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Author Topic: (M)MORPG with a Bitcoin currency  (Read 2022 times)
n2liquid
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December 26, 2011, 09:21:15 AM
 #1

-- If a moderator sees this, could this be moved to a more appropriate board? --

Guys, I just had the most insane, but also most exciting idea of my life. I figure other people have also thought about that, and discussed it in some other threads, but I'm really considering to put this into practice.

My key ideas for the game:

  • Monsters should have a chance of dropping BTC.
  • When you acquire BTC in-game, it is automatically transferred to your wallet.
  • The BTC that monsters drop can come from different sources, such as monthly payments, items sold by NPC's, in-game fees over maintaining guilds, entering special areas, etc.
  • Money for keeping the server up can come from BTC in the game itself, unless the market is suffering a crash and BTC aren't worth much; in this case, the server would have to be kept up only by monthly payments and donations.
  • People should get mad at bots, since they're effectively stealing their money (not their wallets, but the money they put into the game, which makes up for monster drops, etc.). The community could elect and pay game masters to keep the servers free from bots.

The catch is that I'm sharing this idea with you, but this is still a personal project. I'm going to make this in a programming language called Chii I'm developing myself, and the game style is going to be your usual Korean cute shit like Ragnarok.

If you can draw, paint, model in 3D, or is a developer insane enough to trust somebody who says is making a new programming language and would like to help, or simply keep in touch, let me know. I generally can't move things forward if I don't have somebody to discuss. Also, I can't do art yet, so I would need somebody to do that for me.

Otherwise you may think the idea is good but I'm overengineering with this Chii thing, or you simply hate anime and would like to make something like World of Warcraft, we can still help each other in defining the limits, pitfalls, and difficulties of developing an online game economy based on BTC. I think there's room for more than one game Grin

By the way, before you get started with the usual "but you have no idea how hard it is to make an online game", yes, I do have. I have developed my first online game when I was 10, and I did not use any synchronization framework like RakNet to do that. I really did it all by hand using a standard TCP/IP library Wink It obviously wouldn't scale (I didn't even know what this meant back then), but it did work, and I'm sure I can do better today (although I would *probably* use a synchronization framework today).
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December 26, 2011, 09:28:42 AM
 #2

I think you better be damn sure your game doesn't have any dupe methods/exploits before you go allowing BTC to be generated directly to external wallets.

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n2liquid
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December 26, 2011, 09:40:31 AM
 #3

The game would be open-source software, and we won't do like big companies that put too much power on the hands of the clients because they can afford crap like nProtect, HackShield, etc. That would be silly.

Of course, those companies do this for a reason, and that is reduced processing on the servers and less network usage. This means we would need better servers and the players would need better internet connections, unless we can develop really clever network protocols.
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December 26, 2011, 11:29:28 AM
 #4

nice Smiley

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December 26, 2011, 12:40:52 PM
 #5

An MMO as your first major project?  I think you are underestimating what it would actually take to make and maintain a persistent game world.  And how do you plan to pay the artists, modelers, content designers, coders(surely you don't think you can code an entire mmo w/netcode from scratch by yourself)?

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coin_toss
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December 26, 2011, 12:53:53 PM
 #6

Great idea. Very difficult to implement. Even if you are an amazing coder you will need a lot of help to do this project i think
n2liquid
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December 26, 2011, 02:44:37 PM
 #7

Well, one thing is for sure: writing a server for an online game with all features that Ragnarok has definitely isn't impossible for a single person, as long as it doesn't have to support 10k+ simultaneous players. I'm sure that beyond/near that threshold, it would take more than just brainlessly writing the game logic like I did in the past, but I'm not sure it would be *that* hard either (never did that, so I can't say; only suppose).

With that many players online, I could certainly afford more coders, right?

Please bear in mind that I'm not aiming for a massively multiplayer online game upfront, just an online game with the gameplay of an MMO (Ragnarok), because I think that's fun.

I'm not saying this is easy. I'm saying this is not impossible, and that I did similar things before, when I was absurdly less capable than now.

Now, let's forget how hard it would be to *implement* this, and think how hard it would be to actually put a real currency in an MMORPG? I think this is much harder than actually implementing an online game.
Gabi
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December 26, 2011, 08:50:24 PM
 #8

Monsters? So a wow clone?

Something like eve online would be more compatible with bitcoin in my opinion
mattiemus
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December 26, 2011, 09:56:56 PM
 #9

This sounds like a very unique idea! and I personally really like it, I also came across your blog after doing a Google search for your programming language Chii (it looks amazing by the way!).

In my humble opinion it sounds perfectly possible, my only concern would be the security of the "central bank" of bitcoins that are shared out when people kill monsters or sell things, but I am sure there's ways to secure that further.

I wish you best of luck with this, it sounds like a very cool idea.
n2liquid
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December 26, 2011, 10:07:02 PM
 #10

@Gabi, yes, something "high-tech" can be directly linked to BTC, but that doesn't mean Bitcoins can be worked in-game to be magical, steampunk, or just a normal currency.

