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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 2019-05-21 16:59:29
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
There is no level editor for Miranda. The terrain is built in a tool called WorldMachine and then all the textures, plants, rocks and everything you see in the game are added procedurally based on a bunch of text files. So when I added all the vendors and monoliths to the game I randomly assigned them locations, but I didn't have a way to check that every single one was in a good location (not on the side of a cliff.)

Monday morning I decided I wanted to address that bug. I figured I'd need to add keyboard controls to visit all the discoverables, and some debug prints so I could figure out which discoverable to modify in the text files, then it would take a couple hours to move them all, then another hour to verify after the moves. That should take a day.

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[A Vendor in her new home.]

By Robert Basler on 2019-05-16 12:12:30
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Attributes have been in Miranda for some time, but they reached their final form this month.

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[Miranda's Attributes]


There are nine attributes in the game, and each attribute is assigned a value from 1 to 9. There are a total of 45 attribute points available right now. 9 are automatically assigned. Players are given 18 to assign when they start, and one is given each time the player levels up until they reach level 19 for a grand total of 45 attribute points. 9 bonus points will be available through rare consumables.
By Robert Basler on 2019-05-06 13:29:53
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
This weekend, (May 11-12) everyone who has purchased any Early Access package for the The Imperial Realm::Miranda will be able to try all the new features of Bold New World from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday GMT.

Bold New World is the third major update to The Imperial Realm::Miranda and a major upgrade to the art and rendering engine.

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[New Biome - Vermillion Hardship.]


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[New Rock Formations and Sky - The Perilous Precipices.]


Support the development of this one-of-a-kind massively multiplayer RTS and check it out at the same time with Early Access packages starting at just $8.

Rob will be online at the start of the weekend (Friday 4pm Pacific Time) to chat, answer questions, or blow up your stuff.
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By Robert Basler on 2019-04-28 23:18:27
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I made a video to demo the Independents' new Spy Satellite. The Spy Satellite removes the shroud anywhere on the map. Once built, it can be used every three minutes. There are four perks related to the Spy Satellite: the first unlocks the unit, the second and third increase the diameter of the area revealed, and the final perk enables real-time surveillance of the target area for two minutes.



Adding the Spy Satellite was really fun. Unlike everything I've done the last year, it was a few lines in a config file, a new in-game model, a new icon and just a pinch of new code. This gave me time to do a bit of polish: a new mouse cursor when targeting and custom sound effects.
By Robert Basler on 2019-04-07 17:55:21
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I'm still working on desyncs - units having different health or position or orientation on the server and clients. Unit movement replication is the second most complicated part of Miranda, so everything I'm doing I usually have to do twice. I do a bunch of analysis, then an initial implementation, then I find a few things I'm not handling properly and then I do it all again. It is slow, but I am making progress.

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[Standalone unit path replication system at work.]

By Robert Basler on 2019-03-09 13:51:04
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Since Bold New World came out I've spent much of my time doing PR and catching up on everything that got ignored in the run up to the release. I did the company accounting. I finally installed the new modem my internet provider sent me in December - it tripled the speed of my net connection! Would have been nice if they'd told me that in advance. I also fixed a few bugs in the game and the scripts for posting new builds.

I started this week on the next update (which is currently unnamed.) Unnamed Update focuses solely on gameplay updates: new units, new missions, AI enhancements and improving the combat experience. Hopefully there'll also be some new perks and a few other things players will like in there.

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[I can log in as the AI! That is not how I'm going to improve it. Also, the AI has no unit cap.]

By Robert Basler on 2019-02-22 11:35:48
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com

Scalable Ambient Obscurance (SAO) is one of the many new art and rendering improvements in Bold New World, the latest update to The Imperial Realm::Miranda my seamless open-world real time strategy game.

SAO is a well-regarded algorithm for rendering ambient occlusion (the dark area in concave corners where ambient light has trouble reaching) and is a significant rendering upgrade for Miranda. The original paper by Morgan McGuire, Michael Mara and David Luebke does a good job of describing a the algorithm and there is a reference HLSL implementation. I needed something in GLSL for my OpenGL engine, and at first blush, SAO has a lot of moving parts.

You can see the difference SAO makes in the image above. The effect on the lighting of the rocks is remarkable. With the procedural rocks I was building at the same time, I really needed something that would bring them to life beyond normal maps and texturing effects. You might notice a slight straight line of darkening on the ground between the rock formations. I spent quite a bit of time tweaking the parameters of the SAO shader to get rid of unwanted occlusion and I talk in detail about that below. The real bonus of SAO is that it also improves the lighting on all the building and vehicle models that were not specifically having any work done on them for Bold New World.


