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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Reader Mail! Our best shot at answering your questions.

Posted by garrett Monday October 5 2009 at 9:38AM
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Hi all,

With monday's staff blog our goal is to answer your questions. Anything you want to know about the MMO industry, games, the website, ideas you have,  and more, let us know. We will answer what we can and call in industry experts to answer what we cannot.

Ask it here and we will respond. We hope to continue this blog for a long time.

Please keep your questions legit.



Garrett Fuller
News Manager

UknownAspect writes:

I want to know what it takes to really throw myself into the MMO industry.  Say I wanted to make a game from scratch, what kind of resources do I need, what kind of budget?  The indy MMO scene has a lot of potential these days, and why not take the opportunity to get involved.  But besides a large wallet and some willing people, what do I need?

Mon Oct 05 2009 10:54AM Report
garrett writes:

HI Unknown,

Getting involved in any business is a huge climb. That does not mean it cannot be done. The best thing to do is have a game idea that is passionate for you. A game you want to play and care deeply about. Passion can drive a lot of things. Next you need to set up a business. In the US an LLC is probably the easiest way to do it. You need a lawyer to help you trademark and copyright your ideas or game design, plus artwork etc. Once you have a business in place you can then begin getting people involved and working on producing your game. Yes you do need money and some very willing programers, artists, and a marketing person who knows the online game industry. There is much more to it than these simple steps. Obviously though this short list is the area to start. You would definitely benefit from attending a conference like GDC or AGDC where all the game makers get together to discuss ideas, business models, and overall industry news. Best of luck, my biggest piece of advice is...if you believe in your idea, don't let anyone hold you back!

Mon Oct 05 2009 11:15AM Report
scruffo writes:

In creating an MMO im assuming the developers come up with the ideas for the game how do people become game developers? and do they all have programming knowledge ?

Mon Oct 05 2009 11:29AM Report
garrett writes:

Interesting difference between the two. Some people can do it all design and program. Most of the time the Game Designer is a professional Dungeon Master who sits and comes up with the game, its characters, crafting, theme, monsters, etc. Then they hand it off to a programmer and build this.

The other side of that coin are people who can both program and design games. They are rare, but do exist.

Mon Oct 05 2009 11:36AM Report
Radiogirl writes:

I'm a writer with some commercial freelance journalism experience and a lot of unpaid blogging experience. I'm also a gamer who's been playing since I was a kid and I've been an MMO gamer for most of the last five years.

I believe I have the tools to be a pretty good gaming journalist and it's a field that interests me greatly. I wrote an ongoing blog about my adventures in EvE when I played, I'm currently a contributor to a group blog focusing on Fallen Earth, and I've just started a blog here on

My problem is that I really don't have any experience in finding work in this industry. All of my media contacts are in other, non-gaming arenas.

How would you advise someone like myself to make themselves a viable candidate for a staff position in gaming media?

Mon Oct 05 2009 1:21PM Report
UknownAspect writes:

Garrett, thanks for the response, I myself do have the passion to create, but I lack one major thing, exposure.  I'm a mechanical engineering grad but have always found myself leaning towards the gaming industry.  I have never attended a GDC or anything like it as I was under the assumption that you had to be press or have an active job in the field, but I have tried to read articles, blogs, and youtube videos from game developers and people in the business to learn the ways. 

What do you think the best route to take is?  With programming knowledge and connections with artists, lawyers, hardware techs, and marketing people, would it be best to register the LLC and jump straight in first or work as media for personal gain.  Is that too sneaky or perhaps appropriate considering background?

Mon Oct 05 2009 1:53PM Report
scruffo writes:

Thanks for the responce and so quick but to be more precise how would one without much programming experiance get into a developer job ?

Mon Oct 05 2009 2:08PM Report
KagaSan writes:

 Why does the MMO industry seem to have a beef against more Sci-Fi type games? It seems like more are starting to filter in, but all the top players, WoW, EQ, LotRO, etc are mostly swords and magic hack and slashers. Is a good futuristic MMORPG to much to ask for?

