but I'd love to see someone try it.
     
  15. Markbnj

    Markbnj Elite Member <br>Moderator Emeritus
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    Hello from Morris County, Nick, and welcome. As a former EQ I, Dark Age of Camelot, WoW, Vanguard, and Aeon player I have developed a few strong opinions over the years :).

    Among the things that are important to me:

    - Consequences for losing. As someone above mentioned, modern games have refined away all the setbacks that should occur when you try something and it doesn't go well. The idea isn't to kick the player when he or she is down, but rather to add back some risk to go with the reward, so that the reward actually feels like an accomplishment.

    - Related to consequences: nights that are actually dark, journeys that are actually long and "tiring," monsters that are actually dangerous (I'm looking at you and your dragons, Skyrim). If you played EQ then you may recall that feeling when you stepped out into a truly dark forest, with growls coming from the underbrush around you.

    - NPCs and creatures: with all the CPU power, disk space, and bandwidth we have at our disposal now you'd think that we could do better than Disney-esque animatronic mannequins. Why don't people act a little more like people, and animals a little more like animals? As a programmer I've toyed for years with ways to use simple rules to add variety to the world. I'd love to see some world builders really attack this challenge.

    - Sound. I think sound is one of the most overlooked aspects of sensory perception in a gaming world. I'm not speaking simply of "soundscapes" that add aesthetically, but also using sound to provide feedback. Enemies in armor should not be able to attack me from behind without my hearing them. Animals should make noise moving through brush. A column of NPCs on horseback should make quite a bit of noise wherever they are.

    - Better "faction AI." In a typical game you have a few boss NPCs that supposedly control large, dangerous organizations, and they stand around their scripted location with a few hangers on waiting for you to attack. Out in the world all the members of their organizations do the same. Let's see factions actually trying to accomplish goals, members reacting to and carrying out orders, strategies and tactics being put into play in which the player character may potentially become embroiled. As with NPC AI I don't think you have to take this one very far to get some dramatic improvements in the credibility of the world.

    Good luck with your project!
     
  16. Paul98

    Paul98 Diamond Member

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    How many people do you expect to be working on the game design, graphics, other none programming related stuff? You need a lot of content for a MMORPG, I would focus on creating a game engine where the player base can help create this content. How much experience do you and the others working on this project have?

    Also what sort of graphics, type of graphics engine are you looking to create or use?
     
    #15 Paul98, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  17. Paul98

    Paul98 Diamond Member

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    What I would like to see is a good active battle system, since it's a MMORPG a good grouping system in order to do things. Also a changing environment doesn't have to be crazy, but something that makes it so when you go somewhere you have been before it won't always be the same.
     
  18. AceHighDev

    AceHighDev Junior Member

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    Hey, Paul89. At the moment we have three programmers (including myself), one Sound guy fresh out of Full Sail University, two 3D graphics modellers, one of which worked on multiple mods for the Halflife Source engine and had a very impressive portfolio, and one 2D/physical artist for conceptual drawings. Ideally, when we actually start the hard-writing process, we will have 5 programmers, 5 3D graphical modelling people, at least two texture artists and one more sound professional. Our initial scope for the project is 1.5-2.5 years, probably more towards the latter, but we also anticipate picking up new programmers and artists along the way. For some reason, projects in mid-development are more appealing to people.

    To answer your second question, we are undecided at the moment. I've been playing around with some precompiled engines for C++ like Irrlicht, I've been looking into the DirectX SDK with C#, OpenGL with C#, and we've also been seriously considering Java, possibly with the jMonkey Engine. We like the concept of having a cross-platform game we only have to write/compile once to achieve, but we're worried the JRE can't handle the graphics quality and complexity we're seeking. Part of my research involved asking how much Graphics quality plays a part in playability, and so far about 70% have said innovative features of gameplay would more than compensate for a slightly lacking overall graphics quality. Runtime lag is always a worry with the JRE, but careful memory allocation should keep it to a minimum.

    As I said, it is still well in debate.


    Hey, Markbnj! I was in Morrisstown about 3 months ago for an EPA test I had to take for a Pesticide license. My condolences to you and yours, I remember saying to myself as I navigated through the heart of that town: "I'm never coming back here..." :biggrin:

    I like the way you're thinking with this and it is something I've also considered. I agree that most MMORPGs on the market don't really have a sound difference between day/night, dark/light areas. For the most part, it's just a change in lighting. Our sound guy is very skilled at manufacturing sound and we have been discussing ways to implement realistic sound into the ambiance to give players a real feel of immersion.

    About 80% of the suggestions I get have at the least been touched on in previous team meetings, but this one has not and I'm very glad you've thrown that idea out. Possibly a system in which players can aquire a certain amount of "political popularity" among a faction, and then be "elected" to a leadership position and be capable of initiating certain events such as attacks/raids on enemy factions. This topic will definitely be discussed at the next meeting.
     
