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Should I even make an MMORPG if the graphics are not great?



  • puddinloverpuddinlover Member Posts: 30

    Thanks again to those that provided more feedback :)


    Just keeping the thread alive by saying I'm still open to any/all feedback!

  • LansidLansid Member UncommonPosts: 1,097
    Originally posted by Aganazer

    I've designed and written a few games. If you don't have an artist and aren't going to be a good 3DS Max modeler either, then don't make a 3D game. It will take 10 times the effort for 1/10th the results. If you go 3D you'll end up putting in so much extra effort that it will be a crap game with crap graphics and no redeeming quality other than that you made it. Make it 2D and focus more on the gameplay, mechanics, and interaction.

    Something along these lines:

    This game is Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup which could be a great resource for good game design. Its single player, but has great RPG mechanics and is an extremely deep game. You might even be able to contact the developer and get permission to use the tiles.

    Oh... my... god... I totally forgot about that game... ^_^ I played "Castle of the Winds" a lot back in the day

    "There is only one thing of which I am certain, and that's nothing is certain."

  • AganazerAganazer Member Posts: 1,319
    Originally posted by Lansid

    Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup

    Oh... my... god... I totally forgot about that game... ^_^ I played "Castle of the Winds" a lot back in the day


    The Roguelike genre is still around. Its really just a matter of time before someone produces a good one with a full GUI and better graphics to get some mainstream appeal. There is that whole genre of games out there that is just ripe with innovation and is completely overlooked by mainstream development. Heck, that is why I suggested it to the guy as a model for a MMOG. So much untapped potential.

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Member RarePosts: 3,320
    Originally posted by Aganazer

    Originally posted by Lansid

    Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup

    Oh... my... god... I totally forgot about that game... ^_^ I played "Castle of the Winds" a lot back in the day


    The Roguelike genre is still around. Its really just a matter of time before someone produces a good one with a full GUI and better graphics to get some mainstream appeal.



    -- Whammy - a 64x64 miniRPG 
    RPG Quiz - can you get all 25 right? 
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  • UsedManateeUsedManatee Member Posts: 161
    Originally posted by tro44_1

    Originally posted by Kungaloosh1

    A truly fun game will be enjoyable regardless of the graphic quality. A truly beautiful game with horrible gameplay will become a coaster in quick fashion.


    LOL Yeah right!

    As much Trash talking I read on this forum about WoW's graphics, I dont believe that


    In general, disregard everything on this forum.

    How dare you present him with logic! Don't you understand? He fights epic fights, in epic games, with epic toons....eats epic food and takes epic dumps! He has more e..pic..icity...ness in his little finger than you have in your whole unepic body! - ChicagoCub

  • LobotomistLobotomist Member EpicPosts: 5,934

    Torchlight is hack&slash (or action rpg , as they also call it) its a genre that was created from roguelike's - beginning with Diablo. (Made by some of people that did Torchlight)

    It is not exactly roguelike. There are some important gameplay differences

    And unfortunately its not multiplayer either (they are working on MMO that will be out somwhere in 2011-12)

  • LansidLansid Member UncommonPosts: 1,097

     Torchlight, very fun game.

    It's a shame Dungeon Runners died... I hope that a version of that comes out much like Torchlight did.

    "There is only one thing of which I am certain, and that's nothing is certain."

  • biofellisbiofellis Member UncommonPosts: 511


  • SnarlingWolfSnarlingWolf Member Posts: 2,697

    Not to be a downer but RC is really a hobby tool and doesn't result in selling games, there are better affordable engines to choose from when it comes to this.


    That being said you can make a successful (read profitbale) MMO with lesser/older quality graphics. Minions of Mirth released with graphics along the lines of, and maybe slightly worse, then EQ1 original graphics. It was a 2 person team to do the whole project and it was profitable (I don't know what it's status is now a days or if it's even running but it was up for years).


    It all depends on what you expect, I think Minions of Mirth had like 20k subs, which to most MMO players is nothing. But when it's 20k subs and only 2 people running it, it is now profitable even after server rental fees etc. It also helps to get the community involved as well when it's that small of one, it keeps them attached to the game and they stay longer. Minions of Mirth had a way for the community to make content for the game (years before any of the major MMOs did it like CoH who then claimed to be the first MMO to do so). The community could even create textures and models for the content. They had community made boss encounters with unique community created creatures.


