Make an MMORPG? Hero Engine Lite

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gillvane 101 May 28, 2009 at 14:53

Yes, I’ve read all the stickies. You can’t make an MMOrpg, you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s to hard, it’ll never work, abandon all hope ye who enter here, you are doomed.

Meanwhile indie devs have been plugging away, trying to make MMO”s anyway. It’s one of the most fascinating genres of video game, because of the massive aspect which provides an outlet for people to not only play a video game, but socialize while they do it, in a way that is persistent. I don’t know how to describe the difference exactly, but gaming with other people day to day in an MMORPG is somewhat different than seeing the same players now and then on your favorite FPS server.

The two most often used engines for making a hobby game are Realm Crafter, and Torque. RC hasn’t produced many, if any, finished games. Torque has produced more than one finished game, but it’s still a bit unwieldy when it comes to setting up a server.

Is there hope for the future? No! You are doomed! Abandon hope you fool! Just kidding.

IMO, the engines available to the hobbyist and indie dev will continue to get better, even if it happens slowly.

The Hero Engine is going to be used for The Old Republic. A full blown license for the Hero Engine with world wide release and no royalties can cost as much as 300K. Out of reach of the hobbyist and indie dev for sure.

However, there is a possibility that eventually the developers will release Hero Engine Lite, a stripped down version of the Hero Engine at an affordable price.

Might not be for a while, but I look forward to more tools being available for those that want to dabble in the realm of MMORPGs, even if they are doomed.

Here’s the article:

http://www.mmogamer.com/05/01/2009/from-gemstone-to-heroengine-simutronics-ceo-david-whatley-on-putting-the-mud-back-into-mmos

The MMO Gamer: Ever thought of watering it down, releasing HeroEngine Lite and doubling your market share?

Neil Harris: HeroEngine Lite is definitely something that we’re looking at. Or HeroEngine Express, or whatever you want to call it. We’re just not there yet. Demand is so strong at the higher end of the market, it’s all we can do to keep up there.

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rouncer 104 May 28, 2009 at 15:28

I appreciate your point of view, but if I went to make the mmo of my own I would probably write my own engine.

But I dont see the what the fuss is either, someone could give everyone a helping hand with an rpg maker like this making it even more possible.

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gillvane 101 May 28, 2009 at 15:45

@rouncer

I appreciate your point of view, but if I went to make the mmo of my own I would probably write my own engine. But I dont see the what the fuss is either, someone could give everyone a helping hand with an rpg maker like this making it even more possible.

I could be wrong, but I think the release of TOR is the beginning of a new direction for MMORPG development.

In the past, you make the Engine, then you use the engine to make the game, which creates a very long development cycle.

I think we will see a divergence between those developers that make MMORPG Engines, and those that make MMORPG games.

Don’t confuse this opinion to mean I think future MMORPG developers will be newbs incapable of making an MMORPG engine. Far from it. I just think they will concentrate on making the game with an existing engine with a much shorter development time, rather than making the engine.

TOR is one of the first games that the NDA has been dropped on about the Hero Engine, but the developers of the Hero Engine have stated that many more are in development.

If the Engine proves to be solid, why would you make your own from scratch if this Engine is ready to go, and can be modified to do whatever you need in a very short time, and costs less than making your own engine? IF that’s the case, and I know that’s a big IF, you would be making a foolish business mistake to make your own Engine instead of using something available now.

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alphadog 101 Jun 02, 2009 at 12:20

Well, here’s the thing: indie project are more likely to fail than success by at least one order of magnitude. Indie MMO projects are even likelier to fail. Does that mean they cannot succeed? No. Just that the odds are heavily stacked.

One of the main reasons is that a lone indie, or a small team, must usually develop both engine and game, again increasing the chances of failure. There is no good MMO framework out there.

If Hero Engine comes out with a respectable “express” version (and we’ve all seen useless indie SDKs and/or licenses) then I would think this would be a great leap in the direction of creating an environment that helps rather than hinders.

I look forward to hearing more…

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mine 101 Jun 29, 2009 at 11:08

Interesting, but how much do you say is affordable price?

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alphadog 101 Jun 29, 2009 at 14:40

Depends on how much time they save me/my company… which is how all professional software with limited markets is priced, plus or minus minor factors like amount of market buzz, amount of competition, etc.

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fireside 141 Jun 29, 2009 at 17:04

I think there are a few market realities people aren’t looking into. There was just a pretty famous MMO that failed this year. I mean one that probably had investment in the millions. Forgot the name, though. Even if the engine costs next to nothing the server system is an expense that will require a number of subscribers. It also takes a large team that can continually add content, and people just tend to flock to a few sites on the social scene as in myspace, etc. Only the most popular tend to survive so these things will always have a very high failure rate with a fairly high up front investment no matter if there is a hero lite or not. The people that want to do them on this site generally have next to no experience in game programming, modeling, or game design, and aren’t even asking about that. I only hope there isn’t a Hero lite because I can imagine what it will be with generic model packs and build your mmo’s all over the place. When’s the last time anyone played one of those dorky first person shooter knockoffs? There’s nothing much wrong with those because people aren’t paying a lot of money for servers, etc, but this will just end up making a lot of people go in debt.

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alphadog 101 Jun 29, 2009 at 17:07

I guess I think a little opposite to that. Out of the chaos will surely come some gems. Yes, lots of crap, but some gems.

However, if you limit the chaos so that only big, established players with lengthy pedigrees in the MMO field can build the industry, then you do the consumer space a big disservice….

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fireside 141 Jun 29, 2009 at 17:49

I probably have a bad perspective from the people that ask about MMO’s on this site. If someone wanted to make an argument that they cause brain damage, from what I’ve seen on the ones that want to make one on this site, I couldn’t disagree with it.

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Inferno13 101 Jul 27, 2009 at 10:18

@fireside

I think there are a few market realities people aren’t looking into. There was just a pretty famous MMO that failed this year. I mean one that probably had investment in the millions. Forgot the name, though. Even if the engine costs next to nothing the server system is an expense that will require a number of subscribers. It also takes a large team that can continually add content, and people just tend to flock to a few sites on the social scene as in myspace, etc. Only the most popular tend to survive so these things will always have a very high failure rate with a fairly high up front investment no matter if there is a hero lite or not. The people that want to do them on this site generally have next to no experience in game programming, modeling, or game design, and aren’t even asking about that. I only hope there isn’t a Hero lite because I can imagine what it will be with generic model packs and build your mmo’s all over the place. When’s the last time anyone played one of those dorky first person shooter knockoffs? There’s nothing much wrong with those because people aren’t paying a lot of money for servers, etc, but this will just end up making a lot of people go in debt.

Hellgate london??

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JaronRolph 101 Aug 04, 2009 at 11:22

Hi,
The only negative I could see, sadly, would be their product’s connection to small, under-developed projects. Hero Engine conjures up images of SoE, NCSoft and the other big players considering it for their next project. Of course, Realm Crafter does not. Even if there was a completely beefed-up version of RC that sold for $250k for most licenses, would many companies be likely to advertise that they are using it? Maybe not.
While I personally would love to see it, I just think they may be too worried about the image and reputation of their main product to release something like that.

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Chillingham 101 Sep 16, 2010 at 14:24

Is there hope for the future? No! You are doomed! Abandon hope you fool! Just kidding.

http://www.abyssalengine.com/mmorpg.html