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Scripts and Scaling In Online Games

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the still-waiting-on-a-holodeck dept.

Programming 61

CowboyRobot writes "Jim Waldo of Sun Microsystems has written an article titled Scaling In Games & Virtual Worlds, saying that they 'should be perfect vehicles to show the performance gains possible with multicore chips and groups of cooperating servers. Games and virtual worlds are embarrassingly parallel, in that most of what goes on in them is independent of the other things that are happening. Of the hundreds of thousands of players who are active in World of Warcraft at any one time, only a very small number will be interacting with any particular player.' A group of researchers at Cornell wrote a related piece about improving game development and performance through better scripting."

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Better scripting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26383033)

Unexpectedly, I had a source tag error in processing this article about better scripting.

The Universe is a game... (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383115)

Seems to scale OK as long as everyone stays within the same light-cone.

You can tell its scripting is feature complete because the nerds have gone out and written virtual computers that run on top of the game.

Re:The Universe is a game... (2, Informative)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#26384413)

You can tell its scripting is feature complete because the nerds have gone out and written virtual computers that run on top of the game.

Actually you can't. Your brains are also operating within the Universe, and thus bound by any limitation it might have; thus, if there's some important aspect of logic or computability which the Universe lacks, you couldn't conceive it existing, and thus you would mistakenly consider the Universe feature complete.

All that can be said is that the laws of logic within the Universe allow the computation of everything they allow, which is a tautological non-statement.

Re:The Universe is a game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26384653)

if there's some important aspect of logic or computability which the Universe lacks, you couldn't conceive it existing

Wrong. Billions of people believe in a non-existant magical man in the sky called "God".

Re:The Universe is a game... (3, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385463)

if there's some important aspect of logic or computability which the Universe lacks, you couldn't conceive it existing

Wrong. Billions of people believe in a non-existant magical man in the sky called "God".

Do you seriously think this universe doesn't have an admin?

Re:The Universe is a game... (4, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386231)

Do you seriously think this universe doesn't have an admin?

Maybe it has a whole bunch of administrators, and God (prime) isn't listening because the log volume is full (or the line printer is out of paper. who knows how often they buy new hardware?)

Re:The Universe is a game... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388973)

Maybe it has a whole bunch of administrators

Or just one admin with three user accounts: root (Father), yeshua (Son), and dove (Holy Spirit). Although if you're willing to understand "administrator" in the Wikipedia sense of a wheel [wikipedia.org] group with over a thousand members, the various levels of angels might count.

Re:The Universe is a game... (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390203)

Or he's out to lunch ATM, and when he gets back in, he's going to be pretty pissed at this run away cronjob..

Re:The Universe is a game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26391997)

or the line printer is out of paper. who knows how often they buy new hardware?)

PC LOAD LETTER? WTF!

Re:The Universe is a game... (1)

Underfoot (1344699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26393205)

or the line printer is out of paper. who knows how often they buy new hardware?

PC LOAD LETTER? WTF!

Keyword: "line printer"
The almighty admin's error message: "lp0: Printer on Fire."

Re:The Universe is a game... (1)

josteos (455905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26393723)

He got the "Lp0 is on Fire" error and gave up

Re:The Universe is a game... (1)

God of Lemmings (455435) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385599)

It can easily be argued that there is no evidence to support that the universe lacking -any- aspect of logic or computability has any bearing on thought or concept at all. Even more, the term feature complete could be argued as a quality relating to the universe itself.

To me however, the term seems to be a non sequitur, as the brain itself does -not- operate upon logic or computability any more than a banana does, and while a Turing machine does operate upon these principles, general emulations of aspects of the physical universe have mostly just taken more time to execute than reality itself.

Re:The Universe is a game... (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#26402453)

It can easily be argued that there is no evidence to support that the universe lacking -any- aspect of logic or computability has any bearing on thought or concept at all. Even more, the term feature complete could be argued as a quality relating to the universe itself.

All that's saying that the Universe is "feature complete" really means is that Universe has as many features as it has. If it lacked some feature, how would you know ? You could never demonstrate the missing feature within the Universe since the Universe would lack it.

To me however, the term seems to be a non sequitur, as the brain itself does -not- operate upon logic or computability any more than a banana does,

Both the brain and the banana operate upon the laws of physics, which in turn operate upon the laws of logic.

and while a Turing machine does operate upon these principles, general emulations of aspects of the physical universe have mostly just taken more time to execute than reality itself.

That means nothing for creatures within that Turing machine. If the Universe is actually a computer, we have no way of knowing how long one second of our time is taking relative to the outside time.

