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Where to start? MMORPG Dream

Ok before replying:

  • It can’t be done
  • Start with games like snake or android games
  • Start with simple games
  • Start simple
  • Don’t do big projects
    etc…

I know these things, so don’t post them please.

If someone where to want to eventually, after years of learning create an MMORPG, not alone of course, what course should they take?

Let’s say I have no knowledge of coding, 3D Works, Animation, Rigging, Physics engines and more. What would I need to learn, and what tools would I need?

I have always had a dream of making an MMORPG, it’s a specific one, large open-world type game. Player controlled.

Tools I have and will learn to use:

  • All Adobe Products (Not really necessary for game making but still useful)
  • Maya / 3DS Max / MODO / MARI / Blender
  • Unity (ofc)

Now let’s say I can get these, pre-made, and just edit them to my liking:

  • 3D Assets including animated, statics, environmental and more
  • Fluid renders like water, smoke, rain and more
  • A lot of Static buildings, assets and more
  • Characters, animals and more animated, rigged, modelled and textured

What else would I need? What skills do I need? What do I actually need to learn to start making a game from somewhere?

If I had 100,000$ to spend over the course of 2 years into this project who would I hire? A programmer?

Now my idea was to start learning while producing content that I can use in the game, by this I mean for example, if I know I will need a specific sky or particle system in the game, I learn by making it from tutorials, then save it for later use for the project and move on another asset I will need.

Any ideas?

PS:

  • I couldn’t find much on how to design open-worlds for maximum graphics / loading times, things like triangles or zones around characters loading different polygon counts seems to be the basic way
  • How to actually start creating environments etc?

EXTRA INFORMATION ON GAME:

  • Open World MMORPG
  • Fully unique
  • it’s 3D kind of like this: H1Z1 Stream - Gameplay, Combat, Crafting! - YouTube
  • I want it to have best graphics I can get including particles, water simulations, smoke, explosions and more
  • I want it to be player controlled and run
  • I want it to have a RUST Aspect where you can build and construct your own buildings, environments, weapons, armors and more

MY GOALS:

  • Work with 2 - 3 other people and start creating assets and learning about the game for a couple of years
  • Make the game within a few years and then start hiring a few people and make a kickstarter campaign

First of all, i would think about what path to take, you want to be a programmer, or an artist, maiby a bit of both?
If you want to be an artist, learn some 3d program, like blender or 3dsmax, and also try to get some drawing classes(drawing better almost allways means better 3d art), once you start to create good stuff, you can hire/get a programmer to put life to the characters and environments you create.
If you want to be a coder, start by learning the basics of C++, and dont even touch UE4 yet, try to make some 2d games with a library like SFML or SDL to get some programming practise, after you are fluid with 2d games, jumping to 3d is not hard (its what i did, even if i knew the basics for unrealscript, couldnt do **** with that until i made a few 2d prototypes and everything clicked together)
For the designer model, you go NOWHERE in a indie team, so go back to artist and design the levels yourself, or if you have cool gameplay ideas, learn coding and implement themyourself, if you arent one of those, you better be absolutely amazing as a writer and designer or everyone is going to ignore you becouse you will be the much hated “Idea Guy”.
As i wrote in the other article, making a indie MMORPG is completely impossible(no one ever did), but you can start with a small cooperative RPG, in wich you can add some friends to the game or just have multiplayer but in a small scale(think maiby 10 or 20 max per game, optimized for just a handful of players).

Even if you have money to hire people, the most that will happen is that you will waste all of it in a stupid way, its better to make the game yourself (as i said, try art or code yourself), and MAIBY hire some people to fill the gaps(coders if you are artist only, or artists if you are a coder and cant do the art yourself).

With those supposed 100.000$, you could actually do a indie game, maiby a small scale rpg with some multiplayer elements, if you are VERY clever on where do you spend the money, but that is not nearly enough to get a fully ope world MMORPG with super cool 3d graphix and stuff(look at how much real MMOs cost, ESO is rumored to be 200 MILLION $).

