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Playable Worlds Talks Building A Cloud-Native MMO In New Interview | MMORPG.com

SystemSystem Member UncommonPosts: 7,110

imagePlayable Worlds Talks Building A Cloud-Native MMO In New Interview | MMORPG.com

In a new interview, Playable Worlds' Raph Koster and Eric Goldberg talk about the MMORPG their studio is building, specifically how they are working towards creating a "cloud-native" MMO for the future.

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Comments

  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member LegendaryPosts: 7,564
    I'm guess the studio is going to be doing a lot of talking for the next 5 years when they get an alpha out.
    XodicMustikos
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,057
    Saying a game is "cloud-native" is so vague that it could mean nearly anything, and thus means nothing.
    KyleranMendel
  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 9,191
    edited April 20
    I just hope it's not another Metaplace, it was really limited. I'm wondering if it was his version of his own Holiday Special because it's not talked about anywhere. Not much on the internet about it ever being a thing other than a few old Youtube videos.








    Xodic
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
     
  • RaphRaph MMO DesignerMember UncommonPosts: 179
    Metaplace became the backend for Club Penguin after we were bought by Disney, and ended up hosting several hundred million kids. :)

    It was also basically Roblox, in a lot of ways (they were a direct competitor at the time we got started). Far cooler than people understood, alas. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. :D
    Xodictzervobcbully
  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 8,271
    I've looked at clouds from both sides now,
    from up and down, and still somehow,
    it's clouds illusions I recall,
    I really don't know clouds, at all.......

    Judy Collins
    TorvalIselinKyleranQQMorePlease
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 21,248
    Cloud native. What hosted server side only tech isn't cloud native? "MMOs" are cloud native. Is there something that implies beyond internet service oriented?
    francis_baudQuizzical
    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 18,882
    edited April 20
    I'll take door number 1 please,ECO systems over CLOUD systems.That would be a nice start to tell me some studio MIGHT have a clue.I am not talking BIOMES,that can be part of it,i am talking bringing the world to life.
    The best and imo ONLY ECO system i have ever seen was in Atlas.
    I see bits and pieces within Valheim but we can do much better.EVERY single creature in the game should have at least one prey.

    I EXPECT Biomes ALL of them including Water zones.Magic if used should  be affected by the weather/elements.

    I am not going to go on  anymore,simply put,we need to start seeing a decent EFFORT out of studios.

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

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 18,882
    You know we could cut it all short if Raph just tells us how he plans on monetizing his game because that sheds a LOT of light on the game being YAY,NAY or maybe,i'll keep listening.
    BruceYeeNildenRungarKylerankjempff

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

  • QQMorePleaseQQMorePlease Member UncommonPosts: 47

    Torval said:

    Cloud native. What hosted server side only tech isn't cloud native? "MMOs" are cloud native. Is there something that implies beyond internet service oriented?



    They're most likely referencing something like AWS / Containerization which is prettttty new considering how the top MMOs right now are 5-10 years old and weren't designed to take full advantage of the "Cloud"....they all are hosted on various server farms right?

    I really don't know how being "Cloud" native is going to be THAT impactful...aside from maybe load balancing is a lot more intricate and efficient which allows developers to go nuts with stuff like environments and seasons...not really sure though

    But I do believe they're just throwing out buzz words like most tech company interviews :D
    Torval
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 21,248

    Torval said:

    Cloud native. What hosted server side only tech isn't cloud native? "MMOs" are cloud native. Is there something that implies beyond internet service oriented?



    They're most likely referencing something like AWS / Containerization which is prettttty new considering how the top MMOs right now are 5-10 years old and weren't designed to take full advantage of the "Cloud"....they all are hosted on various server farms right?

    I really don't know how being "Cloud" native is going to be THAT impactful...aside from maybe load balancing is a lot more intricate and efficient which allows developers to go nuts with stuff like environments and seasons...not really sure though

    But I do believe they're just throwing out buzz words like most tech company interviews :D

    Okay I see your point, but... Virtualization and containers aren't exactly new and don't make the tech behind it any more cloud native than a service running on a server sitting on metal or virtualized servers running on something like ESXI. You can run Docker (or any other container tech) locally as well so that doesn't make them inherently any more cloud-based than another service oriented application.

    Running applications on AWS or Azure are just hosted services. My company has a product which runs on a Linux configured as an appliance. Companies can run that product on their local hardware or virtual servers. The front end is web based.

