[MUD-Dev] Libs for 3D Client/Servers

Sean Kelly sean at ffwd.cx
Thu Jul 5 21:40:46 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


From: "Brian Hook" <bwh at wksoftware.com>

> Now, if you're a professional MUD developer and want to go
> graphical, NWN doesn't provide a comprehensive solution for
> several reasons:

...

>   - NWN is tied fairly strongly to fantasy, Forgotten Realms, and
>   AD&D 3e.  Those looking to do a sci-fi RPG may be out of luck.

But I'm guessing that the engine design was sufficiently modular
that it wouldn't be too terribly much work to drop in a different
system.... though keeping it D20 based would likely help.  Still,
all the existing art and whatnot is certainly fantasy-based.  It
would be nontrivial to adapt the game to a different setting.

>   - It is primarily modified through data and scripts instead of
>   access to raw source

Yup.  I'd prefer both.

> So a different product aimed at a slightly more commercialized
> venture would possibly have a market.  It would be primarily data
> driven (to get up and running), but source code, libs, etc. would
> be provided for more hardcore modifications.

> Architecturally speaking, it would be pretty interesting to design
> it in such a way that nearly all system were "pluggable" but
> without encumbering the design unnecessarily.

Exactly.  It would be nice if the bulk of the logic was abstracted
to shared libraries, and there was a way to plug more libraries into
the engine for access within the server/client.  Then theoretically,
you could replace some of the numbers-related libraries for
conversion to a different RPG system, modify menus, drop in
libraries for other scripting commands, etc.  I actually wouldn't be
too surprised if this was how NWN was already designed, though AFAIK
BioWare has no plans to license the engine.

> I'm still not convinced there's a real market for such a product,
> even though most people I talk to think it's a great idea.  The
> issue of cost seems to be the biggest constraint.

Aye there's the rub.  Well... Turbine is licensing their MMORPG
engine, though I think it's pretty pricey.  I'm sure there's a
market for something more middle-range, but no idea whether it's a
project that could pay for itself.  Perhaps if you did ad BioWare
did with NWN and implemented a complete game and sold it to pay for
production, but also licensed the engine itself out to more serious
developers?


Sean

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