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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Advice wanted: Best engine for a sandbox/action mmo?

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29 posts found
  deadarmour

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/14
Posts: 7

 
OP  5/23/14 7:56:50 PM#1

Hello people.

I write seeking advice/recommendation on a proprietary engine or combination of middleware that would allow:

  • live action combat (such as mount and blade, chivalry, war of the roses/vikings)
  • collision detection
  • ability to handle many players in an area on a non-instanced server
A rough explanation of what I have in mind to create is a pseudo historical medieval sandbox game with no quests, no factions, no monsters, no magic, no abilities, no classes, no levels, no enchanted items, no dungeons, no instances, no battlegrounds, no arenas, no fast travel, no world chat channel, no story, no npcs. Only guilds, crafting, trade, player made modular buildings, development of crafting and martial skills, real-time action combat, open world pvp, stamina, carry weight, full loot, theft, elements of survival and the interactions that happen between players as a result of the game's sandbox nature. 
 
Possibly thinking the Havok Vision Engine, UE4, the Hero Engine or BigWorld, but I'd like to hear from people in the know. 
 
I should also note that we as a small group so far have very little knowledge of coding, so the ease of learning the tools is also a factor to take into consideration (myself being a concept artist with some experience in Maya, my friends being a sound engineer, and an additional member eager to learn how to program).
 
We plan to build a prototype over the next year and a half/two years before getting all the legal stuff sorted, crowdfunding and attracting more members to the team (if we haven't already).
 

PS: I've searched and come up with nothing, but my apologies if similar has been asked before. 

  strawhat0981

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/13/13
Posts: 503

I want an awesome sci-fi game that is a sandbox...give it to me!!!!

5/23/14 7:59:06 PM#2
Originally posted by deadarmour

Hello people.

I write seeking advice/recommendation on a proprietary engine or combination of middleware that would allow:

  • live action combat (such as mount and blade, chivalry, war of the roses/vikings)
  • collision detection
  • ability to handle many players in an area on a non-instanced server
A rough explanation of what I have in mind to create is a pseudo historical medieval sandbox game with no quests, no factions, no monsters, no magic, no abilities, no classes, no levels, no enchanted items, no dungeons, no instances, no battlegrounds, no arenas, no fast travel, no world chat channel, no story, no npcs. Only guilds, crafting, trade, player made modular buildings, development of crafting and martial skills, real-time action combat, open world pvp, stamina, carry weight, full loot, theft, elements of survival and the interactions that happen between players as a result of the game's sandbox nature. 
 
Possibly thinking the Havok Vision Engine, UE4, the Hero Engine or BigWorld, but I'd like to hear from people in the know. 
 
I should also note that we as a small group so far have very little knowledge of coding, so the ease of learning the tools is also a factor to take into consideration (myself being a concept artist with some experience in Maya, my friends being a sound engineer, and an additional member eager to learn how to program).
 
We plan to build a prototype over the next year and a half/two years before getting all the legal stuff sorted, crowdfunding and attracting more members to the team (if we haven't already).
 

PS: I've searched and come up with nothing, but my apologies if similar has been asked before. 

In the red, forget that and make it sci-fi

  Yamota

Elite Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6500

"I fight so you don't have to."

5/23/14 8:06:38 PM#3
You have very little experience in programming and you want to develop an MMO? Yeah, sorry but that does not sound realistic. It is almost like someone who knows very little about building an engine, wanting to build a race car.

  strawhat0981

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/13/13
Posts: 503

I want an awesome sci-fi game that is a sandbox...give it to me!!!!

5/23/14 8:09:08 PM#4
Originally posted by Yamota
You have very little experience in programming and you want to develop an MMO? Yeah, sorry but that does not sound realistic. It is almost like someone who knows very little about building an engine, wanting to build a race car.

I know little about running a NFL franchise, but I sure want to run one!!   

 

*GO COWBOYS, I WILL LEAD YOU TO THE PROMISED LAND 

 

*edit, im a freaking idiot!!!!!!

  tkacid

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/17/06
Posts: 16

I want cheese

5/23/14 8:27:51 PM#5

Going to be friendly,

You have a long road ahead of you, I would not worry about engines yet, if you are truly serious and committed.

A couple of simple points:

- Scope your game out, Design it in, Visio or even paper on how it would flow and work together and I mean everything, from a minor close window icon to your psychics systems

- Do some sole searching, maybe join a team that has already started and try to help to get your ears wet and actually understand how complex this is.

- Determine how you handle decisions about the direction of the game and how you will work with them

one last piece of advice, the hardest part about developing like this is keeping your team happy and focused, the programming and modelling and technical arts, sound, 2d concepts, tool developers, etc etc is nothing compared to this.

Some thoughts....

about the engines, all can do the job but all you have listed are way about your knowledge level, go learn more basics because if you start to learn while you design the architecture your game at the same time you are asking for a nightmare....

  deadarmour

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/14
Posts: 7

 
OP  5/23/14 8:30:51 PM#6

Originally posted by strawhat0981

In the red, forget that and make it sci-fi

Heard of Divergence?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trpmoQnEDfA

Originally posted by Yamota
You have very little experience in programming and you want to develop an MMO? Yeah, sorry but that does not sound realistic. It is almost like someone who knows very little about building an engine, wanting to build a race car.