Re:The game is a Universe... (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385427)

... if there's some important aspect of logic or computability which the Universe lacks, you couldn't conceive it existing, and thus you would mistakenly consider the Universe feature complete.

The proof is the pudding?

Re:The game is a Universe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388009)

The cake is a lie?

Re:The Universe is a game... (1)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386031)

What do logic and computability have to do with the physical Universe? They are mathematical concepts. There is no "Universe with different rules of logic"; that statement is nonsense.

Re:The Universe is a game... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26387849)

The only value Logic and Computability have is due to our experience that the universe behaves with absolute fidelity to those concepts. The universe is absolutely logical in every regard.

Re:The Universe is a game... (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391287)

That is highly illogical captain.

Re:The Universe is a game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26400565)

What the hell are you babbling about? I think parent was referring to the scripting language being Turing Complete [wikipedia.org] , not whatever drivel you came up with.

Next time, are we going to reply with a discourse on time cube?

Time to catch up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26383131)

You mean the screen /shouldn't/ freeze in UT3 when connecting to a server, not allowing you to click on the 'cancel' button? (on my dual-core CPU, multitasking OS)

Scaling? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26383157)

glScaled(GLdouble x, GLdouble y, GLdouble z)

What's so notable about that?

Re:Scaling? (1)

GenP (686381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386729)

All commonly available OpenGL implementations are single-precision?

Less WoW please (-1, Offtopic)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383159)

I know there are 10 million WoW subscribers, showing online RPGs can be a massive cash cow. But I really don't care. There are still millions of other gamers out there with zero interest in grinding for gear and guild drama and I'm sure this article has other applications for gaming than simply better WoW servers.

Anyone have any ideas? The article is extremely technical in nature but it seems to be suggesting ways to take the load off the client, possibly lowering system requirements for people to take part in dynamic virtual worlds. Oh wait, doesn't Second Life already do that?

I don't see a lot new here, it still seems to operate on the assumption that a trade-off will always have to be made between whiz-bang graphics and greater interactivity between players. But hey, I'm no software engineer.

And can we please see some articles in here that aren't somehow connected to WoW?

Re:Less WoW please (3, Funny)

Roland Piquepaille (780675) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383249)

other gamers out there with zero interest in grinding for gear

That's what scripting is for.

Re:Less WoW please (1)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390129)

Apparently, scripting is also for posting funny comments to Slashdot after you're dead.

Re:Less WoW please (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390275)

Mod parent down, -1 Undead.

Re:Less WoW please (1)

Silicon Jedi (878120) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390353)

ROLAND LIVES!!!!!!

More details, please. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383331)

The article is extremely technical in nature

Not really. It just discusses the general nature of the problem, not what they did about it. For that, there's the DarkStar documentation [projectdarkstar.com] .

This is a new data storage back end, like the ones from Google and Amazon. This one is specialized for game usage. It's really a transaction engine which links to a transaction-oriented object store. Entire transactions are atomic; either all the objects being changed commit, or none of them do. In a real system, the application transactions (in Java) run on a farm of machines, while the data objects reside on a second farm of machines. Clients talk to the application farm; the application farm talks to the data farm.

It's not really game-oriented at all. It's more general than that. It would be a reasonable back end for a big social-networking site, or a big auction site. The general assumption is that transactions and data objects are small; big stuff like canned web pages, images, and such goes elsewhere.

Incidentally, it may not all be open source. The current single node version is open source. But that's just a toy. There's no point in using the DarkStar architecture unless you need to scale up. Sun is vague about what the deal for the scalable architecture will be.

Re:More details, please. (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26384063)

Did they just put a front-end on Mnesia?

Re:More details, please. (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26388935)

Thank you! Your reply was exactly what I was hoping for, you helped me understand the topic a bit more. It was technical enough for me, remember, I am not a software engineer and I am also apparently retarded.

Re:Less WoW please (1)

project-nova (930308) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383781)

This is a technical article concerning MMOGs, using an anecdote from the most popular MMOG. What's wrong with that?

Don't blank out as soon as you see those three letters. Doesn't help you in the slightest.

Re:Less WoW please (2, Troll)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383903)

The article is extremely technical in nature but it seems to be suggesting ways to take the load off the client, possibly lowering system requirements for people to take part in dynamic virtual worlds.

Not only did it NOT suggest this, but it was not technical. You randomly ranted about something unrelated to the topic, then implied there must be a more applicable virtual world for a topic on scaling strategies, than the all-time most popular virtual world. You must be retarded. A retard who managed +1 karma for trolling. *facepalm*

P.S.
If you want to hear from people who actually program for various commercial games, engines, and MMOs, see f13.net's forums.

