Unreal 4 as an MMO?

I have done some basic research on Unity 3d and UE4. They look like very powerful tools, but I can’t quite get the answer I’m looking for.

I know everyone has the best ideas for a new MMO title so I’ll spare you mine. Basically I want to create a Space/interplanetary/Third person shooter sandbox MMO. I feel like its a genre that does not have anything that fits into it (maybe starcitizen?). Anyways I have minimal coding experience in the form of Gmod’s expression 2. I know I’m in waaay over my head, and will hire on help. I am sure I can learn alot about the UE if I tinker with it for a few months; and I’m willing to. Is this engine even the proper tool for this sort of game.

I feel like my goal is very obtainable and the game is a realistic. I’m not looking for the most cutting edge graphics, more so game play and reasonable performance. I think this game will be easy to make as most of the content will be player created and there will be no questing or dynamic elements. I will just need to (as far as I know) design the physics engine, in game character design, a editing mode to build ships, and some planets. Obviously I will have to hire some programmers to do this for me.

Realistically how much would it run me to hire some average coders to get most of this done for me. I have no problem spending a few thousand dollars over a year or two for my game idea. If that would even be enough, I have no idea.

Any info will help, thanks!

A few thousand dollars isn’t even close. Setting up MMO networking is not a simple matter, if you hired someone that knows what they’re doing they would get a salary of something like $50,000 a year, if not much more, like $90,000 a year.
You’d need more than one person, and more than one year.

An MMO was a bit hasty, I mean something like a dedicated space build game from Gmod (which is a functional game made by volunteers). Like you can go online and save your ships etc.

As an experienced c++ developer if you were to hire me for two years constantly. I would require 1500 dollars a month or 18000 dollars a year (food and basic living utilities), purely in the most basic living costs alone and no price added for labor. But no one experienced as I am is going to work for that. It’s pennies compared to what we get paid at a normal job, I would say it’s not uncommon for someone with 10+ years of experience to be paid $130,000+ a year.

That being said it might benefit you far more to figure out what systems are needed for the basics of complete gameplay and have them program those in incremental builds so that you can learn and extend them yourself later on.

I’m sure you would be working on more complicated projects than what I have in mind.

That’s what I’m asking before I get into this for real. The game would be an open world sandbox with planets and a way for players to build their personal ships. There would be combat of course and mining for resources. I (or someone) wouldn’t really need to design anything but basic components. I’m wondering if that requires a experienced developer or a student in a programming class.

A mmo is a very complicated project.

Now that i seen this, yes you’re right, but keep in mind that space physics aren’t that easy to wrap your head around. Especially when you think about unreal and how it’s gravity works at its current stage. ( -zed being down always)

Apart from the game itself which is relatively, what are the problems I’d face with networking? I don’t just pay a server hosting fee

Keep in mind with what i said above about gravity. This is going to require some maths to implement a custom physics engine. Do you want Newtonian physics or do you want an even more precise mathematical model of 3d orbitals and 3d gravity. Someone experienced is going to have to program this in c++ in my honest opinion, out side of the physics engine, you could do everything yourself (physics engine included if you want to learn maths).

You would need to replicate the custom physics engine which wouldn’t be all that hard, but it does require some forethought

Hmmmmm. Well it seems I’m in over my head. I might as well keep my hope in star citizen. Maybe even try to get my idea together and bring it to a developer; although that’s probably a no-go.

You can always fake the physics engine with no default gravity and a friction less environment which would give you space like controls but no gravity from objects

(character blueprint, defaults tab, character movement drop down, gravity scale and ground friction)

And then at a later date have someone do the real physics engine

Yea I just thought I would have to pay a server hosting fee like I do for my gmod server. I don’t know the first thing about networking and this a sounds way more expensive than it seems

@GarrettHB: Why don’t you try the MMOKit from CodeSpartan as a starting point. Build yourself a Proof of Concept and learn a little bit of blueprinting in the process. Then pitch your idea and see if you can hook some developers in.

Most developers do it for a living (maybe not UE4) and therefore would need a salary comparable to their current salary. Your better option here is to get a team of like-minded individuals who would want to work on your project, use some of your money to buy assets or contract people in for assets and run your idea like that.

Unfortunately you probably won’t be able to hook a team until you have a little more to show besides the basic concept. Concept art, High Level Overview document, maybe even a 60 second pitch … all these will help to bring your idea across and hopefully help you get a team together.

Good luck with your project.

@qdelpeche, you don’t need basic concept to hire peoples, you just need money:)

I’ve seen some many post’s like that “can I do an MMO with” here and on some other forums, and I feel like history repeating, a few years ago, everybody wanted to do next Quake game/engine and almost all of them got stuck at BSP. That’s not the problem today, the engines are way to powerful. But the rest of things still apply regarding game dev.

I think some one from Unreal (just to show for some kind of authority) must do a post(wiki/article or something like that) about doing game dev business tutorial with basic things from planing to selling. Maybe in that way some peoples will avoid to make mistakes and cost them precious time on money for unrealizable projects. Don’t get me wrong guys, I am not saying to don’t do it, I don’t want in any way’s to cut your dreams. Just do a good planing from start on what kind of project you can realize.

@TDoro: I agree with you 100%. Planning is key and taking on the right project for your capabilities is key.

I was merely answering the direct question that was asked and did not elaborate on that. Ultimately it is up to the individual to decide whether they want to tackle a large project or not … it is not up to me and you to dissuade them from it. My thinking behind a Proof of Concept (POC) and a High Level Overview is that most individuals will realise the scale involved and then will typically try something smaller or seek more help and assistance.

Anyway … was just some advice … use it … don’t use it … it is a free world (in most places). 8-}

Just remember all the news each year about major games having networking issues, and that’s from teams of hundreds of people with tons of money and experience.

You would need around $5 million USD minimum to create a proper MMO, going from nothing (no business name, etc…) to a fully functional MMO business. That includes all salaries, costs, hardware, marketing, research, etc…

It seems like alot, however, if you can come up with a small-scale demo, and pitch your idea for financing, then I’m sure you could find someone to finance it for a percentage (5% - 10% stake in the company).

Define “proper MMO” first. I am not sure how you got that $5 million number. Can be less or can be more, with out a detailed business plan is just a number.

One of the important point is also: will you invest $5 millions into an MMO ? The market is full of MMO’s, competition is high, will this money be enough for you to make something better that competition?

Assuming you have $5 millions cash to invest, you should evaluate all other opportunity. Personally, I would not put that money into an MMO, not today, 10 years ago maybe, but not today.

Basically, whenever you want to create an MMO game you can ask yourself a simple question, which will act as a rule of thumb to decide whether you should move forward with the project:

Jokes aside, 99.999% of the time if you have to ask people online about making an MMO, you aren’t ready to make an MMO. Technically there are very few types of games more complex than it, and unless you or your team have a good decade of networking & game development experience, you cannot even begin to fathom what you’re rushing into. This all counts x10 if you have to ask “is X engine right for my MMO game”. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s the harsh reality of it.

Unreal 4 is not much different to UE3… Tera Online is based on UE3 and the performance is laughable. They didn’t build it right or the engine isn’t really suited for this kind of project…
‘True’ MMO studios are rolling out their own nexGen MMO engines for a reason these days.

Oh, and not only Unreal; CryEngine, Unity, none of these public engines are built for this kind of thing.