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  1. #1
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    Exclamation How to make an MMO in UDK!

    This thread is here to answer every post on how to make an MMO in UDK. I intend this to answer the question once and for all, that way we dont need to see thread upon thread about this subject, as its causing quite a lot of hate on these forums, which should be a nice and helpful environment.

    ----

    Can i make a MMO in UDK?
    --- The Short Answer ---
    No, you can't. UDK only (officially) supports a maximum player number of 64 per server.



    Can i make a MMO in UDK?
    --- The Long Answer ---

    Yes, if your willing to take on the following tasks, you can, in essence, create a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game with UDK.

    1) Create a new server/client structure which supports more than 64 players per server, you'd be looking at allowing at least 2,000 players per server to be considered "Massive".

    2) Develop an entire world inside the UnrealEditor. However the editor is not well designed for MMO development, features such as the terrain system are not well developed for the scale you'll need for an MMO.

    3) Create a massive amount of content. Lets put this into persective. To match the character density of a game like Warhammer Online, you'll need around 50-100 non-playable character models per location, and those are just quest givers, they need dialogue, quests to give, and each one has its own material or set of materials, its own animations, and so on. Thats just non-playable characters, now think how much content a player needs to customise his character.

    4) Money. You'll need a lot of money, not to pay your team. You'll find loads of people willing to spend hours making an MMO in their spare time. But you'll need a server from day 1, those are not cheap, and by the time you come to launch, your going to need 10+ servers at least, for a smooth launching of your finished game.

    5) Time. MMO's take years to develop when working in teams of 100+ paid staff members. If you can get a team of 20 you'd be doing well for a non-paid team, so that should take you... 15 years? Good luck finding a team who will stick around long enough to release your game.

    6) Billing. While this is probably one of the easier parts, your going to need to set up a company bank account, some form of online transaction system, billing support, and keep legally required information on a daily basis otherwise your going to be taken to court before you can hot potatoes!

    7) Customer Service. If you've got this far, hats off to you! But now you need a large number of staff to support your customers in all of the bugs, game issues, complaints and other unhelpful drivel they will phone you for. This also costs money, your not going to be able to get a large support team without paying people, and you need this team before you release your game, so no profit shares!

    As some have pointed out, this list could go on forever, i think i've made my point now. Please just make something small, fun and unique!


    ----

    Please dont take this thread the wrong way, this same trend happens on all of the game development websites. I'm simply trying to tell you that you'd be 1,000,000 times better off spending your time developing a game with 2-3 other people over a few months, something small and fun. Sell it if you wish, and then perhaps you might be a tiny little way onto becoming ready to tackle an MMO, if companies like Funcom are struggling with Age of Conan, you've not got much chance.

    If you still persist on making an MMO with UDK, then good luck to you. I hope you find great fortune with your MMO, and you'll make yourself and Epic extremely rich.
    Last edited by CrystalCore; 11-27-2009 at 08:30 PM. Reason: Adding more to the list -__-
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  2. #2
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    I would like to add. Perhaps if you would like to make an MMO with UDK, you should look at All Point's Bulletin. While you could still not achieve quite the same as they have, you could quite well pull off a 64 player per server online game, which would still allow for some great gameplay. However you'd be stuck with those 64 players, and as the game developer, you'd need a ton of servers to run the game. Something to think about though.
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  3. #3
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    Hopefully this will finally put the last coffin nail to those answers - we all know people get excited and want to make their dream game, it happens every time a new SDK is released.

    So please, MMO ideas are good - but totally unrealistic, this isn't a harsh fact to dissuade anyone, it's a FACT plain and simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScribbleHEAD View Post
    Hopefully this will finally put the last coffin nail to those answers - we all know people get excited and want to make their dream game, it happens every time a new SDK is released.

    So please, MMO ideas are good - but totally unrealistic, this isn't a harsh fact to dissuade anyone, it's a FACT plain and simple.
    Me and 4 more are making a MMO (though highly experienced in how to actually "archive" this).

    You might call it unrealistic, but its not, noone says you have to recreate the intire planet to begin with.

    It also depends how/what kind of mmo your making, noone says your making WoW, there is smaller games you build upon.

    It does not have to be 10000000x10000000 sq mile to begin with you know, you dont have to have 100 of thousands of items and 50 classes, nor 2 million quests, what makes a MMO great is the gameplay, nothing else, dont kid yourself in good graphics and a million sq mile map is a good MMO, its not, if gameplay sucks you wont be able to hold your customers.

    While yes, administrative it is TONS of work (webpage, support, billing, GM'ing... ect), though server lines comes cheap here (im even on a 60mbit fiber at home and it cost me like 75$ a month without limits at all).

