Designing the perfect space exploration MMO – Dealing with travel

Moving on lets talk some more about the problems we have with are overly large, complicated game world. Scale is going to cause problems that are difficult to overcome, namely..

  • Distances are going to vary hugely from each other, as in real life. Interaction between players will be difficult in these large empty spaces. (we want to promote interaction as much as possible, either friendly or hostile)
  • Object sizes will be hugely different (Ships, Planets, Stars etc)
  • Among others..

So how do we allow players to travel in a properly scaled world while promoting interaction? Well lets tackle the distance issue first. There is of course the Mass effect-like solution to space travel which was essentially designed to solve the interaction problem. The reapers created the relays for the sake of ensuring species could easily travel large differences and be drawn towards a central point of interaction. I personally don’t like this approach because you are limiting exploration to specific paths, our galaxy has some 300 Billion stars. So lets look at solving these 2 problems separately, starting with distance.

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Designing the perfect space exploration MMO – Dealing with size

So lets start this off by talking about the first major issue that arises from our game. Space is big, very big, so big in fact that the processing power and storage space required to generate it are astronomical. Not to mention the millions of potential planets, asteroids and other objects that may be floating around each system we have in the game. Keeping this in mind here is my theoretical solution to creating and running such a large dynamic world. I call it a Cluster-based game world.

I will ask anyone out there reading this not to laugh, my current knowledge of game development technologies is pretty limited. Technically I may be talking about something already achieved or well out of current scope, anyway moving on swiftly..

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Designing the perfect space exploration MMOG – Introduction

Following on from my interest in the illusive MMOG project Infinity universe I decided to take a stab at designing my own true space exploration based MMOG. As a Sci-Fi obsessed long time MMO player the idea of a proper space based MMOG excites me beyond belief, of course the word proper is subjective so here is what I am referring to.

  • Space is very big, the game world should be as well.
  • Scales in space vary massively, game objects should do as well.
  • No 2 objects are the same, game objects need to be generated dynamically (No 2 planets the same)

Realistically no current MMO space game comes close to fulfilling these requirements (apart from maybe EVE online), not unexpected as a lot of problems arise from attempting to create this kind of game. Stay tuned for a series of articles where I will share my vision and how I believe it is achievable.

My favorite games, where have they gone? (Pokemon Edition)

I figure if I want this blog to work out I need to keep the ball rolling, so here I go with some original content. I am going to talk a bit about my favorite games from childhood (before my MMOG phase) and where they have gone.

Pokemon Snap: The game that created a new generation of photographers

Pokemon Snap Starting screen

Obvious place to start off, this game kept me distracted through much of my childhood (when I wasn’t playing on my Gameboy). You really have to question the appeal of this game, it was basically just a form of rail shooter disguised as a Pokemon game. At the time however any game branded with Pokemon instantly got my attention (much like Star Wars does now), it wasn’t long until I was hooked. Who knows how many photographers these days owe their initial interests to Pokemon snap, yet here we are in 2012 with no sequel in site?

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A little backlog for you

Over the years Ive been involved in various small blog projects and youtube channels, considering this blog will be void of content for a while to come I present to you some of my previous articles. Enjoy my outdated opinions on the next generation of MMORPGs (almost all out already) as well as a link to the dead blog it occupies.

Global Gamers banner – A gaming blog under which I posted as digidevil4 (my true gaming alias)

Below is the article in question originally titled “MMO Gamers Rejoice”, published November 10 2009.

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