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The One Man MMO Project
The story of a lone developer's quest to build an online world :: MMO programming, design, and industry commentary
By Robert Basler on 2015-12-11 23:31:52
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
missiles.gif


One of the 5 new weapon effects: Cannons, missiles, lasers, lightning and flamethrower. Moving on to explosions.
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By Robert Basler on 2015-12-07 01:16:13
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I have written 200 blog posts on the development of The Imperial Realm::Miranda. It turns out developing an MMO is a complicated business!

When I started the blog back in November 2009, I wrote:

I'll state up front, I realize how ambitious a project an MMO is. Even a small MMO is huge, I get that. But I still want to try. Chances are at the end of my time on the project, there will be nothing resembling a game. I think the value here will be what is learned along the way.

While what I have learned has been amazing and valuable, the biggest benefit has been the opportunity to watch my little girl grow up in person instead of over Skype. Developing Miranda has been thousands of late nights, constant budget analysis, a small fortune, stress - and a much closer relationship with my wife, who has been amazing in her support of Miranda. Miranda is a game. We built her and I am thrilled.

I kind of wish I had a big announcement to make to celebrate this milestone, but if you've been following along you already know that I have a trailer and some big game features still to finish... Pre-Alpha Release 4 will be out by New Years. There, nailed it.
By Robert Basler on 2015-11-29 23:44:23
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I'm finally feeling pretty good again after a week of having a cold, but progress was kind of sporadic this week. Friday was great fun though! While I have been working on other parts of the trailer I have been thinking a lot about why combat isn't as exciting as I want it to be. I had a bunch of ideas and that all started to come together Friday afternoon.
By Robert Basler on 2015-11-23 02:19:06
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
A couple of my biggest, baddest bugs fell this week. There are three different types of bugs programmers face: there are bugs where you can easily reproduce the bug and know right away what the problem is, those are pretty easy to fix. There are bugs where you know what the problem is but fixing it is a huge effort (usually because it is in a system made of dozens of massively complicated components.) Lastly there are the really bad bugs, the ones that aren't obvious and can't easily be reproduced. Those ones can take days.

I once worked on a crash bug in a Need for Speed game that took about an hour to set up, and it took 59 attempts to get the bug to reproduce one time. It turned out that the bug depended on the WiFi dropping a UDP packet. When that happened, two packets arrived in the reverse order they normally arrived in, generating a crash.
By Robert Basler on 2015-11-12 17:29:36
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
The six year anniversary of the start of development on The Imperial Realm::Miranda passed quietly this Monday while I was busily fixing bugs in some new elements for the upcoming trailer. (The people on the mailing list just received the advance scoop on that.)

Miranda's development has taken too long. I'm the first person to admit that. I feel a little awkward now when someone asks me how long I've been working on the game. I've often described Miranda as wildly ambitious but now that it is coming together, I think it is going to be unique and surprising for traditional RTS players.

FirstMultiplayer.jpg
[Miranda has certainly come a long way since this first multiplayer session back in 2011]


So what can you expect from Year 7?
By Robert Basler on 2015-11-02 19:12:40
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Something I discovered people are quite floored by when I demo Miranda is when I zoom out from my base, then it switches to map view and then just keeps zooming out. While I don't yet have the full 300x300KM map, even my 20x20KM test map gives a pretty good sense of how big the environment is. So that needs to be in the trailer. The map has been working for a long time, but when I took a close look at it this week, I found a few little things that needed to be addressed.
By Robert Basler on 2015-10-28 23:07:19
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Every once in a while being a programmer is a useful skill.

For years I fought with Pixela's broken ImageMixer software to try to get it to download videos from my Canon Vixia HF S100 camcorder. The software worked about 30% of the time, which was enormously frustrating. Recently the PC with that software had a hard drive failure. I couldn't find the original software CD. Canon's website now recommends CameraWindow, ZoomBrowser and ImageBrowser for the HF S100, but after finding the camera box with the serial number and entering that, downloading and installing the three packages, not one could see the attached camera.

