Create an MMORPG in 30 Minutes!

It’s one of the goals of most aspiring Game creators – “How do I make an MMORPG?” Most of the time you hear answers like, “Try something easy first”. But not today. For the first time ever, I will reveal the secrets that let you create awesome MMORPG’s in Unity with almost no effort.

Getting Started

Most people don’t realize there are multiple versions of Unity. The version highlighted on their website is fine for creating things from scratch, but there’s a lot that goes into an MMO so we will need a bit more out of the box. Most of these libraries and assets are a standard part of Unity Prime, which you can grab a copy of here.

Basic Settings

From the file menu choose “Edit->Project Settings->World” to open the world editor dialog box. If you’ve ever made a world in Minecraft, you’ll feel right at home here. You can very easily set toggles that determine what types of biomes will appear in your world, and what prefabs load as decorations within. If you are more advanced you can take a stab at adding your own custom biome and art here as well. For now, just turn on “Desert” at 30%, Rain Forest at 30% and Ocean at 50%. Don’t let the numbers fool you, using 110% just means your game will be more cool.

Game Setup

You could spend a lot of time fleshing out villages, NPCs, Quests etc. but that would make it hard to finish your MMORPG in 30 minutes. So let’s start with more randomly generated content. From the file menu choose “Edit->Generator->Auto Populate” in the dialog that appears we will leave everything set to default (it creates villages, monsters, NPC’s, Quests etc) and click Generate. This process will take awhile to complete, so you may want to go get some coffee and come back.

Of course if you only ever use the default quests, your game will start to feel like everyone else’s game. Let’s go ahead and show how to create a custom quest. From the file menu choose “Edit->Project Settings->Quests” to open the quest manager panel. Click the “New Quest” button and give your quest a cool name like “Save What’s his name” and fill out the description text to say, “You arrived just in time, we are in desperate need of ingredients to create a healing potion. Please get them for me!”. Of course it will be helpful to indicate which ingredients are required to actually complete this quest, so add some objectives to your quest: “Collect {COUNT/10} Wild Berry flowers”, “Collect {COUNT/4} Leaves of Life”. Enable the toggle next to the collection type quest and the text “{COUNT/X}” will automatically update. The X is the amount required and COUNT will be dynamically updated based on the number of items you have in your inventory. When all of the objectives of a quest are complete, the quest itself will be marked complete and recommend you go to the quest giver to collect your rewards. Note that your objectives are “smart” and will automatically know when they are completed based on the words in the description – it couldn’t be any easier! Honestly it feels a bit like magic because I swear it worked once even when I had a typo.

Any quest you make won’t have been assigned to an NPC yet, so click one and look in the inspector. There should be a quest list entry, which you can click the plus button next to. Start typing the name of your quest and it will auto complete as you type. Click enter to confirm and thats it. You can reorder the quests in the lists with the arrows and the NPC will give out the quests one at a time.

Press play and try running around your environment. Complete some quests and and see how you feel about the balance of biomes etc. You’ll want to make sure you like the overall distribution fairly early on to make the best use of the auto populate features. Once you start manually adding villages and npc’s etc you won’t want to use the auto populate or world panels anymore because it might generate something that leaves your village in the middle of the ocean!

Take it Online

At this point the only thing missing in our game is the other people – pretty important since this is an MMO. You have two options – Create and host on your own server or let Unity host it for you. I prefer the later option because it already has all the bells and whistles and its FREE! Occasionally they will show banner ads over your game. MAKE SURE to set up your bank account info or Unity will keep all the revenue generated by your game. They make TONS of money off people too lazy to finish filling out this form! Go here to start registering your details to get your own server and then pay attention to the server settings they send in an email. You will need to put those values in the Editor before building your game.

Summary

In this lesson, we exercised patience and humor. I wanted to see how long I could get people to read stuff that was obviously a hoax, but hopefully somewhat entertaining regardless. Happy April Fool’s day!

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