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16  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / I agree as well. on: 18 November 2001, 09:04:00
I think the layout is excellent and it's got content like you wouldn't believe.  Including dynamic content.

17  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / FuitadNet on: 26 November 2001, 19:10:00
Do you have a method of contacting FuitadNet.  I would appreciate it if you would foreward some contact information, a website, or e-mail to me at nate@sorren.com, my icq is 20748554.  I would be interested in finding out more information about not only the game but also what sort of financial difficulties they encountered so we may plan ahead.

18  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / You hit the nail on the head. on: 18 November 2001, 09:20:00
The players building the world is exactly what we are doing.  Also wanting to work on other practices as well such as totally fresh unexplored land being generated before a player walks over it.  So it looks as if it has been there before.  The whole map being stored on multiple servers and the player recieving parts as needed.  Then it remembering where stuff was so that it won't have to be reloaded.  We are currently doing some speed tests with generating maps from a database rather than a bsp or some other map file on the harddrive.  By generating it from a database we also eliminate any size constraints.

Like I said though we havn't tested the speed yet on this idea, but I think it will work.  Better with c# then with current languages because the data can be remembered in a dataset until it's not needed.

19  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / 26,000 players is good. on: 26 November 2001, 19:23:00
You know their number of players dropping to 26,000 is far better then I was expecting.  I mean if only 10% of them choose to help support the game that's good progress.

26,000*5=100,000  Not a lot, but it is enough to keep a game alive and improve it.

100,000 every 3 months or 400,000 per year is enough to be able not only keep a game running on 2 t1 connections, but purchase updated hardware and pay for development time.  Since we don't have any payed nor full time developers I would have to assume that being able to hire 5 skilled individuals would also help to improve the game.

I would consider it a success to recieve 1000 donations of $5, but then again the charitable nature of the players already.  (without a manditory donation) has been very helpful.  Granted that is only a small portion of the players but the average has been $30 per person with one individual helping with $125.

The idea of having a player supported game does not rule out other revenue streams as well.  I do not and will not do such things as sell e-mails etc.  Displaying ads is something I have tried and will most likely do from time to time.

We will have a more involved game later, will work on the development of the rpg as planned.  And if at all possible will try to keep them free (no mandatory donations).  Everything is subject to change as need be because I would prefer to give up it being free than not build it at all, but I would prefer to first none the less.

20  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / vaporware on: 18 November 2001, 09:33:00
Not a system's engineer, i'm a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer though, a got a little while longer before i'm also a certified database administrator.

It's not vaporware because we will get there.  The timeline may be screwed up though.

I have come up with several revenue streams to use.  One of them is of course advertising.  Unfortunately advertising doesn't really pay off as well as some people seem to think.  A couple years ago yes, but now it's less then 1/10 what it payed then.

Donations will be an important part of game development and keeping the servers live.  When you think about it money isn't really that big of a thing.  Take sorren for instance.  The web based game I wrote last year.  It's about 9 months old.  We had 5,000 players.  If each player donated $10 in 1 month we have 50,000.

How much money do you think it takes to put up a failover cluster and a raid 5 array.  maybe 1/2 of that?

At the time 5,000 players was a max number of players because of some unoptimized code.  I and a couple others have been working to optimize code and we can now easily handle 15,000.  Currently I have been targeting advertisement to artists and programmers primarily.  Targeting fantasy game players for example may not necessarily be the right decision if they are less likely to contribute to the game.

There are many variables to look at, but when you have thousands of people.  Even a small investment from each can allow us to compete against the big guys.

They have a 5,000,000 budget, we have a 50,000 budget and spirit.  They might get their faster, but we will pass them up in both quality, reliability, and the overall fun factor.

I might be a dreamer, but we are not making vaporware.  We might not ship the game in a box with a half naked chick on the front, but we will distribute the game somehow.  And when we do the game will be working.  If for no other reason, because I don't quit.

21  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / I was in last round, not playing real hard though. on: 18 November 2001, 08:56:00
I would have been 1:1 last round.  :)

We have been focusing on improving the stability and optimizing processing speed.  At the start of last round we were capped at 5,000 players before lag started setting in.  This round if my estimates are correct it should be more like 15,000.


22  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / Part of the reason it's been growing... on: 18 November 2001, 09:02:00
I think part of the reason it's growing is from link exchanges.  Sorren gets about 500,000 impressions per day.  We use those impressions in link exchanges to promote sorren and affiliate sites including santharia/sorren rpg.  And just the regular santaria section.  When advertising inside sorren itself tends to advertise to the same people over and over, advertising to the outside using exchanges gets news about santharia to thousands of others every day.  The exchanges are targeting graphic artist resource sites, Programming resource sites, Fantasy/gaming sites.  Most recently I have added some trying to target white collar workers.  I'm not sure where to send the ads but i've started by finding some news sites and going from there.  Tracking helps us to target different fields effectivly.

23  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / I like the idea. on: 09 August 2001, 13:18:00
I like the idea of making weapons containers that only hold gems.

I should have thought of that.  I'll have to order diablo 2 so I can check it out.

Diablo 1 had discussed me with the butchers area and I hadn't been very interested in trying 2.

