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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
Three Steps Forward
By Robert Basler on 2018-01-02 01:54:36
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com

2017 was the year that The Imperial Realm::Miranda, my multi-year game development odyssey, actually shipped out to paying customers. Yay!

I have really enjoyed talking to everyone about the game this last year. Having people interested, who want to talk about the game, and are enthusiastic, is pure oxygen for a lone developer like me. I can't emphasize enough how great that feels or how much it helps.

[Combat with The Fallen]

There were a lot of great accomplishments this year, although with the game out now you already know about many of them. I was particularly thrilled to finally have not one, but two trailers. The two big themed updates Nemesis and Return of The Fallen were also very cool. I even took a few weeks of summer vacation where I sat in the sun, ate ice cream and went to movies with my family. That was really nice.

By most measures, the first eight months of Miranda's Early Access campaign has been really successful. People are having fun playing with the game. I have gotten a lot of great feedback which has really helped me figure out what sort of game Miranda is going to be. I've also received lots of helpful bug reports. The only real problem is that there just aren't enough of you lovely people yet.

This is my favourite blog post of the year, mainly because I was really happy with the way the poster turned out. So much so that I got it printed and framed for my wall. Eventually I am going to get it printed poster size.


Goals for 2018

Make Miranda Prettier - The most common negative feedback I get is that the game looks like something from the '90's. It's ok, that doesn't really hurt my feelings. Just as many people have told me they like the art, or that they don't care about the art. But the reception the game has gotten so far leads me to believe that people are immediately dismissing it based on looks, and so I need to address that. Part of the problem is the technical abilities of the renderer at this point in time, part of that is the art.

The renderer is the easier part of the equation to fix, it actually isn't missing that much, it's more a matter of using what's there with a more modern sensibility. The really tricky part is finding art, or more specifically, finding pieces that work together. Buying assets from artists on places like the Unity Store is an imperfect process. Nothing is usable as-is. Some things end up not working at all. I think the difficult solution is going to be making more Miranda-specific art.

More Gameplay Variety - I thought Miranda could be successful as a PvP game so I focussed first on building out that gameplay. Unfortunately it turns out I wasn't able to attact enough players to make the PvP systems work the way they were intended to. After much thought, I've concluded that the key to having more players playing is giving them more activities to choose from. I've already started down this road by adding PvE and map discovery. In 2018 I will be adding more individual activities, expanding the AI, and adding more unit types to play with.

Marketing - I have not put as much energy into marketing as I need to. For my current five prong strategy: Twitter is alright, the blog is good, press reach is minimal, Facebook is a disaster, and Google+ is totally dead. Miranda's marketing strategy is getting two new prongs this year: The first is advertising, the second is going to be a surprise.

[The Fallen Await]

Here's some numbers for 2017:

309,463 lines of C++ code.
226 additions and changes.
197 bugs fixed.
34 blog posts.
2 updates.
1 release.

Happy New Year everyone!

By Kurt Ingleson on 2018-01-02 05:04:56
Homepage: email:kurt at pacomms dot co dot uk
I don't think you have received the credit you are due for this game to be honest, first off let me say well done, its a great concept and now its coming to fruition i think the possibilities are endless. If you want my 2 pence worth or 2 cents for other not in the UK ;-) i think the game is awesome, however i would agree the units and play area could use some work. I think that adding some simple trees and rivers would be a good start, and also make moving your units around, and battle strategies more complex, especially if you introduced a cover mechanic. I know i have said this before but for me i would also like to see the addition of ground troops, dunno why but when i play an RTS it just doesn't feel like i'm commanding troops if there actually isn't any, just me i know and others may disagree just my opinion. Anyway, keep on trucking and i hope that 2018 brings you all the success you rightly deserve, for me i love Miranda and hope it continues to develop and grow for many many years.
By Robert Basler on 2018-01-02 13:25:40
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Thank you, I'm pretty pleased with how the game is coming together. Ground troops are on the list, but don't hold your breath, character animation is a really tricky business.

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