Milestone 3 Builds

Here they are at last, the milestone 3 builds of MMORPG Tycoon 2.

Before the links, I just want to remind folks again that this is not a fully playable build.  It’s not an alpha or a beta or early-access or anything of the sort — this is a work-in-progress build that is slightly broken in a whole bunch of ways that I’m aware of, and probably infinitely many more which I’m not aware of.

With that out of the way, here are download links:

  • Windows build. (requires Windows XP or later)
  • OSX build (requires Mountain Lion or later)
  • Linux build (None yet.  Want one?  Comment below!)

I’ll have more comments tomorrow, but for now, here’s some basic stuff to get you started:

WASD or arrow keys will move you around.  The mouse scroll wheel zooms in and out.  Hold the right mouse button down to turn the camera.  (You have a fully free camera if you zoom all the way in.  Otherwise, you’re limited to spinning the camera around).

When you start, you’ll be looking down at a world map.  Each region of the world has a big grey label floating above it, telling you the region’s name.  The grey color tells you that that region is inactive — subscribers and their characters cannot enter it.  So the first thing you want to do is to select one of those grey labels and choose “Activate” from the context matrix.  That will turn the label green, at which point the region will become useful to you.  (Note that activating a region will automatically place a region exit right now.  That exit appears in the form of a white cube, somewhere near one of the borders of the region)

You’ll next want to place a Respawn Point in the region you’ve chosen.  This is where PCs will be respawned after dying.  It’s also (currently) where developers and game masters will enter the world.  It’s a good idea to put this somewhere near where you’re going to be doing a lot of building.  You can place as many respawn points as you want — PCs will respawn at the closest one, and developers/game masters will do so as well.

After you’ve placed a Respawn Point, you can place most of the other building types.  The first one you’ll want is an Inn.  Your subscribers, after joining the game, will first travel to an Inn, which they will designate as their ‘home’.  (Subscribers will try to travel to their current ‘home’ before logging out).

You also want to place a few ‘Grinding Zones’.  Monsters will be placed around these grinding zones — these are where PCs will go to fight monsters, either to complete quests, or else to grind through levels.

Once there are a few grinding zones placed, place one or two Quest Givers (they’re under the ‘NPCs’ tab).  These Quest Givers will automatically generate quests for your subscribers.  They generate two quests each by default, but you can make them have as many as five or as few as two by selecting them, switching to your “Quests” tab, and using the “Add Quest” or “Remove Quest” button.  Clicking the “Quest 1” -> “Quest 5” buttons will let you show the quest givers’ quests, rename them, and set different destinations on them.  Note that this whole quest editing interface is a terrible hack — this isn’t the UI that will be used in the real game, but I wanted to show a hint of what’s going on under the hood, here.

Once you have all that set, you can place down a starting point, and subscribers will begin to join your game, and PCs will begin to enter the region.

A few notes on PC AI:  There appears to be a bug right now which causes PCs to not visit Quest Givers while they’re going to their home for the very first time.  So maybe don’t put quest givers there.  I’ve had the best luck by putting the quest givers right outside the inn.  Since all the players tend to go there, they all notice the quest givers.  If you want to be more fancy, you can place a quest giver in one spot, and give him a quest to visit some distant building, and place another quest giver there at that other building.  There’s no benefit for this right now, but there will be in a future version.

The other note is that PC AI is based on (amongst other things) two key variables:  their current happiness with the game, and their current addiction to it.  I really wanted to have meters up showing those values (as I did in  MMORPG Tycoon 1.1);  they help let you understand why players sign out or unsubscribe when they do.

In any case, once players reach level 2, they will decide that they’re too experienced for your region, and will head to the exit (at which point they unsubscribe, because there’s no level 2 region for them to enter.  Support for changing from one region to another will be the key feature in milestone build 4)

A couple other mechanics to keep an eye on:  Your region can only support 100 simultaneous players.  There will be an upgrade to let it support more, eventually, but for right now the limit is 100.  It shouldn’t overflow in this build — your PCs should gain levels and leave fast enough to keep that from happening.  But if the number does reach 100, the region will crash and everyone will be knocked offline.  If that happens, zoom out so that you can see the region’s label (it will change from green through yellow and to red, to denote how stressed the server is).  Select the label, and click the ‘Restart’ command in the region’s context matrix to bring it back online.

Buildings and NPCs accumulate bugs.  As they become buggier, they risk PCs becoming affected by a bug (denoted by a red cube over its head).  When a PC is affected by a bug, that PC cannot act in any way until it dies, until it logs out, or until it has been helped by either you (click on a PC to fix any bug it is being affected by) or by one of your Game Masters (who appear in this build as large green arrows).  Developers, on the other hand (large red arrows) will periodically visit buildings, fixing any bugs which have accumulated there.  (They also implement your building placement orders).  By default, you have 1 developer, and 2 game masters.  You can hire more in the Business report, under the ‘Reports’ tab.

On the topic of bugs, note that changing the terrain under (or even vaguely near) a PC will inflict that PC with a bug.  So try not to do that.  :)

And a last note for right now:  I’m not happy with the current road implementation.  It works, but it’s a bit ugly and very slow.  I have plans for changing it.  But as a general thought, you’ll probably have better rendering performance if you lay down a series of short roads, rather than one very long road.  Note that you can lay roads over impassable terrain — those are considered passable by the AI.


By far, the most important feedback for me right now is about performance.  Does it perform well on your computer?  Does editing terrain cause everything to stutter terribly?  (Or in fact, does the game launch at all?)  Please post comments below, including any details that might be useful about your hardware.  (CPU speed, GPU, RAM, etc).  Many, many thanks for your help!