Why you should be making an MMO
Well honestly I couldn’t care less what you make or don’t make. Do and show me that’s it. Unlike some other people I don’t try to convince anyone of anything. I write about my experience and if it can help someone in making or not making something then great. If not then great too! I’m just doing my thing.
So why this topic? Oh right it’s related to the Why you shouldn’t be making an MMO spotted on Brian’s blog. The day still haven’t come yet where I’ll read something online and think “oh I should really not do what I want to do because Mr. X wrote that” so the author of the post didn’t have to add “If you think I’m telling you to quit, well, then just don’t listen to me” in his follow-up post. Trying to “win” an argument or make a point that way is just silly. I think I was doing the same thing with my sister when I was 8.
So what’s annoying me in this post? Well it’s not much what he says as if you’re reading this you already know that I have worked on an MMO alone and that I’m now working on another so I can’t possibly imagine any blog post discouraging me. What’s bothering me is that if his intention was to somehow give some advice to people looking to build an MMO then he did so poorly. “Hey the Internet is not filled with enough negativism so let’s make sure we don’t run out of it!”.
So let’s get started…
“Get some unsolicited advice from a guy working on a real MMORPG”
“There have been many words bandied about in the past over this subject, and plenty of advice warning newbies not to get their hopes up when it comes to shipping a true MMO.”
“But the real issue here is not the gameplay itself: it’s the MMO part. More than that, it isn’t even the “multiplayer” or “online” that is really an issue – it’s the “massive.””
So the problem is the use of the MMO letters? Where can I get a permit to use those letters? I’ve said it before if the word “massive” is bothering you for a game like Golemizer then just assume the first M stands for “mini”. Good? Is the heart rate dropping a bit?
Fact is even if I know Golemizer wouldn’t be able to handle 10,000 players or maybe even 5,000 when I say it’s an MMO people get what kind of game it is. Why would I want to go through the trouble of making it less obvious. If Beau from Massively thought it was worth to write an article on Golemizer isn’t it good enough to just get over the fact that it’s not technically “massive”? Nobody complained saying “hey there are not enough people there to speak about this game here”. We all know that most “social games” have nothing “social” about them yet we just agree to use this word to know what kind of games we are speaking of.
So basically his point is “since you can’t make something that will handle a massive load of people then don’t you dare telling me you’re making an MMO”. If I was seriously hoping to have 10,000 players online at the same on my VERY FIRST GAME then I was even more nuts than I thought I was. Heck I’m sure my 2nd MMO will never have 10,000 online at the same time but shocker I plan to use the MMO letters to promote it. Shame on me. This time though I’m pretty sure the server could handle it as apparently SmartFoxServer is doing well with other games…
So, hopefully, that gives you some idea of what you’re up against when you waltz into For Beginners and say, “hey, me and my three friends from high school want to make the next World of Warcraft.”
Oh for the love of … Let’s make a deal here. We shall never ever use the WoW example again. If you are a single developer and make it to the end like I did then it means you KNOW that it will never have anything to do with WoW. And seriously when is the last time you heard of high school friends being actually serious about making an MMO? Why throw this cheap example anyway? Oh well that Runescape guy was about 23 when the game was released so maybe you could say that’s one example if we stretch it a little?
So back to the WoW thing. Cut it out. When speaking of single devs or very small teams wanting to make an MMO let’s say they want “to make the next Dead Frontier“. Deal? I know some people will still say WoW but look … We NEVER hear from them again so why put everyone in the same boat anyway. All it achieves is to give you that silly arrogant look of someone laughing at people who dream of making some project. Sure they shouldn’t listen to you but why being a jerk about it? Dead Frontier is a nice MMO success for a very small team so any 1-dev team like me would be pretty damn happy to reach that kind of success. Is it Massive enough or is Dead Frontier still part of the false MMO family?
That’s what bothering me about the whole “younglings should never touch an MMO with a 10 feet pole” thing (and not just this particular post). Every once in a while I receive a mail from a young Golemizer’s player asking me how he should get started to build his MMO. I don’t tell them they should avoid doing that (I’d be the very last person that could say that honestly…). I just answer NICELY their question and hint that it’s a lot of work without telling them not to do it. If they ever get started they’ll figure soon enough anyway that it’s not simple. Am I not afraid they might waste their time on something they can’t achieve? No… Since when trying something and learning from it is a waste of time? It’s not like they could die from it. So why would I have to throw in their face “forget it, can’t be done, you’ll never get something massive done”.
So yeah really it’s just a matter of tone I guess. In life some people are inspirations, mentors and others are just jerks. Both might say the same thing but those choosing not to be jerks can actually sparks something and slowly bring someone a tiny bit closer to their dreams. Brian did that with me. Sure he told me it was kinda crazy (and I knew it) but instead of arguing about it he sat back, offer his advice from time to time and look at that! That newbie actually did it! Oh sure that newbie can’t say that this M stands for Massive but what doesn’t tell you that one day I won’t graduate from MiniMO to MassiveMO? And yeah meeting someone who is not trying to sound like a jerk can actually helps a lot and I think that there’s not enough people of this kind on the “don’t blame me it’s just teh Interwebz” thing.