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Massively Multiplayer Game Development 2 (Charles River Media Game Development) (v. 2) Hardcover – February, 2005

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Series: Charles River Media Game Development
  • Hardcover: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Charles River Media; 1 edition (February 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584503904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584503903
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #598,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Designing and developing massively multiplayer (MMP) games are very difficult endeavors that often require large teams and time/money investments. This book provides useful knowledge that can help identify and avoid potential development pitfalls.

The articles in this book are separated into three sections - design, engineering, and production techniques. Therefore, it isn't just for programmers - numerous development team members will find value in the book's articles. I think it's important for developers to read most or all of the articles - even those that aren't specifically intended for their position. This practice can increase understanding and communication between the members of interdisciplinary teams.

In each article, a member of the MMP development community explains his or her experience with a particular topic - telling stories in online games, automated testing, anti-cheat mechanisms, etc. While some of the technical essays supply pseudocode, most articles present examples from existing games and other ideas. Don't expect to build an MMP engine or even detailed designs based solely on the information in this book. Instead, these articles will provide insight and advice on many issues you will encounter as you plan and develop an MMP project.

Some of the essays feel a bit "thin", and the authors don't seem to sufficiently explain their topic. In some instances, the topics are simply too complex to fully examine in one or two articles. Nonetheless, the subjects in this book are important for developers to consider. For readers that want to delve deeper into a topic, most articles provide references to related information.

This book is intended for "intermediate/advanced" game developers (specifically those in the MMP industry), and my rating is based on that audience. For those unfamiliar with MMP games and/or software development, it will be difficult to appreciate the articles in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Game development has become a big if not major part of today's programming environment. And the big massively multiplayer games (MMG) represent the peak of game development software. Finally, the authors of the articles in this book are people actively engaged at the leading edge of programming MMGs, they're the heavy hitters of the MMG world. Here is what it's really like, here is the depth of skill it takes to build one of these games.

This book is broken down into three major parts:

Design Techniques - 11 Articles from Why People Play to Examining the Gap between Theory and Reality.

Engineering Techniques - 15 Articles From Testing to Rendering Massive Quanities in Real-Time.

Production Techniques - 8 Articles from Project Management to Mass Market for MMP Games. Of particular interest in this section is the article on how a small company, CCP Games, used guerilla marketing techniques to bring EVE Online to the market in the face of competition from the big guys.
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Format: Hardcover
This book offers a very nice overview for multiplayer game developers. It is split in three parts: First part has about 10 articles answering the question, what people play multiplayer and how to bind them. Second part contains about 15 articles about the technical aspects such as how to reduce message transfer with thousands of players to 1-2kB per second. The third part describes how marketing can be done.

Very nice book !

The only thing is that there is no red line between the articles, since every article was written by independent author.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This, like all the "Gems" series books etc suffer from the same problem: People who are probably very good at what they're doing are asked to write articles for people who want to become better but dont want to divulge their real secrets nor is there the space to do give real usable examples.

So you are left with some general blahblah which you could gather for free on the internet and which leaves you with the stale feeling that you just wasted your money and time and didn't learn anything useful.

Worse, some articles (like the one about distributed service approach) are simply misleading and false and may lead a novice developer astray and on a path that ends up in a dead end. If you want to learn about client server design or any form of distributed computing, don't buy this book. Buy the books by Andrew Tannenbaum which are still readily available and cost just a handful of dollars if you buy them used and I guarantee you learn more useful things about network games than from this lemon.
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Format: Hardcover
To the game developer, the theory behind MMOGs can be a mystery. Often it is hit-and-miss and many developers can and do get it wrong. Great games can turn to dust because designers made critical mistakes.

This book does NOT have all the answers!

But it does pose a lot of questions and provides learned and thoughtful chapters written by some of the best game people in the business.

Part one covers design techniques with eleven chapters in game theory.

Part two explores engineering techniques including automated testing, data collection and analysis and anti cheat mechanisms.

Part three gets into production techniques with eight chapters covering subjects from project management to providing online support.

Its become my Bible of MMOG dev.
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