That's a valid point. We intend to make the game as simple as possible; no ai, npcs, quests, limited assets etc, so that it would be achievable by a small team. We hope to use the prototype and concept of the game as a means of attracting programmers.

  strawhat0981

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/13/13
Posts: 503

I want an awesome sci-fi game that is a sandbox...give it to me!!!!

5/23/14 8:37:20 PM#7
Originally posted by deadarmour

Originally posted by strawhat0981

In the red, forget that and make it sci-fi

Heard of Divergence?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trpmoQnEDfA

 

In the red, no way you are serious about Divergence. That dude has ripped people off so much. Sure I hope he can pull it off, but COME ON MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Nitth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 3198

Magic Propels my Rolly Chair.

5/23/14 9:03:20 PM#8


That's a valid point. We intend to make the game as simple as possible; no ai, npcs, quests, limited assets etc, so that it would be achievable by a small team. We hope to use the prototype and concept of the game as a means of attracting programmers.

hmmm no... I don't think so.


TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  User Deleted
5/23/14 9:06:55 PM#9
If you have to ask this, you shouldn't even be trying.
  Dauntis

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 10/21/09
Posts: 406

5/23/14 9:12:05 PM#10
Wait, let me get this straight, you want to make another medieval mmo world but the twist is it is essentially empty except for other players? Sounds rea *YAWN* ly cool. I am sure you and your friend will enjoy it.

I would like to give an opinion on this post, but if I agree I will offend people who disagree. While if I disagree my comment will be seen as inflammatory. Either way I will get banned by this site full of the most delicate flowers in online gaming. Ban people for giving honest opinions... beautiful. Unfortunately I still like the articles.

  deadarmour

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/14
Posts: 7

 
OP  5/23/14 9:25:48 PM#11
Originally posted by tkacid

Going to be friendly,

You have a long road ahead of you, I would not worry about engines yet, if you are truly serious and committed.

A couple of simple points:

- Scope your game out, Design it in, Visio or even paper on how it would flow and work together and I mean everything, from a minor close window icon to your psychics systems

- Do some sole searching, maybe join a team that has already started and try to help to get your ears wet and actually understand how complex this is.

- Determine how you handle decisions about the direction of the game and how you will work with them

one last piece of advice, the hardest part about developing like this is keeping your team happy and focused, the programming and modelling and technical arts, sound, 2d concepts, tool developers, etc etc is nothing compared to this.

Some thoughts....

about the engines, all can do the job but all you have listed are way about your knowledge level, go learn more basics because if you start to learn while you design the architecture your game at the same time you are asking for a nightmare....

Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.

Yeah, we're not jumping in head first, but are currently in the early process of writing up the game design document and research/development. Reason why we wanted to find out about different engines was to determine which programming language we should focus on learning (at the moment C++).

Though I do feel a little naive, we know enough to know that we don't know what we don't know. We're under no delusion in thinking that this will be easy or that it's going to take anywhere less than 4 or more years. 

Regarding your last point, we plan to develop prototypes for the game in stand-alone modules so as to learn how to develop each system/ how they would work individually, before starting separately on the larger prototype (which we would then use to seek crowdfunding and hire other members).

  ImminentUprising

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/19/14
Posts: 7

5/23/14 9:36:04 PM#12

howdy,

      we haven't made anything public as of yet, but your post was so spot on to us i had to comment.  My team has been working on a project with 90% of the features you listed and we will be on steam within 6-8 weeks hopefully.  we will be contacting mmorpg with game footage and be on greenlight around the same time frame.  Think of the games Rust, War of the Roses, and stronghold kingdoms mashed into one and that is the multi-player experience we will be delivering soon.  Can't disclose anymore information but keep an eye out for a game like you described and that will be us :)

BTW, we quit our jobs emptied our 401k's to do this project.  we felt kickstarter was not an option because we believed in our project and the risk should fall on us not others, since the reward is ours as well.

  nateslo

Novice Member

Joined: 10/22/09
Posts: 44

5/23/14 9:38:58 PM#13

I am NOT an expert in this, but I will share what I know ( I am computer science student who has wondered some of these things as well.) 

If you are using a pre-build engine, you will be mainly focusing on scripting.  Engines like Unity utilize scripts written in C#, javascript, or boo. 

Scripting languages are much higher level (meaning less control of system resources, but often easier to use), than languages like C++.

An engine like Unity is probably a good bet if you want to spend most of you time designing the game, instead of programming an engine. 

Learn some scripting: I recommend javascript mainly because is has such a broad range of applications these days (look up node.js) 

Again, I am not an expert, but hope this helps

 

  deadarmour

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/14
Posts: 7

 
OP  5/23/14 9:39:39 PM#14
Originally posted by Dauntis
Wait, let me get this straight, you want to make another medieval mmo world but the twist is it is essentially empty except for other players? Sounds rea *YAWN* ly cool. I am sure you and your friend will enjoy it.

