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Player run servers and SMORPG
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nomax5 Offline

Post: #1
Player run servers and SMORPG
I haven't played it much but I learnt a lot from minecraft

1 Graphics are not important
2 Its still possible for a small team can make a successful game
etc. etc.

One aspect of minecraft that is of interest to me is the concept of player run minecraft servers.

I know from experience that although there can be thousands of MMORPG players on a server we actually interact with quite a small number of other players.

I also know the Freemium Business Model has been adopted by most MMORPG companies and it seems to be successful.

So rather than try to create a MMORPG, give the client away for free, then try to persuade some players to buy subscriptions and ingame items.

One player (the GM) could pay a subscription for a "Server" then invite their friends to play by downloading the client for free.

This would be a Small Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game or SMORPG

One of the many advantages to this model is the GM would be advertising and promoting the game for free.
Also the maximum number of players would be quite small which solves a lot of problems.

I wonder what you guys think of this idea and whether EE is suited to this GM Server Model.

Nomax5 aka Roy
02-17-2013 03:01 PM
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fuzzylr Offline

Post: #2
RE: Player run servers and SMORPG
1. Consider how your going to support your product.
2. In your current business model, GM's could require many different types of functionality
3. Does your business model cover patching and debugging?
4. How do you plan to promote your idea and encourage others to host their own?
5. Are you willing to let well placed AD's in your games to provide other sources of revenue while your business builds?
6. Who is your target audience?

In theory your business idea sounds fine. But unless somebody picks up some partners your business model puts all the onus on one person. Then that person has to sell his product to pay you. You could be supporting anything from Mini MMORPG, to an RPG, FPS and so on. What if somebody wants to do a Hybrid?

In your model support and features are going to be key to making you successful. Just something to consider.

Project V. Studios | Game Dev
02-17-2013 08:15 PM
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dylantan Offline

Post: #3
RE: Player run servers and SMORPG
As we on the sharing mode, please allow me to share my humble opinion as well. I think the idea of SMORPG does sound like a good idea and from what you mentioned, this remind me of Private Servers.

I used to play on a private server (runs by a few quite talented group of developer) for a game called Shaiya. They run it so successfully with only a group of 6 people, and had almost 30k registered users with around 2-5k concurrent users. They did so well, and much better than the original, that the publisher (of the original game) have to enforce the closure of this private server as they were starting to bleed users to this private server. With the closure of the private server, I was intrigue to try out to run our own private server.

Took me 6 months to study everything about the game but decided that this isn't the best way for us, and we start exploring the idea of making our own RPG title. At first we wanted to develop a so-called clone game (i.e. mmorpg and this is how we found Esenthel), but decided not to go ahead with it because with the limited resources and experience, going mmorpg might be overkill for a small team like ours and we might not be to complete it. Instead, we opt to develop something smaller (i.e. Single Player) for our first game. when we first start, there aren't many option available for Indie, and resources are expensive.

But Mojang's with minecraft managed to pull it off with a relatively small team, and an up coming cloud game called Airmech managed to pull it off as well (although not as successful as others). When you define small, you looking at most probably concurrent users of around than 1-3k on a single session. I think this is possible now and there are many tools and resources for indies to make this happened and depending on what you want to do, I think SMORPG may work but I believed that we can't use the same strategy or concept as other mmorpg. It have to be somewhat different and most probably unique both gameplay and more suited for niche market and slowly grow from there (remember Eve Online?)

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(This post was last modified: 02-18-2013 02:24 AM by dylantan.)
02-18-2013 01:59 AM
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nomax5 Offline

Post: #4
RE: Player run servers and SMORPG
Thanks for your responses, Hi fuzzylr I haven't got a model, I was just proposing the concept prior to coming up with a business model.

The idea is to provide many small player run servers which GM's pay a subscription for. This can easily be scaled inline with subscriptions: when someone subscribes they get a server and can invite friends to play on it.

It seems more feasible to me than providing a massive server and the complexities of scaling to player numbers. It alleviates some of the pressure because massive servers need massive numbers of players to be cost effective. Games have to be designed to cope with massive numbers of players, its a massive number of eggs in one basket, and requires massive investment, which I don't have or want.

If I were to lease a good dedicated server from a hosting company for say $500 per month, I wonder how many small EE servers I could run on it?. and is EE suited to this type of model?.

I believe you can get a small minecraft server for $30 - $60 per month and I suspect that minecraft uses more resources because the prices are higher than private servers for other games from the same company.
02-19-2013 10:38 AM
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