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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
A Year of Content and Polish
By Robert Basler on 2015-12-31 16:52:19
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

The goal this year was to finish the game. While I didn't quite achieve that, Miranda is now very close to the game I have always imagined. A lot of Miranda's art and design content has been finalized and it is a much, much more polished experience than it was a year ago. There is a surprising perceptual change when you finally eliminate all the little glitches you've let slide for so long - the game miraculously transforms from broken to ahhhhhhh.

I opened the year with a major rendering overhaul, dragging framerates on my aging laptop from a low of 50FPS back up to an acceptable 120FPS. After that I realized I was tired of seeing just the salt flats in my screenshots so I added the Scorched Desert biome.

The%20Imperial%20Realm%20-%20Miranda%20-%20Happy%20Days_Lo.jpg
[Some days I'm quite pleased by the way my little RTS is looking.]


I started work on the preparations for the Friends and Family Pre-Alpha in June, fixing a ton of pathfinding and collision issues, getting Miranda set up on Amazon AWS, adding an automated crash reporter and bug reporting form as well as many more last minute additions. In-game Vendors were also new around this time. In July I added unit caps and work started on the New Combat Model which continued through August and September and culminated in the addition of the set of 65 components and 43 standard unit designs that make up The Independents Faction.

The%20Imperial%20Realm%20-%20Miranda%20-%20Independent%20Force_Lo.jpg
[The Complete Independents Forces Initial Loadout.]


One of my breaks from this huge stretch of unit and game design was the addition of the oh-so-attractive deformable terrain. Also this summer there was a great article on the Miranda at MMOS.com. In October, work started in earnest on the first trailer for the game. The trailer is almost entirely in-game shots so I added a new Capital City, a new sky, many new weapon and explosion effects, a crashed spaceship, Mansion sur Mont, and an in-game film-maker and video recording facility.

The%20Imperial%20Realm%20-%20Miranda%20-%20Muzzle%20Flash_Lo.jpg
[I painted that muzzle flash.]


My final feature of the year was based on feedback from my third Full Indie Demo night so now when the player scrolls the terrain with the mouse, the mouse cursor changes to red arrows and when he clicks on the terrain, it plays an animation to let them know that the units will start moving soon. While I was at it I added mouse cursors for repair mode and sell mode. I had hoped to complete the Empire's forces before New Years, but there is still a bit of work to do on the art for those units before they will be ready for players to test. Overall this year about a quarter of my time was spent on additions, a quarter on bug fixes and about half on general improvements.

I was much more diligent about blogging this year, I was trying for one post a week and I almost made it. My favourite blog post of the year was The Imperial Realm::Miranda Pre-Alpha - how could it be any other? (Although Full Indie Demo Night was a close second.)

Resolutions for 2016

  • Miranda will launch.
  • I'll have a month where I don't work evenings.
As for my 2015 resolutions: I bought a D&D starter set and figured out my next project, I did some PR (yesterday!) but didn't end up doing anything with robots.

2015 By The Numbers

254,102 Lines of C++ Code
5,473 Lines in largest file scene.cpp
1,124 C++ files
1,316 Tweets
855 Followers
634 Items in the "what did I do this week" log.
466 UI Files
273 Textures
192 Models
189 Materials
83 Checkins to Mercurial
68 Shaders
44 Blog Posts
31 Facebook Likes
17 Custom Tool programs
8 Server programs

Favourite Devlog Comments

  • Demoed the game at Full Indie to about 20 people. I let someone else drive!
  • Backup doesn't fit on 32GB stick anymore.
  • Started work on Trailer.

Favourite Behind-The-Scenes Screenshot

The%20Imperial%20Realm%20-%20Miranda%20-%20Many%20Moving%20Units_Lo.jpg
[This is what debugging pathfinding looks like.]

By Loclear Lordson on 2015-12-31 23:51:52
Homepage: email:lerriszero at gmail dot com
Happy new year Mr. Basler. I hope that you will forge similar success in the year to come!
By Dondergod on 2016-01-01 04:50:03
Homepage: email:
Happy new year, looking forward to try it this year.
By Robert Basler on 2016-01-01 13:32:16
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Thank you and Happy New Year to you both. I've gotten rather a lot of positive feedback the last couple days and it is very much appreciated.

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