Re:Less WoW please (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26389127)

How you managed "+1 Informative" is beyond me. Did you mod yourself up with one of your other identities?

I admitted in my post that I don't understand the topic, then made a conjecture based on what it seemed to be saying to me. I also made a value judgment that I am sick to death of articles about WoW like it's the only gaming news ever worth reporting on Slashdot. I then invited criticism/correction.

You can call me retarded, say my post was unrelated to the topic, even though it was absolutely related to the topic, I don't care. It just shows that you have a superiority complex, good for you, hope that serves you well in the real world. Enjoy eating your teeth when someone finally gets sick of your shit. Or maybe you're a passive-aggressive, who gets back at others by peeing in the water cooler. Whatever, fill your boots.

And P.S. if you want to act like a know-it-all post some links. Otherwise you're a troll.

Re:Less WoW please (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 5 years ago | (#26391931)

Gotta undo-modding. I hate when fat fingers. =P

Re:Less WoW please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26383907)

And can we please see some articles in here that aren't somehow connected to WoW?

I don't know what Slashdot YOU have been reading, but on mine, there's been tons of articles discussing all kinds of things not related to WoW (or any games for that matter).

Re:Less WoW please (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26384153)

And can we please see some articles in here that aren't somehow connected to WoW?

Yes you can see them, but please do not RTFA. Remember, this is /.

Slashdot Footer Quotation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26383297)

"You will be married within a year." What, is Slashdot trying to cheer up the hopelessly romantic, loser geeks that make up the core of the site's user base?

Re:Slashdot Footer Quotation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26383711)

"Well hello there Charlie Brown, you blockhead." -- Lucy Van Pelt

Except that's not the hard problem (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383343)

Games and virtual worlds are embarrassingly parallel, in that most of what goes on in them is independent of the other things that are happening. Of the hundreds of thousands of players who are active in World of Warcraft at any one time, only a very small number will be interacting with any particular player.

Except that's really not that hard of a problem to solve. It just takes good basic software engineering to divide this problem up. You create zones, and then a little glue to make sure things happen smoothly at the edges.

The hard problem is when you have huge data sets like that, and *everything* interacts with each other, but you still need to divide the problem into discrete pieces to process in parallel.

Re:Except that's not the hard problem (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383363)

Thats exactly what they're saying. "Since most things that happen are independent, and that there's very few "links" at any given time, its very easy to do things in parallel".

So you agree with the article.

Re:Except that's not the hard problem (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383409)

I do, but what I'm saying is it's not that interesting... It's basic good software engineering.

In other news, your car has an annoyingly limited range, but by placing gas stations everywhere, you can design a system where people can drive anywhere. /obcaranalogy

Re:Except that's not the hard problem (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383849)

Trouble is if you have some "special event" and everyone piles into the same zone.

AFAIK, you will have to do sharding if you want to keep costs down. So once people start piling on, you shunt them into other shards/instances.

Unless of course he has actually said something interesting in the article...

But since it's not in the summary I'm not bothering to RTFA ;).

Another reason why you have to shard (or keep the numbers of interacting humans down) anyway:

Even if the hardware+software can cope, the people will start to find it annoying when thousands of people start yelling "WTS/WTB rare items!" or "LOLZ!" every few seconds.

Re:Except that's not the hard problem (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383929)

Perhaps they should ask CCP how they do it.

1000 player PvP battles? WoWers can only dream of that...

Re:Except that's not the hard problem (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26384841)

The people who are planning big (i.e 500+) battles petition the developers with the predicted location before hand, and they move that region onto more powerful hardware that can handle the load.

Re:Except that's not the hard problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26385983)

That's a solved problem actually. Look at Intel's solution to sparse matrix solving for physics engines and you'll be able to extract the general solution. It's all just scheduling and you can extract a maximum level of parallelism based on the largest vertex degree of your graph (larger degree = less parallel). Doing better seems impossible ergo this solution is probably optimal.

The really hard problem is the fact that everything said by Sun is bullshit (these guys are not game programmers). 10,000 people can gather in one place. If you can't do that you've not solved the real problem. Zones is an idea but it's not a full solution for stuff like Second Life etc.

Scripts? What about scripts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26384237)

There is no mention in the article about scripts; so why is it in the title?

Geh! (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26384807)

The language in these articles is horrendous. You can tell, without it ever being stated outright, that a programmer wrote them!

A cool game (1)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26385771)

A really cool MMO would be one where every player affected it (to keep it small, only a few hundred people could be on at a time per world). If you chopped down a tree for timber, for example, it wouldn't respawn in 5 seconds; you would have to grow a new one or else it wouldn't come back, so people couldn't just hack down the entire forest and expect no repercussion. If you hunted a certain monster too much, it would go extinct, so you would have to be careful not to overkill anything (alternatively if you didn't keep their population low, they would overpopulate and ransack the village, and get stronger).

