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The One Man MMO Project
The story of a lone developer's quest to build an online world :: MMO programming, design, and industry commentary
By Robert Basler on 2017-06-21 17:52:43
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
In a word, scope creep.

My plan of monthly updates during Early Access isn't working out so well with this first update I'm doing. I'm on week 4 of development on Nemesis Mode. The matchmaker is coded, the game session manager is coded, all the network messages to hook everything together are coded, and since late last week I've been working on adding new features to the HUD and the new UI screens to the client. Today I wired up the code to generate loot for the winners and upped the max players to 16. Even with all that done, I still have to finish the UI screens, get all of that debugged, add all the game modes, do some new graphics, and polish it all to a shine.

I originally intended to implement three or so game modes and then come back later and add more. That strategy hasn't really worked out super well before because half-finished features are nobody's favourite. So I'm planning to implement "all" of the game modes now (where "all" means the coolest subset of the modes mentioned previously and maybe some others.)

Miranda's map also needs some new features to support Nemesis mode. You may not have noticed, but frame rates with the map are not as good as they should be. Also, some cool things the map is supposed to do just don't happen because the map is currently software rendered and it doesn't have time to do them. So I'm going to convert the map to hardware rendering while I add the new features for Nemesis Mode.

The update after Nemesis Mode is looking to be similarly gigantic and will also require new things of the map, and I just don't see the current map rendering holding up under that added weight.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-06-09 17:37:09
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
When I started working on an online-only RTS, one of my biggest worries was that I had heard from a few sources that only around 5% of RTS players play online. What could I do to attract players when I don't have a single-player campaign or AI skirmish to rely on to bring in that other 95% of players?

chart.png


The games I worked on at EA had online player percentages significantly higher than 5%. Yet we constantly struggled with people who wanted to cut online entirely because they didn't think it was worth the investment for "so few players." I talked to a friend this week who works on AAA shooters and their multiplayer numbers make 5% look pitiable.

"BTW, the actual stats are 2.57% of the player base has attempted to play the game MP at least one time. The rest, single player only." - Brad Wardell on Ashes of the Singularity


So how did we get to a place where 95% of RTS players ignore multiplayer and most RTS games have deathmatch and that's it?
By Robert Basler on 2017-06-06 14:45:53
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
This Friday June 9 from noon to 8pm Pacific time I'd really appreciate it if players could log in and pick a fight with another player. ATV's, tanks, superweapons, do your worst. Miranda has been running super-stable since the last patch, so I need you guys to hammer on it a bit. I'll be using the feedback from this playtest during the next monthly update when I'm going to be doing some work to improve Miranda's combat experience. If you don't already have an account, Early Access packages are available here.

pickafightfriday_Lo.jpg
[I want to see devastation.]


If you have the time, you might want to consider logging in early to build up some extra forces to play with on Friday.

To find other players, after you log in when the game asks you "would you like to place your buildings at their previous locations" choose "no" then find a map square with a red flag in it and place your base nearby (you may have to zoom out with the mouse to find one.) Note that both Empire and Independent players can attack Independents, although only Independents can attack Empire. (One of the things I'll be changing next month is that the map flag will be the faction color so players will be able to tell from the base layout map what faction a player is.)

If you have a base you love and don't want to see it wiped from the face of Miranda, you may want to leave it logged off at that time.

I'll be online the whole time taking notes. Thanks for your help, and have fun!
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By Robert Basler on 2017-06-06 01:53:41
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

I've been working on Nemesis Mode, Miranda's new multiplayer matchmaking system for the next Early Access monthly update. (Learn more about Early Access and support Miranda's development here.) I had a bunch of ideas for the kind of multiplayer I wanted to have in Miranda, but I hadn't played much RTS multiplayer for quite a while so to figure out what modes and features I might have missed, I looked at all the RTS games that people rave about. And some others. I got a couple good ideas about features, but I was pretty shocked at what I discovered:

  • Command & Conquer 3: Deathmatch
  • Starcraft II: Deathmatch
  • Supreme Commander 2: Deathmatch
  • Grey Goo: Deathmatch
  • Act of Agression: Deathmatch.
  • Homeworld Deserts of Kharak: Deathmatch, Capture the Flag
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Capture the Flag
  • Company of Heroes 2: Deathmatch, Capture the Flag

Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. That's it. Wait, what? Are you kidding me?


By Robert Basler on 2017-05-24 23:14:05
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Imperial forces have been quietly encircling the map over the last few days, but the Imperials' attempt to wrest complete control of Miranda suffered a setback tonight with the loss of a single critical southern border sector to the Independents.

TerritoryMap1_Lo.jpg
[A clever strategy unfolds.]


Fortunately for the Independents, capture of a single southern border sector allowed them to recapture most of the south east of Miranda.

TerritoryMap2_Lo.jpg
[The Independents strike.


The danger for the Independents is far from over though. The Imperials' relentless advance continues.

Version 0.0.14.1

A new build is now live on the server with 13 client bugs and one server bug fixed. With luck, this will improve stability enough that it can be the last update for a little while.