    Our cost will be server hardware when that time comes (also, requirements is depended on your game "software"), does not have to be cheap, also we need of course things like UPS, DB Backup drives, Firewall, ect.

    If you then do a "pre release" sale, you have a fairly good idea of how many will actually play the game and buy hardware accordingly (and you already have a bit of founds in the pre launch sale aswell then).

    It is NOT easy though, if you havent had any experience at all (game making, team work ect), you cannot do this, the stress alone will kill ya, dont make ANYTHING public until your sure you can manage it all, press, public, and what not, same time as making the game ect..

    But, if you can handle it all, dont stop because people tell you its not possible, i can tell you, it is (though not always, as stated above)
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brexer View Post
    ...
    Brexer, i do hope you make an MMO. It would be great. But if i had a pound (or dollar xD) for every time i've seen a MMO thread on gamedev, moddb, udk forums and various other community websites, that post 4-5 work in progress images and then epic fail on their backsides, i would be richer than Bill Gates. Seriously i find it hard to believe that unless you either have a lot of money or a hugely talented team. You wont get very far with an MMO project. I think the only two i can think of that are indie developed MMOs are Planeshift and Minions of Mirth.

    If you are really wanting to make an MMO, don't use UDK, your just adding even more issues to your development cycle. Use something thats already got a framework in place, like the Planeshift engine, or the Torque Game Engine. UDK is just not fine-tuned for MMO development.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrystalCore View Post
    Brexer.....
    We own Torque3D and more, and we are awere that UDK isnt "MMO" friendly (but same goes for Torque3D at this point), but we hope that should be run into something severe, that the Epic guys will help us get past it (maybe something that isnt working as intended), else we would just work around the problem (the biggest issue atm is the massive in the networking) .

    Server base code, client base code (besides the TCPLink stuff) is ready, and its made for 2-3000 players pr server (WIP testing), we also did some preliminary tests in Esenthel (we need world streaming so T3D is a no go).

    We didnt find any problem "yet", other then of course the usual problems other people are having wich is simply bugs

    And its true, if someone ask "Can UDK make a MMO", then yes, it can, but they cant, if they really have to ask, and dont know out of experience, doubtful they can manage the task.

    Since this is a huge task, we of course post NOTHING, no images, clips, anything (other then this), until we are at the point that
    1) We know we are close and it will be 100% playable
    2) We can handle the workload of the "now" added things like website management, press, statements, community ect ect.

    Anything else will kill your developement time..
    Last edited by Brexer; 11-27-2009 at 08:39 PM.
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    Well the pure definition of a massive multiplayer online game is a video game which is capable of hundreds or thousands of players at one time.
    I'm obviously basing my judgement on the handfull of pure 3d MMORPG's that has ever been successful.

    You might prove me utterly wrong, but the statistics are stacked against you....my comments, and well, smug critique isn't aimed at being personal or anything, but people have to understand that an MMO is a gigantic undertaking.

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    Create the RPG first, then consider adding the MMO part in it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScribbleHEAD View Post
    Well the pure definition of a massive multiplayer online game is a video game which is capable of hundreds or thousands of players at one time.
    I'm obviously basing my judgement on the handfull of pure 3d MMORPG's that has ever been successful.

    You might prove me utterly wrong, but the statistics are stacked against you....my comments, and well, smug critique isn't aimed at being personal or anything, but people have to understand that an MMO is a gigantic undertaking.
    Name a MMO that has 100.000 players online on same server i want to see it, in my 32 years, ive never seen it.

    Even WoW only has around 3500-5000 players per server (last i heard anyways)

    I, personly, consider (depending on mmo map size) a 500 player+ as massive.

    Hell, even 1000 ppl living the same place is considered a small town you know

    And its perfectly fine to critique, and it is even well placed (99 of 100 prolly dont make it), but there is still that one
    Last edited by Brexer; 11-27-2009 at 10:16 PM.
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    Great post. Indie MMOs are mostly a pipe dream. The two indie MMOs, mentioned in the posts above, were created by people who had shipped several game titles previously and were seasoned game devs with crazy, above average talent. I know this is the case for Minions of Mirth. I see alot of people site Minions of Mirth as justification for creating an MMO but it should be understood that Minions of Mirth is an exception to the rule, not the rule. It's usually not a good idea to base conditions for success on exceptions to the rule. The fact of the matter is that 99.999999% of indie MMOs fail outright.

