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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 2017-06-09 17:37:09
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
When I started working on an online-only RTS, one of my biggest worries was that I had heard from a few sources that only around 5% of RTS players play online. What could I do to attract players when I don't have a single-player campaign or AI skirmish to rely on to bring in that other 95% of players?

chart.png


The games I worked on at EA had online player percentages significantly higher than 5%. Yet we constantly struggled with people who wanted to cut online entirely because they didn't think it was worth the investment for "so few players." I talked to a friend this week who works on AAA shooters and their multiplayer numbers make 5% look pitiable.

"BTW, the actual stats are 2.57% of the player base has attempted to play the game MP at least one time. The rest, single player only." - Brad Wardell on Ashes of the Singularity


So how did we get to a place where 95% of RTS players ignore multiplayer and most RTS games have deathmatch and that's it?
By Robert Basler on 2017-06-06 14:45:53
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
This Friday June 9 from noon to 8pm Pacific time I'd really appreciate it if players could log in and pick a fight with another player. ATV's, tanks, superweapons, do your worst. Miranda has been running super-stable since the last patch, so I need you guys to hammer on it a bit. I'll be using the feedback from this playtest during the next monthly update when I'm going to be doing some work to improve Miranda's combat experience. If you don't already have an account, Early Access packages are available here.

pickafightfriday_Lo.jpg
[I want to see devastation.]


If you have the time, you might want to consider logging in early to build up some extra forces to play with on Friday.

To find other players, after you log in when the game asks you "would you like to place your buildings at their previous locations" choose "no" then find a map square with a red flag in it and place your base nearby (you may have to zoom out with the mouse to find one.) Note that both Empire and Independent players can attack Independents, although only Independents can attack Empire. (One of the things I'll be changing next month is that the map flag will be the faction color so players will be able to tell from the base layout map what faction a player is.)

If you have a base you love and don't want to see it wiped from the face of Miranda, you may want to leave it logged off at that time.

I'll be online the whole time taking notes. Thanks for your help, and have fun!
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By Robert Basler on 2017-06-06 01:53:41
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

I've been working on Nemesis Mode, Miranda's new multiplayer matchmaking system for the next Early Access monthly update. (Learn more about Early Access and support Miranda's development here.) I had a bunch of ideas for the kind of multiplayer I wanted to have in Miranda, but I hadn't played much RTS multiplayer for quite a while so to figure out what modes and features I might have missed, I looked at all the RTS games that people rave about. And some others. I got a couple good ideas about features, but I was pretty shocked at what I discovered:

  • Command & Conquer 3: Deathmatch
  • Starcraft II: Deathmatch
  • Supreme Commander 2: Deathmatch
  • Grey Goo: Deathmatch
  • Act of Agression: Deathmatch.
  • Homeworld Deserts of Kharak: Deathmatch, Capture the Flag
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Capture the Flag
  • Company of Heroes 2: Deathmatch, Capture the Flag

Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. That's it. Wait, what? Are you kidding me?


By Robert Basler on 2017-05-24 23:14:05
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Imperial forces have been quietly encircling the map over the last few days, but the Imperials' attempt to wrest complete control of Miranda suffered a setback tonight with the loss of a single critical southern border sector to the Independents.

TerritoryMap1_Lo.jpg
[A clever strategy unfolds.]


Fortunately for the Independents, capture of a single southern border sector allowed them to recapture most of the south east of Miranda.

TerritoryMap2_Lo.jpg
[The Independents strike.


The danger for the Independents is far from over though. The Imperials' relentless advance continues.

Version 0.0.14.1

A new build is now live on the server with 13 client bugs and one server bug fixed. With luck, this will improve stability enough that it can be the last update for a little while.


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By Robert Basler on 2017-05-17 19:42:05
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
It has been a super busy few weeks for me, but it is really wonderful to see players playing Miranda every day. With everything running now, I'll be working hard to keep development progressing as well as promoting the game to gain new players. I did an interview earlier this week, and I have another upcoming. I was really pleased to see a number of players choose the Co-Op editions since I started this whole project primarily so I could play this game with my friends.

So far the Empire seems to be slacking a bit in their desire for conquest, with the Independents already controlling 12% of the map compared to the Empire's measly 1%. I was very surprised to discover that one player is well on his way to obtaining the most expensive item in the game.

mansion.png
[Thought it would take ages for someone to buy this]


The new server hardware seems to be working well, and game stability has been overall alright - it's not perfect yet, but it is getting there. Players have been reporting bugs. Thank you, I will be looking into those. I've been working on server bugs and now I'm getting started on client bugs.

Version 0.0.13.1

Version 0.0.13.1 is now live on the server. All of the changes in this release are to fix server crash bugs. I believe all of them are fixed but one which I need more info about. I spent a bit of time looking into the dwindling resources problem, but everything seems to be working correctly with that, so I'm waiting for that to recur again so I can log in with the debug client and do some more digging.

