To shard, or not to shard?

Posted by | Posted in Game Development, Pioneer | Posted on 01-07-2013

To shard, or not to shard? Is the wrong question.

I came across a bit hard on sharding in my last and have rightly been called on it a couple of times so I’m just going to quickly clarify.

When You Should Have a Shard:

You will be have various “shard“s your game at least two in fact.

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Space MMO – Pioneer-alike

Posted by | Posted in Game Development, Pioneer | Posted on 29-06-2013

Space game MMOs… A brain dump:

I’ve been inspired to brain dump by a post on the Paragon forum.

To quote:

Will multiplayer be instanced or MMO style?
If MMO will players be able to transverse to other servers/galaxy’s with their ships,equipment and credits?

Now, leaving aside the question of what they might mean behind instancing, lets instead think about how a space game like Paragon, not Pioneer note, Paragon might choose to implement an MMO gameplay model.

NB: Paragon is a sort of daughter project to Pioneer. It’s forked from the Pioneer codebase and occasionally pulls in work we do. However Paragon has it’s own developers, development and game specific code, scripting, storyline and art. I’ll be discussing these things from being a Pioneer developers point of view.

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StoryBricks is up on KickStarter, aka putting my money where my mouth is.

Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 03-05-2012

It looks like KickStarter is becoming more and more the route to funding for a lot of projects.

StoryBricks have just created their page and I’ve put forward what I can afford right now and here’s where I explain why it’s not just because thedarkproject & Psychochild work their.

First a little background; I’ve funded one other project previously, a much smaller effort to produce a sprite animation creation tool – this one I originally decided to back because I had a much much much earlier version of the tool already through my involvement with the “Natami” project. It came from such humble beginnings and was such a clear little idea that I wanted to support it.

StoryBricks is obviously a little bit different, it’s not a 2 person team working on a tool … oh no wait, it kinda is :) Everything is relative.

They’re a small team of developers, admittedly some very talented and experienced developers, who are trying to redefine the way that MMOs/RPGs/Storys in general can be created and edited in games. That’s a tall order when you look at the hundreds, literally hundreds, of developers required to create the tools, gameplay and content for a regular MMO or RPG. It seems like a goal that’s worth pursuing because the real joke about the “kill-10-rats” meme in MMOs/RPGs is that sadly it is real!

It could be argued that it affects more than just MMOs in fact but lets stick with the territory that StoryBricks are after.

Real story, that develops and reacts to you as you play – something tabletop gamers are used to and that I haven’t seen in a computer game beyond the most cursory of changes in so many years that a little of what I feel for gaming has slowly withered away – might actually be possible. Of course I can see uses for it far beyond MMOs, hell I’d like to use it in Pioneer to give it more character(s), or think of Deus Ex where following leads changes the plots as characters realise you’re onto them but instead of being scripted it could be dynamic involving the various attitudes of the NPCs to you and those characters.

That sort of thing has to start somewhere, and it looks like it’s starting with StoryBricks and their KickStarter page – I think Psychochild (aka Brian Green) does a much better job of writing up what it’s about so go read that.

Right I’m not good at explaining myself so I’ll stop there but hopefully you can see something of what I see in it and maybe fund it a little too.