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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 2017-12-18 00:42:51
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com


Emperor Cauto I was hailed as a saviour when he single-handedly ended years of pitched warfare with The Fallen. Now, forty generations later, the price of his treachery is finally coming due.

"When the explorer ships of Emperor Paine CXC came upon Miranda, it was not devoid of intelligent life. The indiginous species were unlike any creatures the Emperor's Ridiit had previously encountered. All attempts at communication were a disastrous failure. The Ridiit were unable even to determine what the natives called themselves. Reporting to the Emperor after an entire season of effort, the Ridiit described what would come to be known as the language of The Fallen, as the 'most subtle and complex form of communication ever encountered.' The Emperor took this as a personal affront to his divine nature and ordered the immediate extermination of The Fallen. Every one. The Fallen would not go so easily however, and a bitter conflict raged for nearly seven seasons as the Emperor's elite troops repeatedly failed to execute their Emperor's command. Then the Emperor was assassinated. And on the same day, The Fallen simply vanished from the face of Miranda. For a few days there were rumours that his successor, Emperor Cauto I had engineered Paine's demise and made some sort of deal with The Fallen. Then the rumourmongers mysteriously disappeared as well."
- Excerpt from The Mystery of The Fallen, 10681 Y.O.E.

The Return of The Fallen is the second major update to The Imperial Realm::Miranda, an open-world real-time strategy game now in Early Access on PC.

The Fallen are a new AI faction which adds to the two existing player factions: the Empire and the Independents. The Fallen provide new PvE challenges throughout Miranda's 400 square kilometer seamless map.

"His Divine Eminence the Emperor has in his unlimited benevolence accepted the Independents pitiful pleas for mercy during this unprecedented period, and decreed the immediate establishment of the Blue Zone, temporarily suspending hostilities between Imperial and Independent forces in a small area of His realm. May His enemies hide there and prepare for their obliteration."
- Excerpt from The Record of Royal Decrees, 19 Painedays, 30696 Y.O.E.

The Blue Zone is a new map area where players can engage in PvE battles, safe from attacks by other players.

With the Return of The Fallen, Miranda's mysterious Monoliths have suddenly come to life, providing fast travel across Miranda for players who can discover their secret. Miranda's huge map also now features vendors, monoliths and points of interest to discover.

This update also adds Quadlasers, a new Mission, new Perks, new Achievements, new audio, larger initial component stocks, 40 bug fixes and 47 other changes.

The Return of The Fallen update will be available to play on December 22. Buy your copy of The Imperial Realm::Miranda today at or sign up for our mailing list.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-11-23 13:46:26
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Secret Lair Games is offering our Lowest Price Ever on our one of a kind open-world RTS The Imperial Realm::Miranda with an additional 17% off our already huge 40% off Early Access discount prices.

Shop now at!

Sale runs until Midnight November 24, Pacific time.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-11-19 20:57:31
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
You might think I'm going to rip on Mass Effect Andromeda, because that's the cool thing to do, but there are some lessons on open world RPG design that I have been able to draw from my time in Andromeda that I can apply to make Miranda a better game. Truth be told, after 60 hours and playing through about 40% of the game, I can see the Mass Effect game they were trying to make and there are things I quite like about it. I play some games just to try to figure out how they are designed, but I wouldn't still be playing Andromeda if there wasn't some of the old Mass Effect magic in there.

[A view of Eos]

The first hour of Andromeda is spectacular. Bioware always really nails the first hour in their games. It is spectacularly beautiful, engaging, with lots of story, lots of action, and it moves at a good pace. Too many games don't make this effort and their first hour is like any other hour of gameplay. Designers would be smart to look really hard at what they put in, and more importantly, what they leave out of the first hour of gameplay to make sure players' first experience is amazing.
By Robert Basler on 2017-11-04 15:53:48
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Next Thursday is the 8 year anniversary of my start on The Imperial Realm::Miranda. That's a really long time to work on a project, particularly a game, but I can see the end now so that's something to look forward to. I don't have anything exciting planned to mark the day, I expect I'll still be working on the next update.

