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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 2011-01-14 12:24:26
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I never learned about C++ templates in school. I mostly learned Pascal. Then I went on to C and never really understood the need for templates when I started using C++ features. When I was working at EA, templates were effectively banned for game code, but I was encouraged to read programming books featuring templates which enabled me to finally understand their appeal. And it is strong.
By Robert Basler on 2010-12-05 11:01:43
Homepage: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.

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Enabling NVidia GPUs on Optimus Laptops - 2014-12-03 02:31:40 (3 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)
Stuck!! - 2016-10-12 15:47:27 (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
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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