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General Discussion Forum » The Pub at MMORPG.COM » Hero Engine 2 $99/year ~ Indy MMOs

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149 posts found
  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

 
OP  12/05/12 5:59:22 PM#1

I've been keeping an eye on businesses like Idea Fabrik's Hero Engine because I am interested in indy MMORPG games. Hero Engine 2 just dropped recently and along with things such as updated graphics, they have also made some improvements that are specifically targeted at indy developers to aid in development speed. Hang in there with me, because this post is a bit of a thought up-chuck rather than a fleshed out idea.

I've heard people whine about Hero Engine around here, though most of the whining has been based on shortcomings seen in SWTOR.  I won't go into details, because there are plenty of discussions about the subject available, but SWTOR did not even truly use Hero Engine 1.  Bioware licensed a beta version of engine years ago, and then developed it on their own.

Still, even if you don't like engines like Hero for large-scale MMO games, it's pretty amazing to see what they are offering for $99/ year.  Especially when you factor in that they are including middleware such as SpeedTree, PhysX and other game development staples.  Think about that.  For $99, you get instant access to a cloud-based server of your own, with all the tools you'll probably ever need to make a small indy title.  Not to mention they provide you with the server hosting and bandwidth for your future customers.

I haven't been following the development of Notch's new 0x10c game in development, but it really made me start thinking about how important indy games are going to be for the future, especially in light of so many game companies choosing the path of cloning past success, rather than stepping outside the box and trying new things. 

(Info about Notch's new game in early development in case you didn't know about it)

Recently on these boards, there were discussions about Greed Monger, and the use of middleware assets for indy development.  Some people complained that Greed Monger may be using some stock assets in their game, though the developers have stated that they have hired their own artists and are making their own assets too.  Really, if people are wanting to play new games made by solo-devs or small teams, then we are going to have to get past all of the bickering about middleware, and just see if the developer can make fun gameplay.

The fact is, to build a completely unique MMO world with 100% unique assets requires more time and money than most indy developers are going to have access to.  I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what kinds of projects engines like Hero can help people put together for a fraction of the cost.  If only they could get a "lite" version of it out there for free, I think they would see a lot more people tinkering on small projects and coming up with great ideas.

Let's also not forget the potential for tools like Hero Engine for prototyping.  I think there is room for people to make and sell MMO gameplay systems in addition to art assets, engines and other middleware.  Do you have a great idea for a unique crafting and resource system, for example?  Why not prototype it in small scale with something like Hero or Unity, and then sell the idea to a larger company?

This whole subject also made me think about smaller super-niche MMO games.  As a small developer, how do you measure success?  For example, if I was to make a small MMO sandbox game that only kept about 1000-5000 players subscribed, would that suck for me?  As a small business or side business, I say no.  No it wouldn't.  Your overhead on something that size wouldn't be bad at all, and if you were charging $5 per month we're talking about $25,000 per month gross on the higher end of my example.  I know from being an IT Pro that server space and bandwidth for a small game like this would not cost a fortune.

As someone who loves MMO games from playing them to following the ins and outs of the industry, it gets my mind spinning.  Just while I was writing this I was thinking about fun things to learn from, such as trying to recreate the Star Wars Galaxies crafting system in small scale.

 

A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  Arglebargle

Elite Member

Joined: 6/13/07
Posts: 1084

12/05/12 6:05:58 PM#2

*Handclaps!*

 

I had no idea it was as low as $99 a year.  This is exactly the sort of thing that independant and niche games need to put out (relatively) inexpensive games, or game concepts.  I'd been hoping to see this sort of thing show up for years. 

 

Let the clades begin forming en masse!

If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

 
OP  12/05/12 6:13:56 PM#3
Originally posted by Arglebargle

*Handclaps!*

 

I had no idea it was as low as $99 a year.  This is exactly the sort of thing that independant and niche games need to put out (relatively) inexpensive games, or game concepts.  I'd been hoping to see this sort of thing show up for years. 

 

Let the clades begin forming en masse!

