Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Building a Massively Multiplayer Online Game

I've been interested in the game industry for years, both in terms of playing as well as building. The challenges associated with building a game are significantly different than those associated with the normal day job, and the opportunity to provide something that others enjoy certainly appeals to my creative side.

In the early 1990s, I was introduced to the MUD and spent far too much time playing there and far too little time on my computer science studies. Since that time, bringing together a large group of people into a single virtual community has been the only logical direction for games to go (In my not-so-humble opinion :), and that has been realized over the last few years with many exceedingly good massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) being published.

Of course, the developer in me has always thought that I could do it better. So I am now putting my time (since I'm short on the money) where my mouth is. A group of four of us has started the process of incubating a MMOG, starting with base ideas and features we'd like to see.

Being the type of person who likes to here myself wax prolific, I will be blogging about the experience here. As this venture is intended to be commercial in nature, I won't be giving details about anything that would fall into the "competitive advantage" category, but as there are many different aspect to building a highly scalable game that have nothing to do with the competitive advantage aspect, there should be lots to discuss.

As the guy who is architecting this, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made early on: what technologies do we use, how do we segregate processes, how do we enable virtually unlimited scaling, etc. This is a case where the naive solution will absolutely not work.

So, over the next year or more, expect to see a lot of entries as I discuss trade-offs and decisions. It's going to be a lot of fun for me; hopefully it will be useful for you.

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