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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 2010-12-05 11:01:43
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
When I went through school, I was taught that computer programs should recover gracefully from every possible error condition. That every function return should be checked, and that only through diligent use of nested error handling would reliable programs be built. As a result, the programs I have written have been largely error handling code, and not so much actual "do stuff" code.

I'm here to tell you, this is a complete waste of effort.
By Robert Basler on 2010-10-08 14:12:16
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
For the last couple of months I've been working on a distributed simulation server for my MMO. Breakthrough today, first units for the user loaded on the server displayed on the client. I've really got to get a more interesting model than that cube.


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By Robert Basler on 2010-10-08 14:10:13
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Every couple of years I mess up with my version control program and delete a bunch of stuff I didn't mean to. It's my own fault for not reading the dialog boxes thoroughly, and for deliberately not saving a backup copy before making the changes, but it still sucks. Yesterday while trying to roll back changes to three files, I accidentally rolled back the changes to the 20 or so other files I had made changes to over the previous two days. AAAAaaaaaaaaarrrrgggghhhhhh!

Ok, I feel better now. And I'm still a strong believer in version control. The ability to roll back changes and track changes over time is just too worthwhile not to do.
By Robert Basler on 2010-09-26 14:23:13
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Sherwood Dungeon was developed by Gene Enrody using Macromedia Director and Shockwave 3D. Sherwood Dungeon has been online since 2006, he has an occasionally updated developer diary.

Love was developed by Eskil Steenberg and is a procedurally generated MMO. This video shows his amazing tools in action (view 720p to be able to read all the text on the screen):



Golemizer was written by a single guy, here is his take on making an MMO by yourself.

Urban Dead was written by Kevan Davis and went live in 2005.

Not quite a single developer, but RuneScape was developed by brothers Andrew and Paul Gower and released in 2001.

Know more projects? Add a comment below.
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By Robert Basler on 2010-09-05 13:02:10
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Just wanted to say, Greylisting works! I have some old email addresses that have been on my web pages for years. I typically get about 3,000 spam a week. I can see a difference when researchers take out a big spam botnet.

I installed PostGrey this week on my mail server, skeptical of the difference it would make, but wow. Wow! I now get about 30 spam a week. Fan-freaking-tastic!
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By Robert Basler on 2010-07-28 17:42:48
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I needed an account system for my MMO but I couldn't find much info on designing such a beast. Having figured out much of this on my own, cobbled together from stuff I read, I thought I'd put together an article on a few of the things I learned while building my login server, LoginD.

Disclaimer: I am not a security expert, so this system undoubtedly contains flaws. Take the information here as a starting point for your own design, or better yet, hire an expert.
By Robert Basler on 2010-06-13 11:42:33
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Some things seem like a good idea - and then there's the reality.

Using C/C++ means dealing with pointers. You can trick them up with smart pointers to reduce the chance of error, but sooner or later you're going to get memory leaks - little bits of memory you've allocated and never freed.

For software that needs to run for a long time reliably, these are death. You can watch the memory use of the process increase and increase over hours, days or weeks, until the server falls over.

To catch these, you need a system that can track memory use and help you find where the leaks are occurring.

Something else that is really useful, is a system to help you track when you stomp memory outside your allocated blocks.
By Robert Basler on 2010-03-24 18:05:58
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
So I have this CGI-BIN application written in C++ that uses several very old libraries. It was originally written for OS/2, then ported to OS X, and now Windows as I switched servers over a number of years.

My new server is running Ubuntu 9.10 (not the server edition.) I initially spent a few days trying to port the CGI app to Linux before finally giving up when the old library code started spitting out thousands of template errors because the old templates didn't match current C++ standards.

While I was working on that, I read this article on Wine which made me think - maybe Wine can run a Windows version of the app under Apache2!
By Robert Basler on 2010-03-14 14:28:43
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
The last few weeks I've been implementing a scenegraph on top of my renderer. It had renderable nodes (meshes, vertices, material lists etc.), transform nodes, various visitors, serialization, and it is all basically working. The problem I find now, is that I want to get rid of the whole thing.

The reason is something that has been bothering me the whole time I've been working on it. I am building a modern game engine, free of as much historical cruft as I can arrange. The biggest challenge of modern hardware is effectively using the sheer number of processors (CPU's, GPU's, SPU's etc.) you have access to.
By Robert Basler on 2010-02-28 23:34:28
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
If you're attending Game Developers Conference Canada in Vancouver in 2010, keep an eye out for me with the big orange logo on my shirt.

I attended last year and found it really interesting. The presentations I attended were very good, I got to talk to some interesting folks. My only disappointment was that only 9 out of 40 or so presentations ended up on the conference website, so I missed out on a lot of interesting stuff.

This year I signed up for the admission that includes access to The Vault so I'll probably spend the first couple days after the conference watching every presentation from the last few years of GDC shows.

Nerdvana.
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Recent Comments

Early Bird Test Weekend - 2017-05-14 17:15:54 (1 comments)
The Early Bird Test Weekend is "officially" over, however I won't be updating the server until tomorrow, so all supporters will be able to continue to play until then.

Everyone seemed to have a good time. Play time for some users is much higher than ...
The Imperial Realm::Miranda Early Access Trailer - 2017-05-10 10:47:11 (2 comments)
Ultimate Edition, Co-Op Ultimate Edition, Collectors Edition, Limited Edition.

Look at where it says "Start Playing"

I'm having an early-bird playtest weekend this weekend so anyone who has purchased any edition can try it out over the weekend. ...
The Imperial Realm::Miranda Early Access Trailer - 2017-05-09 23:30:43 (2 comments)
Hi, looked on itch.io and im a bit confused ? which edition allows me to play now ? the standard says available may 2018 ?
The Imperial Realm::Miranda Early Access - 2017-05-09 10:04:25 (9 comments)
Awesome cant w8 you gonna post here when its done my wallet is burning a hole in my pocket lol
The Imperial Realm::Miranda Early Access - 2017-05-09 07:22:03 (9 comments)
I'll be excited to play when I get money on my card. shouldn't be long.
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