My personal recomendation, look at the forum, there are loads of people who wants to make an MMO, i suggest you to learn a bit the basics of gamedev, and join one of those teams to get personal experience, and see how everything works. Most likely(99%) all those projects will fail, but you will have a proper understanding of how gamedev works and experience (i also wanted to do an MMO when i started, pretty cool sandbox ideas i had there ). For each project that fails, you will learn a lot, and focusing on a goal of making a game will make all of you learn much faster, also with the help of other team members and their criticism.

Trying to spend that much money when you know nothing is really stupid, you will definitely go nowhere. Learn first, THEN you can go on a proper business venture.

It’s impossible?

But what I don’t understand is, why is it impossible?
Which part is impossible?

If I have a library of assets, and work on expanding it to get nearly all the assets I need.
If I learn more and work on the physics engine
If I then hire a coder and have a friend to help me, and learn myself how to code a bit and work on the game mechanics.
If I have a fully made game, a full list of assets needed, all the gameplay mechanics, storyline, scripts down, every name of NPCs, mobs everything down and made via Maya/3DSMax/Blender/ZBrush…

Why is it impossible? Can’t I hire someone for the networking etc? Which part is impossible?

Also why should I spend time learning to code 2D Games rather than take useful classes on 3D and learn to code straight in there?

Which part is impossible?

Its impossible becouse MMORPGs need a few important things:
1- A HUUUUUGE amount of content, remember star wars the old republic?, they spent 200 million and when players got to max level they quit becouse no content, creating enough content to keep people there is really hard and costly
2- Server costs, these are cheaper in these days, but you stll need a server farm with direct internet connections to the backbone, and on several places in the world so people dont lag enormously
3- Networking, The networking for an MMO is ridiculously hard, basically the hardest there is, a single coder alone probably wont be enough even if he is carmack level or some other genius
4- You need GMs and people for service. Tell me how are you going to pay people to be moderators and similar.
maiby even more, as i said, a large scale MASSIVELY multiplayer online game is precisely that, massive, and indies arent massive. If AAA studios with millions of dollars fail or dont do too well on mmos, what hope does a small indie do?
The massively part can be out, just design a small rpg that has online elements or can invite people to the world, that would be kinda close, but actually possible(networking is in the engine, you wont need GMs for private servres, you wont need servers if players host the worlds, and a small rpg needs less content than a full MMORPG)

The “learn to code 2d” its just becouse in 2d you dont need to worry as much, just “draw my sprite in this location”, it has much less things than Ue4, and will be a load easier to learn, for now ive tought people programming myself, and i allways go first to basic c++ with console text, maiby do a text only rpg, then jump to 2d(wich is a much bigger jump than you think), to make some pong clones or a very very basic platformer, when they do that, they can go to something like UE4 coding, and understand everything really fast, and becouse they have some experience, they will be able to do whatever they want easily in the engine. If you REALLY want to skip the 2d part, you can, but the jump will confuse you a shitload.

Sorry for being so negative about MMORPGs, but i think everyone should get some facts of the reason why your super big dream mmorpg that will replace WOW just cant happen, look at all those “im going to make an MMO” projects, and tell me how many of those succeed( 0% ). Trying to directly make an MMO is just like if someone just came and said " im going to be the world champion of karate", while they havent done a single martial arts training in their life.

Hey, a few things that maybe I didn’t say.

  1. I don’t plan to make an MMORPG with millions of players, maybe a couple of thousand was my ultimate goal
  2. In terms of Assets I know there needs to be a lot, but I have a full gameplan and to be honest, that many assets aren’t needed.
  3. In terms of server costs I will cover that and already have the funding for it

The MMORPG I want to create is fairly complex, but doesn’t require a lot of resources other than the ones I already have. I am wondering where to learn coding for Unreal Engine?

Is there a specific language I need?

Design your game for only maximum 40 per server, for example, and use instances, so the game automatically puts you in a server with people (think about how rust or dayz do their multiplayer, a persistent inventory, but the players are in individual small servers)
Try to create a prototype, a small slice of what you want to do, and see if it gets people interested. If the players are under 30-40, UE4 built in networking will do the job, wich will simplify all multiplayer programming inmensely, and then you can write some kind of launcher or whatever so it automatically connects people to a server instance.
This way it will scale easily, and if you go massively successful, you can do a sequel making it a proper mmo with hundreds of pople at once instead of just a few dozens.
You can learn coding in this forum, but first, learn basic C++, once you are proficient with c++ you can learn the UE4 parts that use C++ and use it to program your game.

