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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
Looking Back, Looking Forward
By Robert Basler on 2012-12-31 12:35:27
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com

Last year I looked back at 2011 and made some predictions. I thought it would be good to take a look back at this year and see how I did on those predictions.

2012 was definitely the year of rendering. I had a vision for the look of my game and my biggest accomplishment this year was taking the first screenshot that actually looks like that vision.

I learned a ton about rendering this year. I've never been a rendering guy mainly due to my non-love of math, but I figured it all out, so if you don't love math, there is hope for you. I changed from a forward renderer to a deferred renderer with support for soft shadows, multi-pass materials, gamma correct ADS lighting and a fancy hardware-powered particle effects system. The terrain got a new high resolution mesh, new procedural texturing and static geometry decorations. On the non-rendering front I learned about stored procedures in MySQL while building a complete double-entry accounting system, added sound effects and music, combat, some important game UI screens, and a cool loot system. I also bought or built almost all of the 3D assets I'm going to need.

Last Year's Resolutions

Overall I'm pretty happy with how things worked out with last year's resolutions:
  • The game will ship this year. Yeah. Didn't happen.
  • I will settle on a name for it. Totally nailed this. I have a name, the domain is available, but I haven't registered it yet, so I'm not talking.
  • I will finish the project without outside funding. Still not finished, but no outside funding yet, so I'll count this as half right.
  • I'll no longer be a one-man MMO. I'm going to hire an artist to help out. I'll also be hiring someone to help me with community management and support. I didn't hire an artist, but I didn't need one bad enough, and the art situation has made significant progress. Without a shipped game, I didn't need any help with customers.
  • I will vacation without feeling bad about it. I think I did better on this this year. It's something I still struggle with - laptops are so tempting, but I mostly vacationed on our vacation.
  • I'm going to play games more. Of course I've said this every year since my daughter was born. Maybe once she moves out. Nailed this one. I played Star Wars The Old Republic, Oblivion, Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, Mass Effect 3, I tried a whole bunch of other games, and I completed Dragon Age 2 and Dear Esther. It turns out my daughter loves Guild Wars, so a lot of my gaming hours were with my daughter on my lap which is actually quite nice.

Resolutions for 2013

  • I will network and generally get out of the home office more.
  • I will do programming projects unrelated to my game.
  • Other people will play my game.

That's a fairly short list this year. I guess that means I really like what I'm doing. If I can solve the income issue, it'll be pretty close to perfect.

2012 By The Numbers

145,821 Lines of C++ code
3,015 Lines in largest file glfunctions.h
809 C++ files
520 C++ Classes
425 Items in the "what did I do this week" log.
170 Tweets
157 UI Files
76 Textures
54 Checkins to Mercurial
46 Blog Posts
43 Shaders
32 Materials
18 Models
11 Custom Tool programs
9 Facebook Likes
6 Server programs

Favourite build log comment: Changed the color of the Sun.

Have a Happy New Year.

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