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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
MMO Developer Reading List
By Robert Basler on 2010-01-21 16:37:47
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com

I've been interested in MMO development for some time. I thought it would be good to point out some of the best resources for the potential MMO developer.


Developing Online Games - An Insider's Guide by Jessica Mulligan and Bridgette Patrovsky, New Riders Publishing 2003 ISBN 1-5927-3000-0.

I just finished rereading this one. It takes MMO's from the management perspective. What do you need to do to develop, launch successfully and run an ongoing game service? They go heavily into budgeting, design, distribution, and customer service. There are some very helpful checklists in this book. If you are spending more then the cost of the book on your game, it is worth the money to buy the book.

Massively Multiplayer Game Development and Massively Multiplayer Game Development 2 edited by Thor Alexander, Charles River Media, 2003 ISBN 1-58450-243-6 and 2005 ISBN 1-58450-390-4.

These are both titles in the vein of the Game Programming Gems series. They feature sections on client programming, server programming, database programming, MMP design, engineering and production. Not every article will apply to your project, but you should find some gems here.


Elder Game is worth reading from the start. The authors have worked on big name games and you will find lots of really helpful design advice here. I read through every post.

Psychochild's Blog features design and operational recommendations both theoretical and practical from someone who worked on, and has since operated Meridian 59 - one of the earliest graphical MMO titles. I found the comments on the Weekend Design Challenge posts chock full of potential game feature ideas.

T=Machine has lots of interesting posts on MMO features and design. More recently it has focused more on iPhone game development, but there are a lot of great older posts. This was one of the first blogs I found, and I found a lot to read here.

Imaginary Cogs is unfortunately dead, but in its brief tenure it presented some pretty interesting pieces on the technical operation of data centres and the daily nuts and bolts of running a MMO server farm.

PlayNoEvil is a daily update on the security missteps of the gaming industry focussing heavily on MMO's. The author annoyingly plugs his book in nearly every post, but there is a lot of good, practical security advice here. I haven't bought the book.

Do you have any must-read titles to suggest?

By omeg on 2012-02-28 04:04:38
Homepage: email:
In addition to your list...
Ascii Dreams. Not an MMO blog, but contains some excellent articles on game design:
Ben Zeigler, MMO dev's blog:
Procedural World, amazing example of what one man can achieve:
By Robert Basler on 2012-02-28 09:35:39
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
That procedural world blog is really interesting, thanks. I have to add some procedural foliage before I'm going to put out any screenshots, so it is something I've been thinking about.

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