Thing is, a game with 40 players, well the type of game I will make will never be successful.

On a main map I’d need to be able to fit around 256 - 400 players to be able to make it successful.

I’d start by reevaluating your aims and goals.

You list ‘Fully unique’ as a goal, but don’t really elaborate on it very much. What is it that makes your game unique?

As for ‘in a few years’, I’d reconsider that figure. The teams that build backends to handle just the networking and multiplayer code for successful MMO projects have centuries of combined experience.

Is it impossible? No, definitely not. Is it plausible given the information on hand? Definitely not.

For something like this to even hope to succeed, you’d either a) have to tone down your expectations and be entirely realistic in your goals, or b) have an idea so unique and groundbreaking that a third party developer would pick it up.

By unique I meant the system has never been done, the skill system, fighting system. Type of mmorpg…

It’s similar to a mixture of RUST, EVE Online, H1Z1 and DayZ. But different ofc.

It doesn’t use the same economy / skill system as any MMORPG. The economy is very close to the EVE one.
The gameplay is close to EVE too but completely different due to obviously being on the ground and not in the space ship.

The gameplay in the sense of PvP, PvE etc is different, and heavily story based.

This idea all came about like this:

  • I planned to make short movies on youtube and did a lot of research
  • I wrote a story
  • I then realized this would be an amazing MMORPG

It’s not a simple one, but doesn’t require too many assets.

I would love to get my idea made some day, any idea how to go about doing that? How would you go about contacting publishers?

PLEASE dont make a zombie apocalypse MMO. :stuck_out_tongue:

No zombies.

It won’t be about PvE at all, there will be PvE but only at the start.

I’ll pm you the general story idea.

Also the mobs will be mostly animals to fill the world environment and for hunting reasons

Build a comprehensive design document, detailing your concept etc, and send it to them. If you visit their corporate sites, there’s normally contact addresses/emails to get hold of the relevant people. But they’d only be interested in working with your concept if it is truly unique, and most importantly above anything else: makes money.

Its a hugely long shot, but ultimately more realistic than expecting to create this by yourself.

Alternatively, create your idea in small scale, as others have suggested above. Get a following, and if its successful enough a publisher may even approach you to license the rights to the IP. Again, this is incredibly unlikely, but I believe it has happened in the past.

Actually my plan was to host a blog, since I do have a channel with a few million viewers, I would be creating a blog on the whole process, and over years I am sure I can build a fanbase and eventually open a kickstarter. That was kind of my plan.

Basically I wanted to either:

  • Make a book
  • Make a show (like short episode on youtube)
  • Make an MMORPG

this is all the same story and universe that I’ve thought up. I think it would make a great MMO. But I understand that making short episode might be an easier learning experience and investment. Therefore what if I create a show, and then pitch that show as a game to get funding?

A far more realistic goal, yes.

One way to generate the content is to do it procedurally, which can be done with UE. That is a great way to generate huge areas from a (relatively) small set of rules. It allows a small team to build games like Sir, You Are Being Hunted or No Man’s Sky. One of the reasons PvP (or, for that matter, PvZ) is common, is that it negates the need for a lot of scripting, decent AI, and other sorts of content.

I don’t mean to get you down, but if you don’t even know the cost of servers, it’s hard to take your intention to make a MMORPG seriously. You don’t seem to have given it any thought other than “I have a cool idea”. Still, aim for the stars, etc. At the very least, I expect your enthusiasm to get you to a point where you will learn enough to give you a better idea of what you will end up doing. THIS IS IMPORTANT. No effort in learning UE will be wasted as long as you keep your passion for making games. You may even find yourself with enough content to build a game out of your initial work. Eventually it will happen, you just need to keep in mind that it may not happen the way you originally wanted it to. So, yeah, good luck.

$100,000 isn’t nearly enough, if you consider a reasonable payment you could only hire 2-3 people for a year.
You can’t find enough assets that exist already, there’s not enough out there, and the ones that are most likely won’t match the look you’re going for. As far as doing things yourself, if you’re just starting out it will take a very long time to learn the tools, you could be an average level if you work hard over a year, but you would just be spending time learning. After that, you’d have a ton of content to make which would take a lot of time.

