How to make a 3D mmorpg

Written by darrin koltow
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How to make a 3D mmorpg
3D MMORPGs allow many players to compete simultaneously in a digital world with visual depth. (binary world image by Attila Toro from

The term "MMORPG" is an acronym for "massively multiplayer online role-playing game." Such games allow many players to compete simultaneously and develop the wealth and status of their virtual characters as though they existed in the physical world. MMORPGs with a 3-D component feature game elements, including characters, that appear to have a visual depth component for enhanced realism. Making a 3-D MMORPG includes writing the algorithms, called artificial intelligence, that simulate a game's obstacles. Making your own 3-D MMORPG provides the satisfaction of creating a universe conforming to your design, and having the vitality of input from different players.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Play a number of open source (free) 3-D MMORPGs, such as Dark Crow or Simbion. Write down answers to these questions, and others related to them: "What do I like and not like about this game? How would I make it better, easier, harder, and more engaging? What setting and theme (Old West, outer space, medieval) would be more appropriate for this game?"

  2. 2

    Download and install a software development kit (SDK) for the language of the game's source code. The SDK has the compiler and debugging programs you need to build the executable program from the source code. If the game's source is in Java, download the Java SDK called the JDK from Oracle. If the game's source is in C++, you can download an SDK from the GNU compiler collection page.

  3. 3

    Download and install an integrated development environment (IDE) for writing and editing the source code. IDE's make writing program code much easier than a regular word processor can, by providing check for syntax errors as you type, completing statements automatically, and other timesaving tools. You can try NetBeans or Eclipse for both Java and C++ code.

  4. 4

    Download the source code for one of the games you played, then compile it using the instructions accompanying the download. Play the game to ensure you compiled it correctly.

  5. 5

    Print out each of the game's source files, then retype the source files by referring to the printouts. Retyping the game's code requires a careful reading that will build your understanding of the game's algorithms. Recompile and test the game.

  6. 6

    Archive (duplicate and save) the game's source files, then delete one of them. Retype as much of the source's program code as you can remember, referring to the printout only as needed. This step promotes deep thinking about the game's workings.

  7. 7

    Compile and run the game, then repeat the step of typing the source file from memory until you no longer need the printout. Repeat this recitation for the game's remaining source files. Completing this step provides the knowledge needed to being modifying the MMORPG's code.

  8. 8

    Write the program code for one of the small-scale changes you wrote in step 1. For example, change a character's hair colour from brown to gold, (for example, "Warrior.Hair.color = GOLD;").

  9. 9

    Compile and test the game, then use your IDE's debugging tools to fix any errors. Search the IDE's documentation for "debugging" for detailed instructions on using this feature.

  10. 10

    Write the code for the remaining changes on your list, moving from simple to more complex changes.

  11. 11

    Write messages, on game development forums like GameDev or DevMaster, asking gamers to help you test the game. Write a new list of changes based on their comments, then revise the game's source code based on the new list.

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