On the other hand, this would take more coding power than just a handful of developers throwing code out there so the confused players can run into bugs and exploits.

Plus it would be too expensive for an MMO budget. And if it was too hard, who would wanna do it anyway? It's much easier to just throw out the basic 'click this once, wait until it dies from repetitive whacking, click the next one' script where you kill to get everything, then to make it more complex.

Re:A cool game (2, Insightful)

virg_mattes (230616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386227)

That would quickly become a not-at-all-cool MMO. The problem it has is that it's vulnerable to griefers. All it takes is one person who decides to defoliate the world for fun and soon you wouldn't have any plants around. One group could decide to exterminate stuff and there'd be nothing left to kill. To give you an example of this "I have fun by taking away other player's fun" mentality, there was recently an event in World of Warcraft where there was a big tree set up in a city, and players could get gifts from under the tree. Several players put themselves on their very sizeable mounts (big bears and mammoths) and stood on the presents for hours, to the net effect that most players couldn't get their presents because they couldn't click on the polygons. This served absolutely no purpose except to cause anguish for others just because they could, and they jeered and taunted the people asking them to move until they were forcibly logged out by a gamemaster. If someone will do this for fun, you can imagine the damage they could do to a world where their actions had permanent consequences. You could conceivably build in some method of enforcement to allow players to establish "laws" against this sort of behavior, but then you'd face the other side of that coin in that a group or guild could functionally take over a server and disallow anyone else from doing anything, to the point of repeatedly killing off any character that wasn't in their power structure.

It's a reasonable idea on the surface, but MMOs can't really let the players have a gross effect on the world because there are so many of them and not everyone will play nice.

Virg

Re:A cool game (2, Interesting)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26386799)

True, that's why the potential for a fun game is almost always non-reachable.

I recall playing a game called Goonzu, and people would stand on event NPCs so that no one else could do the event. Sure, they couldn't do the event because they were preventing others from doing it, but they simply didn't care.

There would probably be ways to stop them, like if they decided to play as 'villains' (read: douches), it would be possible to kill them, treating them as bad guys. So, while everyone plants something and has to wait a few days for the foliage to come back, or their pets get set free to become monsters again or some such, you can go 'kill' the bad guy that did this in the first place. By being killed, they would have to make a new character. So, they would have to start over as a little nublet, level up, skill up, whatever, and then they could go be obnoxious again. If they really have that much energy to go and hinder people's growth for a few days, it would at least give everyone a fun event of 'chase down the jerk and get revenge'.

Re:A cool game (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396335)

Make a localized voting system. If a person is being an ass, someone votes to "rate" then negatively. Enough negative ratings and you forbid them from certain cities. You can have the opposite and positive ratings allow people into certain cities. This would have to be localized to alleviate guild/zone griefing. Just vote that a person is being bad and everyone cooperating (having the option turned on) in a certain radius is prompted (politely, off to the side of the screen or something) to vote. If the person gets enough votes, they are negatively rated. You could limit the votes to 3 per day or something with good/bad combined.

Just a brain dump. I haven't run the numbers.

Re:A cool game (1)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26421653)

Something along the lines of 'That person just stole from the local fruit cart!' giving the player an option to care and 'shout' something along the lines of 'stop thief!', or not care at all and ignore it. If enough people 'shout' about the negative action, NPC guards kick them out of town. So, if someone was kill stealing, or trying to destroy an entire crop, if enough people were bothered by it, that person would no longer be allowed on the premise. If they wanted to come back, they would have to do good deeds or something to be allowed back in, or work to undo whatever problem they had caused.

Re:A cool game (1)

Psychochild (64124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26445709)

Unfortunately, the problem becomes one of motivation. Who is more motivated, the griefer who enjoys the frustration of others, or the frustrated person starting to think that it's easier to log off forever than to fight the griefer? If you've ever seen the online trolls, even here on Slashdot, you know the painful answer to that.

I run an online game called Meridian 59 [meridian59.com] . It embraces a less restricted PvP philosophy with the intention that players can solve their own problems. Yeah, it doesn't quite work out that way in practice.

To address your specific suggestion, the problem is that the real problem makers won't flag themselves as villains. If you have it so that other people can flag individuals as villains, then the griefers will start flagging victims in order to harass them legitimately under the rules. The core problem here is that a coded system can't easily tell a person's intent (if at all). And, for most people, it's easier to walk away from a game rather than try to "fight the good fight" against the villains. Unfortunately, the people leaving are paying customers in the case of a commercial game.

