Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

General: AGC: BigWorld and Hero Engine

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

At AGC, Carolyn Koh visited two middleware companies, BigWorld Technology and Hero Engine. Today, she returns to tell us all about them:

 




These days MMOG middleware has grown up, filled out, put on make-up and rings and things and buttons and bows. Complete solutions are available and I visited two of them at the AGC; Bigworld Technology and Hero Engine.

What do companies like these mean for the online gamer? Two things mainly:


  1. Faster concept and development to test. With a complete solution available to them, game companies can concentrate on game design and production. Players will see faster game development. Already MMOG companies are talking in terms of 3 to 4 year development cycles when using the development tools available to them instead of 4 to 6. A complete set of MMOG tools might mean cutting that down even further.
  2. Real time distribution and balancing of server loads. A single seamless world if the developers so choose, is in sight. What about not crashing a zone with too many players? Sounds good to me!

You can read the article here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

Comments

  • MrbloodworthMrbloodworth Newport News, VAPosts: 5,615Member
    No images?

    ----------
    "Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me

    "No, your wrong.." - Random user #123

    "Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.

    How are you?" -Me

  • TechleoTechleo Grants Pass, ORPosts: 1,984Member
     Dang, I was looking into both the game engines and just wow. Ive followed both for awhile and Hero's Engine is just turning out fantastic now! The graphical side of the system is way better then I expected and now I see why Bioware picked the service. Anyways back to work hehe.

  • DarwaDarwa CambridgePosts: 2,184Member Uncommon
    Would I be correct in saying that the Hero Engine is more for 'small scale' games?

    ie: it cannot handle a huge seamless world with 200k players at one time?


  • spookytoothspookytooth Lansing, MIPosts: 508Member
     quote:
    "BigWorld Technology does have an MMORPG client that is published –
    Farlan’s Dark and Light, but they were quick to point out that the only
    piece that Farlan licensed is the Server Technology."

    That got me thinking, are either company being selective about who they license their product to?
    There are alot of crapy, half assed, poorly made games out there; and it may reflect badly upon Bigwolrd or Hero if one of those crapy games were built from head-to-toe with their software. And frankly I would have quickly distanced myself from Farlan as well.


  • DracisDracis Kingsford, MIPosts: 434Member


    Originally posted by spookytooth
     quote:
    "BigWorld Technology does have an MMORPG client that is published – Farlan’s Dark and Light, but they were quick to point out that the only piece that Farlan licensed is the Server Technology."

    That got me thinking, are either company being selective about who they license their product to?
    There are alot of crapy, half assed, poorly made games out there; and it may reflect badly upon Bigwolrd or Hero if one of those crapy games were built from head-to-toe with their software. And frankly I would have quickly distanced myself from Farlan as well.


    I have to agree. I downloaded the brochure from BigWorld and the included screen shots were definately a higher standard than Farlan can produce. Lets hope the next folks that bring and MMO with it show off what it's actually capable of.
  • DarwaDarwa CambridgePosts: 2,184Member Uncommon
    Farlan used Mafate.

  • spookytoothspookytooth Lansing, MIPosts: 508Member
    read the quote

  • simu-jhyrrylsimu-jhyrryl Simutronics Dev Saint Charles, MOPosts: 4Member


    Originally posted by darwa
    Would I be correct in saying that the Hero Engine is more for 'small scale' games?

    ie: it cannot handle a huge seamless world with 200k players at one time?




    For Hero's Journey, we are looking to support 3,000+ simultaneous users per world (our term for server or shard).  We are not attempting to compete with that aspect of Big World's engine.  Our focus is on creating easy-to-use quality tools for the developer that speed up production time without detracting from the quality of the finished product.  While being able to boast 200,000 simultaneous users is certainly an interesting bullet point to print on a box, it won't help a developer meet deadlines, keep costs low, or help him manage a huge staff that may be located in multiple offices around the globe.

    Mike Paddock
    Lead Game Systems Designer
    Product Developmenet Manager
    Simutronics Corp.

  • DarwaDarwa CambridgePosts: 2,184Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by simu-jhyrryl

    Originally posted by darwa
    Would I be correct in saying that the Hero Engine is more for 'small scale' games?

    ie: it cannot handle a huge seamless world with 200k players at one time?



    For Hero's Journey, we are looking to support 3,000+ simultaneous users per world (our term for server or shard).  We are not attempting to compete with that aspect of Big World's engine.  Our focus is on creating easy-to-use quality tools for the developer that speed up production time without detracting from the quality of the finished product.  While being able to boast 200,000 simultaneous users is certainly an interesting bullet point to print on a box, it won't help a developer meet deadlines, keep costs low, or help him manage a huge staff that may be located in multiple offices around the globe.



    Thanks for the reply Mike.

    I wasn't asking because of bragging rights or anything as asinine as that.

    Heros Journey doesn't interest me, but the Hero Engine does. I've read pretty much every article I can find on the engine, aside from its headroom capabilities. Nobody seems to want to tell me how far it can be pushed.

    The ability to create a game without the need to relocate is awesome. The integrated backend facilities are a stroke of genius and something I consider a major selling point.

