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  1. #41
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    Nov 2009
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    Dallas, Texas
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    I could have sworn we went on record from the very start saying that we were not a production studio. We said from Day 1 in the intro video (you did watch this?) and said that we were not looking for folks to start comparing this to a professional production line. It's pointless; plus if you look at the resources, the key one being human resources, the comparison is silly to the point of delirium.
    Before I start I want to make sure this is understood because context is often lost when trying to convey information via electronic formats. I am not frustrated, angry, mad, complaining, or anything. You have made it clear that you will not operate as a studio and I get that. However, my understanding was that you are still trying to create a game. When you create a web based database application, you still try to use best practices, apply a seperation of concerns, and use design patterns even though you're not a professional development house. The same goes for games. There are certain best practices or approaches that, in my opinion, are wise to follow if you want players to like your game. That shouldn't be interpreted as you need to do stuff like a professional studio.

    The fact that I use my professional experience to illustrate this is simply coincidental. What other experience should I be drawing from? If i were a hobbyist then perhaps my illustrations would seem less threatening because they would be from an indie perspective rather than a professional studio. However, this isn't intended to say that you should operate as a profressional studio. My understanding was that you're making a game and I happen to have some experience that says this might not be a good approach. The fact that my reasons are drawn from professional games industry experience shouldn't automatically mean I think you should operate as a profressional game studio. It should only mean I have a different approach and here's some evidence to support that approach. I would think as a learning institution, whether you agree with me or not, that this type of dialogue would be encouraged. So if you're reading my posts through a lens that says I'm trying make you guys work like a studio, than I haven't done a good job explaining myself. Again, that is not my intent at all so I hope my explanation helps clear this up.

    I see this as professional debate where I'm trying to convey a point of view counter to the direction I see things going. I know you guys have probably had to deal with all kinds of wierd, egotistical, know-it-all, jerks that puff their chests out and get all uptight if their ideas aren't strictly implemented to their exact satisfaction. I assure you, in the most serious manner possible, that is not me at all. I'm throwing my ideas up against the wall, in a very frank, but unemotional manner to see what sticks. If nothing sticks no big deal. If I were really that disgruntled or upset, I would just stop paying and do something else. However, that's not the case. I love games and I'm really interested in this project no matter what direction it takes. I think you guys are doing a great job here so I hope you understand where I'm coming from and don't think i'm over here complaining or reacting in a disgruntled manner.


    And speaking purely as a gamer, I'd hate to think that the sweeping mindset of the industry is that we're just never going to see truly massive worlds. I do understand production bandwidth the problem of assets, etc. Really, I do. But it's another thing I'd like to see get overcome. WoW's world feels small by the time you can travel at 350 speed on your mount. Even more so now that you can fly in the classic lands. And 350 in WoW is still slow for flying. They keep it that slow to compensate for the (relatively) tiny world.
    Even if they sped up flying and made the world a little bigger to compensate, we wouldn't be anywhere near the size i've been hearing discussed here. When I'm in a zone questing how big does the world feel? It feels as big as the quest area i'm currently questing in. When I'm in a city purchasing a potion, how big does the world feel? It feels as big as the city or store that I'm currently in. In other words, the world will always feel as big as the immediate area I'm currently in, which will always be as far as I can see around me. The only time the world feels big is when I'm traveling because the way humans percieve size of surroundings is through tavel distance.

    If I never leave my house, how big does Texas feel? It doesn't feel anything because I'm in my house. Now, if i leave my house and drive across the state, then Texas starts to feel pretty big. The thing you're saying is that when you drive across Texas it needs to literally take as long is it would take in real life. I'm saying you can make the world seem big ONLY when you travel without making it actually take as long as it would in real life. So if travel is required to create the perception of distance or size, then the only time the world needs to "seem" big is when you travel. I don't care nor do i need to feel that the world is n square miles when I'm in a store, city, or quest area. Only when i'm traveling. This is the key smoke and mirrors area of conern for faking world size. My example of having a normal world when i'm on the ground and then having a different scale but less detailed version when I'm in space is a good example. You don't need to make things exactly match real life for them to feel real. So basically, the only difference between a WoW sized world and the world you're making is longer travel times between playable content which just makes players mad in the long run.

    It's like saying that in order for the world to feel like it's lit properly, the current methods of lighting need to be replaced with real-time raytracers. I think we can all agree that lighting, in games, works just fine when it's faked and there are plenty of good ways to fake the size of a world without going to all the technical trouble of making it literally huge. So as a player, we aren't going to see huge worlds because game developers are perfectly capable of creating the perception of huge worlds, for most players, without actually making the world big. As long as that's possible there's no reason to go to great technical lengths to make a world litterally that huge when I can achieve the same feeling through smoke and mirrors.

    This is why the perception that game studios don't do this because of budget, money, or team size is false. They don't do it because it's not practical and doesn't make sense from a game play point of view. Again, I'm not saying no one should try this, I'm simply explaining why most game studios probably won't make a game like this. I can tell you that if you love walking around huge massive worlds for hours on end then you're in a game player minority because all the data we have from hundreds of millions of players says long travel times are generally hated and world size has diminishing returns and its not even a close call on that one. So for a game developer that's trying to make games that OTHER people love we don't want to put things in the game a few of us like but most of our players hate. If you're making a game for yourself than none of this applies.

    I just want to be clear that were talking about why we won't see world sizes like this come out of the games industry. I'm not saying, therefore you shouldn't try. If you're making a game for yourself, then you get to decide for yourself whether or not you care about this. I'm simply saying that game studio or not, this is an important point to consider from a game play point of view.