Right, and I didn't even talk about how Hero Engine is designed from the ground up to make development much more friendly than it ever could be for indy developers.  They way they have made it so you can design the world while you are in it (or your whole team) is pretty incredible.  They claim to have systems in place to minimze coding in a lot of ways too, which is fantastic.

A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13388

12/05/12 6:51:25 PM#4

If you think that SWTOR has game engine problems using a heavily-customized version of the Hero Engine, then you should see the complete train wreck that it would have been if they used an uncustomized version of the Hero Engine.

Game engines are designed to do particular things.  If what you want to do is something that the game engine is designed to handle, great.  But as soon as you want to do something that the game engine designers didn't anticipate, you've basically got three options:  modify the game engine, find some roundabout way of cramming it into the game engine, or abandon that idea.

If you've got your own game engine, you take option 1 and don't think much of it.  If you're using an off-the-shelf game engine, option 1 is not available to you.  Option 2 is sometimes unavailable to you, and is likely to carry a large performance hit even if you can do it.  It's nearly guaranteed to be more work than option 1 would have been.  If you're using an off-the-shelf game engine, then get used to taking option 3:  abandoning most of your creative ideas because they don't fit the game engine.

There seems to be this mystique that game engines are really hard to create.  They're not.  You do need a competent programmer with a decent background in mathematics (linear algebra is critical for anything 3D, and multivariable calculus is important, too).  But you'll need that in order to make a bunch of other things in your game work, too.  Trying to license a game engine as a way to get around needing to have anyone competent working on your project isn't likely to end well.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13388

12/05/12 7:19:44 PM#5

I'd like to add that the graphics portion of a game engine is very performance sensitive, but not very long.  You're supposed to write shaders to do graphics computations, in order to make the game engine process your art assets in exactly the manner that you want.  In order to get acceptable performance for a game, shaders need to run millions of times per second--or in the case of pixel/fragment shaders, hundreds of millions of times per second.  So they're not going to take thousands of lines of source code.

Let me grab an example from a project I'm working on:

#version 420
layout(triangles, equal_spacing, ccw) in;
uniform vec3 moveVector;
uniform mat3 camMatrix;
uniform mat3 objMatrix;
uniform vec4 axes;
out vec3 teNormal;
out vec3 teTexCoord;
void main() {
teTexCoord = mat3(gl_in[0].gl_Position.xyz, gl_in[1].gl_Position.xyz, gl_in[2].gl_Position.xyz) * gl_TessCoord;
teTexCoord.xy = normalize(teTexCoord.xy);
teNormal = normalize(camMatrix * (objMatrix * vec3(teTexCoord.xy * (axes.y / axes.x), 0.0f)));
gl_Position = vec4(camMatrix * (objMatrix * (teTexCoord * axes.xxz) + moveVector), 1.0f);
}

(Yes, I do comment my code.  I removed the comments before posting it here.)  Dense, yes.  But not long.  They can get somewhat longer than that, but if you're taking hundreds of lines for a shader, you're probably doing it wrong.  The graphics part of a game engine basically consists of writing several dozen shaders and then the code to feed in the data that the shaders will process.  Think that will cost millions of dollars?

Make your own game engine and you can make it do whatever you want.  If you don't, you'll be severely restricted in what you can do.  Does the Hero Engine let you write your own shaders?  If the hope of indie games is innovation, then using an off-the-shelf game engine will stifle that, even if it does make it easier to make a simple game that kind of works.

  Arglebargle

Elite Member

Joined: 6/13/07
Posts: 1084

12/05/12 7:29:52 PM#6
I think you overestimate the ease of getting a competant programmer to work for you on a speculative venture.  

If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13388

12/05/12 7:31:57 PM#7
Originally posted by Arglebargle
I think you overestimate the ease of getting a competant programmer to work for you on a speculative venture.  

If you can't get a competent programmer, then don't you think that will cause an awful lot of problems for your game?  And problems that licensing a game engine can't fix, no less.