My initial idea is to have something Ragnarok-style: http://mmohuts.com/wp-content/gallery/ragnarok-online/ragnarok-online-outside-combat.jpg

Or maybe Wild Arms 5-style (artwise):

http://www.dignews.com/legacy/screenshots/wild_arms_5_rev_06.jpg
http://cache.kotaku.com/assets/resources/2007/03/wildarms5.jpg

@mattiemus, thanks for that post, man; it really gives me a lot of energy! Grin

One way of "securing" the working capital would be to simply make sure that there's limited money in there to keep the drops happening (e.g. having a "cap" amount adjusted to how many players are online), and move the remaining money to the possession of one (or many) game masters with password-protected wallets. They should then put the money back in as needed.
NothinG
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December 26, 2011, 10:14:03 PM
 #11

If you need a server host, I'm you guy.

Also, subscribing. I've seen a few of these project-ideas start up, but haven't seen them go very far. I'm very interested in seeing how this one turns out.

mattiemus
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December 26, 2011, 10:29:10 PM
 #12

@mattiemus, thanks for that post, man; it really gives me a lot of energy! Grin

One way of "securing" the working capital would be to simply make sure that there's limited money in there to keep the drops happening (e.g. having a "cap" amount adjusted to how many players are online), and move the remaining money to the possession of one (or many) game masters with password-protected wallets. They should then put the money back in as needed.

The idea of "splitting out" the entire store of bitcoins would be a good idea, you spread the risk of storing the coins over so many people reducing the risk of the pool being stolen.
And the cap would be a cool idea too, it would also allow you to take, say 10% for upkeep of the game (and to allow you and the game masters to actually afford to eat, cuz y'know thats important too Wink)

EDIT:
Forgot to mention, if you are looking for some placeholder art while developing http://opengameart.org/ is the first place I usually go.
And for the Ragnarok idea there's is a very nice isometric art tileset at http://opengameart.org/content/flare (note that this art is already used in Flare, so should really only be used as placeholders until you get your own).
n2liquid
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December 26, 2011, 10:40:03 PM
 #13

I'm finishing work for a company now, and should have time for this project in a week.

My biggest concerns are coming up with a sound economy model for the game and finding artists I really like. A friend of mine (http://march0514s.wordpress.com/) can draw and paint a little and would be willing to participate, but he's a complete rookie Smiley

Another friend of mine (http://seiga.nicovideo.jp/user/illust/13453809) can draw and model and paint like a monster, but is fighting artist block for over 4 years now. I gave up on him for now, unfortunately Sad
CliffordM
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December 27, 2011, 12:03:35 PM
 #14

What about a text based RPG game along the lines of say Eve-Online ?  This might be something much easier and quicker to develop?
n2liquid
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December 27, 2011, 01:03:49 PM
 #15

@CliffordM, that would be a pretty fun proof-of-concept Smiley can you code?
finway
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December 27, 2011, 01:07:52 PM
 #16

Like this!

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December 27, 2011, 01:22:27 PM
 #17

Had the idea secretly locked away in my brain, no means to produce it...  Hope someone comes out with such a game eventually.

CliffordM
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December 27, 2011, 01:28:42 PM
 #18

Coding is something I enjoy -- my suggestion would be to implement the game as an SSH shell using Python and the ZODB as a persistence engine.  If we used the Twisted framework it would be very easy to also offer an HTML window into the game world too.

n2liquid
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December 27, 2011, 01:46:38 PM
 #19

@CliffordM, I don't know Python, but implementing the game as an SSH shell would be cool indeed. However, don't forget the client needs to send and receive BTC transactions, so a standard shell client wouldn't do it.

@all, I was thinking that in terms of values, the transactions would be really small, so they would probably need a fee to be accepted in the blockchain (I'm still a newbie here; I do but best to understand how BTC works, but I'm sure I'll say a lot of shit for a while, please be patient Smiley).

Also, they wouldn't really happen in real-time (there's always a delay of at most 10 mins for a transfer to succeed, right?), which would suck. So I guess we would need to use virtual BTC in-game and make transactions in batches from time to time. Am I right?
CliffordM
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December 27, 2011, 02:06:54 PM
 #20

@N2

It would be a custom SSH shell -- which wouldn't pose any problems.  Even easier to get started could simply be an HTML form, but I have a feeling that the real-time feedback from a shell style approach might appeal more to players.

The 10 minute lag would be a complete downer, so the approach of using virtual in game BTC would be needed.  But what we could do is to provide the occasional in-game kiosk allowing the full-fat BTC fund transfer to be performed at the players' discretion, thereby making this aspect part of the game (they could be hidden, or sparsely distributed, or even mobile (i.e. an NPC forex player).

@all

the obvious unit of currency would be the Satoshi rather than the much larger Bitcoin.  This way we don't have any of the rounding problems, and can easily 'gift' new players say 100 Satoshi to get them started without having to make an initial transfer.

Any other ideas for game dynamics / themes ?  There are some very sophisticated RPG text games out there already, but I fear their learning curve may deter an initial uptake.  What we should shoot for is something simple and fun to implement quickly that can be played easily via an SSH shell, but also easily viewed over HTML.

A radical idea would be to allow the purchase of real world items (eg. mugs / mousemats) using the in-game currency, which if we can get the in-game cash-mechanics to work nicely might create a fun way to go shopping.
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