    The work mentioned in these posts probably represents 5% of what is required to actually build an MMO. Think about it. An indie developer asking about an MMO is about as laughable as a construction worker asking if it's possible to build the empire state building. The problem is that people see a game like WoW and don't understand the size and scope of what they're looking at.

    When you play WoW just keep in mind that behind this game are 22,000 servers and a technical staff of 5,000 people. So the question: can a game engine make an MMO, is usually the wrong question. The right question is do you have the money, manpower, and ability to do it. If you have those three things the game engine issue is irrelevant.

    All that said, I don't want to sound like a dream squisher. Nothing is impossible, however, it is wise to understand what you're up against before you dive in.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brexer View Post
    Name a MMO that has 100.000 players online on same server i want to see it, in my 32 years, ive never seen it.
    He said hundreds or thousands. And he said game, not server.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonG View Post
    Great post. Indie MMOs are mostly a pipe dream. The two indie MMOs, mentioned in the posts above, were created by people who had shipped several game titles previously and were seasoned game devs with crazy, above average talent. I know this is the case for Minions of Mirth. I see alot of people site Minions of Mirth as justification for creating an MMO but it should be understood that Minions of Mirth is an exception to the rule, not the rule. It's usually not a good idea to base conditions for success on exceptions to the rule. The fact of the matter is that 99.999999% of indie MMOs fail outright.

    The work mentioned in these posts probably represents 5% of what is required to actually build an MMO. Think about it. An indie developer asking about an MMO is about as laughable as a construction worker asking if it's possible to build the empire state building. The problem is that people see a game like WoW and don't understand the size and scope of what they're looking at.

    When you play WoW just keep in mind that behind this game are 22,000 servers and a technical staff of 5,000 people. So the question: can a game engine make an MMO, is usually the wrong question. The right question is do you have the money, manpower, and ability to do it. If you have those three things the game engine issue is irrelevant.

    All that said, I don't want to sound like a dream squisher. Nothing is impossible, however, it is wise to understand what you're up against before you dive in.
    Great post.

    If a developer is truly capable of producing an MMO, then they are able to do so regardless of the existence of the UDK. The number of problems that must be solved to create an MMO are very large, often beyond the knowledge of even experienced, non-MMO game developers.

    In other words, whether UDK can make an MMO or not is irrelevant. If you have to ask if you can, then it is most probable that you do not have the experience or knowledge to make an MMO, regardless of engine.

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    Default Eve!!!

    How about one of the most epic games ever EVE!!!!

    1 Game, 1 Persistent World, not really one server but 1 fing mega cluster

    hahahah

    Quote Originally Posted by immortius View Post
    He said hundreds or thousands. And he said game, not server.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrystalCore View Post
    Can i make a MMO in UDK?
    --- The Short Answer ---[/CENTER]
    No, you can't. UDK only (officially) supports a maximum player number of 64 per server.

    [...]
    This post needs to be sticky'd in the forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by immortius View Post
    He said hundreds or thousands. And he said game, not server.
    My bad, it was late i was so sure it said Hundreds "of" thousands but im sure you guessed that
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brexer View Post
    Name a MMO that has 100.000 players online on same server i want to see it, in my 32 years, ive never seen it.

    Even WoW only has around 3500-5000 players per server (last i heard anyways)
    US Argent Dawn has 33,000. But that's still a third of 100,000.

    Anyway, if someone has the time and money to make an MMO on UDK, then I suggest they take a look at Atlas. It has features to help with Servers, World Chat and combat systems. It also helps with RPG elements like Quests & Vendors. Note that I haven't actually tried it, so click on the link above if you need more info!

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    Personally I don't see why so many kiddies are tripping over themselves to make MMO's. It might sound exciting and impressive at first, but the logistics of not only making but actually MAINTAINing one has to be well beyond the capabilities of all but the most serious... I may also be biased in that I have yet to see an MMO that actually sounds interesting to me...
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    Quote Originally Posted by KieranM17 View Post
    Anyway, if someone has the time and money to make an MMO on UDK, then I suggest they take a look at Atlas. It has features to help with Servers, World Chat and combat systems. It also helps with RPG elements like Quests & Vendors. Note that I haven't actually tried it, so click on the link above if you need more info!
    I still advise people not to start working on an MMO. Even with Atlas it's an insanely huge task to work on. We've been working for two years now with 18 people and we're far from where we'd expected to be now with our MMO. Hearing people on these forums saying that they want to make an MMO with UDK and with 2-5 people really makes me sad for them.

    Trust me, an MMO is the last thing you want to work on. It's a creativity killer, unless you have a team of hundred working on it.
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  19. #19

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    "MMO", bah. What that really means is lots of strangers getting together and ignoring each other and enjoying the game with MAYBE five people in a guild/clan/whatever.

