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What Are the Best Tips for Building an MMO?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The creation of a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game typically begins with the Game Design Document (GDD), which is used to guide the rest of development. This document acts as the foundation for building an MMO, and all other design decisions should use it as a reference point. Numerous decisions then need to be made regarding the story of the game, its art style, and the various User Interface (UI) elements and options. Building an MMO is a long-term process and various considerations need to be kept in mind to ensure the longevity of the game, including plans for future updates and releases.

One of the most important aspects of building an MMO is the creation of an effective Game Design Document or GDD. This is a work that indicates and outlines many of the design decisions for a project, such as the overarching storyline of a game and how it is going to be presented. More decisions are likely to be made during development, but the GDD provides the foundation for building an MMO. It can be revised and updated as needed throughout development, but it should serve as a source for future choices as much as possible.

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These additional considerations that come up afterward while building an MMO should all support the vision and concept established in the GDD. Whenever possible, these decisions need to be made early, so that subsequent issues become less of a problem. If the major art style for a game is established at the beginning of development, then it is easier for assets to be generated throughout the process with a consistent style and aesthetic design. Potentially, many different elements need to be considered while building an MMO, and things like the User Interface or UI and the storyline of the game are often better if they reinforce each other.

Building an MMO should be seen as a long-term investment that requires numerous stages of development. This means that a great deal of time and finances are often required to ensure the project comes to completion. Deadlines need to be established and met to ensure the development does not go over budget or beyond the predicted release date. The launch of a new MMO is often one of the most important aspects of establishing a quality product and service, so a great deal of resources need to be put into ensuring it is as positive as possible.

Future developments and updates are also an important consideration even while first building an MMO. Developers may have a long list of great ideas for the game, but it is often necessary to identify which elements may need to wait until after release for implementation. MMOs often have a lifespan in terms of years, providing ample opportunity for the addition of new content. It is important for the GDD to take this into account; even five years after release, new assets can reinforce the overall vision of a project.

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