The most frustrating thing about working on a super-secret new feature is that you can't talk about it! Or even ask questions about it. Sure you can talk to people you know won't spill, but sometimes you just want input from the people who play the game.

[The Monolith - I made that!]

By Robert Basler on 2017-10-27 01:17:24
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Super-secret feature #3 of 4 wrapped up last week. I'm pretty happy with it. I simplified the design so nobody should have any problem figuring it out, which I think is the right direction to take. The effects are also looking nice, but there's always more you can do on that.

Things got off to a bit of a slow start on super-secret feature #4 this week. The core of it is an adaptation of a program I wrote a while ago, but when I tried to get it going, it was crashing with a bug that I've seen extremely rarely in-game. Like, once every four months over the last three years. The lucky thing is that because I could finally reproduce it, I was able to fix it at last. Next the program's clock was going out of sync with the rest of the game which was causing problems. That had never happened before. Turns out the update loop was only running about every 45 seconds rather than 30 times a second like it is supposed to. Fixed that. Then I encountered a thread deadlock, first time ever, so that was a surprise - those cause program hangs, but are easy to fix. I also fixed a server bug that's been plaguing me for months. At the end of the day, I have a base to build the new feature on.

So then it was Wednesday and I finally got to working on the design for what I'm doing. I like to design up-front - I find I make fewer false starts that way. Once I was satisfied with the overall plan of attack, I started on some of the new art I need. I'd forgotten that there was a wierd problem with this particular art that I hadn't been able to figure out when I originally bought it, but I'm taking another crack at it, moving ahead and hoping a solution presents itself. Art is always a challenge, like today I had to teach myself Blender again. It has been long enough since I used it that I've forgotten all the shortcut keys, luckily I made decent enough notes the last time I had to re-teach myself Blender.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-10-08 15:00:08
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Two more things still to do before the next update but a lot has happened already since the last build. I spent a couple days tracking down all the bugs I found making the Nemesis Mode Demo Video. I don't know if anyone else noticed them, but they're there. I added the missing audio for missiles and loot crates, and added a new mission to encourage beginning players to locate a vendor. To get the new mission to work, I have made vendors discoverable. Once you find a vendor once, it will continue to show on your map.

[Locate a Vendor mission.]

There are also discoverable points of interest now on the map, although their locations are visible from the start. There are only three POI's now, but more will come. To make these new discoverables a little easier to discover, the ones nearby your base are highlighted on the map.

Sadly, this is also an end of an era. The original four vendors have closed up shop and retired.

[This is the last you'll see of the original four.]

I'll update you on the remaining two new features as they come along, but the details about them are going to be a surprise. I'm curious to see how long it takes someone to figure out the one.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-09-27 11:05:09
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I did a little video to demo some of the new features in the Nemesis Update to The Imperial Realm::Miranda.

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By Robert Basler on 2017-09-22 21:17:52
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
The Nemesis Update is now live for all players. Anyone who has purchased any Early Access Edition from the store will be able to log in this weekend (GMT) and try out the new features.

Nemesis Mode

I've written about Nemesis Mode before. With a single click, Nemesis Mode pits teams of players against one another in PvP battles. The final version of Nemesis Mode is very much as originally described except that it now supports up to 16 players. Annihilation, the first Nemesis mode, tasks players with destroying the other team's buildings and rewards them with loot and bonus XP. Additional Nemesis modes including Assassination, Slaughter, Claustrophobia and Greed will follow in future updates. To activate Nemesis mode, click the icon in the top right corner of Miranda's HUD. Settings for Nemesis Mode such as chat preferences and game length can be found on the Settings screen off of the main menu (Esc.) Once you are in a Nemesis match, you can click the Nemesis Mode icon to see the other players, and your statistics, or to leave the session.

[Nemesis Mode session info screen.]