    The UDK can already give you a good multi-player experience in a narrative structure. If I recall correctly, both Gears of War games have Co-op modes and they're quite fun. Why not create a mission-based co-op game across multiple game environments, to simulate what you'd find with an MMO?

    I mean, hell, when you play something like World of Warcraft, do you actually play with two thousand other people? No, of course not--you get a group of buddies together and tackle the problem/quest/goal together. This can be done with what the UDK offers, just not in a persistent-world style MMO.

    Now, part of what makes MMO games appealing is the fact that it's YOUR character doing all this. People love to customize. Well, why not let them? Create a single-player game and let people get their own armor/weapons, and let that carry over INTO the co-op mode.

    Not that I know how hard that would be to code/script, but it'd be more doable and less costly. You could even LAN co-op over a virtual network (Hamachi, anyone?).

  20. #20
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    I completely agree.
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    Looks like you gonna need a licence so that you can modifiy the engine to it's core.

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    I'm going to play the devil's advocate here and say that sometimes you just can't deny people the wealth of experience that comes from trying and failing.

    I don't mean that in a negative way. I don't think an unseasoned team is going to come close to creating an MMO with any indie game engine. If someone does manage to get one off of the ground it will be based on lessons learned in past endeavors.

    Can you build an MMO with the UDK? Go for it.

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    Im with grimcat on that.

    Telling people what they can and cant do isnt our job, let them experience it themself.

    But, that said, i hate the 10000 million posts called "Can i make a MMO in UDK", its annoying at best, and its not trying for themself.
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    Nice post CrystalCore...i hope this helps people into the right direction if they want to see their dream come true.

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    I know most MMOs would fail from indie, but I think because a lot try to make a WoW clone. Anyone ever try to make one like MapleStory? lol it is the biggest mmo in the world and its free =O, i bet that type of style be easier to make than doing full 3d and mass land scale
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  26. #26

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    What I find most silly about this whole thread is that people constantly are givign their own personal reasoning for why someone else shouldn't attempt a MMO. Sure, diverse opinions have merit, but instead of focusing on why someone shouldn't make one, why not focus on how one might be made within the restrictions imposed upon the SDK...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BHawthorne View Post
    What I find most silly about this whole thread is that people constantly are givign their own personal reasoning for why someone else shouldn't attempt a MMO. Sure, diverse opinions have merit, but instead of focusing on why someone shouldn't make one, why not focus on how one might be made within the restrictions imposed upon the SDK...
    Thats what this thread was intended to be. But i think there is a large group of people (including myself) who believe an MMO would not be possible with UDK without sourcecode access, or a great deal of experience and understanding of an MMO's development process.

    Hell, i'd LOVE to create an MMO, i have some many theories about how i would make it unique and totally kick ass awesome. But i also know that i stand no chance in hell competing with professional developers, and i can't afford the cost of development.
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    To add to this thread, this is something I came across on DevMaster.net. I think it will help people realise the amount of work and dedication involved in producing an MMO. It is in 5 links as it is a very long post (which may put people off reading it) but very interesting.

    It is about an MMO called Eternal Lands.

    http://www.devmaster.net/articles/mm...rtem/part1.php

    http://www.devmaster.net/articles/mm...rtem/part2.php

    http://www.devmaster.net/articles/mm...rtem/part3.php

    http://www.devmaster.net/articles/mm...rtem/part4.php

    http://www.devmaster.net/articles/mm...rtem/part5.php

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    But if you do still want to give it a go, the same person who wrote the previous 5 articles also has written these ones.

    http://www.devmaster.net/articles/building-mmorpg/

    http://www.devmaster.net/articles/mmo-economy/part1.php

  30. #30

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    Thanks for the links.

    Coming from MUD/MUSH/MUSE development in the 90's I know what is possible on a limited scale with a good community. Bolting a 3D engine into that type of development mindset isn't for everyone though. I agree with many in this thread that the scaling issue and the core lockdown are the 2 big negatives, but with those as known factors it is still reasonable to think a MORPG is possible up to the concurrent login cap with custom server and client side bolt-ons.
    Last edited by BHawthorne; 11-30-2009 at 09:50 AM.

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    Your welcome.