  Souldrainer

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/21/06
Posts: 1878

12/05/12 7:37:32 PM#8
There are some good things that this engine brings to the table, like stable network management. However, if you are an indie dev who has fewer than 10 games under your belt, I strongly advise you to avoid RPGs and MMOs until you have a good grasp on the fundamentals of game design.

Error: 37. Signature not found. Please connect to my server for signature access.

  corpusc

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 1378

CHATTANOOGAN

contact me if you are seriously interested in
* C#
* making an old schoolish FPS

12/05/12 7:49:38 PM#9
Originally posted by Quizzical

#version 420

 

 

interesting version

The End
---------------------------
i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13388

12/05/12 7:59:54 PM#10
Originally posted by corpusc
Originally posted by Quizzical

#version 420

interesting version

That means the shader uses GLSL version 4.2, which corresponds to OpenGL 4.2.  I didn't create the numbering convention.

  bishbosh

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/11
Posts: 401

12/05/12 9:51:13 PM#11

I have researched quite a few game engines because i am currently looking into making my own casual multiplayer game. hero engine is basically a toy to play around with for people who arent really serious about making games for money.

high quality large scale mmorpgs/games do not work well with one solution fits all stuff like hero engine. im sorry but thats the way it is. 

hero engine uses some weird hero script which probably doesnt give the developer much control over anything and it probably runs slow as shit. 

the whole hero cloud server crap is bullshit. no decent mmorpg or online game will run on servers which they have little control over. 

if the developer doesnt have control over server-client interaction and the mulitplayer code, developer cannot guarantee stability, no hacks , no lag etcc etc

 

if you want to make a big huge mmorpg, you probably cant . stop dreaming.... you would need to build your own complex game engine or pay $500k-$1000k for a proprietary game engine which you would then heavily modify...

 

if you are making a smaller game make your own primittive game engine or use unity3d

 

mmorpgs are a big thing and you need large amounts of capital, experience, skills and manpower to make them.

  bishbosh

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/11
Posts: 401

12/05/12 9:53:47 PM#12
Originally posted by Souldrainer
There are some good things that this engine brings to the table, like stable network management. However, if you are an indie dev who has fewer than 10 games under your belt, I strongly advise you to avoid RPGs and MMOs until you have a good grasp on the fundamentals of game design.

i think game design is probably the last thing you have to worry about.

i would worry about business management, capital, experience and knowledge in the industry, engineering skills

  OG_Zorvan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 646

12/05/12 9:56:52 PM#13
Originally posted by bishbosh

I have researched quite a few game engines because i am currently looking into making my own casual multiplayer game. hero engine is basically a toy to play around with for people who arent really serious about making games for money.

high quality large scale mmorpgs/games do not work well with one solution fits all stuff like hero engine. im sorry but thats the way it is. 

hero engine uses some weird hero script which probably doesnt give the developer much control over anything and it probably runs slow as shit. 

the whole hero cloud server crap is bullshit. no decent mmorpg or online game will run on servers which they have little control over. 

if the developer doesnt have control over server-client interaction and the mulitplayer code, developer cannot guarantee stability, no hacks , no lag etcc etc

 

if you want to make a big huge mmorpg, you probably cant . stop dreaming.... you would need to build your own complex game engine or pay $500k-$1000k for a proprietary game engine which you would then heavily modify...

 

if you are making a smaller game make your own primittive game engine or use unity3d

 

mmorpgs are a big thing and you need large amounts of capital, experience, skills and manpower to make them.

Guess you should get on the phone and call Zenimax/Bethesda and let them in on your valuable wisdom concerning HeroEngine, since that's the engine Elder Scrolls Online is using.

EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  bishbosh

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/11
Posts: 401

12/05/12 10:03:12 PM#14
Originally posted by OG_Zorvan
Originally posted by bishbosh

I have researched quite a few game engines because i am currently looking into making my own casual multiplayer game. hero engine is basically a toy to play around with for people who arent really serious about making games for money.

high quality large scale mmorpgs/games do not work well with one solution fits all stuff like hero engine. im sorry but thats the way it is. 

hero engine uses some weird hero script which probably doesnt give the developer much control over anything and it probably runs slow as shit. 

the whole hero cloud server crap is bullshit. no decent mmorpg or online game will run on servers which they have little control over. 

if the developer doesnt have control over server-client interaction and the mulitplayer code, developer cannot guarantee stability, no hacks , no lag etcc etc

 

if you want to make a big huge mmorpg, you probably cant . stop dreaming.... you would need to build your own complex game engine or pay $500k-$1000k for a proprietary game engine which you would then heavily modify...