Is there a solution? Perhaps this type of design isn't always doomed to fail, but you'd have to educate your players and get them to change their attitudes. Most people play games to dominate them, not to worry about conservation of limited resources. How to do that is left as an exercise for when you develop the game. ;)

Re:A cool game (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26392571)

That would quickly become a not-at-all-cool MMO. The problem it has is that it's vulnerable to griefers.

I've been working on solving this. The key is to have the game world react to griefing in ways that make it futile or counterproductive. Buy up all the coal in a mining town? The income causes the town to grow to increase production. Kill a civilian? You get a reputation as a murderer, the authorities will put a bounty on your head, town guards will attack you on sight, and no merchant will do business with you.

The other technique that looks like it might work is to make the world big enough. If a griefer is an hour away by airship, does it really matter what he's doing?

Re:A cool game (1)

MetalFlow (1430151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26390741)

Actually, this is an idea I have been kicking around with my friends for about a year now... I call it a "persistent universe" for a MMO. The background coding for this actually would be fairly easy... the difficult part comes in updating the player interfaces to reflect the newly modified universe. In essence, how do you keep the data throughput down while continuously updating the "universe" that the player is interacting with? If bandwidth wasn't an issue, this would be easy, but we all know that bandwidth IS and issue... I simply cannot figure a good way to transmit at least semi real-time modifications to a players interface without dumping out huge quantities of data from my servers.

Re:A cool game (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26396373)

Players request data about their surroundings. Index "new" change data on nearest integer coordinate and when a player requests an update, send them what changed near them.

Split the world into cubic environments that are small enough to download in chunks. (If you played Vanguard, or seen it... Think about 100 times smaller than their chunks.) You'd have hundreds of zone chunks nearby a character. If the world changed in one of these chunks and the player is nearby, send them updated chunk data. You can send the player a small hash array for the version of the chunk data near them and the client can tell you it needs x chunks back after checking the version data. You would need to structure the game like GW where you download the world data as needed, so you might need a content server of some type but this would make the initial download small and only explorers would download all the content. If a miner opens a mine in the side of a mountain... everyone in the area is sent a new cubic chunk of that opening. Keep this download manager in it's own process/thread to allow them continue playing without load bars.

I thought about doing this for a multiplayer dungeon crawler of sorts that the enemies would dig tunnels looking for ore. They may intersect the dungeons or other tunnels and make the underworld dynamic. If they mined out too much, it would cave in separating them from supplies and/or killing them.

Re:A cool game (1)

MetalFlow (1430151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26416147)

On an MMO level, however, couldn't this end up requiring that the servers be dumping out massive quantities of data? The return of this world data would have to be relatively instant in order to maintain gameplay and these data chunks would be be... what... 100k in size... maybe more? if you have more than 10 players in a localized area where a world change happens, then you would have to dump out about a meg in less than a second. Scale that up for thousands of players and you begin to see my quandry. I did, however, have an idea since my orginial posting. You could reduce the amount needed to update by simply populate "world modifier sprites" that would be simple creature flags in essence, but instead of causing the players interface to display a creature, they would cause the player's interface to modify the terrain. these sprites need a small amount of information transmitted (smaller than regular creatures since the have no real interactive nature) and thus would need only around maybe 1k or less. These sprites could also be transmitted on a low priority in between realtime packets so that gameplay would not be affected... right?

Re:A cool game (1)

MetalFlow (1430151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26416323)

after looking at my post... maybe 100k is kinda ridiculous for your world chunk updates.. but I still feel that my sprite updates would require a significantly smaller (by a factor of ten or better) quantity of data.

Re:A cool game (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26417571)

You'd have descriptive generation something like the following. You wouldn't send the models and textures for the area, but you'd have pre-made assets locally. You tell the client to draw two triangles with texture 34987 at positions {(x1, y1, z1), (x2, y2, z2), (x3, y3, z3)} Then just tell the client to draw item 5632 at x/y/z/pitch/yaw/roll. You could do grass, trees, houses... In rare occasions (or maybe the first initial "patch") you can have the client download a new asset, dungeon section, tree, etc. You could even give users the option to torrent download the entire asset library for a "better gameplay experience" while they are playing or overnight.

Re:A cool game (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26417957)

This reminds me of Wurm Online [wurmonline.com] , a MMORPG in which you can chop down the trees, build buildings, and make your own roads, hills, mines, fences, etcetera. Practically all of the terrain modifications have been made by the players.

Scaling, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26388837)

This website apparently doesn't scale very well.

Anyone have a mirror?
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