I'd had enough. While watching TV with the wife last night, it took just four hours to write new Windows software to locate the attached camera (or storage card,) download the videos, thumbnails and photos from the camera and copy them to a PC with a naming scheme consistent with what I used to get from ImageMixer. I should have done this years ago.

canonimport.jpg

By Robert Basler on 2015-10-25 12:19:20
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Recording game video is not as easy a problem as you might think. You likely want to record at 1920x1080 resolution, 60FPS so that's 1920x1080x3x60=373,248,000 bytes every second (373MB/s.) My disk drive is pretty quick, it can do around 85MB/s, some newer hard drives can break 100MB/s. My first video recording system wrote every frame as a PNG and I liked to call it the crash-the-game-button. It would record about ten seconds of video before it ran out of memory and crashed, however once I had half a video recording system, I kind of wanted to finish it. Actually, that's not true. The reason for all this work is that I'm not satisfied with the quality of video produced by screen capture programs. The trailer for Miranda needs to look as good as I can make it.
By Robert Basler on 2015-10-16 00:43:51
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I've been working on the first trailer for Miranda pretty much continuously for six days now. Sometimes when you get a good idea, its hard to leave it alone. The first ten seconds took four days, the next five seconds I've got two days in and counting.

The first shot of the trailer is fully CG. I've tried CG work before, but never was really satisfied with what I produced. It was OK, but not good enough to show anyone. I put the new shot together with Blender which I've grown to appreciate is kind of amazing. Blender used to have a terrible, terrible user interface. It doesn't anymore, a change which really surprised me.
By Robert Basler on 2015-10-09 15:38:10
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Today The Imperial Realm::Miranda passed 250,000 lines of C++ code!

250000%20Lines.jpg


That doesn't include other types of source (HTML/CSS/XML/JS etc.) libraries I didn't write, or Chrome (which itself is around 4M lines of code.)

That's an average of around 42,250 lines of code per year. I feel pretty good about that. I'm always amazed at claims that the industry average is around 3,300 LOC/year - that's a lot of overhead.
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More Posts

Project Line Counter in Visual Studio 2010 - 2011-06-04 00:01:45 (5 comments)
A Chrome UI - 2011-04-07 10:28:46 (6 comments)
Enabling NVidia GPUs on Optimus Laptops - 2014-12-03 02:31:40 (4 comments)
Looking for a Fast Square Root - 2012-03-29 11:19:56 (4 comments)
Anniversary! - 2018-05-09 15:07:57 (4 comments)
The Evolution of a Feature - 2017-08-28 11:47:49 (0 comments)
Return of The Fallen Release Notes - 2017-12-21 15:07:24 (0 comments)
What I CAN Tell You - 2017-10-08 15:00:08 (0 comments)

Recent Comments

Bugs are Demoralizing - 2018-07-10 19:26:18 (2 comments)
I'm not a Dropbox user, but I'm guessing you mean "browser style" menus? Miranda's user interface is actually the Chrome browser. Sometimes that was a great decision, other days not so much. At some point I want to hire a graphic designer to do ...
Bugs are Demoralizing - 2018-07-10 11:49:52 (2 comments)
Hey man I've been following your blog for a while and I really admire your work.

Regarding the "unicorn" textures you should definitely check out texturehaven.com and freepbr.com. Of course the scale is wrong (as in not 40x40m) but maybe with some ...
Anniversary! - 2018-05-12 13:33:26 (4 comments)
Thanks for the feedback Dondergod, I don't think you are alone in that evaluation.

I have extensively considered F2P, but it doesn't foster the type of community and game experience I'm trying to build. It also brings a whole pile of design, ...
Anniversary! - 2018-05-12 04:52:16 (4 comments)
To be honest, it's the reason why I decided not to buy into the game.
While I really like the concept and even the gameplay from the test sessions that I've played, I've already looked at a lot of MMORTS, and they all have the same issue.

No one plays ...
Anniversary! - 2018-05-10 13:33:49 (4 comments)
Thank you. Hopefully people are a little happier with the visuals with the next update. After that, the plan is to work on getting more units into the game, adding more missions, and making The Fallen into a more formidable adversary.
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