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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 2011-08-09 23:44:38
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I haven't really talked about networking at all on the blog. That might seem a bit odd given that I was a 'networking guy' at EA. There's no conspiracy here though, the simple fact is that my networking code was done and dusted before I tackled the blog in earnest and I write about what I'm thinking about. Networking is a big topic, so there'll probably be other articles later.
By Robert Basler on 2011-06-25 01:21:09
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

One thing that bothers me about writing a MMO is that one day, it will be gone. SOE announced they will be shutting down Star Wars Galaxies yesterday which got me thinking. So much effort went into developing that game, players played it for years, and as of December 15, it will all be gone. Just like The Matrix Online, FIFA Online, Tabula Rasa, and so many others. Sure, from time to time a MMO comes back, Hellgate, APB, but usually once they're gone, that's it.

I have programs I worked on 25 years ago that people still use today. And nothing is preventing them from running another 25. A MMO is a different beast.

People ask the developers to open-source the servers, but often that isn't practical. The company might be closed with nobody to do the work to get the program ready for distribution. The servers might use licensed code or components that can't be made available and are expensive to strip out and replace. Perhaps the game technology is running other games and security is an issue. In many cases the servers are simply big and complicated and require experienced people with a lot of game-specific knowledge to build and maintain.

I do think its cool when people decide to write their own replacement servers like SWGEmu which brings back the old Star Wars Galaxies.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the inevitable future of my game. Something to think about.


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By Robert Basler on 2011-06-21 00:07:52
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

Four weeks. Four-freaking-ever. That's how I'm feelin'. Tooooooo long. But pathfinding is running! It is glorious to finally see things move!

I implemented the A* algorithm which works really well for finding optimal paths. Here are some things you should consider if you are implementing A* pathfinding:


By Robert Basler on 2011-06-04 00:01:45
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Project Line Counter is super handy, but it hasn't been updated since Visual Studio 2005. Here's how to get it to work in Visual Studio 2010
By Robert Basler on 2011-05-30 12:31:45
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
So I drink Coke when I work. That's about as relevent as this post is going to get, but this is so mindboggling I had to share.

I have a case of 24 Coke in my 70 degree crawlspace that nobody had touched in a week. There was no visible damage on the case. It had a 12-pack of Coke Zero on top of it. I'd taken four cans out of it so far. When I went to get a couple more cans out of it on the weekend, I found the case was full of Coke - not in cans. Damn.

Digging the cans out of the Coke-soaked case, I found this can which blew my mind. The pictures are exactly as I found it (other than I rinsed the remaining Coke out of it.) Check out the ends of the vertical rip, those are horizontal tears. This Coke exploded. Yet the top and bottom aren't bulged. I never would have imagined a Coke could burst like this.

I'm glad nobody was holding it when this happened.

CokeExplodesSmall1.jpg CokeExplodesSmall2.jpg

You can click on the images for the full-resolution images.
By Robert Basler on 2011-05-24 01:29:58
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Last week I attended the first Canadian Games Conference. Having attended GDC Canada the last two years, I was a little unsure what exactly to expect, but to my surprise, the conference was very good, although a little small. So if you didn't attend this year, you should reconsider for next year.
By Robert Basler on 2011-05-11 11:12:28
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Last night I was working off my regular development machine, when to my surprise, I discovered that one of my tools wouldn't run. It just stopped with a mysterious Windows error message. Some googling around I discovered that one of the libraries I use was looking for a specific version of a Visual Studio runtime DLL which is part of a security fix for Visual Studio 2005. Hmm.
By Robert Basler on 2011-05-06 16:45:14
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I got shirts made - which turns out to be surprisingly easy. These are the mockups:

tshirt-white-picture.png

tshirt-tangerine-picture.png
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By Robert Basler on 2011-05-05 21:43:45
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

This week I'm working on a tool to generate a navigation mesh for my world. The world is currently made up of about 200,000,000 triangles. For each of those triangles I need to evaluate if they are walkable, and then combine those triangles into larger convex polygons, removing any unneeded vertices so that the navmesh is smaller and more efficient for searching.

The example I have been looking at builds its navmesh by comparing every triangle in the world with every other triangle in the world to see if they are connected. Thats 40,000,000,000,000,000 comparisons. And you end up with tens of millions of triangles in your navmesh. Even on a quad-core hyperthreaded Core i7, I need something a little more efficient.


By Robert Basler on 2011-05-04 14:09:45
Homepage: www.onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

In a few days I'll have been working on this game for 18 months. Longer if you consider previous projects that are now incorporated into this one.

That's a long time. Longer than any other project I've done. In the past when I reached the year mark, I wanted that software out the door. And it went.

At 18 months, this one isn't ready yet. And that's hard.

Persistence, determination, confidence, they all fail at some point. This takes faith.


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 ...
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