Well, it's about immersion.

Ai is still very poor, let alone in mmo games. So why not remove it from being an issue?

Quests and lore/backstory are contrived and totally disassociated from the player. Why not have none? Why not have the players give quests such as bounty hunting, mercenary work, trading etc. like is seen in Eve?

Think guild alliances and enemies, fighting over territory and resources. Think Mount and Blade crossed with Eve and Second Life.

  RedCurry

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/12/13
Posts: 64

5/23/14 9:39:50 PM#15
I'm sorry, but why would you come to a public game forum and ask of all things "what game engine should we use?" This has got to be a joke. If you're really in the business of making games, you wouldn't be going about this in such a way. This can't be real.
  Nitth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 3198

Magic Propels my Rolly Chair.

5/23/14 9:49:42 PM#16


Originally posted by RedCurry
I'm sorry, but why would you come to a public game forum and ask of all things "what game engine should we use?" This has got to be a joke. If you're really in the business of making games, you wouldn't be going about this in such a way. This can't be real.

there's nothing wrong with asking advice on an engine in itself.


TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  deadarmour

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/14
Posts: 7

 
OP  5/23/14 9:53:57 PM#17
Originally posted by ImminentUprising

howdy,

      we haven't made anything public as of yet, but your post was so spot on to us i had to comment.  My team has been working on a project with 90% of the features you listed and we will be on steam within 6-8 weeks hopefully.  we will be contacting mmorpg with game footage and be on greenlight around the same time frame.  Think of the games Rust, War of the Roses, and stronghold kingdoms mashed into one and that is the multi-player experience we will be delivering soon.  Can't disclose anymore information but keep an eye out for a game like you described and that will be us :)

BTW, we quit our jobs emptied our 401k's to do this project.  we felt kickstarter was not an option because we believed in our project and the risk should fall on us not others, since the reward is ours as well.

Awesome, I look forward to seeing what you've been working on. The point of us wanting to make a game has been that there hasn't been such a thing available, so I watch with vested interest.

  eugheuforce

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/18/08
Posts: 24

5/23/14 10:10:00 PM#18
Unity is probably your best choice for an indie game. 
  deadarmour

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/14
Posts: 7

 
OP  5/24/14 2:08:21 AM#19
Originally posted by nateslo

I am NOT an expert in this, but I will share what I know ( I am computer science student who has wondered some of these things as well.) 

If you are using a pre-build engine, you will be mainly focusing on scripting.  Engines like Unity utilize scripts written in C#, javascript, or boo. 

Scripting languages are much higher level (meaning less control of system resources, but often easier to use), than languages like C++.

An engine like Unity is probably a good bet if you want to spend most of you time designing the game, instead of programming an engine. 

Learn some scripting: I recommend javascript mainly because is has such a broad range of applications these days (look up node.js) 

Again, I am not an expert, but hope this helps

 

Thanks.

Yeah, that's why we wanted to use a proprietary engine; none of us are programmers, so we thought best to use a pre-made one.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13164

5/24/14 1:28:09 PM#20
Originally posted by deadarmour

Originally posted by Yamota
You have very little experience in programming and you want to develop an MMO? Yeah, sorry but that does not sound realistic. It is almost like someone who knows very little about building an engine, wanting to build a race car.

That's a valid point. We intend to make the game as simple as possible; no ai, npcs, quests, limited assets etc, so that it would be achievable by a small team. We hope to use the prototype and concept of the game as a means of attracting programmers.

"As simple as possible" necessarily means "single player, purely offline".  That's where you should start, even if you hope to eventually make it into an online game.

-----

You're looking at this all wrong.  Licensing a game engine doesn't replace the need to have a good programmer (or multiple good programmers, depending on the scale of the project).  

The right way to use a game engine is to have people able to create their own working game engine on your team and know what the engine needs to be able to do.  Then you license a game engine that does a lot of the things that you want in the way that you want them done and does them pretty efficiently.  You use some parts of the game engine code as is, slightly modify other parts that are pretty close to what you want, toss out parts that you don't have any use for, and write a bunch of your own code to do the stuff you need that the game engine doesn't have built in.

Note that this requires you to have the full source code to whatever game engine you use, and that typically costs a lot of money.  You should think of using a game engine without the source code as being a demo or trial version of an engine, not something you can actually launch a commercial product with.

Don't think of pieces of code that you use at the level of "this does collision detection" or "this does crafting".  When deciding which parts of a game engine you're going to use, you need to look much lower level than that.  For example, in my own project, the latest little piece that I've been working on is "given an ellipse and three parallel lines, this finds all intersections between the ellipse and any of the lines".  (That's going to end up as one subroutine used in hair physics.)

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The most common programming language for games is probably C++.  Java has a reputation as the easiest to learn.  Any compiled language (as opposed to a scripting language like Python or Perl) that has the basic capabilities you need (e.g., make sure that it has OpenGL and/or DirectX available, as well as networking and sound if you need them) would probably work.

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