 

if you are making a smaller game make your own primittive game engine or use unity3d

 

mmorpgs are a big thing and you need large amounts of capital, experience, skills and manpower to make them.

Guess you should get on the phone and call Zenimax/Bethesda and let them in on your valuable wisdom concerning HeroEngine, since that's the engine Elder Scrolls Online is using.

probs better if they just contacted bioware (swtor division) for some "expert" advice

 

also im pretty sure eso,swtor use a proprietary version of hero engine with heavy mods and swtor peformance still sucked despite heavy use of instancing

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13388

12/05/12 10:13:21 PM#15
Originally posted by OG_Zorvan
Originally posted by bishbosh

I have researched quite a few game engines because i am currently looking into making my own casual multiplayer game. hero engine is basically a toy to play around with for people who arent really serious about making games for money.

high quality large scale mmorpgs/games do not work well with one solution fits all stuff like hero engine. im sorry but thats the way it is. 

hero engine uses some weird hero script which probably doesnt give the developer much control over anything and it probably runs slow as shit. 

the whole hero cloud server crap is bullshit. no decent mmorpg or online game will run on servers which they have little control over. 

if the developer doesnt have control over server-client interaction and the mulitplayer code, developer cannot guarantee stability, no hacks , no lag etcc etc

 

if you want to make a big huge mmorpg, you probably cant . stop dreaming.... you would need to build your own complex game engine or pay $500k-$1000k for a proprietary game engine which you would then heavily modify...

 

if you are making a smaller game make your own primittive game engine or use unity3d

 

mmorpgs are a big thing and you need large amounts of capital, experience, skills and manpower to make them.

Guess you should get on the phone and call Zenimax/Bethesda and let them in on your valuable wisdom concerning HeroEngine, since that's the engine Elder Scrolls Online is using.

There's an enormous difference between a license to use the engine as-is, and a license that gives you the source code and lets you modify it however you wish.  The former cripples you and the latter doesn't.  But the latter also isn't available for $99/year.

  Rhoklaw

Elite Member

Joined: 1/12/04
Posts: 3036

$500 Backer to 2015's Top New MMO... The Repopulation!

12/05/12 10:32:50 PM#16
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by corpusc
Originally posted by Quizzical

#version 420

interesting version

That means the shader uses GLSL version 4.2, which corresponds to OpenGL 4.2.  I didn't create the numbering convention.

I think by interesting, he meant it's relevance to the inspired time of 4:20

  wowclones

Novice Member

Joined: 6/15/12
Posts: 133

12/05/12 10:38:05 PM#17
Originally posted by bishbosh

I have researched quite a few game engines because i am currently looking into making my own casual multiplayer game. hero engine is basically a toy to play around with for people who arent really serious about making games for money.

high quality large scale mmorpgs/games do not work well with one solution fits all stuff like hero engine. im sorry but thats the way it is. 

hero engine uses some weird hero script which probably doesnt give the developer much control over anything and it probably runs slow as shit. 

the whole hero cloud server crap is bullshit. no decent mmorpg or online game will run on servers which they have little control over. 

if the developer doesnt have control over server-client interaction and the mulitplayer code, developer cannot guarantee stability, no hacks , no lag etcc etc

 

if you want to make a big huge mmorpg, you probably cant . stop dreaming.... you would need to build your own complex game engine or pay $500k-$1000k for a proprietary game engine which you would then heavily modify...

 

if you are making a smaller game make your own primittive game engine or use unity3d

 

mmorpgs are a big thing and you need large amounts of capital, experience, skills and manpower to make them.

man you have no idea what you are talking about lol. no offense, but you need to reseach more, use Hero for a few years and come back and post something educated. truely sad. 