You cannot mix what everyone else is doing and be unique - especially today when many are starting to look alike. :wink:

But in all seriousness, your very special and unique handling of levels, weapons and other gear, loot, is only mechanics – and should merely be a tool to help the player experience your world and story.

Unless the latter parts are able to hold onto the players they will move on fast, no-matter how new and unique the mechanics are.

"Now my idea was to start learning while producing content that I can use in the game, by this I mean for example, if I know I will need a specific sky or particle system in the game, I learn by making it from tutorials, then save it for later use for the project and move on another asset I will need."

It doesn’t happen that fast or that streamlined. Expect to run into problems where you need to rework that asset/file from stage 1. If you learn everything about 3d and the graphics pipeline, that doubles up as things like knowing when to separate objects or lighting data in the models, or how to structure your game code in c++ and what features are fast enough to use. It all builds and complements other pieces of knowledge, so the sooner you learn the better.

"Also why should I spend time learning to code 2D Games rather than take useful classes on 3D and learn to code straight in there?"

2D is faster I guess. I never bothered with it. The math must be simpler.

***"- I couldn’t find much on how to design open-worlds for maximum graphics / loading times, things like triangles or zones around characters loading different polygon counts seems to be the basic way

  • How to actually start creating environments etc?"***

It’s all in the details and knowledge and complexity of what your code is. Programmers switch pieces of code around billions of times to shape the most perfectly executing piece of software for what they wanted it to do. There are no limits other than your skill level, execution speed (Blueprints in Unreal 4 are 100 times slower than c++, I read today) and not much else. Advanced features are impossible to learn and add by yourself, for most people. And then the complexity of all this is difficult to manage also, because you’re adding code everywhere and can’t support old file versions or code projects, since it changed so much that it’s too difficult to go back to the old stuff. Code is specific to what you want to do, vs. the actual visual representation of things like characters which can be in almost any 3d format. There is a web server that does very very fast GIF creation using its memory before it gives you the resulting webpage. There are tons of academic papers on computer graphics techniques that are not simple to add. Generally we stick to things that already exist for game development projects, and optimization can be done later for triangle based meshes… the software is what you worry about, as a developer using the CPU. The GPU side doesn’t need much work, and if you’re using Unreal 4 then this closer-to-hardware stuff is all handled for you.

With editors like Unreal 4, the expectation is that you just go place things around the map and script/code/Blueprint it to completion using various mechanics and existing level design techniques.

A realistic game must do certain things better than other games, yet the same basic rules apply. All online games use some variation on the same networking code technology, roughly speaking. What can be reasonably done by an experienced team of developers will be reasonably comparable to the AAA/popular/blockbuster games in terms of performance, today, because you are going to be able to make smart choices about what technologies to use and when to switch.

This all mostly hinges on your experience, wisdom, will, intelligence, and other similar ideas of what makes a person generally able to function well, adapt fairly quickly, and grow to meet new expectations or demands that have to placed on yourself for the project. If you’re not willing to sink time into learning a fair extensive amount about each facet of game development, for example, then you will not be able to create quality video games. You get what you give, in other words: be sensible and mature and honest with yourself, and you can get an idea of what the project will actually demand of you, roughly. But if you sit and expect things to happen at each stage, of course it will flop, and you won’t know what’s actually going on at any stage either, so you don’t learn from it. That’s why it can be good to just go dive into the deep end, and if you have the time which you do if you have the time to talk about having the time, then you can plonk those hours down in something a lot more useful than building your game concept: rather than ideas, you want to first know what you are even doing, and how to do it, and how to do it better.

"On a main map I’d need to be able to fit around 256 - 400 players to be able to make it successful."

Unless you are a millionaire or an idiot (or more likely, both), understanding the tech comes first and the game design must be built around that. Stick to a well-known genre if you want to ensure technical familiarity or maybe ease of development or reference:

  • Shooting games = no emotional depth; short and disposable level interactions; lazy plot writing; small predictable map areas
  • MMOs / cash shops = tons of players with nothing more fun in their lives; turn based combat and <5 animation states; players provide most of the fun

"The MMORPG I want to create is fairly complex, but doesn’t require a lot of resources other than the ones I already have. I am wondering where to learn coding for Unreal Engine?"

