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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
Production
By Robert Basler on 2019-08-12 15:25:35
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

Production is the part of game development where the game's design and features are mostly set, and the team starts taking all the systems that have been developed and filling them with all the tens of thousands of individual things players will interact with: swords, shields, guns, outfits, soccer players, teams and much more.

component.png
[Every item in Miranda actually looks like this...]


Miranda has been in production for a little while now. When I added loot crates I didn't make just one loot crate, I made 78, 12 different types in all. I plan to add more, but that is at least a respectable start.

The feature brief for my current feature is "Add plasma rifle weapon effect like the one in the Terminator movies." With the requirements pretty clear, I started digging in to what that actually means to implement with production in mind. First I need new art for the weapon, then a shader that will run it because it isn't exactly like previous beam weapons, then some code changes to support the additional data requirements of the shader, then code changes to the simulation to support weapons taking time to arrive on target. Doable.

Then I looked at my great list of components in the game - every tank, crate, weapon, building, power source, shield and so on. I realized that I need that plasma rifle's art and many, many stats to vary by 4 levels of veterancy, by as many as 8 quality levels (blues/greens etc) and by a to-be-determined number of level ranges spanning the player's 80 levels. OK, I can do that with my current system, but I'm immediately overwhelmed by the sheer number of components and stat variations that will be needed. How can I build all those in a reasonable amount of time without having tons of bugs in the thousands of numbers I would need to calculate and enter? How do I tweak the weapon afterwards? How do I back-port those veterancy/quality/level variations to all the existing weapons in the game? How do I quickly iterate to develop the art variations and test all of those weapon variations?

I don't know yet, but I'm working on it.

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