Massively Multi-Player Game Development

Massively Multi-Player Game Development

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Stick a fork in it!

Just got this note from the book's publisher:

Dear Contributors,

The book is out -- just got a copy and it looks great! Thanks for you

See you at GDC.

Jenifer Niles
Charles River Media

Congrats to all of the books contributors - you are now published authors!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Thanks for all of the Fish!

Now that the 2nd MMP Game Dev book is rounding third and heading for home it is time for this humble editor to thank all of the fine people that helped to make it happen in one way or another:

First off I would like to extend by deepest appreciation to the contributors whose hard work made this book possible as well as the contributors of the first MMP book who blazed the trail for others to follow.

Second I would also like to extend a very special thank you to the following people who have personally encouraged or inspired me throughout my life to chase down my dreams and fulfill them: Jimmy Monson, Marcia Prescott, Diane Pavlik, Steve Lindquist, Gary Moore, Andy Anderson, Jodie Norton, Scott Thomson, Tony Rocco Castellani, Phil Bailey, Lauren Winters, Debbie Schneider, John Rooney, Missy Henrickson, Kelly DeCook, Mark and Kelly Cussans, Andy and Sara Lynch, Buck and Dawn Andrews, Ryan Stoddard, Scott Wescott, Dan “Neller” Heller, Dmo Betts, The Aiello Brothers, Eddie Hamaty, Carl “SSCGBB” Jacobs, Anne Bowers, Scot Barnes, Jose Cayao Jr., Reza Beha, Phil Dawdy, Melanie Rogers, Howard Jones and last but far from least Aimee Noel Vladic.

Next I would like to thank all of the great and talented people that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years in this wacky business that we call the game industry, especially: John Donham, Rob Martyn, Phil Gorrow, Andy Hollis, Erick Hackenburg, Craig Alexander, Rade Stojsavljevic, Adam Isgreen, Aaron Cohen, Debbie Johnson, David Yee and the EnB team, Rick Hall, Gordon Walton, Jeff Anderson, Richard Garriott, Drew Markham, Greg Goodrich, Mal Blackwell, Alex Mayberry, Corky Lehmkuhl, Max Yoshikawa, Starr Long, Jeremy Gaffney and the UO2 Team.

Finally I would like to thank über-publisher Jenifer Niles for all of her help and support of this book series.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Final Table of Contents for the New Book!

I'm proud to announce the final content for the second MMP Game Development book:



Gordon Walton

About the Book

About the Cover

Contributor Bios


1.1 Virtual Worlds: Why People Play
Richard Bartle – University of Essex

1.2 The Three Thirties of MMP Game Design
Artie Rogers – NCSoft

1.3 Balancing Gameplay for Thousands of Your Harshest Critics
Brian “Psychochild” Green – Near Death Studios, Inc.

1.4 Power by the People: User-Creation in Online Games
Cory Ondrejka – Linden Lab

1.5 Games within Games: Graph Theory for Designers - Part 1
David Kennerly – Fine Game Design

1.6 Worlds within Worlds: Graph Theory for Designers - Part 2
David Kennerly – Fine Game Design

1.7 Guild Management Tools for a Successful MMP Game
Sean “Dragons” Stalzer – The Syndicate

1.8 A Stock Exchange-Inspired Commerce System
John M. Olsen, Infix Games

1.9 Alternatives to the Character Grind
Artie Rogers – NCSoft

1.10 Telling Stories in Online Games
Shannon Appelcline

1.11 Great in Theory: Examining the Gap between System Design Theory and Reality
Justin Quimby – Turbine Entertainment Software


2.1 Automated Testing for Online Games
Larry Mellon – Electronic Arts

2.2 Massively Multiplayer Scripting Systems
Jon Parise – Electronic Arts

2.3 Real-World MMO Object Sharing
Joe Ludwig – Flying Lab Software

2.4 MMP Server Cluster Architecture
Joe Ludwig – Flying Lab Software

2.5 Massively Multiplayer Games Using a Distributed Services Approach
Shea Street – Tantrum Games

2.6 Metrics Collection and Analysis
Larry Mellon – Electronic Arts

2.7 Delta-Compression for Heterogeneous Data Transfer
Jim Hicke – Xtreme Strategy Games, LLC

2.8 Architecture and Techniques for an MMORTS
Gideon Amir and Ramon Axelrod – Majorem

2.9 MMP Engineering Pitfalls
Justin Quimby – Turbine Entertainment Software

2.10 Animated Procedural Skies
John M. Olsen, Infix Games

2.11 Time and Event Synchronization across an MMP Server Farm
Roger Smith and Don Stoner – Modelbenders, LLC

2.12 Anti-Cheat Mechanisms for Massively Multiplayer Games
Marty Poulin – Sony Computer Entertainment America

2.13 The Quest for Holy Scale – Part 1: Large Scale Computing
Max Skibinsky – HiveMind, Inc.

2.14 The Quest for Holy Scale – Part II: P2P Continuum
Max Skibinsky – HiveMind, Inc.

2.15 Optimization Techniques for Rendering Massive Quantities of Mesh Deformed Characters in Real-Time
John W. Ratcliff


3.1 Large Scale Project Management
Michael Saladino – Electronic Arts

3.2 Effective Quality Assurance – How to Manage Developers
Craig McDonald – Origin Systems (R.I.P.)

3.3 Small Fish in a Big Pond: How Small Developers and Publishers Can Succeed in Promoting Their MMP Game
Mike Wallis – Turbine Entertainment

3.4 Managing and Growing an MMOG as a Service
John Donham – Sony Online Entertainment

3.5 Community Management: Do's and Don'ts from those who've done'em
Graham Williams and Katie Postma - Ubisoft

3.6 Important Features to Attract and Retain Guilds
Sean “Dragons” Stalzer – The Syndicate

3.7 Techniques for Providing Online Support for Massively Multiplayer Games
Tom Gordon – AlienPants

3.8 Asian Game Markets and Game Development – Mass Market for MMP Games
Adi Gaash -

The book will be on sale around GDC this spring!

Friday, December 31, 2004

MMP Winners & Losers of 2004


As the year 2004 comes to a close here are the MMP Game Development picks for winners and losers.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Final Cover for the new book!

Take a peek at the final cover for the upcoming Massivley Multiplayer Game Development 2 book:

The book is in the final stages of publication and is scheduled to go on sale at GDC in the spring of 2005.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Correction - Figure 2.1.6

The first Massively Multiplayer Game Development book contains the wrong figure in section 2 on page 109. The correct figure is shown here:

If you spot any other errors please send them here.

Monday, November 08, 2004

MMP Book is on sale at

The first Massively Multiplayer Game Development book is on sale at Amazon.

Click on the book cover for detailed infomation from the publisher.

This book is a comprehensive and insightful anthology of articles from the developers of the most successful and anticipated MMP games including: EverQuest, Dark Age of Camelot, Ultima Online, Neverwinter Nights, The Sims Online, Toontown Online, Star Wars Galaxies and more. Within these pages you will find a wealth of unique and rare knowledge acquired in the trenches of MMP and online game development by some of the online game industry’s best and brightest developers.

Happy Reading!

MMP Game Development is Live!

Massively Multiplayer Game Development is here for you!

The “Big” Idea

Information wants to be free! Ideas are easy. It is the execution of those ideas that produces great games. By sharing this knowledge with you the reader, it is the express wish of this author that this blog will help foster an atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation between massively multiplayer and online game developers (and sell some books too!)