    And since we're on the topic, if you want to talk about what players want, players don't want to travel at all. Look at WoW. Really. Go play it. Right now. The world is pretty much empty, outside of the major cities where people mill around waiting to get into a dungeon queue. People log in, jump into a raid or dungeon, and log out. I used to live on a very violent PvP server and now I practically never get ganked. So if we were really just focused on what players seem to want, the game would consist of a lobby that allowed you to choose a dungeon with some friends and just go from there. It'd be about as "massively multiplayer" as Unreal Tournament.
    I agree WoW feels empty but I think that's more due to design flaws than anything else. They made it easier to level via dungeons and all the new content that comes out is dungeon related. So there's no reason to quest anymore, hence the world feels empty. That said, a world that consists of multiple zones 2500sq miles in size is going to feel more empty than WoW. Your world size could easily be big enouph that each player could have a 10sq mile area all to themselves. More than likely people will be grouped or doing other things but the bottom line is the bigger your world is the less dense the population will be in various zones. So the problem of not seeing anyone is going to far worse in a large massive world than one more traditional.

    Again, I hope you realize I'm happy with the way things are going so far. I hope you see this as constructive criticism rather than being admonished for not doing it like a professional studio would do it. I don't speak for all studios nor do I pretend to have the correct spin on the whole industry. However, based off of my experience and the experience of those who have been in the industry longer than me, this seems like the correct way to think about this as someone speculating whether or not we'll ever see a commercial game with worlds the size we're talking about in this class.
    Last edited by jjguzzardo; 05-06-2011 at 06:32 PM.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    In space
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    Even if they sped up flying and made the world a little bigger to compensate, we wouldn't be anywhere near the size i've been hearing discussed here.
    Right, but all you're hearing are theoretical sizes of what our system can handle. For what it may be worth, I think it's a very cool indicator of the quality of our terrain system that if someone were to ask, "How big of a world could you possibly support?" we could answer with, "How big is your server's hard drive?"

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Dallas, Texas
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    Right, but all you're hearing are theoretical sizes of what our system can handle. For what it may be worth, I think it's a very cool indicator of the quality of our terrain system that if someone were to ask, "How big of a world could you possibly support?" we could answer with, "How big is your server's hard drive?"
    You bet! It would be very cool and don't think because I have some skepticsm in terms of game play value or priorities that I'm not rooting for you guys to be successful. If i didn't care about what you guys were doing I wouldn't spend this much time writing posts . I really do want you to be successful!

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    63
    Just wanted to throw this out there as well. Most games that do manage to pull off the really big worlds try their hardest to have quests that span every square mile of the world. When was the last time you drove out into the country and saw a single person walking down the street? The population is so sparse and the land is so vast that it is hard enough to even find a house in the country. At the same time when was the last time you saw an empty street in the heart of New York City? Hardly ever because the population is so dense and there is so much going on all of the time. I think I agree with the statement that WoW was designed wrong. I honestly think you need to key in on 4-6 major cities in your world and create major points of interest and don’t do that whole individual value for each city thing where one city might have this really cool resource but to get this other one you have to go to city C. That will cause vacant major cities quick once players figure out which resource is most profitable. Make the resources for each major city practically identical. So that there is equal drive to go to any of them. Also a common trade post shared amongst them helps with that.

    Aside from that I would like to see the ability for players to own vast amounts of land ... like acres. Obviously have deed restrictions but this would create the cities and the farms of your world. As in real life the farms are most always vacant and the cities should be thriving. Quests should die out the further away from major hubs you get. This draws the interest back to the cities. The farm lands should be for player housing, mining, crafting ect.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Anacortes, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by xavierk View Post
    Hey JJ you are getting a little syntactic with me.
    My twitter example was about how they missed the point of their release. They designed theirs DB for 100 users and they had 100.000 (this are just example numbers) and they had very little time to respond to that demand and had all sort of issues. Other companies had similar problems some of them had the time to keep up to the demand others didn't. And this happens to a lot of internet Companies.

    The App Nelson is doing in the class I'm sure that theres no need for autafac or a console or his almost obsessive search for the ultimate abstraction of each class. For the first release of this app wich will handle this class only for now is way way over what's needed for this 200 members class, it's an enterprise class app with thousands of users.

    There's nothing wrong in trying to think a highly scalable terrain system. They can launch the game even with a fraction of zone and scale as needed ... And thats hit for me since like in every successful mmo out there can't scale their world and instead they only ad servers and migrate players as requested forcing them to adapt a character to the reality of each of the servers.
    Yes this is more manageable and profitable for the developer but maybe just maybe if blizzard had the tip that they will have 11 million + players they'll had a bigger world.
    I think you're missing the point. The idea of the class was to do something beyond Nerd Dinner and the Music Store example that MS keeps pushing. You're correct in saying that I could easily have written the first few iterations quicker (especially with Rails). If I didn't have to turn it into training material, it would go even faster. The goal however, is threefold: to introduce people to a non-trivial use case of ASP.net MVC (in which the complexity starts to butt heads with some of the conveniences MVC provides, such as data annotation support), to create an application that will be less likely to rot as we add functionality to it, and for me to have some fun greenfeilding a project

    I'll admit that it's been a learning process for me on how to do training videos on such a large project, but it's been getting better.

    Also, Autofac reduces complexity significantly (which I state many times on video). Even if you don't implement a single interface - using it to manage the lifetime of your objects makes code that would otherwise be very complex, very straightforward and easy to read.
    Need any help? Feel free to PM me - or send an email directly to nelson@3dbuzz.com!

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