Sunday, 6 July 2014

Thoughts on game design in MMORPGs

Back in 2006 I was living in the US and had accepted a programming job in the UK but had to wait several months for the paperwork to come through. My previous employment ended because the company was running out of money and since I knew that games are actually one of the most cost-effective forms of entertainment, I made the conscious decision to play World of Warcraft in an effort to deliberately save money and not go out so often to restaurants or clubs with friends. This was the first MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) I had ever played.

A new star map we're investigating using.

A good friend of mine (and then roommate), Michael Schwern, convinced me to try a PVP (player versus player) server instead of a PVE (player versus environment) server. The primary difference is that in PVP, enemy players can kill you. In PVE, they can't touch you and you just play against the game (yes, I'm oversimplifying). This was a huge eye opener for me because I thought I would prefer exploring the game rather than fighting other people. I was dead wrong. When you're trying to finish a particular quest and there are human bad guys all over the place, it makes the game much more challenging and that really pays off.

Over time, I had played enough games, both single player and multi-player that when I decided to create Veure I was pretty sure that I knew what I was doing. Once again, I was dead wrong.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Veure Update

Veure is coming along quite nicely. Just take a look at this screenshot (you can click on it for a larger image).

Your status page in Veure

Money, visas, stats building, education, space ships, clones, inventory, and more. But we still don't have a name. We have over 50% of the Alpha tasks finished and pushing further ahead, but that damned name is pesky. We actually thought we finally had one, but a double-check of the name revealed that someone else is using it. Damn, damn, damn. The name is rapidly becoming one of the biggest obstacles.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Help me name Veure!

I'm currently working on the education system for my browser-based science fiction game, Veure, and things are coming along nicely. I can only work on it part time as I have another contract that actually pays the bills. We've also hired a very talented developer who's been helping me clean up many areas of the game which have heretofore been problematic.

The "Advanced Navigator" course display.
Click on the image for a larger version.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Veure Combat

Your Main Character Screen
In my post about the Veure roadmap, I mentioned that combat was one of the features to be added.  I had estimated that it would take about 2 weeks to get done, but my initial merge of the combat code took 35 hours. Not only did I get it done in half the time, it required that I add:
  • Cloning Vats
  • Brigs
  • Sick bays
In short, in just a week, I finished several weeks worth of work. That being said, this is a type of programming that is hard in a different sense from what many developers are used to.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Marriage in the USA is about genitalia

Brendan Eich
Public Domain Photo
As most people know by now, Brendan Eich stepped down as CEO of Mozilla over controversy regarding his financial support of efforts to deny same sex couples the same marital rights that opposite sex couples have. Many people feel that Eich was treated unfairly. Rather than cover that topic, I want to cover the topic of marriage in the USA (and in most of the Western world). It's a topic that I feel many people have looked at in the wrong light.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Veure Roadmap

Bulk Carrier
I've had a lot of interesting private reactions to my Veure post. Right now we're making plans on pushing it forward and seeing how we can make this work as a business.