  OG_Zorvan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 646

12/05/12 10:51:18 PM#18
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by OG_Zorvan
Originally posted by bishbosh

I have researched quite a few game engines because i am currently looking into making my own casual multiplayer game. hero engine is basically a toy to play around with for people who arent really serious about making games for money.

high quality large scale mmorpgs/games do not work well with one solution fits all stuff like hero engine. im sorry but thats the way it is. 

hero engine uses some weird hero script which probably doesnt give the developer much control over anything and it probably runs slow as shit. 

the whole hero cloud server crap is bullshit. no decent mmorpg or online game will run on servers which they have little control over. 

if the developer doesnt have control over server-client interaction and the mulitplayer code, developer cannot guarantee stability, no hacks , no lag etcc etc

 

if you want to make a big huge mmorpg, you probably cant . stop dreaming.... you would need to build your own complex game engine or pay $500k-$1000k for a proprietary game engine which you would then heavily modify...

 

if you are making a smaller game make your own primittive game engine or use unity3d

 

mmorpgs are a big thing and you need large amounts of capital, experience, skills and manpower to make them.

Guess you should get on the phone and call Zenimax/Bethesda and let them in on your valuable wisdom concerning HeroEngine, since that's the engine Elder Scrolls Online is using.

There's an enormous difference between a license to use the engine as-is, and a license that gives you the source code and lets you modify it however you wish.  The former cripples you and the latter doesn't.  But the latter also isn't available for $99/year.

Should I type /sarcasm next time?

EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  bishbosh

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/11
Posts: 401

12/05/12 10:52:38 PM#19
Originally posted by wowclones
Originally posted by bishbosh

I have researched quite a few game engines because i am currently looking into making my own casual multiplayer game. hero engine is basically a toy to play around with for people who arent really serious about making games for money.

high quality large scale mmorpgs/games do not work well with one solution fits all stuff like hero engine. im sorry but thats the way it is. 

hero engine uses some weird hero script which probably doesnt give the developer much control over anything and it probably runs slow as shit. 

the whole hero cloud server crap is bullshit. no decent mmorpg or online game will run on servers which they have little control over. 

if the developer doesnt have control over server-client interaction and the mulitplayer code, developer cannot guarantee stability, no hacks , no lag etcc etc

 

if you want to make a big huge mmorpg, you probably cant . stop dreaming.... you would need to build your own complex game engine or pay $500k-$1000k for a proprietary game engine which you would then heavily modify...

 

if you are making a smaller game make your own primittive game engine or use unity3d

 

mmorpgs are a big thing and you need large amounts of capital, experience, skills and manpower to make them.

man you have no idea what you are talking about lol. no offense, but you need to reseach more, use Hero for a few years and come back and post something educated. truely sad. 

can u list a game which uses hero engine non propriatary?

3 hero engine games that i know -

dominus - shutdown before release

faxion - shutdown shortly after release (i actually tried this one and performance was utter crap despite low res low polygon gfx)

swtor - runs like crap despite ageing gfx and heavy instancing, heavily criticised game for unoriginality and poor performance, switched to f2p

 

do you honestly think heroengine will pay for whatever your bandwidth costs are for $99/ year once your game is released and pay for server maint with this measly amount of money? no they wont because hero engine sucks and they know only retards who think making an mmorpg weekend leisurely affair.

the engine is easy to use, fast content creation and very appealing -- it designed to lure noobs who think they can make an mmorpg into paying $99/year. hero engine people know these mmorpgs will never materialise. this is why proper companies by proprietary licenses which cost undisclosedly large amounts.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13388

12/05/12 10:56:47 PM#20
Originally posted by bishbosh

the engine is easy to use, fast content creation and very appealing -- it designed to lure noobs who think they can make an mmorpg into paying $99/year. hero engine people know these mmorpgs will never materialise. this is why proper companies by proprietary licenses which cost undisclosedly large amounts.

That right there is the entire concept of an off-the-shelf game engine.  Hero Engine versus some other has nothing to do with it.  But you already knew that.

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