    So yes it is certainly possible to do with older graphics. To give a brand name MMO as more proof, asheron's call is still running and is still has a decade old graphics engine and graphics (although as they put out new content and art it looks considerable better then the old stuff). There are plenty of people out there that prefer fun to pretty, you just won't hit the several hundred thousand players mark like the big guys will.

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Member RarePosts: 3,320

    I think you can make an MMO with ass graphics and still garner an audience for it. Wurm Online looks like crap but it's got a good following. DAoC looks atrocious compared to any current MMO and people still play it because it offers a game experience they can't get anywhere else. You need solid core gameplay. By that I don't just making sure your latest DikuMUD derivative is stable, but that you have a core concept defined and working. That's what you build your playerbase around.

    For example, let's say the core game is transporting goods across long distances. You find just the people that like that gameplay. Forget EVERYONE ELSE. Focus on that part of the game and take input from your core playerbase on how to refine it to be come the best game at offering shipping and transporting goods. Build out from there. Once you have a solid core game and an audience of the players that are looking for that gameplay, you're off to a good start. Graphics will be a completely secondary aspect to them. Some clown shows up and tells you that you need DX11 to be successful, ignore him. Another clown shows up and keeps asking about the PvE or the PvP or some other feature you haven't gotten to yet, ignore him. Focus solely on the people who are looking to invest their next year or two (or even six or seven) of MMO gaming in that cool gaming experience that your game offers.


    Core gameplay and target audience. That's how every successful MMO got started and it's the foundation of why those MMOs are still running today.


    You can always revisit graphics later when you have the resources or talent to do so.



    Edit: and for the love of mud, don't betray or change the core gameplay once you release. :) UO - Age of Shadows, SWG - NGE, DAoC - TOA, PotBS - every patch since release... it has never ended pretty.

    -- Whammy - a 64x64 miniRPG 
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  • Tobias3Tobias3 Member Posts: 81

     I would play that. It's got a good art style, and I like the retro feel, because it reminds me of when MMOs were actually good.


    People play WoW despite the graphics being absolutely horrible. 

  • //\//\oo//\//\oo Member, Newbie CommonPosts: 2,767


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  • drbaltazardrbaltazar Member UncommonPosts: 7,856
    Originally posted by puddinlover

    To catch you up to speed and avoid any flamming I will give you the short story up to this point,
    Over 5 years ago I wanted to make my own mmorpg... well unlike most others I never gave up, in fact I'm now a programmer!  Even have a few years of college-level courses done and I'm an editor for a popular developer site.
    So I've got the programming part up to speed... I even created my own little server (can find more info about this with my latest blog post)
    Now I have 6 months of nothing but 24/7 freetime!!  My goal in these 6 months is to get a working beta out for an mmo.  My other goal is to create a PROFITABLE game that will hopefully pay for my college.
    Now I'm no artist (im a programmer)  and I can not hire one... so in short the only graphics I can really draw are 2d childish graphics,  as for 3D I can model but I can not texture worth a darn and I've never animated.
    What I'm getting at is the simple fact I want to make an mmo and I do want to make money and I CAN produce a basic mmo within 6 months (so please don't flame me about how long an mmorpg takes...)
    Now I started creating my own kids chat/virtual world from scratch and got pretty darn far in just one month of development!!  but my heart isn't really with it... I'm losing my drive to make the game... I want to make an mmorpg!
    Now after much research over the span of years I'm confident in saying that Realmcrafter is MY best choice for SPEEDY development of a 3d mmorpg (I've had the engine since it first came out).
    One of the major 'down falls' to RC is the lack of polish visually, the engine doesnt look the best and duoed with my really bad artist skills it will make for one hellish looking game.
    Now below is a video that perfectly shows the level of polish visually I could provide, after seeing that video do you think a game with that level of graphics even has a chance?   The business side of my brain tells me that making the kids mmo would be much more profitable than trying to get judgmental mmorpg players to take my game seriously....  It's obvious that the game will NOT be loaded with a crap load of content or look even remoltey 'next-gen' but it will have a unique essence to it... so what I'm getting at is,  Do you think it's even worth putting my blood sweat and tears into an mmorpg or should I just stick to my safe plan of making a kids chat/virtual world?  Remember that money IS important here, so I will need a user base of over 250 paying players... which I think might be really hard to get but I want your opinions!
    Obviously any inde mmorpg wont appeal to the masses but I want to make sure that I have a fighting chance at atleast getting people to give the game a chance and not discard it too soon...   I know that most people over the age of 18 might not care too much about the visuals but I fear the younger people might not even care to give it a chance simply due to visuals...  any/all feedback is welcomed, also another thing would be the fact the game will not have a boat load of content but it will have a lot of things 'to do' and will progress slowly with level caps (level cap at say 10 then add end-game content for level 10 and polish everything up then open the cap up again)...
    I just fear that the expected level of basic entry into a commercial mmorpg might be too high for little ole me and a non-visually pleasing mmorpg with little BUT polished/unique content.
    My 'edge' might also be the fact that the players WILL have a great amount of say as to what happens in the game... and I will be open to playing/talking with them... but that in itself might not even be enough.
    So is there any RP in mmorpg anymore...