  19. Aikouka

    Aikouka Lifer

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    Is this your first project, and if so, why would you choose a MMO? Seems like a rather risky and large project to take on. In a way, it would worry me that you would even want to come here and find out what people want. When taking on a project like that, you would want to have a vision of what sort of game you want to construct, and essentially what sort of niche you want to try and take up.

    Not to try to rain on your parade, but as a software engineer and a gamer who has seen many MMOs come and go, it makes me wary.
     
  20. AceHighDev

    AceHighDev Junior Member

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    Hey, Aikouka. It is my first "official" project under this DBA, but I have worked on a few FPS and RTS projects in the past. I do have a vision of what this game will be. I've been researching this for about six months now in many different ways. Posting here is just one of those ways. We're nearing a point of setting things in stone and starting on the hierarchy charts, so this "survey" of mine on your forums is essentially our "last stop" in research of what the audience wants. The core fundamentals of the game are there, we're adding details at this point.

    --EDIT--

    I'm actually in my third year at the University of Phoenix working towards a Software Engineering degree. As an already established SE, do you have any tips you'd be willing to offer that might help me after I graduate?
     
    #19 AceHighDev, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  21. CuriousMike

    CuriousMike Platinum Member

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    An MMO as a first time project --- holy deep end.

    - it will take longer than you think.
    - testing will become a huge issue
    - it's online. it will take longer than you think
    - multi-platform is a great idea. you're going to rob peter to pay paul.
    - i liked the above crowd-sourcing idea; the amount of content that's expected for an MMO is typically pretty massive. Getting users to do that work for you ( and their reward is being part of the process ) is a win-win.
    - you better have a strong server-engineer
    - scale back now
    - know that just because something is 80% done, it's still OK to cut it if you want to ship
     
  22. Paul98

    Paul98 Diamond Member

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    I would agree for a first real project going with a MMORPG is going to be a bit much. I like that you want to create something large and innovative. But I would suggest looking at creating something smaller for a first main project. Heck you could start with an RPG with some of the aspects you want in your MMORPG. With some of the character and enemy models that you could use for both. Use the smaller project to help you learn what you really want in your large project.
     
  23. Aikouka

    Aikouka Lifer

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    The reason why I brought up surveying people directly is because I think that's the wrong approach. As much as it sounds nice to get the people's opinion, the survey size is probably going to be way too small. Also, take a look at the answers that you've received... they're all over the board in regard to niches.

    If someone were to ask me what should be in their MMO, I would respond with asking what made them want to make a MMO in the first place. What was missing in the current crop of games that makes them think that there's a place for their game?

    Do you mean job-wise for when you graduate? Probably the best advice that I could give anyone is... who you know is more important than what you know. Networking isn't just something that they do at Cisco. :p Also, I would highly recommend having an internship at a company to put on your resume.
     
  24. AceHighDev

    AceHighDev Junior Member

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    I've got one great thing going in my favor: My Uncle works for Lockheed Martin, has been there 30+ years and is actually the reason I started pursuing the SE Degree. He told me it is their minimum requirement for entry-level programming positions, and he can easily get me one of those positions provided I pass their intense background check and acquire the clearance.

    Hey, CuriousMike, I'm not sure where your being sarcastic and where your being serious. I understand what you mean by crowd-sourcing, but in general the team I'm forming with this initial project is a team I plan to turn into a legit software development firm. I've made that perfectly clear to everyone I've interviewed for the team so far, and I've done that for one huge reason: I want everyone who accepts the offer to be 100% dedicated to the team, not only the project. My goals extend far beyond creating a new MMORPG.

    I know I may seem like I'm reaching for the clouds with a step ladder, but I'm probably one of the few people left who really believe that is what this country was founded on.

    I've already scaled back from the initial scope I had three months ago... Way back, actually. I've been discussing with my team the prospect of scaling back a bit farther to something comparable to Runescape. Under no circumstances will we be doing an Applet - It will definitely be a client-side executable, but building it small-scale in Java, possibly with jMonkey, is an option on the table.

    What exactly do you mean by "- multi-platform is a great idea. you're going to rob peter to pay paul."?
     
  25. Markbnj

    Markbnj Elite Member <br>Moderator Emeritus
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    A lot of people assume you have to be a WoW-beater to be a success, meaning a budget of a hundred million, infrastructure for three million players on launch day, and good odds of spectacular failure. I haven't done the math or looked at the business model, but why can't you be successful with a million or a half-million subscribers? Bandwidth, hosting, to some extent support, could be amortized across a number of titles drawing crowds of that size in different genres. I think it might be a successful approach.
     
  26. AceHighDev

    AceHighDev Junior Member

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    Hey, Mark. The main framework and pretty much the entire world of Azeroth was built by 15 individuals, only five of them programmers, over a period of 5 years.

    Also, if you look at a game like A Tale In The Desert that has a relatively small player base, I believe only ~ 2,000 active subscriber, and do the math you'll see they're actually making enough to be considered a "success" in my book!

    With 2000 subscribers at a monthly fee of $13.99, they are pulling in about $27,980 per month.

    If we hit 5,000 subscribers at half that rate, I'll consider the project a success.