    I thought the section about the game economy is an area that a lot of people probably do not take into consideration, like how they did at first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BHawthorne View Post
    What I find most silly about this whole thread is that people constantly are givign their own personal reasoning for why someone else shouldn't attempt a MMO. Sure, diverse opinions have merit, but instead of focusing on why someone shouldn't make one, why not focus on how one might be made within the restrictions imposed upon the SDK...
    Mine may be "personal reasoning" but it's based on the 2 year long experience of making an MMO with UE3. I still recommend people to do something else, not only do you need a lot of people but the chance of even getting one done in UDK without the source code isn't high. There's a reason why Atlas has been in development for UE3.
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  33. #33

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    Can I make n MMO in UDK? No, you can't. UDK only (officially) supports a maximum player number of 64 per server.
    I agree that would be a problem in the free version. With the source code this should be no problem though

    However the editor is not well designed for MMO development
    Lineage II is completely made in unreal engine, so don't rule it out on assumptions

    But you'll need a server from day 1, those are not cheap
    You can run a server on a decent pc, especially for 1000 to 2000 people, again lot's of Lineage private (hacked) servers are build this way

    Billing
    You can do it for free right? and there's still Paypal for donations, or you could indeed start a small business if you're really serious about it

    MMO's take years to develop when working in teams of 100+ paid staff members
    because they need to, else they'll never manage to compete with the other studios

    Customer Service
    A GM should be sufficient for the technical problems, I mean if you develop an MMO you are the one person that understands the problems best

    and then perhaps you might be a tiny little way onto becoming ready to tackle an MMO
    That's not really in relation with your topic is it? if so you should name it "Can I tackle Blizzard and NCsoft with a free version of UDK?"


    I think that you are trying to warn the people that dream of an MMO like wow and be millionairs, and thats good because many noobs think they can. Fact is most people that actually do develop MMO's in the free UDK don't need ten thousants of people waiting in line to play the game, they just want to use their ideas and want people to be able to like it.

    I can advise anyone that wants to develop their own MMO to take a look at making a private server for Lineage II, you can learn alot about how an MMO like this works "behind the scene's"
    Last edited by Idsz; 11-30-2009 at 04:01 PM.

  34. #34

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    I have played WoW for a while, and I don't really see why everyone expects so much from a mmo. A lot of the game is just icons or reskined models and a lot of the time there really isn't that many people around. Having 3000 people on a server seems like a waste of resources anyway when you usually just have a 5-10 man group in a instance or the handfull of people questing around you.

    With a bit of creativity you can make a good game that feels like WoW imo, without needing most of the things listed.

    The only question I would have about it if I were to start one, would be about making a Irc client like UT99 had for meeting up and joining together in game, I loved that feature haha. With that the only other thing would be saving/checking character stats, which would be the hardest part prolly, and depending on what you wanna do you might not even need that, just use classes.

    You might not have 300 people standing around ironforge dancing, but you could still have the chat, grouping, instances and battlegrounds, which is about all anyone does anyway.

    MMO Lite maybe. But I would say about +90% of WoW is useless models, zones, items etc that no one cares about.
    Last edited by Major Lee High; 11-30-2009 at 04:20 PM.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idsz View Post
    I agree that would be a problem in the free version. With the source code this should be no problem though
    Then you're no longer talking about UDK. There is no version of UDK, free or otherwise, that has source code.
    Nightblade, a stealth based total conversion for UT3

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by immortius View Post
    Then you're no longer talking about UDK. There is no version of UDK, free or otherwise, that has source code.
    I believe you get the source code if you're a normal licensee, such as ubisoft, etc.
    See my tutorials here: Organization is the key to success in any endeavor

    mewithoutYou: The potato called from underground, "You've got it all turned upside down!"

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by micahpharoh View Post
    I believe you get the source code if you're a normal licensee, such as ubisoft, etc.
    A licensee of UE3, yes.
    Nightblade, a stealth based total conversion for UT3

  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by immortius View Post
    Then you're no longer talking about UDK. There is no version of UDK, free or otherwise, that has source code.
    Yes there is, there is a source code licence for UDK but they'll only send details about it on request. How would the UE be any usefull to studios if they had only a development tool without any source code?
    Last edited by Idsz; 12-01-2009 at 11:37 AM.

  39. #39

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    Some fuel for the flames...

    If you want an example of an MMO which would probably be possible using UDK look at Guild Wars. Any actual combat is done in instances, and towns have multiple instances you can swap between. With a little care you can make sure no more than 64 people exist in one level at a time.

    Then you'd 'just' need a server to make sure the right players are connected together, which can be written in anything you like (as well as world chat and storing the world state).

    By the time you've written an RPG with working multiplayer I don't see it being much more work to create the illusion of a persistent world to replace a text based lobby.

  40. #40
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    Better make diablo/borderlands style rpg. With coop rather than MMO aspect. This way you don't need servers to hold thousands of players and that means you can add better combat system, more depth to it.


 
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