Don’t rely on one single piece of software, unless you want its problems.

You can program in any language or framework, all the skills are transferrable. What you are looking at is the learning process, not the particular technology. The technology morphs and adapts all the time for the particular inclinations of how developers and artists are doing things in the industry. So, focus on building up knowledge and skills as fast as you can, if you want to learn the best way.

Your models/textures are most likely not going to be everything you need. There are free models online you can use as placeholders for now, or Unreal Engine in particular has its features to block-out levels, houses etc. you can play in. But if your focus is MMO/questing/combat/etc. then you will need to learn how other people do this currently. The generic games will keep coming out no matter what, and there are entire companies in China waiting to replicate MMOs that sell and are fairly replicable. You have another one every month it seems now. It can’t be that hard, right?

"Which part is impossible?"

It’s not impossible, just highly unlikely for the average developer, and so the sentiments will follow this feeling most people have. They get very tired of ignorant newcomers, so the advice becomes second to nature or something similar. I’ve seen someone make a GTA clone in a matter of MONTHS which really impressed me a few years ago, even more than things like planet renderers. But he explicitly stated himself that he’d been studying like mad for several years, and had no real exciting life to show for it, which is the same kind of path I took. I always wanted to push the limits, and so proving these voices wrong was a personal “rite of passage” for me.

Firstly, some context should be established, like I tried above. This is a discussion forum for general advice, not the serious explanation kind, and all over the Internet you’ll find this same pattern: people will most often throw off-the-cuff remarks without any real direction to their communication. There is no genuine and sinceremost effort to do what they may be talking about, and here we find the binary difference between commercial projects and then the hundreds of thousands of hours that go into masterpieces of computer graphics or high quality software engineering like flight control systems, or in my case building a wealth of knowledge that there is no general (agreement of) understanding for.

The complexity in any project, whether business or iphone game, is what is so insurmountable or so impossible to get over, like a wall that you can’t climb. There is even a parallel between the idea of struggling as a challenge just to make a game, and the symbolic content/meaning of the modern games themselves. Many people suffer to make games these days. Technical roles are far more involved than in other facets of society. The inventor of Javascript said that programming is the most complex things humans do, and he’s wrong because thinking is, but the phrase serves a purpose.

Society is focused on generating money, first of all, so there is no real consideration on society’s part to the (regulation of the) kind of future you’re plunging yourself into here. Certain things like Modeller applications, in their very visuals/branding, imply a very sinister undercurrent (e.g. classism: you work multiples of times harder than corporate CEOs for multiples less money) to some people, of pro-corporate leaning and all the rest that comes with obedience and servility to global power. So, while it seems on the surface that it’s your basic dealing with technology you may be able to get, the intuitive and detailed “mapping” that smarter people can sense here as the “landscape” of the world tells something very different. Yet people never talk on this level about life. That’s partly why there are so many “mysteries”. It’s impossible to be clear in communication if you have not spent time away from the world being clear in thought about everything and for some years. In the past these were called philosophers or mystics or shamans.

You will sink months and indeed years of your life into learning very specific technological details as a game developer, there is no doubt about that, unless you’re producing something non-complex which implies not being serious about having control over your creations, which implies they’ll be trash anyway. This is not the context we are talking in; we are talking about the best and the most that is possible, which is the inverse to something like Reddit as a sphere or context in which to place the discussion. What is intuitive is the inverse and opposite to what is easy and for most people, so most of the information about general things will be useless to someone who has always wanted to “push the envelope”.

"If I learn more and work on the physics engine"

—Like this one;- can you imagine learning every current technique and keeping up-to-date? How about if we throw rendering in? C++, pointer exceptions, memory page handling, and the several layers of Operating System, language, compiler and build system management. That’s for the technical ability to have something up and running, but we’ve not covered content yet or the renderer or network code or game development itself (and the gradual experience thereof) or having time to look towards the near-future and manage a project. Or maybe there are further platform or renderer (DirectX vs. OpenGL) specifics that will become important for other, seemingly random reasons. Nobody has figured this stuff out, things like how to draw all the technologies together. The complexity is like some kind of curse that has everyone under wraps. Code is difficult to maintain, and then there is also elements like licensing/legality to top it off. People also really like to be opportunistic and patent troll so they can sue the individuals out of the ambitious ones who happen to be the successful ones, for ideas that weren’t even demonstrated until such a time.