[Miranda's Bold New World trailer shows SAO in action.]


By Robert Basler on 2019-02-19 18:27:55
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
The trailer for Bold New World is out! See the all-new environments, weather effects and render upgrades in motion.

Watch it at theimperialrealm.com.
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By Robert Basler on 2019-02-14 17:59:12
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com


The Bold New World trailer is finally starting to come together. Two things you won't see in it are the game's UI, and the new shroud, so here they are in a special Bold New World micro-trailer.
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By Robert Basler on 2019-02-08 22:10:28
Homepage: onemanmmo.com email:one at onemanmmo dot com
I am proud to announce that Bold New World, the third major update to The Imperial Realm::Miranda is live for players! Bold New World is a major overhaul of the art and renderer and has been 13 months in the making. I hope players enjoy the many, many new features.

How to Get Bold New World

  1. If there is a desktop icon for Miranda, you should delete that. The old icon will not work properly with Bold New World and miranda_setup will create a new one which could be confusing.
  2. Players need to download and run miranda_setup.exe to install Bold New World. If Windows says "Windows protected your PC" click on "More Info" and you will see the publisher is "Secret Lair Games, Inc" and you will get a "Run Anyway" button you can click to start the setup.

If you don't already have an account for The Imperial Realm::Miranda, you can purchase one at https://secretlairgames.itch.io/.

For those of you who don't already have the game, a new trailer will be coming shortly. To hold you over, here are a bunch of new screenshots. Some of the new things you will notice include:
  • Four all new biomes: The Perilous Precipices, Vermillion Hardship, The Badlands and Extinction Salt Flats.
  • Procedural rock formations now make it obvious where terrain features like paths and chokepoints are, in addition to being a visual upgrade.
  • Miranda now has several weather effects including the Ion Storm and a more traditional dust storm shown below which come and go throughout the day.
  • There are now thousands of tiny rocks, skeletons, grass and other plants covering the ground in addition to larger rocks and plants.
  • The renderer's many new features such as Ambient Occlusion, Anisotropic Filtering and the Ubershader as well as upgrades to shadows and lighting improve the look of everything in the game.


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[Independent base in The Badlands.]


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[Scenic view of The Badlands.]


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[Empire Base in Vermillion Hardship.]


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[My personal favourite and my current desktop background - a formation of tanks in Vermillion Hardship.]


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[A base in the Perilous Precipices.]


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[A Crashed Spaceship in Perilous Precipices.]


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[Scenic view of Extinction Salt Flats on a cloudy day.]


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[A Dust storm right before The Fallen attack in Extinction Salt Flats.]


The%20Imperial%20Realm%20-%20Miranda%20-%20Extinction%20Salt%20Flats%20-%203%20-%20Plasma%20Storm%20Base_Lo.jpg
[Plasma Storm in Extinction Salt Flats.]


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[Scenic view of a Plasma Storm in Extinction Salt Flats.]


Known Issue


On a small minority of test computers there is a bug that causes the game's UI to render back to front rather than front to back some of the time. This results in the minimap being invisible, and the HUD rendering over top of everything. If this happens, a workaround is to restart the game. Quite often this will eliminate the problem. A patch for this issue is being worked on.

The Fallen have temporarily retreated as a result of the massive changes to Miranda, but they will return shortly with a vengeance.
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So Close - 2019-01-17 15:09:12 (2 comments)
What's Next - 2019-03-09 13:51:04 (0 comments)
The Perilous Precipices Ambience - 2019-02-01 18:46:09 (1 comments)
A Wish for Smaller MMOs - 2018-12-23 15:34:20 (0 comments)
The Perilous Precipices - 2018-10-28 19:24:00 (0 comments)

Recent Comments

Bold New World - Release Notes - 2019-04-18 16:27:59 (5 comments)
Please ignore this test comment.
Bold New World - Release Notes - 2019-02-11 22:01:11 (5 comments)
One more issue: If you've forgotten your password you'll have to let me know so I can set your email preferences so that you will receive forgotten password emails. Once you've reset your password, you can go into settings to set your email ...
Bold New World - Release Notes - 2019-02-10 22:59:49 (5 comments)
Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it.
Bold New World - Release Notes - 2019-02-10 16:02:07 (5 comments)
Looks really cool! Good job! Even though I haven't bought any of the packages, I am still following your progress and I have to say this looks really good!
Bold New World - Release Notes - 2019-02-10 14:49:20 (5 comments)
After a fast and furious battle with localhost, The Fallen have returned triumphant and are in search of fresh victims.
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