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By Robert Basler on 2017-05-17 19:42:05
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
It has been a super busy few weeks for me, but it is really wonderful to see players playing Miranda every day. With everything running now, I'll be working hard to keep development progressing as well as promoting the game to gain new players. I did an interview earlier this week, and I have another upcoming. I was really pleased to see a number of players choose the Co-Op editions since I started this whole project primarily so I could play this game with my friends.

So far the Empire seems to be slacking a bit in their desire for conquest, with the Independents already controlling 12% of the map compared to the Empire's measly 1%. I was very surprised to discover that one player is well on his way to obtaining the most expensive item in the game.

mansion.png
[Thought it would take ages for someone to buy this]


The new server hardware seems to be working well, and game stability has been overall alright - it's not perfect yet, but it is getting there. Players have been reporting bugs. Thank you, I will be looking into those. I've been working on server bugs and now I'm getting started on client bugs.

Version 0.0.13.1

Version 0.0.13.1 is now live on the server. All of the changes in this release are to fix server crash bugs. I believe all of them are fixed but one which I need more info about. I spent a bit of time looking into the dwindling resources problem, but everything seems to be working correctly with that, so I'm waiting for that to recur again so I can log in with the debug client and do some more digging.

  • Added code signing to client and LairCrashReporter. Maybe that will make some of the antivirus programs lighten up.
  • Fixed problem for players who selected ATV health bonus perk not being able to log in with that force.
  • Fixed bug where player could sell already sold building which resulted in server crash.
  • Fixed bug where harvester could ask server to harvest when it was already harvesting.
  • Misc other server bugs fixed.

What's Next

I'm going to continue working on crashes for the next couple days, then next week I'll be starting work on Nemesis Mode. I feel strongly that players need tools to help them find things to do in-game so I'm tackling that problem first. The target is for the next update to go live Tuesday June 13.

If you haven't gotten your Early Access package yet, they are available from itch.io.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-05-10 12:58:43
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Secret Lair Games will be holding a celebration play test weekend May 12-14 for all of its earliest Early Access supporters. The test weekend will run from Friday at 8pm to Sunday at midnight (GMT) and will be open to anyone who buys any Early Access Edition, even the $5 one.

Early Access Editions are available from itch.io.

The%20Imperial%20Realm%20-%20Miranda%20-%20The%20Battle%20of%20CarterBurke.jpg
[The Battle of Carter Burke]

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By Robert Basler on 2017-05-09 14:18:18
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
When World of Warcraft came out in 2004 and I thought "it would be so cool to play an RTS in a giant seamless open world like that" I never imagined it would take so long, nor that I would be the one to make it happen.

Miranda goes into Early Access today, and to celebrate, here is the new gameplay trailer:



You can check out all of the Editions of The Imperial Realm::Miranda available during Early Access at theimperialrealm.com.

If you think a huge open world multiplayer RTS sounds like something you would like to play, I hope you will support The Imperial Realm::Miranda.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-05-02 17:22:37
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
TheImperialRealm-Miranda-EarlyAccess.jpg


There will also be a new gameplay trailer and all the details on the available packages.

If you think a huge open world multiplayer RTS sounds like something you'd like to play, I hope you will support The Imperial Realm::Miranda.
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By Robert Basler on 2017-04-03 00:05:02
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Wooooooo! The first edit of the Early Access Trailer went off to the composer on Friday. It's been a very long time coming so I'm really looking forward to hearing what music he creates for it. As for me, I spent the week watching the trailer over and over, tweaking things, adding the last few things it needed. I haven't changed anything since Friday, so I think I might be happy with it. It will come out in a few weeks.

AprilFools_Lo.jpg
[April Fools!]


I did a little work on the website for April Fools. Turns out it was super-annoying so I took it down after just a couple hours. I cannot imagine what possible use the ability to invert a web page has (other than pranks.) The funniest part was that when I came back to my office, my daughter had taken the magnet and comic collection on my filing cabinet and inverted the entire thing.
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Recent Comments

The 5% Problem - 2017-06-10 13:59:01 (2 comments)
Thanks for the feedback. Ideally at some point we will have enough players that there will be other players available 24 hours a day. I added Nemesis Mode to encourage players to interact with each other since often I see multiple people online who ...
The 5% Problem - 2017-06-10 04:36:06 (2 comments)
The one thing i always wanted was a persistant online world where i could build up forces, build a base and defend it and the resources i hold. Would be good if it persisted through logoff time as well which would give people something to do if not ...
I Had No Idea RTS Multiplayer is So Lame - 2017-06-06 11:05:02 (3 comments)
Since players have to be nearby each other in the world, it wouldn't work to only match leavers with leavers.

Players who play 5 games in a row without ditching will have their timer reset.

I'll think some more about the teenager problem, thanks for ...
I Had No Idea RTS Multiplayer is So Lame - 2017-06-06 05:00:57 (3 comments)
Offenses 4 and 5 - rather than just imposing a timer, which just means regular player X enters queue right now gets teamed with "leaver" player Y who queued 10/20 minutes ago, how about take another page from LoL? LoL actively partners leavers ...
I Had No Idea RTS Multiplayer is So Lame - 2017-06-06 02:58:11 (3 comments)
From Moritz on twitter.com Murder Party and Claustrophobia sound awesome!
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