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Developing Online Games: An Insider's Guide (Nrg-Programming) Paperback – March 7, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

If more than 30 years of knowledge and experience were available, would you spend $10-$15 million developing an online game without knowing what worked in the past and, equally as important, what had not worked? Most would answer "Of course not!" Yet that is exactly what publishers and developers have done repeatedly. The results were predictable.

This book was written to spread the word on what works and what doesn't. We hope to save you money and, more importantly, keep you from crashing and burning your company with tired old mistakes. (Feel free to make new ones. That's how we learn!)

This is an accumulation of our experience in all phases of the design, development, and management of online games, combined with the views and experiences of other experts with experience in the field. These experiences and views can help guide you to successful... and profitable... online games.

Jessica Mulligan and Bridgette Patrovsky

From the Back Cover

A soup-to-nuts overview of just what it takes to successfully design, develop and manage an online game. Learn from the top two online game developers through the real-world successes and mistakes not known to others. There are Case studies from 10+ industry leaders, including Raph Koster, J. Baron, R. Bartle, D. Schubert, A. Macris, and more! Covers all types of online games: Retail Hybrids, Persistent Worlds, and console games.

Developing Online Games provides insight into designing, developing and managing online games that is available nowhere else. Online game programming guru Jessica Mulligan and seasoned exec Bridgette Patrovsky provide insights into the industry that will allow others entering this market to avoid the mistakes of the past. In addition to their own experiences, the authors provide interviews, insight and anecdotes from over twenty of the most well-known and experienced online game insiders. The book includes case studies of the successes and failures of today's most well-known online games. There is also a special section for senior executives on how to budget an online game and how to assemble the right development and management teams. The book ends with a look at the future of online gaming: not only online console gaming (Xbox Online, Playstation 2), but the emerging mobile device game market (cell phones, wireless, PDA).


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Product Details

  • Series: Nrg-Programming
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders Games (March 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592730000
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592730001
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,713,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Cemil Sinasi Turun on April 8, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is THE guide for those who are planning to start development on massively multiplayer online games or Persistent Worlds as the authors call them. Authors, with tons of their own experience from previous games and input from other producers prepared a very good guide for us the smaller crowd out there who are crazy enough to put effort and money behind a PW development.
The best thing about the book is that the authors sincerely shared their experience and problems. One would have thought that the golden gems might have been kept out of such books, but I frankly feel that this is not the case here. Kudos also, for they did not keep Korean examples out or at an arm's length like others in the field consistently do. They take the examples in Korea as real and share their valuable information with us. They also made a good point of mentioning that PW production is not game development but being in the service business big time.
They also made a long chapter on testing the PWs, which I guess is the real icing on the cake. They share with us information such as number of personnel needed to maintain the PWs or servicing the clients with volunteers, how to keep this volunteer army content etc. One might not be able to get this information for hundreds of thousands of dollars from consultants. I thank the authors for sharing the information so generously.
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Format: Paperback
In an industry still in its infancy, but with more of a history than most people realize, comes a couple of experienced pros to share their experiences and understanding of the phenomena of online games. This book is chock full of real numbers and real documents as well as anecdotal material to back it all up. Jessica and Bridgette give the floor to some well known designer/developers to let them share their experiences with us, too. And most of it is in Ms. Mulligan's slightly ascerbic but eternally hopeful-that-we'll-finally-get-it, wit that we have come to know and love in her Biting the Hand online games column. If you are about to spend several million dollars on one of these modern epics or have some part of the responsibility of getting one to market, you have to have this book right by your side all the way through the process. Great forward from Raph Korsten (Ultima Online, SWG), good stuff from Gordon Walton (Kesmai Games, EA, SOE), Jonathan Baron (XBox Online), Damion Schubert (Meridian59, Shadowbane), and several others. Looking forward to her next book in the series - how to manage one of these beasts!
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Format: Paperback
If you are even "thinking" of writing an online game or MMOG/PW you should read this book. It will likely challenge your thoughts on design, production, development, and most importantly support. In fact this book should probably scare you into not making a PW, and that in and of itself may be worth the price of the book. If you read this book and still believe you and your team has what it takes to put a PW together, then you will be well armed with knowledge of the history, the successes, and lessons from the mistakes made time and time again in this market. I cannot recommend this book enough. It's not a cheerleeding book to make you feel good, its an honest book and there simply aren't enough of these.
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Format: Paperback
I've always been curious as to what is the appeal of online games. It seems to be a thinly-veneered way of getting anti-social computer users to interact in a pseudo-social environment. My roommate is a big fan of Dark Ages of Camelot, and the devotion he places into playing the game on a regular basis confounds me.
I picked up this book to try and see what the key ingredients are that make some games flop and others flourish. I learned that it's service. Most computer games leave the publishers office, and are never dealt with again, except for patches and such. Online gaming requires a certain amount of devotion after publishing that many game publishing companies don't understand. A persistent world requires persistent staff, running servers, customer service, etc.
The book is excellent for developers; they will see the pitfalls and dedication they must place into a game during and after placing them on the retail shelves. I was more interested in the social aspects of gaming from the point of view of the player, and I wasn't that impressed with the book. If you use my review as a basis to purchase/not purchase this book, understand that I wasn't the target audience that this was directed to.
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