Mon Oct 05 2009 11:18PM Report
VortexZ writes:

How difficult is it for a just-graduated student (Graphics Major, Comp Sci minor) to find a job in the MMO industry?

Tue Oct 06 2009 8:43AM Report
Venger writes:

Will we see a UO like fantasy based game where character development is more important then gear farming that isn't completely trashed by pvp nerd rage?

Wed Oct 07 2009 10:59AM Report
Mrbloodworth writes:

When are you going to update your forum software, and stop relaying on java script hacks to mask, or work around bugs?

Wed Oct 07 2009 11:44AM Report
Sumo79 writes:

Garrett, I was reading an article on MMORPG the other day about hype, and how it can get out of hand, and make it impossible for even a good game to live up to it's own hype.  Now that most of the major mmorpgs are not running on hype at this time, but on their own merits, I'd like to get your opinion on the top five or six most populated MMOs in order of subsciption status.

Thank you.

Wed Oct 07 2009 1:11PM Report
shava writes:

OK, so I've now watched several games go through gold-spam issues, and as a programmer I have to wonder -- why don't they have an expert system that monitors channels for known goldfarmer and leveling service domains and flag those *accounts* for the CSRs for cursory review and deletion?  It seems like a perl script would do it, with the sort of industry supported blacklist that ISPs use for spammer sites. 

With Baysian algorithms that are used by spam filters, the whole thing should be able to be largely automated.  This is simply not a hard engineering issue.

I've worked in Internet security -- are MMO companies under DDOS threat from these companies if they are subject to a crack down? 

Someone in the MMO press (hint) should investigate.  And someone in the MMO services space (not me, I have my own company to care and feed!) should create the bayesian filter product and updated blacklist for all the MMOs.

So, why hasn't it happened like that yet?



Wed Oct 07 2009 2:12PM Report
rgdelta writes:

 Why are developers being lazy when creating alot of MMO systems and not embracing more free and open style systems that gives the player more freedom (example why leveling over skill and others) ?

Wed Oct 07 2009 4:23PM Report
Gabby-air writes:

I'm thinking about getting into the industry, and start making games for a company. What in your opinion is the most fun job as a developer but at the same time has a decent salary?

Wed Oct 07 2009 5:35PM Report
shadow181 writes:

I have some ideas for some MMOGs, but I don't know who I can submit them to, or what,  I was also considering turning those ideas into a game, but I only know how to make games in flash.  Do you think there is a chance of a flash-based MMOG being successful?

If you think I should go ahead and attempt it, what tips can you recommend?

Wed Oct 07 2009 6:34PM Report
Plotken writes:

I'd like to know the answer to Shava's question!

Wed Oct 07 2009 6:47PM Report
Blazz writes:

What are your thoughts on the idea of Free-to-Play flash/web-based MMORPGs? Like the ones on Facebook by Zynga, and various other ones before them? (, and the Zynga ones being things like Mafia Wars, Vampire Wars, etc.)

These games seem simple enough to create, and are likely reasonable cash-cows - do you think in the future we could have something of an overflow of these terrible games?

Wed Oct 07 2009 10:37PM Report
Gikku writes:

I have to wonder in a market so high and hard to succeed with a new game why new games or even some of the older ones don't do free trail periods to reach out to the gamers?

I mean Aion is new for us and yet to try it you have to pay $50, get a month free subscription just to try it out.

EQ2 you get a trial period in which you are stuck on a small island and can reach the level of 6. You can't leave the island or try out the crafting or other things the game offers like housing, etc. In another trial you can play the new class but again you are very confined and limited.

You can do a trial with WoW and expierence the whole of world. No you cannot expierence the expansions which you would have to be of higher level anyway and there are a couple of minor things you are unable to do but which do not stop you from getting a feel for the game.

So why is it that the game companies can't or choose not to offer a trial period that will allow potential new customers the ability to play and be able to decide if this/that is the new game for them?

I for one and I am sure there are others out there that just can't  pay $50 just to try a game to see if it is going to suit them. There are many out there that are bored or have lost interest in the game that they have been playing for years but the economy simply doesn't allow most of us to throw that kind of money away on a whim.

Sun Oct 11 2009 7:27AM Report writes:
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