Then there is motivation, as a huge weight for the long-term. Teams can break apart as fast as they come together, especially if there’s no common ground, and lack of money is also a problem here. The popular/commercial game industry pumps out very similar titles one after the other, and you only have to look at the Dynasty Warriors series to start seeing the cash cow for what it is.

The people managing the big game companies, by and large, are just the same as with any other venture like Hollywood movies, music, fiction novels and reality TV and all the rest of it, this “content” that is being consumed so fast everywhere. Where does it come from? There must be a steady stream of it. If the emphasis and priority was on quality, games could never come out that fast, and the same is said for popular music of all kinds, cat or fail videos, gossip and sexualized images in a sidebar of shame on traditional media websites, and anything that draws such a lot of attention regularly. They do not need quality. Think on this whenever you see examples of what could be something quickly thrown through a “creative” process. The inspiration is part of getting it done so fast. But modern video games hold no weight against books written in the same amount of total time invested, and you can see where this goes when scaled to a global industry level. The gaming community has a short memory, like society does for general problems, so bad practices are quickly forgiven, mostly because of issues like the fact that they don’t have the know-how or tools to create this stuff for themselves, or to even have genuinely happy or meaningful experiences with other human beings. If this wasn’t the case, and games weren’t an escape, then teenagers and young adults would not be sitting in their apartments alone all day playing games in places like Korea. So: to reiterate in this paragraph: this is not about quality, and quite the inverse. Therefore, to invert this for yourself and do much better, you have to find a method that is different somehow.

If you want to get a lot of experience, you will have to go some of it alone, to be doing it and exploring the territory, of things like expectations and what your time does in the global economy, and to get to grips of course with life choices you will have to make- again, this is all skimmed over by the typical surface assessment done on this [MMORPG dream] question and the people offering that would call this post overly complex or unnecessary. The intelligent person will question why thinking is seen as a bad thing. How can more difficult, rational, smart thinking ever be bad? But nobody has given these lessons, so like how I began, let’s be straight and upfront about what the reality is, because there’s plenty of people ready to confuse the discussion at the first opportunity, whether they mean to or not.

You need experience to know what you are doing. Managing a team cannot come before knowing what the team is doing, the nature of commitments, the nature of stress and multitasking and so on. The people at the very top of the big companies have no idea about this stuff, definitely not at the detail where they can apply it to all the many people who work under them. You can go a certain length of course having someone else make a network library or even smarter, grab an opensource one- but like failed advert campaigns and gimmicks and products, the failures you will have always have a coherent chain of causes, so you can have complete gaps of knowledge of what others are doing, and this can quickly get out of hand through assumptions you’d just made about another person, and although not everyone is untrustworthy, confusion does happen, again whether intentional or not, and the intention is hardly the problem;- if you just made a promise to 8000 gamers you can deliver a new feature next month, then find an inconsistency in what you thought was going on, you’re going to have a ton more work, or maybe you’ll apologize which is always bad for trust. And think of the stress and the personal psychological/mental battle here. When the project is all you do, it can and probably will seem much more difficult than it really is. Smart people don’t get stuck in negative thought patterns, but again many people have come into the life and full adulthood without being told things like this!

And since everyone else is at odds with you for the various reasons, whether copyright or fame or because they really just can’t imagine a brighter world where people decide on their own to change for each other and be helpful wherever they can (traditionalism; preserving the status quo; conservatism), you are going to have a hard time even getting sound advice because it eventually gets so frustrating that other people can’t see clearly what they’re doing to themselves and what they’re a part of, with their ideology and dogma, that I even smell from this forum very strongly. And yet, there is no conversation about all of this! It is truly amazing to witness all of this.

People will give advice that they think fits at the outermost level to your current situation. But the truth and the reality is that there is no explanation, no answer, for what you should do right now or the limits of that. And it couldn’t be the other way around.

