It’s been a while, but there has been progress. After the forfeit of developing board- and cardgames as well as giving up on browsergames (best decision ever!) I just needed a break. But a recent chain of coincidence brought me back to games development, and this time the launching pad is a bit different. About 2 month ago, an old friend of mine (Stefan) contacted me after almost a decade and we discussed a lot about game design and programming. In addition, there are some people on the Unity boards who are very interested in trying the same as we do. You quickly make friends there, and the topic is about game programming and not trolling each other. So with the help of Vis and a few others, the idea was quickly in place. Soon after we decided to tackle our shared “Life Dream” for a final time.
After experimenting with a whole range of development tools, ranging from classic web-programming like PHP & mySQL to classic game development using Game Maker, Construct 2, Unreal Engine and whatnot – we decided to move another step forward. My recent research into the realm of Apple XCode and Microsoft Visual C forwarded our plan for the next development basis to nothing else but Unity. I think after so much work and play with various development enviroments, it’s about time to move on to something more adequate. Although people keep telling me that I am a bad programmer (my advice if you want to achieve something in life: never listen!), I think I have gathered enough experience and skills to tackle this final task. The same is true for Stefan, who is far more into Apple XCode and C# than I am. Together we startet this new undertaking that is nothing less but a Unity based MMORPG engine.
Trusty readers and close friends from about 10-20 years back might remember that my childhood dream is exactly that: A self programmed, self hosted and self maintained MMORPG for a small community. We don’t plan too big here, without any fancy or groundbreaking features, as the networking and core systems of a MMO is quite daunting for two tiny (part-time) developers. But what I can say at this point is, that we have our foundation already in place! That compromises all the core stuff ranging from register, login, maneuvering in the 3d world as well as a basic combat/RPG System plus all the other tidbits like inventory handling, shops, guild and party management.
The project is developing fast and at a steady pace, thanks to the powerful built-in features that Unity provides and all the hard work done by Vis. What we have right now is a small but functional prototype that we plan to expand into a full-blown tech demo. Im a bit shy with screenshots because we make heavy use of default/programmer art at the moment. These placeholders will be replaced with really simple cartoon artwork in order to get us started – and the whole thing might be bundled into a very first test project to function as a playable tech-demo.
After that we plan to move on and develop the engine (codenamed Caramel) further to become more flexible and nice to look at. But thats beyond 2017 and already geared towards a complete and enjoyable game.
In the upcoming series of blog articles, I will go into detail of each and every single module and feature we already finished. This is to keep both of us motivated and in order to have some kind of backlog of our development process.
All in all, my past endeavours of building a browser-based game engine (yikes – that one really sucked!) are now being turned into a Unity based small-scale MMO engine. Caramel is not for everyone, as there is no visual editor. And it won’t be open-source or shared in any other way. It is the core foundation that drives our MMO project – a simple, little engine for small-scale casual MMO’s – sweet like