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Mole
post Jan 12 2005, 12:13 AM
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I hate to be a naysayer, but I think this little project of ours if getting off on the wrong foot. We?re already starting the make the classic mistake of wanting too much too soon. If we want this project to succeed, then we need change some things.

Here is it, essentially day one, and we?re already deciding on what server software to use, some people are even pricing out hardware, and some people are even arguing over how many people to allow in the alpha and beta phases. Slow down! If we keep up at this pace, this train is going to derail long before it even leaves the station let alone arrives at one.

First off, we need to decide if we want to give this project even the smallest chance for success. If we don?t want it to succeed and we just want to pretend to do this then let?s all just carry on doing what we?re doing.

If we want to see our goals realized and actually design an opensource UMMORPG, then we need to go about this the right way. We need to define our goals and objectives, our scope, vision, mission, and strategy (not necessarily in the order listed).

Once we have these things, then we can start to define our game world (at a high level) and all that it will encompass. This is going to show us what we want in our game and what we don?t want. This is where we will argue things like PnC vs WASD and other topics like that. This is going to get ugly. But we?ll eventually work through all of this and we?ll be better off for it. Notice that I haven?t even started to talk about what spells the so-and-so class will have yet. (That comes later!)

Armed with the above things, we should then be in a good position to determine how we are going to develop this game of ours. Since we?ll know exactly what we want (at least at a high level) we?ll be able to effectively determine our plan of attack.

When we know how we?ll go about solving our problems, then we?ll start development and we?ll start fleshing out things that will be in-game.

It should be noted here that I haven?t begun to talk about deliverables, ARs, and how we are going to track progress. That will come later as well.

This is going to be a long process. Those of you who are in this for the short-term investment are going to be disappointed. Those of you who are in this for the long haul need to stick around and make yourselves comfortable. The ?average? development cycle for a MMORPG by professionals (people who do this for a living) is 3 years. MR had already been going at Wish for 3 years, and they weren?t done; granted they developed some middleware along the way, so that slowed them down some.

Some of the things that we need to do can be done here in the forums, while other things are best done in a weekly meeting of some sort.

Do people think I sound like I know what I?m talking about, or do you all think I?m full of bunk? I want to hear your opinions on what *you* think we should do and about how *you* think we should go about doing this. I don?t want this thread to be used to discuss ideas for the game. I just want us to talk about how we should approach this.


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DeadPaladin
post Jan 12 2005, 12:36 AM
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very good post. i agree completely and that we have to be realistic or else ppl are going to be leaving left and right because we havent been getting anything done.
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Marku
post Jan 12 2005, 03:58 AM
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When i came here i knew that for this to suceed we had to stay realistic but we must also plan ahead so we know which way we're heading. Good post man ^_^


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Hankellin
post Jan 12 2005, 04:20 AM
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I agree that this will take quite some time to complete, unless one of us is VERY independantly wealthy and can hire MR to make the game for us.

We do need a plan and set goals otherwise all of this becomes a smoke dream.

Details can be worked out later.


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Marku
post Jan 12 2005, 04:22 AM
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just for alittle cash on the side maybe we should get some google ad's on the website???


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Cobra
post Jan 12 2005, 05:17 AM
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Very good post, i agree completely.




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Cobra


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Foresteer
post Jan 12 2005, 06:24 AM
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Also we must advertize but in the right places (like don't go on g4techtv.com and go "OMG WE IS MAIKING UMMORPG!!!11one") don't want to be flooded with power-leveling "l33t-d3wds" the more people we can attract not only will intrest rise (the more interest the more likey this project will stay afloat) but also chances of some gifted people willing to help will find us

We do need to pace ouselves naturaly.. but some of the gameplay talk won't hurt to much if kept to a minimum (we are all just so damned excited :D i am squeling like a 6 year old girl on this side of the internet) so some of that talk just can't be helped.. i just bearly missed the last IRC.. but IRC does need to happen as often as possible (we have a lot of things to pull together just to get the basics coherent with each other)

Forgive my ignorence but what on earth is a "wiki"? and ohh i got tons of ideas ;) don't worry your little head about that.. just waiting for the right time to dump them into applicable threads :twisted:
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Matto
post Jan 12 2005, 06:29 AM
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Good point mole, one I agree with whole heartedly. We definately need to get some sort of documentation in place. For the game we are looking to develope I would say an html design doc that can be openly veiwed online is a must, a team doc might be very usefull, explaining the team as it is, what they are doing and how they are doing it and whether there are any open spots available for others wanting to muck in.

