True Valhalla has produced a website guide teaching how you can make a MMORPG using Game Maker.
An MMORPG, or Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, is an ambitious project often jumped in to by people who do not have sufficient experience of using Game Maker or programming in general.
The set of tutorials available on the website is designed to teach the creation of a 2-dimensional Game Maker MMORPG making use of the popular 39DLL networking sockets library.
True Valhalla has first-hand experience in developing for the genre with his Myriad Online project recently passing a year of development time. News that the first beta version of the game is currently expected to be released at the end of 2012 or start of 2013 indicates the kind of commitment and dedication that will be required to complete such a game, even with the availability of resources such as How to Make An MMORPG.
The Warrior’s Path, which had the added complication of being 3D, was a rare example of a long running Game Maker MMORPG project. However it was never released as the project was abandoned which the developers attributed to speed issues with Game Maker. Much more workable were the 2-dimensional Stick Online and Realm of Past Worlds, two Game Maker MMORPG projects which successfully reached release but both appear to no longer be supported by their developers.
The website starts off assuming no knowledge whatsoever with section available entitled “What is Game Maker?” which then takes you through the basics of using the software and GML. Whilst this will obviously be of benefit to programmers who are not familiar with using Game Maker this may encourage a few too many in the “I have no programming knowledge whatsoever but I want to make a MMORPG” category to jump in and quickly become confused. To mitigate this there are about 20 pages or so before reaching the “Getting Started” section appears, this should demonstrate both the complexity of such a project and the the level of detail that has been provided in the tutorial.
The material is presented in a clean and consistent fashion with function names highlighted, sufficient screenshot and is accompanied by well commented downloadable examples. Arrows at the bottom of each page link to the next section in the tutorial or you can choose to access a particular page directly from a contents listing.
The site doesn’t just throw code at you either, there are good explanations behind everything that is taught, such as this introduction to the concept of a client-server model and how it will work for a MMORPG.
Once networking has been taught you aren’t abandoned either, there are additional articles on common misconceptions (perhaps the thought was that incorporating this into the main tutorial would scare people off!), funding a game, security issues and on how best to deal with malicious users.
The site has been online for about 9 months and despite the amount of material available it is far from complete as a quick look at the examples download page will show. Future additions will include platform movement, AI, combat and inventories. From this list of exclusions it is clear that the guide doesn’t currently teach you absolutely everything you need to know about creating a MMORPG in Game Maker however the basics of using 39DLL to create a working networked game are covered.
Over the coming months and years this could develop into a comprehensive tutorial for everything Game Maker MMOPRG related and would be a good link to post in response to the overly-ambitious MMORPG as a first game attempts that crop up at GMC.