2.5d multiplayer online game client questions

Hello i am an experienced software engineer, fluent in many languages including js&c#. I have a partner just like me, we worked in alot of projects but only worked on few small web & mobile games. So not much experience in serious game developing.

We would like to use an open source server “runuo” with a custom client to create a game. The graphics and the world should resemble ultima online. (Style only, not quality) http://uo.theabyss.eu

It will contain

-1 camera angle.
-camera locked on character.
-realtime pvp.
-cool graphics.

We have some idea about what needs to be done, but its always better to be pointed in the right direction by more experienced people.

So here are our few questions:

  1. Is unity the right engine for this kind of project?
  2. Can we find material, tutorials, documentations, to connect the server with unity?
  3. Can unity handle high network traffic, lots of players on 1 screen?
  4. Timewise what would your estimate be for us to learn unity enough to get started?
  5. How much time would be spent to make this game “playable”, alpha mode?
  6. We are weak on the graphics and music department, does unity have open source materials we can use? Until we find someone who can do it at least.
  7. What would be the ideal team size for this project?
  8. Unity has a custom easy to use map editor right?
  9. Free or paid suggested for this project?
  10. Finishing the game cant be estimated without knowing alot of details, but lets say if it was an uo copy, how much time to finish that?

Thanks in advance

  1. Unity is perfect for this.

  2. That depends, did you look? There is probably something out there. If the server communicates over a standard protocol, you should be able to follow the server’s guidelines and documentation to communicate with it. But we all know that never works. :slight_smile:

  3. Unity won’t be the bottleneck for network traffic. The network client code will be the bottleneck, so if you write the client code well (or use an existing client library), you will only be limited by graphic bandwidth. If you’re talking about 30 or 40 people in the scene, no big deal I think, but you’ll want to run some preliminary tests with your artwork and models to be sure as those will be the limiting factor on the bandwidth. If you apply several post processed image effects for instance, then you start reducing the amount of workload the engine can handle (as with any engine). Unity is very well optimized from my exerience.

  4. Watch lynda.com tutorial on Unity, I think it’s 8 or 32 hours, can’t remember, but to be proficient putting in 12 hour days, probably a week before you get the full basic capabilities down.

  5. If it were me doing it with a friend, probably about a year.

  6. No! Well, there are tons of material available, but you won’t find any for free. :slight_smile: There is great music on the asset store though not much available, you’d want to go with pond5 or similar to find some reasonably priced. Check the licensing though. The artwork, there’s quite a bit free on places like turbosquid, you might find some free on the Asset Store, but most will be paid. Even if you find free artwork, you’ll only find people doing 1 or 2, or 5 units with a certain artistic characteristic, so nothing will match if you grab a bunch of free artwork. Even if you buy the assets on the Asset Store, you’re not real likely to find enough that look similar to populate an UO world. You really need an artist.

  7. Here’s the team size for UO: http://www.uoguide.com/Game_Developer Since you want to make a similar one, though I take it with 2 people you’re not expecting near the massiveness or complexity, you probably need about 4 (specifically, 1 or 2 artists, 1 engineer, and 1 designer. Contract out the music.)

  8. Nope. Unity has a custom terrain builder. If you want a 2D or tilemap, you can get one of various from the Asset Store which are great. Just search for tile map.

  9. It depends on how you plan to make money. How do you plan to make money? I mean you have to pay for the server and bandwidth to support large numbers of clients, which isn’t cheap. Even if you just do it as a hobby, you need to make enough to pay for that. In my experience, you don’t put ads in until you have a huge user base. A small user base makes no money with ads and prevents people from downloading the app. If you get millions of people to download it, then you put ads in, now you have a money maker. Ads just don’t make much money on small scale distribution.

  10. With a small team working 14 hour days 7 days a week, total estimate, you might knock it out in 4 years. With 28 team members like UO, much faster with maybe more free time during the week. Don’t underestimate the importance of the game testers. They find the bugs, and if you’re fleshing out a complex UO world, there’s so much material and paths to cover, you could end up like Everquest (or Neverquest as we used to call it due to the number of bugged quests).