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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
The Year Past, the Year Ahead
By Robert Basler on 2011-12-31 15:59:28
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com

I keep a log of everything I do each week. With the year coming to a close I thought it a good time to look back through it and see what I've accomplished. It turns out there have been a lot of accomplishments this year. I thought it would be nice to pick out a few of them to share.

I added a user-controllable camera, added replication of player commands from the client to the server, got entity movement, interest management, and synchronization between the server and client working. I added a distributed time-synchronization system to keep the server clocks in sync. I added my first entity model and textured it in Blender3D then added A* pathfinding so it can get around. I got the world terrain mesh working, increased the world size to 300km x 300km and after months of having weird debug stripey terrain textures I finally added the code to texture the terrain using perlin noise - which looks sweet. I learned how to use the fabulous free gDebugger. I added an inventory system, and a data-driven entity creation and customization system. I integrated Berkelium to provide an HTML user interface and added the in-game HUD. I broke 100,000 lines of code, made some cool T-shirts and attended the Canadian Games Conference. I finalized the design of the game I'm building, did some blogging, and had a couple of nice vacations.

At long last my game is starting to look like a game, and not just a large pile of game engine tech components and raw code bits. That is an amazing kind of awesome.

I did not ship this year. That's quite a letdown. My plan when I started this project was to ship a game a year. It's now been two years and zero games. I wish those guys at Unity had come out with their tech just a bit sooner. It would have changed significantly how I developed this title. Then again, I considered Torque Game Engine pretty seriously before deciding to develop my own, so maybe Unity wouldn't have changed that decision after all.

Resolutions for the Year Ahead

The game will ship this year. And I will settle on a name for it.

I will finish the project without outside funding. This one is going to be difficult because I see the money going out the door every month and I have some really cool features I just won't have time to do before launch - and because I've had some offers now.

I'll no longer be a one-man MMO. I'm going to hire an artist to help out. My art is fair, but there's no substitute for excellence. Once the game ships I'll also be hiring someone to help me with community management and support.

I will vacation without feeling bad about it.

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.

2011 By The Numbers

107,658 Lines of C++ code
2,402 lines in largest file simdapp.cpp
670 C++ files
489 items in the "what did I do this week" log.
446 C++ Classes
58 checkins to Mercurial
40 Blog posts
26 UI Files
23 Tweets
21 Textures
11 Materials
7 Custom Tool programs
6 Shaders
6 Server programs
2 Models

Favourite build log comment: November 4 - Sick of working on HUD.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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