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Current State of MMORPG Creation Tools E-mail
Friday, 17 February 2006

We asked Gillvane, webmaster of mmorpgmaker.com and expert in MMORPG creation tools, what these incredible pieces of software are able to do at the moment.

"Until recently," - Gillvane says - "creating a 3d MMORPG required a multi-million dollar investment, a huge team, expert knowledge in complex network programming, and that was just for starters. You also needed a talented model making team, as well as animators."

That's all changing, thanks to software engines that allow you to make your own MMORPG using drag and drop tools, and some creative scripting. One such tool currently in development, and almost ready for a finished release, is Realm Crafter. Currently you can download a demo copy of Realm Crafter from their official website.

Realm Crafter ships with some ready made models, that are already animated, including character models, and monsters (Mobs). The model pack that ships with the software is limited, but enough to get you started. You can always make or purchase additional models, and the Solstar team (the developers of Realm Crafter) intend to release more model packs once the software is finished.

Realm Crafter is coded in Blitz, and once RC is finished, anyone that purchases Realm Crafter can opt to purchase the "Pro" version, which comes with the source code. This option would allow you to modify the code to add your own unique features to the game.
One of the unique things about Realm Crafter, is the pricing model. Once you license the Realm Crafter software, that's it. There are no other fees. Of course you may still want to purchase lots of ancillary software, like model making programs, or compilers if you intend to change the source code, but there are no other fees for the MMORPG making software itself.

In contrast, there are some other MMORPG making software options on the horizon, like Kaneva and Multiverse. These engines also offer drag and drop capability, with a lot of the heavy lifting, like network coding, already done for you. They differ dramatically, however, in their pricing models. Both Kaneva and Multiverse operate on a revenue sharing model. The software companies take a share of the profits of any MMORPG you develop. If you go to their respective websites you can read their licensing agreements, which provide all the nitty gritty details and fee split schedules.

These are the main MMORPG making options most developers are looking at for now, and there are others in development as well. I'd also mention Never Winter Nights 2 as a possible option. Many users of the NWN software have managed to make persistant worlds, and the developers of NWN2 have stated they intend to support this endeavor with the sequel.

Currently, some games have been produced using Kaneva, but I haven't seen a full blown MMORPG made with this software yet. Multiverse is still in beta, so it will be a while before we see the results there. I've seen a few small demo worlds made with the Realm Crafter software, but like Kaneva, no fully developed MMORPG just yet. Realm Crafter was released as a "work in progress" and is scheduled for a complete release in the next few months. It should release with a small demo world included in the package.

The question remains, once developers become comfortable with these new tools, what kinds of games will they make? We've certainly seem some interesting creations come out of the modding teams in the First Person Shooter genre, and I expect nothing less from the MMORPG developers out there.

You can keep up on all the latest developments, and discuss MMORPG creation and design at MMORPG Maker:

http://www.mmorpgmaker.com

Gillvane
Site Administrator/Owner
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