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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 2017-09-20 23:28:42
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
It's not too often I get to make a Venn diagram, but here it is:

venndiagram.png
[After everything I read about crowdfunding, this result was surprising.]


That outcome is not optimal. To encourage more players to try the Standard Edition, Deluxe Edition, Co-Op Standard Edition, and the Co-Op Deluxe Edition, I'm changing those Editions to offer weekend playtime starting immediately.

Because the server works on GMT, the "weekend" is from 12:00am Saturday morning to Sunday night 12:00pm GMT, so for me in the Pacific time zone, the "weekend" runs from Friday 5pm to Sunday 5pm. Those editions will still receive unlimited playtime at the same time as they did before.

I have always planned to slowly decrease the discount as Early Access went on, so now that the first Early Access update is complete, I'll be taking the first step on that path on Monday September 25 and the 50% discount off of all Miranda Editions will be changed to 40%.

If you've been wanting to check out Miranda, and also want to save a few dollars, you might want to pick up one of the revised packages this weekend.

theimperialrealm.com and the store pages will be updated with these package changes soon.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-08-31 12:54:50
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
This really hurts my feelings. I entered the 2017 Intel Level Up Game Developer Contest back in May, fully not expecting to win. Miranda isn't a finished game and its certainly not the prettiest game out there, but I've worked eight years to build The Imperial Realm::Miranda, a one-of-a-kind massively multiplayer seamless open-world real time strategy game, and the contest judges couldn't even be bothered to try it.

The%20Imperial%20Realm%20-%20Miranda%20-%20Test%20Weekend%203_Lo.jpg
[This is what Miranda looks like if you play it.]


I am confident they received my entry because when I asked them about it back in May (because nobody had played it at that point) and they indicated they had received a lot of entries and would get to it soon. And because the system I created to dispense Secret Lair Codes to the judges was used once.

But the code they received was never redeemed.

All I really wanted from the contest was for someone to check out my game.

The winners were announced this morning. I look forward to checking out their games.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-08-28 11:47:49
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Debugging finally started going a little faster this week. Iteration time - the time it takes to make a change and then test it - has been terrible with Nemesis mode. Typically, iteration time with Miranda is about a minute which isn't bad, but with the new server for Nemesis mode acting up, I was constantly having to shut down and restart everything which takes at least 10 minutes and really chews through a work day. As of Friday I can finally play several Nemesis matches in a row without having to restart everything.

The%20Imperial%20Realm%20-%20Miranda%20-%20Nemesis%20Victory_Lo.jpg
[Victory!]


The last thing I worked on this week was penalties for players who disconnect during a match. I thought it was interesting because it illustrates how even simple features sometimes have to evolve through a number of iterations before a workable solution is found.
By Robert Basler on 2017-08-06 14:19:23
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Things move a little slower in the heat of the summer. I've been reading The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What really surprised me about the production of that movie is how many years they went working on it with no idea what sort of movie it was going to be. It's nice to know that not everything has to be planned perfectly from the start.

I had a nice little vacation. Now I'm back, working to finish up the first Nemesis Mode: Annihilation. Nothing much really happened on that this week because it was too hot to work in my office where all the PC's for testing are. Instead I worked in the air-conditioned part of the house on stuff I could do with just my laptop. Once the core of Nemesis mode is working, I'm going to be putting it on the back burner for a while. There's still a lot to do before Nemesis Mode is complete and I don't want to hold up the other new features and fixes I've been doing along the way any longer.

toomanydebuggers_Lo.png
[This is what debugging Nemesis Mode looks like.]

By Robert Basler on 2017-06-21 17:52:43
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
In a word, scope creep.

My plan of monthly updates during Early Access isn't working out so well with this first update I'm doing. I'm on week 4 of development on Nemesis Mode. The matchmaker is coded, the game session manager is coded, all the network messages to hook everything together are coded, and since late last week I've been working on adding new features to the HUD and the new UI screens to the client. Today I wired up the code to generate loot for the winners and upped the max players to 16. Even with all that done, I still have to finish the UI screens, get all of that debugged, add all the game modes, do some new graphics, and polish it all to a shine.

I originally intended to implement three or so game modes and then come back later and add more. That strategy hasn't really worked out super well before because half-finished features are nobody's favourite. So I'm planning to implement "all" of the game modes now (where "all" means the coolest subset of the modes mentioned previously and maybe some others.)

Miranda's map also needs some new features to support Nemesis mode. You may not have noticed, but frame rates with the map are not as good as they should be. Also, some cool things the map is supposed to do just don't happen because the map is currently software rendered and it doesn't have time to do them. So I'm going to convert the map to hardware rendering while I add the new features for Nemesis Mode.

The update after Nemesis Mode is looking to be similarly gigantic and will also require new things of the map, and I just don't see the current map rendering holding up under that added weight.
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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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Nemesis Update Demo Video - 2017-09-27 11:05:09 (0 comments)
What's Happening - 2017-10-27 01:17:24 (0 comments)
What is Taking so Long?!? - 2018-04-25 01:46:27 (0 comments)
Terrain Detail Models - 2018-03-25 02:03:28 (0 comments)
Anecdote - 2018-04-12 23:45:12 (0 comments)

Recent Comments

9 Year Anniversary - 2018-11-23 11:56:29 (2 comments)
Unfortunately it is unlikely the many, many BitDefender issues will be fixed any time soon. I made a list of all the things that BitDefender breaks, but the one that really amazes me is that it causes about 10% of TCP connections to randomly fail. ...
9 Year Anniversary - 2018-11-23 08:40:08 (2 comments)
Looking good, did you ever fix the bit defender issue ? i cant play until thats fixed but looking good :-)
Bold New World is Code Complete - 2018-09-28 18:21:51 (2 comments)
I will send you an email.
Bold New World is Code Complete - 2018-09-28 12:53:55 (2 comments)
hey rob its luke here, haven't check up in a while because i moved house and had to reset my pc. As i have reset my pc how can i get my hands on a copy of the game again please?
Credit - 2018-08-30 12:30:45 (1 comments)
Oh, I missed Need for Speed Carbon. Probably some others.
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