Mission List

Miranda's Mission List makes it easier to keep track of the player's current objectives. Player-selected missions display on the HUD. At the moment the only objectives that show on the list are ones from Nemesis Mode. Press J on the HUD to display the Mission List or click the icon in the top right menu.

[Mission List displaying objectives for a Nemesis match. Double arrows indicate missions that show on the HUD.]

Foundation Extensions

Miranda's rough terrain sometimes makes finding a flat enough spot for buildings difficult. The Foundation Extension is a consumable which can be used when laying out your base to temporarily increase the foundation height of a single building by 25m. Foundation Extensions are stackable which makes it possible to place buildings nearly anywhere. Buildings with taller foundations will be available as standard components for higher level players.

[Foundation Extension button on Base Layout screen (lower right.) Sadly I don't have any.]

New forces will be given 10 Foundation Extensions. Unfortunately, existing forces will have to buy Foundation Extensions from Vendors and they are a little pricey.

[Select the Flask icon on the Vendor screen to only display consumables.]


The Map plays an important part in planning your battles. The Nemesis Update greatly increases the performance of the map screen and adds icons for important map features. When playing a Nemesis Annihilation match, the objective locations are now circled on the map. The map will also now show where combat is underway anywhere in the world.

[Map with objective location circled.]


Many HUD features have been reworked and are now more compact and hide-able, allowing for a clearer view of the battlefield.

[HUD with optional panels hidden.]

[HUD with optional panels displayed.]

Weapon Sound Effects

Sound effects heard in the Early Access trailer have been added to a few of Miranda's weapons.

Resource Shortage

The number of resource fields on the map has been greatly reduced so resources may be more difficult to come by. Unfortunately, resources on rough terrain can be difficult to harvest (there is a pathfinding problem on rough terrain which is on my to do list to fix.) The next update will bring some additional resources to the map.

Bonus Inventory & Design Slots

I made an error when I set up the entitlements for Inventory and Design slots for players. Each player only received the correct number of Inventory and Design slots for a single force (obtained by selecting Redeem Code from the Main Menu.) I have now corrected this and each force should get the correct number of Inventory and Design slots specified for the Edition they purchased when they create a Force. I have decided not to remove the bonus Inventory and Design slots from the Redeem Code menu, so players can redeem that to give one force some bonus Design & Inventory slots. Once the current batch of Secret Lair Codes are all sold, new codes won't include that little bonus.

Vendor Improvements

Vendors now show accurate prices for what they will pay when buying from players. Unfortunately the 3% premium vendors were paying over the standard price has come to an end, and vendor purchase discounts now range from 25% to 85%. Buy Design now shows the correct number of units buildable. Vendors will also no longer accept unsellable components.

Bug Fixes

The game has been running very stable since the May bugfix update. Since then 23 bugs have been fixed, there were also 25 additions and 25 changes and removals. Some of the more important bug fixes in the Nemesis Update are:
  • Unit veterancy should now be much easier to obtain.
  • Player's Luck now affects their loot find rate.
  • XP should now accrue at a much faster rate. An algebra error was resulting in about 7-10x slower XP gain.

This update took a lot longer than I would have liked, I hope everyone enjoys the new features!
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By Robert Basler on 2017-09-20 23:28:42
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
It's not too often I get to make a Venn diagram, but here it is:

[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. 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: 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.

[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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Recent Comments

Broken WM_POWERBROADCAST - 2021-02-20 22:45:14 (1 comments)
You'll also need this:

So What's Going On With Miranda? - 2020-09-24 10:00:32 (1 comments)
Stay strong my friend!
Automation - 2020-09-21 13:10:33 (1 comments)
Are you still developing this game ?
The Combat Update - 2020-02-12 18:13:30 (2 comments)
Thanks! Much of the work in this update was polish and there are indeed more NPC's.
The Combat Update - 2020-02-12 05:03:40 (2 comments)
Looking good m8, just coming back to this after i bought t some time ago, looks more polished and interesting, are there more enemy mobs now ? do you have a constant onlineplayerbase now so world is more active ?
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