    From what I've been able to piece together, the Hero Engine works in a linear manner. You can only follow set paths like in WoW, not freely roam like in SWG. I'd like to know if that is true.

    The other burning question I have is just how large things can be. Quite simply, could Hero Engine create a BigWorld sized continuous world? Could there be 200k players in it at one time?

    I would love to open a private dialogue with you on this matter. If that's possible, please email me at darwa@darwatech.com. I've asked for this info directly before, but my emails weren't answered :(
  • simu-jhyrrylsimu-jhyrryl Simutronics Dev Saint Charles, MOPosts: 4Member


    Originally posted by darwa
    Thanks for the reply Mike.

    I wasn't asking because of bragging rights or anything as asinine as that.

    Heros Journey doesn't interest me, but the Hero Engine does. I've read pretty much every article I can find on the engine, aside from its headroom capabilities. Nobody seems to want to tell me how far it can be pushed.

    The ability to create a game without the need to relocate is awesome. The integrated backend facilities are a stroke of genius and something I consider a major selling point.

    From what I've been able to piece together, the Hero Engine works in a linear manner. You can only follow set paths like in WoW, not freely roam like in SWG. I'd like to know if that is true.

    The other burning question I have is just how large things can be. Quite simply, could Hero Engine create a BigWorld sized continuous world? Could there be 200k players in it at one time?

    I would love to open a private dialogue with you on this matter. If that's possible, please email me at darwa@darwatech.com. I've asked for this info directly before, but my emails weren't answered :(


    I'm afraid that I'm not the guy you would want to talk to for information about HeroEngine.   
    I can answer some misc. questions, but if you're truly interested in
    licensing HeroEngine, you'll need to write heroengine@play.net with
    information about your company and intended use of the engine, and ask
    to arrange for a personal demonstration of the tools.  If you're
    interested in HE simply for the academics of the issue... well I'm not
    sure what our policy is on that.  Again, you'd need to write
    heroengine@play.net and explain your situation (press, game development
    education, etc.).


    Regarding how large things can be, I mentioned HJ's target numbers
    because we built HeroEngine specifically for creating HJ and future titles; it was not
    our intent to get into the middleware industry, but people kept asking
    us how they could get the tools.  So really, give or take some percentage depending on your game's
    implementation, the 3-5K range is what you can
    expect.  As was said before, we're not trying to compete in that arena.  That being said, it's not unreasonable to license HeroEngine
    for the development and management tools, and have your programmers replace the server side of
    things with an implementation of your own, just like people license Big World and attempt to replace its rendering engine with
    Unreal's or their own creation.

    Regarding whether the engine works more like WoW or SWG, it's all smoke and mirrors.  Ultimately your server processing is being spread across multiple processes on multiple machines; how you wish to represent that visually is a personal decision for your game.  SWG has outer space separating the various planets, while WoW has regions that sit next to each other.  A server boundary is a server boundary, even BigWorld has them, they just happen have some extreme math behind the scenes to dynamically adjust those boundaries.  But again, I'm not the guy you should be talking to.

    Mike Paddock
    Lead Game Systems Designer
    Product Developmenet Manager
    Simutronics Corp.

  • DarwaDarwa CambridgePosts: 2,184Member Uncommon
    Thanks again for the reply Mike. So far, I'd happily take every Simutronics person I've met out for a beer on me!

    I'll re-sumbit my enquiries, and you've actually answered my next question about how modular Hero Engine is :)


  • NSXDavidNSXDavid Simutronics President St. Charles, MOPosts: 21Member
    I need to make a correction to what Mike said earlier.

    Hero's Journey will indeed feature aspects of a seamless world, as this capability is part of HeroEngine.  Originally the design of our specific game was closer to CoH in that respect (which is what Mike was refering too), but has since evolved to feature a saeamless world of large land masses on the common side (with the possibility of instanced versions of some common areas), with quests taking place in both instanced and these aforementioned common areas.

    HeroEngine has the flexiblity to support many styles of world presentation.  Each area of the world can be linked to other areas in a seamless way.  Or areas can be instanced.  Or they can be fixed-instancfed.  From a technical stand point, this makes it possible to provide a whole variety of styles of game play for any game built in HeroEngine.  Perhaps just as importantly, one can change their mind if their oriignal design evolves without having to start over.

    The number of users in a shard/server is not a technical limit.  It is a deisgn choice.  With HeroEngine, one can have as many users as one wants in a server (given your hardware infrastructure) but you might intentionally want to divide up the world into shards/servers for a vareity of game design reasons and establish limits that way.  This depends on what one is going for from a game design standpoint and is not a technical limitation.  This, too, is easy to change.  For HJ, there was a basic decision that 3000 was the right number but that can clearly change as we go forward.

    David Whatley
    President & CEO
    Simutronics Corp







  • Jade6Jade6 HelsinkiPosts: 429Member
    Having more than a few thousand people per server is a stupid idea anyway, the smaller the community the better it is.
  • DarwaDarwa CambridgePosts: 2,184Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Jade6
    Having more than a few thousand people per server is a stupid idea anyway, the smaller the community the better it is.

    That's an amazingly narrow-minded view.

    If that were true, we'd all live in hamlets.
Sign In or Register to comment.