What we must be careful of is not treading on each others toes, we are all eager to help out thats true but we need to be careful not to lose good developers through stress of project incompetance. I would say initially highlighting all the areas of the developement process, breaking it down until the groups are managable, assigning a team leader to these groups and enough members to complete the required tasks of these groups. each task should be managable or people will lose interest, lots of little things will get done quickly and form a larger piece of the development pie much quicker than than getting 1 person to bake a whole piece each. Where there are crossover points for 2 developer members try and get them to work together rather than leaving one out.

What we have here is an oppertunity to make a large impression on the world of gaming, MMOG's inparticular, lets not waste it. It would be better to take a month for sorting out all the details than to walk into quick sand and find ourselves gasping for breath in minutes.

Given that the skill system was a large attraction to many followers of wish, understanding how to split things up should be too difficult :)

Make sure everyone has something to do thats makes them feel good about doing it or acheiving it. I believe this way we could keep the support levels higher.

One thing I would like to see is the Project Wish founders to lay out some guidlines and hierarchy to the project so we can see who is who and what is what in terms of gaining and keeping some order in the short term. Otherwise I fear some self appointed leaders might make their mark and that would not be good.


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Azgaroth
post Jan 12 2005, 06:33 AM
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i like the sound of that post, and i dont have any other ideas how to approach, coz i was still hoping that we could use wish, but ive always been a dreamer... :oops:


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Matto
post Jan 12 2005, 06:35 AM
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There must be a bit of "Dreamer" in all of us, otherwise we wouldn't be here ;)


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Foresteer
post Jan 12 2005, 06:43 AM
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"You may sayyyy i'm a dreamer! but i'm not the only one... Hope someday you can join usss... And the world can live as one!" once we pull our dreams together we will have one heck of a game though :) besides WISH was great but even it didn't have some thinsg i wanted.. now we can iclude what we all want.. as we are the ones making it
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faithless
post Jan 12 2005, 07:22 AM
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Kill the naysayer! Kill the traitor! :lol: :wink:

But seriously, I agree that writing up documentation and setting up a wiki are the first things we should be doing, but for that we'd need to get the entire team together, and maybe a part of the community in for some input (such as last night with +v/+m), possibly before Tuesday? Maybe I'm impatient, but I don't know, the longer we wait for this stuff the happen, the larger the risk that people will quickly lose interest.


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Cobra
post Jan 12 2005, 07:43 AM
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Check out my post for the list! Sign up if you can do anything on the list.




Regards,

Cobra


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andrantos
post Jan 12 2005, 08:13 AM
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I totally agree Mole. It was kind of frustrating to see some of us trying to figure out the intricate details of a skill system before we even had a plan of action. I think our first plan of action should be to develop a set of core components of gameplay we want to have in our game(I just checked the notes from last night, and this was done). Example:

Crafting
Melee Combat
Magic Based Combat
Skill based Advancement

These are core systems I think belong to any MMO and especially ours. This is how players will go about playing the game. Additional features will more than likely be played through the use of these systems. Once we feel comfortable with what our core systems will be, then we should define them and explain how we want them to work on a basic level, meaning, we don't have to have all our spells, combat abilities, etc... completely written out yet. Once this is done, our next step would be to develop an alpha/prototype. If we are able to successfully develop and implement the basics of our core systems then we'll be ready for the harder part of fleshing out these systems. Once we're comfortable with our core systems and their implementation, thats when I see us beginning to implement fluff features on an individual basis (pvp, quest systems, live content systems, housing, etc...)

Note: I'm not a pro and dont even have any experience in this sort of thing, so if this post is completely naive please ignore.
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draxshared
post Jan 12 2005, 08:43 AM
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Good post. Professional.
Sadly I have nothing to add.. :oops:

Except, perhaps we should appoint a project manager (or a small group of), to help things running at a desired phase (not to make the decisions, mind u), and to help coordinate our "little" band..? I don't know anything about this sort of thing, so please ignore if it's nonsense ;)


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katink
post Jan 12 2005, 10:20 AM
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Good post Mole. Agree all the way. Except: it is inevitable that when a group 'in shock' tries to recover, √?¬°nd tries to find a constructive way to conquer the loss of what is/was so dear to them, that will start off with a rather wild initial period of throwing all things in mind onto a big heap, rushing off in many directions to get and give more information of what was brought in, etc.

This initial 'wild' period, agreed, should be kept rather short; but maybe just one or two days, with new members rolling in every ten minutes, might be a wee bit t√?¬≥√?¬≥ short a time to give lee-way to this (imo neccessary) phase.