24  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / magical items on: 02 August 2001, 10:41:00
How would you suggest making it take a couple of days to produce the items.  We need some time for daonami to approve or disprove the weapon or item.  Expecially important near the start.  Otherwise we would end up with swords named things like the beast fucker, etc.

I have had a game for a while I know this.  Any way a player can screw things up they will do it.

Also we need to put a cap on experience level until their name has been approved.  Otherwise you will have some freaky named people.

25  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / Create Artifact Spell on: 30 July 2001, 07:34:00
I have thought about this for quite some time.  And this is what I came to a couple years ago.

The art of creating magical items is a long process.  First you need all the components.  That includes the metals, regeants, etc.  

Have to have both magic and blacksmithing skill.  Hit/dam of the final item will be based on the smithing skill.  

Magical enchangments will be based on what regeants were used in creating the item.  

We will of course have certain max limits dependent upon the spellcaster's magic ability.  

For a weapon to be completed it must remain in a magical solution for a number of days.

The next step is for a daonami to approve the weapon which the player is unaware of.  This includes the weapons's name.

If it passes approval the blade will be created with the creators name etched in it.

I vision all equipment, weapons, items having a durability value which behaves like a stat does for people.  If an item is repeared it's max durability is decreased by one and it's durability is set to the max.

If durability reaches 0 it crumbles.  Magical artifacts will have a much lower durability than non magical items.

This should prevent the massive number of them.  It should also keep shop owners in business.

26  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / Multiple classes on: 02 August 2001, 06:27:00
If the player is equally skillsed in several classes I would say we can give them a choice of titles.

27  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / types of magic. on: 30 July 2001, 06:18:00
I'm kind of playing catchup on forums.  been busy with code.

smurf mentioned earlier a list of titles for mages.

One thing i'm wanting to avoid is limiting the player into what they can do because of a class.  The names of stuff sounds about right though.

Sort of like the class being more of a title that's based on skill and stats.  A class may prevent someone from advancing in other areas as quickly.  But with continued effort the class that the person is in would change as the new skills came out.

28  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / terrain tool on: 09 August 2001, 13:29:00
I've been learning how patches work to create a terrain.  It's how I originally targeted doing it.

The detail i'm not sure of yet.  First time around we will probably have a camera which the builder sees from and they are able to move it anyway they wish using the arrow keys.

the mouse would be used as a tool selector.  I see the first one having one tool.  Raise Land.(right button would lower it).  Another tool will likely be added later maybe level ground.  Maybe with a property of radius.

Raise land would not effect that one point but also other points around it that need raised to make the hill look more real.  Because of this it might have a property of like sharpness or something like that.  The sharpness would limit how far a point can be from surrounding points.  If a point is raised above the sharpness level the points around it would raise to match.

I think this would allow us to create most mountains, hills, valleys, paths, and rivers.

I havn't figured out how to do textures yet.  I want to make the textures semi automatic.  Where the builder tool inserts appropriate textures but are changable when desired to be.


29  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / A few answers. on: 01 August 2001, 10:54:00
Sorren is likely to progress much slower then Santharia as far as development unless we get a huge number of skilled people to help with it.  I plan to create it so that new models, actors, and textures are downloaded in the background as the game is played so that we can continue to add new stuff and keep it as current as possible.  But there are limits to developing speed.  For example it takes longer to create models for a new race, the special weapons for it, clothing, animations for how they move, and code for special abilities in comparison to saying there is a new race called a drac and a nice complete description of them.

We will probably add new races etc in the order of demand/complexity.  And the amount of progress made towards adding them will greatly depend on you and the others.

As far as dates are concerned...  I will create a counter on the server that incriments a number every few seconds.  How we use that number is pretty much up to you guys.  If we want it to be at a specific date I can set the number at that date and boom it's done.  If we want months, minutes, hours, seconds etc to run different the code would be made to an object that is used to convert the number into a date format.  Since the entire game uses this object it can be changed in one place to effect the whole game.

Cities will be fake from the outside.  Basically a model that somewhat resembles the city but isn't the real thing.  As the person walks through the gate the player hops into the new level.  We will have invisible walls that trigger a new level to start loading so it seems seamless.

Different levels/zones can load and be played on different servers.  I guess you can think of this sort of like when your on the a certain island the communication is done with a server in england.  On another island one in the united states etc.  But they dont' have to be islands.

I guess my quick response would be...
Will update as much as possible.
New races will try to be worked into the game.
Yes, when the races are completed of course.
Yes, cities will enter too.

There will have to be a date system in sorren.
I don't know when it will start.
It will not become the current date in santharia.  The other way around.
How do you want to measure progressing.  Building models, actors, zones, world physics, cities, time progression, or total completion?

I'm looking at a couple of years for a beta to be working.  That date stands a high chance of getting moved foreward or backwards.  But this early in the game it's the best estimate I can come up with.  World building tools will come much sooner.  In the next few months.

30  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / Currency? on: 09 August 2001, 13:38:00
this is a thread I started so I could see some ideas on currency etc.  Maybe art can use it to keep me up to date on the development of a currency system.

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