    mm you know now that i think about it ,a game like you suggest is great on a on the go platform .like a iphone or such


    since they dont have lot of ressource and mmo are just starting it might be a good platform and a mmo on the go on any platform is always welcome,espacially if it work on a cellphone

  • VowOfSilenceVowOfSilence Member UncommonPosts: 565
    Originally posted by colutr

    You talking about graphics or artstyle? You don't need to make a game that is graphically intensive, but you need to have an artstyle much better than what we saw in that video. Even 2d art in a fun game > 3d graphics in a boring game.


    Exactly, it's all about style.

    If your game doesn't have any style other than "just like commercial games, but bad", then forget about it until you have a clear vision of what you really want to do.

    Hype train -> Reality

  • PiggyPopsPiggyPops Member Posts: 27

    Video looks pretty okay.

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  • Jimmy_ScytheJimmy_Scythe Member CommonPosts: 3,586

    So I was just passing through and this thread reminded me that (at least) three of the entries for the TIGsource Assemblee competition are MMOs.

    Okay, background: Every now and again, Derek Yu throws an indie dev competition on his site where indie developers make games in ridiculously short amounts of time with arbitrary design limitations thrown in to make everything interesting. The only reward is indie cred, but getting props on TIGsource is a big, big deal for an indie developer. Anyway....

    This is a two part competition and the first part is already over. In Assemblee part 1, artists were challenged with making art assets that would be used in part two. No plot, no theme, just random artwork. Now, in the second part, game programers will select art from the winners of the first part and build a game with those assets.

    Currently, there are three MMOs in the competion:

    Realm of the Mad God


    TinyMMO (not to be confused with the Nintendo DS homebrew project of the same name)

    And yes, everyone seemed to love the lofi dungeon tileset. They loved it so much that it's actually being used in some old school shoot 'em up entries. So yeah...


    In answer to your question, yes. Make the game. If only for the experience that you'll get from making it. Personally, I wouldn't make an MMO even if I was being paid to do so. I've had friends that admined MUDs and private shards so I know what a thankless waste of effort it really is. But if you want to make MMOs for a living, every bit of experience (and some formal education) will help.

  • puddinloverpuddinlover Member Posts: 30

    I'm tickled pink to see all the new replies!


    I will read them when I get back home!


    Keep all the great opinions/advice coming!


    Thanks again

  • GTwanderGTwander Member UncommonPosts: 6,035

    The only thing to keep in mind is that non-serious players care only about graphics. If all they care about is the visual appeal, then they will walk from title to title simply based on which one looks better. Retro games, or just ones with outdated graphics attract players looking for substance. There is a whole hidden crowd there, not as big as those seeking the next big thing, but definitely a more likely crowd to keep longer than a few months before jumping ship.

    For instance, I kinda liked Haven and Hearth, but a great many people just looking at screenies will scream "eeeew it's like an 8-bit game, so over it". They will be "over it" with any game, and for the lamest reasons, you don't even want to worry about retaining these kinds of players.

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

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  • krowxxviikrowxxvii Member Posts: 177

    I'd like to relate this situation to one I encountered recently:

    A friend of mine wants to write a graphic novel. He needs someone to work on the artwork for him, and he came to me for the artwork. I explained to him that the artwork doesn't matter, as long as the story is good.

    Take, for example, the cartoon South Park. Trey and Matt (the geniuses behind South Park) created this cartoon with construction paper dolls. They based the character animation and overall anatomy of the characters on the movement and appearance of dolls or puppets. Moving eyes, moving arms and legs, all done in a very 2D world... ...and with construction paper! (the first episode was done in construction paper, at some point they switched to drawing).