So while I totally agree on the things you say, I do think that in this phase (at least a fortnight I would think) you must let both things exist freely next to each other. On the one hand the 'starting to get things organised' taskforce and threads, very good to allready put that in place at this early stage; on the other hand the 'let your imagination and idea's roam freely and collect them together somewhere' threads.

After this short (fortnight?) period, th√?¬©n put much more emphasis onto the organising aspect; and even then do leave some clear corner where all idea's, wishes etc that don't fit into what is at that moment being organised, d√?¬≥es get collected 'for later use' . Don't just write that part off and tell people who are absorbed by their idea and want to work on that right away to come back in a year.... in that way you might well fend off people who you might dearly want at a later stage. Just give them their place... (is part of 'organising things' too, after all).

Another thing: while this thread is totally appropriate for getting things rolling to reach the end-goal 'we'll make our √?¬≥wn wishgame then'..... have we reached this stage allready then? Isn't there a piece prior to this stage still missing? Have we allready then that getting the real WISH up and running again, in which ever way, is a path we have left behind ?

I think indeed something of a 'management-team' (or maybe a better term would be 'co√?¬∂rdinating team', because indeed it wouldn't be an end-decision-making team?) is needed. And now is a good time to get that started.

But that team should then start a bit further up the line (or the 'tree of lines') then at the point 'we are going to make our own game' I think.
First a clear decision should be there that the line of getting MR (or anyone else for that matter) to start up the existing Wish again, in what-ever way, will be left (as for now, as far as I can see, it are just individuals that have reached their own conclusion that going down that path any further is not productive; there should be a clear-cut and well-communicated on that I think).
Then, is my guess (correct me if I am wrong), the decision has to be taken if the line 'let's make an emulation of Wish' should be followed further (more investigation about possibility and feasability?) or can allready at this stage be put aside.
Th√?¬©n we reach this line that is 'taken as a given' allready in this thread as √?¬≥nly line to be taken. Untill that point is reached, the co√?¬∂rdinators-team-to-be should be co√?¬∂rdinating the whole tree of lines, not just this one.

Does what I say make sense to others? If not, please ignore.



Edit: My bad. Made this post before reading the log of the meeting last night. It seems the team is further down the path allready then I had grasped. With this change/move corrected, rest of post still stand
s.
Would it be possible to make a clear stand-alone announcement of the decision to n√?¬≥t go further on other discussed paths, but to now go for making an own wish-like game, on home-page and forums>announcements, please?
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Hamilton
post Jan 12 2005, 11:17 AM
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All good ideas and here are a couple to toss in my opinion.

Do some research to see if the project is economically feasible. Though open source is great, is there a means to keep the system maintained? How much will may it cost and will there be enough support?

Also as mentioned, documentation is going to be a must.


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Blacksmile
post Jan 12 2005, 02:17 PM
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I agree we cannot yet go into to much details, but as we already have to make desicions, that may block or open the one or the other path further down the line some concepts will have to be discussed even at a level, thats far from the development phase we are about to start now.
A good concept for documentation in my eyes is one thing we must have or are doomed to fail especially as the people involved in development of this are spread all around the world.
The question on how your post impacted me: i am impressed, you seem quite professional in what you are saying :wink:!

Hamilton: you got a point there, but as we do not even know, how many are still with the project in one month, i think we shouldn't look at such stuff for now to close. I do not say we shall not think about if open source is the right way to do it and if the project will have a chance in succeeding in this way, but if the main consensus is "Let's make it an open source thing!" i think we should start of a bid an see how it works out. If it does not, we still can change the way we are heading lateron, If we decided to do it on a comercial base we could not as easily change the route, as if investions are made, the investors will not easily accept a change of route they dont like to see. So let this project be self depending for now and see how it will work out and if the team stays together long enough to make it reasonable to think about economical aspects.
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KevinMc
post Jan 12 2005, 03:44 PM
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I think, to start, that there are two seperate but related docs we need to address.

We need a business plan. Yes, even as volunteers, even making an open source game. We're going to HAVE to eventually charge money to host a server of a game, you know. The structure of this organization, how it plans to go about building its product, and how it intends to function during development and after development is key.

A COMPLETE design document. This should detail every nook and cranny of the intended game. Every map. Every item. Every skill. Every spell. Every mob. If it's going to be in the game, it should be on paper (or the digital equivalent) before the FIRST line of code is tinkered with.

If you track the MMO industry, a large percent of problems teams have had were a lack of one of these ingredients.
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Cobra
post Jan 12 2005, 03:54 PM
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^ Very good point.




Regards,

Cobra


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