    That same product also runs on AWS and Azure which we refer to as the hosted service because that is exactly what it is. It used to run in Docker but we ditched that as an unnecessary layer of complexity that didn't add much. Configure Linux as an appliance works just as well in our case.

    Cloud native does sound very buzzword to me. It can mean a lot of different things and pretty much nothing specific at all. I don't want to be unkind or unfair to Raph, but my bullshit meter goes through the roof when I see pieces like this. It's very hand-wavy.

    Instead of them throwing out vague buzzwords just tell us what you're doing. Previously Raph talked about establishing trust and tossing out buzzwords isn't how that's done. Talk straight forward if there is something to say.
    Mendel
    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 9,191
    edited April 20
    Wizardry said:
    You know we could cut it all short if Raph just tells us how he plans on monetizing his game because that sheds a LOT of light on the game being YAY,NAY or maybe,i'll keep listening.

    I hope it's not like that new game Core. It billed itself as an innovative multiverse with many worlds and games, all I saw when I tried it was a collection of poorly implemented mobile style games that use annoying mechanics such as time gating and inventory inconvenience and gatcha mechanics to monetize each game.

    You are able to pay to not be inconvenienced with their Core Credits. On the outside it sounded interesting, but under the hood it was a typical garbage mobile style game. There is fun to be had depending on the game if you like simple games, but it won't last, and honestly it feels pointless.  
    GdemamiKyleranNilden
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
     
  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 9,191
    Raph said:
    Metaplace became the backend for Club Penguin after we were bought by Disney, and ended up hosting several hundred million kids. :)

    It was also basically Roblox, in a lot of ways (they were a direct competitor at the time we got started). Far cooler than people understood, alas. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. :D

    I remember playing it in beta and a little beyond. I also remember discussing it with you years ago on another game site. I think the isometric sprites and simplicity of the graphics were what held it back for me at the time. I gave it a chance, but at the time there of course were flashier games to play.

    If I had to explain to another gamer what it is, what it does or what it was for, there weren't any real comparisons at the time so it was hard to convince anyone to join me in it. One person asked me if it was for kids, so the fact that it became the backend for Club Penguin was maybe just it's destiny. I hope your new project does well though. One question we should be asking, what is your target audience for this?
    Torval
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
     
  • NildenNilden Member EpicPosts: 3,272
    Wizardry said:
    You know we could cut it all short if Raph just tells us how he plans on monetizing his game because that sheds a LOT of light on the game being YAY,NAY or maybe,i'll keep listening.
    Big agree here. If there is a cash shop I'm out.
    GdemamiKyleranwaveslayerkjempff

    "You CAN'T buy ships for RL money." - MaxBacon

    "classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon

    Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer

    Try a MUD today at http://www.mudconnect.com/ 

  • RungarRungar Member RarePosts: 456
    cloud native=stadia

    this is nothing new and i'm not sure its anything good either. At least without 10G internet. 
    Kyleran
    .33 of a second to midnight
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,940
    From what I've read from Raph before, and what he said in this article, "cloud-native" appears to be all about making use of cheap server power.


    Traditionally, MMORPGs run on bespoke server hardware and software. It's bloody expensive, very technical to get running properly, and slow to change.


    Raph and his team have identified that cloud hosting services like AWS or Azure offer extremely cheap server hosting that can be very easily scaled up and down. Raph wants to leverage that power. This is of course already possible in existing MMORPGs, its just very expensive and slow to scale up or down when ur running on bespoke software and hardware.



    I'll be interested to see what Playable Worlds ends up using the power for. Some interesting examples from the article, but the reality is what counts.



    Only thing that worries me from the article is the desire to play the game on multiple devices. I've yet to play a good game on a mobile phone, and I've yet to see a PC game that wasn't dramatically compromised by being ported or mobile.

    So, I've just gotta hope that any mobile access is restricted to just small parts of the game (e.g. guild chat, calendar, any micromanagement sort of stuff) and not to the main gameplay loops. If you can play the whole game from a mobile, then theres a very high chance of me hating it.