    But no one was put off by the extremely lackluster artwork. Why? Because the story of each episode was so engaging (or absurd) that people completely ignore the art and focus on the story.


    This is the challenge. Telling a great story. If your story has no meaning, if it lacks emotional impact (whether humorous or sad or angry) then people will lose interest, quickly.

    If you can't afford great graphics, then you better be damn sure the story makes up for it.


    I encourage you to do this. Use the shittiest graphics engine possible, but write the best damned story ever. I've given this a lot of thought over the years since I started playing MMORPGs, and I've worked on some ideas for writing the story and lore based around the mechanics of an MMORPG. It's not terribly difficult, but it's not easy either.


    Finally, don't forget about stability and gameplay. The gameplay should be based around the story you write. So if your story isn't any good, then your gameplay won't be good either. And with stability, if the client isn't stable, then your audience won't be able to enjoy the story.


    I wish you luck on this endeavor :)

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  • puddinloverpuddinlover Member Posts: 30

    Thank you guys very much for all the great advice again, read it all!

  • InvaderGUIInvaderGUI Member Posts: 62

    Yes Yes Ys I would definatly play your game and pay a sub with those quality of graphics. The important thing to me is totally game content. I am and old EQ1 player and would still be playin that game if it did not focus  exclusivly on end game content. Yes there should be end game and lots of it but to keep new people comming you must consintrate on all aspects of the game like the economy, the way you want your community t be set up like having stuff to do besides grinding. Please NO INSTANCES.

    Instances are the worst thing to happen to MMOs ever. And do not focus just on solo or group content work on it all . Like say how about a 2 man quest that you and your best friend could work on. And not just a single turn in quest make like epic stuff that can be duoable, soloable, and stuff for large and small groups. And make it a benefit to grp but not a requirement. I am sure you have played WoW. Well in WoW it is better to go solo then group because in a group you get sucky xp and sucky coin. The only reason to group in WoW is to do dungeons and some raids. Anyway just some ideas to mull over along with the many great ones you have allready read in this thread. So just do get discouraged and keep at it and you may get more then you had ever hopped for. Also keep working on the kids virtual chat because there is alot of potential to make some money fromm that also if done correctly.


  • DuilyonDuilyon Member Posts: 326

    When it comes to indie MMORPGs I believe it all comes down to the little innovations that you add. Nothing ground breaking but just adding little classical feelings that kind of fit your old school graphics. Perhaps having barely any formal questing system and instead give all players an ingame note pad to record what the NPCs are saying so they carve their own quests and place in the world. It's all about giving players a sense of self in the game world.


    For example: A player runs into a local tavern where NPCs gather and discuss the current issues of their town. Their are whispers of a power ogre wreaking havoc on the current trade convoys coming from the northern mountains. Now the NPCs are just talking amongst themselves and you just over hear this. You scribble this into your note pad and begin your journey to dispell this evil and help the town. You must explore and find this enemy and when, or if, you find the ogre you may receive some good items when killing it. Or perhaps you may need more people to kill it.


    I feel this is a good way of implimenting lore more into the game and having the players learn about it themselves. I feel as though it blends a sandbox concept of exploring and finding things out for yourself with the theme park MMORPG ideas of questing.


  • ketcketc Member Posts: 2

    I'll play it if you make it.

  • NetzokoNetzoko Member Posts: 1,271

    Those graphics would be fine with me as long as theres outstanding gameplay.

    But from that video alone it didn't seem like there was much to do in the game. People arn't going to pay for something like that when theres so many other games on the market with full dev teams.


  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 19,332

    The shimmy is this...there are tons of people who can create that same thing,we do not need any more of it.

    If you are just looking to make some money,try what other successful people have done and follow the TREND.

    Look to the hottest gimmicks and make something for hem,example Facebook,Iphone ect ect.

    I know there is always a race t obe first and catch the public in the new/starvation mode,but even still,that one guy made a ton of cash from his Ipod /iphone[i'm not really a phone geek type person]or whatever it was on his tank game.The was SUPER simple,small maps players each grab a tank and try to shoot each other,cannot get any simpler than that.

    Look at the Farming games,they are super cheap,super simplistic and people are making millions off of them.All someone would have to do is create ONE creative /unique idea that would make people pay attention and he could probably make a fortune off the farm games.The major source of income was selling of virtual fertilizer that obviously makes someone's crops grow faster,we all know egos and competition is what makes games thrive.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

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