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Massively Multiplayer Game Development (Charles River Media Game Development) Hardcover – February 14, 2003
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About the Author
Thor Alexander (California) has been working in the game industry for over twelve years as a designer, engineer and entrepreneur. He has held lead designer and senior programming positions at Electronic Arts, Microsoft and Xatrix Entertainment. He has contributed to titles such as Earth & Beyond and Freelancer as well as the Ultima Online game series. He has also contributed to the books AI Game Programming Wisdom and Game Programming Gems 3 as well as Massively Multiplayer Game Development.
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Top Customer Reviews
I think the main merit of this book is that many different topics are in one space and the reader gets an overview and some ideas that help start one's own research.
I'm a hobbyist game programmer, a senior in high school, and I've been wanting to make my own MMOG since late middle school. Of course, back then my vision was more... general, unrealistic, overenthusiastic. But over these past few years, as I have matured and gained experience in programming, I've been building up to the time when I had a clear view of what I wanted and exactly how to get there, and especially how much work would be involved. I've taught myself all about general game programming using several other books, but the whole time my goal has been a MMO, and while the books taught general game development, none of them really mentioned how to develop on a 'massive' scale - even the books concerning online games. Finally, I've found one that's not only focused on MMOGs, but has exactly the information I want.
I have researched plenty books and websites, but this is a HUGE source of information that I couldn't find anywhere else! Tips on how to organize server farms, complete UML code explaining a full MMORPG framework, tips on server and client development, etc. - just read the table of contents. This book is out of print, but if you are looking to make a Massively Multiplayer game, get your hands on it immediately!!
Another great aspect of the book is that at the end of each separate article, there is a list of resources. It's like a bibliography of the articles that the editor used to compile the article, including the original article itself and any additional sources used. This referred me to several other great game design books that I never would have considered.
If you have questions, like I had, about how to synchronize objects between client and server, how to handle movement and collision detection, how to design and implement the back-end database, how to protect from 'rogue' players (commonly called 'hackers') and so on, this book will answer all those questions and more.
I am writing this review from the perspective of both programmer and designer (well, whole-game-maker, but I've got a couple friends so I consider those my primary roles) - and the programmer will get a whole lot out of this book. A designer will also get some great ideas, and I have not yet read a lot of this book (especially the section meant for designers), so I'm sure I'm underestimating.
A single warning though: You should already have a pretty clear vision of what kind of game you want to make, and in the case of a programmer, have a thorough understanding of the programming language, and all the systems of a game - especially graphics and networking. The book describes thoroughly all the processes but does not go into details about how to form and transmit packets, so you'll have to look into that elsewhere (read up on sockets, possibly the library RakNet, for more info).
Overall, this is a great book, and I would rate it higher if I could! I may even consider getting MMGD 2 now that I've seen the high quality of this one!
The quantity and breadth of information presented here is truly impressive. It covers a wide range of MMO-centric topics, but unfortunately doesn't go into true depth very often. Don't expect to find anything resembling a complete MMO game framework, and there isn't even really any significant source code. If you are interested in developing an MMO, then this book will give you a decent overview of some typical problems and potential solutions - but you are still a VERY long way from having characters run around in a shared world.
This book (and MMO development in general) is really only for experienced developers. If you're a beginner, then I would recommend checking out some other books and trying your hand at a few smaller projects before thinking about tackling this book (or an MMO).
DON'T BUY ONE BOOK, GET THEM BOTH.
As a games programmer I wanted to branch out into a MMG and this book was one of 4 that taught me everything I wanted to know.
This book is split into 3 main sections; each section has several chapters about differant aspects of the MMP's. If you have any interest in MMP games you cannot help but to find most chapters helpful.
I will admit that some chapters bored me and I skipped them, but the amount of helpful chapters there were more than made up for it.
Each chapter has been written by a differant person and quick searches on google makes you realise that these people really do not their particular areas of expertise.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are looking though, for a an intro text, this is not it. This is for serious programmers.