What would you recomend?

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Utra 101 Sep 20, 2009 at 05:41

Im 3rd year student at university studying a games BSc course, as part of our 3rd year course we have to make a game or mod with all core funicintaliy complete (e.g. an FPS with at least 2 player models 1 map and one of each weapon type modeled and functional), and we have around 6 months to do so, we can use any engine or custom engine we desire. The more complete the project is the higher marks we will receive as this game is worth about 40% of our degrees.

My team currently consists of two of us, first the programmer who has dealt in C++, DirectX, Unreal Script (UT2004) and also Web Design. Second is myself, im a 3d Artist with a few years experience with 3ds Max (including Texturing, basic Rigging, and animation). However going further back I also have about 6 years of experience with Photoshop, Flash and Director (with Action Script and Lingo) also finally a web design background in HTML and CSS.

Ok now we have that out of the way lol.

The dilemma is we have too many ideas to work from, and with such a small team (if you can call it that) were having trouble deciding what would be feasible. After much deliberation our two ideas are…

A single player (using Ut3s default AI) battlefield style mod, or a Browser and Text based MMORPG. (with pre rendered images).

Unreal seemed a good idea at first, but the idea requires at least 15 animated, textures and normal mapped models and a series of static models this includes vehicles, player models and weapons all functional. I would also like to point out that neither of us has manipulated UT3 in this manner before.

The MMO would require a complete engine however being both 2d and text based with both of us partly experienced in this style of coding, the modeling wouldn’t be too difficult as it only has to work with core functionality, and it doesn’t have to be perfect.

The idea is a real time space MMORPG similar to Empire Universe 2 (http://empireuniverse2.com/info.html) I understand they used Java Script for the 3d sections of the game (I also spotted FaceGen in there lol).

From what I can tell the game is a database with images making up a 2d world (with the exception of backdrop images and stats all words are identical and structured in a similar way as ikariam ([url]http://www.ikariam.com)[/url], research and building is constructed over time, this time is clearly based on an equation that reflects on the players current buildings, research and experience.

Ships are come in a series of classes and components that are researched and then constructed ether individually or together. Ships also travel though a large 3d space again also over time based upon the ships stats this section is clearly JavaScript.

There are many more factors to consider but there all the same theory.

Our idea is simple, we wish to create a world where nothing brakes the rules, the game (attacking other players ect) however those that do these negative events loose reputation, and risk heavy attacks from an in game police force, Attacking a new player would also trigger this threat.

This police force would either be admin and mod controlled, NPC or mixed. With this idea a large player alliance could rule an individual server but at the same time would be controlled allowing new players to join any time without risk of noob bashing. The risk of attack would be based on a reputation level, people who constantly attack others risk being heavily attacked and those that have a good rep would be reworded and are only at risk of attack by other players.

The major problem with the MMO is we wouldn’t know what to script the game with, Java Script or Flash are a good choice however what other language would be best to use, as both are normally used in conjunction with another web script and from what ive read PHP is recommended for Turn based games only, what should we consider XHTML, JavaScript or Flash?

Anyone who can help please post a reply ASAP, any tutorials on the subject would also be appreciated.

Also befoer replying, i did serch the forums, i just dident find what i felt i was looking for.

Thanks for reading my LONG Explanation lol.

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fireside 141 Sep 20, 2009 at 10:29

There’s a browser based mmo tutorial in personal announcements of this forum.

You should make up your mind pretty quick and get started with a 6 month time frame. I don’t think that’s really enough time to do either project justice. Unless you are really fast as a modeler, it’s going to be tough doing those particular models for the fps. It would be better to do simple models and worry more about game play. Not only that, an fps with realistic models is going to look pretty boring. Of course, I’m not that much into them, but why not use your imagination and do something not often done? Toys, animals, dishes, anything.

The MMO might be different, but those space exploration are overdone. Find something different that involves trade and capture. Start with very basic game play and then try to expand in the limited time frame as far as possible. I personally don’t think it’s a good choice however. It’s better to do single player and create AI bots. MMO’s require balance and experimentation. Even doing a clone you are probably going to screw it up and even if you don’t, it’s going to be ho hum. A side scroller or top down is probably your safest bet and then try to use your imagination and work on game play. You have to get a prototype up fast and then experiment.

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Utra 101 Sep 20, 2009 at 18:32

we were considring a simple XNA shooter like 1942 style, however for somthing like that we would bairly pass, he problem is it needs to be original from the unis point of view and as far as i can tell no one has eveer made a browser based mmo before.

thanks for your input.

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fireside 141 Sep 20, 2009 at 20:17

If you mean original for your class that might be different. Anyway, try the tutorial in personal announcements. I think it would only be original because no one could complete it in that amount of time, though. I would guess that they are looking for originality in game play rather than type of game, which is why it might be better to stick with a simpler genre or type and come up with creative ideas on the game play and graphics side of things. I’ve found one of the worst things to do is to try an overly large project. At the end of 6 months they will be looking at a very sketchy picture of what you had in mind.

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Utra 101 Sep 20, 2009 at 20:41

by original i ment on the course, most teams make ether fps mods or platform mods simply because theres a lot less work in modding an engine like source or unreal to create a fps compared to making an RPG or RTS ect.

ok thanks ill take a look.

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ely_bob 101 Sep 27, 2009 at 18:20

I’m about 2+yrs into C#/XNA (building my OWN engine).. XNA is not perfect.

from Max, you’d need to export to fbx files… which will loose animations in some cases.

You’ll have a lot of “Helper” functions because it is not a game engine it is a game engine language extension for c#…

You say you know DirectX and if so this may not be as much of a problem but HLSL can be VERY hard to find decent references for..i.e. unless you are good at reading and revers engineering someone else code good luck starting from scratch(read a horror story of a bloom effect that took 6 months dev. time!)

so for real 3d unless you start with a hollow game implementation you have a lot of learning and a lot more work to do.. also the documentation is often obscure and or wrong.. the create world function for example doesn’t make a world matrix…(http://forums.xna.com/forums/p/6674/35269.aspx)

C# is easy to learn, however as with many other things where you learn it from and what you already know can cause issues…(especially if you are aiming at threading and execution speed– as a not on the latter the common: public int bob{get{}set{}} approach should never be used unless you plan on putting LOCk’es on the variables (in some cases they may be \~optimized away and in other read explicitly.. I did a test once just to see and the code starts behaving… BEHAVING differently..(profiling..)) so C#.. Caveat emptor.

the 1942 style shooter you mention.. from one of the XNA books(probably).. I think Rocket Commander?…. Yeah that would be a decent place to start.. but your instructor is probably going to see the similarities unless you really scrub the code.. deeply. because that author does thing..”his” way.. and it is a fairly characteristic coding style.

.

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rouncer 104 Sep 27, 2009 at 19:55

Thats a pretty hardcore course your going to…

A half finished game with real graphics that looks polished in 6 months, im not sure if Id be passing it…

Youd sure be ready for the real world after tho, definitely.

[EDIT] a good project idea would be a 1 on 1 fighter, im sure that could get done in 6 months, and they are quite fancy. [/EDIT]