  • Added code signing to client and LairCrashReporter. Maybe that will make some of the antivirus programs lighten up.
  • Fixed problem for players who selected ATV health bonus perk not being able to log in with that force.
  • Fixed bug where player could sell already sold building which resulted in server crash.
  • Fixed bug where harvester could ask server to harvest when it was already harvesting.
  • Misc other server bugs fixed.

What's Next

I'm going to continue working on crashes for the next couple days, then next week I'll be starting work on Nemesis Mode. I feel strongly that players need tools to help them find things to do in-game so I'm tackling that problem first. The target is for the next update to go live Tuesday June 13.

If you haven't gotten your Early Access package yet, they are available from itch.io.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-05-10 12:58:43
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Secret Lair Games will be holding a celebration play test weekend May 12-14 for all of its earliest Early Access supporters. The test weekend will run from Friday at 8pm to Sunday at midnight (GMT) and will be open to anyone who buys any Early Access Edition, even the $5 one.

Early Access Editions are available from itch.io.

The%20Imperial%20Realm%20-%20Miranda%20-%20The%20Battle%20of%20CarterBurke.jpg
[The Battle of Carter Burke]

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By Robert Basler on 2017-05-09 14:18:18
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
When World of Warcraft came out in 2004 and I thought "it would be so cool to play an RTS in a giant seamless open world like that" I never imagined it would take so long, nor that I would be the one to make it happen.

Miranda goes into Early Access today, and to celebrate, here is the new gameplay trailer:



You can check out all of the Editions of The Imperial Realm::Miranda available during Early Access at theimperialrealm.com.

If you think a huge open world multiplayer RTS sounds like something you would like to play, I hope you will support The Imperial Realm::Miranda.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-05-02 17:22:37
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
TheImperialRealm-Miranda-EarlyAccess.jpg


There will also be a new gameplay trailer and all the details on the available packages.

If you think a huge open world multiplayer RTS sounds like something you'd like to play, I hope you will support The Imperial Realm::Miranda.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-04-03 00:05:02
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Wooooooo! The first edit of the Early Access Trailer went off to the composer on Friday. It's been a very long time coming so I'm really looking forward to hearing what music he creates for it. As for me, I spent the week watching the trailer over and over, tweaking things, adding the last few things it needed. I haven't changed anything since Friday, so I think I might be happy with it. It will come out in a few weeks.

AprilFools_Lo.jpg
[April Fools!]


I did a little work on the website for April Fools. Turns out it was super-annoying so I took it down after just a couple hours. I cannot imagine what possible use the ability to invert a web page has (other than pranks.) The funniest part was that when I came back to my office, my daughter had taken the magnet and comic collection on my filing cabinet and inverted the entire thing.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-03-26 02:13:55
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I spent a little time this week reimagining Miranda's in-game HUD. The current HUD has some technical and aesthetic limitations that prevent it from being what it needs to be. There's not a lot to say yet because so far its only a design.

The%20Imperial%20Realm%20-%20Miranda%20-%20HUD%20Mockup_Lo.jpg
[Teaser mockup of the new in-game HUD.]


With so many RTS games featuring gigantic HUDs, I'm aiming for minimalism. I want to be able to see the action so everything is invisible unless it is needed. As an example, the menu buttons only appear if you hover the mouse over the menu icon in the top left.
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More Posts

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Enabling NVidia GPUs on Optimus Laptops - 2014-12-03 02:31:40 (3 comments)
Bug Fixing and Little Features - 2016-10-11 02:10:00 (0 comments)
UI Updates - 2016-10-04 01:53:36 (0 comments)
Pick a Fight Friday - 2017-06-06 14:45:53 (0 comments)
Trailer Update - 2017-04-03 00:05:02 (0 comments)
Setback - 2017-05-24 23:14:05 (0 comments)

Recent Comments

Bug Workaround: If you are attempting to get a Nemesis match and it is not matching, try placing your base in an exact horizontal line from your opponent's base (look for the red flag on the base layout map and select a square in the same row.)
Here are some better images showing the Foundation Extension in action.

The Imperial Realm - Miranda - Steep Cliff_Lo.jpg
[Too steep a cliff for a building]


The Imperial Realm - Miranda - Steep Cliff Consumable_Lo.jpg
[Used one of the Foundation Extensions]


The Imperial Realm - Miranda - Steep Cliff Positioned_Lo.jpg
[Tadaa!]
So How's it Going? - 2017-08-04 13:27:26 (1 comments)
Any news on updates ? been a while ?
The 5% Problem - 2017-07-27 18:22:17 (4 comments)
That all sounds like a pretty reasonable summary of the state of RTS multiplayer. Mostly I played co-op multiplayer with friends because in 1v1 I would slaughter them. While you can play 1v1 in Miranda's Nemesis mode if that's what you want to do, ...
The 5% Problem - 2017-07-26 13:35:05 (4 comments)
One of the major reasons there is so little competitive multiplayer in RTS (the scene is almost exclusively made up of starcraft, along with some other extremely tight communities) is that in most cases the competitive MP is designed for 1v1 ...
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