Make Your Own MMO!

Posted by on April 29, 2008 - 67 Comments »

As an MMORPG gamer I have often thought to myself how I could make one truly awesome MMORPG. Not a big surprise, I am sure you have thought the same thing at one point or another. Let’s face it, there is nobody out there who knows what you like better than you and, as such, it only makes sense that only you could make your own perfect MMORPG, right? Well if you’ve got even the brains, will power, and determination now’s your chance.

Over the last few days I have been doing a fair amount of research on a couple of programs that allow for you to build your own MMORPG. They probably aren’t the only ones out there, but they are certainly the most prominent amongst the DIY games crowd. Of course, I am speaking of none other than PlayerWorlds and Realm Crafter. Each vary in different aspects and technological know how, but each is fairly capable at building either an MORPG or MMORPG. So, let’s get on with it:

PlayerWorlds

For those of you who have little knowledge of programming and an overall plan for an MMORPG that is less grand than, let’s say, World of Warcraft, then PlayerWorlds is right up your alley. Designed a few years ago the system offers you a nice combination of 2d graphics with a very easy to use system of script editing. Graphics are completely modifiable, to a certain extent of graphics rendering, and the code can be influenced directly through the SadScript file. All fascinating information for people who knows what exactly that means, I am sure.

The engine is completely free to download and use, however it comes with an EULA, basically there are stipulations of use. Sporting a healthy community many games running off the PlayerWorlds engine can be found today, such as:

All of them seem to be pretty competent games in terms of how they were created, especially the Secrets of Mirage game. I am actually going to be testing that one out sometime later. Regardless, there are many more games out there to explore (a quick Google search should help) and, while they all sport the same style of graphics, they look like they could actually be fun.

Realm Crafter

This engine is not quite as easy to use as PlayerWorlds. In fact, you should really only look at this option if you have a group of dedicated volunteers ready to help you make a game. The plus side is, however, that you’ll be able to create a fully 3d world, as opposed to the 2d worlds of PlayerWorlds. Another thing to consider is that Realm Crafter is not a free program. Coming in at $100 the game engine isn’t overly expensive, but for those who don’t want to drop a dime on their MMORPG this might not be the right choice for you.

Aside from those nitpicks, Realm Crafter definitely looks to be the better of the two engines. With a “sequel” of sorts in development now, the next version is promising to include DirectX9 graphics, dynamic lighting, bloom and tone mapping, dynamic shadows, realistic water, ripples and reflections, and a customizable GUI. No word yet on the release date or the pricing, however standard Realm Crafter owners will be able to upgrade for free.

Despite being the better engine of the two I could only find one game that is live and running off the Realm Crafter engine. However, there are reportedly many games in development using it. For those who wish to see the game in action head on over to the Apocalypse Online website. The game is 100% free, and while the graphics are certainly a bit dated the actual game doesn’t actually sound that bad.

Anyways, these are the two options I can find that will probably best suit any would-be MMO developers out there, whether you are one person or a team of volunteers. While the big games may be fun and exciting, it really is the indy games that live through the community. Support your local indy MMO scene by checking out one of these fine games today.