    Gdemami
  • ChampieChampie Member UncommonPosts: 14
    edited April 20
    Contrivance
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 21,248
    Tiller said:
    Raph said:
    Metaplace became the backend for Club Penguin after we were bought by Disney, and ended up hosting several hundred million kids. :)

    It was also basically Roblox, in a lot of ways (they were a direct competitor at the time we got started). Far cooler than people understood, alas. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. :D

    I remember playing it in beta and a little beyond. I also remember discussing it with you years ago on another game site. I think the isometric sprites and simplicity of the graphics were what held it back for me at the time. I gave it a chance, but at the time there of course were flashier games to play.

    If I had to explain to another gamer what it is, what it does or what it was for, there weren't any real comparisons at the time so it was hard to convince anyone to join me in it. One person asked me if it was for kids, so the fact that it became the backend for Club Penguin was maybe just it's destiny. I hope your new project does well though. One question we should be asking, what is your target audience for this?

    Did you ever try Crayta on Stadia? It was a flop too. Basically it is a bunch of games no one wants to play in a virtual world where you can meet up with your friends; except none of your friends are playing it so  you just see a bunch of strangers. You can earn in game titles and cosmetics by playing these little games. Developers from different studios can make and offer the games.

    It ended up being a space for people to meet where they tried to figure out reasons to attract people into participating. It felt very much like a "cart before the horse" scenario.

    It is how I envision Epic's Metaverse turning out. They're building a big meeting place, not one asked for or has a reason to visit except to view virtual 3D product placement by advertisers.

    Which, by the way, is also how I felt about Club Penguin. Back in the day I bought that for my kids for a while but they were never really interested in any of the games and activities. They liked playing games, but not the stuff in Club Penguin. On top of that core issue, it was heavily overly monetized which is something all these virtual meeting spaces like to leverage.
    TillerIselin
    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 9,191
    edited April 20
    Torval said:
    Tiller said:
    Raph said:
    Metaplace became the backend for Club Penguin after we were bought by Disney, and ended up hosting several hundred million kids. :)

    It was also basically Roblox, in a lot of ways (they were a direct competitor at the time we got started). Far cooler than people understood, alas. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. :D

    I remember playing it in beta and a little beyond. I also remember discussing it with you years ago on another game site. I think the isometric sprites and simplicity of the graphics were what held it back for me at the time. I gave it a chance, but at the time there of course were flashier games to play.

    If I had to explain to another gamer what it is, what it does or what it was for, there weren't any real comparisons at the time so it was hard to convince anyone to join me in it. One person asked me if it was for kids, so the fact that it became the backend for Club Penguin was maybe just it's destiny. I hope your new project does well though. One question we should be asking, what is your target audience for this?

    Did you ever try Crayta on Stadia? It was a flop too. Basically it is a bunch of games no one wants to play in a virtual world where you can meet up with your friends; except none of your friends are playing it so  you just see a bunch of strangers. You can earn in game titles and cosmetics by playing these little games. Developers from different studios can make and offer the games.

    It ended up being a space for people to meet where they tried to figure out reasons to attract people into participating. It felt very much like a "cart before the horse" scenario.

    It is how I envision Epic's Metaverse turning out. They're building a big meeting place, not one asked for or has a reason to visit except to view virtual 3D product placement by advertisers.

    Which, by the way, is also how I felt about Club Penguin. Back in the day I bought that for my kids for a while but they were never really interested in any of the games and activities. They liked playing games, but not the stuff in Club Penguin. On top of that core issue, it was heavily overly monetized which is something all these virtual meeting spaces like to leverage.

    Never played Crayta, but it looks just like Core on Epic store

    The only company I've ever seen actually pull off the whole virtual world thing with any amount of success; long term anyways, is Linden Lab with Second Life. They kinda pull it off, and even that has it's many issues. They couldn't even repeat that success with Project Sansar.

    Club Penguin, animal jam, IMVU, Open SIM (SL copy), have all kind of slowly died. I know Roblox is popular now, but will it be in 10-20 years still once the new cool comes along? Tower Unite is one of the few social hub games for grown-ups I think is actually really good, but no sandbox elements and it's not well known. Plus they develop all their own games, so it's been a slow churn through early access.

    I just don't think a majority of people are interested in playing virtual worlds full of meaningless stuff unless it has an overarching theme, preferably based on a known IP of some sorts and more sandboxy; and it has to be good or very lucky still to survive. None of this crap being pushed out now is truly anything beyond themepark hubs to play mobile style games, and they definitely aren't sandboxes. I mean if you added a chat hub to Google play store, it would be the same thing lol.