Specifically, if you are already going to jump into c++ development, then you will need to come to understand the fundamentals of computing. You can learn any language to start with, and C# might be much better for game development. There’s also Java, Haxe and others. Look at game libraries and what other people start with. You need to move onto things like pointers, arrays, and other difficult concepts for beginners. Once you know the basic knowledge there for programming, it helps to have looked and played with lots of code libraries and examples. You don’t have to be extremely intelligent about it, or know much math at all, or have money. What you need most of all is dedication, patience, the hunger for knowledge, inner drive, passion,—or these things all start to roll into the same thing, and it goes by many names. But get some real experience behind you, maybe look at Irrlicht and try to build it from source, get familiar with Visual Studio, that kind of thing. Work out things by googling everything you can’t quickly figure out, because it’s faster. Videos are very slow for learning, so one extremely intelligent technique is to read something first about the program/thing you are learning and then later go to try the basics out, this could be Maya/Max/Blender or anything really. Then there are programs for terrain scupting now, like Scape, which is the fastest by far that I’ve found. For me, getting something new on the screen was always my favourite thing with game programming, and it really motivated and pleased me to see new stuff on the screen, and working. I learned XNA, and this is all about 8 years ago now, I learned C#, HLSL, and the C#/C++ interop feature which lets you call c++ code from c# and vice versa. There’s lots of XNA example code, but you need the specific version and there are several. So, Unity is probably better. The thing you want to stay away from is things like the popular University courses, physically and online, which pretend to be giving you knowledge that they somehow are the experts of, yet is so slow to be given. There’s thousands of people coming out of these courses with no job, and it’s been going on for years, it’s a huge joke really. So, stay away from the easy stuff—is what programmers sometimes do. But hackers and hardcore programmers aren’t made; they rather have a particular personality type from the beginning. So, do not expect to compete with these people, because unless that’s all you want to do, you are going to be more interested with your time in other things.

"If I had 100,000$ to spend over the course of 2 years into this project who would I hire? A programmer? "

It might work to save up money and spend some TIME off of work or other major commitments, and focus on learning. But learning is faster when you spread it out over time, and don’t expect to learn faster than people who use X Program every night if you are squeezing more time in. You get fed up and tired (unless you’re experienced and so on) eventually, or you burn out which is a well-known problem in the games industry. Remember L.A. Noir? Their studio burned through new employees for 7 years straight in the making of that game. One of the worst examples, sure, but it goes to show the utter slavery-like conditions people put up with, and again, at minimal criticism or self-awareness from the wider developer culture. This was one of the things that I realized pretty early on about the wider software industry. Do you want to set yourself up for a life of crushing boredom, that is also so complex and tasking on your mind? Many people give up or lapse into destructive or cynical behaviours and worldviews, because there has to be some place to move on from not handling that you didn’t handle the stress, complexity, personal strength or whatever it was. And there is nothing wrong with giving up on a project if that’s the best and only choice for the long term benefit generally; indeed you only have a certain amount of time and cannot avoid mistakes completely.

If I had some money for a game project I would put it into game assets, since everything else I can get with my own time— the intelligence of this choice is that experienced TurboSquid(.com) modellers who have refined their work for years are living on the same money as everyone else, so they are really cheap if I find good value models! Similarly, I might outsource development work to India or somewhere poorer than my country because my money from a rich country appears to be worth more there. These two are fundamental aspects of how I have thought about spending money the smartest way. Time is what I spent to get that knowledge. So many people writing advice think that the answers can only be within the guidelines I hinted at above, where no real hard difficult thinking is even expected. There is a low expectation, as I already explained. Staying away from the mediocre- this is something to feel good about!

I also took some money out to buy food I don’t have to cook lately. I though about hiring someone to do specialized work that I REALLY can’t get open source code for and all the rest of it. 3dsMax 2010 is FREE from the official website, so why would I bother with a shinier new version? These are the traps set for everyone else. You have to view life this way if you want to fully take advantage of the situation- this cannot be denied.

