Twitter  Facebook  YouTube  E-Mail  RSS
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 2012-01-11 18:59:01
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

I've been playing Guild Wars quite a bit over the Christmas vacation. I have to admire their business model. The simplicity of it is wonderful. Sell the game, sell some account-wide addons in a secure, off-the-shelf online store, and you're done. It's a shame it's an impossible business model for an indie. The cost of selling that first package is simply too high a barrier without a huge advertising budget.

With my requirement for in-game microtransactions I spent a lot of time over Christmas thinking about how to manage and record those transactions.

My design criteria ended up being:

  • Transactions must be resistant to programming error.
  • Every transaction must record information about who is involved in the transaction should there ever be any problems with criminal activity.
  • Every transaction must be recorded in sufficient detail to be reversable. If there's fraud, I want to be able to run back the clock.
  • Transactions that the user has seen the result of must survive a server crash.
  • The system must be secure - it is recording real money transactions.

I've done a fair amount of accounting over the years for my various small businesses, so my first thought was to look into how commercial accounting software systems operate. I spent a bit of time googling around and with the help of Stack Overflow I was able to find a specification document for a General Ledger which gave me the basic table design for a double-entry accounting system.

I never could have predicted in a million years that my little indie game would need me to develop a double-entry accounting system.


By Robert Basler on 2011-12-31 15:59:28
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

I keep a log of everything I do each week. With the year coming to a close I thought it a good time to look back through it and see what I've accomplished. It turns out there have been a lot of accomplishments this year. I thought it would be nice to pick out a few of them to share.


By Robert Basler on 2011-12-14 15:39:13
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

I like to do little features in the evening, separate from the bigger stuff I work on during the day. Sunday evening I thought a Terms of Service (TOS) screen would be a nice easy feature.

Little did I suspect I would encounter an international cascade of fail trying to get the TOS to actually work.

MMO-1%20TOS.png

By Robert Basler on 2011-12-07 15:05:05
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I'm just finishing up Dragon Age Origins Awakening. Playing that game so much during the last year has definitely influenced the design for my game. RPG's often feature stuff you can collect: swords, armor, potions, runes. With those items you can usually add enhancements to improve their stats. Sometimes you can combine several items to make completely new items (crafting.) The meat an potatoes of a lot of RPG's is a zillion items and enhancements that can be combined in myriad ways to give the player the choice of how to gain advantage in-game.

I'm not saying I'm making an RPG. But I have been building a data-driven system to support both item enhancements and building new items from components the last 3 weeks. There's still a lot to do yet, but as of today, much of it is working and new entities are appearing in the game. So cool.
By Robert Basler on 2011-11-23 09:41:08
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Bigpoint managed to sell 2,000 spaceship drones for 1,000 in just 4 days. That's two million euros (US$2,596,400) in just four days selling entries in a database. Wow. Here's the story.
Read more... (2 comments)
By Robert Basler on 2011-11-21 16:05:32
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
So as of yesterday I'm Tweeting on Twitter. The writer in me quite likes how Twitter forces you to refine your thoughts to make them fit in just 140 characters.

I'll be Tweeting links any time I put a post here, so if you prefer Twitter to RSS, go ahead and switch over.

My tweeting is a result of me attending the Canadian Games Conference this year. One of the more interesting presentations I went to was the social marketing talk. You can check out the full talk on video, there's a link here: http://onemanmmo.com/?cgc11.

I also wrote a URL-shortener for the blog. It is something I've been meaning to do for a while - ever since I first considered using Twitter. In an ironic twist, there's no point in having a URL-shortener with Twitter anymore, since they shorten all URL's with their t.co service. But I've long wanted to be able to post more human-friendly URL's for pages on this blog, so I did it anyway. Only took a couple hours to add the database table and forms for entering the short URL's. In case you're looking, I haven't made it a public service. I will probably integrate it further into the blog in the future. Baby steps.

My Twitter picture looks like I'm looking at the birds on my Twitter page. Note to self: get a new picture.
Read more... (0 comments)
By Robert Basler on 2011-11-21 01:48:07
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Hey, another one man MMO! There's an interview with the developer at Rock, Paper, Shotgun or the game itself is at www.dark-wind.com.
Read more... (0 comments)
By Robert Basler on 2011-11-17 10:09:51
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
This is appalling.

Not that Hangame lost their data due to botched backups. That happens all the time. It's that they're killing the game over it. What that says to me is that the game wasn't really economically viable anyway and maybe that one of the commenters on the story is correct that "it is a ruse and [they] are taking the money and running."

For the rest of us working on microtransaction games, this is the doomsday scenario.
By Robert Basler on 2011-11-06 11:51:32
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I've been following Star Corsairs which is an indie MMO being developed here in Canada by Dave Toulouse. (He also wrote another MMO called Golemizer.) A couple of months ago he got laid off (like me) so he decided to work full time (like me) on an independent MMO (like me.) He developed his game in just 4 months (not so much like me) and released it in October.

This weekend he announced he is quitting as a full-time indie to go back to outside employment, just 3 weeks after the launch of his latest game. He got a reality cheque - for $273.31 - his game's total income for the first two weeks after release.

For me that's very troubling, given that this is his second game and at least 100,000 people have heard of Golemizer. This single data point has forced a rethinking of my schedule. Up until now I've been building features based on the theory that all core features are needed equally, so it doesn't really matter what order they're done in. I've been doing them in whatever order is most convenient. That changes today.

I realized I've been making a classic error. One I've been warned about, and to a certain extent, one I recognized I was doing, but one I was nevertheless still making. I failed to recognize the urgency of the situation until I read about Star Corsairs launch. So thanks Dave, for sharing.
By Robert Basler on 2011-11-04 11:19:01
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I broke 100,000 lines of code this week! 100,223 lines in 642 files. This doesn't include libraries I'm using that I didn't write - Berkelium alone is 40 times the size of my game code. My game isn't a million lines like some of the games I used to work on, but the build times are sure a heck of a lot shorter.

100,223!!!

Read more... (2 comments)

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)
Return of The Fallen Test Weekend - 2018-02-08 12:02:04 (0 comments)
The Evolution of a Feature - 2017-08-28 11:47:49 (0 comments)
What I CAN Tell You - 2017-10-08 15:00:08 (0 comments)
Return of The Fallen Release Notes - 2017-12-21 15:07:24 (0 comments)

Recent Comments

Credit - 2018-08-30 12:30:45 (1 comments)
Oh, I missed Need for Speed Carbon. Probably some others.
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 ...
|<      <<      20      21      22      23      24      (25)      26      27      28      29      >>      >|

  Admin Log In



[The Imperial Realm :: Miranda] [Blog] [Gallery] [About]
Terms Of Use & Privacy Policy