    Torval
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
     
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,520
    Tiller said:

    The only company I've ever seen actually pull off the whole virtual world thing with any amount of success; long term anyways, is Linden Lab with Second Life. They kinda pull it off, and even that has it's many issues. They couldn't even repeat that success with Project Sansar.

    I don't know much about Second Life but hasn't one of its biggest draws always been ERP?

    Maybe that's what Epic and Raph will need to do. Nothing like sex, drugs and rock'n'roll to bring in the crowds :)
    Torval
    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

    "... the "influencers" which is the tech name we call sell outs now..."
    __ Wizardry, 2020
  • RaphRaph MMO DesignerMember UncommonPosts: 179

    Tiller said:



    I remember playing it in beta and a little beyond. I also remember discussing it with you years ago on another game site. I think the isometric sprites and simplicity of the graphics were what held it back for me at the time. I gave it a chance, but at the time there of course were flashier games to play.

    If I had to explain to another gamer what it is, what it does or what it was for, there weren't any real comparisons at the time so it was hard to convince anyone to join me in it. One person asked me if it was for kids, so the fact that it became the backend for Club Penguin was maybe just it's destiny. I hope your new project does well though. One question we should be asking, what is your target audience for this?



    When we started Metaplace, it actually supported clients in 3d as well as 2d. But it ended up focusing down onto the Flash client because that's where the users were. (Ironically, in terms of "simple graphics, we had what was easily the most advanced Flash 2d engine in the world at that point). Shortly before Disney bought us, we were reviving the 3d piece, but that didn't get finished.

    The target audience for what we are making is pretty typical "18-34 gamer, spreading up and down." Same as any other regular MMO.
    Torvaltzervo
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 21,248
    edited April 20
    The target audience for what we are making is pretty typical "18-34 gamer, spreading up and down." Same as any other regular MMO.

    Me: cries in "mid 50s".

    Maybe I'm just getting too Danny Glover for this stuff. :cry:

    IselinRungarTillerTheocritustzervo
    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • RaphRaph MMO DesignerMember UncommonPosts: 179
    Also, I do agree that pure social worlds have tended to have trouble holding people for the long haul. BUT...

    IMVU, to pick one example, is right around the size of WoW. It has millions of active users. It's one of the top grossing mobile apps in the world, right behind TikTok. It has almost certainly had more people play it over its lifetime than WoW has had.

    Roblox has 150 million kids playing it -- over 30m log in every day. Club Penguin at peak also had hundreds of millions. They made most of the MMO market look like minnows. When a Penguin emulator server launched last year, it got 6 million signups in like a week, before it got shut down by Disney legal. Stuff like Rec Room VR gets a million people a month logging on VR headsets alone.

    MMO players have often disregarded the sheer size of the social market, going back to the days of Habbo Hotel.

    Torvaltzervo
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 21,248
    I forgot to bring up ROBLOX which I see as taking the opposite tack as most other systems. They created environments people wanted to play and gave them tools to create unique playgrounds. It felt a lot more organic and community driven with people creating niche environments with ROBLOX then connecting all that together.

    I think that was a great example of how these systems could be successful. Find what people are already interested in, things they want to do, and environments they want to create, and they hook them up all together.

    My daughter did play ROBLOX for a long time until she moved on to Garry's Mod. My son just went straight to Skyrim and then GTA V and COD when he got a little older.

    Now my daughter players social network on DeviantArt. It interests me how that site has evolved into a place where niche communities showcase, share, and respin their creations with each other.
    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • bcbullybcbully Member EpicPosts: 10,317
    edited April 20
    Did somebody say blockchain?

    no?
  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 9,191
    Iselin said:
    Tiller said:

    The only company I've ever seen actually pull off the whole virtual world thing with any amount of success; long term anyways, is Linden Lab with Second Life. They kinda pull it off, and even that has it's many issues. They couldn't even repeat that success with Project Sansar.

    I don't know much about Second Life but hasn't one of its biggest draws always been ERP?

    Maybe that's what Epic and Raph will need to do. Nothing like sex, drugs and rock'n'roll to bring in the crowds :)

    That and the gambling stuff (which is now controlled better) isn't really the main draw for SL these days; I don't think as it might have been in the early 2000's. Mostly it seems to be a lot pure social, games, creativity, music; like it's original intention. From what I've seen the average age groups playing are Boomers and Millennials. Fewer GenX and Z.
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
     
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