I would hire whoever is smartest for the task, like a legal advisor for example, if I was seriously publishing a game- but only at the right time. (Artists are many and flexible- a programming team is more tightly connected on a long-term project. Simply, programmers are more important, and this is reflected in there being multiples of re-uses of programming knowledge over art). Having money doesn’t mean you need to spend it, and this is as important a consideration as any expenditure itself. Because the whole point of money, to begin with, is to keep most of it and to have the most of it- money is for labour in this financial economy and so it’s sometimes a lot more valuable than what you might be willing to trade it for. An example is not buying ready-made models and animations, since there is MakeHuman and similar cheap solutions for GENERATING characters rather than buying each one separately. Again- pay attention to the fundamental patterns which rule these aspects of life, the world and indeed existence. The thinking is the important part to get down. Any fool can plant down some money. But it still takes a genius to understand something, no matter what that something may be, and there is no shortcut or substitute for this, and so it is that a lot of the thinking that gets done is internal and specific to us introverts. The other vast majority of the world may never know how intelligent the world could have been, tragically, but that is going off-topic. However everything is related and interconnected.

You can’t put a good programmer to good use just starting out. Learn first, and buy expensive software/etc. last also. It’s not magic, and it’s not better than your best hard work. Experience will always mean more than tips, no matter how good they are. There are no shortcuts to knowledge and experience. It is impossible. Yet adverts will lie right in your face every day only because they cannot say these claims directly in words! What is consistent? What is smarter? That is what you should be asking yourself about every choice you make, unless of course you want to waste your time. If you can waste time, then of course choices won’t matter, and of course you can just go along and follow any old advice or service of our society, because the goal is not quality or getting the best from life.

Even if you had something like $15m, which companies do, and Valve I remember spent $25m in marketing L4D2, you can order some people around in an office environment and they will create a bland game like APB ($15m initial investment if I remember right). An incredible example of failure, but then, lots of money is wasted like this and at much faster rates because of other reasons far too deep to go into here. Yeah, you can invest in something like that, but even then it only lasts about a year with the full team of people who eat expensive restaurant meals and get their garbage collected very frequently and all the rest of it. This is what you’re paying for;- the expense of modern life; rather than just the time of these people: you are paying for an economic weight, which has a relation to the way in which the world is run. It’s important to realize that this is not just time, but a particular lifestyle or “implementation” if you will of how time is spent by those employees. The $15m is quickly wasted in comparison to hiring people only when they’re needed, but hey, I’m not about to suggest a solution to capitalism here and I definitely wouldn’t indicate that. But know what your money is actually doing, if you want to use it well. And of course you do.

***"Actually my plan was to host a blog, since I do have a channel with a few million viewers, I would be creating a blog on the whole process, and over years I am sure I can build a fanbase and eventually open a kickstarter. That was kind of my plan.

this is all the same story and universe that I’ve thought up. I think it would make a great MMO. But I understand that making short episode might be an easier learning experience and investment. Therefore what if I create a show, and then pitch that show as a game to get funding? "***

Look at Wolfire Games’ blog and do a lot of searching for stuff like that, indie games, how to publish games, all those sorts of issues in this investment bracket. Indie game the movie, Idle Thumbs podcast- it’s a lot to manage. And then go and find all the failed MMOs with their anime forums, the noob projects like mine and my team from years ago, buried amongst the millions. Hope is cheap and so is a mistake. I am writing from the point of view of being incredibly serious about all of this and wanting to make quality games even though people happily buy complete intellectual garbage with zero exceptions today, as I see it. And with little to no money, at that. Partly for myself, it was, this wonder of making something truly better than all the rest that’s out there. But if you’re then acting on only a vague feeling with a lot of money, well then, you’re digging your own grave already, so to speak. There’s lots of failed examples on Kickstarter, and various thousands of online spaces, not just limited to creative or graphics stuff either but attempts to connect and build with other human beings. Far too many to name. They all share this ambition incorrectly applied onto the real world and its challenges. If you understand life, then you respond to it rather than staying in the darkabout everything.

I think that may just be the most in-depth response to a question I have seen Archibold! Kudos to you for taking the time to explain it in such great detail! :slight_smile:

wow I read through the reply, it’s quite late so I will re-read it tomorrow more comprehensively.

That is in depth. Thanks for that, you mentioned Unity, however it’s price is too high for me, people recommended UE4.

Also true about the money managing part, it would be stupid to just throw it in, and I will research other games.

My game concept is fully unique and I will work on making it even more unique, rather than just a copy. I want it to fully stand out of the crowd in not only gameplay but also story.

Also by the amount of players per map, you see I have a picture in my head, and it’s nearly all player run, PvP and more, nearly no AIs other than a few animals like in a real environment. That is why I want the map to be populated otherwise it may seem empty.