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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 2018-05-09 15:07:57
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com

Today marks the one year anniversary of the start of #TheImperialRealmMiranda's Early Access. Woo!

I had some things I wanted to do to mark the occasion, but then my wife was out of commission for several days (she's fine now) so I was trying to do her stuff as well as my stuff, and that's exhausting and wildly disruptive.

So I thought I'd do a little #tweetstorm postmortem of the first year of Early Access.

What Went Right

People are having fun playing with the toys I've built. I check out what people are doing, and I'm constantly amazed by what they've accomplished and the unique things they're doing. Everybody really does play differently!

The feedback I have gotten from everyone has been amazingly supportive and helpful. I really can't thank everyone enough! You have given your time to submit bug reports, pages of written feedback & suggestions, and put up with hundreds of crashes. We are all building this dream.

The tech works. I was worried launching Early Access that it would fail in some spectacular manner I hadn't forseen. Getting hundreds of avatars for thousands of players on one seamless map in real-time is an incredibly challenging technology problem.

The niche works. To my amazement there still isn't another seamless open world massively multiplayer RTS like Miranda. Actually, knowing what it takes to build an MMORTS like this, it's not actually that amazing.

What Went Wrong

PR efforts have been an abject failure. I believed people would value a completely unique and playable game enough that they would overlook shortcomings in appearance. That was delusional thinking. Without great visuals you are at a massive marketing disadvantage.

The plan for Miranda to be a purely PvP game was a disaster. PvP seems a natural fit for RTS, but you know how people say they don't like PvP? It's true! So the focus is now on adding more cooperative and solo play choices.

I have some amazingly talented musicians and artists lined up to help me make Miranda the spectacular world I envision. I had planned to use some of the revenue from Early Access to pay them. So... it's still just me.

And Now...

I'm hard at work on the third major update I've dubbed "Bold New World". It will be done when it's done. There will also be an update for GDPR compliance. I'm not sure yet if they will be one-in-the-same.

The Imperial Realm::Miranda is by far the coolest and most difficult thing I've worked on. And I really don't know how it will work out. But it has given me the opportunity to know my daughter. And there is a huge value in that. I'm optimistic we can fix the rest.

Since I haven't posted any screenshots in a super-long time, here's a teeny preview of the new crystal formations I'm working on.

[Crystal formations - work in progress.]

By Kurt Ingleson on 2018-05-10 02:46:05
Homepage: email:kurt at pacomms dot co dot uk
Well i think the games great, agreed the visuals are a bit dated but the concept is good. I also agree more solo content is needed with the occasional pvp element, there just isnt enough people yet for a pvp only focused game. I still think that it would be cool to have ground troops for my part, would make my army feel like .... well an army :-)

Keep trucking and giving us good stuff ....
By Robert Basler on 2018-05-10 13:33:49
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Thank you. Hopefully people are a little happier with the visuals with the next update. After that, the plan is to work on getting more units into the game, adding more missions, and making The Fallen into a more formidable adversary.
By Dondergod on 2018-05-12 04:52:16
Homepage: email:
To be honest, it's the reason why I decided not to buy into the game.
While I really like the concept and even the gameplay from the test sessions that I've played, I've already looked at a lot of MMORTS, and they all have the same issue.

No one plays them. While I would not mind spending some money on a game that I know will be a success, my budget is rather low and I don't want to spend it on a game that has limited chances of succeeding.

I would love to see this game succeed, but I personally believe the best way to go would be F2P with added features.

Something to consider, is that because you have 2 factions, you could make a system where paying players get more, while non-playing get less.

As easy example, let's say you play CS:Go, everyone on the team can buy an AK47. Now, 2 players of that team pay real life money, they now get the AWP, while the other 3 players only get pistols.

So the 2 factions, are still equal to each other, the distribution among the same team has simply changed.

One other option btw, is to get into contact with youtubers/twitch streamers. It might cost some money, but if they make a video that is watched by thousands of people, it should get you back your investment value + extra.
By Robert Basler on 2018-05-12 13:33:26
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Thanks for the feedback Dondergod, I don't think you are alone in that evaluation.

I have extensively considered F2P, but it doesn't foster the type of community and game experience I'm trying to build. It also brings a whole pile of design, technical and ethical issues I just don't have the capacity to deal with. Miranda is also very expensive to operate compared to other online games, so having high churn and 98% non-paying players is a non-starter.

I look at it this way: Miranda is the only seamless open world real time strategy game. Nobody else is making one. Nobody has made one since I started thinking about it in 2004. The resources I can personally apply to making the game are limited. Much more limited than larger organizations could manage obviously -- but they aren't interested.

The odds are clearly stacked against this game succeeding. So my challenge is finding people who also think this is a good idea to take a risk and help me move the game forward even a little bit, some financially, but many just by giving feedback and helping to spread the word.

Ultimately I'm trying to build a larger organization to support the game (not Electronic Arts large, but larger than just me.)

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